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Macrae Russian River Pinot Noir (4)

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rjquillin
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alvoid
Last Purchase:
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Cesare


quality posts: 1699 Private Messages Cesare

Macrae Family Winery Russian River Pinot Noir 4-Pack
$59.99 $̶1̶5̶5̶.̶0̶0̶ 61% off List Price
2007 Macrae Family Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard
2008 Macrae Family Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard
CT links above

Winery website

-il Cesare
Sole Absolute Triple
Exalted High Tastemaster Supreme
“In the entire world there are only a few sounds that bring joy to all but the most jaded. One is the murmur of a kitten purring. Another is the thwack of a well-pitched baseball hitting a perfectly swung bat. And the third is the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle of wine.” —George Taber

rjquillin


quality posts: 189 Private Messages rjquillin

While picking up more shipments from FedEx, I was also given an unexpected small box that gurgled. I don't order single bottles, well, perhaps if they are triple digit bottles it would only be one, but those I'd remember, as they are few and too far in-between. But here was a single. Curious, it got opened before I even left, just incase it may be a mistake and need to be returned.
Restrained and rather elegant label and no UPC! Yes. While I don't buy based on a label, I have been known to ~not~ buy based on a label. Off to a good start, this one's not going anywhere but home, a nice gift for a Memorial Day weekend.

Not wanting to drink alone, I put out the call to some pinophiles. If only there were some WW'ers near, alas, none I know of yet…

Rick and Rosa were up to the task, and suggested a call to Ray and Cathy. Accepted. SWMBO tagged along and Vesa made an appearance as well. Not a lot to go around, but we'll make it work. Food for the evening was a nice garden/fruit salad and hickory grilled burgers, with or w/o a white cheese and assortment of garni.

A bit too chilled initially, in anticipation of warming during travel it spent some time in the fridge, PnP into some Pinot glasses for a bit to warm and breath; perhaps 30~45 minutes tops.

Ray: (Likes PN's, but won't drink wine with food, only before or after)

First Impressions:  When still a little cool
          Light colored with crystal clarity
          Medium legs
         Its pleasing nose really got my attention
          The first sips showed some spice and elegance
          A light body
 
Later: When at room temperature
          Smooth but undistinguished.
          Fruit flavors were weak
          I was very surprised to hear it had a 14.7% alcohol content considering it tasted light.
          The conversation was more important than the wine (as it should be?)
          No real finish
 
Caveats:
          I ate a large amount of raw Onion on my burger
o   I think this had an impact on my “later” impressions
 
Conclusion:
          The wine seemed to show better when a little cool
          Retest with it chilled to confirm this.

Rick: (likes PN's)

Wonderful nose. Great clarity. Long legs. Medium red color. High alcohol content, but you'd never know it from the drinking. Hints of dark berries. Excellent all around balance. An extremely delightful wine.

Rosalinda: (white and bubbly, but enjoys reds)

Hints of blackberries. Beautiful, clear, jewel-like, red color. Very smooth and soft. High glycerine. Tart nose.

Vesa: (a predominately white wine drinker)

Quite clear. Initial taste when fairly chilled very light and smooth. A good PN with earth notes. As it warmed, berry emerged, a tartness, but still smooth and very drinkable. No noticeable tannins on the finish.

Me: (an equal opportunity consumer still in training)

Color: brilliantly clear garnet, lacking saturation typical of lighter PN's I've met
Nose: still a bit cool to cold, so not a lot to distinguish at I'm tryin' to think, but nuthin' happens.Taste: gentle entry, still a bit closed; some berry and earth, no funk, carried thru the mid palate to a medium-short finish nondescript finish.
Clearly, to me, this needs a bit of time open and warmth still.

As I tapped off ~200 ml, I'll revisit this later at home.

Today, with the squirreled sample and a bit of time.

Appearance unchanged, you expected differently?
Resting in a glass and warming to the mid to upper 60's, there is much more to enjoy.
Nose is still earth, mushrooms, restrained fruit, no alcohol to speak of.
The nose carries true to the palate, still light, and now tart of cherries. This isn't an in-your-face PN. It's subtle, in a good way for me at least. A bit of acid to balance things out, and now a nice smooth tannic-fruit finish I wish would linger jut a bit more.
This is a nice pleasant sipper on it's own or it's got enough stuffing to hold up to light to medium food stuffs. I'm pleased.

