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2019 Vintage

  • MacRostie on Forbes.com

    Forbes

    August 27, 2021

    by Tom Hyland

    “Must-Try Chardonnay And Pinot Noir From Three Artisan California Wineries”

    “There are hundreds of wine producers in California that excel at producing wines with an artisan approach. Crafting small lots of wines such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two Burgundian varietals that at their best are made to display not only ideal balance and true character that represent their particular varietal, but also offer a sense of place, wines that reveal the identity of where the grapes are grown.

    In this article, I will focus on three producers in northern California that brilliantly capture their specific area’s character and personality regarding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

    ThalesVineyard2014

    Thales Vineyard, Russian River Valley, source of Pinot Noir for one the best wines from MacRostie Vineyard and Winery.

    MacRostie Vineyard and Winery, Sonoma County

    Founded by Steve MacRostie in 1987, this has been one of the shining stars in the Carneros Sonoma area, especially with Chardonnay. Pinot Noir, with much of the fruit sourced from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, has become equally important for the winery, which recently moved its location from Carneros to a state-of-the-art facility on Westside Road in Healdsburg in the Russian River Valley. While Steve Macrostie was the original winemaker, he turned these duties over to the effervescent Heidi Bridenhagen in 2013; she had served as assistant winemaker there since 2011. Her style is one that showcases bright varietal fruit with a notable sense of origin; the wines always display very good acidity and are elegantly styled.

    Note that all of the Macrostie Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as all of their other wines) are bottled with screw caps, which the proprietors believe preserve the wines’ freshness and purity.

    2019 MacRostie Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay – 95 Points

    Brilliant light yellow; aromas of golden apple, spiced pear and goldenrod. Medium-full, this has excellent ripeness, very good acidity, and a delicate creamy, lush feel, all the while coming across as very delicate on the palate. This has beautiful finesse along with exquisite balance, and will be especially appealing to Chardonnay lovers who tire of excessive wood notes in their wines. A marvelous success that can be enjoyed tonight with lemon sole or halibut, or put away for three to five years.

    2018 MacRostie Thale’s Vineyard Pinot Noir – 92 Points

    An estate vineyard of MacRostie since 2013, this site was named for Steve’s wife Thale. Beautiful delicate garnet; aromas of bing cherry, pink roses and carnations, this is a delicious Pinot Noir with very good acidity, impressive varietal purity, medium-bodied tannins, nicely integrated notes and a lengthy, supple finish with delicate notes of black spice. Pair this with roast chicken tonight or lay away for another five to seven years.

    2018 MacRostie Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir – 91 Points

    Beautiful delicate garnet (almost pink); aromas of bing and black cherry, pomegranate and chrysanthemum. Medium-full, this has ripe fruit character, very good acidity, earthy notes in the finish and rich tannins. Give this a few years to settle down, as it will improve for another five to seven years. If you want to pair this with food tonight, serve it with cornish hen.

    2019 MacRostie Dutton Ranch Chardonnay – 91 Points

    Light yellow; aromas of guava, melon and saffron. Medium-full, this is quite rich on the palate and displays more intense wood notes and power than the Heintz Chardonnay. This is more in the style of many California Chardonnays from the 1980s and 1990s and needs to be paired with very rich seafood (lobster, swordfish) or meats such as roast veal. Enjoy over the next 3-5 years.”

  • MacRostie on JebDunnuck.com

    JebDunnuck.com

    July 22, 2021

    by Jeb Dunnuck

    2019 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Chardonnay – 91 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “The 2019 Chardonnay Wildcat Mountain showed nicely, with a reductive, mineral-laced, medium-bodied style as well as pretty citrus and stone fruits, lots of white flowers, and subtle spice and nuttiness, integrated acidity, and light background oak. It’s well worth following over the coming 4-6 years.”

    2019 MacRostie Kent Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay – 91 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “Bright lemon, white flowers, honeysuckle, and a kiss of salty minerality all emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Kent Ritchie Vineyard, and while it’s one of the lighter, fresher, and more elegant wines in the lineup, it has plenty of length and persistence.”

