Recently, Nena and I decided it was high time we try some of the wineries on the south fork of Long Island. We love the north fork wine trail...we've found some great wine there and there are many more wineries...but on the south fork, quality almost makes up for the lack of quantity.
Driving out through the Hamptons, the first winery you come to is Duck Walk. If you're new to wine, or into sweeter, mass-market vino...give it a go. When we got there, we just kept driving...just like when we drive past Pindar on the north shore. Both wineries have their place in the wine world...but that's not our place anymore. If that makes me a wine snob...that's a title I'm okay with.
Our first stop of the day was at Channing Daugthers, a picturesque winery amongst the farms in Bridgehampton. Because we were out there a month or so before the weekend crowds are unbearable, we had the tasting room to ourselves! We tasted six wines (for $5 per person) and enjoyed our time speaking with the knowledgeable woman pouring for us (I'm sorry that I can't recall her name!). Here are the wines we tasted...and some notes:
2003 Sauvignon Blanc
They bill this sav blanc as "spring in a glass" and right they are. It was bright, refreshing and spilling over with citrus...grapfruit most of all. We bought a bottle of this one...really tasty.
2003 Scuttlehole Chardonnay
As you've probably noted from past posts, we don't care for many chards...especially note ones from California. Well, this one was terrific! The flavors of oak and butter just don't exist in this fruity example of cold climate chardonnay. Great fruit flavor.
2001 Cuvee Tropical Chardonnay
Okay...they had one chard we liked...could there possibly be a second? Yes. This was probably my favorite wine of the day...because it was just so completely and utterly unique. Tropical is a great name for this wine...which is made from the Musque clone of chardonnay. The finish is pure tropical fruit...I picked up on a lot of mango and even some pineapple. A definite experience.
2001 Brick Kiln Chardonnay
Could they go three-for-three with the chards? Yes. While this one did have some oakiness...it remained fresh and spicy rather than overly buttery and heavy. Lemon roasted chicken would go great with this one I think.
2002 Fresh Red Merlot
Fresh. Fresher. Freshest. This merlot (a recent favorite varietal) is packed full of berry and cherry and is very very merry (okay, that was cheesy, but aren't a lot of wine review phrases?). This is a great, easy drinking wine and was our other purchase for the day...and it will be great at one of our upcoming BBQs. They bill this wine as being in the "Beaujolais style"...but I think it's much more interesting than that.
2002 Mudd Vineyard Merlot
Channing Daughter's Mudd Vineyard is on the north fork...and is one of the oldest on the island. This merlot actually reminds me of some of the ones we've tasted up in that neck of the woods. It's more complex and is more plummy and spicy than the first merlot.
I think Channing Daughters is the first winery we've visited where we enjoyed every single wine. Every last one was delicious. We wanted to buy one of everything on the spot.