Lenz_03cuveeBy Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

It's likely that sparkling wine during the holidays has gone well beyond cliche, but hey, it still works. In fact, there are few times when sparkling wine doesn't work.

It flies under the radar for many wine lovers, but Long Island has been putting out some delicious, traditionally made sparkling wine for years and those made by Eric Fry at The Lenz Winery are among the most consistently excellent. In fact, Fry makes sparkling wine for Lieb Family Cellars and The Old Field as well.

The newly released Lenz 2003 Cuvee ($30) continues that tradition of quality.

If you like simple, fruity sparklers, this isn't for you. The nose begins with toasty, biscuit-y notes and yeast, with fresh apple and fresh and dried cherry aromas beneath. 

The apple-cherry character is a bit more prominent on the palate, but the toasty, yeasty notes carry over, along with a faint nuttiness. Light in body, this bubbly offers crisp acidity and a very dry finish that lingers nicely with a touch of lemon-citrus at the very end. 

Lenz gets a lot of attention (and rightfully so) for it's still wines, but this when you visit, make sure you try the sparkler. Or try both if they have a RD (recently disgorged) release when you're there. The RD is always a special treat.

Producer: Lenz Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long island

ABV: 12%

Price: $30*

Rating: 30 (3 out of 5 | Recommended) 

(Ratings Guide)