Westport Rivers Winery in Westport, MA first captured my heart 3 years ago with their 2001 Imperial Sec sparkling wine, which is made from the more exotic or a-typical varietals of Riesling and Rkatsiteli. Tasting others from their line up, I was pleased to discover their winery was the exception to the "rule" as far as local Massachusetts wine goes.... Other folks in and around Massachusetts haven't been able to do what Westport Rivers has achieved even since then because of two reasons, as far as I can tell. First, they have a truly coastal, cool climate location. Second, their wines have a sense of place; each wine represents a unique terroir, (so much so that universities have trekked down yonder to take soil sample after soil sample, run tests, and discovered which myriad soils are present on their 140 or so acres. This research has helped the proprietors plant different varietals in specific soil types). Westport Rivers wines exhibit a uniquely satisfying old-world sensibility, with new world panache.
Maybe one day Westport Rivers will be able to solely produce their exceptional sparkling wines. In the meantime, interested sippers can also bring home their well-balanced Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Rkatsiteli among the whites, as well as Pinot Noir rose for the reds or Pineau de Pinot as a dessert wine/aperitif.
The one to catch my particular fancy this season is their rose of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is one of my absolute favorite varietals - and I hold out every year waiting for the best possible expression of it as a rose. This year Westport Rivers delivered the goods. The nose is quiet, exhibiting just a hint of baby roses, smoke and cherry fruit. The palate delivers a crisply satisfying, dry, light package of cherry and strawberry fruit; a unique, almost saline minerality quenches your thirst - and soon enough you've put quite a dent in the bottle!
In next few and last (sadly) weeks of summer, seek out rose with great gusto. You'll probably find a few deals on the market - and if you're lucky, you'll be revived with a splash of ocean air and memories of cold-box red and berry fruits. Yum.
Which Westport Rivers wines are your favorites?