Something to Wine About: Raphael’s 2017 La Fontana

Raphael's 2017 La Fontana
Raphael’s 2017 La Fontana

Spring is finally in the air, and while the threat of snow can’t completely be ruled out as winter tries to hold on with its icy claws, the spring flowers are defiantly pushing through the soil here on the East End. And with that lovely change comes the time for slightly lighter or more medium-bodied reds. One red that fits the bill perfectly is the 2017 La Fontana from the Raphael vineyard and winery.

This beautiful Bordeaux-style blend is incredibly reminiscent of the true Bordeaux wines found in the Côtes de Bordeaux region of France. This similarity isn’t completely surprising as both Long Island and the Bordeaux region of France share a maritime climate. The blend of this stunning wine is 33% cabernet sauvignon, 29% petit verdot, 26% merlot, 6% cabernet franc and 6% malbec. The grapes used to produce this wine are hand-harvested and hand-sorted. The wine is fermented separately and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels before blending. The care placed in the creation of this lovely wine by winemaker Julie Petrocelli Vergari results in extremely fresh flavors with bright cheery notes, light notes of anise, soft velvety tannins, and a long, persistent, dry finish. This is not an over-oaked or overripe wine. The flavors are complex and lyrical, and they complement, not compete, with a large variety of foods.

This would be a wonderful wine for Easter dinner. Whether you are serving Virginia ham, roast pork or lamb, the balanced acidity of this wine will help the flavors to sing without overpowering the meal. After dinner, this wine could also be served with cheesecake or dark chocolate. The 2017 La Fontana retails for $29, and if you are hosting Easter dinner, it might be best to have at least two bottles on hand.

For more info about the Raphael vineyard and their wines, visit

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