We are thrilled to announce the release of our 2020 Teroldego! Our second vintage of this varietal, this highly anticipated small batch wine boasts bright red fruit notes and fine tannins with a bright acidity on the finish making this an extremely food friendly wine.
Teroldego is a lesser known Northern Italian varietal (best known as the nephew of an old French variety that was the parent of Syrah) and is a rarity on the North Fork and in the US. Want to learn more about this grape? Checkout "History of the Grape: Teroledgo" on the Suhru Blog!
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
2020 Teroldego is our second release of this variety and one I am very pleased with. In 2020 the growing season wasn't as warm as we saw in 2019, so as a result we saw the 2020 vintage be more fruit forward and a little lighter in tannin structure. The elegant harmony of fruit and silky soft tannin makes this wine shine.
One of the benefits of working with an earlier ripening red variety, such as Teroldego, in our region is that even in a cooler than normal growing year, like 2020, it still ripens beautifully. In 2019 we blended a small amount of Petit Verdot into our Teroldego to add to the tannic structure and help support the length of the finish. There will not be any 2020 Petit Verdot bottled from any winery on the North Fork. It is the last varietal to ripen in our area and the East End saw a cold spell at the end of October in 2020 that resulted in late harvest reds not finishing ripening on the vine. As a result we have imparted a few different winemaking techniques with the 2020 vintage focusing on barrel aging rather than blending to support the tannins and add length to the finish.
2020 Teroldego Tasting Notes
An enticing rich purple, this unique red wine has aromas of red rose petals, red currant, and red raspberry that abound from the glass. The pallet has bright red fruit notes including raspberry, red cherry and anise with savory hints of slate and oyster shell on the finish. The fine tannins and bright acidity on the finish make this an extremely food friendly wine.
Learn More About our 2020 Teroldego
People are always surprised when we tell them that we don’t own any vineyards. One of the first questions we are asked when guests arrive at our Tasting House is "where are your vineyards" to which we respond that we source our fruit for vineyards across the North Fork of Long Island and one in the Finger Lakes.
When we started Suhru Wines in 2008 we made the decision to source, or purchase our fruit as opposed to plant our vineyards. This decision was made for a variety of reasons, two of the (Remove the extra the) the main factors being time and cost. As a new (at the time) winery brand it was a substantial financial and time commitment to plant and cultivate a vineyard. Vineyards can take anywhere from four to eight years to produce wine quality fruit depending on the varietals and styles you are looking to produce. Additionally, by sourcing our fruit it allows us to focus solely on quality. Sourcing fruit gives us the flexibility to work with many different vineyards, allowing us to select vineyards that each grow the particular varietals we make, the best. This ensures that we use the highest quality fruit available for each of our wines.
Fruit sourcing is a very common occurrence in the wine industry, even by wineries with estate vineyards as each region has a variety of micro-climates which influence the development of different grape varietals in very specific ways. By not limiting ourselves to one location it gives us the flexibility to adjust and adapt to the ever changing weather patterns and climate changes that we see in any given season. We also have the option of bringing on a new varietal, think Teroldego, without having to plant the vines and then wait four or more years before the vines are ready and producing fruit.
Our winemaker Russell’s more than thirty years in the industry have allowed him to make many close and meaningful relationships with the various growers we work with both on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes (where we grow our Riesling fruit). He keeps in close contact and communication with them throughout the growing season which allows us to have a lot of input on what happens in the vineyard.
Russell, and our whole team at Suhru, visit the vineyards on Long Island regularly throughout the growing season to monitor the progress, yields and techniques used in the field. We know what is happening throughout the growing season and are consulted about the optimal time to pick or harvest the fruit. Therefore we have no surprises when the fruit is harvested. The only way to have more input is to grow the fruit ourselves. Although that might be an option at some point in the future, it requires a pretty large initial investment and upkeep. Growing grapes and making wine are two different skill sets. We are choosing to focus all of our attention on what we do best, making the best possible wine from the highest quality fruit!
