This post is a part of my 12 Long Island Wines for Christmas series
that will run from now until Christmas 2007. See the entire series here.

Two more wines to go I’ve chosen them for two different reasons.

Today’s wine, Bedell Cellars’ 2005 Reserve Merlot ($40) was one of the first 2005 merlots to hit the market and it offers a peek at what that vintage might eventually mean for Long Island. This wine’s intensity tells the story of the hot, dry growing season quite well I think.

Loads of dense blackberry preserves, fresh
figs and cocoa-coffee aromas reach right up out of the glass and pull you
in. Big, lush blackberry flavors fill the mouth, with rich chocolate
and a little vanilla in the background. The extracted, broad flavors carry through from beginning to end. This wine wine is very full-bodied for the region and the finish is lengthy, and while just slightly astringent when I first tasted it in April, the tannins are already beginning to soften.

This wine was just a little
one-dimensional back then too. It was almost a fruit-bomb of a wine back then, mostly fruit and tannins on the palate without showing much of
what makes Long Island wines unique and delicious. Since my first tasting however, some of the coffee and chocolate flavors have unfurled along with a little baking spice.

Its best days are certainly still ahead. I
expect the tannins to
mellow even more revealing added layers of complexity and secondary aromas and
flavors. In three to five years, when other wineries are just
releasing their 05s, this wine could be a classic.