Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Peconic Bay Winery 2005 Steel Fermented Chardonnay  (North Fork of Long Island)

Peconic Bay Winery

2005 Steel Fermented Chardonnay
(North Fork of Long Island)

I can still remember my first sip of Peconic Bay Winery's steel fermented Chardonnay like it was yesterday. I had just moved to Long Island and was then only flirting with the region and its wines. This flirtation has since become an all-out love affair and I count this wine as one that stoked the fire of my neophyte palate.

At the time, my vision of Chardonnay was of the flabby butter bombs with big everything – oak, vanilla, fruit – that I had tasted from both Australia and California. Based on my early experiences with those wines, I used to always say "No thanks, I don't like Chardonnay" when presented with a pour at a tasting room. Then I tried this wine and my eyes were opened for the very first time.

It was then that I finally tasted what Chardonnay tasted like – the grape, not the winemaker's influence. I was hooked and have since found that Long Island winemakers are realizing that they needn't put such a heavy footprint on this grape. Particularly in recent years, you can find many no-oak and judiciously oaked Chardonnays that I not only like, I embrace them for their balance and refinement.

2005, a particularly hot, dry year on Long Island, has produced many big-fruit, low-acid whites – a style that just doesn't appeal to me. Local whites are at their best when the cool night winds off the Atlantic Ocean or other surrounding bays preserve fresh, food-friendly acidity within the just-ripe grapes. I was worried that 2005 might strip this wine of its freshness, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got this bottle.

Fresh on the nose with almost Sauvignon Blanc-like grapefruit and other citrus aromas, there is also a faint mineral note that adds interest. The palate is just as fresh, with a light, lithe body with loads of citrus and terrific acidity. Not a wine to be pondered or – heaven-forbid, cellar – it's a mouth-watering wine for sure.

Reviewed March 12, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.


Other Awards & Accolades

Gold Medal - Taster's Guild International Wine Competition
Silver Medal - Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
Silver Medal - International Eastern Wine Competition
Silver Medal - Florida State Fair
Silver Medal - Taster's Guild International Wine Competition

The Wine

Winery: Peconic Bay Winery
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Steel Fermented Chardonnay
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $18.00

Review Date: 3/12/2007

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.