Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Raphael 2006 Sauvignon Blanc  (North Fork of Long Island)


2006 Sauvignon Blanc
(North Fork of Long Island)

Lots of Long Island winemakers talk about the parallels between their own region and Bordeaux. Merlot and the Cabernets - Sauvignon and Franc - are clearly the dominant red grapes and they do well here (except maybe Sauvignon, which only thrives in the best years in the best locations). But, market conditions being what they are, most white wine made in these parts is made with Chardonnay, the white grape of Burgundy. Those wines can be simple and gulpable or rich, complex and truly Burgundian, but they are nothing like white Bordeaux, which are made with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Luckily, many of the region's top producers have been making some terrific Sauvignon Blancs that are some of the wines I'm most excited about. Richard Olsen-Harbich got his start in winemaking in the Finger Lakes, so it shouldn't be any surprise that the man knows what he's doing with aromatic, steel-fermented whites. His Raphael 2006 Sauvignon Blanc ($22) reflects that - as well as his dedication to Long Island's unique terroir.

Fermented entirely in stainless steel at 45 degrees, this wine is explosively aromatic on the nose with grapefruit and gooseberries accented by intense grassiness and salty minerality. Medium bodied and tremendously flavorful, it's citrusy, fresh and and deliciously tart with terrific acidity, hints of herb and minerals and a lingering, lemony finish. Local shellfish is the ideal match for this fine example of Long Island SB

Reviewed November 9, 2007 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: Raphael
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Price: 750ml $22.00

Review Date: 11/9/2007

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.