Wolffer Estate Selection Merlot 2002
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
For over 30 years, Wölffer Estate Vineyard has been known as one of the finest producers on the East Coast and a center for innovation and hospitality. They are committed to producing premium, distinctive wines, ciders and spirits through a dedication to quality, penchant for style and celebration of place.
Wölffer Estate was founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer, a man with great creative vision and a huge passion for life. The estate today is owned and operated by his children, Marc and Joey Wölffer and Winemaker/Partner Roman Roth. The estate spans approximately 170 acres including the acclaimed 55 acre sustainably farmed vineyard located in Sagaponack, NY. They also own 28 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, 200 acres in Mendoza, Argentina and 2.5 acres in Mallorca, Spain. Finally, they partner with carefully selected growers on 338 acres on the North Fork of Long Island as well as 1,750 acres in Côtes de Provence, France.
The unique combination of Bridgehampton loam soil and breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, located 2.6 miles from the estate, provide maritime conditions perfect for achieving the balance of ripeness and acidity that has come to define Wölffer’s signature style: food friendly, elegant and built for longevity. Their dry ciders and gin have extended Wölffer quality into new categories, exemplifying their drive for innovation and excellence.
Increasingly garnering widespread and well-deserved attention, New York ranks third in wine production in the United States (after California and Washington). Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York and the Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are very cold and can carry the risk of frost well into the growing season.
The Finger Lakes region has long been responsible for some of the country’s finest Riesling, and is gaining traction with elegant, light-bodied Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Experimentation with cold-hardy European varieties is common, and recent years have seen the successful planting of grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Saperavi (from the Eastern European country of Georgia). Long Island, on the other hand, has a more maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and shares some viticultural characteristics with Bordeaux. Accordingly, the best wines here are made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Niagara Escarpment is responsible for excellent ice wines, usually made from the hybrid variety, Vidal.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.