2006VinoBianco By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Christopher Tracy, winemaker and partner at Channing Daughters Winery, is doing some of the most interesting things with chardonnay on Long Island. Of the winery's current offerings there are six different wines that either are or could be labeled "Chardonnay" and three other wines, including this Channing Daughters Winery 2008 Vino Bianco ($20) feature significnat proportions of Long Island's most-planted white grape.

Made with 40% chardonnay (Dijon 96 and Musque clones), 30% sauvignon blanc, 20% pinot grigio and 10% tocai fruilano, it shows pretty floral aromatics layered with white pepper, Asian pear, coriander seed, apple, peach and autumn leaves. There is also a dose of nutty oak that stand out a bit more than it has in previous vintages.

Medium bodied, the palate shows great balance between fruit, oak and acidity. The flavors closely match the nose and the mid-palate is at once lightly creamy and still fresh and juicy. The finish is medium-long and brings a spiced apple note that lingers nicely.

I was surprised that this wine didn't garner a bit more attention at our Wines of the Year tasting, but I fear that it being the only oak-influenced wine in a lineup of steel-fermented wines didn't help.

Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: Long Island
ABV: 12.5%
Price: $20
Rating: 90

(Ratings Guide)