Much has been written -- both here on the NYCR and elsewhere -- about various tasting processes and practices. Much of the chatter focuses on tasting blind versus not, or just how many wines can (or should) be tasted in one sitting.
There isn't enough discussion about the length of time over which each wine is tasted, however.
If I'm tasting a wine with the intention of writing a review here on the site, I taste it over the course of at least three days -- often with and without food. To me, that more closely mimics the way that you, my readers, will actually drink a wine.
I also think it provides a more complete picture of what a wine is today and could be tomorrow, rather than just a quick snapshot.
On day one of tasting, this The Grapes of Roth 2004 Merlot ($55) was good, though maybe a bit too restrained. Maybe it was just the cooler 2004 vintage speaking?
Roman Roth, best known as the winemaker at Wolffer Estate Vineyards and Roanoke Vineyards, often describes his best reds as "built for the long haul." As this wine's evolution once opened indicates, the same is true for his private label merlot, this being the fourth release.
Made with fruit grown by Sam McCullough in his vineyard in Cutchogue (McCullough is also the vineyard manager at The Lenz Winery), this classy Long Island merlot displays bright red cherry aromas with pencil lead, minty menthol and gently earthy tobacco notes on the nose.
Elegant and seamless, the medium-bodied palate brings more, fresh red cherry flavors at first with subtle cinnamon spice that emerges with time in the glass. Framed by ripe, restrained tannins, the earthy-tobacco character from the nose steps forward on the palate on day two, teaming with minty-thyme flavors to bring depth and complexity, leading into a long, classy finish with distinct minerally flavors of pencil lead and wet gravel.
Producer: The Grapes of Roth
AVA: Long Island
Harvest Brix: 23
TA: 4.2 g/L