February 23, 2023
I’ve become quite familiar with Macari’s tasting room this year, since I now belong to a book club that meets there. What’s better than sitting around a table with a group of bright people, discussing books and sipping wine? Oh, and let’s not forget nibbling on truffled potato chips. However, the book group has settled on one favorite wine—the Life Force Sauvignon Blanc—so when friends who belong to the Macari wine club offered to take us there for a tasting, we accepted with alacrity. They made the reservation, which, by the way, is required.
To get to the entrance, you have to wend your way around the wrap-around porch. The room you enter is dominated by a decorative structure which I think is beautiful, but which defies categorization. We were shown to a table overlooking the vineyards on a plastic-windowed porch, cozily warm, with chairs decorated with soft furry drapes. In front of us were place mats with three glasses, and the names of the three wines in the standard tasting. However, as our cheery server informed us, as wine club members we could choose the special wine club trio of tastes. It took my husband and me only a moment to decide that he would get the standard group and I would opt for the wine club tastes. One friend also got the wine club trio, while her husband opted for a glass of his current favorite, the Dos Aguas Red, a blend of 48% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Petit Verdot. ($35 per bottle) The Dos Aguas refers to the North Fork’s two waters—the Long Island Sound and Great Peconic Bay—which moderate the climate.
As we discussed what to get, the server brought us chilled bottles of water. We also ordered a charcuterie board for four, which had enough meat, cheese, almonds, olives, bread, hummus, and chips for at least six. ($50) Yum. We all agreed that this was a very civilized way to spend a damp, chilly February afternoon.
- 2020 Dos Aguas White $24
This was the first of the wine club trio, and a very good way to begin. It is a light, dry, lemony white blend, half grüner veltliner, blended with pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, and a touch of chardonnay. The grüner can tend to be a bit sweet, but in this case it was nicely balanced with the other grapes. It would go well with seafood in a cream sauce.
- 2022 Life Force Sauvignon Blanc $28
As I noted, this is the book club favorite, and for a good reason. It is aged in a combination of a concrete “egg,” and stainless steel, which makes it both more complex and smoother than a typical sauvignon blanc. One time, years ago, we were at Macari and happened to get into a discussion with the winemaker about the concrete egg, and he gave us a long explanation of the benefits of this way of aging wines. I’ll just say, it seems to work really well. This is dry but fruity, very easy to drink.
- 2019 Life Force Cabernet Franc $30
My favorite of the day, this is a yummy red, with tastes of berries and plums. Again, this is aged in concrete. It was the second of the wine club trio.
- 2021 Rosé $24
On the other hand, this was my least favorite, a very light rosé, tart, with not much fruit.
- 2019 Malbec $50
We had made some inroads on the charcuterie platter by the time I got to the malbec, and I noted that it went very well with the cheese and other snacks in front of us. Despite its high price, I did not like it as well as the Life Force Cab Franc, though it is a perfectly good wine. I got some cherry taste, and nice tannins. Perhaps it needs to age a bit more.
- 2020 Cabernet Franc $38
One problem with this red was that it was served too cold, a common problem. I think if it had had time to warm up, I might have liked it better. I found it somewhat light for a cab franc, with notes of berries and herbs. Very drinkable.
Reasons to visit: pleasant tasting room overlooking the vineyard; excellent service; I liked all the wines, but especially the Life Force Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc; ample charcuterie board (no outside food). One unfortunate note—when the room is crowded, it tends to become very noisy, as it was during this holiday week.