What, you want to know what it was?
2008 Macrae Family Winery Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard.

Other PN's we had that first night were a ~$35 bottle of 2008 Gloria Ferrer Pinot Noir Jose S. Ferrer Estate and a throw-in $21 bottle of 2010 Laetitia Winery Pinot Noir Estate.

The Macrae was the standout compared to the fruitiness of the Ferrer and the rawness of the Laetitia.

At ~$25/btl I'll likely be in for a three-pack.

[edit] At $15/btl I had no hesitation, and the 2007 is a plus.

CT

andreaserben


quality posts: 21 Private Messages andreaserben
rjquillin wrote:At ~$25/btl I'll likely be in for a three-pack.

[edit] At $15/btl I had no hesitation, and the 2007 is a plus.


Thaaaat good?

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman

Went to the doctor midday Thursday, and returned to the office to find my expected case of wine just arrived. What was unexpected, though, was 10 minutes later when hunched over a nice salad the other FedEx guy had a much smaller box for me. What's this? I'm not expecting anything more, and this looks like a single-bottle size. Me thinks the elves have been at it again! Crack open the box and what do I find, but a bottle of 2007 Macrae Family Winery, Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). Alcohol listed at 14.4%.

Well, this being Thursday before a long weekend I was going backpacking with molarchae in Sequoia National Park. Into the fridge with this bottle until our triumphant return, 30 trail miles later!

Pooped form the weekend backpacking and the return drive, we popped open the bottle after it had some time to get up closer to room temp. I was immediately struck by the earthy aromas with an underlying bright fruity aroma that made me think "raspberry". Colour was like that of deep cherry juice, and slightly cloudy. I was struck trying to identify this one aroma, though, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. More on that later. First tastes: good acid, zippy fruit of raspberry/pomegranate with some smoky and spicy notes mixed in for good measure. Not as much mushroom/earth as I'd hoped or expected given the nose. Finish was unremarkable, but did turn slightly bitter (which molarchae immediately pointed out, super-taster that she is).

After a couple hours of sipping this with dinner (a horrible pairing, not to be repeated) and a more thorough reevaluation, some of the smoky notes were decreasing, but the essential character of the wine wasn't changing. I think I was finally able to put my finger on that odd note that was bugging me - and I think its name is Quercus alba. The smoky notes of the wine were obscuring what (to me) are the fun subtleties of Pinot Noir.

So, should you buy this? Well, if you're into flabby and fruit forward wines, you should definitely not buy this. If you prefer your wine with only neutral oak, then this is probably not your style. If you like a middle of the road sort of style that pays tribute to the restraint and terroir that Pinot loves so much but has a bit more wood influence than some, then this is for you.

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman
andreaserben wrote:Thaaaat good?



$15/bottle + tax/ship is a good deal for this wine. If you want to experiment with some PN then it's one that drinks as well or better than many at the $30-40 rang, imo.

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

prim8king


quality posts: 1 Private Messages prim8king

hmmmm...methinks this will pair well with our new patio furniture!

jhkey


quality posts: 52 Private Messages jhkey
klezman wrote:$15/bottle + tax/ship is a good deal for this wine. If you want to experiment with some PN then it's one that drinks as well or better than many at the $30-40 rang, imo.



Are you buying?

"I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend."
- Thomas Jefferson (CT)

jsp872


quality posts: 22 Private Messages jsp872

Was hoping to get some more feedback fron people,
Im in need of some more pinots

Maybe people still need to wake up from memorial day hangovers and thus no one wants to buy wine today..

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
jsp872 wrote:Was hoping to get some more feedback fron people,
Im in need of some more pinots

Maybe people still need to wake up from memorial day hangovers and thus no one wants to buy wine today..



I have to tell you that the people you've gotten feedback from are highly credible (to me, anyway) - both are veterans of at least two rpm Tours. They have solid palates and enough knowledge to evaluate the wines with reasonable objectivity, and with an eye to different styles which different folks may enjoy.

