Rosés are deceptive — so pretty in their clear bottles in shades of pink and copper and salmon, but so often lacking in character when they hit your glass. It’s always been this way, but even more so since rosé in the summer months became as de rigeur as sunblock.
So, in a sea of rosés that line store shelves, how do you weed out the more serious, distinctive wines from the dull and generic ones that look so nice in the bottle but fall flat when you taste them? The answer, as with all wines, is to find those with complexity and dimension if you appreciate that rosés can be more than simple, warm-weather quaffers.
And on those counts, the 2021 Rosé from Macari Vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork excels.
This delicious $24 wine, a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, is pale copper in color. It’s dry and tangy — the opposite of those bubble gummy rosés that taste like candy in a bottle and lack dimension on the palate. Strawberry, watermelon, hints of citrus, flowers, and herbs are among the aromas and tastes, all in balance and supported by refreshing acidity and a long, slightly creamy finish.
It’s one of the better American rosés you’ll find and will pair with lots of foods, including lobster, chicken and burgers on the grill, goat cheese salads, and crudité platters.
Macari Vineyards lies on 500 acres of land that stretch to Long Island Sound, which provides a cooling influence and permits a long growing season that results in ripeness of the grapes but with moderate alcohol levels and ample acidity (Macari’s 2021 Rosé is 12.2 percent ABV).
Although the Macari family has owned the property — a former potato farm — since the mid-1960s, vines were first planted in 1995, more than 20 years after Alex and Louisa Hargrave founded the first vineyard on the North Fork. Today, Macari, which uses biodynamic farming practices, is among the top vineyards on Long Island and deserves attention well beyond.