Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Reserve 2014 Pinot Blanc

Aaaaawww craaaap! New York wine being reviewed by a Masshole! Time to slap on the Red Sox hat, put on the foil and come out fightin'! Nah, I wouldn't do that. When you really think about it this wine is almost local. Northeast represent, suckas!

This is Lieb Cellars from Long Island, New York. Did you know they make wine on Long Island? Well they do and there's even two regions: the North Fork and the Hamptons. Long Island sticks out kinda like a claw and the upper claw is the North Fork while the lower claw is the Hamptons where Howard Stern saves birds on beaches.

Lieb Estates
Lieb Cellars is located on the North Fork, a region that has found that its terroir is best suited for a vast selection of cool climate whites and Bordeaux varieties for reds. The winery was founded in 1992 but didn't release their reserve wines onto the market until 1999. In 2004 they came out with another label called Bridge Lane, a lower tier to their higher quality Lieb Cellars Reserve. Aussie Russell Hearn is the winery's winemaker.

I'll be reviewing three of their wines in a three part series: Reserve 2014 Pinot BlancReserve 2013 Cabernet Franc and Reserve White Dessert Wine.

Pinot Blanc is a great alternative to Chardonnay. Making a meal that's a great pairing for Chardonnay but you don't like or don't want Chardonnay? Go for a Pinot Blanc. Love Chardonnay but your meal has garlic (which will taste burnt with an oaky white)? Go for a Pinot Blanc. It's big bodied, it's full of flavor and every time I suggest it to customers they come back for more. It's nothing like Pinot Grigio, like people assume. Please read my review of J. Wilkes 2012 Pinot Blanc when you're done reading this one!

Lieb Cellars' Pinot Blanc comes from vines planted in 1982 (ten years before the winery was founded) and they're also the oldest vines on the North Fork. Not only that, but Lieb has the most plantings of Pinot Blanc in the entire United States. This wine is fermented in stainless steel for fruit flavor preservation. 11.9% ABV, 0% residual sugar.

The bottle is the traditional shape of Alsace but something tells me this isn't going to be done in the Alsatian style. The label is both classy and simple. I love the winery's logo of an L in an almost typewriter-like font.

In the glass the wine is a very light yellow but reminds me of the kind of gold the Pittsburgh Penguins use on their current primary jerseys. I'm a hockey fan and hockey season just started. My wife has come to terms with the limited attention during this time of year. Also, I don't like the Penguins.

Unaltered image of a pear
The nose is pear central. You can't mistake that main aroma with anything else but pears. There's also, please forgive me for saying this, but lemon and lime blossom Lysol disinfectant wipes. Sorry but I call them like I smell them, and those wipes smell fantastic.

The first things you'll notice in the mouth is a rush of green apple and a heavy body weight. On the midpalate the acidity goes balls out and it's almost like drinking lime juice right out of those plastic lime shaped bottles. On the finish that acidity miraculously disappears and you're left with a crisp feeling and the flavor of pears and lime peel.

Damn. That is an awesome bottle of wine BUT IT NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPANIED WITH FOOD. I had it with some cheese and crackers and both the wine and the snack were elevated. By itself you're not going to feel the full effect of its powers and may feel disappointed because of the money spent. So pair it with cheese, Atlantic white fish or even white pizza and you're golden, Ponyboy.

Price: $22
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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