The focus at MacPhail is largely on pinot noir. They source fruit from distinct vineyards and use it to produce a wide range of wines. Most of them are single vineyard offerings, a few are region specific. There are several tasting options available at MacPhail, some of them require reservations; most of them do not. In my opinion, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment anywhere you go for best results. The atmosphere fostered by general manager and long-time Sonoma Wine Guy Jim Morris at MacPhail is welcoming, laidback, and informative. Be prepared to relax, hang out, and have a good time tasting wine. You’re sure to learn a few things, too. I recently visited and tasted through a whole array of their wines, here are some thoughts on my favorites.
Indian Rosé MacPhail Family Wines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 ($35) All of the chardonnay was sourced at the Gap’s Crown Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Pineapple and orchard fruit aromas dominate the nose here. The palate is studded with oodles of pure and unadulterated fruit flavors such as apples, peach, and pear. Minerals, continued bits of pear, and white pepper flavors are all in evidence on the clean, crisp finish. This is a genuine expression of chardonnay that allows all the beautiful, mouth-watering fruit to shine.
Indian Sauvignon Blanc MacPhail Family Wines Sangiacamo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 ($49) All of the fruit was sourced at the namesake vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Red raspberry aromas light up the welcoming nose. Savory herbs such as sage ant thyme lead a palate studded with delicious red fruit flavors. Hints of cinnamon, along with red and black raspberry, are all part of the long finish, which also shows off bits of black tea. Pair this with mushroom risotto and culinary sparks will fly.
Indian Chenin Blanc
Vidal Perez, the winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines , likes to call his wines his children. When tasting from a tank of 2014 wine he'll say things like, "We were concerned about this chardonnay -- it was a preemie, the Brix was low, and there wasn't enough sugar when harvested." But Perez and his crew have their "tricks," as he repeatedly called them, and in this case it meant pumping wine from the top of the massive 6000-gallon tank into the bottom, in order "to get the yeast stirring and activate the wine even more -- we've been happy with the results." His smile after saying that is the same one a parent might beam after seeing his kid's straight-A report card.
Indian Cabernet Shiraz Perez might actually be a foster father to these wines, since J. Wilkes Wines was begun in 2001 by Jeff Wilkes. Wilkes, who died suddenly in 2010, was a longtime employee of the Miller Family, owners of the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard near Santa Maria and Central Coast Wine Services . Central Coast Wine Services is a massive 250,000 square-foot facility in a renovated auto parts factory that creates numerous wines (many for various Trader Joe's labels), rents production and storage space to many small and wonderful wines (like Paul Lato), and had let J. Wilkes get much of the cream of the grape crop. Perez worked with Wilkes as he developed his winery, so when Jeff passed away, the Millers chose to keep his memory and brand alive by naming Perez the winemaker of J. Wilkes Wines.
Indian Rosé His reason for a change was driven by a need for more career challenges and more control. "I'd grow the babies for nine months and then the winemaker takes the grapes and takes the credit," he says. That's changed -- the day before I visited him at Central Coast Wine Services he learned that the J. Wilkes 2012 Pinot Noir won a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Not bad for a $26 bottle of wine from a region where pinots rarely cost under $30.
Indian Sauvignon Blanc
English: Fox came to win, not rebuild If you would have told me a month ago that John Fox would be the Bears next head coach, I would have said you were crazy.
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"> The best wines from the competition await evaluation during the final round of tastings.
Sauvignon Blanc India Andy Perdue Mike Dunne, longtime wine columnist for the Sacramento Bee, evaluates a wine during the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in Cloverdale, California.
Chenin Blanc India "> Andy Perdue Mike Dunne, longtime wine columnist for the Sacramento Bee, evaluates a wine during the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in Cloverdale, California.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) India
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