The weather at the start of Day Two was beautiful, with less heat but more humidity. Rain was expected later in the day so we got an early start. We pulled up to Corey Creek Vineyard in Southold before it was even noon. Corey Creek is the sister vineyard to Bedell in Cutchogue. I’ve been told, and read reviews, that Corey Creek is Bedell without the arrogance. Many of the Bedell reviews mention crowding and poor service. We didn’t experience any of that. Of course it probably helped that we were there mid-week.
The approach to the tasting room was beautifully landscaped. We looked around for a few minutes as another couple was finishing up their tasting. French doors opened up to a deck with an elevated view overlooking the vineyard. We were greeted by a young lady named Maran, who guided us through the tasting options. They offered an Estate Flight for $8 and a Premium Flight for $12. Both offered five wines for the tasting. We chose the Premium flight. The Reserve Chardonnay had tropical notes and a creamy texture and vanilla on the finish. The Gallery blend is 65% Chardonnay, 22% Sauvignon Blanc, and 13% Viognier. Both fermented and aged in French oak this wine is aromatic of baked goods and seductive tropical fruits. Full on the palate, nice acid balance. At $40/bt it was good to find that it was the August Buy One Get One Special. The Cabernet Franc had good violet and black fruit aromas and some herbal taste. Not my favorite Long Island Cab Franc. We did pick up later in our travels a bottle of the 2010 Taste Rose and First Crush Red. The rose is an interesting blend of 62% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah, and 4% Petit Verdot. Natural indigenous yeasts were used in the fermentation. Aromatic, dry, and crisp. The First Crush Red is a Merlot, Cabernet Franc blend done in a Beaujolais style using carbonic maceration. Fruity (especially cherry) and soft.
Next we drove just down the road to enjoy lunch at Braun Seafood. They’re a big wholesaler on Long Island (we saw one of their trucks going to Connecticut on the ferry on the way back) but they maintain a casual dining room and outdoor lawn seating. We ordered clam chowder (the New England kind), fish and chips, and a combo plate that included calamari, scallops, and shrimp with roasted potatoes.
The food was excellent and we were full and a little tired after tasting wine and eating a big meal. The weather was beginning to turn cloudy and rain was expected so what did we do? We high-tailed it to the next vineyard, duh. We received a lot of recommendations for Raphael so that’s where went next.
Raphael is owned by the Petrocelli family, and named in honor of John Petrocelli’s father. The winery and tasting room is a huge affair modeled after an Italian monastery.
The large space is obviously set up to host large functions. We were really looking forward to this tasting. Maybe it was all the advanced hype but it didn’t live up to expectations. The tasting bar is circular and set up near the middle of the room. The tasting menu offered no flights, only a la carte at $2 -$5 average price. Although there was only one other small group there at the same time they changed pourers in the middle of our tasting and neither actually engaged us in any way about the wines. We weren’t feeling the love. We did buy two of the wines but only because they were good. I wouldn’t recommend the tasting room experience to anyone though. We bought the Rosé of Merlot which was crisp, elegant and tasted of strawberries, and the La Tavola, their red table wine, aged in used French and American oak. La Tavola will be enjoyed with one of our big Italian Sunday dinners very soon.
We did snag a great Sangria recipe at Raphael:
1 bottleof Raphael’s La Tavola 1 pint of lemon sorbet 1 pint of dark rum ½ pint of Triple Sec 1 liter of 7-Up or Sprite 1 each lemon, lime, apple, and orange Mix all in a large pitcher and marinate. Serve over ice.
By this time it was late afternoon and we were spending the evening at a friend’s house in Westbury so we hit the road for the 80 mile drive. Long Island is in fact long! Then the rain came down. Lucky for us we had gotten in a beautiful day. At our friend’s house we opened a bottle of the Bedell Taste Rose and later a bottle of Wolffer Estate Merlot. I knew we wouldn’t be making it to the Hamptons on this trip to visit Wolffer and that was another vineyard with multiple recommendations, so I picked it up in a local wine shop. I was very happy to see how well stocked the Long Island shops are with the local wines. Wish there was more of that in Massachusetts. The merlot was dark purplish red with dark fruits on the palate, plum and blueberry. We enjoyed that with a comfortable hamburger bbq after the rain passed. A great night. That was day two.