There isn’t a lot of merlot grown in the Finger Lakes — and even fewer wineries doing worth while things with it.
Atwater Estate Vineyards 2014 Dry Rose of Merlot ($25) isn’t unique for New York (Long Island is flooded by merlot-based rose every spring) but it does stand out from the Finger Lakes crowd.
The aromas are lighter than you might expect, but light, pretty red cherry and floral notes are accented by subtle herbaceous edge. There is a bit more intensity on the palate, with similar straightforward red berry flavors, lively acidity and a lingering cherry-skin finish.
Before you balk at the $25 price, keep in mind there were only 38 cases made.
Producer: Atwater Estate Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $25 (sample)
(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)