Tag Archives: merlot

Love for Long Island

Long Island gets some love from Food & Wine magazine in their November issue. In an airy feature in the back of the book, Ray Isle offers “American Red Wine Made Simple.” Under a simple chart titled “top regions, top reds” Long Island is listed last for its merlot. In the “Basic Wine Picks” column is the 2001 Lenz Estate Selection Merlot. The “Benchmark Wine Picks” column has the 2006 Bedell Cellars Reserve Merlot. Both are current releases.

I tried to get some 2002 out of Lenz for a 2002 merlot tasting flight I’m serving at the restaurant right now (it was a great under-the-radar year) but they’re not labeled yet.

On the list is the 2002 Medolla Merlot. I got the last six bottles at The Tasting Room. The 2002 Raphael First Label Merlot, which is to be released soon, and the Osprey’s Dominion 2002 Reserve Merlot. There’s about 16 cases left and it’s not cheap, but it is delicious. Minty and chocolately in the vein of Pomerol. The 2005 is a winner, too.

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From the barrel

I stopped by Raphael on the way to work Friday to pick up a couple of cases of sauvignon blanc to sell by the bottle. It replaces the Lieb Pinot Blanc, which always sells well. The Raphael barely had time to chill before people started ordering it.

Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich had packed up some samples and then gave me a tasting of the 2007 reds he has in barrels. The cabernet franc is going to be delicious. We tasted some out of new American oak, made by French coopers and one from old French oak. The fruit got so ripe that the cab franc has a richness and little of that greenness that often is what cab franc is about. Rich said his cab franc was the best from Raphael’s vineyard, but that other growers and winemakers are saying their merlot was the best. “Every vineyard’s different,” he said. Continue reading

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Filed under The Local Cellars