If you’re a long-time Long Island wine lover, you may remember Ternhaven Cellars, Harold Watts’ old winery with tasting room in Greenport. Back in the mid-2000s, Watts sold his five-acre Cutchogue vineyard to Lisa and Anthony Sannino of Sannino Vineyard. Their house and their bed and breakfast are nestled among those vines.
When the Sannino brand was founded, it was as a custom winemaking center. If you wanted to make a barrel of red wine, you — perhaps along with some friends — could purchase a membership and do just that, with Anthony, who had been a home winemaker for many years, helping in the cellar. I still have some 2007 Merlot that I made with him and it’s delicious a decade later.
You can still do that at Sannino, but the wines he’s making himself for the label are the real draw, particularly the reds.
Our “Wine of the Week,” Sannino Vineyard 2014 Merlot ($25) is well-priced and should appeal to a great many palates.
Plum and black cherry fruit aromas are layered with cigar tobacco, licorice, spice and just the most subtle dried herb notes on a complex nose that changes with time in the glass. Medium bodied and buoyed by fresh acidity, the palate is lithe and fruit forward with dark fruits and more of that tobacco and spice savoriness. The tannins aren’t intense, bringing just a little grip at the end.
Enjoy this one with most any pasta preparation or pepperoni pizza. It’s available for $25 at the Sannino’s tasting room on Peconic Lane in Peconic.