If you read about wine online much, you've no doubt heard of one of Long Island's newest wine producers, Bouke Wines. Pronounced like "bouquet," Bouke is the brainchild of Lisa Donneson and the wines are made by industry veteran Gilles Martin. Lisa has done a great job, better than most winery owners in New York, of engaging with the blogosphere to get her wines and brand out in front of bloggers and those who read blogs.

Her wines are well priced (this red is the most expensive at $21) and I really appreciate her dedication to creating affordable, but still delicious wines. That kind of thinking is too rare in a region where prices keep escalating, sometimes in ridiculous ways.

This wine, Bouke's 2007 Red ($21), is made from grapes grown in vineyards scattered throughout the North Fork. The specific blend is 35% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah and 5% petit verdot.

The hot, dry 2007 vintage, along with that petit verdot, gives this wine a rich violet-garnet color. The nose is rich and dark as well with a burst of black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas and brown spice. Those aromas are layered with less obvious notes of vanilla and oak. The combination of blueberry, vanilla and spice is actually a bit reminiscent of blueberry pie.

Take that blueberry pie and sprinkle a little fresh-cracked pepper over it and you have the main flavor profile here. There are also hints of cherries, a minerally-graphite note, and earthy dried leaves on the an okay finish that is a little abrupt. Medium-full bodied throughout, without any of that 'hollowness' that some Long Island reds present on the mid-palate, the tannins are medium strength and a bit angular right now. I think this wine needs a little more time to smooth out, but it's tasting pretty well right now too.

35% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah and 5% petit verdot
Producer: Bouke Wines
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $21
Rating: 30
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)