2013 Vintage


    A New Pinnacle

    by Karen MacNeil
    September, 2016

    “An extraordinary surge in the quality of California Pinot Noir has caused Karen MacNeil to re-examine everything she thought she knew about one of the world’s most celebrated grapes”

    “I should say from the start that I’ve come to Pinot Noir reluctantly. It took me a long time to like Burgundy, for example. Initially, drinking red Burgundy was like being in a dysfunctional relationship. The highs were high, but the lows were too low and too frequent.

    MacNeils’s baker’s dozen to try
    2013 MacRostie Goldrock Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 92 Points: Highly recommended
    I love the yin and yang of cool and warm flavors in this wine. Spiced cranberries (a cool flavor); Christmas pudding (a warm one). Counterintuitively and despite the alcohol listed on the label, the wine is light and ethereal at first, with long lingering lines of flavor. It resolves very slowly on the palate. Like the fade-out at the end of an old French film. Drink 2016-2026.”

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  • The Daily Meal

    10 Terrific New World Pinot Noirs

    by Gabe Sasso
    August 18, 2016

    “Pinot noir, one of the best wine grapes in the world, can also be one of the most frustrating. Great winemakers have been brought to their knees trying to master it. When planted in the right spot and tended carefully thereafter, it’s been responsible for some of the world’s finest wines. Thus, when many wine lovers think of pinot noir at its best, they naturally look towards Burgundy. However, there are plenty of New World wineries that are doing a very respectable job with the grape.

    Not everyone is successful, though. For every great producer out there, someone else is making horrible wines that say ‘Pinot Noir’ on the label but look and taste like anything but. Here are 10 pinot noirs from California, Oregon, and Chile, at a variety of prices, all of them true to this great grape — and also delicious.”

    2013 MacRostie Manzana Vineyard Pinot Noir
    “The well-known Dutton family, which has a long history of grape-growing in Sonoma County, farms the single vineyard the fruit came from. Aging took place over 12 months in 25 percent new French oak. Soft spice aromas waft from the nose here alongside fresh red raspberry. Rhubarb, cherry, and cranberry flavors are evident on the palate. Minerals, black tea, and wisps of sage appear on the finish. It’s all topped off by a sprinkle of sweet dark chocolate.”

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    2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    “I appreciate this wine for its artful blend of my favorite Pinot characteristics — vibrant cherry fruit, dusty dry earth minerality, mild fall spice and a citric quality to the finish that refreshes the palate while lingering pleasantly. Another fine example of what’s turning out to be a spectacular vintage for Pinot Noir in California.” —Rich Cook, December 22, 2015

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast

    “The winery’s larger production offering, this is made from a handful of vineyards, including many used in vineyard-designates. Blending prowess shows in this wine that explodes in plum and clove. Tight, bright acid buoys flavors of strawberry, cranberry and orange, with a twisted funk of earth on the finish.” —Virginie Boone, May 2016

    90 Points, Wine Review Online
    “The color is deceiving. On the lighter side, it suggests this vintage of the MacRostie Sonoma Coast might be on the thin side. On the contrary, the flavors of strawberry and raspberry are rich and vivid, with soft tannins and a hint of oak spice. A surprise, yes, but a very pleasant surprise.” —Robert Whitley, December 15, 2015


    2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “The largest production offering of this variety for this producer, this features fruit sourced from a who’s who of local growers, including Sangiacomo, Dutton and Martinelli, in addition to the estate-run Wildcat Mountain Vineyard. The result is satisfyingly impressive in viscous oak, graham cracker and Meyer lemon. Tangy and flinty on the finish, it’s smooth and focused.” —Virginie Boone, February 2016

    91 Points, Pinot File
    “Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Lovely aromas of ripe peach, Asian pear and lemon wafer. Bright, crisp and clean flavors of lemonlime with a lasting finish driven by citrus tang. Beautifully crafted with just a hint of oak adding interest.” —Rusty Gaffney, July 14, 2015

    90 Points, The Tasting Panel
    “Silky and juicy with bright, tangy citrus; fresh, racy and balanced; clean, lively and long.” —Anthony Dias Blue, June 2015

    90 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Combine moderate new oak, partial stainless steel, famous vineyards like Sangiacomo, Martinelli, Dutton and Wildcat Mountain, and the deft blending touch of winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen, and you get a lovely wine like this one. Restrained aromas of lemon and nectarine lead to a palate that delivers the nose elements with additional soft spice, minerality and a zesty finish that refreshes. Add a nice price, and you’ve got another winner from MacRostie.” —Rich Cook, August 4, 2015


