Since its debut a few years ago, Roanoke Vineyards has firmly entrenched itself as one of the North Fork's true (and top) boutique wineries. Owners Richie and Soraya Pisacano, along with director of operations Chris Watkins, have created a must-stop destination for any lover of fine wines.
A portfolio that started with a single merlot bottling has expanded to include two blended reds, a cabernet sauvignon, a chardonnay and a rose. Each shows Richie's experience and acumen in the vineyard as well as winemaker Roman Roth's many talents in the winery.
Roanoke Vineyards 2004 Blend One ($30), named as such simply because this was the first wine blended when the wine was conceived, is made with 43% cabernet franc, 33% merlot and 24% cabernet sauvignon.
When this wine was first released, the now leaned mostly towards dark fruit and a little earth, but when tasted again recently it is showing a much more expressive, complex nose. Blackberry and blueberry are the primary fruit aromas, and that earthiness remains, but subtle smoked and cured meats and caramel notes have emerged. If I had to describe that caramel aroma even further, I'd liken it to a Wetrher's Original candy.
Compared to it's cabernet franc-laced sibling, Blend Two, this wine is more rustic and less refined, but no less tasty. It's medium bodied with slightly grippy tannins that will continue to incorporate in coming years. Blackberries, blueberries and black pepper emerge on the palate, joined by more of that salted meat character. The finish lingers nicely. It's a wine that evolves over the course of the evening, so take your time with this one.