Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2005 Waters Crest Campania Rosso

Type Red
Producer Waters Crest
Variety Red Bordeaux Blend (73% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Designation Campania Rosso
Country USA
Region New York
SubRegion Long Island
Appellation North Fork
Disclosure This was received as an unsolicited free sample.

The Little Wooden Guy dances a little jig for a nice surprise from Long Island.

Night One

The nose on this wine is quite pleasant. The opening aromas speak more of Bordeaux than California or Australia, more restrained than jammy, with layers of scent rather than an oak bucket full of jelly dumped on your head. It opens with a bit of tobacco (from the Cab Franc) and unsweetened chocolate, followed by raspberry, some blackberry, then a whole bunch of eucalyptus and a bit of peppermint.

The palate has cherries and raspberries, blackcurrants, tobacco leaf and black pepper. Some red cherry licorice and vanilla are on the mid-palate. Tannins are smooth and quite sweet. The finish is surprisingly long.

Night Two

Interesting. The nose lacks the complexity of Night One. Cherries and some blackcurrant are there, but the tobacco, raspberry, chocolate, and most of all eucalyptus, are all missing. There is, instead of all that, just a bit of vanilla.

On the palate, too, complexity is gone. On Night One this wine sang "Bordeaux" from the glass. On Night Two, though, the song is "Cal-i-fornia Here I Come." Cherries, plum and plum skin lead the attack. Cedar and vanilla, followed by brown sugar, follow on the mid-palate, with the tiniest background echo of tobacco from the Cabernet Franc. Mouth feel remains silky. Tannins are still very sweet. The finish is sweet and long. Drink this one soon. It is ready now, not years from now.

This wine really caught me by surprise. I admit, the Waters Crest wines are the first I ever had from Long Island, and I was not optimistic. Of course, the fact that they sent their wines to The Wooden Guys to review, rather than a site that only posts positive reviews, should have been a hint. On the other hand, wine is more than just juice, and every bottle is the winemaker's baby, and who looks at their own kid and says "she really ain't that cute"? Well let me tell you something, people, she's pretty darned cute. Will anybody confuse this for a 1982 first growth? No, of course not. But line it up blind with a 2001 third growth and darned near anything from Napa in the last ten years, and it will come in, at worst, second. Indeed, I would bet you most people would guess "two from Bordeaux, one from California." I think the mail order retail is under $40, and given the brown sugar and molasses mess you get in so many Cabernets in that price range, this is pretty darned good stuff.

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