December 2020

  • Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide

    Wine Enthusiast

    December 2020
    By Virginie Boone 

    2018 MacRostie Manzana Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 93 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Grippy, layered and textured, this impressive wine is elegantly lean and balanced, with contrasting notions of blood orange, cranberry and forest floor. It impresses in its enduring acidity and bold structure.” 

    2018 MacRostie Nunes Vineyard Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 92 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Thick and savory forest and tea elements combine effortlessly with crunchy fruit flavors of cranberry and orange in this light-bodied, elegant vineyard-designate. The concentration gives way to a silky smoothness that rides along the lengthy finish.” 

    2018 MacRostie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 92 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Rich in cola and vanilla flavors that accent the core of strawberry, rhubarb and orange peel, this wine is cohesive and integrated. Silky and creamy on the palate, it builds tannin weight over time, finishing in a balance of black tea.” 

    2018 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Hearty and full bodied in style, this wine is nonetheless high toned in edgy acidity and cool climate vibes, giving a balanced perspective of brightness within its power. Rhubarb, raspberry and forest notes dominate along a silky smooth texture of layered tannin and oak.” 

    2018 MacRostie Putnam Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Robust tannins wrap around a core of forest floor, black tea and savory, edgy intrigue in this coastal wine. High-toned acidity buzzes along a focused palate of wild strawberry, cranberry and rhubarb.” 

  • Top 100 Sonoma Wines 2020

    Sonoma Magazine

    November 19, 2020
    By Linda Murphy

    Just in time for the holidays: your guide to the best wines and wineries in Sonoma County.

    Our 2020 Top 100 Wines list points the way to the best bottles from throughout the county. The winners are a diverse group, covering various viticultural regions, grape varieties, and production quantities. Many picks are found in local grocery stores, others can be purchased only from wineries. Pinot Noir, arguably Sonoma’s most popular wine (in a supreme compliment, Napa Valley wineries seek out Sonomagrown Pinot), gets a lot of attention, and high-end Cabernet Sauvignon is coming on strong. The finest bottles are indeed expensive, although it’s more often a reflection of increasing costs in labor, health care, grape prices and packaging materials, than it is outright gouging (though some of that exists).


    Healdsburg-based wine critic Linda Murphy selected the Top 100 Wines of 2020 based on her yearlong tastings at wineries and of samples sent to her, as well as her blind tastings at wine competitions including The Press Democrat 2020 North Coast Wine Challenge. Only wines produced from Sonoma County-grown grapes, by wineries located in the county, are eligible for the Top 100. All wines were tasted in 2020.

    A former managing editor of Sonoma magazine, Murphy earned two James Beard awards as the founding editor of the San Francisco Chronicle wine section. She’s evaluated Sonoma wines for 30 years, and always has the consumer in mind with her recommendations. Not all expensive wines are worth their price, and many value-priced wines deliver far more interest than their price would suggest.

    2017 MacRostie Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

    Dutton Ranch encompasses multiple vineyards, and winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen tapped three of them for this multi-layered wine. The honeyed nose leads to ripe golden apple, peach, and tropical fruit, and a Meyer lemon brightness balances the finish.

    While the 2017 Dutton Ranch quickly sold out, the 2018 vintage is currently available here.