For several vintages now, McCall Wines’ rose has been a favorite in the Thompson household. It was also made with pinot noir. With the 2013 vintage, McCall added a second rose, adding a merlot-based wine to the lineup.

In 2014, the winery’s entire rose production was merlot (I with a small addition of sauvignon blanc).

“The pinot noir was a saignee. We wanted greater concentration in our red pinot noir without over-handling the wine. 2014 was such a stellar vintage that we didn’t need to do saignee. We would rather make the full amount of good-vintage pinot noir,” said Brewster McCall.

And here we ware, with another Long Island merlot rose — but with a twist. The 5% sauvignon blanc was Brewster’s idea. “I think rose should be charming. A tiny bit of sauvignon blanc helps the aromatics get to a really nice place,” he told me.

You can’t smell the sauvignon blanc itself on a nose that is dominated by red fruits with just a touch of raw mushroom and earthy fall leaves, but one can assume that it boosts the nose a bit.

Red fruits dominate the mouth-coating, just-sweet tasting palate. There is a floral quality and more of that earthiness too. Medium-long, the finish has a little baked sugar note that was perhaps surprising but not off-putting.

Producer: McCall Wines
 North Fork of Long Island
Price: $18 (sample)

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)