Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Pellegrini Vineyards 2001 Merlot

Pellegrini Vineyards

2001 Merlot, Pfeifle Vineyard
(North Fork of Long Island)

On Long Island, 2001 is widely regarded as a premium vintage and while 2005 may prove to be even better, 2001 reds remain some of the best in the Long Island wine region's 30-year memory. Even mediocre producers made great Merlot in 2001 and the best producers made spectacular wines.

Since joining Pellegrini Vineyards in 1991, Russel Hearn has been making some of my favorite wines. From my very first sip of his Vinter's Pride Encore – a rich, complex blend of red varietals – a few years ago, I've been a member of his fan club, and I've enjoyed numerous visits to the Pellegrini tasting room ever since.

By combining traditional methods with some of the East Coat's most advanced equipment – no surprise for an Australian – he consistently makes top quality wines, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Most local producers have wine clubs, but surprisingly few do what Hearn has started doing at Pellegrini – bottling wines that only members can taste and buy. Pellegrini Vineyards’ 2001 Pfeifle Vineyard Merlot is one such wine. Dark violet-crimson in the glass, black fruit, smoke and black pepper aromas are apparent on a youthful nose. Medium bodied, blackberry, black pepper and dark chocolate flavors are wrapped up in terrific structure with slightly gripping tannins and acidity. This is a tremendous food wine with a somewhat lengthy finish and good balance. Drink now or over the next 3-5 years.

Reviewed September 15, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

Other reviewed wines from Pellegrini Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: Pellegrini Vineyards
Vineyard: Pfeifle Vineyard
Vintage: 2001
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Merlot

Review Date: 9/15/2006

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.