First Label Merlot

Red Wine

Our first label Merlot is made from our finest Estate grown fruit. A balanced, full bodied wine full of complexity and flavor, softened by velvety tannins. Our reserve grapes are hand harvested, hand sorted and wild fermented. Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels before bottling unfiltered and unfined. This wine was structured to age gracefully for many years.

VARIETALS: Merlot (96%),Petit Verdot (2%),Malbec (2%)
APPELLATION: North Fork of Long Island
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: New York

 SCORE: 90
 CRITIC: Mark Squires
 PUBLICATION: Wine Advocate

The 2013 Merlot First Label, the winery's Reserve, also has 2 Petit Verdot. It was aged for 18 months in French oak (45% new) and comes in at 13.9% alcohol. In most respects, this is the winery's lushest and most caressing red on opening this issue, but it doesn't stay that way with aeration. Elegant in the mid-palate, it acquires power and focus as it airs out. There are also hints of complexity to come, with some whiffs of oak, game and herbs mingling with the lifted fruit. After a couple of hours, it tightens noticeably. The texture is caressing, though, and the intensity on the finish is notable. There isn't a lot of fleshiness or richness. It leans more to French style. This will reward aging and gain complexity with some time. Give it a couple of years if you can, after release. There were 419 cases produced from vines planted in 1998.

 SCORE: 86
 CRITIC: James Molesworth
 PUBLICATION: Wine Spectator

Rounded and gentle in feel, with a subtle cocoa frame around lightly mulled plum and blackberry fruit notes. Keeps good flesh through the finish. Drink now. 419 cases made.

 SCORE: 91
 CRITIC: Anna Lee Iijima
 PUBLICATION: Wine Enthusiast

Like many of Raphael's red wines, there's a deeply savory, leathery rusticity here that resonates powerfully. Ripe black cherry and plum flavors are cut by streaks of tart currant and cranberry acidity and a rigid frame of tannins. It's a bold, densely structured wine that should improve with cellaring. Drink from 2020 through 2025.

$ 19.99 (750ml)
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