On October 10th, 2014, Robibero Vineyards had a chance to shine as they hosted one of the Grand Tastings of the TasteCamp 2014 that was held in the Hudson Valley to kick off Local Wine Week. Wine and spirits writers and bloggers gathered to hear and taste. And they were not disappointed.
Robibero Vineyards is a new dynamo in the valley, armed with the street and business smarts of Harry Robibero, a successful contractor turned vintner, and his family. Key among them is the uber social media savvy Tiffany Robibero Selby, who is as smart and she is pretty. With her husband, Ryan Selby, they form the youthful, buoyant charm and heart that pumps the life blood of this young winery.
Ryan is the jack-of-al-trades at the winery, from driving trucks to pruning the vineyards to making wine. Whatever is required is what is delivered. He is the unsung hero of the winery. Hard driving. pragmatic. Good natured. Determined. And the new winemaker, Kristop Brown, one of the most talented young winemakers on the east coast, is the swaggering, hip, dynamic winemaker that is elevating Robibero to a whole new level. Brown can make hybrids and vinifera sing with equal dexterity.
Kristop is accomplished, having worked at Millbrook and Benmarl before he took a turn out west, where he worked with the likes of consulting flying winemaker Michael Rolland, before returning to the Hudson Valley. He's a charming as he is talented. And with Ryan as his trusty winemaking sidekick, Robibero sees nothing but open highway before it.
2013 87 North is named after the NYS Thruway. This lovely, bright white is a blend of 60% Vidal Blanc, 40% Cayuga White. Honeydew and grapefruit aromas with a clean crisp refreshing finish make this a sophisticated sipper. It is aromatic and lovely.
Peach explodes out of the glass of the 2013 Riesling with a flash of bright citrus notes. Its light, bright, with sweet notes of peach and apricot. But it's zippy acidity keeps the wine refreshing and delicious, with a nice pop at then end. Very pretty.
Traminette is a new grape that is more like a clone of Gewurztraminer. In recent years, after some early fits and starts, it seems more and more winemakers have found their sea-legs with this new grape. Kristop is one of them. The nose is a big bouquet of flowers and lychee fruit and pears. A gorgeous wine, with nice acidity which keeps it refreshing and light.
The 2013 New Yorkie Rose' is a classic French-styled delicate dry rose'. The wine was made using Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Petit Verdot. Fresh, bright, with ripe strawberries on the nose, this is a lovely, bright rose. A very deft handling of the fruit makes this a classic.
Kristop and Ryan lead a barrel tasting in the cellars of Robibero which showed great promise of vintages to come.
Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report
Julia Burke of the wine blog Stellebnbauchery
The 2012 Cabernet Franc was a limited production wine that won Double Gold at the Hudson Valley Wine Competition. According to the tasting notes, "Cherries, berries, and currants on the nose and mouth make a bold opening statement, while mellow hints of oak, licorice, and Dr. Pepper linger on the long finish." Doesn't even begin to describe this wine. Beautiful. Well balanced. Complex. Young. This wine was marvelous, and makes me excited to se what will happen here in a few years.
Robibero's wines automatically up the quality level of the wines being made in the Hudson Valley. They are a credit to the region, and a great promise of what is in store for valley watchers of the future.
Robibero had their chance to shine in front of the wine media....and instead, they sparkled.