In a wine world filled with so much ubiquity, it is a true pleasure to find a wine like Channing Daughters Winery 2008 Meditazione ($40), a wine inspired by the “Vino da Meditazione” wines of Northeast Italy -- be uniquely Long Island through and through.
A blend of 27% sauvignon blanc, 27% chardonnay, 16% Tocai Friulano, 16% muscat ottonel and 14% pinot grigio, this wine falls into the "orange wine" category -- a white wine made using red wine techniques.
All of the fruit was hand-harvested from their estate vineyards in Bridgehampton. It was then de-stemmed and the grapes were fermented together on their skins for ten days in an open-top fermenter. After fermentation, the wine then spent 18 months in 63% new and 37% old/neutral French and Slovenian oak.
The resulting nectar is a wine to savor and ponder over the course of an evening -- just cooler than room temperature.
Layered and complex, the nose smells of dried apricot, fresh peach, lightly smoked black tea, roasted nuts, dried orange peel and citrus blossom.
On the fuller side of medium bodied, the palate shows beautiful intensity at 12% abv. The flavors range from dried apricot, black and herbal tea, roasted nuts, straw and Bosc pear skin.
It's dry, with an almost Sherry-like salinity, noticeable skin tannins and citrusy acidity -- all with a long, fresh finish.
As I do with most of the wines I review, I tasted this over the course of three days and a really interesting wintergreen note poked through on the palate on day three.
I'm not sure what I'd eat with this uncommon wine, but I'm thinking that a variety of harder cheeses and cured meats would work well.
Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: Long Island