Last week, I spent a couple of days on Long Island’s North Fork, before heading up to Maine. With 34 wineries and tasting rooms to choose from (enough to make anyone’s bed spin), I based my selections on notes from Brooklyn Uncorked!-the Long Island wine event at BAM-and on recommendations received along the way. I visited four on the first day: Paumanok, Jamesport, Macari, and Lieb Family Cellars. Paumanok poured a delicious Chenin Blanc (full of pineapple and minerality with a steely dry finish at $28 a bottle), but I will haven’t much to say about the experience at Jamesport.
A light and airy tasting room serviced by knowledgeable and friendly folks, Macari, with its spacious deck overlooking the vineyards, is a lovely place to visit. Owned, run, and biodynamically farmed by the Macari family in Mattituck, Long Island, the Macari vineyards have been around since 1995, and in that time, they have created some fine New York wines.
We picked up a bottle of the Sauvingnon Blanc 2007, for $21.99. The color of greenish pale straw, this tangy white showed grapefruit and lime with a pleasant mineral current; a fusion that was complex and bright.
The Bergan Road 2004 (Meritage), a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, was deep red, a big mouthed wine that was quite delicious with a mild peppery spice. Though not your (or at least not my) every day wine, we passed on this $40+ bottle and opted for the Sette, a 50% Merlot & 50% Cabernet Franc blend, that was a steal at $14.99. Earthy with a touch of spice, this well balanced wine possessed just enough cherry to brighten, but not overpower the palate. It went quite well with the campfire we burned on a chilly Maine night.
At Macari, I finished with a taste of their Block E 2004. Golden yellow and thick but not sugary sweet, this dessert wine burst forward with tropical fruits-lychee, mango, and passion fruit, lip-smacking flavors that finished with a touch of peach and lingered long. Yum.
Regretfully, I seem to have misplaced my notes for the Lieb Family Cellars, which is quite unfortunate, because their award winning 2006 Reserve Pinot Blanc was divine. At this point, all I can recall is the light fruit and chalky minerality that paired heavenly with the lobsters we ate while camping at Hermit Island one night.