A very long while ago I visited Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton. Since Channing Daughters is on the other fork of Long Island, I often forget to go and visit and taste their wines — shame on me for that. Lenn Thompson, over at the New York Cork Report had helped me out with making arrangement for my visit. Unfortunately I was not able to meet and taste with Christopher Tracy and his wife Allison Dubin, they were out of town on vacation.
Fortunately, Debbie Huneken, was there that day. Debbie helps in all aspects of Channing Daughters Winery; she works in the tasting room, helps with the newsletter and wine club, and has been known to help stomp grapes with her feet from time to time. I had alot of fun tasting with Debbie, she is a true wine geek and helped me get a better understanding of Channing Daughters, what they are all about and how they make their wines.
I must admit, I feel ashamed that I was unable to complete the post about my visit. I tasted alot of wine that day, some wines and blends I tasted for the first time; I found it hard to put my experience to paper. Sure, I could have rattled off my tasting notes, but the experience I had at Channing Daughters was one of the best. Sometimes when I am out tasting, I enjoy a wine or a winery so much, that I am unable to put my thoughts into cohesive sentences. So I scrapped it. I did however leave with a few bottles of wines that really struck me as beautiful, expressive and noteworthy wine. All of Channing Daughters wine could be described that way, however a few stood out. And this was one of them.
Channing Daughters 2008 Blaufränkisch ($25). Blau-WHAT! Blau-frank-ish; for those of you who like things done phonetically. Blaufränkisch is a German name given to the noble grape “Frankish” It has sometimes been refered to as the Pinot Noir of Eastern Europe. Blaufränkisch is also known as Lemberger.
This is Long Island’s only varietal of Blaufränkisch. The 2008 has 25% merlot blended in it. You will see Blaufränkisch in some other reds at Channing Daughters.
On the nose I was picking up fresh ripe cherry with hints of black pepper and spice. Earthy smoky with hints of mint and dried herbs. Notes of blueberry and a briny — caper or olive brine elements were in the glass.
The palate brought loads of cherry and black licorice with hints of plum, black pepper and spice. There was also an element of pastrami as well, it was meaty and peppery.
The acidity was bright and the tannins were well-integrated. It gave a peppery finish.
Tasting this blind it had me thinking it was a Cabernet Franc or a Pinto Noir. Very interesting grape and one that really opened my eyes.
Make sure you visit Channing Daughters and give this a try, along with their other excellent offerings. I hope to visit them soon and taste again through their portfolio.