Paumanok Estate Merlot Long Island Red Wine 750 mL
Aged for 12 months in neutral French oak. It comes in at 13% alcohol. This is quite a mouthful for the White Label Merlot (the “regular” bottling). Chock full of sappy fruit, it takes over the palate rather nicely, but it is also elegant and restrained with a bright feel to it. Showing moderate tannins, it has a fair bit of intensity for the regular Merlot, but nothing that a bit of air or a year of cellaring won’t moderate. Classic in flavor, its juicy finish makes it rather delicious in its serious and structured way. This may yet improve with cellaring, but despite the feeling of fullness, I’m not quite positive it will reward long aging as sometimes tannins and the mid-palate can drop off fast. That said, it certainly overachieves at the moment. I suspect when all is said and done, this will be a White Label bottling that earns the winery even more status. It’s a nice value.