Bringing weird grapes to the North Fork has long been a motto for Southold Farm + Cellar owners Regan and Carey Meador, though that isn’t the only way they are shaking up the region’s wine.
Using 100 percent Musque Clone Chardonnay harvested from Mudd Vineyard in Southold, they created their own take on chardonnay which they call the 2013 Old Vine Chardonnay or “The Devil’s Advocate” — our North Fork Wine of the Week.
“I have a love/hate relationship with chardonnay,” Regan said as he poured a taste of the wine for a reporter. “There is plenty of good chardonnay [on the North Fork] but it is not profound. Long Island chardonnay is very fruity. It is flat and one-dimensional. If you’re going to make a chardonnay you at least have to make it interesting. This wine is on the interesting scale.”
To make Devil’s Advocate, the Meadors abandoned the traditional chardonnay fermentation process, he said. Instead of removing the grape skin immediately, they chose to leave it on for seven days before the fermentation process. The intent was to add texture to balance out the natural fruitiness of the grape. Meador said he limits filtration, making Southold Farm & Cellar’s wine cloudier than other chardonnays.
“In the tasting room I get a lot of people saying ‘this doesn’t taste like any chardonnay I have ever had,’” he said. “I don’t like chardonnay, but I love this chardonnay. It is not making it different for the sake of being different, it is about making wine that I enjoy.”
The wine tastes of tropical fruit “going into gewürztraminer land,” according to its description on Southold Farm + Cellar’s website. The Devil’s Advocate pairs well with rich foods such as duck and would be the perfect addition to a hearty meal, like a Thanksgiving feast, Meador said.
The wine retails for $26 in the tasting room, located at 860 Old North Road in Southold. It can also be purchased online here.
Be aware that The Devil’s Advocate is selling fast. It was produced in limited quantity and the Meadors don’t plan on making this style of chardonnay again in the future.