Medolla Vineyards 2010 Merlot

88 points

It’s a 2010 — but also a new release — so you can expect some aromas and flavors associated with wine that has a bit more bottle age than you’re maybe used to. Much like Lenz merlot, this one straddles the line between old and new worlds, with a little rustic edge to it. The nose offers earthy tobacco and licorice aromas along with raspberry and cherry fruit. Medium-full bodied, the flavors are similar to the nose with some minty, eucalyptus nuances and well-incorporated, ripe tannins. Well balanced with a nice long finish, this one is tasting pretty great right now, but should continue to develop for several years.

Nappa. Macari. Pellegrini. Pugliese. Borghese. Diliberto. These are the Italian and Italian-American names that help define Long Island wine. These are also well-established brands, but there’s at least one more you may not be familiar with — Medolla. 

Medolla Vineyards, owned by John and Denise Medolla, launched in 2007 with a 2002 Merlot. Medolla Vineyards operates under a tenant winery license at Lenz Winery. Basically, Lenz Winery serves as a host winery and Medolla uses the facilities when Lenz isn’t using them. Lenz winemaker Eric Fry also serves as the consultant winemaker.

Both John and Denise work in the aviation industry, but their family has winemaking roots that can be traced to the base of Italy’s Mount Vesuvius. John’s grandparents were winemakers from the nearby town of Torre Del Greco. “My family used the Piedi Rosso (“red foot”) grape and as legend has it, the Moscato grape as well,” he said.

The Medollas don’t own a vineyard, so they purchase fruit and the grapes used in this Medolla Vineyards 2010 Merlot ($30) were grown by veteran grower Sam McCullough, who also serves as Lenz’s vineyard manager.

Producer: Medolla Vineyards
Region: North Fork of Long Island AVA
Vineyard: McCullough Vineyard
Price: $30

* 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 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 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.

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