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October 29, 2009

Macari Vineyards


Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Both Joe Macari and Gilles Martin greeted us at Macari to taste sparklers and sweet wines. I was excited to see an ultra brut from Shinn Estate. It was my first Long Island zero dosage, a sparkler with no sugar added which results in a very dry wine. But alas, it was rather disappointing. Gilles and I ended up having a dosage talk. He wanted my opinion on zero dosage and brut nature wines. Even though I’m a big fan of low dosage wines, I think sugar is to wine as salt is to food: it completes or enhances the flavor. You can’t just take the sugar out to force a stylistic point. So I love a low dosage sparkler when it’s perfectly balanced. Not an easy feat, so despite the rising popularity of low-dosage bubblies, few can pull it off well.

Of the sparklers we tasted, I was most taken with Gilles’ 2004 Sparkling Pointe Topaz Imperial Rosé ($33), a discrete and elegant rosé blend of 48% Pinot Noir and 52% Chardonnay.

Few people may know this, but Long Island wines run the gamut from sparkling to dessert wines. There is now a producer dedicated to sparkling wine, Sparkling Pointe. Hot off the press, their new tasting room just opened to the public this past Sunday. And the dessert wines really shine. From this tasting, I especially liked Macari’s 2005 Block E Sauvignon Blanc ($55). For someone without a sweet tooth and who’s big on acidity, I found the texture just right (it has weight but isn’t cloying), and the acidity hits mid-palate, confident and intact. Another hidden sweet gem is Joe Macari’s honey ($12). I’m addicted to its deep, rich flavors. With some lemon and hot water, it’s my home remedy for colds.

Macari Vineyards

150 Bergen Avenue
Mattituck, NY