I think that most fans of Channing Daughters Winery (and they are an ever-growing army) would agree that it’s a white wine shop.  Sure, they make a few different red wines too, but most pale when compared to winemaker Chris Tracy’s stellar white wines.

So, when saw that they had released a new red blend, for $35, I thought maybe it was just another over-priced Long Island red. And there are plenty of those to go around.

But Tracy’s newest creation, Over & Over, isn’t like all of the other blended reds being made here. In fact, it’s unlike any other wine on the whole East Coast.

No, what Tracy has done here is just craft most interesting and exciting red wine in their entire portfolio.  And, Channing Daughters Winery’s Over & Over — Variation 1 ($35) is a blend of merlot and dornfelder and is named appropriately and cleverly on a couple levels.

This wine started as four barrels of 2004 Sculpture Garden Merlot, three of which were taken out of the barrel and re-passed over the fresh 2006 Merlot and Dornfelder fruit. The wine underwent another primary fermentation and was pressed and racked to barriques, hogsheads and puncheons where it underwent another malolactic fermentation. All the wine was blended and half was taken and bottled after ten months in oak. The other half has now been re-passed again over the fresh fruit from the 2007 harvest. Half will be bottled again next year and this will go on —  Over & Over. Get it?

Far and away my favorite CDW red, the nose is complex — Tracy compares it to Chateauneuf du Pape — with plums, cherries, sweet and savory spice, dusty earth and cocoa. The palate is round and medium-bodied with surprisingly (for a wine this young) complex layered flavors that include plums, cherries and blueberries, spices, earth, black pepper and roasted meat. There’s even a squirt of blood orange juice towards the finish. The tannins are ripe and well-integrated but provide good structure. Though probably not built for long-term cellaring, 3-5 years seems a good bet. At $35, it’s probably not a great value, but there are several local wines in that price range that don’t deliver the flavor and depth.

Grape(s): Merlot, Dornelder
Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: Long Island
Price: $35
Rating:   35
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)

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