    2019 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 91 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the appellation 2019 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast reveals a light ruby hue to go with tart cherry and strawberry fruits, a medium-bodied, elegant mouthfeel, nicely integrated acidity, and classy, almost Russian River-like notes of spice, cola, and savory flowers. It’s a rock-solid, impressive Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 5-6 years.”

    2019 MacRostie Thale’s Vineyard Pinot Noir – 91 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “Another outstanding Pinot Noir, the 2019 Pinot Noir Thale’s Vineyard has a medium ruby, translucent color as well as classic Pinot Noir red berry fruits, notes of spice and dried herbs, medium-bodied richness, and an elegant, lightly textured mouthfeel. It has plenty of charm and should keep for 4-5 years.”

    2019 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay – 90 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “The 2019 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is rock-solid and has pretty pear, tart peach, and subtle citrus fruits to go with a medium-bodied, supple, elegant, and nicely balanced style on the palate. The acidity is nicely integrated, and this is just clean, pure, and delicious.”

    2019 MacRostie Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay – 90 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “The 2019 Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard is another Chardonnay here that has a kiss of matchstick and good reduction. Showing more pear, peach, and lemon curd as well as sappy green herb notes with time in the glass, it’s medium-bodied, has good overall freshness and purity, and a clean, solid finish. It’s a very good Chardonnay, if not outstanding, and should have 3-4 years of prime drinking.”

    2019 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Pinot Noir – 90 Points: Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seek out.

    “The 2019 Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain has slightly more underbrush and salinity as well as ample ripe black cherry and framboise fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a length, salty finish. It’s another impressive, balanced, elegant Pinot Noir in the lineup.”

  • MacRostie in The Tasting Panel

    The Tasting Panel

    August 2021

    by Meridith May

    “Pinot Parade: Our Top Picks for Summer”

    2018 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Pinot Noir – 94 Points: Outstanding

    “Wildcat Mountain Vineyard is owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. Its volcanic soils, strong maritime winds, and coastal fog contribute to the distinctive character of this lushly layered red, which opens with inspiring

    notes of cinnamon roll and cherry pie. A more complex mid-palate unfolds with jasmine, frankincense, and other exotic floral notes, leaving a trace of lavender and plum on the finish.”

    “Down the Aisle”

    2019 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay – 94 Points: Outstanding

    “Sourcing from vineyards in Carneros, the Russian River Valley, and the Petaluma Gap, winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen works with such prestigious growers as the Duttons, Sangiacomos, and Martinellis to make this spiritual white. It possesses an inner glow thanks to the juiciest peach, the sweetness of honeysuckle, and a splash of tangerine, which join under-lying minerality, a lift of acidity, and a touch of vanilla nougat. The pineapple juice–like finish is memorable.”

  • MacRostie Reviews on WineSpectator.com

    WineSpectator.com
    Web-only 2021
    by Kim Marcus

    2019 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Chardonnay – 91 Points: Outstanding; a wine of superior character and style

    “Rich and well-structured, with honeyed accents to the apple and pear tart flavors. Toasty and light buttery accents linger on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2024.”

    2019 MacRostie Durell Vineyard Chardonnay – 90 Points: Outstanding; a wine of superior character and style

    “Concentrated green apple and Key Lim pie flavors are supported by glistening acidity, with mineral and savory notes filling the zesty, well-spiced finish. Drink now through 2024.”

    2019 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay – 88 Points: Very good; a wine with special qualities

    “Crisp and savory, with grapefruit, green pear and McIntosh apple flavors that are well-spiced, with plenty of oak notes on the finish. Drink now through 2023.”

    2019 MacRostie Russian River Valley Chardonnay – 87 Points: Very good; a wine with special qualities

    “Ripe white fruit flavors show dried mango notes, while the intensely spicy finish has plenty of oaky accents. Drink now.”

