Shinn Estate was our second stop of the day on our tour of the North Fork, and it is a quaint and charming winery. We got meet several people very involved with the winery, including the owners David and Barbara, as well as the winemaker Patrick. I love to visit small, family owned wineries like this where access to people involved in the vineyards and making the wine is possible.
Shinn makes a broad array of wines, starting with a grassy 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (First Fruit Savignon Blanc $22) and the crisp 2010 Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon Blend (Haven $35). Many wineries in the area suffered terrible losses from Hurricane Irene so I was pleased to see a 2011 wine on the list.
My favorites were the rich and smooth reds; the 09 Estate Merlot ($26) was silky with firm tannins, and even though this wine clearly can last a good 5-10 years, it was easy to drink in its youth. The 09 Wild Boar Doe ($37) is a right bank Bordeaux blend (primary grape is Merlot) that I recommend trying as well. The star for me, however, was the 08 Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot ($42) with its alluring dark fruit aromas and smooth, silky tannins.
Shinn also has a B&B on the property for those looking for an extended visit. The owners are former chefs and prepare the meals for the B&B guests so I can only imagine how wonderful an overnight visit would be.