Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Martha Clara Vineyards 2001 Blanc de Blanc  (North Fork of Long Island)

Martha Clara Vineyards

2001 Blanc de Blanc
(North Fork of Long Island)

Martha Clara Vineyards, best known in these parts for having a bevy of large- and small-scale wine events, is really coming on. And by that I mean that their wines are improving with each vintage.

When I first starting covering the region a several years ago, Martha Clara’s portfolio was firmly entrenched as one aimed at the white zinfandel set, not fine wine lovers. Standby wines like the sweet, Beagle-labeled rose are still the top sellers, but further down the tasting sheet you'll find some delicious wines.

Yes, the tasting room still overflows with new wine drinkers who prefer sweeter, simpler wines, but French-born winemaker Gilles Martin is starting to make his mark. His recent Riesling and Gewurztraminer releases have been impressive and Martin has started to take advantage of his vineyards' western North Fork location -- which has a longer growing season than those further east -- with rich, ripe reds.

Martin's "thing" is sparkling wine and the non-vintage Brut he's been making for a few years is one of Long Island's great bubbly values at around $21. This year, he's released a pair of vintage sparklers -- an alluring, easy-drinking rose brut that is just lightly pink-copper and this wine, my favorite, the 2001 Blanc de Blanc ($30).

Lively and super-fresh, the 2001 Blanc de Blanc is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and displays a lightly toasty nose with loads of apple, citrus and minerals. Clean citrus and apple flavors are framed by great acidity and a lingering finish. It's dry, but not harsh, making it perfect for appetizers and other light fare. As you look to New Year's eve, this is an excellent choice and one that I plan to enjoy.

Reviewed December 6, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Martha Clara Vineyards
Vintage: 2001
Wine: Blanc de Blanc
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $30.00

Review Date: 12/6/2006

The Reviewer

Lenn Thompson

Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,
Long Island Press, Long Island Wine Gazette, Edible East End
and Two words describe his taste in wine — balance and nuance. Lenn prefers food-friendly, elegant wines to jammy, over-extracted fruit bombs and heavy-handed oak. When reviewing, Lenn tastes each wine three times — alone right after opening, with food, and again the next day — believing that 90-second reviews are unrealistic and not how the average person enjoys wine.