Ben’s Blend” took the top score at a blind tasting at the Merlot Focus, a tasting organized by the Long Island Merlot Alliance on Jan. 26 at , North Fork chef new restaurant.
Several Long Island Wine County merlots and blends from the 2007 vintage scored just as high and higher than wines from international locations such as Pomerol and St. Emilion in France, Napa Valley in California, and Columbia River in Washington State. The wines were tasted and scored by those working in the industry and members of the media.
According to a statement from the alliance, participants had a hard time distinguishing the Long Island wines from those from other regions, particularly France. McCall’s Ben’s Blend, which received the highest score, was also the wine most participants accurately identified as being from Long Island.
Christian’s Cuvee from , merlot from T’Jara (the alliance’s newest member) and Merliance, the alliance’s own cooperative blend of merlot, were also ranked in the top ten. The ranking of the wines (with high and low scores removed, and all scores averaged) is shown below.
McCall Wines 2007 Ben’s Blend, North Fork of Long Island
Château La Croix St. Georges 2007, Pomerol
Duckhorn Vineyards 2007 Merlot, Napa Valley
Long Island Merlot Alliance 2007 Merliance, Long Island
Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2007 Christian’s Cuvee, The Hamptons
Château Ste. Michelle 2007 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot, Washington
T’Jara 2007 Merlot, North Fork of Long Island
T-Vine 2007 Merlot, Napa Valley
Raphael 2007 First Label Merlot, North Fork of Long Island
Cafaro 2007 Merlot, Napa Valley
Château Cantenac 2007, St. Emilion
Château La Confession 2007, St. Emilion
Clovis Point 2007 Archaeology, North Fork of Long Island