MuseeBedell Cellars‘ 2005 Musee ($65) is a wine that I’ve gotten more emails about than any other in my three-plus years covering New York wines in earnest. I’ve had readers, friends, winemakers and wine salespeople all reach out to me wanting to know my opinion of Bedell’s new flagship red wine, which has replaced (I think and assume) the Cupola blend in the portfolio.

Made with 78% merlot, 17% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot, it is a fine effort that does a nice job balancing the power and intensity of the dry, hot 2005 growing season with a bit of elegance and emerging nuance.

Right out of the bottle, the wine’s youth is strongly evident, making it a bit "California" in character with primary aromas and flavors of blackberry, oak and vanilla dominating.

But with some time in the glass, secondary and tertiary flavors emerge, morphing what could have been just another over-oaked red into a wine with complexity and nuance.

Dark berry and plum fruit character are joined by subtle cocoa bean, espresso, spice and herb notes. The tannins are well integrated and softer than you might expect. The finish is long and invites another sip.

At $65, it’s not a cheap wine by any means. I’d recommend tasting it first to see if it’s to your liking. I like it, but I think there are better local values. Still, it’s a well-made wine that is seamless and delicious.

Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $65
Rating:   35
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious) 

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