11/29/16 10:52am
Lieb Cellars 2011 Blanc de blancs

Lieb Cellars 2011 Blanc de Blancs. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

“This wine focuses a laser beam of fruit right on the tickle-spot of your palate.”

That’s how The Washington Post describes Lieb Cellars’ 2011 Blanc de Blancs ($32), a sparkling wine made from 100 percent pinot blanc. The wine was selected by the newspaper as a great value for the holidays. (more…)

11/18/16 6:00am
Macari Vineyards 2016 Early Wine

A bottle of Macari Vineyards 2016 Early Wine. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

The third Thursday in November, which was yesterday, is kind of a big deal in the wine world. It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day, when, under French law, the new batch of Beaujolais Nouveau is released at 12:01 a.m., just weeks after the gamay grapes used to make it were picked.

In France — particularly in the Beaujolais region — it’s a day celebrated with festivals, fireworks and much revelry. Here in the United States, you’ll probably find stack after stack of the stuff at your local wine shop.

Though it’s a fun concept, a very-early taste of the new vintage just in time for Thanksgiving, most of the wine is mediocre or worse. There are some good ones, but they are harder to find and aren’t worth chasing down.

Don’t bother. Pick up a bottle (or six) of our wine of the week: Macari Vineyards 2016 “Early Wine” Chardonnay. (more…)

11/09/16 6:00am
Macari Vineyards Early Wine

Macari Vineyards’ 2016 Early Wine was released Nov. 8, 2016. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

It takes less than two months for Macari Vineyards’ Early Wine to go from vine to glass.

The Mattituck vineyard released its 2016 version, which the New York Times once called “fruit salad in a bottle,” in its tasting room on Tuesday. Perennially the first wine of the North Fork harvest to be released, it’s made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes and costs $18 a bottle.

“[It] offers green apple, lime and floral aromas,” said Macari winemaker Kelly Koch. “A slight effervescence and bright acidity keep it fresh and balanced.” (more…)

09/23/16 6:01am
Red Hook Winery "Macari Vineyards" cabernet franc. (Credit Lenn Thompson)

Red Hook Winery’s 2014 “Macari Vineyard” Cabernet Franc. (Credit Lenn Thompson)

With modern winemaking technology what it is today, it’s rare that I taste a flat-out awful wine these days. Flaws can be avoided, or fixed, now today more than ever.

Taste and personal preference are what drive our decisions these days. A barrel-fermented chardonnay that was then aged in new American oak barrels for 24 months might be expertly made and technically clean — but that doesn’t mean it’s a wine we actually like.

What does this have to do with our wine of the week, Red Hook Winery 2014 “Macari Vineyard” Cabernet Franc ($32)?

Everything. (more…)