By Lenn Thompson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief


“When you can balance value and quality, you really can exceed expectations.”

That's what Jim Silver, general manager at Peconic Bay Winery told me when I asked him to explain the thinking behind the wineries new "Nautique" line of everyday wines, which replace the old "Local Flavor" line.

With sleek new packaging and retail prices around $12 ($16 at the winery) I think winemaker Greg Gove's new creations over-deliver. (Read my review of this wine's red sibling from a couple weeks ago.)

The Nautique 2008 Esprit de Blanc ($16), a steel-fermented blend of 88% chardonnay, 6% riesling and 6% pinot grigio, clearly was made with our local bounty of seafood in mind.

The nose is bright and citrusy with lemon, grapefruit, orange blossom and a subtle grassiness not unlike sauvignon blanc.

The palate is snappy and mouthwatering with fresh lemon-lime, orange peel and just-ripe peach flavors that linger on a dry, crisp finish. Some apple flavors emerge as the wine warms toward room temperature.

Technically, this could be labeled as chardonnay, but the blend will change from year to year. It will almost always be based on steel-fermented chardonnay, however.

Producer: Peconic Bay Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12.8%
Price: $16*
Rating: 30
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)