Paumanok-2010-cheninblanc By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

There are few Long Island wines with as much of a cult-ish following as Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Chenin Blanc ($25). The Massoud family has had unequivocal success with this "interesting accident" and yet, it remains a one-of-a-kind wine on Long Island. No one else has planted chenin yet.

The first thing you might notice about the 2010 is the price — $25 — down a few dollars from the last couple of vintages. With a new chenin vineyard coming into its own, the Massouds have more fruit to work with, production has increased and the price has gone down. That's a good thing for this wine's many fans.

Riesling is well known for it's ability to offer a crystal clear window into a vintage, but in recent years the Paumanok chenin has proven to be similarly redolent of its growing season.

Extremely ripe and tropical on the nose, the nose is effusive with scents of papaya, mango and pineapple accented by hints of blanched almonds, orange blossom and musk melon.

Tropical fruit — mango, pineapple and papaya — dominate the ripe, almost-sweet (there might even be some residual sugar here) palate with lemon-orange citrus and hints of salinity. Crunchy, palate-cleansing acidity brings balance while the longer finish shows somewhat of a Jolly Rancher quality.

Producer: Paumanok Vineyards   
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12%
Price: $25
Rating: 87

(*Ratings Guide)