Chardonnay. Merlot. Chardonnay. Merlot. Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay. Cabernet Franc. Merlot. Chardonnay. Cabernet Sauvignon.

During the course of tasting any and all Long Island wines I can get my hands on — it seems like that is all I taste. Very little variety. A lot of the same.

Those are important grapes for the region — no doubt — but who doesn’t like something a little different every now and again. That’s one reason I appreciate what people like Miguel Martin of Palmer Vineyards are doing with new-to-the-region grapes like albarino.

It’s hard to envision a time when Long Island is known for albarino, but it wouldn’t surprise me other growers planted some based on Martin’s early success.

Palmer Vineyards 2011 Albarino ($25/500ml bottle) is the second vintage of New York’s only albarino. It offers aromas of green apple, tangerine, peach, lilac and sea breeze.

Bright with lemony acidity and beautiful texture, the palate shows a distinct saline vein that runs through apple and peach flavors. That floral-lilac quality re-emerges at the end of a medium-length finish.

Delivering quality in both a hot, dry year (2010) and then a more challenging year (2011), I think it’s safe to say that albarino is a good fit for Long Island’s climate and conditions.

Producer: Palmer Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12.5%
Price: $25*


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)