I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.
Macari Vineyards Chardonnay
Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. These three wines are from the up-and-coming wine-growing and producing regions of Colorado, New York, and Virginia. Unless you live in or near these regions, getting ahold of these wines can be difficult largely due to small production amounts and other factors. From personal experience, I can tell you that within these regions are select producers who are growing and churning out quality wines. One appellation of note, not reviewed in this post, is New York’s Finger Lakes region. This region has come into its own with the noble Riesling grape variety; with just about every producer growing and crafting good quality, everyday drinking wines as well as complex and age-worthy (unctuous) gems. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!
Macari Wines “Early Wine” 2012 Chardonnay
1) Macari Wines North Fork of Long Island “Early Wine” 2012 Chardonnay (SRP $15.99): This is a light and refreshing off-dry selection from a small family owned and operated producer situated in Mattituck, New York. In the glass, the wine displays a straw color with delightful and vibrant tree fruit (apple, pear), citrus blossom, and fresh melon aromas and flavors on a sleek frame with a medium-length, clean finish. I had a glass (or two) with a moderately spicy plate of Thai food. The sweetness in the wine tempered the heat in the food and the wine’s refreshing acidity prepped my palate for another bite. This wine, I understand, is released a few months after harvest and its bright, fruit-forward nature is best enjoyed young (or early). While this is 100% Chardonnay, in a blind tasting, and my guests all agreed – it could throw you off. Having said that, it’s well-made and has “springtime sipping” written all over it (… picnics, backyard barbecues, etc). By the way, this is a selection I received in a recent Empire State Cellars shipment – which is a good online resource if you want to experience the wines of New York. Click here to find this wine.
Creekside Cellars Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc
2) Creekside Cellars Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc aka Franc – Colorado’s Cabernet (SRP $35-$50): Grown on Creekside Cellar's ten acre Vineland vineyard in Palisade, Colorado; this example, which is not shy, exhibits a fair amount of heft and body. In the glass, the wine displays a deep ruby color with dark stone-fruit, black currant, and an underlying streak of red berry fruit aromas with hints of [black] licorice/raisin (and just a touch of dried lavender) framed by spiced toast, dark chocolate, and toasted almonds. On the sip, it exhibits generous weight with a round, [somewhat] mouth-filling body, soft acidity, melted tannins, and a dollop of spicy oak in the lingering finish. The wine benefits (specifically the aromas) from approximately an hour in the decanter. I enjoyed a glass (actually two) with a smoked pulled pork dinner and fixings. The 2010 growing season didn’t start off too well for Colorado growers, but this rather sizeable, but smooth Franc had a strong finish! For those of you familiar with the old label, which is nice and sort of complements their Italian themed restaurant, this new packaging is very attractive. Click here to find this wine.
Gadino Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc
3) Gadino Cellars Antiche Viti Reserva 2007 Cabernet Franc (SRP $25 … I think): I do not think this vintage is available anymore other than in the producer’s library. I’ve enjoyed several bottles over the years and also tossed a few in the back of my trustworthy EuroCave to see what the wine would do in a few years. Looking back at previous notes (2011), the wine has been pretty consistent (but it really hasn’t been that long). The 2007 Virginia growing season produced a number of nice white and red wines [overall]. The Gadino Antiche Viti Reserva 2007 Cabernet Franc is one of them. In the glass, the wine displays a violet-crimson color with dark cherry, raspberry, baking spice and black pepper aromas with subtle violet and savory herb notes. The aromas come through on the palate with a supple entry that leads to a round mid-palate and smooth tannins on a medium-bodied frame with balanced acidity and a pleasant medium length finish. I fired up the grill and enjoyed this wine with [huge and always delicious] dry-aged, grass fed and grain finished burgers from Martin's Angus Beef (The Plains, VA). The Butchers Block in Old Town Alexandria, VA carries these from time to time. The food and wine, both grown/raised in the same region, went quite well together. When I fix these burgers -- no ketchup, mustard or mayo required (the meat has wonderful flavor on its own) – though I did top these with grilled mushrooms, onions, and blue cheese. This wine is no longer available but you can click here to see the producer’s current offerings.
Happy Sipping and Eating!
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