Lafermechard_1Chardonnay is the most-planted grape on Long Island…despite the fact that it’s not as popular as it once was (thanks California!).

As you would probably expect, there’s a wide range of wines made from all those grapes. A good portion of them go into white table blends (often with Riesling or other varietals) that have their place, but aren’t my favorite. There are some California-style Chards too…with lots of butter and oak. Again, those usually aren’t my favorite, but a couple do make their way into my glass on occasion.

If you read LENNDEVOURS, you’ve probably heard me refer to "Long Island-style Chardonnay" on occasion, but I don’t always do a great job of defining it.

The best LI-style Chardonnays do see a little oak in their time, but only enough to impart light vanilla and/or butterscotch notes..or maybe hints of cream. The vibrant fruitiness of the grape in it’s rawest form isn’t muted or dulled. They are fruit-driven with lots of citrus and apples and usually medim-bodied. Clean is a great way to describe them…but they usually don’t quite have the mineral character of a white Burgundy.

They are Chardonnays for people who don’t like Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay in particular, a new release from Wolffer Estates, is a nice example.

Eyes: A pale, lemony yellow this wine even looks refreshing in the glass.

Nose: Light aromas of lemons, grapefruit and a touch of vanilla.

Tongue: Filled with layers of citrus fruit and something more tropical, like pineapple and pina colada, all joined by a nice touch of vanilla bean. Medium-bodied, it’s slightly tongue coating and offers fun, bright acidity and a surprisingly long finish..

Price: $13

Overall: Surpisingly layered and interesting for the price, we both really enjoyed this wine, which really changed as it warmed, becoming even more tropical. Wolffer consistently crafts quality wines…even their value La Ferme Martin label.

Food: I braised some chicken in lemon juice and garlic the night we opened this. It was a nice pairing but the wine really stood apart after dinner as we continued sipping.

Lenn’s Grade: B+

Nena’s Grade: B+ / A-