Comtesse Thérèse2004 Russian Oak Chardonnay
Comtesse Therese wines are made by Long Island's only female winemaker, Theresa Dilworth, whose "day job" is in Pfizer's legal department.
Theresa is one of only a few local producers using Russian oak for her chardonnay (or at least one of the few that promotes it so much) and she also makes a merlot that is made in 100% Hungarian oak, which is also highlighted on the front label.
All of Theresa's wines are made at Premium Wine Group, the only custom-crush facility on the East Coast, and she made 256 cases of this surprisingly delicate chardonnay.
The nose is a touch underwhelming at first (the wine was chilled for 45 minutes in a standard refridgerator) but eventually gave up toasty, nutty aromas with lemon zest, vanilla and even fresh white flowers.
Soft, round and supple, this wine's flavors are rather delicate despite barrel fermentation and 14 months in oak before bottling. The flavors closely match the nose, with nice balance, though I'd like a bit more acidity. The finish is medium-long with hints of butterscotch at the very end.
This is a real "food wine" and unlike many writers, I don't mean that as a negative. Lobster and scallops are the obvious paring.
Reviewed March 3, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.
Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,