2018 The Key Chardonnay | MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
94
pts
Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
91
pts
Wine & Spirits

2018 The Key

Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast
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About this Wine

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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.

Last Call

94 Points

“High acidity leads the way to a lively, fresh palate of grapefruit, kiwi and lemon in this lengthy, textured white. Impressive from start to finish, it shows a nice integration of oak and tannin, with hints of baking spice, flint and stone.”
Virginie Boone
Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide, December 2021
Tasting Notes
Tasting Notes
Accolades
Accolades
Winemaking
Winemaking
Vintage
Vintage
Vineyard
Vineyard
Tech. Notes
Tech. Notes
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. Fragrant aromas of orange peel and apricot leap from the glass inviting a first sip, with notes of lemon and lime-oil adding complexity, intrigue and zing. 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, richly textural finish.

Accolades
  • 94 Points: Virginie Boone Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
  • “High acidity leads the way to a lively, fresh palate of grapefruit, kiwi and lemon in this lengthy, textured white. Impressive from start to finish, it shows a nice integration of oak and tannin, with hints of baking spice, flint and stone.”

  • 91 Points: Josh Greene Wine & Spirits
  • Delicious, compelling; a compelling wine of its region; a delicious, finessed expression of place “Steve MacRostie and winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen blend The Key from their favored chardonnay lots, including parcels in the Russian River Valley, the far Sonoma Coast and Carneros. It’s a fresh, coastal white with green-apple notes and rooty scents of carrots. The texture is creamy, the finish clean.”

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 barrel where it completed secondary malo-lactic fermentation. After 10 months of aging in 20% new French oak, the wine was blended and put into 29% new and 14% once-filled oak. Thus, the final blend has seen over 30% new French oak. To further increase richness and body, the lees were occasionally stirred. Deemed aged to perfection, it was bottled on February 25, 2020.

Vintage

We are now in our fifth 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.

Vineyard

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 beautiful lush, fruit-forward character of Mirabelle Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the orange blossom and white peach notes from the acclaimed Olivet Lane Vineyard, the lemon citrus flavors from the acclaimed Bacigalupi Vineyard, and the honey, ginger and mineral notes from Steve MacRostie’s own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard. Prized pieces of Tollini Vineyard and Sangiacomo’s Home Ranch also fit harmoniously into The Key.

Technical Notes
  • composition:

    100% Chardonnay

  • alcohol: 13.90%
  • cases made:

    14 Barrels
    318 Cases

  • bottling date: 02/25/2020
  • aging:

    Aged 10 months sur lie in French oak, 20% new, 24% once-used.

  • 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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