This past week-end, my pal Mark and I were able to taste two Rieslings from the Brotherhood Winery located in Washingtonville (Hudson Valley) NY on the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Brotherhood also happens to be America's oldest winery.
In 1810, a French Huguenot emigre named Jean Jacques purchased land in New York's bucolic Hudson Valley and began planting grapes. By 1837, Mr. Jacques needed more land, so he purchased a plot in the quiet village of Washingtonville, NY, and planted another vineyard. By 1839, his first underground cellars were dug and Mr. Jacques fermented his first wine vintage. Those cellars, the oldest and largest in America, are still in use today at Brotherhood Winery.
Enough history. To learn more about the winery, please visit their website at www.broltherhoodwinery.net.
The two wines we tasted were the 2008 Riesling and the 2008 'dry' Riesling. Mark was more into the sweeter Riesling. This was confirmed last July at the Finger Lakes wine fest were we blind tasted four different Rieslings. He noted the floral and citrus aromas with some tropical fruits and enjoyed the pairing with his Mediterranean flat bread pizza. His wine was just a tad too sweet for my palate, although I am now finding enjoyable semi-sweet wines and gradually accepting sweeter white wines.
I also snacked on the Mediterranean pizza (two cheeses, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives), my favorite item on his menu and always with a red wine. This time, though, I paired with the 'dry' Riesling.
Crisp, dry and racy, with grapefruit and pear scents, this Riesling-for-food shows the ripe fruit flavors and slightly mineral qualities of its fine European relatives.
Aromas of grapefruit, a light floral scent of honeysuckle with some peach or apricot. Nice dry and fruity with a long finish of slate and citrus. Surprised the hell out of me at how well the wine paired with my pizza and with a side of dutch fries (french fries covered with a dutch mayo, onions and peanut sauce).
The Brotherhood Rieslings($10), from the Hudson Valley region of New York, are as good as many of my favorite Finger Lakes Rieslings and can be purchased on line or at many shops around the country, if you are lucky enough to live near the ones given on their web site. Now looking forward to 4 day trip to New York City and some Long Island Merlots and some more Hudson Valley wines.