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Visit to Leyden Farm Vineyards and Winery – November 2015

IMG_1910We recently stopped by another of our local New England wineries, this time Leyden Farm in West Greenwich, RI.  Leyden Farm is a relatively new winery, only being open for business for the past three or four years.  We visited about two years ago to see how things were going, and they had just opened the tasting room and young vines were in the ground.  There are several acres of vineyards planted as they progress towards estate wines, but the past few winters have been very harsh on the young plants.  Unfortunately there is still much work to do in the vineyards.

They are starting to do some of the production for selected wines on site however.  We sampled two wines, a Reisling and a Merlot, which are crushed at Newport Vineyards but then transferred to Leyden Farms.  They’ve added some stainless fermentation tanks and some barrels to their West Greenwich property.  Fifty feet or so from the tasting room is a concrete pad which will become the initial on-site winery.  Behind the tasting room they have built a beautiful new deck with tables and chairs that overlook the Christmas tree fields.  It’s peaceful and a great place to sit for a while.  We parked ourselves on the deck on a beautiful, sunny November day.

A tasting here comes with five wine choices from the list.  Three wines were unavailable, those being the Golden Sangria, Samson’s Wildberry and Samson’s Merlot.  That left eight varieties to sample, and we ran the gauntlet.  Here are our notes:

Cleo’s Blanc – this is Vidal Blanc, clean and fresh with delicious fruit and off dry.  One of their best.IMG_1902

Sunny Grigio – this is off dry although a little sweeter than the description.  The fruit seems a bit over-ripe.  The apple comes through clearly.

IMG_1907Apple Jack Russell – made with fruit essence, this is golden brown in color and somewhat reminiscent of apple cider.

Leyden Vineyard Riesling –also off dry this brought some nice peach and pear flavors to the palate.  It finishes very clean and really is a good Riesling.  Another winner here.

Lazy Watermelon – another wine made with fruit essence, and a crowd favorite based on the people’s reactions IMG_1906we witnessed.  It didn’t work for us, although one customers’s suggestion to mix it with champagne sounded very good.

Jack’s White Merlot – we definitely got the black cherry flavor here, and some light tannins were present.  It’s a bit different, and the fruit flavors on the palate are rustic.  It almost seems like it is not quite sure what it wants to be.

IMG_1908

The Leyden Farm label for their on site produced wines

Leyden Vineyard Merlot – the wine is a beautiful rich red color.  It sees nothing but stainless steel on site, and the flavor profile supports that.  The fruit is bright, there is a little tannin and the wine is medium bodied.  It’s a pretty good lighter style Merlot, but not for those looking for a big red wine.

Romeo’s Red – the color here is more of a pinky red.  It’s lighter in body.  A mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Landot Noir.

All the wines at Leyden Farm retail between $18 and $20, which is a little steep for local wineries especially considering the whites.  We do like to support local businesss and bought a bottle of the Cleo’s Blanc to bring home.

 

Overall for us this is a mixed group of wines.  We generally don’t like wines made with fruit essence in a base wine.  Having said that, we should note that many of the people who tasted while we were there loved the fruit wines.  One couple was buying a case of the Apple Jack and Watermelon, so clearly they IMG_1912are crowd pleasers and you should form your own opinion.  The Cleo’s Blanc is quite good, as is the Leyden Vineyard Riesling.  The Leyden Merlot is also good but somewhat light for our tastes.

It’s great to see them making incremental progress.  With the addition of the back deck they’ve created an inviting place to bring a picnic lunch and hang out for a while.  They also started doing food truck Fridays this past summer, so look for more ways to spend time there in the future.

If you’d like to see the review from two years ago click here.

We’ll be back in another year or two to see what’s going on.

The particulars:

Leyden Farm Vineyard and Winery

160 Plain Meeting House Rd., West Greenwich, RI 02817

(401) 392-1133

website: http://leydenfarm.com/

A votre santé!

 

 

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