94+PTS
Wine Advocate

2015 The Key

Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast
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About this Wine

The Key embodies everything that we know about making great Chardonnay. On the palate, this magnificent Chardonnay is a study in cool-climate purity and grace.

Library Selection

94+ Points

“The 2015 Chardonnay The Key is slightly closed at this youthful stage, giving glimpses at struck match, white grapefruit, lemon curd and honeyed white peach notes plus hints of orange blossoms and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied and offering a soft spoken, quiet intensity of stone fruit and citrus layers, it has a silken texture and long, mineral-laced finish.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
Wine Advocate, May 2018
Tasting Notes
Tasting Notes
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Accolades
Accolades
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Winemaking
Winemaking
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Vintage
Vintage
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Vineyard
Vineyard
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Tech. Notes
Tech. Notes
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additional notes
Tasting Notes

From the far Sonoma Coast to the Russian River Valley to Carneros, this complex, layered wine spotlights the history and breadth of the MacRostie vineyard program. Exotic aromas of lemon zest, honey, ginger, and anise leap from the glass inviting a first sip. On the palate, this magnificent Chardonnay is a study in cool-climate purity and grace. Not only has extended aging in the finest French oak given this wine an appealing golden color, it has imparted a lovely hint of perfumed oak that adds nuance and depth to the bright citrus flavors, which carry through to a long, sophisticated finish.

Accolades
  • 94+ Points: Lisa Perrotti-Brown Wine Advocate - May 2018
  • “The 2015 Chardonnay The Key is slightly closed at this youthful stage, giving glimpses at struck match, white grapefruit, lemon curd and honeyed white peach notes plus hints of orange blossoms and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied and offering a soft spoken, quiet intensity of stone fruit and citrus layers, it has a silken texture and long, mineral-laced finish.”

Winemaking

The grapes went directly to press as whole clusters where they were gently pressed in order to maximize quality. This provides a distinct mouthfeel and texture. After settling, the juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation. This wine spent its entire life in the barrel where it completed primary and secondary malo-lactic fermentations. After 10 months of aging in about 20% new French oak, the wine was blended and put into one new French oak barrel and into one-year-old barrels, where it was aged for another six months. Thus, the final blend has seen over 50% new French oak. To further increase richness and body, it was occasionally stirred. Deemed aged to perfection, it was bottled lovingly, on February 14th, 2017.

Vintage

The 2015 vintage had low yields compared to average Sonoma County years. Moderate temperatures, and weather conditions without rain or frost, developed the fruit slowly and evenly. With the low yields, many vineyards were harvested earlier than previous vintages. Here at MacRostie, we pride ourselves on working with growers who know the land intimately. Vintage after vintage, the partnerships we have with our growers provide us with beautiful fruit. Among its key vineyards, this blend combines the beautifully lush, fruit-forward character of Mirabelle Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the lemon citrus flavors from the acclaimed Bacigalupi Vineyard, the white peach and pear notes of Goldrock Ridge on the far coast, the minerality of Kent Ritchie Vineyard, and the honey, ginger and mineral notes from Steve MacRostie’s own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard.

Vineyard

We are now in our second year of crafting master blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We named these wines The Loch and The Key, both as a nod to our founder Steve MacRostie’s Scottish heritage and to his early experiences as a cryptographer deciphering codes in Europe for the U.S. Army. Combining decades of winemaking mastery with our rich history on the Sonoma Coast, The Loch, and The Key are consummate blends, artfully crafted from our best blocks and barrels of wine. “Our goal is simple, but not easy,” says Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen. “We search our cellar for our most beautiful wines of the vintage—stirring wines that sing on the palate. Then we begin blending.” Like a secret code unlocked by our winemakers, The Key embodies everything that we know about making great Chardonnay.

Technical Notes
  • composition:

    100% Chardonnay

  • alcohol: 14.3%
  • cases made:

    3 Barrels
    75 Cases

  • bottling date: 02/14/2017
  • aging:

    Aged 10 months sur lie in French oak, 20% new

  • fermentation:

    Whole cluster pressed then cold settled for 48 hours, then racked into French oak for primary and malolactic fermentation

additional notes
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