A lot of observers and writers like to focus on Long Island wine country’s rich past.
There is little doubt this 40-plus years of Long Island wine history is filled with hits, misses and a cast of characters along the way.
I always like to look at things a little differently, so I’m more interested lately in the present and future of the region. Where are things going? What’s coming next?
With this week’s “Wine of the Week” I can touch on a little of both.
You see, Pellegrini Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc ($25) was made by Zander Hargrave, who took over the winemaking duties just before the 2014 harvest. Zander represents the past, present and future of Long Island wine.
The Hargrave goes back as far as Long Island wine history can go. Zander’s parents, Louisa and Alex Hargrave, founded Hargrave Vineyard, Long Island’s first commercial winery, in 1973, and Zander’s uncle, Charlie Hargrave, has been a vineyard manager on the North Fork for more than a decade.
In 2011 he was hired as assistant winemaker at the now-closed Peconic Bay Winery and then as head winemaker for Pellegrini in August of 2014.
We’ll have to wait a bit longer for his first red wines, but some of his 2014 wines have hit the market, including this citrus-bomb of a sauvignon blanc.
Sweet aromas of lime, grapefruit and gooseberry turn a bit more tropical on a brisk, balanced palate — those citrusy qualities are joined by passionfruit and a bit of fresh-cut hay. The finish isn’t exceedingly lengthy, but citrusy acidity begs for another sip. And another.
If this is what Zander is doing today, he’s clearly someone to watch in coming years.
The 2014 sauvignon blanc sells for $24.99 at the winery.