Harvest has arrived on the North Fork! While we are yet to begin harvesting our vineyards, a number of wineries across Long Island are busy bringing in fruit for their sparkling wines!
This is one of our favorite times of the year as this is when all the action happens at the winery! Over the next few months we will be keeping you up-to-date on the Blog and on our Instagram account on everything going on in the winery and the vineyard during the 2021 Harvest!
What's Happening in the Vineyard
In the vineyards, Russell is carefully watching the grapes and monitoring their sugar content (Brix) which is used to determine the grapes ripeness to determine when to pick our grapes. He is regularly walking the vineyards, inspecting the grapes, speaking to the vineyard managers, and testing the grapes. As we get closer to picking he will be carefully monitoring the weather. The goal is always to harvest grapes after several dry days. Whenever possible you want to avoid harvesting shortly after a rain as the grapes will be bloated with water they absorbed.
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
The Fall weather pattern is starting to take hold which is a welcome change from the hot and humid spell we had in August coupled with two Tropical Storms bringing heavy rains to the North Fork. The warmth in August has continued to push forward grape development especially in the earlier ripening varieties. I am taking berry samples of our earlier ripening varieties this week to see where we are as far as sugar and ripeness. This week we are harvesting the Chardonnay for our Brut and our Pinot Grigio.
The 2021 growing season has been a bit of a roller coaster with a cool spring to start off the growing season followed by a beautiful June and first half of July shifting into a hot and humid second half of July through August. While the last few months have given us a ride, it always comes down to the next 6-7 weeks weather patterns that will determine the quality of the vintage. Our vineyard blocks are in as good a shape as they can be right now, so fingers crossed for warm dry, sunny days with no humidity in these coming weeks!
Our first Cabernet Franc under the Suhru label, we are very excited to share this much anticipated new wine! This classic expression of a cool climate Cabernet Franc has a rich garnet hue, with bright fruit and notes of black currant, raspberry, and a hint of anise on the nose. This bold red has a nice mid palate with notes of mocha and cocoa, fine lingering tannins and a light smokiness on the finish with the slightest hint of vanilla.
This varietal 2019 Cabernet Franc is blended with 12% Teroldego and 6% Merlot to enhance the fruit and body of the wine. The three varieties were each fermented in open top tanks and punched down during their time on skins. The goal being to extract color and tannin without the astringency, before pressing to retain the vibrant fruit notes. The wine is then aged for 14 months in a combination of Hungarian and French oak.
In 2019 we saw a very nice growing season and were very happy with the fruit intensity and ripe tannin structure of this wine. Cabernet Franc grows beautifully on the North Fork of Long Island and the 2019 harvest was no exception. In the last several years we have seen this varietal continue to receive critical acclaim and rightly so. Russell, our winemaker, has seen dramatic changes to the perception of Cabernet Franc during his winemaking career. He made his first stand alone varietal Cabernet Franc at Pellegrini Vineyards in 1994 from vines that were originally planted to be used for blending rather than for a stand alone varietal wine. Since then Cabernet Franc has grown to be a staple of Long Island. Russell (and the whole Suhru family) are very happy to share Suhru’s first vintage of Cabernet Franc (and his 26th vintage of Cab Franc as a Long Island winemaker). We hope you enjoy it!
This beautiful, bold red will pair wonderfully with rich, fuller meals such as roasted pork, turkey, stews, tomato based sauces, lamb, and roasted duck. An excellent cheese wine, try with brie, goat and bleu cheeses!
Learn More About our 2019 Cabernet Franc!
With Labor Day upon us and a cool Fall chill creeping into the air we find ourselves trading in a chilled glass of white for a richer, deeper red. One of our favorite Fall wines is Shiraz! This beautiful light to medium bodied red has nice soft flavors with a hint of spice which bring to mind cool days traipsing through a pumpkin patch, and sweater weather!