  • It’s Cheese O’Clock in California

    The Mercury News 

    October 16, 2020
    By Jackie Burrell 

    “Last spring, cheese experts Janet Fletcher and Laura Werlin teamed up with cheesemakers and winemakers to bring attention to, as Werlin put it, ‘the great cheeses of America.’ The virtual Cheese O’Clock series proved so crazy popular, they’re doing an encore with four themed wine and cheese tastings in November and December.

    The Thursday Zoom sessions are free. But unless you like watching other people nibble, sip and swoon while you go cheese-less and wine deprived, you’ll want to purchase those blue-ribbon fromages and wine pairings ahead, so they’ll be on your doorstep in time to taste along.

    Cheese selections are $65 for four or five cheeses. And we’re not talking petite wedges — the shipment for a recent session we joined included a round of Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam, a whole Nicasio Foggy Morning fromage blanc and more. The paired wines are $90 to $105 for two bottles, shipped straight from the wineries.

    Tastings are on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Pacific (7 p.m. Eastern). Here’s what lies in store.

    How the West Was Won, Nov. 12: MacRostie Winery winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen and Central Coast Creamery’s cheesemaker Reggie Jones, whose Ewenique cheese joins a lineup that also includes Laura Chenel’s Goat Brie, Beecher’s Cheese’s Flagship Reserve, and Rogue Creamery’s Caveman Blue.”

  • This Week’s Blind Tasting: Sauvignon Blancs

    The Press Democrat

    October 14
    By Peg Melnik

    2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc – ★★★ ½: Good

    “A zesty sauvignon blanc with notes of melon, mango and mineral. Buoyed by bright acidity. Finishes crisp.” 

  • Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide – 2017 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc

    Wine Enthusiast

    October 12
    By Virginie Boone

    MacRostie 2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley) – 90 Points

    Sourced from the Mirabelle and Jewell Ranch vineyards, the grapes Musque clone, this is a delightfully delicious and impressively made white. Floral, herbal and steely, it shows a wealth of crisp green apple and melon flavor with just a touch of neutral oak influence. 


  • “California’s Next Generation Lead Women Winemakers And The Promise That Accompanies Their Success”

    Grape Collective 

    September 18, 2020
    By Lucia Albino Gilbert and John C. Gilbert

    “Our oft-cited 2011 study reported that only 10% of California wineries had a woman in their lead winemaker position. Our 2020 follow-up study indicated a modest but significant increase to 14% over the past nine years.1

    The career paths of women who moved into lead winemaker positions since our 2011 study, whom we call California’s Next Generation Lead Women Winemakers, illuminate important patterns of underlying change. These patterns hold promise in leveling the ‘playing field’ for California’s women winemakers.

    For this article, we identified sixteen ‘Next Generation’ women winemakers whose career paths illustrate one of three patterns. Two of the three reflect increased opportunity within what has been a traditionally male-dominated field:

    • The first lead woman winemaker appointed following mentorship by a senior male winemaker at the same winery, and 
    • The first woman winemaker hired into a lead winemaker position at a prominent winery.

    A reaffirming third pattern was also identified among their career paths:

    • Women winemakers who own their wineries or who work as independent consulting winemakers while also developing their own label.

    First Lead Woman Winemaker Appointed at a Well-Known Winery Following Mentorship by a Senior Male Winemaker at the Same Winery

    Although not everyone needs a mentor to be ‘successful,’ mentors are known to be important to career development. Mentors help their mentees develop a vision for themselves, learn important skills and knowledge, and gain self-confidence.

    Important illustrative examples come from the career paths of two pioneering women winemakers—MaryAnn Graf, California’s first lead women winemaker, appointed winemaker at Simi Winery in Healdsburg in 1973, and Jill Davis, at the time California’s youngest lead woman winemaker when appointed at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma in 1983 at age 27. Both were mentored by the esteemed André Tchelistcheff after his retirement from Beaulieu Vineyard in 1973. They described his mentorship as an intensive and supportive experience and central to their career success.

