Posts Tagged With: Macari Vineyards

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.

Cheers!

 

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

From Poop to Juice

We sat in a van surrounded by large piles of poop, food waste and fish heads, while seagulls circled hungrily above. While some may see a garbage dump, others see a nutrient-rich (and highly coveted) compost pile and a key ingredient to fine wine production. We have visited many wineries and vineyards over the years, though we have never encountered such a monstrous pile of poop as that which resides on the Macari Vineyard site on the North Fork of Long Island, NY. (Don’t worry, this is nowhere near the tasting room!)

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As we rode around the vineyard property (all 500+ acres; 220 under vine) with Alexandra (“Alex”) Macari, we learned of some of the Native American heritage the land holds, and the deep rooted respect for the soil. We also learned about the Macaris’ long-term efforts to be biodynamic and organic (at least to the extent possible) to nurture healthy and vibrant grape vines. Alex pointed to a wooded lot which holds hundreds of buried cow horns, a method for making natural fertilizing teas. She pointed to a contraption in the center of the vineyard which focuses positive energy into the soil. She drove us to the bluffs which overlook the Long Island Sound at the rear of the Macari property- an important source of cleansing breezes. And as we made our way back from the vineyard to the tasting room, we passed the animal paddocks housing steer, chickens, goats, and more – important sources for their homemade fertilizer.

It is important to note that, while Macari does follow many/all of the biodymanic farming practices, they are also very sensitive to the common exploitation of those terms. Macari admits that at times conventional chemical sprays are necessary, and as a result they avoid formally (or even informally) labeling their wines as biodynamic or organic.

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After our tour around the property, Alex saddled up to the tasting bar with us and poured through their current lineup. Joining us for our tasting was one of Macari’s primary winemakers, Paula from Chile.  On the whole, we were impressed with consistent quality of the wines, not to say we loved every one, but the winemaking style was clean and unobtrusive.

On to the wines…

2008 Sauvignon Blanc – $22.99 – beautifully tropical nose, with a touch of “sweet” grapefruit on the front of the palate, followed by a bit of peach and Asian Pear. Great acid, clean finish!

2007 Estate Chardonnay – $18.99 – (stainless steel) apple, pear, hay field – beautifully round mid palate, crisp acidity with “mineral” finish. Clean and dry

2009 Early Wine – lots of green fruit, touch of sweetness which was surprising because of the bone dry finish. Appley aftertaste.

2007 Reserve Chardonnay -$22.99 – (12 mos. French Oak) hint of vanilla and baking spice, lemon custard, Asian Pear and hay. Full body, very well balanced.

2008 Rose – $14.99 – (45% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 14% Cab. Sauv, 7% Pinot Noir, 4% Malbec) bright red fruit with an interesting fresh cut hay note on the nose, with watermelon and pomegranate notes on the palate

Collina 48 Merlot – $12.99 – (3% Cab Franc) spicy with black fruit and leather notes, medium body with a soft velvety finish.

2004 Merlot Reserve – $35.99 – earthiness & black pepper, black cherry, black currant and boysenberry with hints of wet cedar. Full body, great tannins – very nice.

2007 Syrah – $34.99 – huge fruit up front, most dark with a hint of red currant shining through, black pepper, tar and graphite, all rounding out the mix. Very full body, kept expanding on the palate.

2007 Malbec – great cola and raisin on the nose, very cherry filled, but slightly “green” tasting and floral towards the finish.

2007 Dos Aguas – $26.99 – (45% Cab Sauv, 36% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc, 4% Malbec) tobacco on the nose with black fruit and mint. Red currant, green bean, pipe tobacco and blackberry on the palate. Silky but rich tannins

2004 Bergen Road – $42.99 – (42% Merlot, 29% Cab Sauv, 24% Malbec, 5% Petite Verdot) – cocoa, mint, “sweet” black fruit, tobacco leaf (raw). Beautiful acid and tannin integration.

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Alex and Joe Macari

 

After tasting we took a walk through the tank and barrel rooms with with Alex and Paula, and even saw a little fruit being pressed. Following the tour, we were honored to join Alex, and her husband Joe, and their biodynamics manager for lunch. They prepared an amazing lunch for us– a huge vegetarian spread, including a second course of pasta and a cheese course to finish it off. It was great to sit and talk with Joe and Alex and learn more about them, their family, and their wines. Thanks to them both for showing us a great time.

Cheers!

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

My First 2008 Wine of 2008

In its 6th vintage of their Early Wine, Macari Vineyards taps into their Austrian heritage to produce this Chardonnay that is bottled and released within a month and a half of harvest.  Macari Vineyards, established in 1995 and located on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island has 180 acres of vines on their 500 acre estate. Growing a bit of everything, it looks like their primary wine focus is on Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

 

earlywine_backlabelThe 2008 Early Wine Chardonnay ($16) is as I said a quick to market wine similar to Beaujolais Nouveau.  The 2008 was harvested on September 9th, bottled on October 16th and released on October 23rd. The result is an “interesting” Chardonnay that if I had tasted blind would have thought it to be a Sauvignon Blanc. It is a very refreshing wine with sharp acidity and a slight effervescence on the tongue that would be a great summertime sipper. Unfortunately it is meant to be drank early, so summertime is about 8 months out for this wines prime. Luckily it was an unusually warm day in Richmond last night so it felt a bit like summer.

 

 

earlywine_frontlabelMy Tasting Notes –

Nose – Fresh cut grass, citrus, pear, a touch of honey, and something tropical that I couldn’t put my finger on

Taste – Tropical fruit, hay, citrus and a splash of Granny Smith apple

Mouthfeel – very crisp with slight effervescence on the tongue

Finish – longer than expected, I would say medium length, with mineral and tropical notes lingering

 

The wine had a nice tartness to it and seemed to have a bit of residual sugar that evened that out a bit. The website for Macari didn’t have the specs on the wine so I am not sure if I am correct on my R.S. assumption. At a case production of a little over 1700 cases, Macari says this sells out fast upon release and seeing this in your local grocery story is probably unlikely unless you live in the New York area. Actually this wine may only be available at the winery but don’t quote me on that.

 

Thanks to Macari for sending me a bottle as I wouldn’t have been able to try it otherwise.

 

Cheers.

Categories: $10-$20, New York Wines | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments