If you've been reading LENNDEVOURS for a while, you've no doubt read at least a little bit about Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton, NY. The CDW wine club is one of the two we're members of -- and with good reason. Not only are the wines among the best and most unique on Long Island, but they are small production and if you aren't in the wine club, you simply won't get your hands on the wines.
In fact, this wine, which was in the club shipment in July is already sold out.
With so many Long Island wineries pushing and focusing on this region's "Bordeaux-esque" qualities and the merlot grape, CDW is an aromatic breath of fresh air. While they do make some 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.
CDW is known 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 make the only Island's blaufrankisch.
This is the first time I've ever tasted the 2004 Tocai Friulano ($24), largely because I joined the wine club too late to receive any last year. 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, smokey 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.
Food: CDW calls this the "quintessential prosciutto wine" and
I think it would pair well with most any pork or chicken dish. With the
smokey/spicy/tropical flavors...I think grilled white meat (or fish)
with mango or pineapple salsa would be perfect.
Lenn's Grade: A-/B+
Nena's Grade: Coming Soon