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Macari Vineyards 2018 ‘Early Wine’ Chardonnay. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

You’ve probably read at least a little bit about the local 2018 grape growing season — maybe even in this column. Heck, you lived through it too. The rain. The grey. The rain. 

Did I mention the rain?

We shouldn’t expect big, super-ripe wines to come from this vintage, but I don’t expect a bunch of garbage wines either. The top wineries will make good, even some great, wines in most any vintage. This year may test that theory, but this week’s wine of the week, Macari Vineyards 2018 “Early Wine” Chardonnay ($22) is a nice first sip of 2018.

Named early wine because it’s harvested, bottled and released early — September 17, October 31 and November 3, respectively — you can think of this as chardonnay nouveau.

All of the classic Macari Early Wine aromas are here — fresh green apple with hints of citrus and just a little citrus blossom. That green apple quality continues on the medium-bodied, off-dry palate that also shows hints of grapefruit and plenty of lemon-lime acidity.

Though it seems a bit sweeter than last year’s version, it’s balanced nicely, though maybe not quite as crunchy as the 2017.

Pick up a bottle at Macari’s Mattituck tasting room for $22 and enjoy it with lighter meats, both in savory or spicy applications.

Lenn Thompson has been writing about American wine — with a focus on New York — for nearly 15 years. After running for 12 years, he launched in 2016 and The Cork Report Podcast soon after. He lives in Miller Place with his wife and two children.