MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
The grapes for this Chardonnay came exclusively from our Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. Here the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site, cool and challenging, and produces wines of great distinction.
WINEMAKING NOTES: The grapes went direct to press as whole clusters. The resulting juice was cold settled, racked off its press lees, and moved directly to barrel for a cool fermentation. The wine was then aged in these same French oak barrels, 25 percent of which were new, for 11 months. The fermentation lees were stirred several times once malolactic conversion was complete, and then the wine was left to slumber. After enough time had passed for the flavors to fully develop, the best barrels from each lot were selected to form the Wildcat Mountain Vineyard blend. The wine was bottled on August 6, 2007.
TASTING NOTES: Classic pale straw in color, with enticing aromas of clover honey and ripe pineapple. On the palate, it offers appealing tropical fruit, citrus, and spiced baked apple flavors. Dry and mouthfilling, this Chardonnay possesses sufficient structure to age for a few years, but is delicious now.
Wine Spectator - "Shows rich tropical fruit, with layers of tangerine, nectarine, fig and honey that are supple, full bodied, smooth and elegant, ending with a complex mix of fruit and light toasty oak. Drink now through 2012. 957 cases made."
MacRostie Winery and Vineyards was founded by winemaker Steve MacRostie in 1987. As a believer in the unique character of Carneros fruit, and an innovative winemaker pioneering a more fresh and sophisticated style of Chardonnay, Steve dedicated himself to crafting wines embodying an authentic sense of place. In 1992, realizing the vast potential for producing stunning, age-worthy Pinot Noirs from Carneros fruit, Steve made MacRostie's first Carneros Pinot Noir.
In the 1990s, Steve discovered an amazing mountainside ranch possessing spartan volcanic soils over fractured andesite, located in the western borderlands of Carneros. This ranch enjoyed a unique microclimate that Steve believed would be ideally suited to producing profound Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. In 1997, inspired by a desire to cultivate his own great piece of land, Steve's adventurous spirit led him to enter into a partnership with Nancy and Tony Lilly to develop Wildcat Mountain Vineyard from this unplanted pastureland.
Steve handpicked Kevin Holt as his successor to take over winemaking responsibilities for MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in 2004. A gifted winemaker who has worked at such wineries as Quivira and Testarossa Vineyards, Kevin continues Steve's 20-year legacy for producing outstanding wines from the finest Carneros and Sonoma Coast fruit. View all Macrostie Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.