At the end of 2015, I promised myself that I’d make an effort to taste as much Long Island chardonnay as possible this year. A string of mediocre wines a few years ago convinced me to more-or-less ignore the category for a while, but that’s not fair. It’s time to take another look, and I’m working on a 2013/2014 chardonnay tasting report for an upcoming issue of Long Island Wine Press.
Those reviews will trickle out here on the site over time, but today let’s talk about Harbes Family Vineyard 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine ($35). It’s not real ice wine — for traditional ice wines, grapes are left on the vine until they freeze – often in January. This can be difficult-to-impossible to accomplish in regions where winters can be on the mild side and the fruit will break down or rot (not nobly) before it freezes. That’d be Long Island.
In that case, “iced” or “ice-style” wines can be made by picking the grapes and freezing them in a commercial freezer — as with this wine, which is a nice introduction to the style.
Aromas of peach, lemon candy and a little honey jump from the glass. Rich, and sweet – but balanced – on the palate, there is as sweet lime note that brings a little complexity to the dominant flavors of peach, apricot and more lemon candy. The sweetness is balanced by a gentle tingle of acidity as to not be cloying or over-tiring on the palate.
Producer: Harbes Vineyard
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Price: $35 (sample)