Few expect a “jammy” component in Long Island wines, but the hot, dry 2007 vintage has led to a handful of wines with a decidedly jammy mid-palate.

This wine, Macari Vineyards 2007 Reserve Merlot ($36) actually leans a bit in a different direction — away from sweet fruit and into the savory.

With a nose that shows plum, cherry and raspberry qualities, an umami edge that is almost meaty is a welcome addition along with notes of dried herbs, clove, cinnamon and earth.

Medium bodied and even restrained compared to many ‘reserve’ wines from the vintage, a bit of vanilla joins the red berry and plum flavors on the palate, again sprinkled with brown spice. Medium intensity tannins show nice round edges and help lengthen the finish. Hints of oak and more of that savoriness peek through on the finish, but provide nice balance to plenty of fruit.

Producer: Macari Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.8%
Price: $36*


(3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)