Comtesse Thérèse2004 Chateau Reserve Merlot
(North Fork of Long Island)
Unfortunately, I find myself defending Long Island wine prices way more than I should have to. I hear it all the time – "Where are the values? There's nothing under $10 worth drinking."
I can't argue the $10 point. People who want to pay $7 for a bottle of red wine, maybe even with a fun little zoo creature on the label, should absolutely look elsewhere. Long Island can't compete with those mass-produced, soulless wines. Of course, who wants to drink those wines all of the time anyway?
There are, however, plenty of over-priced wines being made on Long Island. But I hate generalizations and if you know the wines, there are also some great deals – including some that cost $30-50 a bottle. Remember that value is possible at any price point, not just wines under $10.
Theresa Dilworth, co-owner of and head winemaker for Comtesse Therese, is refreshing because she could sell at least a few of her wines for much more than she charges today. Let's hope she keeps it that way.
The 2004 Chateau Reserve, is far and away the best of the current Comtesse Therese Merlot releases – and definitely shows off Long Island's unique terroir. The nose offers fruity blackberry and blueberry aromas accented by subtle earthiness, light vanilla and just a little oak. Nicely balanced, it shows fruit-forward flavors of cherries, blackberries and blueberries with ripe, well-integrated tannins and an elegant, lengthy finish. It's a deal at $30 and should age beautifully for 5-7 years. This wine hasn't been made since the much ballyhooed 2001 vintage, and there are fewer than 100 cases available.
Reviewed March 12, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.
Other reviewed wines from Comtesse Thérèse
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon - Cabernet Franc
(North Fork of Long Island)Lenn Thompson 3/12/2007
2004 Russian Oak Chardonnay
(Long Island)Lenn Thompson 3/3/2006
Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,