It’s August and summer is winding down. Days are getting a little shorter. But it is the perfect time to relax on the East End’s great beaches and enjoy some Long Island wine.
This Month’s Long Island Red Wines
Our main red wine selection for this month is Raphael‘s 2010 First Label Merlot. Raphael is one of our go-to vineyards — we featured their Fontana Merlot in June. Winemaker Anthony Nappa hit it out of the ballpark with this wine; it received a 92 point rating from Mark Squires in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
The First Label Merlot is rich with ripe fruit, and shows great complexity. Sumptuous and dense, while remaining soft and harmonious, this wine shows why Merlot is Long Island’s premier grape. The title of “First Label” is reserved for Raphael’s finest wine, aged in French oak barrels with only the very best Merlot. The 2010 vintage was a blend of 97% merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our second red selection this month is Osprey’s Dominion‘s 2010 Estate Merlot. This vineyard is located just down the road (and across the street) from Raphael in Peconic. Adam Suprenant has been making wine for Osprey’s Dominion for over 10 years as well as making wine for his own label, Coffee Pot Cellars.
The 2010 Estate Merlot was declared Best in Category at the 2015 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition. This Merlot is ripe with aromas of dark plum and blackberry with notes of smoke, vanilla and sweet cedar. While the nose is rather fruity, rich flavors of chocolate, mint and tobacco develop sip, creating a wine that is seamlessly intriguing from the first taste to the last. It is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
This Month’s Long Island White Wines
Our main white wine selection this month is from the west end of the North Fork: Palmer Vineyards‘ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. Although winemaker Miguel Martin makes wine from a number of grapes but this Sauvignon Blanc is a great go-to wine for summer.
The Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in color and shows classical varietal characteristics of citrus, green apple with notes of mineral and lemon peel in the background. On the palate, this wine is clean with honeydew melon with a good fruit weight and intensity. This is made with 100% Sauv Blanc and never sees any oak.
Finally, we go back to Raphael for our second Long Island white wine selection: their 2014 Chardeaux. Nappa has made another very drinkable summer-time wine that can be enjoyed after a long day at the beach.
The Chardeaux is a white wine blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. The chardonnay provides peach and pear aromas and lush tropical flavors, as well as classic structure and weight. Sauvignon Blanc brightens the flavor palate with pleasant notes of citrus, minerals and bright acidity. It underwent partial malolactic fermentation to add a little creaminess. It’s a crowd-pleaser!