Saturday Night Wine: Nautique Esprit de Rouge, Long Island

Saturday Night Wine: Nautique Esprit de Rouge, Long Island

So first of all, I hate this packaging. Hate. The sloping bottle, the faux Frenchiness of the name, the vertical label…I guess they’re trying to be creative here, but to me it comes across as tacky and cheap. I got this wine through my subscription to the New York Cork Club, a wine club of New York-only wines run by my friend Lenn. He rarely steers me wrong, so I decided to look past the packaging (did I mention that I hate it?) and give it a try.

The wine is 95% Merlot, with the rest coming from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. There’s no vintage on the label, although all the fruit is from the 2007 vintage. The nose is raspberry, earth, and black cherry, with a hint of cinnamon and mint. On the palate it’s medium-plus bodied, with soft, pretty cherry fruit and a surprisingly long finish for a $16 wine. It’s one of the riper-tasting Long Island wines I’ve had in a while, and I think this bottle would do a good job of convincing the skeptic that New York can make the kind of well-made, easy-drinking wines that California, Australia, and Chile churn out in vast quantities.

Well done. Now if only they could fix the packaging.

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