On to Castello di Borghese
In Un-Superbowl Sunday – Part 1, we were about to leave the relaxation of lunch at Sherwood House. We did manage to get out the door, and headed east to Castello di Borghese vineyards, where we rounded out our afternoon with a wine tasting. Located in Cutchogue on Route 48 (Sound Ave) and Alvah’s Lane, we arrived at the tasting room in a flash.
I suppose Superbowl enthusiasts began their parties early, as the traffic was very light. Back in the day, before 1999, Castello di Borghese was Hargrave Vineyard. The Hargraves sold it to the Borgheses, stating that the Borgheses shared their passion for wine. Here is a short article discussing the sale. Our take is that they picked the right people to take the baton and run to victory. In fact, Castello di Borghese proudly mentions that they were chosen as the best winery in Long Island Editor’s Choice Award by Long Island Press.
Our tasting room hostess gave us a tasting of five reds, ranging in price from $19.99 to $44.00/bottle. In the order of tasting, here they are.
2008 Merlot – At $19.99/bottle and 12.5% alc. we enjoyed this wine. Having just had the Sherwood House 2006 Merlot for lunch, we found the Castello offering to be lighter in body, with brighter red fruit. Marian thought this one would be perfect for baby lamb chops, as well as some spicier offerings like merguez sausage, or the Vietnamese-style marinated flank steak we make.
2007 Merlot Reserve – This wine, at $36.00/bottle and 12.5% alc. was similar in body to the Sherwood House 2006, but came alive with an amazing nose. It was pure honey. At its price point, this would not be an everyday pour for us, but that takes nothing away from its flavor and quality.
2011 Cabernet Franc Estate – At $30.00/bottle and 12.5% alc. we found this a very light style of Cab Franc. Delicious, but in our opinion, not a typical vinification of the varietal. The good news is that the grapes in this wine ripened completely, with no hint of bell pepper or green grass flavors. Light, clean, and delicious.
2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve – We loved this wine! With a deep and intense color that reminded Marian of inkberry, this is a silky and special wine. Much fuller-bodied than the 2011, we think this is the Cab Franc of choice here at Castello di Borghese. Oh yes, it is $44.00/bottle and 12.5% alc. Sometimes, you do get what you pay for. We are giving this one two corks up.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – What came to my mind immediately was a delicious beef stew. Marian was on a steak kick, and thought of a rib eye, finished with some Tuscan herb oil. If you think we were beginning to get hungry, you are right. Yes, we liked this 12.5% alc. Cab, which you can take home for $29.00/bottle.
Before I clear up the mystery of Brix, I’ll tell you that we were fortunate to meet Ann Marie Borghese, one half of couple who owns the winery. Friendly and engaging, Ann is the “mother” of Brix, a beautiful Bracco Italiano, or Italian Hound. Yes, Brix is a beautiful and friendly dog. Not the sort you see every day. Several years ago, Ann learned that Brix was in unfortunate circumstances in a kill shelter, and she rescued him. Today he is the soul of the winery. We were so taken with Brix that I neglected to take his picture. A quick search of the web uncovered some handsome examples that do Brix justice. One is shown here, and another is the slider of this post. Look for Brix when you visit Castello di Borghese.
Wrapping up the afternoon
It was time to head back home, where chicken stew with sweet plantains, a Melissa Clark recipe, waited for us. Before leaving Castello di Borghese, we learned they host a regular Winemaker’s Tour and Tasting (call and make a reservation for this) and have a Beat the Winter Blues music series to cheer you up and keep you smiling. Castello di Borghese is a friendly winery with delicious wines. Please do visit them on your next trip around town.
Live on the Vine, the Long Island Winterfest, has begun and Marian and I will be visiting wineries, tasting wines, and enjoying the live music that this series features. Are you going to Live on the Vine? Perhaps we will meet you on your trip around town. Enjoy!