2012 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir


2012 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

$45 (retail) Wine Club pricing reflected in receipt

Everything about the MacPhail Family Wines is small.  First, of course, it is family-owned, which connotes “small”.  The winery building, completed in time to receive the 2008 harvest, is just 4,400 square feet.  The barrel room bursts at the seams at 300 barrels; and James MacPhail’s use permit is capped at 5,000 cases, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see his wines in a box store.

What’s not small are the flavors and quality of MacPhail wines.  His big dawg is the Sonoma Pinot Noir, consuming about half of his annual production cap.  This spring he released five pinots, a chardonnay and a rosé of pinot. . .that’s it.

MacPhail comes from a family of Sonoma dairy farmers, and even though he eared a dual degree in business and hospitality management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he decided to follow his calling in winemaking.  He launched his own brand in 2002 and opened a full-on winery building near his home in Healdsburg in 2008.  There is no tasting room, but visitors are welcome by appointment only (707-433-4780).  GAM

Winery Tasting Notes:  “There’s a question going around: ‘is more better?’ In this case, I’ve been able to cherry pick lots from eight distinct vineyards on the cool Sonoma Coast, and I’d have to say, ‘why yes it is!’ Bright red fruits jump from the glass, led by cherry, raspberry and pomegranate, in both aromas and flavors. There’s a spicy sassiness with notes of cedar and clove and a touch of white pepper. Smooth tannins highlight a wonderful mouthfeel in this balanced overview of all the Sonoma Coast can be. Honestly, there are nine clones and vineyard blocks of grand maturity and feisty youth represented here. It’s really no surprise how well the Sonoma Coast is showcased in this exceptional cuvée. Enjoy… and think about trying one of the vineyard designates found here, to contrast and compare.”  –James MacPhail

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