Cdw_06envelopeEarlier this week I mentioned Channing Daughters Winery's winemaker, Chris Tracy, his focus on traditional methods and the parallels he draws between Long Island and Friuli. Well, here is yet a wine that proves those points.

Channing Daughters Winery's 2006 Envelope is a blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% Gewurztraminer. That may not seem all that interesting, but wait. Inspired by the “Vino da Meditazione” wines
produced in the Friuli region of Northeast Italy, the fruit that went into this wine was
hand-harvested, de-stemmed and
fermented on their skins in an open top fermenter. Basically, its a white wine that was made like a red wine.

And the results are fascinating. So fascinating in fact that this is a wine that I probably wouldn't have enjoyed or appreciated just a few years ago, but I certainly do now.

A dark gold, almost orange, color in the glass, the nose is intense with dried apricots, peaches, golden raisins, honey-roasted nuts, flowers and a deluge of baking spices.

The medium-bodied palate is exotic with roasted hazelnut, dried fruit, Gewurzty floral and spice notes and hints of peach and vanilla. The finish is War and Peach long and very much painted by that 30% Gewurztraminer. Some would call this a weird wine, and they'd be right. But weird isn't always a bad thing, is it?

I enjoyed this wine over the course of a full week and it changed every day. Sometimes the floral notes jumped out. On other occasions, the dried apricot or spice stepped forward. It didn't quite all come together for me at once, but this is one of the most interesting, thought-provoking wines I've had in a while.

Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: Long Island
ABV: 13%
Rating: 30
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 

(Ratings Guide)