By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
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Pindar-2010-sauvblancEdward Lovaas got lucky when he joined Pindar Vineyards in August of 2010. Possibly without even realizing, he walked into what many consider the greatest grape growing season ever on Long Island.

I've tasted a few of Edward's first Long Island wines now, and I can say without hesitation that he's not the only one who got lucky. The Damianos family, which owns Pindar and Duck Walk Vineyards, got lucky too.

It's too early to make any wide-ranging pronouncements — Edward's reds are at least a year or two away from release and it remains to be seen how what he's done and will do with the non-classic 2011 vintage. But, basely solely on what I've tasted so far, Pindar Vineyards is on the rise.

I'm not talking about the big-bottle blends like "Winter White" and "Spring Splendor." Those wines have their place and have helped Pindar get perhaps the widest distribution of any Long Island brand. But they hold little interest for me. I'm talking about the varietal wines like this Pindar Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($13) an impressive wine and value.

The nose is ripe and fruit-sweet with ruby red grapefruit, Meyer lemon, gooseberry, fresh-cut hay and just a bit of lemon verbena herbaceousness.

Big in the citrus department, the medium-bodied palate shows a bit more mid-palate richness and intensity than many Long Island sauvignons. Fruity flavors of lemon and grapefruit are joined by hints of Golden Delicious apples and apricots on the long, snappy finish. Fresh, near-crackling acidity balances all that ripe fruit nicely.

Edward comes to Long Island by way of California, and it shows in this wine. I'd be hard pressed to pick this out as Long Island wine in a blind lineup. Terroir isn't the diving force behind this wine. Edward's preferred style and winemaking talents are. He's unapologetic about that, too.

For $13, you won't find a better white wine made on Long Island.

Producer: Pindar Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12.5%  
Price: $13

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)

(Ratings Guide)