Some of the wines that display Long Island’s true nature–terroir if
you will–are actually red blends, not the varietal merlots that are
often lauded as the region’s best. I know, shocking. I should be strung up for suggesting such a thing.

Of course not all blends are created equal. There are more than enough wines that fall into the
"meritage" catetory that seem more like a way to use up extra lots of lesser reds than anything else.

Theresa Dilworth, co-owner of and head winemaker for Comtesse
isn’t making one of those. This blandly named but far-from-bland
blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc named for its component
grapes and their percentages: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet
Franc is plenty tasty and it captures "Long Islandness" well.

This is a soft,
slightly juicy blend that dodges the over-oaking that burdens some
local blends and many wines from the slightly cool 2004 vintage. Very
cabernet sauvignon aromas and flavors–blackberry, and black
currant–are accented by subtle cinnamon,
chocolate, smoke and violet notes. The tannins are soft and the
noticeable acidity makes this a terrific food wine. This is the kind of wine I like this time of year, just as the weather warms. It’s still a red wine, but it’s not heavy or brooding. It reminds of me the transition between winter and spring.