Six-year-old Long Island Merlot

I was at a friend’s house for dinner, she pulled out a bottle of wine her husband keeps for every day. Lo and behold, it was local and it was from our last good red wine vintage (if you didn’t pick to early or were growing something that happened reach peak ripeness around the second week in October) that’s already in bottle. 2005 made some awesome red for those who picked after the colossal rain around Columbus Day weekend. It was so hot and dry all summer long, that the rain really was Nature throwing a curve ball. (Unlike this year, when all we’ve got is curve balls.)

Anywho, about the Pellegrini 2005 Estate Merlot. They say on the label that it’s unfiltered and is 13 percent abv. Russell Hearn was definitely on the job then in the cellar. The wine is opaque, ruby red with black inflections and a thin pink rim, a nice bright color for a six-year-old wine. It has a lightly intense fruity smell, which I wish I could another way to describe, but it smells like those raspberry, blackberry candies that have small candy balls covering them so they look like fruit.

There you go, that’s it. Which I like, I like that smell. It also has the viscous smell of pectin that I find in a lot of Long Island wine, which usually translates to a viscosity on the palate that I believe to be gylcerol. And I don’t like that. Some people do.

It also smells a little like body powder, which is a talc/mineral smell with a little bit of dried flower sachet. This I associate on Long Island with petit verdot. I know they grow petit verdot at Pellegrini and the wine only has to be 85 (75?) percent merlot to put it on the label. Petit verdot adds color and aroma to a wine, so if there’s some in there, it worked.

So there’s a little bit going on in the nose.

It’s a bit high in acid on the palate and the fruit flavors are starting to fade. What hasn’t faded is turning into nice secondary flavors of dried fruit and leather and, well, wood. The tannins have still a bit of grip and are ripe, which is nice on Long Island and give it a pleasantly chalky finish. The glycerol I expected on the mouthfeel was covered by the acid and alcohol.

The finish reaches the back of the mouth but doesn’t last too long.

It’s fairly balanced, not too intense, medium length and medium complexity, more so on the nose, but my nose may be more sensitive than my palate.

(That’s Lisa Granik’s BLIC.)

Pellegrini’s website lists it for $19.99 a bottle.

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