Some of the wines that display Long Island's true nature--terroir if you will--are actually red blends, not the varietal merlots that are often lauded as the region's best. I know, shocking. I should be strung up for suggesting such a thing.
Of course not all blends are created equal. There are more than enough wines that fall into the "meritage" catetory that seem more like a way to use up extra lots of lesser reds than anything else.
Theresa Dilworth, co-owner of and head winemaker for Comtesse Therese isn't making one of those. This blandly named but far-from-bland blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc named for its component grapes and their percentages: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc is plenty tasty and it captures "Long Islandness" well.
This is a soft, slightly juicy blend that dodges the over-oaking that burdens some local blends and many wines from the slightly cool 2004 vintage. Very cabernet sauvignon aromas and flavors--blackberry, and black currant--are accented by subtle cinnamon, chocolate, smoke and violet notes. The tannins are soft and the noticeable acidity makes this a terrific food wine. This is the kind of wine I like this time of year, just as the weather warms. It's still a red wine, but it's not heavy or brooding. It reminds of me the transition between winter and spring.