Or at least take an esoteric one ;) The price tags of Long Island's wines have been bombarded from all angles, w/ their relative lack of quality at competitive price points being as redundant a theme as the next 'government bailout.' That said, Cabernet Franc shines just about as brightly in Long Island as it does anywhere else, and Schneider's line-up offers an uncompromising, hand-crafted sense of versatility & complexity from top to bottom. Before the proverbial 'sighs' are released from the frugal audience of naysers, the wine I'm referring to checks in at a relatively modest 20 dollars or so. I am not simply challenging you to try the wine, but I'm triple-dog daring you to find a Loire competitor that can bring this much qualit
y to the table for a similar tariff. While you may not have much of a problem finding a worthy competitor, I doubt a 20-something Loire based Franc exists that can outclass this obscure little North Fork gem.
Schneider Le Breton Cabernet Franc, '07
From the highly touted 2007 vintage, Schneider checks in w/ another winner from their deep stable of Cabernet Franc cuvees. The obvious Loire inspiration shines brightly here, w/ a Chinon-like perfume of wild raspberry, red currant paste, graphite, wilted rose, underbrush and pipe tobacco notes. Though frank and almost vigorous at first, the mouthfeel reels in all of its funky flavors w/ supple precision (a sense of refinement that I find lacking in most Long Island Cabernet Francs). Juicy & wild, yet tamed, Schneider's wines continue to demonstrate that Franc's character alone won't put the North Fork on the map, but a touch of finesse goes a long way, 89+ points.