One of the older wineries on the North Fork, Pellegrini focuses on their wine and not “gimmicks” designed to attract people for other reasons (their words, not mine). And since their wines are quite nice, kudos to them for focusing on what is important to them. They have had the same winemaker for 15 years, which is a long time in the timeline of Long Island wine.
We were the only people at the tasting room so the place felt cavernous which was wonderful. They had an ancient looking “wines-on-tap” system that unfortunately for them is not working.
OK, onto the wines. They had a really neat white blend of varietals I had never seen blended before; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (Medley White $22). It was lovely and made me wonder why those grapes are not combined more often. My favorite white, however, was the richer and more decadent Vintners Pride Chardonnay ($30). Much more full bodied with more traditional Chardonnay flavors; some green apple, cream and honeysuckle, however, not too much of any of those flavors. This is a cool climate wine so it is restrained like a French Chardonnay from Chablis.
There was a broad selection of red wines from Cabernet Franc to Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon to Petite Verdot. Most were lovely with smooth and supple tannins and earthy, dark fruit aromas. My two faves were the 07 Encore (Bordeaux Blend $40) and the well aged Pride Merlot (97 $70). The Merlot was really wonderful which is why it can carry such a hefty price tag for the region.
Our visit to Pellegrini was great – the wines were a great way to become acquainted with well made Long Island wines, our server was very knowledgeable about the wines and the area and the setting was great. I recommend a visit to Pellegrini.