MacMurray Ranch Russian River Pinot Noir 2016
With vineyards in some of the world's most sought-after Pinot Noir regions, MacMurray Vineyards crafts a collection of estate Pinot Noirs. Their namesake Russian River Valley vineyard, MacMurray Ranch, was once owned by actor Fred MacMurray, who purchased the land in 1941. To create this Pinot Noir, their winemaker selected grapes from estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley, giving it rich aromas and flavors of raspberry, cherry, lavender and boysenberry.
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Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley gives intense red currants and Bing cherries with hints of blackberries and black pepper plus a waft of underbrush. Medium-bodied, finely crafted and refreshing on the palate, it has a lovely structure of finely grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a compelling mineral note.
MacMurray Estate Vineyards is deeply rooted in Sonoma County. Our namesake Russian River Valley vineyard was once owned by actor Fred MacMurray, who purchased the land in 1941. Today, Fred’s daughter, Kate, remains closely connected to this land, the wines of MacMurray Estate Vineyards, and the local Sonoma community.
While the exceptional MacMurray Ranch Vineyard is home to some of California’s most renowned Pinot Noir vines, for Kate, it is also a place of long-held, cherished memories. The MacMurray family farmed crops and raised cattle on this ranch for many years, taking an active role in the local agricultural community. Kate grew up hiking and riding her horse through the ranch’s majestic rolling hills.
Transformed into a world-class vineyard in 1996, MacMurray Ranch quickly became one of the Russian River Valley’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir vineyards. Today, MacMurray Estate Vineyards has grown to encompass estate vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley and the Central Coast, but we continue to honor our roots and the history of the MacMurray Ranch.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”