Someone has finally put the screws to Long Island wine—screwcap closures that is.

As I reported over the summer, Paumanok Vineyards has invested in the Stelvin closure equipment and bottled its 2007 whites without corks during January and February of 2008. I tasted the lot recently and will be writing about all of them over the next couple of weeks.

Today, we’ll focus on the Paumanok Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, a varietally correct rendition of a wine that is gaining momentum on the North Fork. I normally don’t mention varietal correctness, but it was the first thing I thought of when I tasted this wine, even if it isn’t exactly what I expect from Long Island sauvignon.

It has all of the aromas and flavors you’d expect from an American sauvignon though—grapefruit, kiwi and tropical fruit—along with nice acid structure and a faintly minerally finish that lingers just a bit.

I was amazed when I saw on the back label that this wine weighs in at a hefty 13.9% ABV. For lovers of California wines, that may seem typical, or low even, but it’s the highest alcohol level ever for a Paumanok white. Don’t worry though, it’s all in balance and there isn’t even a bit of alcohol heat on the finish.

While maybe not a great value at $28, it’s still tasty.

Grape(s): 100% sauvignon blanc
Paumanok Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $28
Rating: 30
 (3 out of 5 | Recommended)