17merlotsA few weeks ago, when my wine editor at Dan’s Papers asked me if I wanted to to go Bedell Cellars to attend a special event celebrating 17 years of Merlot, I jumped at the chance.

Kip Bedell, founder and winemaker, is known throughout L.I. wine country as “Mr. Merlot” and in tasting 17 vintages, he has certainly earned the title. Even the early vintages, made when he admits he knew “only a fraction of what he does now” about grape growing and winemaking, were delicious.

I’ll not give away too much information here, I do have to write an article for the paper after all (which will also appear here when finalized). It was a highly educational experience to taste such an extensive flight…with the winemaker there with us, telling us about the weather each particular year and how it shaped the wines flavor, color and character.

My favorites where the 1988 and the 1993…and both were good years weather-wise.

I guess I had always known that the weather and “year” was important to the quality and character of an individual wine. But, until I got to taste my way through 17 years…I never realized just how vast and significant an impact these elements have on wine.

In addition to the delicious wines, we were treated to an equally delicious lunch catered by Christopher Michael Catering.

We had a delightful time on a gorgeous North Fork afternoon. Our tablemates, Greg, Louise, Marissa and Ron were fun and funny. Marissa is even a fellow wine journalist…so it was a fun time all around.