By Lenn Thompson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Nautique_redLadies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my red house wine of the near future (once I clear out some space in my cellar for a case or two).

It's called Nautique 2007 Esprit de Rouge ($16) and it's produced by Peconic Bay Winery. It's one of three wines that make up the new Nautique label (there is an Esprite de Blanc and Esprit de Rose too) and they replaced the winery's old Local Flavor wines as of August 1.

The Rouge carries non-vintage label (and subsequent bottlings very well may be non-vintage) but this edition is 100% 2007 fruit — 95% merlot, 3% cabernet sauvignon and 2% cabernet franc to be more precise.

The ripeness of the 2007 vintage is on full display here in the ripe, dark berry and plum nose that shows hints of mint and earthy-tobacco.

Made in a juicy, low-oak, easy-drinking style, it has nice core of sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors, light earthy-wood notes and just a bit of that minty character. The tannins are ripe and soft and the finish is medium in length.

With this new, modern style in, on and inside the bottle (which my picture doesn't do justice to), the $16 price tag (most likely $12 - 13 at most wine shops), I expect this to be a very successful line for Peconic Bay.

Their marketing collateral for this wine suggests that it can take a light chill. I don't know about that, but it's a great weeknight wine.

Producer: Peconic Bay Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.6%
Price: $16*
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)