I have decided that it’s more productive to cover the North Fork Trip as a general overview of the travel experience, and continue to hone in on specific wines that really made an impression on me in individual reviews. Last week I covered the Paumanok Assemblage, and I have another wine of theirs to review in the coming days. But today I am covering an unexpected little gem, the Bedell Cellars 2010 First Crush. The label says ‘red table wine,’ but it’s really much better than that. It is made from the first harvested grapes of the vintage, and is meant to serve a second purpose of being ‘a preview of the new vintage.’ They make this wine in both red and white, and there’s now a bottle of the white in my collection just waiting to be opened. I had gone through the First Crush red pretty soon after we returned from our trip in March. I was thrilled to find it in the wine shop just down the street from my sister-in-law’s in Park Slope, Brooklyn this past weekend. So I brought another one home, and a First Crush white, as we had not recalled trying that one at the tasting. This wine was then and is now delicious. It’s reminiscent of a Beaujolais in that it is bursting with very bright fruit. The color was a ruby with a medium intensity. On the nose you are instantly struck with bright wild strawberry, raspberry and cherry. The tannins were noticeably firm and the body, alcohol, and acidity were also making a strong showing. You get the same bright, wild sweet red fruit on the palate as the nose, and a nice finish. Also like a Beaujolais, carbonic maceration is employed to maintain the youth of the wine so I’d expect this to be best young. This one certainly won’t last the night! It is a blend of 76% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc. In fact this is the winery where I first had a Cabernet Franc on its own and it blew me away. Here I was thinking it was just a blend wine. Here too the Cabernet Franc shines. I tasted through about 7 wines overall, picking one of their many flights, all reds in this case. This was my favorite in the flight. Everything was wonderful and I brought home about 5 wines from Bedell that day. This one is just as good the second time.