Whether you are looking for a wine to enjoy after a long day at work, a glass to pair with a fall meal complete with richer meats and fall vegetables, or simply a wine to enjoy while watching the leaves change, a bottle of Shiraz is always a great choice!
Shiraz vs Syrah, What's the Difference?
At Suhru Wines we make a Shiraz as opposed to a Syrah. Two different styles of the same grape variety, generally speaking Syrah is made in the Northern hemisphere, specifically France’s Rhône Valley, whereas you tend to find winemaking regions producing Shiraz style wines in the Southern hemisphere, mainly in Australia. Given that our winemaker, Russell Hearn, is Australian we are making a Shiraz here at Suhru!
Shirazes are known for being rich, lush, riper, and more fruit-forward wines that are typically made in warm climates, although they are made in several cool climates across the globe, including the Margaret River Region in Western Australia as well as the North Fork of Long Island. Cool climate Shirazes and Syrahs tend to have brighter acidity and bright red fruit notes.
A Closer Look at Suhru Shiraz
A rarity in the United States, our cool climate Shiraz pays homage to winemaker Russell Hearn's native country Australia. This expressive wine has rich red fruit aromas with a hint of cardamom. The raspberry and cherry notes flow onto the palate with appealing cola flavors carrying through to the finish. With super soft, elegant tannins, a bright finish, and a light hint of oak, the 2019 is sure to please! Fermented in open top tanks, our 2019 Shiraz juice spent 10-12 days in contact with the grape skins before being pressed, allowing for the bold flavor and rich color. The wine was then transferred into barrel where it is aged for 6 months in American oak. The 2019 vintage is 93% Syrah and 7 % Teroldego.
Want to Learn more about this wine? Checkout our 2019 Shiraz!
The results from the 2021 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition are in and we are proud to be boasting several new medals! We received three Gold Medals for our NV Brut, 2020 Rosé, and our soon-to-be-released 2020 Sauvignon Blanc as well as a handful of other medals.
One of our most decorated wines, our NV Brut currently boasts a Gold medal and 92pt score at the 2021 International Eastern Wine Competition, a 91pt score from Wine & Spirits Magazine, and the most recent addition of a Gold medal at the 2021 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition! This delicious méthode champenoise style sparkling wine is crisp, bright and refreshing with hints of fuji pear and brioche on the nose, giving way to crisp honey crisp apples and notes of graham cracker with a hint of creamy richness and a delicate, crisp finish.
Our most recent release and a wine that is quickly becoming a crowd favorite, our 2020 Rosé has also collected a few accolades in the last month including and Gold medal and 91pt score from the 2021 Experience Rosé Competition as well as Gold at the 2021 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition. A soft summer sipper, this Provencal style rosé has subtle aromatics with hints of watermelon and carnations on the nose and notes of raspberry, quince, and starfruit on the palate giving way to soft, round flavors and a nice brightness on the finish.
2020 Sauvignon Blanc (Coming Soon)
Winner of a Silver medal at the 2021 International Eastern Wine Competition and a Gold medal at the 2021 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition, this soon-to-be-release 2020 Sauvignon Blanc has lively, bright fruit notes! This crisp, dry wine has notes of lime and pear. A soft minerality and subtle richness define this wine showcasing the distinctive characteristics of the varietal.
The 2021 Growing Season is progressing nicely. After a slow start to the season with a cool May, we have since had plenty of heat and sunshine. Crop levels look solid across all varieties and I am happy with the vine size related to crop levels. Up until fruit set it is all about vegetative growth (shoots and leaves) whereas from late June onwards it is about reproductive growth (fruit). The goal is to direct all the energy from photosynthesis towards ripening the grapes rather than growing more leaves or longer shoots. Hopefully Mother Nature will be kind to us in the coming 12 weeks as she is in charge of what happens until the fruit is harvested, despite all our efforts in the field.
