by Linda Murphy
Let’s be honest: Sonoma’s most acclaimed and highest-quality wines are expensive.
Top-tier Sonoma Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, the current darlings of critics and collectors, command $60 a bottle and up. That’s painful for many of us, yet Sonoma wines are less pricey than Napa Valley bottles of similar quality. Heck, even some Napa types slink into Sonoma to source their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so admired are our county’s grapes.
While this list is studded with wines most would consider special-occasion purchases, there are also many reasonably priced bottles and some crazy-good values. In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, our Top 100 showcases rosé — its popularity soaring now that sweet White Zinfandel is firmly in the rear-view mirror. ‘Red’ Zinfandel remains historically and deliciously important, with high-alcohol versions largely giving way to wines with balance and freshness. Sauvignon Blanc, Rhône Valley-style wines, Bordeaux varietals and sparklers are all represented here, underscoring Sonoma’s ability to produce a diverse range of fine wines.
Drink up, in moderation.
2015 MacRostie Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay
“A new wine for MacRostie, it’s rich and polished, with unfolding layers of pear, green apple, hazelnut and caramel. The finish is lemony and brisk, making it a great mate for Caesar salad, grilled salmon cakes, chicken salad and seafood pasta.”
2015 MacRostie Thale’s Vineyard ‘Terrace Block’ Pinot Noir
“Named for Steve MacRostie’s wife, Thale (THAY-lee), this inaugural bottling from the estate vineyard on Westside Road is arguably the winery’s ‘biggest’ Pinot Noir. Yet it’s still balanced and refined, with silky texture and refreshing acidity carrying the juicy black currant and blueberry fruit and hints of mocha and spice.”
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