Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

The Lenz Winery 2004 Old Vines Chardonnay  (North Fork of Long Island)

The Lenz Winery

2004 "Old Vines" Chardonnay
(North Fork of Long Island)

For years, The Lenz Winery in Peconic has been one of the North Fork’s most respected and successful producers. Together, vineyard manager Sam McCullough and winemaker Eric Fry comprise one of the East End’s most experienced duos. Their experience and familiarity with North Fork growing conditions and fruit results in some of the area’s best wines – wines that the Wine Spectator was insane not to include in its recent New York-themed issue.

Fry is probably best known for his Merlot - it rivals Bordeaux’s best at a fraction of the price in professional blind tastings. Those wines are well regarded for a reason — one needs only to taste them to understand. But, Fry is more than a Merlot maestro – his Chardonnay program often gets lost in the mélange of Merlot tastings.

I can’t recommend the Lenz Winery 2004 “Old Vines” Chardonnay ($25) enough. “Old vines” is a term without official meaning (much like “reserve”) but the grapes that go into this wine are from some of the oldest Chardonnay vines on Long Island. An elegant, but intense nose offers fresh apples and pear with subtle oak and vanilla accents. Clean Chardonnay fruit flavors are balanced extremely well with delicate oak undertones and nice acidity on the finish. This is an example of what East Coast Chardonnay can be and what West Coast Chardonnay is not. California winemakers only wish they could make this stylish a wine.

Reviewed July 1, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

The Wine

Winery: The Lenz Winery
Vintage: 2004
Wine: "Old Vines" Chardonnay
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $24.99

Review Date: 7/1/2006

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.