Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wolffer Estate Vineyard Estate Selection Merlot

Wolffer Estate Vineyard

2002 Estate Selection Merlot
(Hamptons Long Island)

Wolffer Estate Vineyards, located in Sagaponack, is one of Long Island's best-known wineries. The grounds and building drip with Old World charm, winemaker Roman Roth crafts a variety of classic wines, and cool ocean breezes caress the vineyard, typically leading to elegant wines with balance.

The South Fork's growing season is about ten days shorter than that of the North Fork, which leads some to consider the South Fork best suited to white wines. Roth's Chardonnays — from the light, fresh La Ferme Martin ($14) to the rich, Burgundian Estate Selection ($29) to the intensely flavored Late Harvest Ice Wine ($35) — all show tremendous balance between fruit character and acidity.

But, Wolffer Estate, and Roth, are fiercely dedicated to Long Island Merlot. They are a founding member of the Long Island Merlot Alliance and the creators of Long Island's most expensive Merlot bottling — Wolffer Estate Vineyards Premier Cru Merlot ($125).

That pricey red captures a lot of headlines, but year in and year out, the real value in Wolffer Merlot is the Estate Selection bottling. The 2002 Estate Selection Merlot ($35) is made with fruit from the estate's oldest Merlot vines (planted in 1990 and 1991).

Raspberry, cherry, cranberry and cedar mingle on an inviting nose. Medium bodied, the palate shows nice complexity with red berry, cinnamon, black pepper, mineral and cocoa flavors — all with ripe, gently gripping tannins and understated acidity. Drink now or cellar for 3-5 years.

Reviewed August 22, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Wolffer Estate Vineyard
Vintage: 2002
Wine: Estate Selection Merlot
Appellation: Hamptons Long Island
Grapes: Merlot (88%), Cabernet Franc (12%)
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 8/22/2006

The Reviewer

Lenn Thompson

Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,
Long Island Press, Long Island Wine Gazette, Edible East End
and Two words describe his taste in wine — balance and nuance. Lenn prefers food-friendly, elegant wines to jammy, over-extracted fruit bombs and heavy-handed oak. When reviewing, Lenn tastes each wine three times — alone right after opening, with food, and again the next day — believing that 90-second reviews are unrealistic and not how the average person enjoys wine.