Shinn-08-wbdBy Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

The name of Shinn Estate Vineyards 2008 Wild Boar Doe ($30) serves two purposes. It is at once a playful homage to the Bordeaux-style blend and also a food pairing tip — because lean wild pork or venison would work beautifully with this wine.

A blend of 40% merlot, 23% cabernet sauvignon, 17% malbec, 15% petit verdot, and 5% cabernet franc, this medium-weight red shows complex aromas of licorice, white pepper, leaf tobacco and exotic spice interwoven with ripe blueberries and black currants.

Intense black-and-blue fruit highlights a somewhat rustic palate, along with an array of spices, licorice and a bit too much oak for my tastes. The tannins are lightly chewy and cottony, providing enough structure for at least short-term aging.

The finish is medium length and very peppery — both black and white.

2008 was a cooler and often lesser year for reds, but the best wineries do good things even in years like those. This wine is a fine example.

Producer: Shinn Estate Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.8%  
Price: $30*

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)