I didn't even know that it was being grown anywhere locally (outside of Alice Wise's research vineyard at the Cornell extension), but there is 1/3 of an acre grown at the North Fork's Indian Neck Farm. And, every last grape from that block went into the mere 71 cases of Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2005 Cassina Barbera ($40), which was named for a 14-year old Hanoverian Warmblood, and is 78% Barbera, 12% merlot and 10% cabernet franc.
Medium-dark crimson red with a lighter, brick rim, the nose is inviting with red cherry, rose petals, clove, black pepper and hints of brown sugar.
Medium-bodied with medium, slightly-astringent tannins, it's a bit more straightforward on the palate with cherry-vanilla and just a little brown spice. Alone, this wine is very good, but with a meal of my mother in-law's eggplant parmesan, the berry flavors and table-friendly acidity stood out.
Grape(s): 78% Barbera, 12% merlot, 10% cabernet franc
Producer: Wolffer Estate Vineyards
AVA: Long Island
Rating: (3 out of 5 | Recommended)