Carneros Creek Winery

McHenry Vineyard

Massaro Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999

This is a long story but worth the read. McHenry Vineyard, which is own-rooted and dry-farmed, was replanted back in the 90’s. While they waited for their vines to mature, they purchased some fruit and this is one of those examples.

The first time I ever had this wine was back in 2007 with some dear friends of ours, celebrating a birthday. Her father was a construction executive who periodically travelled to the Bay Area and happened to bring a few bottles of McHenry back on one of his trips. I was early in my wine journey and remember thinking back then, “This wine is gorgeous and, wow, has it aged really well…for a California Pinot Noir”. In that instant, McHenry became a darling winery for me and I have been enjoying their wines ever since.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2019 when I first visited the vineyard. I mentioned to Brandon that my introduction to McHenry wines was the 1999 Massaro Vineyard and before I new it, he had pulled a bottle from the library. The wine instantly brought me back to that experience in 2007. He even agreed to sell me a bottle to take with me too! Anyway, on this night, since I was with the same group of friends from my first experience 13 years ago.

In the glass, this shows signs of age. There is some sediment and the rim shows a slight brownish tint. On the nose, the fruit is still very alive! A mix of dark and red fruits are the predominate feature but secondary characteristics of mushrooms, leather and damp earth are riding shotgun. On the palate, dried dark and red fruits with mushrooms. The finish is long and satisfying…almost candied in a way. The wonderful structure that McHenry wines are known for has done its job and there’s still life in this bottle and worked very well with the meal.

If you’re still reading this, I should share that McHenry Vineyard suffered heavy damage due to the CZU Lightning Complex fires. The winery, one of the dwellings, their well system and their entire library was lost. The vineyard itself sustained some damage but should be okay. The 2020 crop is a complete write-off. That being said, they were able to secure some fruit from the Christie Vineyard in Corralitos so there will be a small 2020 vintage after all. The family’s heart remains bound to this land up on Bonny Doon and their special vineyard. They are already in the process of rebuilding and I, for one, am very much looking forward to drinking their wines long into the future.
— 3 days ago

Arden, Daniel P. and 12 others liked this
Jay Kline

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@Ira Schwartz thanks for reading!! ✊🏽
David T

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Nice story. It’s unfortunate the tragedies that can befall producers. It made think back to my trip to Alsace in 2015. Hearing their stories of phylloxera in the latter 1800’s and German tanks rolling over their vineyards in WWI & WWII. That’s a lot unfortunate replanting. Cheers! 🍷
Jay Kline

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@David T no doubt...the lives of farmers. One of the reasons why the Hochar family are hero’s of mine.

Gloria Ferrer

Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay 2017

Sabred this lovely bottle! Love the Blanc de Blanca from #GloriaFerrer . Crisp and refreshing but still textured with tight bubbles. Citrus is balanced with brioche notes.
#casparkling #blancdeblanc #carneros
— 3 days ago

Courtney Benham

Carneros Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018

Bright salmon rose. Abundant (even when cold) earthy nose of musty cherry and the dreaded forest floor. Medium palate echoes the nose with a bit more red cherry and raspberry. More earthy than the typical California rosé. Add in the medium plus acidity and you have a rosé that’s made for food as well as summertime sipping. Drink now, of course. Or wait for next summer’s release. — 14 days ago

Dawn, Daniel and 1 other liked this


Hyde Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 1998

Cathy Corison

Thanksgiving on the crush pad! Golden. Honey, squash, rich, straw, melons — 9 days ago

Ray, Eric and 17 others liked this
Mark Eastom

Mark Eastom Influencer Badge

Late pressing. What a year.

Clos Pegase

Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

The Clos Pegase label features Pegasus, painted circa 1890 by the French artist Redon. Pale lemon with aromas of fresh fruit and floral scents. On the palate apple and melon flavors, creamy with pronounced oak and citrus notes. Medium finish, good balance ending with fruit and oak character. Still tasting well. Good value! We just tasted beside a Stags Leap, Pegase won, and it’s $5 cheaper!! Nice!! — 20 days ago

Alex, Daniel P. and 3 others liked this

Myriad Cellars

100% Whole Cluster Las Madres Vineyard Syrah

Ok if you enjoy Napa Syrah which I don’t. — 10 days ago

Tom, Eric and 13 others liked this

Quivet Cellars

Hulda Block Las Madres Vineyard Syrah 2016

Profoundly elegant. Perfectly toes the line between new and old world. I literally asked why I don't just drink this every time!!! So so good. — 13 days ago

Eric, Paul and 13 others liked this

Baldacci Family Vineyards

Elizabeth Carneros Pinot Noir 2016

Loads of fruit expand on the nose -mostly strawberry with a little bit of cranberry. Not much spice, but some mild toasted oak. This is medium to full-bodied for a pinot noir. Acidity was medium low, and perhaps for that reason I wasn't getting the more tart fruits, like pomegranate, that the description was touting. The oak gives it a nice custard note on the palate. Tannins are low and smooth. At 14.5% ABV, I was surprised; the alcohol is very well concealed going down. Overall, it's a good wine. Fruity and smooth; a crowd pleaser. Nothing to complain about, but I would have liked a little more acidity and complexity perhaps. — 7 days ago

Garnet Vineyards

Stanly Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Classic label, classic color. Plenty of aroma. Cherry is there. Hint of tree gum? Rocks. Green banana. Flavors are on point. Juicy, elegant and sleek. Some black olives to balance the fruits and flowers. This is very nice CA Pinot in the style they do out here. — 6 days ago

Ericsson liked this

Paul Hobbs

Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

Love this Pinot from Paul Hobbs even though this winemaker is more well known for its cab. Wish it were a bit more affordable for everyday drinking. Can have with or without food. — 4 days ago

Paul liked this