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MacPhail Family Wines

Owner(s) The Hess Collection
Web site www.macphailwines.com
 
Link to this site

MacPhail Pinot Family Wines was founded in 1998 by James MacPhail with the sole passion to handcraft Pinot Noir from premier North Coast appellations. The inaugural Pinot Noirs were released in 2002. MacPhail is a native son of Marin County in a family with roots dating to the 1880s. He has had a broad range of interests including dairy farming near Tomales Bay as well as ventures into appliances, building materials and natural gas. He became an accomplished classical pianist and bagpiper and in 1983 became the youngest swimmer to swim across the Golden Gate, and remains a nationally ranked Masters Class competitive swimmer.

After a short career in hospitality, he learned winemaking at Quivera, Pellegrini, and Merry Edwards, and quickly focused on Pinot Noir. He was the founding winemaker for Sequana Vineyards in 2007.

The wines are handcrafted in small lots by MacPhail at a 5,000-case winery in Healdsburg. The style is rich and ripe and reflective of Merry Edward's Pinot Noirs. Grapes are sourced from various well-regarded vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

In 2011, a "Home Girl" Pinot Noir was introduced which is a blend of each of the winery's eleven Pinot Noirs. Mailing list members only, reasonably priced at $29.

The wines are allocated through a mailing list with some national distribution. The wine label and marketing program are very eye-catching, and the wines do not disappoint, especially after a few years in the bottle when they really shine. Production has been just under 5,000 cases of Pinot Noir.

MacPhail Family Wines and Sequana Vineyards became part of The Hess Collection in 2011 with MacPhail remaining as the winemaker for both labels.

The winery, at 851 Magnolia Drive in Healdsburg is open by appointment Monday - Saturday. A new tasting room is planned for The Barlow in Sebastopol.

