Posts Tagged“red blend”

7 Years of Ravines Wine Cellars Meritage

ravines-meritage

There is a phenomena that is unique to the world of fine wine that gives some winemakers sleepless nights, sends collectors on quests that are akin to searches for the Holy Grail itself, and provides ample employment opportunities for wine writers and critics alike: Vintage Variation. For brewers and distillers, achieving consistency in their product is a common and overarching goal. But for producers of fine wines — particularly in cool climates — embracing inconsistency is more the norm. Most espouse the philosophy of “letting the grapes dictate the wine” by emphasizing the attractive characteristics that are presented by a…

McCall Wines 2010 “Ben’s Blend”

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McCall Wines has earned a reputation as the producer of Long Island’s finest pinot noir, but its merlot and merlot-based blend McCall Wines 2010 “Ben’s Blend” ($48) are just as deserving of attention. This blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdo tintially stands out for its restrained ripeness, with aromas of blackberry and blueberry staying just this side of jammy and mingling with notes of light toast and black pepper. Framed by grippy tannins that are approachable but also portend good cellaring potential, the mouth-filling palate is concentrated with ripe black and blue fruit, an earthy edge, subtle spice and…

Hudson-Chatham Winery 2012 River’s Edge Casscles Vineyard Reserve

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Many wine lovers turn their collective noses up at wines made with hybrid grapes. While obscure varieties from dark corners of European countries are sought out and embraced, grapes like Corton Noir, De Chaunac, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, Traminette and La Crosse are shunned. I’d be lying if I told you I was, generally, a fan of hybrid wines, but I do have one thing that many wine lovers don’t have — an open mind. I’ll try any wine made with any grape (or fruit really) once. Okay, maybe even twice. There are hybrids that I don’t care for very much (I’m…

Silver Thread Vineyard 2012 Blackbird

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Well-priced, fresh and food friendly, Silver Thread Vineyard 2012 Blackbird ($22) is a blend of 68% cabernet franc, 21% merlot, 11% cabernet sauvignon — and you can smell taste all that cab franc. Black cherry and red raspberry aromas are accented by savory notes of grilled herbs and mushroom. The medium-bodied palate features similar character with a earthy umami edge and a finish that begs another bite of food. We enjoyed it with smoky grilled pork chops recently. Producer: Silver Thread Vineyard AVA: Finger Lakes Barrel Program: 8 months in American oak Production: 340 cases Price: $22

Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Meritage

damiani-2010-meritage

Damiani Wine Cellars is the rare Finger Lakes winery that can be counted on for good Bordeaux-variety wines almost regardless of vintage. In warmer, drier years however, the results can move well beyond good. 2010 was one such year. Damiani Wine Cellars 2010 Meritage ($27) is a nervy, wiry blend of 44% cab sauv, 37% merlot, 19% cab franc that shows aromas of cassis, blackberry and black cherry fruit along with grilled herbs, a dusty earthiness and just a kiss of new oak. Chewy but not chunky, the palate is medium-fuller bodied and delivers a bit more raw toasty oak, but…

Lenz Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot

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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…

Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Wild Boar Doe

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At their best, Long Island reds straddle the line between fruity and earthy.  Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Wild Boar Doe ($30) is on the fruitier side, but still hits the mark. This playfully named blend of 40% merlot, 23% cabernet sauvignon, 17% malbec, 15% petit verdot and 5% cabernet franc is effusively aromatic with ripe black and blue berry fruit, violets, peppery spice and a pleasant meaty note. Mouth filling and plump, the palate shows dark berries, violets, black pepper, Chinese five spice and earthy, nutty oak notes. Drinking well today, it should reward another few years in the cellar…

Hector Wine Company 2011 Essence (Syrah Blend)

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Hector Wine Company 2011 Essence ($25) is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. It shows many of the aromas you’d expect from a syrah blend made in cooler vintage. Aromas of black and white pepper, high-toned red fruits and just a bit of blueberry are joined by notes of American oak. Medium-light on the palate, more peppery spice notes and cran-raspberry flavors are overwhelmed a bit by barrel flavors — particularly on the finish. Tannins that I suspect are from barrel rather than skins/seeds are a bit rustic as well. Lacks fruit for balance. Producer: Hector…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Arrowhead Red

arrowhead-2010-arrowhead-red

Some New York restaurant owners, when confronted about a lack of local wines on their lists, point to price point as the main reason. “There just aren’t any good $15 reds!” they might say. Now, one could argue that the cheap reds they are pouring aren’t very good either, but that’s another discussion for another day. Today, let me introduce you to the latest vintage of one of New York’s great red wine values — Arrowhead Spring Vineyard 2010 Arrowhead Red ($15) — an incredibly well-priced wine that should be served by the glass in every western New York restaurant that…

Pellegrini Vineyards 2007 Reserve

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Pellegrini Vineyards 2007 Reserve ($70) offers aromas of toasty oak, plum, prune and black cherry with hints of earthy, woodsy spice and vanilla. Full bodied and showing a bit of alcohol, the palate is ripe and concentrated, showing plum, blackberry and cherry flavors that are somewhat dominated by nutty oak. On days two and three, a bit of earthiness and spice crept forward, perhaps pointing to improvement in the future. For now, this wine isn’t nearly as good as the 2005 edition and is ultimately not a great value. Producer: Pellegrini Vineyards AVA: North Fork of Long Island Grapes: 41% merlot, 35%…