Should a region that is a mere 40 years old have wines that are labeled “Old Vines”? That’s a discussion for another day, I suppose, but the vines that lead to Lenz Winery 2007 “Old Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) are among the oldest cabernet vines on the North Fork. So, maybe it’s all relative?

What is not up for debate is winemaker Eric Fry’s skill for making traditionally styled wines — rather than modern, polished ones — even in hot, dry years like 2007.

This wine shows ripe fruit on the nose — mostly in the form of black cherry and pomegranate — with layers of graphite, earthy fall leaves, nutty oak and a sprinkling of dried mint.

Ripe and mouth-filling, the palate is full bodied but still restrained and far from jammy or over-extracted. Framed by grippy, slightly angular tannins, the flavors here match the nose, with dark berry fruit equaled by earthy and minty notes. There is a hearty, savory edge to this wine that I find appealing, and those tannins bring cellaring potential. For now, drink it with something fatty — maybe a grilled ribeye?

Producer: Lenz Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%
Price: $40*

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