Yesterday, while running an errand outside of New Paltz, I stopped in at Whitecliff Vineyards in Gardiner, NY. Whitecliff has been making quality wines for sometime now. They've been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Snooth, and Sommelier Journal to name a few!
As I drove in on a winter's day, I passed owner Michael Migliore, who was walking his dog, and outside on the frozen tundra.
Inside I found winemaker Brad Martz and crew working away on racking wines. They were preparing some of their wines for bottling. While I was there I got a barrel sample of two new great wines about to be put out by Whitecliff!
The first wine I tasted was their Whitecliff Estate Cabernet Franc 2014. This won't be out for a while, but I was allowed a first taste. A big cherry fruit bomb! Bright and dark cherry come through loud and clear. Darker color than usual, but still a great beautiful acidity that carries the fruit forward for a good, long time. And nice tannins on the back end that keep this wine honest and powerful. A minerality also comes through. A gorgeous expression of Hudson Valley terroir!
The riddling rack in the winery isn't for show. These babies can pop at any time. So much fun though! Look for their sparkling!
Then Brad pulled a sample from a tank for me. This is the Two Cabs 2013. This is a new wine from Whitecliff. This wine is the first Hudson Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon blended with some estate Cab Franc. This was a beautiful wine! Big cherry and red cassis and cranberry. Hints of vanilla and tabacco! A very serious red wine, with lots of aging potential. Had the gorgeous color, a dark garnet color, with big acidity and big tannins to match. This is something you can drink now, but easily lay don for some time.
This is a big step for the Hudson Valley! Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the region! And it couldn't have been in better hands than with Michael and Brad! A congrats to both men and to the team at Whitecliff Vineyards, who continue to be a leader in the Hudson Valley, and a classy quality producer in New York state!