Osprey's Dominion can take much of the credit for my awakening to Long Island's North Fork wine country. Sure it took a couple of my good friends to pour there for a few seasons to find it, but it really did open me up to several new things. It all started with the 2000 vintage Cabernet Franc and evolved into day long picnics with live music, friends, and a huge selection of wine.
Last season Osprey's was building a new tasting room so we didn't hang out there for their live music and tranquil scenery as much as I'd like to. This didn't stop us from stopping by to taste how their Meritage blends were evolving and to pick up more Cab Franc. They probably have the widest selection of reds and whites on the Island, with about 90 acres of grapes planted. In 2005 they were declared winery of the year at the NY State Wine and Food Classic and they are no stranger to double gold and best in show awards.
The standouts for me have been the reds of course, the rose, Fume Blanc, the Sauvignon Blanc, and maybe even the Johannisberg Riesling. The list goes on and on and something they have should satisfy anyone that goes. They welcome picnics on their property and it's as easy as walking up to the outdoor bar and bringing an open bottle back to your group. On busy weekends, it may get crowded with families and kids playing, but its always relaxing.
The 2000, 2001, and 2002 Cabernet Francs have been among the best in the region. They have been known to mix in a splash of Merlot to round it out some but the 2002 is pure Franc. The wine spends 12 months in French oak and the alcohol weighs in at 13%.
Dark ruby red color. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, and bell pepper. Textbook mouth feel as far as I'm concerned. A slightly tart food friendly acidity is obvious and welcome. This is not for the fruit bomb lovers out there as the fruit is subtle and in lockstep with the spice and herbal qualities. What really separates this wine from similar ones is its long delicate spicy finish. My grade: B+