Wolffer_06resmerWhen I sit down to one of the Sunday morning wine tastings I conduct here on our dining room table, I never quite know what I’m going to get. I taste wine from every corner of New York State and, frankly, sometimes it can be an extreme sport. There is a lot of bad wine being made in New York, people. There. I said it.

That’s one reason I appreciate Wolffer Estate so much. 99% of the time, I know what I’m going to get — elegance, balance and quality.

This Wolfer Estate 2006 Reserve Merlot ($20) is a fine example of that. And, it's a decent value in $20 local merlot from a cool vintage.

Medium-dark garnet in the glass, this red is 100% merlot and smells of of black cherries, thyme, oregano, dried leaves, subtle hints of flowers and sweet oak.

Lighter and elegant in style (lovers of California merlot may not even recognize this as merlot), the palate shows floral flavors with sweet cherries, more of those herbs and spice. Fine-grained tannins and acidity make this a nice "food wine" and I don't mean that in a bad way.

A wet stone note on the medium-length finish is also interesting too.

Producer: Wolffer Estate
AVA: The Hamptons, Long Island
ABV: 13%
(2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good) 

(Ratings Guide)