You have to give credit where credit is due. This is the phrase that comes to mind while tasting the 2010 Macari Cabernet Franc. Why? Well, for one thing, I had spent a good amount of time thinking that Cabernet Franc in the North Fork was a lost cause. I found much more enjoyment from Merlot and various white wines from the region. Still, I work hard to leave all preconceptions behind when tasting wine. And it’s a good thing that I did so on this day, because on this day, I was schooled.
Macari Vineyards, established in 1995, comprises of 180 acres, containing vineyards, animals, produce, a large green house and even their own compost production area. Their vineyards stretch from Route 48 all the way to the Long Island Sound. They pride themselves on practicing sustainable agriculture and employing biodynamic principals. In fact, pride is something that radiates from each of the family members and staff who personify the warmth and community-focused mentality that exists out on the North Fork.
However, getting back to the 2010 Cab Franc, keep in mind that if you’re a fan of mineral and soil laden Chinon, than this may not be for you. However, when putting this against some of the most interesting Cab Franc from California, you quickly come to see its qualities and its value. There are no dank soil or bell pepper notes to be found here, just pure, detailed fruit, character and perfect balance.
What’s more, 2010 is not to be classified as a big wine. Although my tasting note may speak of a velvety palate and almost confectionary bouquet, this wine would still pair beautifully with food due to its balance. Much of this has to do with the vintage, one of the warmest and driest in the regions history. The question wasn’t whether the fruit would achieve ripeness early enough to pick. The question was, how soon should we pick to avoid overripe grapes? The Macari family took advantage of these conditions, creating a wine that is atypical of their usual Cab Franc offering (which is usually a cool-toned style), yet is unbelievably gorgeous and hard to resist.
2010 Macari Cabernet Franc – The nose was rich, almost confectionary and wonderfully expressive with spiced black cherry, fig and cola, fresh rosemary and an almost dusty gravel-mineral note, which kept it seated in reality. On the palate, I found this to be velvety smooth, like a dark wave washing over the senses with saturating blackberry fruit, wild herbs and balanced acidity. The finish lasted on the palate with hints of tannin tingling and tugging at the senses. Did this really come from the North Fork–Oh yes it did! (92+ points) @Morrell
Article and Tasting Note by: Eric Guido