Searching for Long Island’s Oldest Wine Vintage

Coffee Pot Cellars’ 2013 Merlot with a Monarch Butterfly it supported; a selection of Borghese Vineyard wines including the 2015 Afterglow, Photos: Laura Klahre, Barbara Lassen

Upon congratulating the East End’s young wine class of 2019, it seemed unfair to overlook the eldest wines in the area, especially when this beloved elixir truly gets better with age. The search begins for the oldest wine vintage available at each Hamptons and North Fork winery, specifically in their online stores where these libations can be ordered for pickup or shipped right to our spacious wine cellars.


Lieb Cellars’ 2017 Estate Sparkling Rosé: Made with 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, this refreshing sparkler offers delicate bubbles, zesty acidity and notes of peach and raspberry. 3050 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-1100, liebandco.com

Wölffer Estate grapes, Photo: Barbara Lassen



Roanoke Vineyards’ The Hill 2016: This site-specific blend comprises two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and 1/3 Cabernet Franc from the Twelve Rows block. Field blending, a technique that requires total knowledge of the vineyard and growing season, allowed the different varietals to begin harmonizing flavors before fermentation even began, and the resulting wine proves that Roanoke Vineyards’ willingness to risk some of their best grapes is key to achieving greatness. 3543 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-727-4161, roanokevineyards.net

Saltbird Cellars’ 2016 Harbinger Red Wine: Dark, sweet fruity aromas draw boysenberry and chocolate mint to the palate in this blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of currants, chicory and berries keep every sip fresh. 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. saltbirdcellars.com

Sannino Vineyard’s 2016 Francesco: This unique five-grape blend was created in honor of Anthony Sannino’s father and is meant to be enjoyed with good friends and great food. 15975 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734-8282, sanninovineyard.com

Sherwood House Vineyards’ Oregon Road Cabernet Franc 2016: A light-bodied and unoaked red wine with notes of red apple, raspberry and peppercorn, this accessible blend reflects the maritime terroir and pairs perfectly with local produce, fish and various East End dishes. 1291 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-779-3722, sherwoodhousevineyards.com

Shinn Estate Vineyards’ 2016 Estate Merlot: With aromas of sweet spices, toasted herbs, black cherry and chocolate, Shinn Estate’s signature Merlot is best enjoyed with hard cheese, pork, beef, charcuterie or chocolate. Enjoy a glass now or wait a few more years for the blend to complete its evolution. 2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck. 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com

Wölffer Estate’s Noblesse Oblige 2016: This Wölffer White Horse Selection sparkling wine is made from the vineyard’s signature rosé in an Extra Brut style, creating a seamless, harmonious elegance that excites the palate with each sip. 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack. 631-537-5106, wolffer.com


Borghese Vineyard’s 2015 Afterglow: Borghese’s star dessert wine is a fortified Cabernet Franc with a nose of dark, sweet cherry and cinnamon leading up to an intense palate of fig preserves and spice. This evocative wine is best enjoyed with rich chocolate dessert or cheese. 17150 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734-5111, castellodiborghese.com

Kontokosta Winery’s 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve: Sip and savor the flavors of dark cherry, white pepper and other notes in this unique blend. 825 North Road, Greenport. 631-477-6977, kontokostawinery.com

Suhru Wines’ 2015 Petit Verdot: Leafy aromatics give way to hints of cranberry and pomegranate that flow onto the palate with a hint of vanilla. 28735 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-603-8127, suhruwines.com


Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard’s Merlot 2014: Produced during a banner year for the vineyard, the Merlot exhibits flavors and aromas of blackberry, black cherry and plum, with hints of smoke and vanilla. The palate is structured and rich with mild tannins and a long, lingering finish. 2114 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow. 631-369-0100, baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com

Bedell Cellars’ Musée 2014: Bedell’s ultimate expression of North Fork terroir, the Musée boasts a powerful, show-stopping core of ripe fruit with a complex array of flavors and textures nuances. Wine Spectator agrees, this is one of New York’s best. 36225 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-7537, bedellcellars.com

