2012 Gold Label Chardonnay, Lenz Winery, North Fork of Long Island ($18)
My prejudices first. I am a fan of wines made on the North Fork of Long Island; chances are, when they take a turn with classic varietals, the results will be lower in alcohol, more graceful than parallel turns from, say, California. Second: I have been to enough tastings over the years pitting wines from Lenz (in the North Fork) against wines from Europe and California to know that Lenz wines are much more European in style than Californian. But these principles don’t always apply to my main worldwide varietal bugaboo, Chardonnay.