Sherwood House Vineyards has built its reputation largely on the back of its Old World-styled, barrel-fermented chardonnay.

Some call it Burgundian, but I don’t think there is any chardonnay in the world that truly tastes like good Burgundy — and besides, why not carve out and try to describe your own region’s style? That’s another post for another time, though.

The Sherwood House Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay ($30) isn’t quite as delicious as the stellar 2008, but it’s still a fine example of what oak-influenced chardonnay can be here on the North Fork.

The nose shows scents of vanilla-roasted pears, buttery pastry crust and just a bit of raw oak. Medium bodied with balanced acidity, the palate tastes of caramelized pears and butterscotch with notes of fresh-cut pear and flowers on a medium-length finish that turns a bit bitter at the very end.

Producer: Sherwood House Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.3%
Price: $30*


(2.5 out of 5, Average-to-Very good)