Buying wine for future consumption is always a tricky proposition. No matter how good a wine tastes at the time you’re drinking it you never know how it’s going to taste five to ten years from now. On an enjoyable trip out east with my mother on a sunny winter day in 2005, shortly before what would have been her 90th birthday, I thought that the 2002 Cabernet Franc from Macari Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island, was one of the best Cab Franc ever produced on Long Island. Consequently, I bought a couple of bottles. I wanted to buy more, but was hesitant. There’s a lot of psychology in the enjoyment of wine and I was concerned that my judgment might be clouded by the memory of what turned out to be the last trip out east with my mother and put off buying additional bottles for several months. By the summer, I concluded that the wine was really that good and decided to spring for an entire case.
Ten years later, in May of 2015, I decided to open the last bottle from that case on what would have been my mother’s 100th birthday. I’m glad to report that it has aged quite nicely and remains in top form. Just for comparison I opened it alongside a couple of older New York State Cab Francs and the three of us involved in the tasting all preferred the Macari. It tasted even better when paired with some Pasta Bolognese that I had prepared for dinner later that night. The wine was a brilliant garnet hue and had subtle aromas of cloves, peppercorns and cardamom. The tannins had mellowed and the wine is what I would call smooth, with hints of tobacco on the finish. Ignoring all of the wine rhetoric and esoteric adjectives let me just sum up the 2002 Cab Franc from Macari in one simple word: Fantastic!
Since then Long Island has produced many great Cab Francs, so I can’t state categorically that this is the best one ever produced, but it is definitely high up on my list. While this vintage has long been sold out, for anyone who is lucky enough to still have a bottle, all I can say is that you have a great treat waiting for you.