Harbes Vineyard’s 2014 Barrel Fermented Merlot: This wine went through primary and secondary fermentation in oak barrels to become the New York Wine Classic gold medalist that it is today. Wine Enthusiast describes it as a “plusher, more voluptuous expression of sun-kissed berries and cherries, rich in body and texture.” 715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck. 631-298-9463, harbes-wines.square.site

Pindar Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Franc: This unfiltered red wine graces the senses with aromatic nuances of black plum, black cherry and chocolate, a balance of tannins and fruit and a delicate finish. 37645 Main Road, Peconic. 631-734-6200, pindar.net

Raphael’s 2014 Riesling Port: This delightful dessert wine is produced by fortifying Riesling grapes during fermentation with homemade grappa. It offers bright fruit flavors, fresh acidity and a balance of alcohol and residual sugar. 39390 Main Road, Peconic. 631-765-1100, raphaelwine.com

20150503 113212 e1470247263147
Jamesport Vineyards wines, Photo: Nicole Brewer



Anthony Nappa Wines’ 2013 Giallo: Literally named “yellow” in Italian, this unique late-harvest dessert wine was aged in un-topped French oak barrels and allowed to oxidize for two years. Wine Advocate describes it as tasting almost like a non-sugary, non-apple cider, while Wine Enthusiast praises its “luminous core of fresh fruit” featuring mango and orange peel flavors. 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic. 774-641-7488, anthonynappawines.com

Clovis Point’s 2013 Brut: “A vintage as good as 2013 is a rare and wonderful thing,” Clovis Point winemaker John Leo writes in his annual vintage notes. Made with grapes that grew through early season rain, a July hot spell and a mild August, the resulting sparkling wine is as remarkable as the vintage it hails from. 1935 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-722-4222, clovispointwines.com

Coffee Pot Cellars’ 2013 Merlot: This Wine Enthusiast Editors’ Choice Merlot offers graphite, spice and smoky aromas, with supple tannins and notes of vanilla, ending in a concentrated tart cherry finish. Through the Merlot for Monarchs Campaign, every bottle sold plants a milkweed at Blossom Meadow Farm to help restore the decimated monarch butterfly population. 31855 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631 765-8929, coffeepotcellars.com

Jamesport Vineyards’ 2013 Estate Glacé: Handpicked in late November after the grapes had frozen to the vine, this resilient white wine offers notes of baked apple, fresh brioche, honey and candied ginger. 1216 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-722-5256, jamesportwines.com

Jason’s Vineyard’s 2013 Malbec: Firm but balanced tannins lead to a clean finish in this estate-grown Malbec that boasts black cherries, cola and white pepper. Enjoy the fruit-forward blend now or wait a few years to meet the more elegant side of Malbec. 1785 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-238-5801, jasonsvineyard.com

Laurel Lake Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Reserve: Silver medalist at the 2019 New York Wine Classic, this opaque, substantial wine hits the palate with toasty, spicy oak and ripe berry flavors, an intense aroma and a velvety finish. It makes for an excellent sipping wine when dining on rich pasta or a hearty steak. 3165 Main Road, Laurel. 631-298-1420, llwines.com

The Old Field Vineyards’ 2013 Commodore Perry Merlot: An exceptional growing season produced a dark, rich wine with flavors of plum, dark cherry and tobacco. This versatile blend pairs well with a variety of meals. 59600 Main Road, Southold. 631-765-0004, theoldfield.com

One Woman Wines’ 2013 Reserve Merlot: Following in the footsteps of its 2012 vintage predecessor, which Wine Enthusiast described as “fruity but elegantly composed,” the 2013 wine gained rapid popularity for its bold flavor. 5195 Old North Road, Southold. 631-765-1200, onewomanwines.com

Paumanok Vineyards’ Apollo Drive Petit Verdot 2013: Made from 100% Petit Verdot from a single block on Apollo Drive, this is one of the finest red wines Paumanok has ever crafted. Spicy with concentrated black fruit flavors and ample tannins, this full-bodied wine is as black as ink though not as brooding as its dark color may imply. A Wine Advocate reviewer sums it up as “seductive, inviting and completely integrating…a big winner.” 1074 Main Road, Aquebogue. 631-722-8800, paumanok.com


