There is a lot of very good sauvignon blanc made on Long Island now, which is great given the seafood-focused local cuisine. “What grows together, goes together” and all that — and even though I don’t eat much of the bounty from local waters, I do drink a fair amount of local sauvignon in the warmer months. I don’t think of it as the white grape of the future here anymore. It’s the white grape of the present now.
But that doesn’t mean new and interesting things aren’t being done with it.
60% of the fruit that went into Macari Vineyards 2013 “No. 1” Sauvignon Blanc ($27) de-stemmed, crushed and the juice was left on the skins for 9 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 other 40% was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel.
Those concrete eggs bring two important things to winemaker Kelly Urbanik Koch’s winemaking 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.
The aromas and flavors here are what you’d expect from sauvignon blanc — grapefruit, apple and sweet honeydew melon with subtle notes of lemon-y herb, flowers and salt air. It’s the texture that is the star here. It is at once rich and mouth-filling while remaining focused and lively.
It also makes you wonder what Macari will do with these eggs in the future. The early results are pretty impressive.
Producer: Macari Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Harvest Dates: September 9-30, 2013
RS: .9 g/L
(4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)