2015 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley


Markham Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1874 by French immigrant, Jean Laurent.

The 2015 vintage in Napa was another drought year in wine country that produced a small crop but good quality wines.


2015 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley:  Clear medium red with a purple rim, nice perfume of earthy raspberries and violets. dusty, chewy, crushed black fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids, nice balance.



More Red Blends On Long Island

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Long Island wine country is about a hundred miles East of Manhattan. From my neighborhood it’s an easy drive on the Long Island expressway straight East as the crow flies to the end of the highway at exit 73. Make a quick right at the outlet mall and keep driving East until you come across the wineries. The road splits in two, main road (route 25) and sound avenue with wineries lining both roads.

On an overcast Sunday afternoon I took another drive out and sampled red blends.


Peconic Cellar Door  2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic

This tasting room shares the same building at the Winemakers Studio, they pour wines from wineries that don’t have their own tasting rooms.

2014 As If Wines “Persistence”. This is the first time I’ve tried wines from this producer, they buy local grapes and vinify at a local crush.

A blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, very dark purple with a purple rim, dark chocolate and sour cherry notes on the nose, tight, bright fruit with crisp acidity and some stemmines on the finish.



Mattebella Vineyards  46005 Main Road, Southhold.

The is a small, mom and pop vineyard operation using sustainable viticultural practices for their Italian heritage influenced wines with a small, cozy tasting room.

2008 “Old World Blend”. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the owners was pouring and highly recommended that I try this wine because the wine has aged well and at its peak now. Dark red to black in color with crushed dark fruit and some mint on the nose, chewy dusty fruit and silky tannins, roast nuts and violets on the finish. If I would have tasted this wine blind I would have guessed Chianti.



Lenz Vineyards  38355 Main Road, Peconic

One of the original wineries out east, established in 1978.

2014 Merlot “Estate”. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, Black and thick in color, peppermint and crushed rocks on the nose, tight, plummy fruit with tart, firm acids at the end.  



Roanoke Vineyards Tasting Room, Love Lane, Mattituck.

Long Island’s only membership based vineyard, their tasting room is on Love Lane, a two block long business district with a nice deli across the street and a cheese shop next door.

2015 “Marco Tulio“. About an equal blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, dark red, damp earth and slate on the nose, chewy dark fruit, balance acidity with chocolate notes on the finish.



Merlot At Lenz

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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.

Long Island

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.