Hudson River Valley Wineries

This blog is dedicated to news, events, profiles and reviews of fine food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. We especially feature and spotlight the burgeoning wineries of the Hudson River Region. We accept and will relay information about releases, events, festivals and any toher happening related to food and wine in the Hudson River Valley. Send pertitnent information to

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Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He has been a published executive for more than 20 years. He shepherded the wine book program of Wine Spectator as well as worked with Kevin Zraly, Oz Clarke, Matt Kramer, Tom Stevenson, Evan Dawson, Greg Moore, Howard Goldberg, and many other wine writers. He has also published Salvatore Calabrese, Jim Meehan, Clay Risen, and Paul Knorr. Mr. DeVito is the inventor of the mini-kit which has sold more than 100,000,000 copies world wide. He has also publisher such writers as Stephen Hawking, E. O Wilson, Philip Caputo, Gilbert King, James McPherson, John and Mary Gribbin, Thomas Hoving, David Margolick, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., John Edgar Wideman, Stanley Crouch, Dan Rather, Dee Brown, Susie Bright, and Eleanor Clift. He is also the owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery, co-founder of the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, and president of the Hudson Valley Wine Country.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tousey The Mentor - One of the Best Dessert Wines on the East Coast

So, I was passing through Germantown a few weeks ago, while I was driving to see someone else, and decided to drop in to see what was going on at Tousey Winery. I hadn't been there in a bit, and I was curious. Ben and Kimberly Peacock, the owners, weren't there, but there was an incredibly polite and knowledgeable staffer behind the bar, who stood in quite well.
For those of you who don't know about Tousey, their winery began as a family-run enterprise (and still is today).  With Ray Tousey’s dream of turning beautiful family-owned grounds into a vineyard, the journey began.  Tousey is now run by Ben and Kimberly Peacock – Ray’s daughter, Kimberly, was the natural choice in overseeing the winery along with her husband Ben, whose wine knowledge and business know-how rounds out the team perfectly.  With Kimberly having lived in Denmark and Ben hailing from the U.K., we have a unique blend of European sensibility and Hudson Valley roots.
Even though they’re new, they have come a long way towards reaching their goal. Lenn Thompson, the Executive Editor of the New York Cork Report wrote this in January 2012:
“It’s hard not to consider Tousey Winery a major player in the resurgence of quality wine in Hudson Valley.”

And I would have to agree. Lots of lovely wines to try. But I was intrigued by something very new....

What was this new wine? The Mentor? Ah, ha! A new dessert wine. Tousey originally became known for its cassis, which is made with local honey, which is what Ray Tousey is still known for today. But then Mentor was a new step out - a port-styled dessert wine. I could not wait to try this.
This is not a traditional port, in the sense that, if your looking for a highly alcoholic grapey styled wine, you might be disappointed. But if you're up for trying something different, you might be in luck. This is more of a tawny port, but like nothing I have ever had. Big, beautiful, with a massive nose of toffee, caramel, cocoa, and dark fruits like cassis and fig and dates. It's thick and viscous. And you can chew on this wine for a good, long time. Fantastic! I was begging for a brownie and a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a warm fire as soon as it hit my palate. Or a small bowl of warm bread pudding?
If I had to, I would say this was some near a Pedro Ximénez-styled wine, with it's dark brown-ish/reddish coloring, with hint of raisins and molasses, and it's somewhat sherry like overtones. Exquisite! Deftly crafted. Strikingly beautiful! It became instantly, one of my favorite dessert wines made on the east coast.
It is another giant leap forward for a quality driven producer here in the valley. But isn't that what we've come to expect form Ben and Kimberly? You gotta try this stuff!


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