MacRostie Winery & Vineyards2004 Pinot Noir
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)
The 2004 growing season throughout the Carneros, whether it was on the Napa or Sonoma side, was typically foggy and cool, bracketed by mini-heat waves in May and September, which resulted in yields that averaged three tons per acre. But Wildcat Mountain Vineyard – Steve MacRostie’s own vineyard – yielded much lower tonnage than that.
Wildcat is volcanic, its soil is red, pebbly clay loam, consisting mainly of decomposed volcanic basalt, and is well-drained because of its very gravelly subsoil. Because the soil is neither deep nor overly fertile, the vigor and fruit production of the vines grown here are limited; and because of its location on the cool and breezy Pacific side of Carneros, it makes an ideal vineyard for Pinot.
It all manifests, with the ’04, in the form of pretty violet, strawberry and cherry aromas and typical tight cool-climate Carneros fruit flavors that makes for an excellently balanced wine. There are also some sweet baking spices and rose petals and a bit of smokiness. In the end, the wine is soft with some good tannin structure for aging up to about eight years.
The wine was aged in French oak, about 40 percent of which were new, for 11 months. There were 4,000 cases produced.
Reviewed August 23, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.