2017 Cline "Farmhouse" White

Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay may seem ubiquitous in Northern California’s wine industry, but it wasn’t always that way. Seeing the old vineyards near his grandfather’s ranch in Oakley, California, Fred Cline learned that wine growers 100 years ago preferred Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Carignan – often planted together in one vineyard as a “field blend.” Because this pattern is found in old vineyards throughout the state, it must have been a conscious choice among winegrowers back then. They must have understood that Zin and the Rhone varieties perform better under California’s dry but variable conditions than the finicky, slow-ripening Cabernet. These vines can thrive without irrigation (a.k.a. “dry-farming”) and the blending of grapes with different qualities would have ensured that the finished wine attained a proper balance of sugar, acid, ripeness and tannin. In order to pursue his interest in Zinfandel, Rhone grape varieties and old vineyards, Fred Cline founded Cline Cellars near Oakley in 1981. The Ancient Vines bottlings are made from grapes grown in these low-yielding, Contra Costa County vineyards. In 1991, Cline moved his winemaking facility to a large ranch in Carneros, the cool, wind-swept district just north of San Pablo Bay between Napa and Sonoma counties. Even though Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate the vineyards here, Cline decided to plant Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane and has proven that even in a cool climate these varietals can develop intense but elegant fruit and perfume. A more recent acquisition lies near Petaluma, in Sonoma County, and Cline Cellars has now added Pinot Noir to its roster of Zinfandel and Rhone reds and whites. A focus on Zinfandel and Rhone varietal wines has not always been easy, but Cline Cellars has repeatedly earned accolades and critical acclaim. Over the years, many of the Zinfandels and others have earned 90 points and up in the Wine Spectator, and Wine & Spirits has called the Ancient Vines Mourvèdre “one of the top 100 values.” It doesn’t get much better than this: hand-crafted wines from sustainably-farmed vineyards that are intimately connected to California’s winemaking history. The wines of Cline Cellars are deep and rich with elegance, complexity and flavor AND available at reasonable prices.

Wine

The Farmhouse on the label is located at the Green String Farm in Petaluma (about 15 km from Cline Cellars). What it represents, however, is a philosophy and practice of viticulture that is “beyond sustainable.” No pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers are used; sheep and goats control the weeds, and friendly insects prey upon harmful ones. Sustainable farming not only keeps the vineyards healthy but produces beautiful fruit for these delicious wines. Fred Cline has been farming the Green String way since 2001. In 2017, the blend consists of 41% Palomino, 25% Muscat Canelli, 22% Roussanne, 6% Marsanne, 5% Viognier and 1% Riesling. It’s a crisp, bright wine that delivers great value for the price. Farmhouse White pairs well with appetizers such as ripe tomatoes and mozzarella, salads with extra-virgin olive oil, Asian cuisine and fish dishes.

Winemaking

Following cold-temperature fermentation in stainless steel without undergoing malolactic fermentation, the wine was lightly filtered to preserve the fruit flavors and varietal characteristics.

Tasting notes

Aromatic and lively, the wine offers bright, crisp flavors of melon, juicy pear and tropical fruit as well as a fresh, clean finish. Crisp acidity helps the wine pair well with tomato appetizers or lightly-spiced chicken or fish dishes.

Appellation

California

Varietal

41% Palomino, 25% Muscat Canelli, 22% Roussanne, 6% Marsanne, 5% Viognier, 1% Riesling

Size

750ml

Closure

Screw Cap

Alcohol

13.5%

MLF

0%

UPC

098652840006