Reviewed Wines

2011 MacPhail the flyer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.61, 388 cases, $59. Released spring 2013. Swan, Mt. Eden and Calera selections with clone 777. Aged 11 months sur lies in 50% new French oak barrels. Susanna’s Vineyard and Dutton Manzana Ranch. Swan, Mt. Eden, Calera and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, indigenous and inoculated primary fermentation, native malolactic fermentation in barrel. Lees stirred weekly for 3 months. Aged 11 months sur lie in 50% new, 25% 1-year-old and 25% 2-year-old French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, dried rose petals and subtle smoky oak. Modest weight but deeply flavored on the palate, packed with black cherry and black raspberry fruit with complimentary oak in the background. The finish is intense and persistent. A virile wine with uncommon concentration for this vintage. Score: 89. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 290 cases, $20. Released spring 2011. Selection from all Sonoma Coast vineyard sources. Clones 667, 777, 828, 115 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed with whole berries to fermenter. Saignéd after a 1-2-day cold soak, inoculated with champagne yeast, native malolactic fermentation. Bottled February 23, 2011. · Blood orange color in the glass. Aromas of strawberries, leather and dried herbs (marjoram, sage and fennel seed). Flavors of strawberries, pomegranate, peach and melon with an herbal undertone. Decent acidity and vibrancy. Has respectable body and drinks more like a still Pinot. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.59, 155 cases, $49. Released spring 2012. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold maceration, indigenous fermentations, aged 11 months in 50% new French oak from multiple coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. The fifth vintage from this iconic vineyard and always my favorite MacPhail bottling. Dijon 115 and 777 and Pommard clones. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is closed for business, offering subtle aromas of tobacco and oak with little dark fruit. Very soft and smooth in the mouth, with full-bodied flavors of black plum, black raspberry and blackberry with a hint of dark chocolate and cola. Very charming fruit that only offers a glimpse of its true potential. Much better integration of oak and a seductive fruit-filled finish. Don’t even think about opening this one for two to three years. Significantly more demonstrative aromatic and flavor presence the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., TA 0.60, 775 cases, $49. Released fall 2012. Clones 115, 667, 777. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, indigenous yeast fermentations, weekly lees stirring for 3 months, aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% once and twice used French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate perfume of fresh black cherries with a hint of nutty oak. Delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry flavors that deliver a stunning mid palate impression. Seamless, with mild supportive tannins and a lengthy, fruit-scented finish. I wished for more aromatically from this wine, but this may come in time. Meanwhile, the flamboyant fruit flavors will bring you to your knees. Very good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Pratt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.60, 223 cases, $49. Released spring 2012. Clones 23, 828, 777 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native fermentations, aged 11 months sur lies in 50% new French oak from multiple coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Rather shy, with delicate aromas of fresh berries and cut grass. Full-bodied core of dark red and black fruits with hints of cola and dark chocolate, supported by oak-driven accents in the background. Supple tannins and notable dark fruit-driven aromatic persistence on the finish. Good now, but still very young and in need of cellaring for another two to three years. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., TA 0.57, 275 cases, $49. Released fall 2012. 50% Dijon 115 and 50% Pommard. Sourced from a vineyard located off Roberts Road in the Petaluma Gap. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native fermentations, weekly lees stirring for 3 months, aged 11 months in 50% new and 50% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The aroma of coffee-scented oak dominates the nose with little fruit evident. Perfectly ripe, vivid dark red fruit smothered in oak. Soft and smooth on the palate with gossamer fruit tannins and a refreshing finish. The oak will surely integrate better over time, but I fear this will always be an oaky wine. Decent. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.61, 350 cases, $49. Released spring 2012. Clones 2A, 667, 115 and 777. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native fermentations, aged 11 months sur lie in 50% new French oak from several coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. New oak scents dominate the nose, entry and finish. Herb-tinged dark red cherry and berry fruit flavors with plenty of oak driven toffee and coffee accents. Good structural integrity with fine-grain tannins, but lacks vigor and finishes with a little heat. Decent. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Wildcat Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., TA 0.55, 250 cases, $49. Pommard, 115, 667 and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, indigenous fermentations, weekly lees stirring for 3 months, aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of pie cherries, forest floor, underbrush and nutty oak. Displaying admirable finesse with powerful dark red fruit flavors, this is a classy wine that is really delicious. The tannins are supportive and the oak is well integrated and complimentary. A nicely crafted wine from a very prestigious vineyard that has produced consistently great Pinot Noirs. Very good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Wightman House Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.56, 132 cases, $55. Released spring 2012. 100% Martini clone. MacPhail is the sole producer from this tiny 2-acre vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, native fermentations, aged 11 months sur lies in 50% new French oak from multiple coopers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Perfume of black cherries, dark red raspberries, spice and rose petals. Moderately rich flavors echo the nose with very supple tannins. Pleasant and fruity, but the layers of toast and caramel secondary to aging in French oak are too much for my taste. More time in bottle should allow better integration of oak. