Macari Vineyards & Winery2005 Early Wine
(North Fork of Long Island)
Despite my love of New York wines, I rarely find myself eagerly anticipating a new wine's release -- partially because I don't always know the release schedules and partially because many wineries only release new wines once the previous vintage sells out. I'm not up on their invetory, so I just don't know.
Every fall, right around this time, I do find myself clamoring for the new "Early Wine" from Macari Vineyards. I really enjoyed last year's vintage and it's a favorite wine in my household within the first few months of its release. The racy acidity seems to fade much beyond that so it loses a lot of it's charm.
2005, as you've no doubt read here, was a tremendous growing season...hot, dry and sunny. And, because 90% of the Island's white wine grapes were picked before the monsoons, this wine was unaffected by the 17 or so inches that were dumped on local vineyards at harvest time. That ripeness is apparent, but I think may I prefer this wine during less-ideal growing seasons.
The grapes for this bottling were picked on September 22, the finished wine (made 100% from chardonnay in steel tanks) was bottled November 2 and the wine was released November 5. Think of it as Long Island's white wine rendition of Beaujolais Nouveau...but with some character and without the banana scents/flavors. This is a wine, not a marketing blitz.
Eyes: Super-pale lemon yellow, with a barely perceptible bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass
Nose: Ripe, roasted pear, over-ripe apricot and honey dominate with a little lemon zest
Tongue: Much less acidity than the 2004, which makes the wine seem sweeter and slightly off balance. Almost reminds me of a halbtrocken kabinett riesling. Flavors match the nose, with a slightly lingering finish of minerals.
I recommend serving this wine ice cold to intensify what acidity it has and push the sweetness back a bit. You know me, I never recommend over-chilling wine, but I think it's a good idea here. It's a good beach/picnic wine and I think I'm going to take a bottle to Thanksgiving dinner to taste along side some riesling. Could be interesting.
Reviewed November 22, 2005 by Lenn Thompson.
Lenn Thompson writes about New York wines for Dan's Papers,