Take a sip of Bedell Cellars‘ delicious 2010 musée and you might wish you didn’t like it so much.
That’s because it makes many other North Fork wines, especially those at the other end of the price spectrum, pale in comparison.
“It kind of spoils you for anything else,” tasting room staffer Jack Hurley told us during a recent visit.
Full, big and rich, this red blend — made only from Long Island’s best vintages — is by many accounts one of the region’s better wines.
But what makes it so yummy?
“It starts with the vintage, for sure” said Bedell winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich, adding that 2010 is widely known to be one of Long Island’s better years. “For me, it is a powerful, classically styled red with a lot of structure, a lot of fruit, a lot of dark berry characteristics. It has a little bit of earthiness that reflects the soil.”
The wine, which sells for $90 a bottle in the tasting room, contains 65 percent merlot, 30 percent cabernet sauvignon, three percent petit verdot and two percent syrah.
“Musée is our ultimate expression of North Fork terroir,” reads the description on Bedell’s website. “The wine is powerful, with a show-stopping core of ripe fruit and a complex array of flavors and textural nuances.”
Olsen-Harbich said Bedell bottled a 2012 vintage of musée, which has yet to be released, and the 2013 vintage is still aging in barrels.
“It’s awaiting the time when we feel it is ready,” Olsen-Harbich said.
The word musée, which means museum in French, is fitting given Bedell’s connection to the modern art world. Vineyard owner Michael Lynne sits on the board of the Museum of Modern Art and several bottles feature the works of well-known contemporary artists on their labels.
Musée, for instance, features a daguerreotype of a Bedell grape cluster by Chuck Close on its label.
The wine has received numerous accolades since its release in 2013.
James Suckling, former editor of Wine Spectator, gave the wine a 92-point score on his blog JamesSuckling.com in 2012. It also received a 91-point rating from Wine Spectator.
Pair this wine with a hearty cut of beef.
“This is a wine to me that screams ‘I need a steak,'” Hurley said. “This is not a cheese and crackers wine.”
Bedell Cellars is located at 36225 Main Road in Cutchogue.