Old Westminster Winery 2014 "Black" Red Blend

90 points

An impressively complex red blend made from fruit grown in three quality-focused Maryland vineyards -- 38% Merlot and 25% Petit Verdot from Antietam Creek Vineyard, 25% Cabernet Franc from South Mountain and 12% Syrah from Pad’s View Vineyard. The nose is layered with dark fruits, everything from plums to cherries to blackberries, with notes of wet soil, birch beer and dried herbs.

Medium bodied, but quite flavorful with moderate concentration, the palate shows similar dark berry flavors with more earth, black pepper, cinnamon, licorice and just a dark roast coffee. The tannins are firm but are already pretty approachable. This wine is quite early in its lifetime and is clearly built to develop in your cellar. If you want to enjoy it most now, decant it for at least a couple hours.

Producer: Old Westminster Winery
Grapes: 38% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Petit Verdot and 12% Syrah
ABV: 13.5%
Price: $40

* Review sample provided by the winery

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.


  1. Lenn,

    When you review wines such as this you write the AVA is Maryland. Maryland is an appellation of origin. Any political subdivision such as American, state or county is an appellation of origin, not an AVA. An AVA or American Viticultural Area is a grape growing region recognized by the federal government. There is an application and approval process necessary to establish an AVA. Napa Valley and Lehigh Valley are federally recognized AVAs.

  2. Martin,

    You know — you are absolutely right. That’s primarily an artifact from when my focus was New York and 99% of the wines I was reviewing were AVA labeled — North Fork of Long Island, Finger Lakes, Hudson River Region. That section of these reviews is a bit of a template that I copy/paste from old ones.

    Will make sure I update that going forward. Thanks!

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