    Six of our Next Generation lead winemakers were mentored by a prominent senior male winemaker. Unlike Graf and Davis, however, these winemakers were mentored by a long-time male winemaker for a position at that same winery. It is not unusual for winemakers to continue in their role for many years, especially at family-owned wineries, and to seek exceptional young talent in filling positions that can help secure the winery’s future. Implicit gender bias, however, may make it more difficult for women to successfully compete for these positions. That these successful long-time winemakers at prominent wineries, all men, identified, hired, and then entered into a mentoring relationship with highly qualified young women destined to be appointed as the next winemaker represents an important shift in a male-dominated industry.

    The six winemakers are presented in order of when each winery was established to provide some context for the winery’s history, the mentoring, and the winemaker’s appointment.

    Heidi Bridenhagen, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County. 

    Founded in 1987 by Thale and Steve MacRostie, with Steve as its first winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen became its third winemaker in 2013.

    Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Heidi loved the outdoors, math, and science. She earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2006 and then spent time traveling through wine regions in Eastern and Western Europe. She knew on her return that she wanted to pursue a career that combined her scientific expertise and creative skills.

    Following a number of harvest and lab experiences in California and New Zealand, Heidi joined MacRostie in 2011, ironically the same day the MacRostie’s sold it. Not knowing what this would mean for her career path, her interview experience with Steve, who later became her mentor, was reassuring. According to Heidi, ‘We spent a few minutes discussing my qualifications, why I thought MacRostie would be a good fit, etc., and then he said, ‘It sounds like you are more than qualified for the job, but who are you and what do you like to do in your free time?’ We ended up talking for over an hour. . . It made me realize that this would be more than just a job, but a family where I could grow in my career.’

    In December 2013, the winemaker at the time decided to leave. Heidi laid out her 1-, 3-, and 5-year plans for the winery and became the next winemaker at the age of 27! She continues to work closely with Steve.

    A dynamic and gifted winemaker, Heidi consistently receives high scores and accolades for her wines. She does as many as 130 small fermentations each vintage from which to craft the winery’s noted Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

    Brief Summary

    These six young winemakers have in common their mentoring relationships with long-time winemakers who recognized and nurtured their talents and abilities, and in one case, even following a change in ownership. The wineries themselves are among California’s long-established wineries in Napa and Sonoma, with all dating back to at least 1987.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    The Press Democrat

    September 1, 2020
    By Peg Melnik

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    “A refreshing rosé with bright fruit coupled with crisp acidity. Notes of cherry, strawberry and mineral. Great balance. Nice length.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Epoch Times

    August 12, 2020
    By Robert Whitley

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points 

     “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry rosé that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its chardonnay and pinot noir, but now it seems rosé is getting in on that class act.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Wine Review Online

    by Rich Cook
    August 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry Rosé that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but now it seems Rosé is getting in on that class act.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 92 Points

    Wine Review Online

    by Rich Cook
    August 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    “The parade of exceptional Pinot Noir Rosé wines crossing my desk continues with this offering from a favorite producer of mine. It gets right to a lively mix of citrus, peach, and strawberry, and leaves those notes dancing on the palate in an extended fashion. The pigmentation was provided by a 50/50 combination of direct-to-press and saignée maceration methods, performed on fruit largely sourced from Thale’s Vineyard. This delivers the goods, and does so in high style.” 

  • The Press Democrat – MacRostie Rosé is a ‘Tasty Alternative’

    The Press Democrat

    by Peg Melnik
    August 4, 2020

    “Tasty Alternatives”

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – ★★★★: Highly recommended

    “Layered notes of grapefruit, orange rind, and spice. Crisp acidity. Nice length. Lovely.”

  • 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    Creators.com

    by Robert Whitley 
    August 4, 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 94 Points

    “Bursting with notes of strawberry and cherry, this is a crowd-pleasing dry rose that just goes on and on. MacRostie is famous for its chardonnay and pinot noir, but now it seems rose is getting in on that class act.”

