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.