You’ll find a lot of “Bordeaux blends” on the North Fork. Most wineries produce them and as with any other category of wine from any region, there are the good examples, mediocre examples and, yes, bad examples — although there are far fewer of those these days.
You’ll also find a wide variation in the grapes that go into these wines. Merlot is often the bulk of the blend (there’s more Merlot here than any other red grape), but the proportion of Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot can vary greatly. Some will use all five grapes. Others only a couple.
Wine is made in the vineyard, as the saying goes, but blends are made in the cellar.These wines really show off the talent of the winemaker. By combining a handful of varieties together, winemakers can adjust aromas, flavors, structure, and freshness with balanced complexity being the goal.
This Paumanok Vineyards 2014 Assemblage ($50) — hits the mark expertly.
Producer: Paumanok Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island