Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lenz Old Vines 2001 Merlot Review by Billy

Full disclosure--whenever our friends from various wineries send us wine to review we are sure to let you know that. The folks at Lenz Winery on Long Island New York sent each of us at the wine cask 6 bottles to review. This is the fourth of the 6 Lenz wines I have reviewed.

While I consulted no tasting notes or other reviews in the writing of this review. However, I did stumble across some hints while doing other reviews that this was one of the "premier" Lenz wines that has been favorably compared to such greats as Château Pétrus. I say this in the interest of full disclosure. As objective as I may try to be, my expectations were naturally high for this wine.

Upon opening:
Nose: Jammy plumb, black pepper spice, anise, and vanilla oak.
Palate: tight and acidic on opening but a very good structure that is extremely promising.
Finish: light and lingering with plumb skins, green grape stem and dark fruit.

After about 90 minutes I take another pour and I am excited.
Nose: The nose is rich with vanilla, black pepper and dark berry.
Palate: Structure changes to a nice full and firm balance revealing plumb and jam fruit layers with toasted cinnamon. Really quite lovely from start to finish on the palate.
Finish: rich with some acids that linger at the back of the tongue.

What is so engaging about this wine, I think, is it's firmness. It has the complexity of a fantastic old world style merlot (old world in this sense as the opposite of a fruit bomb). While fully engaging on the nose with ripe merlot scents and pleasingly oaky vanilla, it does not turn flabby or mushy in the mouth. While in the mouth it is less like chewing on a marshmallow (think of the feel, not the taste) and more like savoring a small, fingernail sized, piece of dark chocolate, or truffle, or good cheese (again, think not of the taste of those, but the way they would feel in your mouth). The flavor and feel is firm, it is compact but it is also complex and layered and rewarding.

Some of the best wines in the world are crafted in this way and it is a testament to the skill and care of the folks at Lenz that they were able to achieve such a wine. This is a good wine and you should be prepared to pay for the quality and time it takes to craft.

You can get a price on this wine HERE at Lenz.

Raise a Glass!

1 comment:

  1. Lenz is a great winery. Eric Fry is very focused on traditional winemaking. Their wines expressive the terroir of the North Fork. Chards are spectacular. One of my favorites is Lenz Old Vines Chardonnay