    Looking ahead at the 2019s, this was another cool year that has plenty of similarities to 2018, if not even a touch more freshness and acidity. I’ll taste these in-depth next year, but certainly, this will be another strong vintage for all of the Central Coast.

    The Wines

    While I was forced to cancel all my oversea trips due to COVID-19, I was able to drive to the Central Coast late in June of 2019 and do large AVA tastings as well as a handful of visits, which I tried to keep to a minimum. I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I enjoyed tasting through them and writing the report!”

  • Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide – 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    Wine Enthusiast

    by Virginie Boone
    October 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 91 Points: Excellent; highly recommended

    “Rich and viscous, this wine is fruity in strawberry and dark cherry, with an herbal underbelly that contrasts well. While lush and opulent, it finishes crisp and clean.”

    Looking ahead at the 2019s, this was another cool year that has plenty of similarities to 2018, if not even a touch more freshness and acidity. I’ll taste these in-depth next year, but certainly, this will be another strong vintage for all of the Central Coast.

    The Wines

    While I was forced to cancel all my oversea trips due to COVID-19, I was able to drive to the Central Coast late in June of 2019 and do large AVA tastings as well as a handful of visits, which I tried to keep to a minimum. I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I enjoyed tasting through them and writing the report!”

  • “Your Guide to Great Summer Wines — Spectacular Sparkling, Rosé, White and Red Picks”

    PaperCity Magazine

    by James Brock
    July 18, 2020

    “Summer is fully in swing, and though it will be over before we know it, and will certainly be a, let’s say, unique, season, there is no reason for you to go without wine, especially wines new to you. (It’s always a good idea to buy something unfamiliar to you on a regular basis, while still enjoying your tried-and-true favorites.)

    You have been following the advice of Drs. Fauci and Hotez, your cooking skills have probably improved, and your dinner-party game is assuredly more impressive than it was back in February of this year — even if you’ve been preparing dishes for your immediate family only. You definitely deserve some delicious bottles of wine to pair with your creations (or your takeout fare).

    Here is your Summer Wine Guide (and these selections will be more than suitable for fall as well), a collection of bottles from quality producers whose approach to winemaking results in pleasure and exploration for the end user. . . you.

    You’ll find three bottles in each category of the guide — sparkling, rosé, white, and red. As a bonus, I’m including a few additional recommendations for your approval, a roster of wines I hope you’ll find intriguing.

    Rosé

    Many people hold the opinion that Rosé is best consumed in warmer weather, and while I do not want to discourage anyone from drinking it in, say, July or August, there is no need to restrict yourself in that manner. Rosé is not for summer only. That said, here are three bottles of (varying shades of ) pink that will go down well no matter the season.

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley

    Next, the 2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley. This dry wine is drinking stunningly well — I shared a bottle with a friend a few days ago, and it is now on my reorder list. Saignée and direct-to-press are both used here, and the resulting wine is full of peach and strawberry and a touch of citrus.”

  • 5 Wines to Buy Now – 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé

    The Houston Chronicle

    by Dale Robertson
    June 24, 2020

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 19.3 Points out of 20

    Dry, fresh and fruity. Ripe cherry, peach and tangerine with dried herbs. Very drinkable.”

  • “5 Wines to Buy Now”

    Houston Chronicle

    by Dale Robertson
    May 24, 2020

    “The Houston Chronicle’s tasting panel remains on hiatus until further notice, but we haven’t stopped swirling and sipping on our own. Here are five recommendations, sampled blindly, from a mix of eminently trustworthy individual tasters.

    2019 MacRostie Pinot Noir Rosé Russian River Valley – 19.3 Points out of 20

    Dry, fresh and fruity. Ripe cherry, peach and tangerine with dried herbs. Very drinkable.”

  • 2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc

    The Press Democrat 

    by Peg Melnik
    June 9, 2020

    “Tasty Alternatives” 

    2019 Clockwise Sauvignon Blanc – ★★★ ½: Good

    “Citrusy flavors play up front with tropical flavors playing back up. Seamless texture. Nice length. Smart.”