    2013 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay

    95 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Steve MacRostie’s wines are always focused and direct, allowing the character of the ground and grape shine through. This Chardonnay, from his Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in what could also be labeled Carneros, has an enticing steely, chalky aroma and a palate of crisp spiced apple and pear fruit, with a tinge of citrus and marzipan. Sturdy in structure, it’s elegant and refined, with just enough caramel oak to frame the fruit and add texture.” —Linda Murphy, January 5, 2016

    93 Points, Wine Review Online
    “MacRostie’s Wildcat Mountain Chardonnay from this vintage is a beauty that shows off the fruit while showing tremendous restraint with the use of oak. This wine offers an alluring nose of baking spice and lemon creme, with firm backbone on the palate, exquisite balance and a long finish that exhibits a touch of stony minerality.” —Robert Whitley, December 22, 2015

    92 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2013 Chardonnay Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, which I believe MacRostie has been making a long time, is from a site that sits high in volcanic soils on the Sonoma Coast. With a color of light greenish straw, the wine has notes of orange oil, citrus and apple skin followed by a fleshy, full-bodied, seductive and lush mouthfeel. This is the sexiest of the three Chardonnays and the most easy to drink out of the bottle.” —Robert Parker, March 4, 2016

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Another winner from one of my favorite Chardonnay stylists. It’s always about complementing a meal with MacRostie, with this bottling showing the usual crisp, dry style that blooms in the finish and has the acid to cut richer foods. Bright lemon, granite minerality and honey aromas and flavors really burst after the wine leaves your mouth, with lip smacking acidity keeping everything fresh. Try a little spice in your fish or fowl dish next to this — you won’t be sorry.” —Rich Cook, February 9, 2016

    92 Points, PinotFile
    “Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Pleasing aromas of lemon curd, cut yellow apple and nutty oak. Slightly plush in the mouth, with riveting flavors of grilled peach, lemon crème and wood sap. Nicely put together with impeccable harmony and a refreshing charge of lemon goodness on the finish.” —Rusty Gaffney, January 17, 2016

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “From a site planted by Steve MacRostie in 1998, this white sings in complexity and tension, providing tart jolts of lemon verbena, ginger and nutmeg. Complex and elegant, especially in its floral perfume, it drinks voluptuously, full of come-hither ripeness.”
    —Virginie Boone, May 2016


    2013 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Light, clear and varietal, this wine is pungent in earth, chocolate, black tea and leather, medium- to full-bodied with remarkable offerings of sage, rosemary and savory mushroom. Cherry and cinnamon add to the intrigue and flavor.”
    —Virginie Boone, October 2016

    94 Points, Wine Review Online
    “I love wineries that stay true to a house style over the years, and MacRostie is definitely on this track, continuing to produce food friendly Pinot Noir with depth and complexity. This vintage of the Wildcat Mountain shows cherry, dusty earth, cinnamon, moderate oak toast and a touch of sea spray that commingle beautifully and remain integrate through the long finish that brings in a zesty character that keeps you fresh. Salmon time!” —Rich Cook, July 19, 2016

    95 Points, Wine Review Online
    “MacRostie’s Wildcat Mountain Pinot from this vintage is a firmly structured beauty that exhibits notes of violets and spice on the nose, with layers of blueberry and strawberry fruit, and fresh acidity that lifts the flavors. It finishes with a touch of leafy earthiness. A stunning wine that will only get better.” —Robert Whitley, June 28, 2016

    92 Points, PinotFile
    “This is an estate vineyard owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly located on a fog-shrouded mountaintop. Clones 115 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed into small open-top fermenters, 3-day cold soak, inoculated yeast strains, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 43% new. Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The aromas of red cherry, baking spice and sandalwood draw you into the glass. This wine delivers more flavor than the light color would suggest. There is an earthy and feral side to the black cherry fruit, herb and mushroom flavors. The mid palate fullness is pleasant, the tannins are well-matched, and the wine finishes in classy style with panache.” —Rusty Gaffney, June 5, 2016


    2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

    90 Points, “Best of the Year 2015”, Wine Enthusiast
    “From a vineyard site farmed by the Duttons called Matthew’s Station, this is a gentle wine, medium in weight, with nuances of green apple and fresh-squeezed lemon. Balanced, it offers a twist of toffee and oak beneath its crisper notes, finishing warm in nutmeg and ginger spice.”—Virginie Boone, December 2015

    91 Points, Wine Review Online
    “My preferred rich and crisp style of Chardonnay is in evidence here. Fully 15% of the fruit didn’t go through a secondary malo-lactic fermentation, allowing some of the sharper malic acid to keep things bright on the palate without compromising the creamy feel. Tropical fruit, lemon and mild oak spice aromas and flavors and a long refreshing finish keep you returning to the glass.” —Rich Cook, August 4, 2015

    90 Points, The Tasting Panel Magazine
    “Lush and creamy with bright tropical fruit and hints of toasted oak; smooth and rich with tangy acidity and a long finish.”  —Anthony Dias Blue, June 2015

    90 Points, Pinot File
    “Light golden yellow color in the glass. Inviting aromas of lemon oil, lemongrass and buttered brioche. Good fullness of citrus and pear flavor, yet vibrant, with a crisp and refreshing finish. A style that really satisfies.” —Rusty Gaffney, July 14, 2015


    2013 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

    94 Points, Wine Review Online
    “MacRostie chardonnays have always been among California’s finest. That’s a given. But when you combine the MacRostie skill with this grape variety and one of California’s legendary grape growers, it stands to reason the result will be magic in the glass. The 2013 MacRostie Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is an outcome that was oh-so-predictable. This vintage exhibits an oily texture with notes of lemon curd and pear, notes of baking spice and lively acidity to take the edge off the richness. Beautifully done.” —Robert Whitley, December 15, 2015

    92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “This is a hearty wine from a famous place, farmed by esteemed, long-time growers. Apple and pear skin show up first, with a baked quality to the fruit that never gets jammy. The wine stays light and bright despite its full-bod ied nature. Toasty lemon and fig compote finishes things off.” —Virginie Boone, May 2016

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    “I like the MacRostie style in Chardonnay. It’s not over-oaked or overripe, so the tropical fruit aromas and flavors can speak clearly. Racy, cool climate acidity drives the dry mango and passion fruit flavors forward, and the oak spice and citrus are nicely placed in the background. A long, lip-smacking finish requires a second sip. And a third. Grilled halibut seems like a natural with this one.” —Rich Cook, December 22, 2015

    91 Points, PinotFile
    “Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. A nose with intent, offering scents of lemon oil, white peach, vanilla pod, crème brûlée and a fleeting floral note. Beautifully balanced with juicy flavors of lemon-lime and honey augmented with a deft touch of toasty oak. Highly enjoyable, with a pleasing cut of lemon-driven acidity on the uplifting finish.” —Rusty Gaffney, January 17, 2016

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2013 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch, which comes from this iconic site in the heart of the Russian River, shows loads of lemon butter, tangerine oil, quince, a light-straw color with a greenish hue, medium to full body, great acidity and judicious and discrete use of toasty oak. This medium to full-bodied, pleasant Chardonnay should drink well for 3-4 years.”
    —Robert Parker, March 4, 2016


    2013 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay

    91 Points, “Best of Year 2015” Wine Enthusiast
    “From two blocks of the vineyard, this light, crisp, medium-weighted wine stays refreshing on the palate and remains complex in acidity. Nutmeg dances throughout its soft layers, while the finish burnishes in rich vanilla brioche.” —Virginie Boone, December 2015

    94 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Ho hum, just another stunning MacRostie Chardonnay from the Sangiacomo family’s iconic Carneros vineyard. So true, but also so exceptional given the consistency of this magnificent vineyard near the town of Sonoma. The cool breezes off the San Pablo Bay help the Chardonnay grapes retain acidity and freshness, which is evident in this latest vintage. This one shows nuances of lemon crème and spice, with mouth-watering acidity and a long, lingering finish.” —Robert Whitley, June 30, 2015

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Here is a glass of dry apple pie that will please a big crowd and bring along some self-described fans of the variety to a deeper place – in other words, it’s not just about the pie. Bright lemon crème and soft oak spice compliment the apple character very well, and everything joins together in the long finish. This is my kind of cocktail Chardonnay.” —Rich Cook, July 7, 2015

    91 Points, Pinot File
    “Steve has worked with grapes from this vineyard since his first vintage at MacRostie in 1987. Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of grilled lemon, brioche and caramel lead to a deliciously rich core of fresh citrus fruits including lemon and grapefruit. Very round with sound acidity, and inviting extract on the finish which has the slightest bit of warmth.” —Rusty Gaffney, July 14, 2015

    90 Points, The Tasting Panel Magazine
    “Smooth, lush and toasty with creamy texture and rich tropical fruit; ripe, polished and balanced with a long, dense finish.” —Anthony Dias Blue, June 2015

    Top 100 Wines, Sonoma Magazine
    “Winemaker Steve MacRostie has worked with Sangiacomo grapes since 1987 and can be counted on to produce elegant, nuanced Chardonnays from there. The lush, juicy 2013 has notes of Meyer lemon, green apple, baked bread and oak spice, with a slightly creamy texture and bright acidity.” —Linda Murphy, November/December 2015


    2013 Manzana Vineyard Pinot Noir

    4 Stars, The Press Democrat
    “This is a pinot with some power behind it. Blackberry coupled with Bing cherry creates an intensity of fruit flavors. Notes of tobacco and pepper are in the mix. Bright acidity gives this weighty wine just the right lift. Lovely.” —Peg Melnik, August 10, 2016