The North Fork is home to many fascinating wineries and vineyards, including Bedell Cellars Winery. Bedell is owned by Michael Lynne, co-chair and co-CEO of New Line Cinema, and the man behind countless movies including The Lord of the Rings franchise and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. His vineyard, now 30 years old, is among the first to plant grapes on the North Fork. It is run by CEO Trent Preszler and pioneering winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine ranks the Bedell Tasting room among the “Top 25 Tasting Rooms in America.” It’s a beautiful place, with a rustic feel, and is always bustling with energy and sophistication.
Simply put, Bedell is a very cool place to drink very good wine. But how good? I had to find out.
The most notable bottle of wine Bedell sells is their Musée red blend, which retails for approximately $70. Bedell’s flagship red blend received 91 points from Wine Spectator, the highest score that publication has ever awarded to a red wine from Eastern North America. The bottle itself is beautiful and is made from a thicker glass than other wine bottles. The first flavors that hit me were blueberries, cranberries and raspberries. It’s a fruity wine, offers a rustic licorice taste at the finish, and is heavy in the mouth. This is a deep red wine. I also tasted a lot of oak and wood, which I found to be somewhat of a Bedell signature with their reds, which lets you know that the vineyard appreciates wood barrel wine making. Musée is a damn fine wine, it presents extreme luxury while drinking, feels rich in your mouth, and is quite possibly one of the best wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking.
The next bottle I tried was the 2009 First Crush red. This retails for $18. It is very oaky and woody, but it is not a heavy red, it’s a little light. The most noticeable sensation I got from this wine was how easy and pleasant it is to drink. There is no strong, wincing after-taste that happens with nearly all red wine.
A few days later I tried out the 2010 Taste Rosé. I tried this on a Sunday with a wonderful cheese spread and drank it chilled. This is quite possibly the best way to enjoy this bottle and is a great way to spend an afternoon. The wine is slightly tart, with citrus, grapefruit and orange—and just a hint of carbonation—that really brings it to the next level in terms of pleasure.
The 2008 Bedell Taste red, again, like nearly every bottle of wine produced by Bedell, has an extremely stylish label of a gorgeous woman. I highly recommend this wine as your everyday red, as it retails for $35 and is extremely good. The Taste Red has a really complex flavor. It is slightly sweet with a lot of fruit and an oak after-taste. Next to Musée, this is my favorite wine of all the Bedell wines I tried. Its mouth feel is medium, there is no tartness to the wine, which makes it incredibly smooth, and it is pure pleasure to drink. Its appearence is very dark in color, and it is perfectly balanced in flavor. I found myself enjoying a glass and wanting more. I can think of no more perfect red that the 2008 Bedell Taste. If Musée is a bit out of your budget, this is the bottle to get, hands down.
The 2008 Merlot has a standard grey label, and is a lovely, classic merlot. It is dry, not fruity, and a deep red, with earthy and woody notes. It’s not a loud wine, their merlot is unassuming and moderate, a good everyday wine. I felt strongly that Bedell set out to make a fine merlot when making this, and did not want to mess with the grape, but wanted to embrace how pleasantly merlot can stand on its own. There are no tricks with the 2008 Merlot, the word, “classic” kept coming to my mind as I drank it. I enjoyed a home-cooked filet mignon with it and loved the pairing.
The 2008 Bedell Gallery white wine was so easy to drink it sort of threw me off guard. I’m not much of a white wine drinker because I’ve always felt that the differences in taste were very noticeable. Chilled or with ice, this wine is well balanced, with a slight pepper after-taste. Drinking this wine gives off an extremely clean, fresh and crisp feeling. I tasted peaches and honey on my palate, with almost a creamy mouth feel. Only 225 cases were made of this wine, which makes it very special. Peaches and honey are among my favorite flavors, and this wine takes these flavors to another level. It is a blend of 61% Chardonnay, 31% Viognier, 8% Sauvignon Blanc fermented and aged in French oak for eight months. The bottle is also striking with specially commissioned label art by Ross Bleckner. I also highly, highly, highly recommend this bottle. You can’t miss with this. [/expand]