WINE REVIEWS

 

2018 MacRostie

Bacigalupi Chardonnay

2018 Nunes Vineyard

Pinot Noir

2018 MacRostie Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay: This 121-acre vineyard on Westside Road in Russian River Valley was purchased by Charles and Helen Bacigalupi in 1956. This old Wente Clone Chardonnay was the major source for the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, winning the 1976 Paris tasting. Underneath the pale yellow hue are aromas of caramelized citrus fruits and orange marmalade. The entry is rich and viscous with marzipan and slivered almonds. The texture remains silky and flowing as it effortlessly glides across the palate while maintaining its balance.

 

MacRostie Nunes Vineyard Pinot Noir:  Sourced from the middle region of Russian River Valley in soils of an ancient riverbed. The vineyards are separated into 10 blocks of differing microclimates. This is a finely tuned Pinot Noir with a bright ruby red color. There are fragrant aromas of mixed cherries, sandalwood and cinnamon. It reveals itself as a prototypical Russian River style with warm fruitcake spices woven delicately together with red raspberries. It remains juicy and lively with a feminine approach.

2018 Lynmar

Quail Hill Chardonnay

Quail Hill Pinot Noir

2018 Lynmar Quail Hill Chardonnay: Lynn Fritz founded Quail Hill Ranch and Vineyards in 1980. Lynn and his wife Anisya have since added six contiguous parcels around Quail Hill to create their 100-acre estate. There are 17 distinct blocks. You realize that this is a wine of pedigree by the inviting aromas of apple blossom and field flowers. The entry welcomes you with spiced pears integrated with ginger gently wrapped with minerality. This elegant wine is reminiscent of a grand cru Chablis and speaks of versatility at the dinner table.

2018 Lynmar Quail Hill Pinot Noir: The Quail Hill vineyard is part of the Lynmar Estate and consists of 14 unique clones of Pinot Noir. The 45-acre Quail Hill vineyard was originally planted in 1974 and contains some of the oldest plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Russian River Valley. This deep garnet wine opens with rose petals and earth. Dark plums, black tea and stone cherry elements balanced with fresh acidity make you think of Pommard in Burgundy. The tannins are silky and ripe leading to a long finish.

 
 

2018 Benovia

La Pommeraie Chardonnay

Martaella Pinot Noir

2018 Benovia La Pommeraie Chardonnay: This vineyard is located in Laguna Ridge near Green Valley and is managed by the Martinelli famiy. Aromas of lemon meringue, apple blossom and candied limes dominate the bouquet. Within this high-toned Chardonnay are concentrated yellow citrus fruits, orange peel and melon melded together with a touch of crème anglaise within a core of fresh acidity. Winemaker Mike Sullivan continues to excel in crafting single vineyard Chardonnay.

2018 Benovia Martaella Pinot Noir: This vineyard is part of the Benovia’s estate property in Russian River Valley. The deep ruby tint opens to a bouquet of fresh spicy plums and forest floor. Within the broad core are notes of wild blackberry and Morello cherries nicely intertwined with hints of clove and cardamom. This seamlessly textured Pinot Noir has an abundance of freshness and a lot of appeal. Although, it is destined to have a long life.

2018 Maritana

Dutton-Hansen Hill Chardonnay

Martaella Pinot Noir

2018 Maritana Dutton Ranch-Hansen Hill Chardonnay: As Donald Patz describes it, Hansen Hill is among the promised land of vineyard parcels from Dutton Ranch in Russian River Valley. Sourced from Old Wente Clones, this wine has a deep, vibrant yellow color enriched with glycerin. There is an abundance of subtropical fruits of mango, yellow papaya, grated coconut and crushed pineapple all laced with a warm vanilla topping. From the outside this wine appears unctuous and super concentrated, yet it is seamlessly and flawlessly designed in the Donald Patz finesse driven style.There is nice tension and balance throughout with a restrained use of oak that leads to a remarkable finish.

 

2018 Maritana Martaella Pinot Noir:  This Dijon clone Pinot Noir was sourced from the Benovia Home Ranch. Native yeasts were used in the fermentation and the wine was aged in 80% New French Oak barrels. The medium-deep ruby hue opens with red violets and spring flowers. The foundation of this youthful wine is built on a core of pure red raspberry and cassis infused with assorted spices and savory notes. 

 

2019 Lenne Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Lenne Estate sits on a small plot of land in Yamhill, Oregon.  Owner Steve Lutz purchased the land in 2000 and planted the first vines in 2001.  The 21-acre estate vineyard is situated on a steep south facing slope that is ideal for grape growing.  While challenging to farm, the Peavine soil that exists in the vineyard is well drained and low in nutrients, which is ideal for vineyards. It tends to produce grapes that are more concentrated, with richer more complex character. 

Lenne Estate operates mostly as a Direct to Consumer winery.  It has limited distribution, so you will not find it everywhere.  But worth seeking out!

This lovely chardonnay opens with medium golden color that is visc0us in the glass.  The nose shows notes of brioche, white peach and papaya.  It has a silky, creamy mouthfeel, showing butterscotch with a hint of minerality and acidity that integrates nicely. The finish is fresh, very pleasant feel, elegant and long.  The wine can age nicely in the bottle but is great to drink right now! 

 

By Perry Miroballi

2018 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling GG

2019 Fritz Haag

Brauneberger Juffer 

Riesling Kabinett

2018 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten GG Dry Riesling:  From the town of Urzig, the Wurzgarten vineyards are planted on steep slopes in red sandstone soils making them amongst the most distinguished wines in the Mosel Valley. The Loosen vineyards remain one of my all time favorites from the Mosel Valley. Aged on the lees with native yeasts for at least 12 months this is a superlative expression of a dry Riesling. Exotic tropical spices exude from the glass leading you along a path of concentrated white peach, red stone fruits and candied limes. The hints of limestone and whisper of racy acidity combine, placing this wine in the Best of Class Riesling category.

2018 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett: Fritz Haag estates consist of 43 acres of vineyards in the slate-driven soils of the middle Mosel Valley of Germany.  Planted entirely with the Riesling grape this property’s origin dates back to 1605. The pale yellow shadow opens with youthful notes of petrol and slate. Orange rind and lemon curd combine with delicate acidity to create this wonderfully balanced Riesling.

 
 

Chicago Wine Press