Located at the beginning of Brooklyn’s Broadway, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, Bridge Urban Winery is the official tasting and sales room of Bridge Vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork. And though they plan to ferment and bottle their own wines onsite some time soon, they now offer a fine array of New York wines, including their own Brooklyn Bridge label series crafted by owners Greg Sandor and Paul Wegimont with winemaker Eric Fry (of Lenz Winery), by the taste and flight. For off-premise drinking one can grab a few bottles to go from their even larger selection of wines from the Empire State.
Drenched by the effects of Hurricane Hanna, I entered Bridge Urban this Saturday with Ellen and Oscar for a lazy late afternoon of yet more New York wines. An inviting brick space with a wall full of wines, barrels, and a fermentation tank, the tasting room is also a restaurant with live music on weekend nights. Roomy with a bar, couch, and a handful of marble table tops, it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon gazing through panel glass windows at the Williamsburg Bridge.
Offering four Bridge label wines, including the non-vintage Brooklyn Red, a 2001 Reserve Merlot (which wasn’t too bad for a single varietal Merlot), 2007 Chardonnay (a decent table white with a hint of pear and well-balanced acidity), and the 2006 Semi-Dry Riesling, the menu listed a fair selection of mostly Long Island wines, with a couple from Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes.
Beginning with the whites, we (including Oscar) were most impressed by the Wiedmer Dry Riesling ($7 per café tumbler tasting…my only complaint about the place, their lack of wine glass) from the Finger Lakes region. Fruity with lots of pineapple and stone fruits, this wine finished dry with a snap of acidity that lingered at the end–very nice!
The Paumanok 2007 Chenin Blanc from the Reserve Flight, possessed nothing on the nose (again, this could have been the glass), but was well structured and more floral than fruit with a lingering mineral finish, at $8 a glass.
Unbeknownst to us when we ordered, the Lenz 2001 Cuveé (85% pinot noir, 15% chardonnay) is a sparkling wine, with small tight bubbles, crisp and more like a fermented cider than a sparkling wine. And though the bubbles quickly burst, the flavors–fruity at first, followed by the essence of honey and almond–were refreshing and satisfied.
More interested in the tasting of the menu than the actual wines, Oscar left us to our own devices with the Paumanok Cabernet Franc Reserve. Dark garnet in color, and full of black fruit, leather, and spice, the tannins rolled off the leather essence a little undeveloped, but not enough for this wine with a smooth beginning to finish without a tannic bite.
[Where: 20 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York, 11211]