August 2016

  • 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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    Try these 14 reasonably priced, good chardonnays

    by Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr
    August 16, 2016

    “Here are some excellent chardonnays that are reasonably priced for what they deliver:”

    2014 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
    “Steve MacRostie has made chardonnay the name of his game by using several excellent vineyards in Sonoma County. This introductory chardonnay sets the foundation for his single-vineyard chardonnays from Wildcat Mountain ($40) – our favorite – and an austere, food-friendly Dutton Ranch ($46). Pineapple aromas give way to a softly textured wine with balanced acidity in the Sonoma Coast version.”

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  • 1 Wine Dude

    And Then, There Was Mojo (Highlights From Sonoma County Barrel Auction 2016)

    by Joe Roberts
    August 3, 2016

    “Personally, I didn’t need any more evidence that Sonoma generally has its mojo working and is making some of the best wines ever to come out of the region. But I got a thoroughly inundating reminder of that when I visited the second (2016) incarnation of the Sonoma County Barrel Auction as a media guest this past April (and yes, I’m just getting around to writing about it now)….

    And so, here are some of my faves from SoCoBA 2016, in order of auction lot number (links are to as-close-as-I-could-manage-to-commercially-available-versions of the wines featured, or otherwise to previous 1WD coverage of the same producers):”

    Bacigalupi / Dutcher Crossing / Flanagan Wines / Gary Farrell / MacRostie Winery Judgement of Paris 40th Anniversary Barrel Chardonnay 2015 Lot #7
    “In typical ‘we are family’ mojo fashion, there were several ‘we’re-in-this-together’ lots that were crafted jointly by more than one winery, but few that had this many working on them, and few that were as fantastic as this Chardonnay blend. Probably the best white wine on hand at the auction; honeyed, toasty, ripe, long, heady, and yet finessed and electric.”

  • California Winery Advisor

    Top 11 Sonoma Wine Tasting Finds

    by Allison Levine
    August 2016

    “When visiting Sonoma, where does one get started wine tasting? As a region, Sonoma County encompasses more than fifty miles from Carneros in the south to Cloverdale in the north. It is home to seventeen American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Some are well-known such as Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, to name a few, and others are lesser known such as Moon Mountain, Fort-Ross Seaview and Green Valley. Sonoma is home to the state of California’s oldest commercial winery, Buena Vista, as well as the oldest continuously operating family winery, Gundlach Bundschu. And, there are more than 425 wineries on almost 60,000 acres. That means there are a lot decisions to be made before you start a Sonoma wine tasting adventure.

    Unlike Sonoma’s neighbor to the east, Napa, where there are wineries located off of the main highway, many of the wineries in Sonoma are spread throughout the valley. So where do you begin? It is easier to find some of the bigger known wineries in the county, but seeking out small and medium sized boutique wineries is what I prefer to do. Here are eleven Sonoma wine tasting finds that are worth a visit throughout the valley.”

    MacRostie Winery and Vineyards
    “MacRostie Winery was originally opened in 1987 by Steve MacRostie. A visionary, MacRostie was one of the first people to plant in the fog-shrouded vineyards of Sonoma County. After thirty years, he sold to Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners in 2011 but still guides the winemaking along with winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen.

    MacRostie produces pinot noir and chardonnay from numerous sites including the fifty-eight acres from the Wildcat Mountain Vineyard that was planted in 1998. In February 2015, MacRostie Winery opened the winery and tasting room on Westside Road.

    Sitting on twenty-eight acres, thirteen of which are planted to pinot noir, the Estate House is a modern facility with views overlooking Sonoma County. From the moment you walk up and are greeted with a glass of chardonnay to sitting on the patio or in the living room, you may never want to leave.”