It wasn't that long ago that I wrote a bit about Lenz Winery and their belief that, because American's don't know how to age wines, they'll age them for us. That's true for their high-end reds, but it's also true for their mid-level "Estate Selection" lineup.
This Lenz Winery 2002 Estate Selection Merlot ($23) was just released a couple months ago, following up on one of my favorite under-$25 local merlots, the 2001. And, while perhaps a bit less complex than that wine, this is still a fine value.
The nose is a bit less funky than the 2001, showing ripe black cherry, blackberry and plum fruit with a gently earthy note beneath, with a little lead pencil.
Medium bodied and plummy up front, the palate offers layers of cherry, earthy dried leaves and light leathery funk that had dissipated by day two. The ripe, fine-grained tannins are elegant and maturing nicely.
Well balanced, with a medium-long finish, this is another $23 value that not only stays true to Lenz's house style and philosophies, but also shows off what can be so terrific about Long Island merlot.
Producer: The Lenz Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long island
Rating: (3 out of 5 | Recommended)