It’s easy to get in a wine-drinking rut.
Even for someone like me — someone who is willing to taste most any wine from any region in the world — it’s a natural tendency to stick with what you like. Take that tendency, and the fact that there are few local tasting rooms where I feel comfortable bringing my family with me, and you end up with a narrow band of local wines finding their way into my glass.
On a recent solo trip to wine country, however, I stopped at Palmer Vineyards, where I tasted the entire lineup. It had been a while since I’d done that and the white wines really stood out.
Top to bottom the white lineup was balanced, expressive and not overwrought. These are the kinds of white wines that every winery should be making. Wines that show what Long Island could be known for and wines that pair expertly with local produce and seafood.
This week’s Wine of the Week, Palmer Vineyards 2015 Pinot Blanc, was a standout among standouts. And at $21.99, it’s a nice value to boot.
A lot of pinot blanc is fairly neutral — bright and clean, sure, but rarely much more than that. Fermented with ambient yeasts (meaning that it’s not directly inoculated with commercial yeasts) and with extended time on its lees (spent yeast cells and other particles left after fermentation) this a surprisingly interesting wine, both in terms of flavors and texture.
It starts out quite fruity with ripe orange melon and pineapple flavors before taking on a slightly spicy nuttiness, particularly as it reaches room temperature. It is fuller bodied but still focused, with bright acidity and a finish that lingers. That acidity and lees contact gives it a nice mouthfeel.
My wife and I had a bottle the other day with a simple roast chicken and it was perfect. It should be quite versatile at the table.