With all of the chardonnay grown on Long Island, it is unthinkable to me that no one else is making wines like this one. Macari Vineyards 2013 “Early Wine” Chardonnay ($17) isn’t complex. It isn’t the best wine on the North Fork. It isn’t a world changer.

What it is, is delicious. And fun. And too many wines forget to be both of those things.

The grapes were picked in September 7, and not long after a short fermentation, the finished was bottled right after Halloween. The wine was released on winemaker Kelly Urbanik’s birthday, November 8.

Notes of citrus — think lemons and grapefruit — join aromas of green apple and apple blossom on the nose.

Juicy, citrusy and just plain fun on the palate, this crowd-pleaser is off-dry but crackling with crunchy green apple acidity.

In a region that sometimes struggles to draw visitors in the off-season, what if at least a handful of wineries started making wines like this? Maybe they don’t make much — only a couple hundred cases — but they host festivals (or better yet, have one Long Island Nouveau event) every fall or early winter, where they release these nouveau wines (red and white) and serve them with roasted whole animals, charcuterie and the like.

Beaujolais Nouveau is all marketing, but that doesn’t mean that early wines can’t be made well and have meaning. They can, and should, offer a peek into the growing season and celebrate the hard work that goes into growing and making wine.

Producer: Macari Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 11.5%
Price: $17* | Buy Now From Empire State Cellars


(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)