About two weeks ago, I paid my first visit to Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton for a tasting. Instantly upon arrival, I could sense the marvelous amount of dedication that goes in to the art of wine making and preservation. You come to Channing Daughters to learn about and appreciate wine; you go elsewhere to sip and move forth.
During my visit and tasting, I met with winemaker James Christopher Tracy, CEO/Partner Larry Perrine and his wife Jacqui Perrine. (I have known Jacqui through her phenomenal Les Mills and Zumba classes at the Hamptons Gym Corp and the YMCA East Hampton RECenter). Larry Perrine, originally from Los Angeles, California and where he originally developed an interest in growing plants and landscaping, is a research viticulturist. Notably, he developed the first formal Grape Research Program for this research industry. According to his bio, Perrine’s viticulture and enology consulting career has spanned 11 years and over 20 vineyard and winery clients.
My exceptional wine tasting included a diverse list of thirteen reds, whites, rosé, and vermouth.
My Wine Tasting Menu
2013 Syvanus: Floral, aromatic field blend (a vin-de-terrior) of Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco from the complanted Sylvanus Vineyard. Medium body, juicy, great aperitif wine. A recent planting. Pairs well with seafood on the porch.
2014 Scuttlehole Chardonnay: Fresh unoaked style (steel barrel), flavors and aromas of minerals, apples, pears, citrus fruit, and lemon curd. Medium bodied with balanced acidity. Grapes are from the North Fork and South Fork.
Brick Kiln: Chardonnay; light, straw-colored, medium-bodied, possesses moderate alcohol and juicy, balanced acidity. There are gorgeous aromas and flavors of pears, baked apples, white flowers, nectarine, lemon curd, brown spice and a saline minerality. Pairs well with roasted chicken, mushroom risotto, ham, winter squash, smoked trout, and salmon.
2015 Sauvignon Blanc: A clean, crisp dry white wine that displays mineral, citrus, stone and tree fruit aromas and flavors. This wine was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks. Pairs well with chicken, light fish, linguini with clam sauce.
2013 Sauvignon: Italian style, Jewel-like wine was created from 82% Sauvignon Blanc and 18% Tocai Friulano. Aromas and flavors of white peach, lemon oil and lemon curd, musk melon, pears, lemon thyme, brown spice, brioche, and a touch of vanilla. Part oak, part steel with more body with a crisp finish. Pairs with all the local seafood, herbed pasta dishes, poultry, fondue, smoked salmon or trout as well as other fish dishes with green sauces.
2013 Vino Bianco: A symphonic white blend of Sauvignon Lanc, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano and Charddonay from the North and South Fork. Aromas and flavors of citrus fruit, white flowers, green apples, lemon curd, white peaches, spice amd the sea. Crisp, light profile, complex with flavors. Pairs well with shellfish dishes, flaky fish, poultry, veal (vitello tonnato), and pork.
2013 Meditazione: Comprised of 28% Pinot Grigio, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Chardonnay, 15% Muscat Ottonel, 15% Tocai Friulano and 2% Pinot Bianco. A textured, aromatic white wine that appeals to both the senses and the intellect. Dry, medium-bodied and possesses juicy acidity. The flavors and aromas are exotic, concentrated, penetrating and complex. This blend of wine is not frequent in the U.S. James Christopher Tracy, the winemaker at Channing Daughters, does four different ones. Pairs well with heavier pork dishes, Alpine cheeses, gamey meats, poultry with nuts, seeds, or squash.
2015 Rosato Merlot Petillant Naturel: Created from 100% Merlot. Featured as one of the year’s top 10 wines by Elin McCoy at Bloomberg Business news. My second favorite! Easy drinking, porch pairing, sunset wine.Six different varieties were created this year.
2014 Rosso Fresco: Blend of seven different grapes from Germany, Italy, and Austria. Smooth finish. There are aromas and flavors of blackberry, black raspberry, black cherry, black plum, black current, spice, earth, a sprinkling of resinous herbs and some roasted meat! Great pizza pairing.
Over & Over V-8: 2004-2014. A red blend made with a ripasso method using a solera system. Notes of violets, black raspberries, black pepper, black cherries, red plums, and brown baking spices. Pair with all manner of game birds, fatty fish, pork, veal, lamb, grains, mushrooms and root vegetables.
VerVino Vermouth: Fortified, aromatized wine crafted with herbs and botanicals from the spring and summer from local farms and gardens. A little spice from the hot pepper. Great on its own, as an aperitif, or as a cocktail mixer for a jazzed-up martini and Bloody Mary. A favorite!
2004 Pazzo: A merlot aged for seven years in barrels. A little spicy. Pazzo is filled with aromas and flavors of figs, caramel, orange peel, Christmas spices, raspberry liqueur, nuts and dried fruit. Lovely, slightly sweet finish. My third favorite.
2014 Muscat de Boom: My absolute favorite! Second year made. Aromas of Muscat grapes, dried apricots, caramelized peaches, baked apples, nuts, pineapple curd and golden raisins rise from the glass. Crazy delicious just sipped by itself! Great with classic sweet wine combos like bleu cheese. Also great with nuts, and fruit based desserts especially containing apples, pears, apricots and peaches. Great when poured over ice cream. Chill lightly. Limited production, only 61 cases produced.
After my tasting, I sat down with Jacqui and Larry Perrine:
“White wines are the most popular, then summery wines during the main season. Rosé is the draw. We make at least six different types of rosé that we launch in April of every year,” says Larry Perrine. “We make 5,000 cases of rosé. It is a fun, by the pool wine. Now there is rosé by the glass at every restaurant all year long. We didn’t see that 10 years ago.”
Popular wines that people inquire about include their Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. “These are the wines they come in looking for,” says Perrine. “What they leave with is different. We expose our customers to wines that they may have not had before such as skin fermented white wines and vermouth. Our vermouth varieties have a lot of character and life. The combination of botanical which includes not just herbs but flowers, fruits, and vegetables. A couple are actually pink in color.”
“The bulk of the chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay and 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Sometimes we blend the two after fermentation, [but] you would will still call it Chardonnay. Vino Bianco, for example, is a blended wine. We take different varieties that have been fermented, the standard way to blend wine. Almost all wines are blended, same batch but from multiple barrels. Champagne is all blended across vintages.”
“Skin fermented white wines, or what we refer to as our orange wines, tend to taste better with food,” adds Jacqui Perrine. “When drinking the wine, you may not exerpeicen all of the aromas at once. Instead while drinking, you have a taste of this, a bite of that, then…woah! The aromas and flavors become more distinct. That’s how I feel about theses wines. I like to drink fermented wines during the fall, served at cellar temperature. They pair well with fatty foods, alfredo pasta dishes, pork belly. [These foods will help to enunciate the] dried fruit flavors, such as dried apricot flavor, and baked apple flavor.”
Channing Daughters will host three Wine Tasting Classes throughout the summer. In addition to the vineyard in the front lawn, there is an expansive field in the back of the winery that is home to several sculptures by Walter Channing. His works are “ever present in the vineyards, tasting room, and almost anywhere you look around the estate.” You can even witness the eye-catching tree root sculpture that is also the symbol of the winery. Visitors are are free to visit and walk around the Sculpture Garden and enjoy the founder and benefactor Walter Channing’s amazing sculptures. Channing also has a Wine Club, a group that provides members with advance wine offers and access to VIP tastings and events held throughout the year.
http://www.channingdaughters.com // 631-537-7224