You should consider taking their advice. I did.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rjquillin


quality posts: 189 Private Messages rjquillin
klezman wrote:I was immediately struck by the earthy aromas with an underlying bright fruity aroma that made me think "raspberry". Colour was like that of deep cherry juice, and slightly cloudy. I was struck trying to identify this one aroma, though, that I couldn't quite put my finger on. More on that later. First tastes: good acid, zippy fruit of raspberry/pomegranate with some smoky and spicy notes mixed in for good measure. Not as much mushroom/earth as I'd hoped or expected given the nose. Finish was unremarkable, but did turn slightly bitter (which molarchae immediately pointed out, super-taster that she is).

I think I was finally able to put my finger on that odd note that was bugging me - and I think its name is Quercus alba. The smoky notes of the wine were obscuring what (to me) are the fun subtleties of Pinot Noir.

Interesting your note regarding cloudiness, as the 2008 was crystal, until I looked at the specs;

2007 Bottled: Un-Filtered in October 2008
2008 Bottled: Filtered in August 2009

I wonder if they got some negative feedback like we had here on some Inspiration, iirc, that was cloudy upon receipt but fine after a few months to settle out.

However did you come up with Quercus alba?

It seems our notes are fairly consistent, when fully at room temperature I think there may have been a slight bitterness to the '08 as well, but I discounted it due to the warm temperature.

Hoping the winery makes an appearance.

CT

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman
jhkey wrote:Are you buying?



No...for a few reasons, only one of which is specific to this wine. First, I'm really trying to stick to the SIWBM. Second, my storage is full and I've got a good chunk of Pinot at the moment. Third, I prefer less oak in my Pinot, but if the first two conditions weren't already raising the bar I'd get a set and sit on it for a year or two to see how the flavours evolved over time. I did enjoy the wine (nearly finished the bottle, but molarchae wasn't much help last night), but right now I need a significant wow factor for my tastes to get me to buy.

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

bsevern


quality posts: 110 Private Messages bsevern

I just got back from a long trip to the Nevada desert last night, and found a bottle of the 2007 awaiting me at work this morning....I'll get on it ASAP when I get home tonight and get tasting notes posted up.

I've had several wines from the Bacigalupi Vineyard, including some outstanding Zin (remember the Chronicle Zin?), I suspect this will be an excellent wine, 2007 was an excellent year, great vineyard, and RRV....looking forward to it!

xibbumbero


quality posts: 5 Private Messages xibbumbero

I see that the 2010,2011 and 2012
won gold. I wonder what the 2007 and 2008 did?

kylemittskus


quality posts: 233 Private Messages kylemittskus
xibbumbero wrote:I see that the 2010,2011 and 2012
won gold. I wonder what the 2007 and 2008 did?



Do you give any credibility to gold/silver/double gold medals?

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

divadrabnud


quality posts: 8 Private Messages divadrabnud
xibbumbero wrote:I see that the 2010,2011 and 2012
won gold. I wonder what the 2007 and 2008 did?



:gossip: Those are the years of the fairs, not the vintages . . .

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
- Mark Twain

neilfindswine


quality posts: 173 Private Messages neilfindswine

Guest Blogger

A mysterious friend gave a bottle of the '08 to me and whispered the word 'rosebud' into my ear before disappearing into the night.

Bacigalupi fruit always intrigues me -their Chardonnay fruit was a large component in the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the '76 Judgement of Paris- and their Pinot fruit is pretty renowned as well.

Nice ruby color (yup, this one is filtered), Nice nose of earth and cherry fruit with a wisp of rhubarb pie (I love rhubarb pie).

On the palate, berries and slightly tart cherries and earth- notes of graphite and oak with a mineral vein round out the finish. Decent acid, decent mouthfeel and decent finish. Subtle and tasty, I left a glass in the bottle for tonight...

I've paid $30+ for bottles like this; $15 per bottle here is a no-brainer, IMHO.

I report to winedavid39...
...I like getting PM's from wannabe rodents...

tytiger58


quality posts: 74 Private Messages tytiger58
xibbumbero wrote:I see that the 2010,2011 and 2012
won gold. I wonder what the 2007 and 2008 did?



My (fill in the blank) could win gold at a county fair....

What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch? ~ W. C. Fields

“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used” Hunter S Thompson




neilfindswine


quality posts: 173 Private Messages neilfindswine

Guest Blogger

tytiger58 wrote:My (fill in the blank) could win gold at a county fair....



