Posts Tagged“lenz winery”


Lenz Winery 2010 Malbec ($35) — the winery’s first-ever varietal malbec release — opens with a beautiful nose of ripe plum, blueberry and currant with notes of black licorice, tar and lilac. Juicy and fruity on the palate with almost no oak footprint, the fruit edges on over-ripe with dried plum and fig notes joining the dark fruits apparent on the nose. Licorice pokes its head in on the mid-palate. The tannins are lightly grippy, but it’s acidity that provides most of the structure. Medium-long black cherry-meets-fig finish.   Producer: The Lenz Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 13% Price: $35 (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)


For affordable, Old World-leaning red wines, you largely can’t go wrong with Lenz Winery. Winemaker Eric Fry makes food-friendly, balanced wines year in and year out — and doesn’t chase jamminess or high-alcohol in hot years. Lenz Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot ($17) doesn’t have a catchy proprietary name, but it does delivery a lot of complexity and surprising cellar-ability for the money. The nose is fruity, but not one-dimensional with cassis and black cherry fruit interspersed with notes of cigar box and brown spices. Medium-lighter bodied, the palate shows intense — but not at all gobby or jammy — fruit with high-toned floral flavors, cigar box, spice and an earthy vein running its length. This is a lower-tannin red that relies on fresh acidity for structure. On day two, some additional complexity emerged in the form of dried herbs. I’d recommend decanting for at least a couple hours. Producer: Lenz…


Should a region that is a mere 40 years old have wines that are labeled “Old Vines”? That’s a discussion for another day, I suppose, but the vines that lead to Lenz Winery 2007 “Old Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) are among the oldest cabernet vines on the North Fork. So, maybe it’s all relative? What is not up for debate is winemaker Eric Fry’s skill for making traditionally styled wines — rather than modern, polished ones — even in hot, dry years like 2007. This wine shows ripe fruit on the nose — mostly in the form of black cherry and pomegranate — with layers of graphite, earthy fall leaves, nutty oak and a sprinkling of dried mint. Ripe and mouth-filling, the palate is full bodied but still restrained and far from jammy or over-extracted. Framed by grippy, slightly angular tannins, the flavors here match the nose, with dark berry…


Lenz Winery and winemaker Eric Fry have earned their reputation on the backs of old-school, Old World-styled wines made on the North Fork of Long Island. What isn’t discussed nearly enough, however, is the value their wines deliver. In a region where winery prices have escalated significantly over the past five years, the prices for Lenz wines have remained near-constant. The most expensive red, their Old Vines Merlot, is $55 and their most expensive white, their Old Vines Chardonnay, is $25. At those prices, those wines are typically good local values, but perhaps the best value — consistently, vintage after vintages — is their Estate Selection Merlot. Fry doesn’t make the ES bottling every year (they make the Old Vines label even less often) but the current release, Lenz Winery 2008 Estate Selection Merlot ($24) over-delivers for the price, even if it’s not quite as good as other recent vintages. 2008…


Far from your neighbor’s cheap pinot grigio, Lenz Winery 2010 Pinot Gris ($25), shows off the ripeness of the 2010 growing season in its intensity. Apple and musk melon aromas are accented by notes of white flowers and a drizzle of honey. The dry, medium-bodied palate is fruity up front, showing sweet, concentrated apple and pear flavors again accented by honey and subtle spice. Gentle creaminess on the mid-palate is quickly sliced through by fresh, citrusy acidity that carries through on the medium-length finish. Producer: Lenz Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 12.5% Price: $25* (2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very Good)      


The nose on Lenz Winery 2009 Gold Label Chardonnay ($20) is toasty-edging-on-woody with roasted apples and lemon curd fruit character. Rich and fuller bodied, the palate is far less oak influenced, showing bright, intense fruit — apples, pears and tropical fruits — with fresh, well-integrated acidity. Notes of vanilla and spice peek through on a long, crisp finish. Producer: Lenz Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 13% Price: $20* (3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)  


There are very few Long Island wines at $12 worth putting in one’s mouth. With what it costs to make wine here, that price range just isn’t one that is played in often — and when it is, it’s even more rare for the wine to be good. Lenz Winery 2008 White Label Chardonnay ($12) is a nice, straightforward chardonnay with low oak footprint that will appeal to a wide range of drinkers and complement an array of foods. Yellow apple and Bartlett pear dominate the nose, but there are also subtle tropical fruit and citrus blossom notes, and a distant buttery note. Crisp-bordering-on-crunchy, the medium-bodied palate shows apple in a greener, more-Granny Smith sense. Oak influence is light there, showing more in a rounded mid-palate than in flavor, though there is a gentle nutty edge to the finish, that is a bit short. Producer: Lenz Winery AVA: North Fork of Long…


Lenz Winery 2008 Gewurztraminer ($20) is — just about every year — Long Island’s best gewurzt and at $20, is typically one of the lowest-price gewurztraminers as well. Aromas of musk melon, black tea, lychee, pineapple, rose petal and spice combine to create a complex, varietally correct nose. Less singularly floral than some gewurzt, this one combines richness with freshness for perfect balance. Melon and pineapple fruit flavors are accented by notes of jasmine, ginger, lychee and a sprinkling of baking spice. Dry, concentrated and with a medium-long finish, this is a classic example of winemaker Eric Fry’s gewurzt. Producer: Lenz Winery AVA: North Fork of Long Island ABV: 13% Price: $20*  (4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)


If you’re looking for innovative, modern winemaking or flashy branding, The Lenz Winery probably isn’t for you. Lenz isn’t in the Long Island Wine Council and isn’t particularly active on channels like Facebook and Twitter. Instead, Lenz has relied on winemaker Eric Fry and his traditional, Old World-styled wines and the periodic, well-publicized blind tasting against top Boredeaux, to build its reputation. And it’s worked. Lenz has a devoted following and Eric’s reds are often among the most complex in the region. Carrying on a tradition of well-priced, age-worthy merlot, Lenz Winery 2007 Estate Selection Merlot ($24) offers aromas of sweet cherry, violets and plums, with just a little note of oak in the background. Plump and juicy with fresh acidity and soft, supple tannins, the palate brings a bit of blueberry to the red and black fruit party. With some time in the glass, an earthy note emerges, adding…


By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor I think I can speak for my fellow editors and contributors when I say that our 2011 Wines of the Year tasting was a fun, challenging and inspiring day of 16 wine tasting flights. I always come away with myriad story ideas swirling in my head after this tasting. This year is no different. Look for pieces from the team over the next few weeks. But today, we announce the winners — including our first-ever New York Wine of the Year, Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate. Our 2011 Regional Wines of the Year are: White Wines Hudson Valley White Wine: Oak Summit Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay Finger Lakes White Wine: Hermann J. Wiemer 2010 Riesling Dry Reserve Long Island White Wine: Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Niagara White: Eveningside Vineyards 2010 Reserve Chardonnay Sparkling Wines Finger Lakes Sparkling: Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir…