Posts Tagged With: Long Island Wines

2009 Macari Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

This time last year I was in Long Island Wine Country with Megan, enjoying some great wine and food, visiting with friends and making new ones. Since we aren’t in Long Island this year I decided to open some wine from the region to help relive the memories from last year. We have lots of red wine in the cellar from that trip, but we were making Indian food last night and I needed a white. I perused around and found the ’09 Macari Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc ($23). (Check out my post “From Poop to Juice” on our visit to Macari Vineyards last year)

My Tasting Notes…

Nose: pear, citrus, grapefruit, fresh cut grass, slate

Taste: sweet pea, lemon zest, minerality, green apple, grapefruit

Mouthfeel: smooth and crisp with racy acidity on the back of the palate

Finish: medium in length with lingering notes of citrus and sweet pea

Final Thoughts….

This is a very nice and complex Sauvignon Blanc that reminds me of a combination of ones from New Zealand and Touraine. You have great fruit forward nature of New Zealand and the racy acidity and minerality of Touraine. In addition it was a great pairing for the Indian food which was Channa Masala and Palak Aloo.



Categories: $20-$30, New York Wines, sauvignon blanc, wine review | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Another winning Cabernet Franc from the North Fork

On a slightly chilly rainy October day in Cutchogue, New York Megan and I made our way into the tasting room at Peconic Bay Winery. This was our first visit to the winery and we were shown a great time by Pascal Zugmeyer, Hospitality Director and Jim Silver, General Manager. We tasted through the entire lineup of Peconic wines, including their new more value based line Nautique. On the day I felt the 2007 Cabernet Franc ($22) was the winning wine for me with a very close second being the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (75% Cab, 25% Merlot). On a non wine related note, the bathrooms at Peconic have the coolest hand dryers I have ever seen, the Dyson Airblade, very energy efficient and dries your hands in like 2 seconds.

A couple of nights ago I broke open the 2007 Cabernet Franc for dinner, and again it did not disappoint. Here’s what I thought…

nose: red currant, roast beef, brussel sprouts, brown sugar

taste: fennel, raspberry, red currant, cherry and oak

mouthfeel: medium to full body – a bit spicy, good acid and young yet approachable tannins

finish: fairly long – leaving red fruit and green veggies on the palate

As you can see from the notes, lots of green veggies and meaty, earthy herb notes on the nose and palate of this wine. Don’t let that discourage you as it is not “green” in anyway. Very well put together and excitingly zippy with it’s bright acidity. There was something slightly off on the palate for me that I couldn’t identify, but wasn’t strong enough to affect the overall perception.

Look for future notes on the Cabernet Sauvignon, although it may be a while since it needs a bit of time in the cellar.


Categories: $20-$30, New York Wines, wine review | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Back to Shinn Vineyards – more than a winery

During our recent visit to the North Fork of Long Island, we had the pleasure of staying at the Shinn Vineyards Farmhouse B&B. Following a fabulous lunch at Shinn during Taste Camp back in May, Megan and I agreed that we MUST come back and stay at Shinn—six months later, here we were!


Cabernet Franc Grapes

We visited Shinn during harvest, so it was a lot of fun to see (and taste) all the action while we were there. Each morning we took a long jog along their country road lined with vines, while tractors and field hands (and birds and bees) buzzed back and forth between vineyards. Then we returned to the house to enjoy a cup of hot coffee while wandering lazily through Shinn’s vineyards, snacking on nearly ripe grapes. We also spent the mornings watching grapes get sorted and crushed on the crush pad, tasting fresh juice, chatting with their winemaker Anthony Nappa, and generally getting in the way.

Once we had worked up on appetite, we had the pleasure of an amazing breakfast prepared by owner David Page, a former professional chef. We had everything from homemade fruit smoothies to leek and mushroom risotto topped with a fried duck egg. Needless to say, these scrumptious breakfasts got our wine tasting days started on the right foot.


sampling '09 juice in the winery

Our tasting at Shinn began in the vineyard with owners Barbara and David. During the walk we learned more about their growing techniques while we sampled Cab Franc and Merlot grapes fresh from the vine. When fellow bloggers Lenn Thompson and Michael Gorton Jr. arrived, we headed into the winery with David and Anthony to sample their current works in progress. We tasted some of the ’09 juice that had already come in, including the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc. I was most impressed with the Pinot Blanc, which was produced as a wild ferment. It was wonderfully crisp, beautiful citrus with touches of petrol – very reminiscent of an Alsatian style.


