Tag Archives: MacMurray Ranch

MacMurray Ranch: My three pinots



Whenever I open a bottle of MacMurray Ranch pinot, I know I’m in for a treat. And this wine never disappoints. Let’s begin with the white:

MacMurray Ranch 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris ($20) will only enhance with a bit of aging. It’s good right now, though, especially with pasta parmigiana with homegrown garden tomato sauce and sauteed zuchini flowers that will soon enough be plentiful at your local farmers market. Expect flavors of pear, baked apple, dried fig and white peach in this fruit forward wine with the rich mouthfeel.

Next, a few reds:

MacMurray Ranch 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($28) is a mix of lavender and mushroom from the barrels, with an elegant fruit character that includes raspberry, cherry, red currant and boysenberries. The cool climate of the Russian River Valley is why this grape works at peak performance, and the 2011 vintage proved cooler than normal. What this means? The grapes matured even slower, adding more flavor as wine. I’ll open a bottle and enjoy on my deck now that the weather permits.

MacMurray Ranch 2011 Central Coast Pinot Noir ($23) is a bottle to get while there’s still some left. The 2009 Central Coast pinot noir sold out. This wine is down to earthy tones with a hint of sage. Open this bottle to aromas of raspberry and flavors of red currant and mild herbs from expert viticulture and barreling techniques. These grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, and prior to fermentation were cold soaked for a few days. Added to the winemaking technique were quality grapes from a wonderful 2011 vintage in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

On a white wine bender


One of my top favorite red varietals is pinot noir, which MacMurray Ranch does quite well. Their 2010 Russian River Valley Sonoma County pinot noir ($27) is nice, but a bit too much acidity for my palate. The growing season for 2010 was met with challenges of record-breaking low temperatures in spring, and then lots of rain — leading to late bud break and more acidity in the grapes. It works if paired with the right dishes, such as bacon-wrapped double cut pork chop, a recipe courtesy of MacMurray Ranch.

But what really caught my palate in a pleasurable taste sensation was MacMurray Ranch chardonnay ($20), a 2011 made with grapes from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California. This cool climate varietal is perfection in a glass, aged in a mixture of new and used French, European and American oak barrels at medium-plus toast levels. With this chardonnay, I enjoyed dinner of lobster ravioli covered in Parmesan cheese, lemon, butter, wine and garlic sauce.

Now I wanted to explore more white wines. So I did.

A Mirassou 2012 sauvignon blanc ($12) proved luxurious, a wine you can choose to drink on its own or paired with appetizers. I chose to offer it alone as a welcome sip to arriving dinner guests. This gave a feel of high society somehow — to simply sip and greet guests. Once the appetizers were brought to the table, the wine remained loyal in taste. Perhaps it’s the Meyer lemon aroma, but it seemed the perfect wine to cleanse our palates before the main course.

On a separate occasion I opened a bottle of 2012 Mirassou moscato ($12) made with California grapes — 35 percent from San Luis Obispo County — a destination I have yet to taste my way through. When I first sipped this wine, I craved brie cheese. But I didn’t have any, but I did have an event to attend — a lobster festival of fresh steamed lobsters and clam chowder. This sweet wine is best served with friends.

Finally, I opened a 2012 Mirassou riesling ($12), a fruity concoction made with grapes from the Central Coast and Russian River Valley in California. Now, I am not the biggest fan of riesling, especially when it comes to the acidity. But this riesling was quite enjoyable two nights in a row. The first night, I enjoyed a glass with dinner of organic chicken pie, applesauce and Brussels sprouts. The next night, I enjoyed the remainder with a friend, dipping chips in a cheesy sour cream dip before dinner of creole shrimp and sweet potato grits. We both agreed this was a stand-up riesling.

Will my feast on fine white wines continue for a while? Probably. In fact, with Champagne season fast approaching — holiday parties and New Year’s Eve on the horizon, it’s a safe bet.

For more information, visit www.Mirassou.com or follow them on Facebook.