Summer and Long Island sauvignon blanc go hand in hand. As the hot, humid weather descends upon us, the bright citrusy flavors of local sauvignon slakes our thirst and refreshes us.
But not all Long Island Sauvignon Blanc is created equal. There are myriad styles thanks to experimentation on the part of local winemakers. Some producers pick their grapes a bit earlier to capture the most acidity. Others wait a bit longer to mitigate some of the green flavors that many expect in sauvignon blanc. You’ll find varying degrees of skin contact, lees contact and even barrel fermentation or aging too.
Note: Keep an eye out for the next issue of Long Island Wine Press, where we take an in-depth look at Long Island Sauvignon Blanc.
Our “Wine of the Week,” Macari Vineyards 2015 Lifeforce Sauvignon Blanc, shows of yet another experimental side of local sauvignon blanc. Winemaker Kelly Koch uses one of the winery’s concrete eggs — they look exactly how you’re picturing them — to ferment a portion of the Lifeforce blend. The remainder is fermented in stainless steel.
The concrete egg allows for slow air transfer, similar to oak barrels, but without imparting oak flavors or tannins. And, because of their shape, a concrete eggs basically allows a wine to stir its own lees as it ferments.
The result is a texturally stunning wine. It’s broad and mouth-filling while remaining bright and balanced. Ripe melon and citrus flavors are accented by notes of white flowers and the most subtle citrusy herb notes. But it’s really the mouthfeel that stands out here.
Most of us drink sauvignon blanc ice cold. You can do that here, but you’ll be rewarded if you let it warm up for about an hour (or only chill it for that long). When it’s just a bit warmer, new layers of aroma and flavor emerge.
This wine hasn’t been released yet, but the last vintage was $27, making it a great value. Look for it at the winery’s Mattituck and Cutchogue tasting rooms soon.