10-year-old Martha Clara Merlot

Funny as it seems, my aunt’s  summer home down the street has turned out to be a a relative (small) cellar for Long Island wine (whose trade group has a new website). Last winter I cracked open a 2007 Paumanok Chenin (as does Paumanok). Still fresh.

Today, it’s a 2001 Martha Clara Merlot (which also has a new website; someone’s making some money). 2001 was a wonderful year out here; I recently retasted the 2001 Macari Bergen Road, a blend, which was still fresh and complex and definite food wine. It went a far way toward convincing me that blending is the way to go on Long Island. It may be that only Burgundy can put all its eggs in one basket.

(As an aside, the New York Times Magazine was all about food this weekend, and it asked chefs and writers what they would want for their last meal. A great proportion included Burgundy.)

But here is the 2001 Martha Clara Merlot, estate selection, so no single vineyard or reserve with extra oak or aging. I had just moved to the North Fork in May of 2001 and was not yet into the local wine scene, although I was into wine. I believe that Roman Roth made this wine, but as it’s 9 p.m. and during harvest, I won’t call him to confirm.

Anywho, the wine is holding up well. It’s definitely on its way out, the fruit is almost dried up, but the ripe tannins are holding on and there’s flavors there especially on the finish, which I found satisfying. It tastes good for 10-year-old wine. I’m kinda proud of it. This wine was probably $15 upon release.

This leads me to last night’s project. I set up a datebase using Bento to keep track of all the wines I’ve tasted. I wish I started it six years ago. (Bento’s for Mac and is cheap and easy to figure out.)


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