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Budget-Friendly Long Island White Wines

Originally Posted: February 02, 2009

Lenn Thompson

  |   2 Comments · Print Article

This week, we'll focus on bargain white wines, which we'll define as those that cost $15 or less. We'll also include rose, which are really white wines made with red grapes after all.

Southampton - I don't know about you, but I know that I have a lot less money to be spending on wine these days. That means two things - drinking more wine from my cellar and seeking out better bargains when I am buying.

Long Island wines get an unwarranted bad rap when it comes to value, referred to as quality-to-price ratio, or QPR. Are some Long Island wines expensive? Absolutely, and some are not a very good value, but it's important to remember that value simply means getting more than your money's worth - so there are values at every price point.

With that in mind, the next Corks of the Forks column will focus on the best red wine values in Long Island wine country. It should be a fun and educational look at what wineries provide the best bang for your wine-buying buck.

This week, we'll focus on bargain white wines, which we'll define as those that cost $15 or less. We'll also include rose, which are really white wines made with red grapes after all.

Castello di Borghese Chardonette ($10) - A great value even on a list of value whites, this steel-fermented chardonnay expresses that grape's true character. Light, lemony, and snappy with fresh acidity, you might not recognize it as chardonnay, but it's easily recognizable as a tremendous value.

Lenz Winery 2005 White Label Chardonnay ($12) - This is another terrific value that tastes wonderful right now. Fermented in 100 percent stainless steel, it doesn't see any oak in its production, which helps preserve the nice fruit flavors - pineapple, apple, and lemon. There is plenty of acidity here to keep it lively and it's surprisingly aromatic and mouth-filling for a stainless chardonnay, which can be lean and tart.

Osprey's Dominion 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($13) - This sauvignon blanc is a summer-time favorite in my house. Citrus, melon, and grapefruit aromas mingle with just the most subtle hints of herbs and a salty-minerally note on the hose. Fresh and clean on the palate, it offers zesty citrus flavors with herb and mineral nuances that entice the palate, inviting sip after sip.

Osprey's Dominion Regina Maris Chardonnay ($10) - I'm not a huge fan of barrel-influenced chardonnay, but if you like your chardonnay rich, with vanilla and spicy notes, you can't do better than this one locally.

Paumanok Festival 2007 Chardonnay ($12) - Another no-oak chardonnay, this wine from one of the North Fork's best makers, brings bright apple and citrus flavors, tongue-tingling acidity and a certain roundness that makes it a great foil for chicken dishes. Plus, it's got a screw-cap.

Peconic Bay Winery 2006 Rose of Merlot ($14) - In a local wine industry where many rose wines are approaching $20, this is a great value and a wine that I enjoy immensely. Made from merlot with some steel-fermented chardonnay blended in, it's extremely thirst quenching. On the nose there's a lot of citrus - grapefruit and lime - with hints of watermelon. It's lively on the palate and tastes like a fresh watermelon slice sprinkled with fresh lime juice - without the sweetness of fresh watermelon. Nicely balanced acidity leaves it clean on the finish.

Wolffer Estate Rose ($15) - The 2007 vintage of this always-delicious rose is long sold-out, but keep an eye out for the 2008 release, due out this spring.

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Guest (Lenn Thompson) from Wine Country says::
Chris, I don't think that's the case at all. As someone who writes about New York wines almost daily, I see plenty of recognition given to value wines...people are looking for them, certainly!
Feb 10, 2009 12:41 pm

Guest (Christopher J Davies) from Erie, Colorado says::
Great piece! Long Island makes some great valued wines. Regretfully it seems like only the premium level wines get press.
Feb 2, 2009 10:50 pm


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