Channing Daughters Winery2004 Tocai Friulano
(Hamptons Long Island)
With so many Long Island wineries pushing and focusing on this region's "Bordeaux-esque" qualities and the merlot grape, Channing Daugthers Winery is an aromatic breath of fresh air.
While they do make merlot, Bordeaux is far from the front of winemaker Chris Tracy's mind. He compares the growing conditions at Channing Daughters to those of Friuli -- and many of his wines reflect that difference in attitude.
Channing Daughters is well known in these parts for trying new things and experimenting with different blends. To my knowledge, this is the only Tocai Friulano made in all of New York State, and they also make the Island's only blaufrankisch (lemberger).
The grapes for this wine were estate grown, hand-harvested, whole cluster pressed, fermented and matured in older French oak and stainless steel barrels, and bottled by gravity.
Eyes: Super-pale straw yellow.
Nose: Lemon-citrus aromas with hints of tropical fruit accented by smokey, earthy spices.
Tongue: Medium-bodied, lush and fruity but balanced with fresh acidity, smoky spice and minerals. Juicy, but not one-dimensonal at all. Coats my tongue and offers a long, sweet-fruity finish. As it warmed, some honey flavors joined the mix. A deliciously nuanced white. Drink it alone or with food (see below)...just don't over-chill it.
Tracy calls this the "quintessential prosciutto wine" and I think it would pair well with most any pork or chicken dish. With the smoky/spicy/tropical flavors...I think grilled white meat (or fish) with mango or pineapple salsa would be perfect.
Reviewed August 13, 2005 by Lenn Thompson.
Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,