I’m over Beaujolais nouveau — it’s mostly about the spectacle (and the marketing) and the wines often disappoint. I’d rather wait until Cru stuff is released. But when it comes to local nouveau wines (there are a few) I always look forward to Macari Vineyards’ “Early Wine” chardonnay, even if it varies (sometimes wildly) from year to year.
Inspired by the jungwein (young wine) of consulting winemaker Helmut Gangl’s homeland — they are often served in heuriger shortly after harvest — the grapes for this win were harvested on August 29 and the wine was bottled less than two months later on October 22.
Macari Vineyards 2012 “Early Wine” Chardonnay ($17) is my favorite edition since the 2009. The nose is fresh and playful with an interplay between green apple, Bartlett pear and apple blossom aromas backed by subtle lemon-lime citrus zest notes.
The apple-pear-blossom character carries over to th medium-light bodied palate — which is similarly fresh, juicy and delivers the sort of tension between acidity and residual sugar that often defines good riesling. Ultimately, it finishes nearly dry and lingers with notes of flowers and green apple skin.
Straightforward, charming and delicious. Noted importer Terry Theise has written about how not every wine needs to be a life event and that we sometimes need wine to serve as a companion over the course of an evening. This is one such wine. I found myself reaching for the bottle again and again throughout the evening, well after all my tasting was done.
Producer: Macari Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)