AG Pick Under $15: Lenz 2005 White Label Chardonnay

West Coast, watch out.  New York is coming into its own as a winemaking state.

This was evident during my trip last week to Long Island’s wine country, where I found some great tasting wines.  One of my favorite whites was the 2005 White Label Chardonnay from Lenz Winery.

Lenz is located in the small town of Peconic, on the North Fork of Long Island.  Founded in 1978, the winery has some of the oldest vines in the region.

Dry and crisp without any oak, the White Label Chardonnay showcases how this varietal can thrive in Long Island’s climate.  Had I tasted this wine without seeing its label, I certainly would not have guessed it was from New York.

Brilliant golden yellow in color, this wine has subtle floral aromas that are reminiscent of a Burgundian Chardonnay rather than a California Chardonnay.  On the palate is a lively mix of citrus and tropical flavors.  Lemon, pineapple, banana and a hint of orange blossom are enhanced by a good acidity.  The finish is clean and refreshing.

I actually preferred this unoaked Chardonnay over Lenz’s oaked Gold Label Chardonnay (which happens to cost more).

The White Label Chardonnay is a nice wine to enjoy on its own or with seafood and pasta dishes.  If it is the first wine you try from Long Island it will definitely make you thirsty for more.

The Lenz 2005 White Label Chardonnay costs $12.  Lenz ships to most states.

For more on Lenz Winery visit www.lenzwine.com.

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