Osprey’s Dominion’s Reserve Merlot 2012: Balanced and dense, this expressive red wine offers ripe plum and black cherry flavors framed by smoke and mineral notes, supported by firm, well-integrated tannins. 44075 Main Road, Peconic. 631-765-6188, ospreysdominion.com

Sparkling Pointe’s 2011 Brut Seduction pairs well with sweet treats, Photo: Courtesy Sparkling Pointe



Mattebella Vineyards’ 2011 Old World Blend: Made with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, this medium-body red wine features rose petals, blackberry, dark cherry with a hint of pomegranate flavors. The soft, feminine tannins and natural acidity lead to a long, clean finish with a tea-leaf nuance. 46845 Main Road, Southold. 631-655-9554, mattebella.com

Sparkling Pointe’s 2011 Brut Seduction: Discover a super organoleptic profile in this rare mature cuvée. The buttery, gold wine integrates aromas of brioche, almond and toffee with a hint of vanilla pastry, with notes of golden raspberry, honey and orange blossom. 39750 County Road 48, Southold. 631-765-0200, shop.sparklingpointe.com


Duck Walk Vineyards’ Sunset Dessert Wine 2010: This extraordinary white port is made from Chardonnay that’s been aged in old oak for eight years, creating a fortified wine that pairs well with fresh fruit, cheese and cake 44535 Main Road, Southold. 631-765-3500; 231 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. 631-726-7555, duckwalk.com

Macari Vineyards’ 2010 Bergen Road: Macari’s flagship red blend is only made with their top vintages, and this 10-year-old, complex, full-bodied wine certainly lives up to that high standard. With dark chocolate, vanilla and red fruit flavors and a touch of leather on the bouquet, it’s no wonder a Wine Advocate reviewer declared it “one of the finest moments Macari has had.” 150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck. 631-298-0100, macariwines.com


Palmer Vineyards’ Pasión 2008: Channeling their passion for winemaking, Palmer Vineyards captured the essence of Long Island’s Cabernet Franc grape with this rare late-harvest dessert wine. Eight years of aging in French oak barrels gives this wine a finesse that elevates the raspberry, cocoa, black pepper scents and plum, chocolate, vanilla flavors. 5120 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-722-9463, palmervineyards.com


McCall Wines’ 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve: Beginning with aromas of bright red fruit, tobacco and smoke, the first sip of this aged wine brings notes of toast, vanilla, strawberry and cherry, finishing with hints of leather and spice from McCall’s Burgundy-like terroir. 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-5764, mccallwines.com


Lenz Winery’s 2005 Cuvée RD: With the first batch of this popular sparkling wine sold out, Lenz Winery held back several dozen cases to continue the aging process, a practice the French use to create Récemment Dégorgé (RD) Champagne. This extra step brings out a rich, sumptuous, nutty earthiness that overlays the wine’s original muted fruit base. 38355 Main Road, Peconic. 631-734-6010, lenzwine.com

Channing Daughters Winery's 2004 Pazzo, Image: Courtesy Channing Daughters
Channing Daughters’ 2004 Pazzo

Pellegrini Vineyards’ 2005 Reserve: Dubbed “the pride of Pellegrini Vineyards,” this elegant red blend offers multiple layers of dark fruit, backed with bold tannins and a rich aroma. 23005 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-4111, pellegrinivineyards.com


Channing Daughters Winery’s 2004 Pazzo: Simply put, “Pazzo is delicious.” Literally put, “pazzo” is crazy in Italian. Now in its second bottling, this batch spent seven years in the barrel. Placed outside for several years, these barrels faced the heat of summer and cold of winter, creating a magical elixir of weathered aromas and flavors including figs, caramel, orange peel, Christmas spices, raspberry liqueur, nuts and dried fruit. 1927 Scuttlehole Road, Bridgehampton. 631-537-7224, channingdaughters.com

For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters hereSign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

More from our Sister Sites