This past Saturday, September 13 I attended the 25th annual Merlot World Classic which was held at the Lenz Winery in Peconic on the north fork of Long Island. Lenz is the second oldest winery on Long Island and have some of the oldest Merlot vines in the area. They make some nice sparkling wines as well. The event gathered together Merlot from the United States, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile though most of the wines were from California and France. Of course, Long Island wines were represented as well.
It was a consumer event held outdoors at the winery. It was a rainy evening but things were kept dry under the tents.
2011 Markham Vineyards Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium to dark red in color with crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy and silky and nicely balanced. Very drinkable.
2011 Freemark Abbey Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with smoky oak on the nose with tight black fruit with notes of pencil shavings on the finish.
2010 Plumpjack Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with an amber robe, toasty black fruit on the nose and was chewy with black licorice on the firm and balanced finish.
2009 Cakebread Cellars Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with some vegetal notes on the nose with silky fruit upfront that droped a bit at the end.
2009 Shafer Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with toasty black cherry on the nose with bright black fruit and crisp acids.
2008 Grgich Hills Estate Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with a pretty floral nose of red roses, and was tight and silky with graphite notes on the finish.
2007 Twomey Cellars Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with some cooked vegetal notes on the nose, chunky and dusty with graphite notes on the mouth-puckering finish. Some heat.
2009 Chateau de Sales (Pomerol). Dark red with some damp earth on the nose and was silky and chewy with mint on the finish.
2009 Chateau Nenin (Pomerol). Dark red with a ripe, floral nose and was tight and silky with a firm long finish.
2009 Chateau de Pez (St. Estephe). Medium red with a stinky floral nose and was rustic and chewy with mouth-watering tannin at the end.
2008 La Domaine de Montrose (St. Estephe). Dark red to black with pretty dusty crushed dark berries on the nose and was concentrated and silky with mouth filling tannin and dark chocolate at the finish. Very nice.
2004 Chateau Haut-Simard (St. Emillion). Medium red with an amber robe with stinky black cherry on the nose and was tight with some bitter cherry on the medium to long finish.
2010 Lenz Merlot “Estate Selection” (North Fork). Medium red with red cherry on the nose and was tight and bright.
2007 Lenz Merlot “Old Vines” (North Fork). Medium red with dark roasted meat on the nose with tight fruit and some cooked fruit notes on the moderate to long finish.
2011 Wölffer Estate Merlot “Lambardo” (South Fork). Medium red with dusty, roasted coffee on the nose with toasty fruit.
2010 Wölffer Estate Merlot “Christian’s Cuvée” (South Fork). At a $100 a bottle, the most expensive bottle at the tasting. Dark red with toasty roast meat on the nose and was chewy with dark chocolate on the finish.