If you’re looking for innovative, modern winemaking or flashy branding, The Lenz Winery probably isn’t for you. Lenz isn’t in the Long Island Wine Council and isn’t particularly active on channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Instead, Lenz has relied on winemaker Eric Fry and his traditional, Old World-styled wines and the periodic, well-publicized blind tasting against top Boredeaux, to build its reputation. And it’s worked. Lenz has a devoted following and Eric’s reds are often among the most complex in the region.

Carrying on a tradition of well-priced, age-worthy merlot, Lenz Winery 2007 Estate Selection Merlot ($24) offers aromas of sweet cherry, violets and plums, with just a little note of oak in the background.

Plump and juicy with fresh acidity and soft, supple tannins, the palate brings a bit of blueberry to the red and black fruit party. With some time in the glass, an earthy note emerges, adding a layer of complexity to the superior mouthfeel and long finish.

As this wine often is, this is approachable now, but will reward time in your cellar. I have a few bottles of the 2001 left in my cellar and the last one I opened was still alive and developing.

Producer: The Lenz Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%
Price: $24*


(3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)

(Ratings Guide)