Rock My Pinot Like A Wagon Wheel (MacPhail Recent Releases)

Vinted on March 25, 2015 binned in sexy wines, wine review
MacPhail Mardikian Pinot

Have metallic embossed label, will travel

Before you ask… yes, I am still not quite up to the full-on feature articles, and am woefully behind. Look, I’ve got major issues on the homestead, people, so you’re going to need to be patient (or, simply enthrall yourselves with any of the other billion English-language wine blogs out there for now).

The issues have not stopped me from imbibing wine, however (even after having mouth surgery – oh yeah, who’s your drinkin’ daddy?!??). Hey, this is me we’re talking about, here!

Fortunately for both of us, the sample pool gods hath been smilingly generous towards me in my time of personal woe. Thanks to them, I can throw the following wines and resulting frissons of gustatory excitement out at you, my friends.

Just so long as you don’t mind a penchant for wagon pictures on wine labels, or Pinots that clock in at over 14% alcohol (please… leave that abv-hate at the virtual door before entering here, ok?); trust me, James MacPhail knows what the f–k he’s doing with his Pinot…


1WD_Badge_Sexy_thumb1.jpg2014 MacPhail Rosé of Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast, $22)

MacPhail Rose 2014It’s rare for me to highly recommend saignée rosé wines, or those that clock in at 14.5% abv (this is supposed to be rosé, right?), but in the case of this sexy black dress of a number, we can happily make an exception. Several different vineyards, at least ten different Pinot Noir clones, high-ish alcohol, saignée… it reads like a recipe for high-end, kitchen-sink rosé disaster, but this is anything but disastrous. The dark salmon color is alluring, as is the cherry- and strawberry-laden nose. This rosé wears its curvacious body well, accentuating in all the right places and coming off as full but also full of life. Think gourmet pizza, or salad with grilled Salmon, and you’ll be on the right track with this one. Only about 500 cases were made, which might piss you off but not as much as the next MacPhail I’m gonna highlight…


1WD_Badge_Sexy_thumb1.jpg2012 MacPhail Mardikian Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast, $85)

MacPhail Mardikian Pinot Noir 2012 back label…because under 300 cases of this were made. This Pinot is from the Mardikian vineyard, planted in 2008. The vines are young enough that this wine has no business being quite as excellent as it is just yet. One gets the feeling that the young upstart has yet to pay its full dues. Earth, abundant spices, dark cherries, wild strawberries, dried herbs, and even hints of exotic fruits (pomegranate, anyone?). It’s also one of those rare cases in which the PR materials describing the wine are so spot-on that you have to do a double-take because it looks like they were reading your mind or copying from your tasting notebook (yes, I still write tasting notes in a notebook… get over it…). The oak is noticeable but subtle, the power is impressive, the vivacity is refreshing, and the finish is fantastic. If there’s something to complain about here, it’s the relative unavailability (ok, and the heavy metallic-type-embossed label).







  • Bob Henry

    The Hoser and “The Hosed” agree: the 2012 MacPhail Mardikian Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast, $85) is a tasty wine.

    “The MacPhail 2012 Mardikian Estate also impressed me, but was probably the biggest Pinot Noir that I would be willing to drink. I don’t usually like my wines this extracted, and the pH seemed a bit high, and there was a lot of oak, but somehow it worked. Those lined up at the ‘anchor’ wineries probably missed this wine, but they would have loved it.”


  • Bob Henry


    We have exchanged e-mails privately on this subject, but for the benefit of your readers:

    “If there’s something to complain about here, it’s the relative unavailability [of the 2012 MacPhail Mardikian Estate Pinot Noir] . . .”

    Would you be able to find and buy this wine “in the greater Philadelphia area”? In all of Pennsylvania?

    Alternately have it shipped to you in your home state of Pennsylvania by an out-of-state wine merchant?

    “Big City Dwellers” (especially West Coasters) don’t have to deal with “state-owned stores” rationing out fine wine.

    Enlighten us on the challenges of being a wine enthusiast and a wine collector in PA?


    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Bob. Ron’s a friend, so that congruence of tastes isn’t surprising. Regarding buying wine in PA (and bear in mind that isn’t my blog audience specifically), I’ve given up. I mean, totally given up. I don’t ever shop in the state stores. Ever.

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