In the "library" tasting back vintages

Tasting raw wine is a treat in itself, but we had the additional treat of sitting in the Shinn “library” and tasting some back vintage wines with the gang:

07 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion – lots of white tea, fully body and tropical fruit, with the addition of a nice briney, mineral quality.

04 Cabernet Franc – raspberry reduction on the nose with lots of cedar and spice, slight floral note on the palate with raspberry, green bean, cassis and a hint of brett(??). Very well integrated tannins and acid – beautiful.

05 Cabernet Sauvignon – lots of cherry, raspberry and red currant. Still a young with beautiful leather tannins and loads of ripe fruit

06 Cabernet Sauvignon – dark fruit with a great black tea component, black currant and nice earthy quality. Smooth and silky, a bit more “ready” than the ’05, hint of mint/eucalyptus on the back of the palate

07 Malbec – roasted chestnut, cocoa, black fruit with fairly racy acidity. Full bodied, young and vibrant.

David was also nice enough to pull out a 95 Cabernet Sauvignon from Bedell Cellars – barnyard and earth, leather, dark fruit and cedar. Ripe plum and blackberry. Still very big tannins and “spicy” acidity.


David and I in the vineyard

I appreciate Shinn’s wines not only for how they taste, but also for how they are made—hand-crafted, and with a dedication to sustainable vineyard practices. David, Barbara and Anthony take a very holistic approach to “wine growing.” Megan did a great post on Shinn after our visit during Taste Camp–here is an excerpt:

Shinn Estate Vineyards has embraced biodynamic principles, and continues to strive for complete sustainability. Shinn uses extensive cover cropping to maximize soil nutrition, to prevent erosion and to encourage biodiversity. They use solar panels to partially power their farmhouse and winery. They also work closely with Cornell University to explore the benefits and risks of various sustainable viticultural techniques and chemical alternatives, and thus contribute to both the knowledge of the field and to others in the region who are struggling with similar challenges.”

Over the next couple of days we sampled Shinn’s regular tasting room lineup — I will give you a tour of those wines in a future post.

Thanks to David, Barbara and Anthony for showing us a great time.


Categories: New York Wines, winery review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Drinking the Macari Sette

So last night for dinner I went to my sample rack to catch up on some things and pulled out the Macari Vineyards Sette ($17) from the North Fork of Long Island. It intrigued me because it was non-vintage (or at least not labeled) and no grapes were listed. So before whipping out the laptop to look up this wine I tasted it, and guessed that it must be predominately Cabernet Franc. Well I was right, it is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot, as well as a new wine for Macari.

Unfortunately the information on the Macari website is limited as far as vinification and doesn’t go much further than the blend of grapes. Quick background info on Macari –

Macari is on the cutting edge of viticulture and is dedicated to a more natural approach to winemaking. Joseph Macari, Jr. is recognized as a pioneer in the movement towards organic and sustainable farming on Long Island, employing principles of biodynamic farming since the vineyard’s first plantings. Extensive soil preparation, rich composts, careful cover cropping and a consideration to wildlife and terrain makes Macari’s 180 planted acres stand out from the rest. Taking into account the health of the environment as a whole, and moving away from the harmful effects of pesticides to a more natural and meticulous caretaking of the soil and plants, ultimately yields premium wines.”

macarisetteMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: mocha, plum, black cherry, red currant, thyme

Taste: red cherry, red currant, leather, oak, raspberry

Mouthfeel: spicy with velvety tannins, medium to full bodied with racy acidity

Finish: long in length with a great amount of fruit

I was quite impressed with the wine, it was varietally correct, extremely balanced and also good. Not a bad combination for $17. My only negative comment on the wine would be the presence of oak toward the back of the palate. I don’t mind oak or it’s derivatives in a wine, but for some reason this was coming off as more of a plywood taste. It was over bearing so it didn’t take away from the rest of the great flavors I was picking up.


Categories: $10-$20, New York Wines, wine review | Tags: , | 2 Comments