BOE introduction to their website says it all:
“Brooklyn Oenology. Wine made in New York, Art made in Brooklyn.”
I first discovered “BOE” Brooklyn Oenology a few years ago, when Alie Shaper, BOE’s owner and winemaker extraordinaire, came to the store to introduce her wines. It was the beginning of a beautiful adventure for her, but at that time, when she barely started the operation, she was working on her own: doing tastings, making and promoting wines and delivering them on her own. But she was passionate and convinced, and wanted to show her wines to the world.
Alie established the company in 2006 and started selling her wines in 2007. Within the last 5 years, she went from being a one person operation to a 7 persons operation. She stumbled into winemaking like someone suddenly realizing that he or she has a purpose or a mission to accomplish, with a simple light bulb idea.
But don’t get me wrong, she didn’t develop her passion for wine and winemaking just like that, from one day to the next. No. Well acquainted with wine, she was already working in the wine business for a few years and had already an internship at Premium Wine Group, a winemaking facility on Long Island; but it took a move and the influence of a few new surrounding factors, to really initiate the idea.
In 2005, she decided to move to Brooklyn, partly for practical reasons, but mainly because of the significant artistic community and attractive lifestyle of this vibrant and ever-active borough. Once in Brooklyn and already establishing contacts and friendships with the local artists, the brilliant idea of incorporating Wine and Art to celebrate local wine culture and local creativity came to her mind.
In 2006, she started to produce wine at her internship facility in the North Fork of Long Island, Premium Wine Group, and established her office in Green Point, the northern neighborhood of Brooklyn, near the young-and-hype Williamsburg.
The heights of Kings county throne like an old, yet wise and serene sovereign, overlooking his young and somewhat undisciplined sibling that Manhattan is. And despite its bad and rough reputation, Brooklyn has become a hub for great inventive minds, energetic young entrepreneurs and daring artists. It is a borough of mixed traditions and culture, which combined old established family traditions and respect with outgoing attitude and desire to achieve better.
Today, with its many quaint places, lanes, terraces and quiet cul-de-sac, the western neighborhoods of Brooklyn combined some of the most exclusive family-oriented and hype neighborhoods in the city. And atop of being filed with inviting bars, mixologists clubs, small craftsman boutiques, eclectic food markets, modest factories and gourmet restaurants and eclectic art and culture, and much more; Brooklyn also encompasses wineries and breweries and distilleries lead by ingenious and creative people, which have for the past few years helped revived and reestablished Brooklyn needs to shine and demonstrate.
As for BOE, nowadays, 5 years later, Alie is still making wine at the same facility (Premium wine Group), and even continues, from time to time when not too busy or in case of urgent measure, to deliver her wines to certain accounts.
From the first few wines of the beginning, she tremendously expanded her portfolio to 14 different labels, most made by local Artists and, for some, conveniently detachable from the bottle. Everything in her concept revolve around Wine and Art, which are blended together into the bottle of course, but also reflected on each label, which somehow, by the colors and forms, auto-suggest in advance the aromas, flavors and overall profile and attitude of the wine. Pretty smart, isn't it?
2007 Brooklyn Oenology "BOE" Viognier North Fork of Long Island
Suggested retail price $16-$19
Distributed directly by Brooklyn Oenology BOE in NYC
To prove what I was trying to say on the last paragraph, let's take for example the label of the 2007 Viognier: you may see something else, but in my opinion, it looks like a close-up of gently undulating grass on a bright, sunny day due to the movement and the light; it evokes Spring, or Summer, a picnic may be... and yet again, it somehow also gives you the illusion of being in the water or like if you were looking at grass under water just below the surface with the ever-changing light filtering through it; creating in your mind images and sensations of grassiness, minerality, freshness, crispiness, lightness, something with soft, gentle and discrete behavior, yet bright and lively and inviting attitude. And surprisingly, it is also what you get in the bottle when you taste the wine. What a great idea! (and it works with pretty much all of her wines, amazing).
Let's talk about that Viognier. Like for most of her wines, she sources most of her grapes through various growers of Long Island and this Viognier is no exception. All of her wines are bright and racy with a lot of focus, great acidity and balance, but this Viognier is one of my favorite wines amongst all the ones she introduced me to, since I begin to support her project and ideology a few years ago.
Viognier is a tough grape variety to deal with: floral, mineral, expressive, long, elegant, mouth-coating and lightly oily when well crafted; it can also turn into a tired, dull, fat, viscous and uninteresting wine, if the fruit is too ripe and the overall wine profile lacks the acidity and freshness. However, this is not the case for 2007 BOE Viognier, which is quite zesty and refreshing.
“Viognier loves stainless steel; so, it was fermented in-tank at a cool temperature. It rested on a small amount of lees for a few weeks to extract extra aromas to give the wine its prolonged finish. It was then simply rested and bottled. Its flavors present in a sequence of fruits and flowers, and linger like a reminder of a summer evening. (320 cases made)” – Alie Shaper, Winemaker/Owner
I could have described the taste of this wine myself, like I normally do, but I’m usually too wordy and Alie has a great way on describing it shortly and pleasantly.
“A cooling alternate French varietal, our Viognier will refresh you with honeydew, peach, lime, and honeysuckle, finishing clean with stone and rose. It’s a great wine when you want to explore outside of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Get sipping and be transported out of the city and into the meadow.” – Alie Shaper, Winemaker/Owner
She has a great website where one can find a lot of info about what is happening in the BOE world, but I just wanted, with this post, to open little parentheses about her past and how she began this wonderful adventure, which you will not necessary find on her website. And encourage her to continue to pursue her ideas and visions. http://brooklynoenology.com
LeDom du Vin
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