Although the North Fork offers an arguably ideal climate for this unusually pale white wine, Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue is the only local vineyard to offer a 100 percent varietal albariño, our North Fork wine of the week.
“The weather pattern is very similar to Galicia [Spain] where this grape is originally from,” said Palmer winemaker Miguel Martin, who hails from Spain and first worked in the Galicia region. “It has a nice bright acidity to it. And it pairs well with local seafood.”
The 2014 grapes were picked on September 24 and 350 gallons are currently fermenting at the Aquebogue winery. The wine will take about six weeks to ferment before it is racked and filtered. The next vintage of Palmer Albariño will be ready sometime around March 2015, he said.
On a recent Saturday, the young, cloudy wine tasted more of sweet apple cider than vino. But that will soon change as the flavor moves to a lighter, more citrusy taste, Martin said.
“It’s a wine that has a natural salinity,” Martin said. “It’s very floral with lychee, kiwi and lime.”
And the dry, temperate 2014 season seems to have the makings of a great vintage.
“So far, we’re having a great year,” Martin said.
Albariño is sold in 500 ml bottles because the vineyard makes so few of them, Martin said. He expects to offer standard 750 ml bottles in the tasting room next year.
Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue is the only other vineyards in the region to grow the grape.
“The response has been great,” he said. “People get excited to taste something that isn’t chardonnay.”
Palmer Vineyards is located at 5120 Sound Ave. in Aquebogue.