Many complain that there just aren’t enough New York reds under $20 that are worth of daily drinking.  If you’re one of these malcontents, this wine —  Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2009 “Arrowhead Red” Meritage ($16) is for you.

A blend of 61% cabernet franc, 29% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot and 2% malbec, this $16 red simply over-delivers. In fact, it would over-deliver at several dollars more too.

On the nose, ripe red cherry aromas are layered with notes of dusty chocolate, tobacco, bay leaf and hints of crumbled sage.

A bit fruitier — red cherries and blackberries — on the medium-bodied palate, sweet oak nudge the herbaceousness back a bit, resulting in a complex interplay between fruit and oak. Very much an Old World-styled wine that doesn’t emphasize jammy fruit flavors.

Dry, with a medium-long finish, it is approachable today, but has the tannin structure  and acidity to age well — certainly better than most New York reds at this price point.  But a few bottles and check in every 6-12 months.

Producer: Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
AVA: Niagara Escarpment
ABV: 12.5%
Price: $16*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)