Something to Wine About: 2018 Saltbird Chardonnay

2018 Saltbird Chardonay from Chronicle Wines
2018 Saltbird Chardonay

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.

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