Sonoma: Part Three of My California Wine Adventure

Wine room at Joseph Swan

After our morning of wine tasting at Iron Horse we went to Mary Edwards, Joseph Swan and Cline.

Mary Edwards was the first stop after Iron Horse. While it’s always fun to go tasting I was not a huge fan of Mary Edwards. It was by far the least attractive of all the wineries we went to. It felt very corporate. My other issue was that it just felt pretentious. I’m all for hearing why the wine maker did things the way they did and what you might get from this wine but I hate being told how I should feel about a wine. Give me the tasting notes and then let me determine if I agree or not.

The wines we tasted while at Mary Edwards were the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($32), the 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir ($45), the 2010 Cooper Smith Pinot Noir ($60), and the 2009 Meredith Estate Pinot Noir ($57). The Sauvignon Blanc was my favorite. It had a very aromatic nose with grapefruit and green pepper. It was soft and delicate and would pair well with sea food at $32 a bottle it’s the only one I would have considered buying. As far as the Pinots went my favorite was the Cooper Smith. It had cherry on the nose and a more round, balanced flavor then the other Pinots. Though it was my favorite Pinot at Mary Edwards I only rated it not bad.

Grapes at Joseph SwanNext we went to Joseph Swan. This is a cool winery. It’s very laid back and their tasting room is really just a small bar in their barrel room. We were there around harvest time so giant vats of grapes were everywhere and the guy who did our tasting had dark grape stains all over his hands. Here we tasted all of their new releases, the 2010 Trenton Station Vineyard Pinot Gris ($22), the 2010 Cuvee de Trois Pinot Noir ($29), the 2009 Great Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir ($35), the 2007 Great oak Vineyard Syrah ($35) and the 2009 Mathew’s Station Tannnat($28).

I enjoyed all of the wines here. The Pinot Gris is aged in neutral oak and has buttery/ creamy quality to it. The cuvee de Trois Pinot was peppery with soft tannins and actually had some sediment in it. I was little surprised to see the sediment as it’s only a 2010. The wine that I was most surprised about was the Syrah. It had an interesting flavor for a Syrah. It was earthy with just a little pepper and not as much fruit as I would expect on a California Syrah.

The finale winery we went to for the day was Cline. My sister is a wine club member here and we got to taste in the members tasting room. Here we pretty much got to taste any wine on their tasting menu we wanted. I was a little wined out at this point but found a few wines I liked. We tasted a bit of everything here, white, rose, red.

Cline was nice because I was able to knock a few more wines off my wine century list. We tasted a 2010 Marsanne/Roussanne from Carneros ($22) and it was ok but not my favorite. It has lots of citrus and tropical flavors to it. We also tasted a 2011 Ancient Vines Carignane from Contra Coast ($18). This wine was kind of weak at the start but had a nice finish with hints of pepper and spice. We also had the 2010 Small Berry Mourvedre from Contra Cost ($32). The grapes for this wine are grown in an area with lot of eucalyptus. You can almost taste the minty flavor of the eucalyptus in this wine and while it’s defiantly interesting and different, I’m not really and fan of it. My favorite at Cline was the 2011 Ancient Vine Zinfandel from Contra Cost County ($18). It’s a nice wine with soft tannins  I’m usually a fan of Zin so I wasn’t surprised I liked this. You get lots of dark rich fruits up front like cherries and there’s a bit of spice in the finish. I also got mocha in this wine.

After a long fun day of wine tasting  we went into the town of Sonoma and had a fabulous dinner at Girl and the Fig. I had scallops on a pumpkin puree with purple cauliflower. I drank the 2011 Truchard Vineyards Roussanne from Carneros.  It was a perfect end to a great day and I checked four more varietals off my list!


Posted on December 17, 2012, in Pinot Noir, Wine Century Club, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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