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail Wightman House Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.56, 132 cases, $55. Released spring 2012. 100% Martini clone. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold maceration, indigenous yeast fermentation, native malolactic fermentation in barrel, batonnage in barrel once a week for 3 months, aged 11 months in 50% new and 50% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Fruit-filled nose featuring black cherries, roseate notes, spice and oak. Discreetly concentrated core of juicy and delicious cherry and cranberry fruits with oak adding smoky, spicy layers. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 MacPhail The Flyer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.62, 180 cases, $59. Released spring 2012. From Olivet Grange Vineyard. Clones 667, 777 and 828. 100% de-stemmed. 5-day cold soak, native fermentations, aged 11 months sur lies in 50% new French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of herbal and coffee-scented oak. Middleweight flavors of black cherries and cola with noticeable oak in the background. Mild tannins and relatively soft in the mouth. A superb vineyard source, but the fruit doesn’t shine at this early stage. Undistinguished now, but should improve over time aided by more integration of oak. Decent. Reviewed July 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $17. · Light reddish-orange color in the glass. Aromas of oak, herbs and barnyard. Fairly intense flavors of alpine strawberries with hints of licorice and savory herbs, and a prominent tug of oak. Lacks finesse, freshness and brightness. Source: winery and retail. Decent. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Home Girl Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.57, 135 cases, $29. A blend of all (10) single vineyards sourced by MacPhail. Approximately one foot of wine at the bottom of each bottling tank was moved back to barrels (40% new) and aged for another five months, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Rather flat nose offering dark red cherry, baking spice and leaf aromas. Cherry-driven, slightly candied flavor with some oak showing up on the finish. A lighter styled wine with fine-grain tannins, a bright texture, and bright acidity on the finish. Drink now. Decent. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,250 cases, $39. From Pratt, Gap’s Crown, Wildcat and Sangiacomo vineyards. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Bright and fruity aromatics draw you in. Ripe, darker berry and cherry fruits are featured in this medium-weight wine with subtle oak highlights, finishing with respectable intensity of fruit, leaving a hint of heat in its wake. A fruit-driven style. Good. Reviewed March 12, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., ph 3.60, TA 0.63, 1,195 cases, $39. Sangiacomo, Pratt, Wildcat and Gap’s Crown vineyards. Multiple clones including Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777, Pommard, 2A, 9 and 23. Aged 11 months in 40% new and 60% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nuanced aromatic profile featuring scents of strawberries, black cherries, savory herbs and old wood. Medium-weighted core of earthy dark red fruits possessing a wild, exotic flavor and a slight green undertone. There is a fine dusting of tannins and adequate acidity. A solid wine that is nicely crafted, but doesn’t excite. Good. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Family Wines Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.86, TA 0.54, 267 cases, $49. Released fall 2010. 100% de-stemmed, indigenous and inoculated yeast primary fermentation, native malolactic fermentation in barrel, batonnage every week for 3 months, aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate purple color in the glass. A big-boned wine with flashy dark berry and black cherry fruit that is quite tasty but is overshadowed by oak. The nose displays primarily oak-driven aromas of toast, toffee and caramel. Decent. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 275 cases, $49. Clones 2A, 115 and 777. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Oak-driven aromas initially give way over time in the glass to lovely, crushed black cherry fruit scent. Vibrant fruitiness, offering mouthwatering flavors of fresh black cherries and black raspberries lingering on a very long and generous finish. Balanced tannins, a bright cut of acidity, a soft mouth feel, and the slightest dusting of oak in the background. The pedigree of the fruit from this iconic vineyard shows through. Very enjoyable now but has the goods to age well into ten years. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Frattey Shams Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.58, 181 cases, $49, released fall 2011. 100% de-stemmed, 14 days total cuvaison, both indigenous and inoculated primary ferments and native malolactic fermentation in barrel. Batonnage in barrel once every week for 3 months. Aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Extremely oak driven with aromas and flavors of mocha and coffee obscuring a luscious core of black cherry fruit. Modest in weight with bright acidity. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Frattey Shams Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 200 cases, $49. Clone 115. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine is lashed with oak, offering aromas of black coffee, timber and sweet smoke, and flavors of dark red cherries and berries buried in oak. Plentiful astringent oak tannins dominate the pretty core of fruit. Tasted twice. Decent at best. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Gap’s Crown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.65, 320 cases, $49. This vineyard is in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast. Clones 115, 667 and 777. Aged 11 months in 40% new and 60% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aloof nose features demure scents of dark stone fruits and smoky oak. In the mouth, the juicy dark plum, blackberry and black raspberry fruit comes alive accented by underpinnings of anise, ash and complimentary oak. The nicely ripened fruit is robed in gossamer tannins and the wine finishes with modest length. Good. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Raye’s Hill Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.82, TA 0.56, 178 cases, $49. Clones 667 (33%) and Pommard (67%). Harvested at 27.5º Brix. Aged 11 months in 50% new and 50% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromatically shy initially, but opens nicely over time in the glass to offer scents of black cherry pie, red plums, sandalwood and underbrush. Very polished in the mouth with impressive mid-palate intensity of delicious black cherry, strawberry and raspberry spicy fruit wrapped in fine sweet tannins. A wine of impressive breeding and balance. This clonal mix always seems to delight me. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 325 cases. $49. Clones 115 and Pommard. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate ruby color in the glass. The nose is closed for business, reluctantly giving up demure aromas of dark stone fruits and toasty oak. Middleweight flavors of plums and black raspberries wrapped in fine-grain tannin, lingering with some appeal. Not particularly broad or giving and may not be a representative bottle. Reserve judgement. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.86, TA 0.54, $49. Clones 115 (30%), 667 (30%), 777 (30%) and 2A. Aged 11 months in 60% new and 40% 1 and 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Initially, oak-derived aroma of coffee predominates, fading over time with the emergence of shy black cherry fruit and a little barnyard. Tasty core of red fruits enhanced with notes of spice, sandalwood and oak with a slight coffee accent. Crisp with lively acidity. Good. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Wildcat Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 325 cases, $49. Clones are Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 11 months sur lies in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddishpurple color and slightly hazy in the glass. The nose offers plenty of interest, with deep aromas of wild blackberries, rose petals, mocha java and Asian 5-spice. Black cherry and dark berry core well robed in oak with an underpinning of earth, herbs and dark chocolate. Appealingly wild and feral with substantial length on the finish. Could use more time in bottle to fully integrate the oak, but damn good right now. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Wightman House Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.94, TA0.55, 66 cases, $55. 100% Martini clone. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. An enticing and thoroughly seductive wine that offers an hi-tone perfume of dark berry jam, spice, vanilla and the slightest oak. Discreetly concentrated, earth-kissed flavors of blackberry and plum sauce with a hint of tar and oak. The texture is dreamy soft. Finishes dry with impressive persistence. Very little Martini clone is planted in the Anderson Valley so this is a very distinctive wine representing an impressive expression of this clone that will hold the interest of any serious Pinot Noir connoisseur. Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 MacPhail Vagon Rouge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.73, TA 0.57, 117 cases, $59. 5 hand-selected barrels. Sourced from Toulouse, Wightman House, Frattey Shams, Raye’s Hill and Ferrington vineyards. Aged 11 months in 100% new Tonnellerie Ermitage Medium Toast French oak barrels. · Moderately intense color in the glass. Shy nose offering aromas of cherry crisp, spice, briar and subtle oak. Soft and smooth on the palate with satisfying flavors of red cherries, cardamon spice, and sandalwood enrobed in firm fine-grain tannins. Nicely composed with oak playing a complimentary supporting role. Picks up interest over time in the glass and is even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Keep this one under wraps for a couple of years and then plan a special dinner around it. Very Good (+). Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 MacPhail Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 675 cases, $38. Clones are 115, 667, 777 and Martini. Native fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby color. Very fragrant brambly cherry and cranberry fruits highlighted with savory herbs. Fresh herbed berry flavors with citrus in the background. A little creamy with restrained dry tannins and a bright finish marked by a whiff of alcohol. Nothing special but very decent and will have fans. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 MacPhail Ferrington Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.24% alc., 325 cases. Clones 2A, 115, 777. Native fermentations, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Attractive aromas of strawberry tart, cola and gentle oak. An earthy wine with plenty of berry fruit, a trace of spice and an undercurrent of greenness. Gossamer tannins and bright acidity. Just o.k. for me. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 375 cases. Clones 2A, 115, 667 and 777. Native fermentations, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Charming and complex aromatic mix of red plums, strawberries, redwood and some good funk. Nicely composed and layered red fruit palate that is lip-smacking. Perfectly balanced with suede tannins, a pillowy texture and complete integration of the alcohol. Very Caliesque in style and utterly hedonistic. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 400 cases. Clones 2A, 777, 667 and 115. Native fermentations. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very alluring nose offering scents of black cherries, dark berry compote, brioche, cola, vanilla and subtle oak. Medium-weight flavors of black cherries, raspberries and cranberries finishing with zingy citrus and oak in the background. Tannins have softened and the mouthfeel is all silk and satin. Good (+). Reviewed September 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2005 MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

396 cases, $40. · A ripe style with dry red cherries, a hint of oak, and a touch of warmth. A slight bitterness mars an otherwise satisfying finish. Reviewed June 3, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 MacPhail Goodin Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 325 cases, $54. Clones 115, 777. · Red fruits, sawdust and green aromas. Nicely composed red fruits with plenty of bright fruit flavor. A hint of greenness carries through. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 MacPhail Pratt Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 250 cases, $54. Clones 2A, 23, 114 and 777. · Wine-soaked wet oak, dark cherry and musky notes on the nose. Really delicious black raspberry and graham flavors which make you sit up straight. As it opens, the flavors veer toward raisin. Nice tang, grip, length and finish. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2003 MacPhail Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases,$40. · Wet oak is overwhelming on the nose with an added unpleasant gasoline station smell. Smooth, plush darktoned fruits which are trumped by the oak and woodshed flavors. Taste better than it smells. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »