Macari was the first winery we visited on Long Island and it really started the trip off on a great note. The tasting room is light and airy, with plenty of space along the bar for people to taste. As it was fairly early on a Wednesday morning, we pretty much had the place to ourselves which I always love.
I had not tasted many wines from this region prior to this visit so I was not sure what to expect. I was really surprised by how wonderful the Macari wines were. The climate on LI is suitable to cooler climate varietals and wines, and while many vitis vinifera grapes grow and ripen in this region, the wines are very different from California wines from the same varietals. I really enjoyed the Macari Reserve Chardonnay ($23) as it had some similarities to my beloved White Burgundy (a hint of oak and some creaminess, but nice acidity to pair nicely with creamy cheeses and other foods).
The best QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) was definitely on the Sette NV wine ($19). This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc had an alluring and seductive nose that made my mouth water. It is an easy to drink and smooth wine with a hint of spices. I loved this wine, and at <$20, it is a great value.
The last red we tried also left a very memorable impression. The 08 Dos Aquas blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc had many of the great qualities that I look for in a Bordeaux blend. This smoky and rich wine just called for a juicy piece of steak. While the tannins are present which means this wine will likely get better with time, it was still easy to drink now.
One of the reasons we had such a great visit to Macari was due to our lovely and knowledgeable pourer, Gibson Campbell. I learned so much about the winery and wines from Long Island in a fairly short amount of time. He has such a great demeanor for a wine educator too – he skillfully shared so much of his knowledge in a down to earth and easy to understand manner. I think people who are eager to learn more about wines would benefit a lot from a tasting with Gibson.