...on a side note, I saw 38 Special play at the Sonoma County fair last year. Interesting crowd....

I report to winedavid39...
...I like getting PM's from wannabe rodents...

jhkey


quality posts: 52 Private Messages jhkey

this has all the makings of a great purchase. Now, do I go in for 1 or 2???

"I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half of wine a day and even treble it with a friend."
- Thomas Jefferson (CT)

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman
rjquillin wrote:Interesting your note regarding cloudiness, as the 2008 was crystal, until I looked at the specs;

2007 Bottled: Un-Filtered in October 2008
2008 Bottled: Filtered in August 2009

I wonder if they got some negative feedback like we had here on some Inspiration, iirc, that was cloudy upon receipt but fine after a few months to settle out.

However did you come up with Quercus alba?



Yeah, mine was definitely unfiltered, which doesn't bother me in the least. If it had longer than 4 days to sit and settle it would probably have appeared much more clear. But it was cloudy with no signs of particulate other than that.

Quercus alba I came to a long time ago when reading up on Scotch production. That led me to a wikipedia tree involving various kinds of barrels and oak and such. If only I could remember more useful things with such ease...

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
klezman wrote:No...for a few reasons, only one of which is specific to this wine. First, I'm really trying to stick to the SIWBM. Second, my storage is full and I've got a good chunk of Pinot at the moment. Third, I prefer less oak in my Pinot, but if the first two conditions weren't already raising the bar I'd get a set and sit on it for a year or two to see how the flavours evolved over time. I did enjoy the wine (nearly finished the bottle, but molarchae wasn't much help last night), but right now I need a significant wow factor for my tastes to get me to buy.



So the White Oak (I had to look that up) was too much for this one? Are not some burgundies moderately oaked? but probably more subtly.

Being supertaster also the bitteress will put me off. I must compare notes with molarchae on her other prefs (apart from her established prefs for the company of smart Canadian engineers)

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman
richardhod wrote:So the White Oak (I had to look that up) was too much for this one? Are not some burgundies moderately oaked? but probably more subtly.

Being supertaster also the bitteress will put me off. I must compare notes with molarchae on her other prefs (apart from her established prefs for the company of smart Canadian engineers)



Yeah, some Burgundies have non-trivial oak. It wasn't so much the oak as the smokiness it gave the wine. Perhaps the toast was darker than I normally prefer, but that's just me inferring a level beyond the info given. Or maybe it's not the oak at all, but it's just the best guess I have. 35% new oak doesn't seem out of line to me, to be honest. So many variables, as you know...

Back on this side of the pond yet?

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

rjquillin


quality posts: 189 Private Messages rjquillin
richardhod wrote:So the White Oak (I had to look that up) was too much for this one? Are not some burgundies moderately oaked? but probably more subtly.

White Oak... Wondering, is this the commonly used variety of French oak used? Are there others as well?

CT

klezman


quality posts: 130 Private Messages klezman
rjquillin wrote:White Oak... Wondering, is this the commonly used variety of French oak used? Are there others as well?



No, that's actually American Oak. The French version is a different species, but it appears to be one of two contenders. This was easier

For those keeping score, I just got home and popped open the remaining large glass of the 2007. Lo and behold, the smokiness is no longer a driving flavour and now we're on to a more earthy/sous bois sort of character. This bears out the idea that a little more time in bottle or with a good amount of air, the oak influence declines. Makes me consider this offer more seriously.

2014: 57 bottles. Last wine.woot: 2011 Wellington Cab & Merlot, Roessler 2009 Bluejay, 2010 Bell Cabernet
2013: 66 bottles, 2012: 91 bottles, 2011: 92 bottles, 2010: 74 bottles, 2009: 30 bottles, 2008: 3 bottles My CT

bsevern


quality posts: 110 Private Messages bsevern

What a pleasant surprise to find a bottle of 2007 Macrae Family Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard sitting at my office after returning from a six day trek through the high deserts of Nevada!

This evening after work I poured a glass to take in the nose and visually inspect the juice. Dark garnet color, with a definite cloudiness, which is understandable given it's unfiltered, and traveled from my office to my home where it was promptly opened and decanted.

The initial nose was very nice, with deep, dark cherry fruit, a touch of allspice, oak, damp earth, with a bright fruit aspect to it. The kind of nose that lets you know you're probably going to enjoy this glass. An hour later it was deeper, more cherry pie, brandied cherries, less oak.

