By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

IMAG1471 Much to my personal chagrin, barrel-fermented chardonnay isn't going to evaporate from the Long Island wine industry. I've come to grips with this fact over time, though I denied it for years.

Some of them are delicious, sure, but I maintain that they just aren't distinctive enough. Despite its continuing popularity in the marketplace, we'll simply never see the day when chardonnay puts Long Island on the map. But, it's in the ground and we're not seeing large-scale re-planting recently. Did I mention there is still a market for these wines?

Anyway, Roanoke Vineyards 2009 'Rhyme and Meter' Chardonnay ($30) is made by Roman Roth using fruit from Sam McCullough's vineyard in Aquebogue. It was fermented entirely in oak barrels and went through 1005 malolactic fermentation.

A bushel full of peaches, pears and a bit of dried pineapple, the nose also shows hints of butterscotch and citrus.

Mouth-filling and lush, the palate shows intense fruit — pears, apples, pineapple and ruby red grapefruit. There is a succulence to the forward fruit flavors that balances the caramel-vanilla pretty well. While well balanced, I could use a bit more acidity here.

The finish is long but there is a bit of raw oak there that detracts.I did enjoy this far more at just-above-room temperature. Don't over-chill it.

Long-time readers of the site know that this is a style of wine that isn't my favorite, but this is a well-made rendition.

Producer: Roanoke Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%  
Price: $30

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

(*Ratings Guide)