Friday, December 11, 2009

Medolla Merlot 2003

So, while I was at the City Winery event, I met John Medolla. John and I hit it off right away. A fellow Italian-American, the two of us talked about wine, family, and food. John's great grandparents moved from Italy to Redhook, Brooklyn, about the same time mine moved to Trenton, New Jersey. And his grandparents made wine in the basement just like my great grandfather made wine in his basement (my grandfather lived until he was 104). Wine and food are a part of our family histories.

But this is about John, not me.

John and his wife Denise, and their family made a strategic decision. They were going to make one wine, and they were going to make it well. That wine, in Long Island, was merlot. They make it painstakingly, and they make it well. Their saying? "Merlot - That's what we do." And boy, do they do it well.

And I'm not the first to be drawn to Medolla. The Wine Spectator gave their 2002 Merlot an 88. Howard G. Goldberg practically wrote the winery a love letter in the New York Times when he reviewed the wine.The Long Island Wine Press also sang their praises.

They buy grapes from other vineyards, and hand harvest them. The wine is a touch of a rustic edge, but in fact it is a polished wine. And they make only 500 cases each year. A classic small, boutique winery. And a great find!!!!

This is a medium bodied wine. It's dark, earthy, and chewy. Nice fruit flavors up front. Plum, blackberry, and dried cherry. A touch of toffee? A nice, smooth, dry finish. A fabulous dry, red wine. A great, great food wine, which is what it was meant to be. Great pasta, steak, pizza, or portobello mushrooms - everythign from mundane to gourmet. It's the kind of wine you can entertain friends and family with - and impress them. A fabulous find. A nice wine. And a great guy.

It's a wine his grandmother Madelena and grandfather Antonio would be very, very proud of. And it's a wine my wife and I will share....greedily. Congrats John and Denise!