I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Long Island wine lovers shouldn’t overlook the 2009 vintage. Sure, 2010 has been declared “the” vintage by many, but 2009’s long, warm, dry autumn rewarded those willing and able to let their reds hang into October and beyond.

Wines like this one — Shinn Estate Vineyards 2009 Wild Boar Doe ($30), a blend of 40% merlot, 23% cabernet sauvignon, 17% malbec, 15% petit verdot and 5% cabernet franc — are proof. I’ve tasted several vintages of WBD and this might be my favorite.

Layered and somewhat brooding, the nose offers blackberry, cassis and blueberry fruit with hints of vanilla, smoke, peppery spice and molasses.

Medium-to-fuller bodied, the palate is even more spicy and peppery, with a layer of dark roast coffee and the same core of black and blue fruit. The tannins are firm and chewy, making this an ideal pour with fatty or beefy dishes — and a surprisingly good candidate for cellar aging from a ‘lesser’ vintage.

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

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