Those looking for an absolutely delicious chardonnay alternative to add to your autumn wine lineup should try 2018 Saltbird Chardonnay from Chronicle Wines. This wine has a lovely round, full, just short of creamy mouth feel. It has beautiful notes of pear and apple. The finish is persistent, but not overly acidic. A wonderful, balanced chardonnay.
The 2018 Saltbird Chardonnay is produced in 100% stainless steel, which means no oak was used. But if you normally aren’t a huge fan of un-oaked chardonnays, this one might surprise you. Winemaker Robin Epperson-McCarthy says, “I’ve had arguments with people who have said, ‘I know your winemaker put this in barrels.’ And I’ve said, ‘I am the winemaker, and I promise you this has not been in barrels.’”
What contributes to what many consider an oak characteristic of a lush mouth feel is a process called sur lie treatment. Lees are small particles of yeast that settle in the wine. Allowing the wine more, and longer, contact with these particles contributes to creating a suppler and at the same time more substantial, wine. The layers of flavor, refinement and elegance really have this wine stand out from your everyday chardonnay.
Chronicle Wines is a wine company co-founded by winemakers Robin Epperson-McCarthy and Alie Shaper with a tasting room at Chronicle Wines at Peconic Cellar Door. The tasting room is located at 2885 Peconic Lane in Peconic. Because they are not an estate vineyard, Epperson-McCarthy and Shaper have the freedom to source grapes from various vineyards. Epperson-McCarthy adds that all the Saltbird brands use North Fork fruit.
This wine, because of its clean, fresh taste combined with its smooth mouth feel, possesses a special ease in pairing. There are of course your expected chardonnay pairings, like chicken, and creamy pasta dishes, but this is also a great seafood chardonnay
Epperson-McCarthy says, “This is what Long Island chardonnay tastes like when you let the chardonnay fruit shine.” 2018 Saltbird Chardonnay drinks significantly above its price point of $20.
To learn more, visit chroniclewines.co.
This story was first published in Dan’s Papers.