The Grapes of Roth Merlot 2002
Merlot from New York, Other US
Deep red almost black in color. The aroma bursts of ultra ripe fruit, cedar and fine leather. The air is filled with fruit of blackberry, plums and currents with some licorice. The Mouth-feel is lush, concentrated yet extremely elegant and classic. There are layers upon layers of ripe velvet tannins balanced by wonderful berry notes and supported with some toasty oak. The finish goes on and on with complex mocha, black chocolate and elegant sweet berry notes. This is a concentrated classic Merlot that has tremendous aging potential but is ripe and full to be enjoyed early on.
The Wine Advocate - "The nose is offered a stunning amalgamation of fresh plum, dried cranberries, soy, Syrah-like bacon fat, beef marrow, blood pudding, and iodine. Had I been told it were a 7-to-9-year-old Right Bank Bordeaux, I might well have believed it, and for all of its young age and its layered profundity, it is improbably drinkable. The palate is marked by expansive flavors of black and red fruits, mean, and minerals. The wine exhibits plushness and elegance, offering a seemingly paradoxical sense of weightlessness allied to enormous richness and palate saturation. Its finish is superbly long, with deep marrowy, minerally undertones, faint plum pit bitterness, and persistently bright, juicy, slightly tart berry fruit."
The Grapes of Roth Winery
Born in Rottweil, Germany to a winemaking family, Roman Roth’s appreciation for good wine began at an early age. In 1982, he began a three-year apprenticeship in winemaking, which involved practical work at the Kaiserstuhl Wine Cooperative in Oberrotweil and theoretical studies at the “Berufsfachschule” in Heilbron.
In the summer of 1986 Roth traveled to the United States, ending up in Carneros, California to work at Saintsbury Estate.
In 1992 Roth received his Master Winemaker and Cellar Master degrees from the College for Oenology and Viticulture in Weinsberg. In August, he accepted the position of winemaker at Sag Pond vineyards, then a start-up winery in the Hamptons, Long Island.
Over the years Roth had another dream that was slowly evolving- the creation of his own wine, The Grapes of Roth. In July 2006, the first release of the Grapes of Roth came with a bang, receiving 91points for the 2001 Merlot and a 92 point rating for the 2002 Merlot, the highest rating given to NY State wines by Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. 2007 is yet another milestone for Roth. With the addition of a Riesling, Roth has captured perfectly the other New York signature grape.
Roth lives with his wife and daughter in Sag Harbor, New York. The Grapes of Roth takes its name from Steinbeck’s book which is one of his favorites, and of course as Steinbeck was also a Sag Harbor resident. View all The Grapes of Roth Wines
About New YorkThe Big Grape
Beyond the bustling, concrete jungle we call New York City, there lies an entire state that is primarily agricultural and rural. Viticulture has long been a practice in New York, with the production of high quality wine steadily growing over the past few decades. The New York State wine industry is diverse, with plantings that range from native American species to vitis vinifera, not to mention a number of hybrids and crossings. Native American varieties are very sturdy grapes, immune to phylloxera and genetically prone to withstand cold and snow. Unfortunately, wines made from these grapes, of the species vitus labrusca, have an unfortunate aroma and flavor critics refer to as "foxy." For this reason there are a number of hybrids that were created with the hopes of merging the non-foxy qualities of vitis vinifera with the lasting power of the native varieties. Some of these hybrids are still around today, the most widely used being Seyval Blanc. For vitis vinifera, you'll most likely find Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
Notable FactsThe top regions of New York State are the Finger Lakes, the Hudson Valley and more recently, Long Island.
The Finger Lakes, located along the border of New York State and Canada, have been the heart of the New York wine industry for the past century. It was the region that first experimented with hybrids (mixes between European varieties and American varieties) and produced successful wines with them. The pioneer behind many of the top quality wines in the Finger Lakes was Dr. Konstantin Frank, who began focusing on cool-climate, European white varieties like Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. Manischewitz, the top producer of kosher wines, is also based here, making kosher wines from the plethora of Concord grapes. Also popular are ice wines, a product of the cold winters that move through the region.
The Hudson Valley, located just above New York City, is home to some of the oldest vines in the state. The small to medium sized vineyards focus on both hybrids and vinifera varieties.Long Island is the most recent wine industry boom, and most of the vineyards here are located on the North Fork, which happens to be the sunniest part of the island. The area has a maritime climate, which has led many wine growers to plant maritime style varieties - most notably, the Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Quality here is growing as winemakers gain knowledge of the land and become more experienced with winemaking techniques.
About Other USEvery state in the United States makes wine. That's not to say that every wine is good, nor is every wine made from grapes. Hawaii ferments pineapples, while Connecticut makes wines from their well-known berry farms. But almost every state has at least one vineyard trying to make wine from grapes. Those who are most successful, beyond California, Washington, Oregon and New York are:
VirginiaWine in Virginia has come a long way since Thomas Jefferson unsuccessfully planted vinifera grapes at his home in Monticello. Our third president, known as the first American wine connoisseur, spent a good amount of time touring vineyards in France, hoping he could replicate the vineyards in Virginia. May not have been successful 200 years ago, but today, the Commonwealth of Virginia is home to over 150 wineries.
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely planted white and red grapes. Other success stories include Cabernet Franc, which does very well on Virginia soil, producing wines that are ripe and round, snuffing out the vegetal tendencies of this varietal. Viognier may be the next big white, making some lovely aromatic, yet dry, white wines.
New MexicoChampagne region after all), Gruet is now a nationally recognized wine. The wines are delicious and one of the best deals in sparkling wine. The family makes a range of wines - from the ethereal and efferevesant blanc de blancs to the more full-bodied blanc-de-noir to the slightly sweet demi-sec.
New Mexico is now home to nineteen wineries. While none are as large as Gruet, more winemakers are realizing that the warm day and cool night combination in the state has great potential for great wine.Other states worth trying include North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Idaho and Michigan.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.