This post is a part of my 12 Long Island Wines for Christmas series that will run from now until Christmas 2007. See the entire series here.
It's impossible to put together a mixed case of Long Island wine without including something from Channing Daughters Winery. Rather than focus on Bordeaux varieties like merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauavignon, winemaker Chris Tracy focuses on white varieties, some bottled no where else on the Island.
Unlike most wineries, the white wines are definitely the stars at CDW, but which to pick? With so many interesting, unique wines, it wasn't easy to pick one.
Eventually, I decided to go with Channing Daughters Winery 2006 VIno Bianco ($30), because it captures Long Island well, as well as Tracy's deft touch with whites.
A unique-to-Long Island blend of 27% Tocai Friulano, 26% sauvignon blanc, 22% pinot grigio, 19% Dijon clone of chardonnay and 6% Musque clone of chardonnay, this is a wine inspired by the "Super Friulian" whites of Northeast Italy. By combining a variety of grapes from both the North and South Forks of Long Island, Tracy has crafted a full-flavored, impeccably balanced white.
The nose is ripe with peaches, apricots, pineapples and citrus fruits accented by subtle baking spice and a little minerality. Medium bodied but somehow delicate, lively and flavorful all at the same time, pear, peach and tropical fruit flavor blend here with nice spice notes and just the slightest tingle of acidity.
Tracy has a clear signature and style, and this wine is easily recognizable as one of his creations.