Sign up for our Newsletter

Macari Vineyards ‘Lifeforce’ sauvignon blanc. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

Sauvignon blanc is an important grape for Long Island. It seems to take well to our climate and soil and there is a lot of very good wine being made from it — which is great given the seafood-focused local cuisine. After all, as the saying goes, “What grows together, goes together.”

I don’t think of it as the white grape of the future here anymore. It’s the white grape of the present.

I drink a fair amount of local sauvignon in the warmer months and certain styles even lend themselves to year-round drinking. One such wine is Macari Vineyards 2014 “Lifeforce” Sauvignon Blanc ($27).

Fifty seven percent of the fruit that went into this wine was de-stemmed, crushed and the juice was left on the skins for nine days before being pressed into one of the two concrete eggs you’ll find in the Macari tank room, just behind the main tasting room bar. The rest was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel.

You can read more about the eggs in my upcoming piece in the next Long Island Wine Press, due to hit newsstands in late January. But briefly, they offer two important qualities to winemaker Kelly Urbanik Koch’s arsenal. First, concrete allows for slow air transfer, similar to oak barrels — but without imparting oak flavors or tannins. And, because of its shape, a concrete eggs basically allows a wine to stir its own lees as it ferments.

Ripe melon and sweet, bright citrus aromas are joined by notes of citrus blossom and lemon verbena on an expressive, complex nose – especially if you don’t over-chill the wine.

The palate is ripe but focused – both concentrated and lively. Melon and citrus flavors dominate with more of those floral and herbal notes in the background. There is a bit more mid-palate weight than many local sauvignon blancs and the texture is a standout, showing great balance between richness and acidity.

Just released in the tasting room, you can pick this one up for $27.

Lenn Thompson