Yes, chardonnay is the white wine that dominates the Long Island wine scene. It's the most planted and, obviously, most made. That's because despite trends away from it, it's still the most sold white wine in the market.
Yes, I like--and sometimes love--local chardonnay. The acid balance can be stellar in these parts.
But, so far this spring, the wines I've been digging most have been local sauvignon blancs.
There have already been several 2006 sauvignons that I've enjoyed and Shinn Estate Vineyards’ 2006 First Fruit ($23) which is primarily sauvignon blanc, with just a squirt (4%) Semillon, fits right in.
Right out of the bottle, the nose is a little taut and doesn’t offer much, but with a little coaxing, bright, fresh aromas of juicy pear citrus and sweet basil emerge.
Medium bodied and flavorful, the pear flavors are lip-smackingly delicious, with subtle ruby red grapefruit and terrific acidity. The herbal character of the grape is here, particularly on a surprisingly long minty-lime finish, but it’s not aggressive or overbearing.
Impeccable balance is on display here. Local seafood prays for this wine when it goes to sleep at night.