By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Barrel-fermented chardonnay isn't my favorite style. That's well documented. But, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate one that is well-made.
This Lenz Winery 2007 Old Vines Chardonnay ($25) is one that I appreciate. In fact, I went back to this a few times after my tasting was complete and enjoyed it quite a bit.
Of course, it's not completely barrel fermented either. Winemaker Eric Fry employs "limited barrel fermentation" and while this wine is aged in oak, Fry tends to "use older barrels that allow the wine to
achieve greater complexity and flavor concentration but leave less of
an oak fingerprint on the wine."
A brilliant medium-gold in the glass, this wine offers layers aromas of fresh and roasted apple, pear, dried apricot, pineapple, grassy herbs and fig.
Concentrated tree fruit flavors — Bartlett pear and apple — are joined by an interesting candied orange peel note, a bit more dried fruit and subtle spice.
Citrusy acidity balances the fuller body of this wine near-perfectly and the finish is long, showing a little lees character.
This is a beautifully crafted chardonnay that shows the ripeness of the 2007 year without losing sight of the balance and class that Lenz is so well known for. And at $25, it's a good value to boot.
Producer: The Lenz Winery
AVA: North Fork of Long island
(3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)