Back East

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

We’re heading towards the end of chilly weather and I’m in that in between stage of hankering for reds and yearning for light summer whites. However, I’m still sticking with the reds for the time-being.  Tonight we headed to New York via the wine, grabbing the 2005 Macari Estate Merlot from the basement. The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and the current vintage retails for $21.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I’ve really enjoyed the last several wines I’ve had from New York State.

2.) I think the Wine Blogger Conference should consider Long Island as a future conference site.

3.) This wine had one of those noses where I just kept my nose buried in my glass.

4.) Macari has consistently impressed me since I first tasted their wines.

On the nose I got pepper, strawberry, black plum, earth, eucalyptus, forest floor, herbs, cherry, and Christmas tree. In the mouth I found raspberry, black fruit, pepper, and spice. Good tannins and juicy fruit, combined with a fabulous nose made for an all around lovely wine.

A Tour of the States

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

I drink a lot of California wine. It’s just a simple fact. I really cut my wine teeth on California wine and as such, I tend to drink more of it than anything else.  However, this past week you wouldn’t be able to tell….we had ORegon on Sunday, North Carolina on Monday, and today we have New York. I do love trying wines from lots of different places, so hitting a streak with a variety of wines is always a fun time. Today we tried the NV Macari Sette, a 50/50 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Long Island. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $16.99.

On the nose I found strawberries, earth, herbs, plum, spice, leather, raspberry, and just a slightly green characteristic that I actually really love about Cab Francs (it’s a pleasant green thing, I promise!). In the mouth I got red berries, strawberries, plum, earth, dirt, raspberries, cranberries, black cherry, and herbs. The wine had great acidity and at $16.99 seemed to be a great bargain. I also really enjoyed the Macari Rosé I had earlier this year, they seem to be making some wines at a good price point with real character.

Going, Going, Gone!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

I imagine this wine will pretty much sell out in the blink of an eye.  As well it should, it’s a fantastic little summer Rosé.  The 2008 Macari Rosé is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Pinot Noir, and 4% Malbec.  It hails from the North Fork of Long Island where I had no idea Malbec was being grown!  The wine retails for $14.99, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 12.8% alcohol by volume.  With those stats, and what I enjoyed in this bottle, I’d suggest scooping some up for the hot days ahead!

On the nose I found strawberries, raspberries, spice, white pepper, slight cream, white flowers, and cranberry.  I forgot to mention how I loved the color of this wine in the glass, it poured out as an extremely pale salmon pink color that looked great!  In the mouth I got cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, spice, slight lemon, white pepper, and lime.  Overall, the cranberry really dominated in the mouth, making this a crisp, tart Rosé, with just a hint of a citrus edge that I love in a good Rosé.  Yum!

NY Ice Wine!

We headed up to NYC this weekend to visit with my inlaws (thankfully we took the BoltBus were I could catch up on email and such uninterrupted for 4 hours!!).  While there, we stayed with some family friends who left us a bottle of Finger Lakes Ice Wine on the counter! I don’t get many chances to try wines from NY, so I’m always happy to taste one…I imagine it’s a bit like VA wines, you don’t see them too often outside the state of origin.  After a long day spent watching the Yankees lose (sob) though enjoying the fact that Matt’s birthday wishes got posted on the big screen at the game, we retired to our friends’ apartment and cracked open the 2005 Standing Stone Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine. It has a plastic cork closure, clocks in at 11% alcohol by volume, comes in a 375mL bottle, and looks to retail for somewhere between $20 and $25 for the bottle. I’m unsure if this is made in the ice wine style or if the grapes are actually frozen on the vine.

The color on the wine almost looked like brandy to me…I was surprised at how dark this wine was.  On the nose I found honey, flowers, apricot, sweet apples, candied pear, and a general sense of candied fruit. In the mouth I got flavors of honey, sweet pear, yellow apples, apricot, and candied pineapple.  While the wine was definitely sweet, it had great acidity.  I would love to try this with a selection of blue cheeses…it could take the place of the honey I usually drizzle on blue cheese!  Oh, and I can picture pouring this over some of the homemade French vanilla ice cream that I like to make….yum!

Chardonnay From New York!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

It’s not terribly often I get a chance to taste wines from New York.  Though I frequently read about them over at Lenn’s place.  So when the Macari family contacted me to see if I would like to sample one of their wines, I jumped at the opportunity.  Shortly thereafter, the 2007 Macari Reserve Barrel Fermented Chardonnay arrived on my doorstep.  The wine hails from the North Fork of Long Island, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $22.99.

On the nose I found pear, apple, honeyed apriot, butterscotch, cream, peach, and tropical notes.  I really enjoyed the nose on the wine.  In the mouth I got flavors of apple, pear, white peach, lemon, and some spice.  I thought the wine had just the right amount of crispness and acidity and I found the oak influence added nice structure.

A Little Mouthful

That’s about all you need of Ice Wine! While we were visiting the folks in CT, my dad wanted to try ice wine, which he had seen me drink at a restaurant a while back. So we went to MV Wine and Spirit one night and bought a bottle. Now, this is an actual ice wine, frozen on the vines, but it’s not from Germany, but the Niagara Peninsula.

The bottle was a Peller Estates Limited Edition Founders Series 2003 Vidal Ice Wine. It clocked in at 11.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost $44.95.

On the nose of the wine I found honey, apricots, and golden raisins. These flavors all carried through to the mouth, into a gorgeous smooth concoction that went down very easily. The wine was sweet, as ice wines tend to be, but it had great structure with the acidic backbone.

This wine was the hit of the evening, and given the 6 bottles were consumed that night, that should say something. It met with universal approval and everyone asking for seconds! Too bad the ice wine bottles are so small!

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