Hearing the name Pinot Noir conjures up some very notable wine areas. The Burgundy region of France naturally is at the top of the list. (And the origin of the Pinot Noir grape was the Burgundy region). Willamette Valley Oregon, definitely gets accolades. The Carneros, Central Coast and Carneros Ava’s of California, and the Walker Bay region of South Africa also quickly come to mind. But one area which highlights Pinot Noirs in California is the Russian River AVA.
The Russian River AVA, with its colder climate, foggy mornings and afternoon sun is a wonderful growing area for Pinot Noirs. Pinot Noirs are a difficult grape to grow. Because of the tight clumping of the clusters, Pinots are subject to a variety of maladies. As a result, the oversight of the grapes, from trim to harvest, must be under constant surveillance.
With all of that in mind, it is nice to find a reasonably priced Pinot Noir from any area. The MacMurray Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a classic Pinot, and the blending of grapes from growing areas throughout the region has resulted in a wine worth pursuing.
MacMurray’s Pinot Noir is a result of grapes primarily from the MacMurray Ranch Vineyard (with two distinctly separate growing zones) and the Two Rock Vineyard which is highly influenced by the Pacific fogs of the region. Additional grapes were sourced from the Del Rio and Laguna Ranch vineyards. The total product speaks highly of the skill of the winemaker
MacMurray’s winemaker (Chris Munsell) offers a long background of winemaking experience. In addition to the winemaking process, Munsell is instrumental in grape selection and total oversight of the winemaking process.
The 2012 growing season in the Russian River AVA was designed for great Pinot’s. The season was very mild, with enough rain, fog and sunlight to produce classic Pinots for the juice.
The Pinot Grapes were harvested, then cold soaked for over two days. This allowed the juices to reflect a quality Pinot Noir color and flavor. Yeasts were added during primary fermentation and after the skins were separated, the juice was allowed to settle in the barrel. Following the settling period, the juice went to malolactic fermentation
Barreling was in a combination of French and American oak, and both new and used barrels contribute to the final result.
You will find this Pinot to be subtle yet complex. On the nose are aromas of vanilla and caramel. On the palate is a combination of cherry and pomegranate.
The MacMurray Russian River 2012 Pinot Noir is just right for enthusiasts seeking a reasonably priced Pinot from a quality winemaker. It is worth getting several bottles… because you will not want to stop with just one.
Have a winederful day!