Initial taste has a bit of smokiness to it, nothing offensive, but present. Beautiful, albeit slightly tart cherry, raspberry, earth, even as others have noted a rhubarb, almost cobbler thing going on. Tannins are present, but fairly well integrated, it could use a bit more cellar time or a longer decant IMHO to further refine the tannins.

The finish is medium bodied, the smokiness does linger a bit longer then the fruit, but again nothing offensive, and I suspect the 2007 could easily cellar another 5+ years giving the oak a chance to better integrate. It's not a typical RRV cherry cola style Pinot, which I appreciate. I believe it's more representative of it's terroir vs the typical popular cherry cola style we see in so many RRV Pinot's, props to the winemaker. This has the body and structure to be a really nice food wine, although it's entirely enjoyable solo.

At $15 a bottle, this is a no brainer for anyone that enjoys Pinot. It's nearly impossible to find a well made, single vineyard, RRV pinot at this kind of price, if you're on the fence, I'd pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed IMHO.

trifecta


quality posts: 74 Private Messages trifecta
bsevern wrote:What a pleasant surprise to find a bottle of 2007 Macrae Family Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard sitting at my office after returning from a six day trek through the high deserts of Nevada!

This evening after work I poured a glass to take in the nose and visually inspect the juice. Dark garnet color, with a definite cloudiness, which is understandable given it's unfiltered, and traveled from my office to my home where it was promptly opened and decanted.

The initial nose was very nice, with deep, dark cherry fruit, a touch of allspice, oak, damp earth, with a bright fruit aspect to it. The kind of nose that lets you know you're probably going to enjoy this glass. An hour later it was deeper, more cherry pie, brandied cherries, less oak.

Initial taste has a bit of smokiness to it, nothing offensive, but present. Beautiful, albeit slightly tart cherry, raspberry, earth, even as others have noted a rhubarb, almost cobbler thing going on. Tannins are present, but fairly well integrated, it could use a bit more cellar time or a longer decant IMHO to further refine the tannins.

The finish is medium bodied, the smokiness does linger a bit longer then the fruit, but again nothing offensive, and I suspect the 2007 could easily cellar another 5+ years giving the oak a chance to better integrate. It's not a typical RRV cherry cola style Pinot, which I appreciate. I believe it's more representative of it's terroir vs the typical popular cherry cola style we see in so many RRV Pinot's, props to the winemaker. This has the body and structure to be a really nice food wine, although it's entirely enjoyable solo.

At $15 a bottle, this is a no brainer for anyone that enjoys Pinot. It's nearly impossible to find a well made, single vineyard, RRV pinot at this kind of price, if you're on the fence, I'd pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed IMHO.



Want to split an order?

redwinefan


quality posts: 74 Private Messages redwinefan

Summer shipping can't come soon enough. I want this one, so I hope it is offered again during a Woot off. Sounds like a great QPR.

"You need to invest in a corkscrew. Wine is for drinking." -- Peter Wellington

bsevern


quality posts: 110 Private Messages bsevern
trifecta wrote:Want to split an order?



Shoot, I missed your post while buying random woot shirts!

If it comes up in a woot off I'd split an order for sure! While already a super QPR, I can see this being an even better value play with a few more years in the cellar.

richardhod


quality posts: 261 Private Messages richardhod
klezman wrote:No, that's actually American Oak. The French version is a different species, but it appears to be one of two contenders. This was easier

For those keeping score, I just got home and popped open the remaining large glass of the 2007. Lo and behold, the smokiness is no longer a driving flavour and now we're on to a more earthy/sous bois sort of character. This bears out the idea that a little more time in bottle or with a good amount of air, the oak influence declines. Makes me consider this offer more seriously.



DAmn, we could have split this if I'd seen it 8)
If it comes up on wootoff, standing order for both of us, whoever's I'm tryin' to think, but nuthin' happens.

galongi


quality posts: 0 Private Messages galongi

Bought this in May 2013, stored it in a cool basement, opened our first bottle of the 2007 last night with friends....VINEGAR! I'm not sure if the other bottles are bad too, but I store hundreds of bottles and this was a disappointing shock and a waste of money!