By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher
I've said it a million times and I'll say it again -- there is little doubt that sauvignon blanc is the white-wine future of Long Island. And, year after year, a unique regional is emerging -- one with bright citrus fruit, accented by herbs that are less overwhelming than wines from New Zealand, and minerality that is less intense perhaps than Sancerre. And, unlike sauvignon from the left coast, the wines are focused and well balanced by refreshing acidity.
These are generalizations, of course, but it's an emerging style and I'm just trying to position it within other generalized styles from other regions.
Chris Tracy, winemaker at Channing Daughters Winery, does beautiful things with white wines, so it comes as no surprise that he's leading the pack in the develpoment of that signature style for Long Island sauvignon blanc.
He makes two versions, including this Channing Daughters Winery 2008 Mudd Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($20), which is almost entirely sauvignon blanc with 3% Musque clone chardonnay blended in. All of the fruit was grown in Steve Mudd's vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island.
Bottled in late February, it's a pale straw yellow and shows clean aromas of grapefruit, lemon, honedew, citrus blossom and the sea.
The medium-bodied palate is very lively with acidity and shows focused citrus and melon flavors up front that become minerally and herbal as you taste and swallow each sip. I don't each much seafood, but it's hard to imagine a better wine to enjoy with local shellfish this summer. Or, and this is something I do eat, fresh goat cheese.