North Fork Wine Tour

3 July 2012, North Fork, Long Island

In preparation for a much bigger wine tasting trip the following week, I spent a day tasting wines in the North Fork or Long Island with Eugene, Tips and Becky. We went to three vineyards: Paumanok, Shinn and Lenz. I’ve written about Lenz several times in the past and it still remains my favorite Long Island vineyard, but I wanted to briefly write about two wines that were worth buying and even aging that we had at the other two vineyards.

First, at Paumanok, we had a great tasting with the original owner of the winery, Charles Massoud. He sat down with us next to the vines and went through a detailed explanation of the viticultural techniques they use. The piece de resistance at this vineyard was their red blend called Assemblage:

2007 Paumanok Assemblage

69% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc this wine at a relatively young age is already well integrated and balanced. Black fruit and spice with a nice, light mouth feel for a Bordeaux blend.

Our second stop was with the wine maker at Shinn Estate, Patrick. In addition to making some nice sparklings and dry wines, they distill their own spirits which are delicious. Their showpiece wine is the Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot – given the name as it’s taken from the nine best barrels of the harvest:

2008 Shine Estate Vineyards Merlot Nine Barrels Reserve

Black fruit and bitter chocolate. Juicy with good tannins with pepper and spice on the finish. Nice wine that could also probably improve with a couple years in the bottle.

** 2007 Paumanok Assemblage, $45

** 2008 Shinn Estate Vineyards Merlot Nine Barrels Reserve, $45