PAUMANOK MERLOT, NORTH FORK OF LONG ISLAND 2016

$27.99
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The 2016 Merlot was aged for 14 months in neutral French oak and comes in at 12.5% alcohol. This will not be released until December, which seems overly cautious. It is drinking pretty well now. A fine effort in Paumanok's mid-range, this is solid in the mid-palate, textured with a bit of silk and shows nice grip on the very respectable finish. It still has an impeccably balanced and fresh feel (although it doesn't seem to have the slightly tart edge of the 2015). Most impressive is its complexity. It is already developing the nuances you expect from refined Merlot. I'm liking this a lot at the moment. Hopefully, when it is released, it will be even more interesting. It may yet be able to improve.