Since mid June (post fruit set) this is the most intensive time of the growing year. The warm weather and higher than usual amounts of rain mean that we are seeing higher than normal vine growth this season. All of this rapid growth has required two movements of the catch wires (which hold the 'shoots' vertical) versus the one that we typically do during this time.
In addition we 'hedge' after fruit set, which is cutting off the ends of shoots that have grown too long above the posts and are drooping down (disease control and shading the fruit below).
Once this is done, leaves in the fruit zone (12-15" vertically around the clusters) are removed first by machine then by hand to expose the grape clusters to sunlight. This is done to allow all of the vines' energy to focus on ripening the grapes. By opening up access to the grape clusters it also ensures improved spray coverage as well as air movement. This reduces the humidity around the clusters which can lead to fungal growth on the fruit.
Now that the leaves have been removed from the fruit zone, crop counts (cluster counting) is performed to ascertain the expected yield for each variety per acre. Based on these numbers, some 'green harvesting' (cutting excessive clusters off) is sometimes performed to reduce the total quantity of fruit, bringing it to the correct level to ensure the vines are able to fully ripen the fruit. All of these activities need to happen in a 5-6 week period before bird netting is applied at the beginning of August. It is a blur of activity.
We are very excited to be releasing our new 2020 Rosé, which has recently won a gold medal and a 91 point score at the 2021 Wine & Spirits Experience Rosé Awards! We have taken our rosé in a new direction with this vintage focusing on the soft, subtle flavors that we are currently seeing in rosés coming out of the Provence region of France which this style of rosé is designed to emulate.
A Note From our Winemaker, Russell Hearn
What makes a great Rosé? At the moment based on wine consumption trends, the benchmark for rosé is rosé made in Provence, France which typically produces pale, salmon-colored rosés with soft, subtle flavors and very light acidity. Right or wrong as a winemaker you have to be conscious of what is 'perceived as a top wine'. One of the most fun parts of a winemaker's job is to be constantly tasting the wines of the world and assessing the trends coming out of each region.
Over the last year we have spent some time tasting a wide variety of rosés from across the globe but have primarily focused on rosés from Provence, France which based on the current wine market the average wine drinker perceives as the top rosés in the world.
Given all of this we have taken our rosé which we have always made in the Provence style and taken it one step further. North Fork rosés, particularly those made from predominantly Cabernet Franc fruit as ours is, tend to have bright, crisp acidity that lifts the fruit and lingers on the finish. While the goal is always to make the best Rose expression from our region, we can make a rosé that emulates aspects of the style, for example in our 2020 Rosé we have used a little less Cabernet Franc and added a little Pinot Noir which softens the flavors and adds more roundness to the pallet. We have also intentionally de-emphasized the acidity giving it a nice, gentle finish.
More About the 2020 Rosé
A delicate Provencal style rosé with soft, subtle aromatics, our 2020 Rosé—a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Pinot Noir—has hints of watermelon and carnations on the nose with raspberry, quince, and starfruit mingling on the palate giving way to soft, round flavors and a nice brightness on the finish. Our rosé is purposely made by harvesting the fruit a full 2-3 weeks earlier than we would for our red wines. After 6 hours of skin contact to extract a light salmon hue, the fruit is pressed. The light flavors and crisp finish make this a versatile wine able to stand up nicely with a wide range of lighter fare including seafood, salads, chicken, chilled pastas, lobster, and pork. This wine is perfect for the beach, sitting by the pool, and a summer BBQ!
We look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing which style you prefer—the 2019 Rosé or the 2020 Rosé. Throughout the summer months we will be tasting both our 2019 and 2020 Rosés side by side in our Summer Sippers Tasting flight. Stop by the Tasting House and give these two delicious wines a try. We would love to know your preference!
Summer months call for crisp, bright, refreshing white wines during the day and bold, rich, full-bodied reds to pair with BBQ or sip around the fire at night. Our Ember is just such a wine, crafted with summer evenings around the bonfire in mind!
