Le nouveau est arrivé is the official slogan for when Beaujolais Nouveau arrives every fall — the third Thursday in November. As much as I love Cru Beaujolais, I don’t rush out for the Nouveau anymore. It’s become more of a marketing spectacle than anything about the wine.
I’d like to suggest a new, locally focused edition — “The Early has arrived!”
I look forward to this wine’s release every year. I’ve been
harassing asking the folks at Macari Vineyards about Macari Vineyards 2015 “Early Wine” Chardonnay ($18) for several weeks now — wanting to know when it would be available.
Then it arrived on my doorstep last week on the day it was released.
It’s always the first wine from the new vintage to hit store shelves, serving as a harbiger for Thanksgiving as well as the winter holidays. You really can think of it as Long Island’s Beaujolais Nouveau — except it’s delicious.
Originally inspired by the jungwein (young wine) of Macari’s consulting winemaker Helmut Gangl’s homeland, Austria — where they are often served shortly after harvest — it’s meant as a celebration of the season and harvest.
For this year’s edition, the grapes picked on September 8. The wine was bottled on October 30.
It was just bottled so probably isn’t quite revealing its full self just yet, but it’s already bursting with juicy green apple and citrus notes. There is a delicate floral aromatic as well along with something that hints at grassy but isn’t quite so overt.
Though distinctly drier than last year’s bottling, it’s just as fruity-fresh with juicy citrus and fresh, floral flavors. There is still a subtle sweetness here, but plenty of crunchy acid to balance it.
A lot of people probably drink it cold right from the fridge, but I like it a bit warmer, which allows the fruit and floral notes a chance to stretch their legs. The finish isn’t long, but it ends with a drying citrus zest note that begs for food, and another sip.
This year, they upped production to 1,774 cases — a great use of local chardonnay fruit if you ask me.
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Production: 1,774 cases