Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Raphael 2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay  (North Fork of Long Island)


2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay
(North Fork of Long Island)

One of the greatest things about Long Island wines is their food-friendly attributes. Many are fruit-forward, but they almost never plunge into the overtly fruity, high-alcohol pool of New World wines. Alcohol levels usually hover around the 12-13 percent level as well--so you can have two or three glasses of wine with dinner and not need a nap. Cool nights and ocean breezes help growing grapes retain their natural acidity too - another great benefit for those who like wine with food. A move away from heavy new oak - or at least more judicious use of said oak - also results in wines ideally suited to table time.

A clean, refreshing new white, Raphael's 2006 Grand Cru Chardonnay ($16) is made entirely in stainless steel tanks - the way winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich thinks local Chardonnay shines most brightly. The nose is somewhat austere, but offers lightly fruity pear and melon aromas with a wonderful smell of the sea in the background. That almost-salty minerality carries through and drives the palate with the pear and melon character taking a step back. Medium bodied with substantial--but balanced--natural acidity, this would make a great house wine this summer. The finish even lingers longer than expected.

Reviewed August 23, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Raphael
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Grand Cru Chardonnay
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $15.00

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.