Iron Horse Vineyards
2008 Wedding Cuvee
California: Russian River Valley
Very highly recommended, today’s sparkling wine from our old friends at Iron Horse Vineyards is an elegant and exciting bubbly that is just perfect for your most romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Delicious and elegant with a lovely, soft mousse, natural flavors and heady aromatics this sparkling wine caused a real stir at out recent tasting. We blind-tasted today’s sparkler against a $100 bubbly, recently. Our tasting panel was unanimous in its choice of today’s wine as the easy winner.
A perfect cocktail or appetizer bubbly, this wine has the longest finish we’ve ever experienced in a sparkling wine. Enjoy this wine now or stock some away for the next several years.
Serve with with a wide range of lighter foods or appetizers. We think that cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches would be perfect. Just be sure to cut them into hearts shapes before serving them!
Very pretty in the glass, with pale pink or slightly coppery hues, depending upon the light. An energetic, steady stream of small bubbles continue to cascade upward for the duration of your drinking experience.
Light wild strawberry, honeycrisp apple, sublte guave, and subtle sweet white flowers present at the front of the palate. Toward the rear, subtle talc powder and subtle wild fennel provide an intriguing and delicious backing.
Soft mousse blooms in the palate, in a billowing burst of medium bubbles, driving flavors of honey, soft of berry fruit, slightly underripe blackberry, raw almonds, young alpine strawberry, golden raspberry, guava, and subtle creamed honey.
The longest we have ever experience with a sparkling wine, the flavors linger on and on - seemingly forever - providing all over the palate coverage.
What the Winery Says
This is Iron Horse’s Blanc de Noirs, made from predominantly Pinot Noir. It has a beautiful rose color. Rich and creamy, like pure strawberries and cream, this is without doubt the most romantic of our Sparklings. It is dangerously easy to drink. A favorite for many, Iron Horse is probably best known for this cuvee.
The vibrant, rich qulaities make our wedding Cuvee the perfect partner to a range of dishes. A butter lettuce salad with bacon, gorgonzola and red apple, poached salmon with summer squash and hollandaise or a red and green peppercorn cursted pork tenderloin with fresh mint.
Rated 92 points in Wine Spectator and #2 American Sprakling Wine in the New York Tmes. The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker and Wine Enthusiast awarded the previous vintage 91 points.The 2005 vintage was a finalist for Food & Wine Magazine’s American Wine Awards. The 2004 came in “best of tasting” of American Sparkling Wines in the Wall Street Journal.
About the Winery
Iron Horse is one of Sonoma County’s most beautiful, small, independent, estate, family owned wineries located in cool, foggy Green Valley. The founding partners, Audrey and Barry Sterling first saw it in the pouring rain in February 1976. Driving down Ross Station Road, they were sure they were lost until they crested the knoll and the view opened up to 300 acres of gentle rolling hills and a wall of trees behind that looked like Camelot to them. Incurable romantics, and having extraordinary vision, they bought the property in just two weeks.
In those days, Iron Horse was the most westerly vineyard in Sonoma County. Even the agricultural extension agents from US Davis recommended they look further east as this vineyard was prone to frost as late as June 1st, well after bud-break, and jeopardizing the crop. But having lived in France, the Sterlings knew the cool, foggy climate was exactly what they were looking for to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And, as a native San Franciscan, Audrey Sterling had spent part of her summers on the Russian River and was familiar with the area.
There were 110 acres in vine at the time, originally planted by Forrest Tancer when he was working for Rodney Strong. Forrest and the Sterlings became partners, upgraded the vineyard, engineered an elaborate frost protection system, built the winery and produced their first vintage of Estate Chardonnay in 1978. The winery officially opened in 1979 with the first vintage of Estate Pinot Noir on Barry Sterling’s 50th birthday. The first vintage for the Sparkling Wines was 1980.
The name Iron Horse came from a train that stopped at Ross Station at the turn of the 20th Century. The logo, the rampant horse on a weathervane, came from an actual weathervane that was unearthed when they were leveling the ground to build the winery.
In the arena of Sparkling Wines, Iron Horse stands at the top. The wines have been served at the White House for the past five consecutive presidential administrations, beginning with the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings, which lead to the end of the Cold War.
The winery is proud to produce a limited number of special cuvees for Charlie Palmer, Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Commander’s Palace, and Disney.
Iron Horse is truly a family affair. Audrey and Barry’s daughter Joy Sterling is the CEO and lives at the foot of the vineyard. The Sterlings’ son Laurence, his wife Terry and their children moved to Iron Horse in 1990 and built their home on the far southwest corner of the property. Laurence is Director of Operations. Audrey and Barry are retired, but still reside at the heart of the estate in the original Victorian built in 1876. Forrest Tancer retired in 2005.