American holidays are a spectacular display of what it really means to be a proud citizen and a patriot. This is especially true when it comes to 4th of July, the day when we celebrate our independence. It is the time when Americans from all walks of life celebrate our freedom and show their love for the country regardless of their spiritual or political beliefs. On this day we believe in red, white and blue, we nosh on all-American and quench our thirst with all-American drinks. So in celebration of our nation’s 239th birthday, I had an opportunity to experience Bridge Lane Wines, an all-American line of wine from Lieb Cellars.
Lieb Cellars is a sustainably farmed vineyard located on the North Fork of Long Island, 80 miles east of New York City, north of the Hamptons, extending 120 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Their first wine made a debut in 1999 and in 2004 Lieb Cellars introduced Bridge Lane series of wine.
Vineyard sites are well-drained, rich soils with sand and silt and in close proximity to the Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay, two bodies of water that provide moderate temperatures and an extended growing season that is about a month longer than any other New York wine region. The vines are grown using sustainable vineyard practices where the use of herbicides is avoided, and harvesting is done by hand.
image source: bridgelanewine.com
Bridge Lane wines are fun, young, fresh, fruit-forward, and at more affordable price points. They are meant to be enjoyed right away and are not recommended for cellaring. They’re unique, high quality, dry wines made in small batches, and are available in three formats: 750ml bottle, 3L box (=4 bottles) and 20L keg (=26 bottles). That’s right, a keg. The reason behind alternative packaging was to reduce cost so that the savings can be passed on to their customers. In addition, this packaging is eco-friendly, and it preserves the wine. Bridge Lane hopes that the new formats will be embraced and change the face of New York wine forever.
2014 White Merlot
I have to admit that my experience with White Merlot is very limited. But I know what I like, and I LOVED this wine.
It is made with red Merlot grape and the fruit is harvested early in the season and delicately crushed to extract the most concentrated juice. The juice has no contact with red skins of the grape leaving which results in wine having a delicate, light peachy color. The wine is light bodied, delicate and refreshing. Crisp apples, melon and citrus are all wrapped in racy acidity. At $16/bottle I would drink this instead of water.
Best served chilled as the colder temperature brings out the crisp flavor of the grape.
Let’s be frank, there is a rosé fanatic in all of us especially when the sun comes out and temps reach the 75 degrees mark. I was always of belief that affordable rosé will be blasé. Thanks Bridge Lane for proving me wrong!
Composed with 63% Cabernet Franc and 21% Merlot, this bottle will tantalize tour palate with flavors of cantaloupe, peach and tropical fruit. It is crisp, dry, easy drinker and sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s about $18/bottle so it won’t break a bank but will drink like a much more expensive bottle.
2014 White Blend
Dry and light body white blend is aromatic and easy to drink. This blend shows aromas of tree fruits and melons from Chardonnay grape (35%), hints of Riesling’s honey (20%) and acidity and roundness of Pinot Blanc (26%).
Just a good ole’ easy-drinking white blend at cool $16/bottle, or get a box at $40 which equals to $10/bottle.
This wine is beautiful on its own, but it would pair well with shellfish or crispy salads.
If you are not crazy about big oaky, vanilla note Chard’s this one is for you. At $15/bottle, $40/box – which equals to $10/bottle and $240/keg — which works out to $9.25/bottle this is one of the better value Chards to come from NY.
100% stainless steel fermented, the wine holds crispness of Chardonnay and aromas of crisp green apples, lemon fruit, and subtle earthiness. Beautiful minerals and juicy acidity will have you refilling your glass frequently.
2013 Red Blend
Long Island vineyards coming in strong with this Bordeaux style red blend of Merlot (70%), Malbec (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%,) and Petit Verdot (7%). The beauty of this wine is that it’s elegant and light enough to enjoy in the summer but it is still rich, fruity and complex. Medium body, beautiful balance, earthy and showing blackberries, dried red currants and spices. At $16/bottle this wine is a steal. Pair it with pizza or lightly seasoned meat and enjoy every sip.