I first heard of MacRostie Winery & Vineyard while editing winery reviews at work. It’s not a small name winery, in fact, the MacRostie’s have roots in Sonoma County dating back to the early 70s before Sonoma was the wine country we know now. Suffice it to say, they’re well-established both in name and product. But I think theirs is a name and product a lot of grocery-store wine consumers haven’t heard of.
Their wines float to the top shelf, they’re not in mid-line eye-level. And I think there’s a mis-conception about “top shelf” wines. Just because a wine is literally located on the top shelf doesn’t mean it’s obscure, fancy, or pricey. I’ve only recently trained my eyes to gaze upwards in the wine aisle. And, when I did, I found MacRostie Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
About the Wine: MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from various vineyards along the Sonoma Coast. And MacRostie doesn’t hide who these folks are. Indeed, they don’t need to because they boast partnerships with big name vineyards even casual wine consumers have probably heard of: Duttons Ranch, Sangiacomos Vineyards, and Martinellis Vineyards to name just a few. And of course they have their own 20 acres of certified-sustainable vineyards as well.
The MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay grapes were whole cluster pressed then fermented in French oak barrels (20% new). After primary fermentation, the Chardonnay then went through a second malolactic fermentation, then were aged on the lees for six months. A select few lots were fermented in 100% stainless steel tanks. The barrel fermented and steel fermented wine were not blended together until just before bottling.
Flavor Profile: MacRostie Winery Chardonnay is a comfy-cozy yellow in the glass with an aroma to match. What I mean is it’s a soft, calm yellow in the glass — there’s nothing luminescent or iridescent about it, and that’s OK. If a white wine could warm you from the inside, this is that wine, so it’s nice that the visual is just as relaxing. The aroma is so soothing. Take a big breath in and that creaminess that comes from that oak barrel aging just fills your lungs, your heart, your mind. Take another breath and, if you can, breathe a bit deeper. Tip-toeing around those soft oaky notes is just the slightest hint of acidity and its that bit of burn combined with that otherwise soothing scent that truly sends a warmth into the depths of your body.
And that’s just the eyes and nose of the wine.
So go ahead and taste it. I encourage a small sip to start. The small sip will truly speak of the smooth, creamy texture of the wine, that distinct oaky-ness that you smelled and (I hope) craved. Now dive a bit deeper, and that oaky-ness seamlessly fades away and opens the gates to a distinct acidic-based fruit flavor. A bit of lemon? Yes — the bitter bit of the pith. A bit of apple? Yes — that juice that seeps down the sides of your mouth reminding you that it is, in fact, an acidic fruit. But this fruit, this citrus, this acid, steps in and steps out, and paves the way for the amazing, tongue-tingling finish. It’s the minerality, its the distinct gravely, wet stone-y minerality that’s innate in that Sonoma Coast terroir. And it leaves, on the tongue, a bit of a bubbly effervescent surprise.
At the end of the day, this is a medium bodied white wine. This is the kind of wine you can enjoy in the throws of summer heat, but will warm your heart and your home during the cold winter months.
Food Pairing: Please have this with something creamy to accentuate that beautiful oak but also to allow the fruit to pull its weight and cut through those soft tastes and textures. I enjoyed MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay with a simple chicken risotto. Perfection. And that’s all I really have to say about that.
More Info: Like I said, this is my first MacRostie Winery offering, and I’m officially enthused to try more. The family winery specializes in Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (certainly my go-to white and red wines). The “Sonoma Coast” label is the one that will be most readily available in stores (don’t forget to look up!), which I can officially attest tastes as beautiful as a single vineyard. I found the MacRostie Winery & Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay at Safeway (Sale Price: $17.99 )
That being said, I think I’m most eager to try an offering from their Wildcat Mountain Vineyard — their personal vineyard, located 700 feet above sea-level along the Petaluma Gap where all the beauty of the bay permeates the crop.
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