2013 Macauley Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
This wine is a diamond in the ruff! It begins with a fresh aroma full of volume, honey, sweet white confection, floral bouquet and sparkling tropical notes. It has a showy, full body, good viscosity, bright white fruits and a plush center and tingly linger that both tastes and leaves you feeling fresh on the palate and wanting more! Hailing from the famed Mill Station Vineyard, managed by Dutton Ranch of Russian River Valley, this Chardonnay shows it all. A beautiful color, the volume is turned way up in the nose and the mouthfeel of sweet citrus and tropical fruit on the entry with firm acidity and richness in the midpalate leaves you wanting another taste. Aged for 11 months surlies in French oak, stainless steel, and concrete, this is both and eclectic and playful statement in Chardonnay and a wine deserving vineyard designate status. This offering is ready to enjoy now and should age well from release to 2019 or longer if cellared well.
Emerging from what was a challenging vintage comes a jewel worthy of anyone’s cellar. The 2011 Cabernet Franc has every trait necessary to be a classic and collectable piece. Color, nose, balance, acidity and refined tannins are all present and accounted for. Farmed meticulously by the famed Beckstoffer group, this Franc shows notes of oak spice, black cherry, light Oakville herbs and dust, warmth of toasted oak, black cherry-vanilla, slight hints of dried currants and plum. The nose builds over time as well and new details rise from the glass over the moments of time that go by. The native yeast and stylish French Oak barrel fermentation has given this wine a sizable, extracted presence. While young right now, this Franc will certainly do well with a few years in the wine cellar to allow the bing cherry, pomegranate, refined oak lactones and youthful tannins to settle into blissful harmony. Posterity and balance are what this eclectic Bordeaux varietal from Macauley is all about. - Kirk Venge, Winemaker
This bold wine happily goes where many dare to go. Loaded with flavor, the ’11 Macauley Petite Sirah is a tame but large monster from the first pour. The inky, black and purple hues stick to the walls of the wineglass like something from a tar pit! The nose is elegant however; both generous and restrained. Not a vegetal segment in place, simply wafting black fruit and barrel vanillin. The wine is nicely polished which one may not expect, given the extracted size and mass of its first impression. The palate is a tongue tying array of black fruit, plum, black cherry, barrel spices and licorice. Venturing to the back palate, the acidity fills in with great detail, adding a red hard candy effect. The tannins are quite loud in volume but not distorted, suggesting that this bold and muscular wine will survive to 2029 and beyond if stored correctly. - Kirk Venge, Winemaker
This is a lovely and balanced Merlot, hailing from the steep Coombsville appellation domains of John Caldwell, a legendary viticulturist and wine grower. In the nose there are soft but vibrant aromatics of black cherry, overripe strawberry, barrel spice and vanilla. The oak program speaks to 100% new tight grain Sylvain cooperage; one of my very favorite for cradling and expressing the lively nuances of Merlot. For being a steep, rocky site Merlot, this wine is incredibly detailed and well textured. All too often these wines from mountain sources can be tannic, astringent and overpowered in just one linear direction. This wine has structure but beautiful balance. There are no holes in the transition of sweet red fruit from the beginning to middle to finish. Length and sweet black fruits linger to several seconds on the end. This was a very small bottling of just 50 few cases. I think aged well, this is certainly a 10 to 15 year wine.