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One has to wonder if Gabriella Macari, daughter of owners Joe and Alexandra Macari, knew how popular Horses, Macari Vineyards’ sparkling cabernet franc rosé, would be when she first asked her dad for some cabernet franc grapes to devote to it. 

It’s gained a cult-like following at a winery that already has another seasonal cult classic — the Early Wine chardonnay (which will be released in about a month by the way). 

Horses, which is named for the “horsehead bluffs” at the edge of Macari’s vineyards, is pink, fizzy and while it’s not a pet-nat, it does come closed with a crown cap (think a beer bottle). Those features — along with the fact that it’s delicious and well priced at $26 — make it incredibly popular with wine geeks and regular ole wine lovers alike. 

My wife and I bought a case of it when we visited the winery recently. Fruitier and a bit more pure than the previous release, it offers nice berried fruit, but also distinct cabernet franc-ness with an earthy, even herbal edge. It’s great for cocktail-style sipping, but really shines with food. We’re saving some for Thanksgiving. 

Horses is available at Macari’s Mattituck tasting room for $26.