Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit Healdsburg, CA with my family and on our wine tasting day we decided to make a reservation at MacRostie Winery & Vineyards. MacRostie only makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay so it was right up my alley.

The first thing I took note of when we arrived was the breathtaking views. The host was friendly and sat us at a table in a covered patio section of the property overlooking the vineyard and mountains. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. There was a menu on the table describing three different tasting flight options, but when our host came over, he said that his tour was the best and he’d customize it based on our feedback along the way. Sounded good to me.

We started with three Chardonnays. The first was their 2014 San Giacomo which was affectionately nicknamed the “Pool Pounder” since it’s flavor was casual, a bit unrefined, and it didn’t require a meal to be complete. It stood on it’s own. Think sunny Saturday, outside on your patio with friends. This wine reminded me of the Rombauer and I found it to be stereotypical of what I think most Chardonnays from California taste like. The grapes were grown in a warmer climate so the fruit shines through with that oak and buttery finish.

Our next sample was the 2013 Wildcat. The grapes for this wine were grown in a cooler climate; having to dig into the volcanic soil in order to survive against winds from the Pacific. The different growing region made for a more mineral tasting wine. Think rocks and clay. I found this wine to be complex with that mineral taste coupled with citrus fruits, and honey. This was my favorite bottle from the Chardonnay offering and it would couple well with brie, salads, or a light grilled chicken dish.

Our last Chardonnay was their 2014 Goldrock Ridge. This is a very limited release wine as they only produced 10 barrels. Like the Wildcat, these grapes were grown in a cooler, coastal environment. This wine to me smelled like floral hand lotion. It had a slight mineral taste, was floral, fruity and light bodied. It grew on me the more I sipped it.

The Chardonnay experience at MacRostie was great. Although I favored the Wildcat, I felt like they each had their purpose and distinct palate and all were delicious.