Saturday, August 04, 2012

Howard G. Goldberg Names Seven Long Island Whites (NY) in The New York Times

Howard G. Gold berg is the author of the newly published The New York Times Book of Wine
Seven Whites for the Heat
Published: July 13, 2012
New York Times

When temperatures hover in the 90s, the sharp, thirst-slaking relief that a gin and tonic delivers tends to influence my preferences in white wines.

The largely cool 2011 growing season on Long Island, hit by intermittent rains, plays right into such preferences. Generally, the grapes did not ripen as fully as in hotter, drier years, and their acidity at harvest and throughout cellar work remained high.

It is acidity that imparts briskness to whites, a briskness that makes them welcome as aperitifs, as accompaniments to seafood dishes and salads, and on beach picnics.

Seven 2011s, chosen at random, illustrate that versatility. Three are sauvignon blancs, wines that tend to possess the citric zing that slices of lime impart to a gin and tonic.

None of these whites exceed 13.1 percent alcohol by volume, a moderate level; higher percentages can leave a noticeable afterburn on the palate, which may be desirable in winter but certainly not in midsummer.

Martha Clara Vineyards’ vivid, generous sauvignon blanc ($19.99), my favorite, tastes pleasingly and subtly vegetal.

Many sauvignon fans prefer a grapefruity flavor. They will find that characteristic in the taut version from Macari Vineyards ($23).

The Waters Crest ($22.99) sauvignon is tangy and a smidgen melonlike.

Bedell Cellars’ floral, savory viognier stays on the tongue for minutes, it seems. It is costly ($35) but classy.

Paumanok’s Festival chardonnay ($16.99) is a particularly congenial, lingering wine with a pearlike aroma and flavor. Its little spritz makes it extra refreshing.

Mouth-filling, clean and bright, Peconic Bay Winery’s chardonnay ($24) is notable for its appetite-sharpening properties.

Shinn Estate Vineyards’ Coalescence ($17), a spirited, deft, crisp blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and gew├╝rztraminer, shows a slight salinity; it would be perfect with steamed mussels.

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