Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Channing Daughters Winery 2004 L'Enfant Sauvage Chardonnay  (Hamptons Long Island)

Channing Daughters Winery

2004 L'Enfant Sauvage Chardonnay
(Hamptons Long Island)

Long Island is a cool-climate wine region and the South Fork, also known as the Hamptons, is actually even cooler. The growing season is typically ten or so days shorter, making it perhaps better suited to white wines than red. Channing Daughters Winery, one of three wineries in the Hamptons region is doing some of the most exciting things with white wine on the entire East Coast. But, they think it's only natural.

"Like Friuli, we are a maritime, cool-climate wine-grape growing region," says winemaker Christopher Tracy. "This is an excellent opportunity for white grapes to achieve optimum ripeness, flavor and acidity levels year in and year out. The soil and the landscape of the Isonzo region in Friuli especially bear these resemblances."

Tracy's evocation of Friuli is a unique one on an Island where everybody talks Bordeaux.

This wine, L'Enfant Sauvage or "Wild Child", gets its name from the fact that it is a Chardonnay fermented only with native, or wild, yeasts. The grapes come from Channing Daughters' Sculpture Garden and Brick Kiln vineyards, which were hand harvested and whole cluster pressed. The resulting juice took over a year to complete fermentation and spent 14 months in new French oak.

This is a wine I look forward to every year. Although still relatively young, it’s already a winner. Lush, intricate, and balanced, it is an ordinary enough light gold -- a color that belies it's full body, wonderfully complex aromas and delicious flavors. Fresh and roasted pears, vanilla spice, marzipan and baking spice mingle in the nose and on the palate, with faint honey notes and nicely balanced acidity and a little minerality.

Reviewed January 13, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Channing Daughters Winery
Vintage: 2004
Wine: L'Enfant Sauvage Chardonnay
Appellation: Hamptons Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 1/13/2007

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.