Recent Tour at Cline Reveals a New Favorite – and Supports Breast Cancer
Having grown up in the North Bay, I’ve been familiar with the Wine Country and all of its wonderful Valleys, including Sonoma, for a long time. Cline Cellars is one of my favorite wineries as I have memories of parents and me visiting many times over the years to sample the wines, picnic and enjoy the grounds.
Cline’s Maribeth Doran, self-proclaimed “Wine Goddess,” manages their Twitter (@ClineCellars) among other marketing duties. She wrote up the best description I’ve seen of them on their Twitter page:
We specialize in Rhône-style wines and 7 different Zinfandels. Yes, Zinfandel is a red wine and proud of it!
Personally, I support both types! Zins are definitely a favorite of mine (The Taste). And, Rhones? Well, Rhones hold a very special place in my heart – especially, Chateauneuf du Papes (as I spotlighted here with ). So, visiting Cline is always a good experience for me.about at
During my visit yesterday, I experienced a first: seeing my first Harvest! Unbeknownst to me, my timing was perfect and we were able to catch Mourvedre grapes being harvested right from the field …
Stems and all …
Next, we got a chance to see the Fermentation Tanks with Cellarmaster Henry Escareno who explained how the wines get stored during fermentation and gave us several tastes fresh out of the tanks.
Here I sample a Zin from the Fermentation Tank … very sweet but, of course, will later mature and round out …
Finally, I wrapped up my tour with a little tasting with Maribeth where I sampled:
- 2010 Marsanne Roussanne – which was interesting since I had sampled that fresh out of the tank as well where it had tasted like apple/pear juice. The 2010 was fruity but refreshing. Maribeth said it’s awesome with sushi.
- 2010 North Coast Viognier – lest you think that I like all wine, I do not! Actually, I don’t typically like Viognier but this one was rather lovely. Tasting of peach, I can see how it would compliment Asian foods really well.
- 2010 Mourvedre Rose– I’ve gained a recent appreciation for Rose and this did not disappoint. Apparently, Bon Appetit agreed with me picking this as one of their favorite summer wines this year, saying it’s “A red-wine lover’s rosé, this unusual wine combines the best of both worlds. From the pink-wine world you get strawberry and cherry fragrance and brightness, and from the red-wine world you get weight, concentration, and an interesting vinous element that snakes through the more obvious charms”.
- 2010 Cline’s Cashmere (pictured below) – this was my favorite!
Cashmere is well named as it truly has a luxurious (yet accessible) feel. It’s made up of the GSM grape combo so prevalent in their wines (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) … however, this wine has more Mourvedre than usual. I also love how they are helping to fund a great cause through this wine. As the label indicates, they support Living Beyond Breast Cancer (which has contributed over $200,000 to breast cancer foundations). Win-win: enjoy a luxurious wine and support the breast cancer cause.
Knowing my affinity for Rhones, Maribeth mentioned that the Rhone Rangers also have a San Francisco Grand Tasting annual event at Fort Mason every March. She says it’s quite the scene so I’m going to try to make that event as well as the one held in LA every August (a lofty goal to fit both in but, hey, that’s how dedicated I am to bringing you up-to-the-minute Rhone news!).
Overall, much fun was had at Cline and I’m very much looking forward to visiting again soon.