“Don’t you have any sweet wines?” the couple next to us in the tiny tasting shed asked, then left, disappointed. Too bad for them, since if they had stayed they could have tasted some of the most interesting whites on the North Fork. Actually, One Woman has had a dessert wine in the past, but they are all sold out. Meanwhile we enjoyed our tasting, overseen by the same young man who waited on us last year, who not only remembered us, but remembered that we had bought some of the Grüner Veltliner! Very impressive, both his memory and the wine.
One Woman is the labor of love of one woman, Claudia Purita, and it shows in the quality of the wines, all made from estate-grown grapes and bottled themselves. The menu offers a choice of any two tastes for $6, three for $8, or four for $10, plus $4 each for the reserve wines. As we hesitate over which to choose, our server suggests we could share one tasting of all the wines for $20, so we decide to do that. Good choice.
The tasting room is tiny, augmented in warm weather by outdoor picnic tables and an outside bar area served through a rear window, so this is not a place to go with a group. In fact, if you come with more than six people without a reservation they may turn you away. We noticed some sandwiches for sale, as well as D’Latte gelato (made by Ms. Purita’s husband, and excellent), but not much else. The focus here is on the wine.
- 2014 One Woman Rosé $22
As usual, we compare this rosé with Croteaux’s, and find it compares favorably, though perhaps it is less complex than their 314. We smell roses and strawberries, taste red grapefruit and a touch of lemon at the end, with perhaps a hint of strawberry. Nicely dry.
- 2014 One Woman Sauvignon Blanc $25
Stainless steel fermented, this has an aroma of tangelos, with some sweet fruity tastes yet a dry, lemony finish. It would be perfect with oysters or clams, like the steamed clams with sausage I had the other night at Pepi’s.
- 2014 One Woman Tribute $23
What’s the story behind the name? Originally this blend of equal amounts of all their white grapes—sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, chardonnay, and grüner veltliner—was produced to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the winery, and also as a tribute to Ms. Purita’s father, Domenico, who had inspired her to work on the land. Then it was so popular they decided to add it to the regular line-up. We inhale all sorts of aromas—gooseberry, Chuckles lemon candy, and more—and the taste is equally interesting and complex, with plenty of fruit but also dry. I could see this with some grilled bluefish fillets.
- 2014 One Woman Grüner Veltliner $22
Though there is a rumor that another winery may be planning to offer a grüner, at the moment One Woman is the only place on the North Fork to grow this delicious grape. Our server comments that one might compare it with a viognier. We loved it last year, and still do. Aromas of fresh hay, warm and grassy, then a taste of crisp tart melon, with perhaps some lime at the end. I could see sipping this on the porch, with some Catapano goat cheese or all by itself.
- 2014 One Woman Gewürztraminer $25
What a different aroma this one has from the other whites, we comment: pine, forest floor, lavender. The taste is complex, with notes of lychee plus some nice minerality, the sweet fruit balanced by the minerality. We like it, but we could see how some people might not, and our server confirms that this is a wine one either “loves or hates.” It would be great with Indian or Thai food, suggests our server, and we agree.
- 2013 One Woman Chardonnay $25
This “crowd pleaser” is fermented partly in steel and partly in new French oak, so it is not too oaky. With its aromas of butterscotch and vanilla it is a typical lightly oaked chard.
- 2012 One Woman Reserve Grüner Veltliner $32
So interesting to see what happens when two different grapes get a similar treatment. Since this was also aged in French oak, you do get the butterscotch-vanilla scent, but the taste is different, with lots of citrus and mineral as well as the more melon-y tastes. Really good. This one is not usually in the tasting, we are told, but has been opened specially for Labor Day. Lucky us.
- 2011 One Woman Reserve Chardonnay $35
Buttered popcorn may or may not be a “wine word,” but that’s what we think of when we smell this one. Although it spends 18 months in French oak, it is not too oaky, with complex tastes of citrus and butterscotch. The aroma is a touch funky and sweet, but the taste is just delicious. “It should get a prize,” opines my husband.
- 2012 One Woman Merlot $28
This is a fairly typical North Fork merlot, with spice and mineral aromas and plum tastes. We note again that the barnyard odor so many of the reds used to have is no longer around. I wonder why.
- 2008 One Woman Reserve Merlot $48
Though this merlot could not compete with a great red, it is quite good, and smells really nice, with some scents of chocolate. “It’s at its peak right now,” opines our server. He may be right.
Reasons to visit: Cute little tasting shed; a bit off the beaten path, though it has gotten more popular in the last couple of years; all the whites, but especially the grüner veltliner and the gewürztraminer, of which we bought a bottle each; D’Latte gelato (which you can also get in Greenport).