Channing Daughters, Long Isand (New York) “Rosso Fresco” 2019

($23):  Channing Daughters has always been an oddball on Long Island.  Firstly, the deceased Walter Channing founded the winery on Long Island’s South Fork, as opposed to the North Fork where 90 percent of Long Island’s wineries are located.  Secondly, he planted oddball grapes — at least for Long Island —  including Dorfelder and Lagrein, to name just two.  This “where’s the kitchen sink” blend of Merlot (75%), Petit Verdot (12%), Cabernet Franc (6%), the aforementioned Dornfelder (4%) and Syrah, works beautifully.  The back label describes it as a “fun wine,” (isn’t all wine fun) which always makes me suspicious that it replaces structure with sweetness.  Not so.  This mid-weight red is charming and cheery with just the right amount of backbone.  A great surprise.  Its low-tannin profile means it will take a chill nicely and deliver far more pleasure than most Rosés.
88 Michael Apstein Jan 25, 2022