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The Lenz Winery

The Lenz Winery THE LENZ WINERY is located in Peconic, on the North Fork of Long Island, in New York. We are a relatively small winery, making wines to exacting standards. Most of our wines are estate bottled, meaning they are made from grapes grown entirely in our own vineyards. Our aim is that each wine we release will be among the very best of its type, made anywhere in the world.

From the west, (Manhattan, New Jersey) follow the Long Island Expressway (US 495) east to exit 73. Take Route 58 east to Route 25 and keep going until you get to Peconic. We're on the left.

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Address Web Social
Route 25, Peconic Bay, NY, US, 11958 Email:
Phone: 631-734-6010 Web:
Fax: 631-734-6069
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  1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Selection
This 1999 cabernet, from somewhat younger vines, offers appealing cabernet character, with red fruit flavors and aromas, at an attractive price.
  "Estate Selection" Merlot
Estate Selection is a new designation for Lenz merlots. As we explain in more detail in the News section of the website, we have revised our production philosophy for Lenz reds, especially the merlots. Where our designations used to be, in descending price order, "Estate Bottled," "Vineyard Selection," and "Reserve," they are now "Old Vines," "Estate Selection" and plain "Merlot." This is not just a name change, it is a change in approach that we believe has made each wine better — and better value. The new "Estate Selection" merlot, in particular, shows this change to good advantage. It has more of the richness, depth and complexity that used to be the more exclusive hallmark of the Estate Bottle merlot.
  "White Label" Chardonnay
In recent professional blind tastings, Lenz White Label chardonnays have scored higher than several Puligny Montrachets and even top-flight Meursaults at prices from $30 to $70. The 2003 White Label Chardonnay has the trademark Lenz brightness and lively acidity. Its crisp, fresh flavor is well balanced by subtle and rich oak barrel components. The fresh, fruity aromas promise - - and then deliver - - creamy apple and pear flavors. White Label chardonnay continues to be our most popular wine and, with a run of six spectacular vintages in a row, it ís becoming a classic. A wonderful example of a great chardonnay at a very attractive price.
  ‘Old Vines’ Merlot
Without a doubt the finest merlot Lenz has produced to date. Just try it.
  1991 Cuvée RD
Sparkling wines improve with age in the bottle before they undergo the finishing steps that precede corking. But once these steps have been taken they should - - like beer - - be drunk relatively soon. When we sell out of a particular sparkling wine vintage, we usually hold back 60 or 70 cases to continue aging and improving in the bottle. We recently sold out of the wine finished in this way from 1990 and finished a small quantity from the excellent and well-aged 1991 vintage. The French refer to Champagnes made using this 'late-finishing' process as 'RD', or Récemment dégorgé (recently disgorged). The 1991 is rich and sumptuous where the current-release 1996 is fresh and vibrant. Like RD wines in general, the 1991 has certain nutty earthiness that comes with the process, overlaying the original - - but muted - - fruit base of the wine.
  1997 ‘Old Vines’ Merlot Magnum
Lenz became known for its merlots starting with the 1985 vintage. The 1993 was, at the time, far and away the best yet produced, and the 1994 was another blockbuster. The 1995 vintage was also warm and dry and it led to the richest, roundest Estate Bottled merlot we had made -- more voluptuous than the 1993. 1996 was not as generous, however. It was a cool vintage that took forever to ripen the grapes. If it had not been for a long spell of fine weather in October, we would never have picked at all! And then there was the 1997. From this amazing vintage, we knew from the start that we had a blockbuster merlot on our hands. From vines that were then nearly twenty years old and producing fine grapes in low, two-and-a-half tons per acre yields, we harvested super-ripe grapes in late October. The wine tasted terrific at every step along the way and it was an effort of will to age it in barrels, bottle it in mid 1999 and hold off releasing it until mid-summer this year (2000). In a blind tasting at the Gramercy Tavern that you can read about in the Tastings section of the site, the 1997 Lenz Estate Bottled merlot was rated higher than two separate vintages of Château Pétrus. The 1997 Pétrus costs $650 per bottle and the 1995 Pétrus costs $975 per bottle!
  2000 "Silver Label" Chardonnay
We have gone back and forth on the question of whether we want to make Silver Label a permanent part of our chardonnay line-up. We have decided that we will. In the past, the vineyard lots that might have contributed to Silver Label production went either to Gold Label in the best vintages or to White Label in standard vintages. Once in a while, we couldn't make up our minds and made a Silver Label! With increasing vineyard maturity and vine age (and with steadily improving vineyard management techniques), we have come to the conclusion that we should reserve certain vineyard blocks exclusively for Gold Label — and certain other blocks for Silver Label. As you will gather from this preamble, the wine has characteristics that are mid-way between the White Label and the Gold Label: the freshness and lively acidity of White Label, the richness and complexity of the Gold Label. The price is intermediate too!
The 1999 Cuvée sparkling wine is 70% Pinot Noir. These red grapes are whole cluster pressed to avoid color and tannin. They are then “cool” fermented in stainless steel tanks. The Pinot Noir contributes fresh cherry-like fruit with crisp, clean acidity. Chardonnay makes up the remaining 30% and is whole cluster pressed, then barrel-fermented and completes a second (Malo-Lactic) fermentation. The Chardonnay contributes a rich and creamy complexity. The wine is fermented in the bottle in the traditional Méthode Champenoise style. It is left 6 years surlie for further richness and complexity. Finished in a “dry” style, this is meant to be a dinner wine and can be served with almost any meal appropriate for white wine.
  Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
The year 2000 gave us a perfect growing season for reds here on the North Fork, and especially for cabernet. 2002 may well prove to be a legendary vintage for Long Island reds. This Cabernet Sauvignon has an amazing concentration of flavors: an intense raspberry and black-cherry nose with very rich and forward red-fruit flavors. Its smooth, ripe tannins provide a long, long, soft finish. Statement of fact: this is the best cabernet sauvignon made yet at Lenz . Statement of opinion: this is the best cabernet sauvignon made yet on Long Island.
The 2003 vintage was a lot like the 2000. A gewürztraminer with a beautiful balance between fruit and spice. Loads of rose-petal notes and traditional lychee flavors. Absolutely delicious.
  Merlot (Non Vintage)
Every once in a while we release a merlot that is blended from complementary components that happened to be from different vintages - - in this case from 1997 and 1998. This one has the rich basics of soft plummy, red-fruit flavors you expect from every Lenz merlot.
  Pinot Noir, Estate Bottled
We have occasionally used some of our pinot noir grapes to make a still red wine. Early experiments (in '91, '93, and '95) had mixed reviews, though generally quite good. We weren't satisfied though and came back again to try in 1997 and 1998. These two vintages are clearly the best yet — and we made a reasonable quantity too, not just a 60-70 case test. The 1997 had clear pinot noir character, with rich red cherry aromas and flavors. And the just-released 1998 is similar, only a little richer.


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