MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Pinot Noir

Very dark garnet in color, with a big, brooding, black cherry nose, it shows hints of tobacco, exotic spices, black coffee, and toast. The palate is rich, juicy, and highly extracted, with bright berries and cream flavors. A wine with intense structure but no trace of harshness, and its finish just goes on and on.

Winemaking Notes

The fruit was gently destemmed into small open-top fermentors, using all-new equipment and procedures to avoid any pumping of must. Inoculation with select yeast strains followed a three-day cold soak, and the caps were managed with a combination of pumpovers and punchdowns. The best barrels from four clonal blocks were selected for this Wildcat Pinot Noir: 667 for color and structure, 115 for rich, deep fruit, and 777 for pretty, complex aromatics. After ten months of ageing in exclusively French oak barrels, 30% of which were new, we bottled it on August 8, 2011.

Wine Production Stats

Alcohol: 14.2%
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
Residual Sugar: 0.4 g/L
pH: 3.66

The grapes for this Pinot Noir 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, which followed was cool with heavy fogs. Things moved slowly all summer long, and we were able to pick—later than usual—based on flavors rather than sugar. All of our grapes achieved optimum flavor ripeness without excessive sugar levels, and maintained their natural acid balance. Yields were customarily low at Wildcat, around three tons per acre, delivering fruit with intense flavor. The grapes that eventually went into this blend were harvested by hand on September 2010.

95 Points - Editor's Choice

Wine Enthusiast
"MacRostie's Pinots from this vineyard on the edge of the Sonoma side of Carneros always are big, ripe, powerful and ageable. This '07 shows the fat, ripe character of the vintage, offering luscious raspberry, cherry, cola, red currant liqueur, bacon, anise, spice and sandalwood flavors. But it's balanced enough to change in interesting ways over the next 5-7 years. Really a glamorous wine for your best meals."
- Steve Heimoff (2007 vintage)
- January 12, 2010

91 Points

Wine Spectator
"Complex aromas of wilted rose, sandalwood, spice and loamy earth. Full-bodied, at points delicate and detailed, ending with good length and fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2017."
- James Laube (2007 vintage)
- February 28, 2011