Sunday, December 20, 2009

Onabay Blanc de Blancs Brut 2006

Onabay Vineyards is among the East End’s newer wine producers. It rose on family farmland; 19 acres are planted with wine grapes, primarily , and . The vines date to 1991.

Onabay has no winery. The wines are made at Premium Wine Group in Mattituck, like many other wonderful wines in Long Island.

The Anderson family is committed to the artisanal wines of Onabay Vineyards. Proud of their stewardship of the land, they appreciate the extraordinary natural beauty and bounty of the North Fork, and its culture of great wine, cuisine, and people.

Brad Anderson is committed to producing high quality vintages with the help of Bruce Schneider, international wine consultant, and Steve Mudd, veteran North Fork viticulturist. Francesca Anderson is a renowned botanical artist. Her drawings of herons appear on the front labels. Daughter, Mia C. Anderson's poems also grace the labels. She is a published poet of natural history themes and the environment.

Chiara Anderson Edmands oversees the marketing of Onabay Vineyards. She and her husband, Ben, delight in pairing wine with the delicious bounty of the North Fork.

I met Chiara at the City Winery event Uncork New York, where she was friendly and chatty, and decided to taste the Blanc de Blancs Brut 2006. The Andersons were inspired by the Blanc de Blancs Champagnes of the Cote des Blancs region. The wine is 100% Chardonnay. The wine is made by the traditional method, with a second fermentation taking place in the bottle. It benefits from contact with the lees that allow the acidity of the wine to soften just enough to achieve an elegant balance. The very modest level of sugar in the dosage that is added back during disgorgement ensures that the wine remains crisp and refreshing on the palate.

As promised, the aromas of green apples, lemon verbena, and honey blossoms come through. On the palate, pear and apple fills the mouth. The wine is crisp and refreshing. It has a touch of citrus on the end.

This was a lovely bubbly. Really very nice. And one likes the sense of family involved in Onabay. A lovely product, just right for the holidays, Valentine's day, or any day! A great wine for special occasions....or a night you want to make a special occasion. Great job, Andersons!