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Tasting Notes: Peconic's New Release Red, Black Labels

Cutchogue winery offers entry-level red label wines, in addition to new, high-end estate blend.

This past winter, released, including a two entry-level wines dubbed "red label," and a black label, high-end wine it calls its Lowerre Family Estate.

We recently got a chance to try these new local wines.

The first of the entry-level Lot #1 2009 red, made from 100 percent merlot grapes and aged for a short time in French oak barrels.

In the glass, clean aromas of a bing cherry, red currant and red plum mix with faint iron notes and hints of wet stone. The oak is barely noticeable on the nose. As for the palate, the wine is tight and tart, with cedar notes, red pie cherry and tart plum fruit, dusty tannins and herbal lavender-like undertones on the finish. The wine, which softens as it opens up, has good acid and a pithy finish that lingers. It  sells for $20.

Peconic's second red label, the 2009 Lot #2, is a blend of 40 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet franc and 20 percent cabernet sauvignon that also sees minimal oak aging. On the nose, the wine shows dried strawberry, red currant and ripe cherry fruit, a touch of cherry candy, pronounced mineral notes, woodsy hints and faint notes of fresh, stemmy herbs.

On the palate, the wine, which also sells for $20, is juicy and fruit driven, with cherry and raspberry fruit, some mineral flavors, hints of cedar and nice acid on finish. Soft and pleasant.

On the other end of the spectrum is Peconic's black label 2007 Lowerre Family Estate, a blend fo 60 percent merlot, 38 percent cabernet sauvignon and 2 percent cabernet franc that the winery sells for $56 a bottle.

The wine spends 26 months in French oak before being bottled.

On the nose, the wine shows a complex panoply of smoke, violet, dark fruits, Bing cherry, red pepper and huge flinty mineral notes. There's plenty of oak, but it's clean and cedary. The longer the wine is open the darker the fruit becomes and the more herbal notes bloom in the glass.

On the palate, the blend is full of dark fruit with notes of blackberry, coffee, cedar and sweet herbs with a long finish that shows off the coffee, cedar and spice. It's got firm tannins, yet the wine never feels weighty. It has plenty of life, but it's very approachable.

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