Despite some inconsistency, Vineyard 48 just might be a winery on the rise. In general, I've found their white wines to be their best, particularly the sauvignon blanc and riesling, which are better and more affordable than many local offerings.
But, I've found their reds much more inconsistent and disappointing. A nice cabernet franc here. A soft, but integrated meritage there. And some others with too-agressive and coarse tannins.
2005, a soon-to-be-classic vintage for Long Island, seems to have afforded winemaker Matthew Berenz, formerly of Pindar, a chance to work with super-ripe fruit. As a result, he's made the neophyte winery's best reds yet.
The Vineyard 48 2005 Vignetta ($32) is a meritage-style blend made with 44% cabernet franc, 32% merlot and 24% cabernet sauvignon and is a lightly opaque, medium crimson in the glass.
The nose is an alluring melange of red cherries, raspberries, fresh sage and muddled mint leaves. Medium weight on the palate, there is a nice integration of ripe fruit, oak influence and tannins.
Cherry is the predominant fruit flavor here, with herbs, a little earthiness, black pepper and a faint mint finish that lingers just a bit. This is by far the most ready to drink today of the current red releases.
Overpriced? Maybe a little, admittedly.
Grape(s): Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Producer: Vineyard 48
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $32 at the tasting room