I'm proud of every wine that I choose for the New York Cork Club, but this month's selections are wines that I'm particularly excited about. One is hard to get (we couldn't get any last year) and one is one of the best sauvignon blancs to come out of New York.
First up is the wine that can be difficult to get if you're not a member of Paumanok Vineyards' wine club -- their 2007 Chenin Blanc ($27). it's a delicious and unique-to-the-state white that has been praised by writers like Eric Asimov of the New York Times. And, it's one of the first Long Island wines bottled under a Stelvin (screwcap) closure. Chenin blanc is rare on the North Fork — no one else grows it actually. They don't make much and it has a rabid following. I think we got lucky to get enough for the club this year.
The nose is complex and expressive,
showing a fruit salad mélange of grapefruit, mango, pear, melon and orange
blossom. A medium-bodied palate starts off fresh and clean with melon,
grapefruit and mineral
flavors, but as the wine crosses over into the mid-palate, the flavors change a bit, becoming richer with pineapple and honey overtones. That honeyed fruit character carries through to the finish, which is long and delicious.
The texture of this wine is faintly oily but it remains lively and clean because there's plenty of balancing acidity.
Our second wine, Macari Vineyards' 2007 Katherine's Field Sauvignon Blanc ($22) is one of the best sauvignons to come out of this region. It pours an extremely pale greenish-yellow in the glass and offers intense aromas of grapefruit, lemon and lime zest with understated hints of just-cut grass and crushed Thai basil leaves.
The palate is mouthwateringly crisp and similarly citrusy, with
fresh grapefruit and sweet lime flavors accented by a seawater minerality and more of that grassy-herbal character... but not too much.
The balance between flavor, texture and lively acidity is impressive and the finish lingers nicely. If you want to discuss this wine in terms of global style, I'd say that it lives somewhere between Sancerre and New Zealand. Or, you could do what I do and just call it Long Island style.
The New York Cork Club is a collaboration between yours truly and Greene Grape Wine in Brooklyn, NY. Each month, I independently select two New York-made wines that I'm excited about and Greene Grape ships them directly to our members. Unlike many non-winery wine clubs, where you get wines that no one else wants, we send you wines that are interesting, unique... and the same wines that I'm drinking.
If you have any questions about it, let me know. If not, go sign up today.