If you like the atmosphere of a British pub, you’ll like the look of Palmer’s tasting room. We went there on an early spring afternoon, after stopping at Bayview for fresh local spinach and horseradish root, before I started this blog, so this is a catch-up entry. The cozy room has comfortable booths and signs on the walls advertising British products, stand-up tables, and more outside room for the summer. The tasting room is towards the back of the property, as the front building houses their cellar and production facility, of which you can take a self-guided tour.
The tasting menu offers six different flights of three wines each, for $8-$10. They also sell a cheese and cracker tray and bags of North Fork potato chips for $3. We opt for the Winemaker’s Reserve white and red tastings, planning as usual to share, and the server brings our glasses to a booth. Generous pour!
1) Pinot Blanc 2010 $19.99
This is a very nice white, aged on the lees. It has a spicy aroma, with some hints of cinnamon or allspice. We sense some peach taste, some minerality, and some acidity, with a back of the mouth sweetness. Overall, this is a dry crisp wine and would pair well with oysters.
2) Sauvignon Blanc 2010 $19.99
Calling Dr. Brown! The aroma reminds us of celery soda or seeds. Less acid than the Pinot, we taste a fruit salad of apple and grapefruit. This somewhat interesting wine has a front taste that is a bit acid, and end that is flat and apple-y, and is, we decide, a food wine, not a sipping wine.
3) Reserve Chardonnay $18.99
Aged in French oak, this is a fairly typical Long Island Chard, with aromas of vanilla and toast. We taste ripe peach as it opens up, with a citrus after taste. I’d like this with lobster or a chicken dish.
4) 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $24.99
This simple red has a blackberry bramble aroma and berry taste, a bit on the sweet side, though the aftertaste is dry. Nice.
5) 2008 Cabernet Franc $28.99
Nice sipping wine, we judge, with aromas of blueberry and other berries and a pleasant but unassertive taste. A bit sweet for us, with not much in the way of finish.
6) Select Reserve $28.99
Bordeaux, here we come. This is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, and Merlot, though the taste is not quite as good as a “real” Bordeaux. The aroma is of berries, with some minerality, and the flavor reminds us of stewed prunes (which I happen to like). Maybe given time?
None of the wines are bad, though we don’t choose to buy any. If I did, I’d probably get the Pinot Blanc.
Reasons to visit: Comfortable tasting room, if you get a booth. Pleasant pub-like decor. Generous pour, and we liked all the wines, though we loved none of them.