As soon as June turns to July I find myself reaching for a bottle of Ember again and again. This delicious Bordeaux Blend comprised of the five main Bordeaux red varieties—Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot—has rich red and black fruit notes, mellow tannins and a rich, round finish with just a hint of oak! Pair it with a July 4th or summer BBQ and you can't go wrong!
A Note from Winemaker Russell Hearn
The beauty of red wine blends is that irregardless of the vintage a winemaker can adjust the blend to stylize a very similar wine year over year which still showcasing the best of that vinatge. In warm years you are able to use larger percentages of the later ripening varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) with the reverse in cooler years, focusing on larger percentages of Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This adjustment from year to year allows us to ensure we produce a perfectly balanced wine from the first wine that hints your toungue through the mid palate and onto the finish. With our blend as well as with all of our wines, I aim to ensure that we are always showcase fruit expression while maintaining a balance of tannin throughout the wine.
A Closer Look at Suhru Ember
This classic Bordeaux blend has notes of cranberry, cassis, mixed spice and thyme on the nose giving way to red fruit notes on the mid-palate with hints of raspberry, dark cherry and cranberry with hints of vanilla. Soft mellow tannins with a medium full bodied finish. The blend is comprised of 49% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot and aged for 12 months in Hungarian oak. The five different varietals were each fermented in open top tanks and punched down during their time on skins. The goal is to extract color and tannin without remaining too long (14 – 18 days) on skins before pressing to retain the vibrant fruit notes.
Want to Learn more about this wine? Checkout our 2018 Ember!
It's been a hell of a year but Summer has officially arrived and we are READY for it! Fourth of July is one of my favorite summer weekends out East as it is a pure celebration of all of the wonderful things that make summer on the North Fork so special—good friends, great local foods, backyard BBQs, day spent on the water, and an all around good time outdoors and it doesn't get better than that!
There are always a plethora of events happening across the North Fork and Forth of July weekend is no exception. We've listed a few of our favorite July 4th activities but for a complete list of what is happening out East this Weekend checkout the Northforker!
Shop Local for a Backyard BBQ
One of the best things about the North Fork is our plethora of local seafood and produce, stop by a farm-stand and pickup all of the necessities for your weekend BBQ—asparagus, tomatoes, fresh berries, corn, the list goes on! Plus if you want to really impress and take your BBQ to the next level, head over to Braun Seafood or Southold Fish Market to pickup some fresh seafood, shrimp cocktail, or baked clams. Then swing by one of the local oyster farms for a couple dozen oysters to throw on the BBQ (check this out for a favorite grilled oyster recipe!)
Enjoy a glass of Wine Poolside
With the hot weather we have been experiencing nothing sounds better than lazing by the pool this weekend! Put together a delicious cheese spread with local cheeses from Catapano Dairy Farm and crack open a bottle of wine and you have a weekend fit for the kings! Just be sure to drink some water too, its hot out there!
Vist a Tasting Room
Wineries and Tasting Rooms across Long Island are open for the weekend both for tastings as well as to pop in to pickup a few bottles for your backyard BBQ so dont forget to shop local and pickup a few of your favorites this week to enjoy with family and friends.
As always, but particularly on these busier weekends be sure to <make a reservation or call ahead at your favorite wineries to ensure you have a table. At Suhru we are open Thursday - Saturday and Monday from 12noon to 6pm and will be closed on Sunday, July 4th to allow our staff to enjoy some well deserved time with family and friends this holiday weekend!
Spend some Time on the Water
Summer time means boat season! Grab a 4-pack of Suhru Pinot Grigio or Rosé cans and hit the beach, boat, kayak, or paddle board! So easy and convenient, our Suhru cans make all of your outdoor summer activities nice and simple. As we like to say, Suhru cans, wine made easy for wherever life takes you! Wherever life takes you this holiday weekend we hope you have some Suhru in hand!
Stay safe, stay hydrated, put on SPF, and have a wonderful July Fourth holiday weekend with family and friends! From our family to yours, cheers to Summer!