Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Jamesport Vineyards 2005 Reserve Chardonnay  (North Fork of Long Island)

Jamesport Vineyards

2005 Reserve Chardonnay
(North Fork of Long Island)

In simple terms, malolactic fermentation turns the acid that makes green apples tart and turns it into the acid found in milk - resulting in a softer, rounder mouthfeel and different flavors and aromas.

Even if you don't know about ML-as wine geeks like to call malo-lactic fermentation-you've probably smelled it in your average glass of Chardonnay. Especially if it's from California..For many years, the round, fuller body of full ML dominated the American Chardonnay scene. Luckily, people are getting sick of those unbalanced, flabby wines and local winemakers are respondly-happily.

Les Howard of Jamesport Vineyards is one such winemaker. His new Jamesport Vineyards 2005 Reserve Chardonnay shows how judicious use of oak and ML can lead to a combination of rich flavors and food-friendly acidity. In fact, he says, "I have never liked over-oaked Chardonnay and I believe Long Island Chardonnay should never go through complete malolactic fermentation. It is better with some ML and not too flat or buttery."

For this wine 21 percent was fermented in stainless steel and the rest in oak. A medium golden color, the aromas are lightly fruity and are dominated by toasted marshmallows and spice with a little pear and lemon peel in the background. Full bodied - but not heavy - the flavors are complex and layered - citrus, pear, vanilla, butterscotch and burnt sugar mingle nicely. But, by keeping ML from running to completely, Howard has preserved nice acidity on the finish to balance a creamy mid-palate. Think of this wine as slightly California in style, but better because it shows none of the flabbiness and overwhelming butter character.

Reviewed August 23, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Jamesport Vineyards
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Reserve Chardonnay
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $20.95

Review Date: 8/23/2007

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.