The 2012 vintage of Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s flagship wine, Christian’s Cuvée Merlot, named in honor of founder Christian Wölffer, will be released this Friday, August 14 in its handsome new “gold” packaging. 2012 was one of the best vintages on Long Island. It began the 2012/2013/2014 trilogy that wine lovers revere.
Wölffer Winemaker Roman Roth says, “2012 was the perfect growing season to ripen healthy and intense fruit with wonderful aromatics. Thanks to an early spring and a warm summer, the mature grapes were safely picked by the time Hurricane Sandy blew in, and delivered ripe and lush fruit flavors.”
And 2015 could be another banner year, if the weather doesn’t change.
Wölffer wine club members enjoyed the very first taste of this exceptional wine at a “Grilling with Roman” event on Wednesday, August 12. As Roth says, “This is a wine that should be experienced with your eyes closed, not distracted by the demands of the day. Inhale the deep aromas of cranberries, lilac, mushrooms, wet forest floor, sandalwood, vanilla and licorice. Take a sip and savor this wine’s amazing concentration and depth. There is rich ripe fruit at its core: blackberries, ripe black cherries, prunes and figs. Layers of velvet tannins make this wine a powerhouse and, together with notes of licorice, leather, toasted oak and dark chocolate, a classic wine of the highest caliber. The finish is long and tightly woven with wonderful waves of lingering flavor, leaving a lasting impression.”
It’s a big wine that Roth encourages oenophiles to allow to develop for “five, ten, fifteen years.” Of course no one waited to consume it at the dinner. Glasses were raised and the first pouring was devoured in minutes.
The 2010 Christian’s Cuvée Merlot is long sold out.
The Facts About Christian’s Cuvée Merlot
96.5% merlot from Wölffer’s oldest merlot vines, planted in 1990, and 3% cabernet sauvignon and 0.5% petit verdot from Sam McCullough’s North Fork vineyard.
Serve slightly below room temperature. Pair this special wine with big flavors, such as lamb, steak, aged cheeses and good quality chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. Or enjoy it on its own.
The vines from which it was made—their oldest merlot—receive the ultimate care and attention to detail. No expense is spared in the creation of this merlot—Long Island’s signature variety—as a wine that can stand with the very best in the world.
The healthy grapes were carefully hand-picked and -sorted on October 22, 2012, and after additional rigorous sorting on Wölffer’s sorting table, fermented in a 6,000-liter upright French oak tank reserved for only the flagship wine. The peak fermentation temperature was 90° F with a total extended maceration of 30 days on the skin. Pump-overs were done meticulously three times a day (every 8 hours) during the peak of fermentation, and the wine was gently pressed, and the press-fraction separated. After eight days of settling, the wine went straight into French oak barriques (60% new), where malolactic fermentation finished 100%. Extensive blending trials were conducted—and the final blend was created in October 2013. The blended wine spent a total of 19 months in French oak and was gently racked a total of four times. The finished wine was bottled on June 24, 2014. Only 2,610 standard (750 ml.) bottles and 48 magnum (1.5 L) bottles were produced.
Suggested Retail Price: $100 per bottle