Announcing: The Cork Club June 2022 Picks
Four of my absolute favorite 2021 East Coast rosés – from Anthony Road, Early Mountain, McCall and Stinson
I’ve partnered The Cellar d’Or, an incredible wine and cider shop in Ithaca, NY, to create a one-of-a-kind wine club that delivers some of the most delicious and unique wines from the Eastern United States right to your door. These aren’t bin ends or mass-produced, factory wine garbage. These are real wines, made by real people. They are the wines that I’m drinking myself — from producers you’re probably not going to find in any other wine club.
We’re still waiting for one of the wines to arrive to the shop (which is why all four aren’t in the above picture), but we should have it next week and this month's Cork Club shipment will be on its way to you shortly thereafter.
My current plan is to publish my 2021 East Cost Rosé Buying Guide within the next two weeks, but this month’s Cork Club shipment is a bit of a preview — a sneak peek at four of my absolute favorites of the 70+ wines I (and the panel) tasted.
Let’s start with the wine not pictured above: Stinson Vineyards 2021 Rosé of Tannat. Tannat is a grape on the rise in Virginia. When made into red wines — in Virginia or anywhere, really — tannat leads to deeply colored, tannic wines. But, when immediately pressed off of its skins, the resulting rosé is surprisingly delicate, yet still full of flavor. Stinson has long made some of my favorite Virginia rosés (from tannat and mourvedre). Now that they finally have distribution in New York, I think we are their very first order up here. This was our close runner-up rosé from Virginia.
The second Virginia-made rosé might be familiar to long-time club members as I’ve included previous vintages in the past (as well as other wines from the same winery.) Early Mountain Vineyards 2021 Rosé is a blend of 72% merlot, 10% malbec, 9% cabernet franc, 6% petit verdot, and 3% syrah and it was the favorite Virginia rosé during the tasting panel. It’s a classic East Coast rosé for a reason.
Moving up the coast to New York — and the North Fork of Long Island AVA specifically — we have McCall Wines 2021 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir Rosé. Made from 100% pinot noir, this is a wine that is as much about texture and mouthfeel as it is flavor, though it has plenty of that too. This was our favorite wine from Long Island during the panel tasting (after some surprisingly heated debate). When I went back to re-taste this one the next day, it was even better, so maybe hold onto this one for another month before opening. If you can wait.
There is a lake of cabernet franc-based rosé being made in the Finger Lakes, and we tasted a lot of them. Anthony Road Wine 2021 Rosé of Lemberger, on the other hand, was a standout. In fact, if I had to pick a single wine that I tasted for the guide as a favorite, this would be it. Part of winemaker Peter Becraft’s small-production “Grey Series” of experimental wines, I’m thankful that we were able to get the cases we needed for the club.
I know that I usually offer tasting notes in these write-ups but I want to save those for the full guide when I publish it in June. Plus, you don’t really need me to tell you what each wine tastes like — just trust me when I tell you that they are all delicious and that I think you’re going to love having them on hand this summer.
I’m already hard at work on August’s wine picks, but please let me know what you think about these rosés!
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Thank You to Founding Members
I hope to have a little news about the first bit of Founding Member merch soon, but to start the year, I just want to thank them here in the newsletter. Thank you:
Deji Abraham, The Wine Club Site
John Cifelli, Unionville Vineyards
Liz Stamp, Lakewood Vineyards