Lieb_07bridgecabfrancBy Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

Many wineries have second labels — wines that tend to be branded differently, employ less oak in their making and cost less — but with its "Bridge Lane" line Lieb Family Cellars has done it better than most.

The wines — a chardonnay, merlot, cabernet franc and sparkling wine — are consistently good and offer great value in a local market filled with over-priced wines.

Cabernet franc is one of the newer additions to the line with this Lieb Family Cellars 2007 Bridge Lane Cabernet Franc ($18) representing only the second release. The first was a NV blend that I reviewed a few years ago and drank quite a bit of.

This 2007 shows blackberry and cherry aromas with some toasty oak, vanilla and sweet herbs. On day two a subtle mushroomy note emerged, which was nice.

Medium bodied with medium-light tannins and food-friendly acidity that suupports blackberry and red cherry flavors with a bit of dried oregano and asparagus (in a good way). There's too much oak peeking through on the medium-length finish, which was disappointing.

You can do much worse in the under-$20 category on Long Island, but I think I prefer the previous NV release.

Producer: Lieb Family Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%

Productoin: 300 cases
(2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good)

(Ratings Guide)