Howard Goldberg, who covers the Long Island wine scene for the New York
Times is someone I’ve been reading for a long time. I have to, he has
the job that I’d love to have some day. And on occasion, he still gets "scoops" that I miss out on. I guess the power of LENNDEVOURS still pales in comparison with the New York Times–for now that is.
But, just because I read and respect him doesn’t mean that I always have agree with him or his palate.
In his column this week "You Say Roses, They Say Rosati" Howard writes about Channing Daughters Winery’s latest three releases–three single-vineyard, varietal roses. That’s all well and good. I have the same three wines in my tasting queue and hope to get to them this week.
Where he and I disagree is on his assessment of their 2006 Mosaico ($29) a unique blended white wine. I tasted this one a few weeks ago and thought it was a well made blend and in a blind tasting I knew that it had to come Channing Daughters. Chris Tracy, their winemaker has a definite signature with his whites I think–balanced fruit with just enough acidity and some subtle brown spice. That’s not to say that all of his whites are like that, but many of them are. And these are always nice wines though sometimes expensive.
"…none of them matches the culinary artistry of Channing Daughters’
newest wine, Mosaico, one of the most sophisticated dry whites ever
created on Long Island and one of New York State’s great 2006 wines.
This thrilling and technically daring $29 blend consists of pinot
grigio (34 percent), chardonnay (33 percent), sauvignon blanc (14
percent), tocai Friulano (7 percent), gewürztraminer (6 percent) and
muscat ottonel (6 percent). It’s a ritzy fruit salad in a bottle."
Now clearly he has every right to state his opinion, but it seems like there’s more than a little hyperbole here. First of all, I’d argue that some of Tracy’s past efforts are every bit as sophisticated. He makes a lot of great, interesting whites.
As for "one of New York States’ great 2006 wines"…isn’t it a little early in the game to be throwing that around. We’re not even five months into 2007 yet. There are an awful lot of 2006s still to come, no? Maybe he’s right. Maybe not. I think it’s way too early to say.
And I’m not sure that "ritzy fruit salad in a bottle" is a description one would expect for a wine that is being talked about with such high praise.