ORIGIN: US: California


PRODUCT: MacPhail Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

James MacPhail works with conscientious grape growers who rely on personal observation and meticulous care, the same disciplined attention to detail he exercises in the winery. With the goal of making wine that speaks of a place and clearly expresses the character of the grape variety, James insists on slow handwork in the vineyard and wine cellar. All fruit is picked and sorted by hand.

Absolute minimal intervention is the foundation of winemaking at MacPhail. James relies on native yeasts for fermentation. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally, without his introducing a culture. James uses traditional methods: pre-fermentation cold maceration, gentle punch downs by hand, barrel aging in French oak, no fining and no filtration. MacPhail winery is equipped with small fermenting vessels — stainless steel and French oak puncheons — that allow James to isolate exceptional fruit and produce small-batch wines.

“My goal is to produce food friendly wines with subtlety, elegance and finesse, all qualities I want in my life and expect to share with my customers,” says James. His wines are fruit-focused with appropriate amounts of oak, acidity and tannin. “I like full flavors without compromising balance. I enjoy complexity and mystery too, and I appreciate the challenges and rewards of making natural wines.”


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