MacMurray Ranch

Owner(s) E. & J. Gallo
Web site www.macmurrayranch.com
 
Link to this site

This MacMurray-Gallo link might sound like an odd couple, but it really isn't. Film and TV star Fred MacMurray enjoyed the ranch as a getaway and working farm, and when his family put it up for sale in 1996 after his death, they followed his orders to sell it to a "family" who would promise to keep the land in agriculture and his fence line intact. Gallo honored his wishes and now his daughter, Kate MacMurray, a former screenwriter, is spokesperson for the winery. Gallo planted vines and the winery was born in 2000.

MacMurray Ranch Winery is smack in the middle of Sonoma County's cool-climate Russian River Valley, with wine neighbors such as Rochioli and Gary Farrell. The mantra from Gino Gallo has been to make great MacMurray Pinot Noir. She personally chose Susan Doyle, who grew up on a beef and apple farm in Tasmania, as the winemaker. After training, she made Pinot Noir in Australia and consulted in the United States.

MacMurray Ranch farms 1,100 acres and produces 128,960 cases annually. 80% of the fruit comes from estate vineyards.

Three appellation blend Pinot Noirs are produced: Central Coast, Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley. They are reasonably priced and widely available. The Russian River Valley Pinot Gris is recommended.

Reviewed Wines

2010 MacMurray Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $20.99. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very dull nose, with no fruit making a house call even after 45 minutes in the glass. Light weight flavors of cherries and strawberries with a hint of herbs backed by ripe tannins and complimentary acidity. Unchanged the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Awfully plain. Decent. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $17.69. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially the nose offered some pleasingly spiced black cherry and strawberry aromas, but over time in the glass, the fruit faded, unveiling primarily oak and smoke scents. Moderately rich core of fruit with a heavy smoke affected flavor of tar and ash, which, along with the firm tannins, overwhelmed the fruit flavors. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed February 8, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $18. · Initially there are attractive scents of spiced cherries and strawberries, but smoke emerges over time as the wine sits in the glass. Moderately rich core of fruit heavily tainted by smoke and tar flavors. Typical of many 2008 smoke affected Pinot Noirs from the Sonoma Coast. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 MacMurray Ranch Central Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $24. Primarily sourced from Olson Ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Harvested in the early morning, de-stemmed, cold soaked, fermented with a mixture of natural and proprietary Burgundian yeasts. · Pretty red tinged violet color. Shy, but appealing aromas of dark berries, wooded forest and oak spice. Rich melange of berry fruit and a hint of oak with gossamer tannins and bright acidity. A nice drink for the money. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Mac Murray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $18. · The appealing aromas trump the flavors in this wine. Nice black cherry, earth and cola scents. The dark cherry fruit is nicely presented on a silky platform with a clean and dry finish, but a dirty oak and stemmy taste spoils the ending. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $19. · Smoke, tar and confected cherry aromas lead to oak-infused dark fruits with a herbaceous edge. Soft but notable tannins. Drink with grilled meats. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $19. · An oak-infused wine with aromas and flavors of confected black cherry, smoke and tar. A herbaceous edge is evident. Soft, but evident tannins. I have seen this wine very favorably reviewed in the wine press but it was disappointing to me. Drink it with grilled meat or fish. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 MacMurray Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $35. Hand harvested, de-stemmed, cold soaked for 5 days, fermented with a mixture of natural and Burgundian yeasts. · This is a dense fruit-driven wine which lacks the trademark spice and cola features of many Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. There is plenty of dark fruit and tannin but this wine could be from anywhere. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 MacMurray Ranch Winemaker’s Block Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 400 cases, $60. Clones 828 and 37 (Mt. Eden). Hand sorted and de-stemmed into open top 1 to 3.5 ton fermenters with a target of 95% whole berries. Cold soaked for 5 to 7 days and inoculation with a mixture of natural and Burgundian yeasts. Pressed gently using a basket press. Aged in a combination of new and 1-year-old French oak barrels with an additional 6+ months in bottle before release. · Now we’re talking. Really attractive aromas of black cherry and cherry cola. Plush core of cherry and berry fruit with some spice, leather and graham. Long, stylish and silky with tannins reigned in and oak playing a subtle supportive role. Clearly more sophisticated, refined and elegant than the other MacMurray bottlings. This wine will match up with the any of the very best Pinot Noirs currently made in California. This Pinot was kissed by an angel. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 MacMurray Ranch Winemaker’s Block Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 400 cases, $60. Clones 37 (Mt. Eden) and Dijon mix. Winemaker Susan Doyle. A little-known and special wine that is the best Pinot Noir in the Gallo lineup of wines. Do not confuse this wine with the high production MacMurray Ranch appellation Pinot Noir bottlings for it is a horse of a different color. · Moderately deep reddishpurple color in the glass. Slightly confected bright and spicy Bing cherry aromas. A charming wine with pleasing delicacy on the palate with its delicious red cherry pie fruit flavor, tasty clove and oak spice, balancing tannins and bright acidity. The persistent finish slips off the back of the palate. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This one will make your knees go weak. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 40,000 cases, $13. · A old-world styled Pinot. The aromatics feature hi-tone cherries and more cherries with blueberries and vanilla. Flavors veer to the savory side with notes of earth, minerals, herbs and underpinnings of dark cherries and oak. The wine finishes with lively acidity and dusty tannins. Not terribly complex, but a thoroughly enjoyable wine at the dinner table. Reviewed June 12, 2006