MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Chardonnay

Pale gold in color, this wine exhibits both wet stone and clover honey on the nose, and is very crisp and juicy on the palate, with baked apple, crème brulée, and a touch of spicy toasted oak. Lush, soft and round on the lengthy finish.

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. It was aged in these same French oak barrels, 25% of which were new, for ten months. The fermentation lees were stirred several times. Once malolactic conversion was complete, and then the wine was left to age. The best barrels from each lot were then selected for the Wildcat blend. The wine was bottled on August 3, 2011.

Wine Production Stats

Alcohol: 14.1%
Total Acidity: 3.35 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.6 g/L
pH: 3.35

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.

The 2010 growing season was the coolest in just about anyone’s memory. We waited, and we waited, and then we waited some more. Long “hang time” makes for good flavor development, though, and the lower sugars at harvest made for ideal juice. Yields were customarily low, under three tons per acre, resulting in fruit of intense flavor. The blend is made up of a barrel selection from two of our best clonal blocks: the Dijon 95, which provided richness and depth, and the Wente, which added aromatic complexity. The grapes were harvested by hand on October 12 and 13, 2010.

91 Points

The Tasting Panel
"Ripe and lush with creamy texture and bright acidity; complex and stylish with depth and finesse."
- Anthony Dias Blue (2010 vintage)
- August 2013

90 Points

Wine Enthusiast
"Although new oak accounted for only 25% of the barrels used, the oakiness stands out in the form of buttered toast and popcorn. But these interventions work well because the underlying Chardonnay itself is rich and strong in tropical fruit flavors."
- Steve Heimoff (2009 vintage)
- December 2012

90 Points

Wine Spectator Online
Daily Wine Pick, January 12, 2012
Featured in Wine Spectator editorial "12 California Chardonnays"

"Rich and creamy, well-oaked and complex, with a mix of peach, tangerine and nectarine flavors that are pure and silky, ending with a dash of cedar. Drink now through 2016."
- James Laube (2008 vintage)
- December 2011

92 Points

Wine Enthusiast
"Structure marks this fine wine, made from MacRostie's signature vineyard. Although you'll find a wealth of pineapples, Fuji apples and ripe pears, it has a minerality that makes it firm, and a clean, acidic finish. Elegant and classy, and could age for six years."
- Steve Heimoff (2007 vintage)
- December 2010

93 Points

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."
- James Laube (2006 vintage)
- March 2009