Clif Family Winery
2011 Mendocino Riesling
California: Mendocino County
Very highly recommended, today’s 2011 Clif Family Winery Riesling is a crisp, dry and refreshingly delicious treat.
We had assumptions about this wine, before we ever opened the bottle. By reputation, we knew that we would really enjoy the wine - but we were not prepared to be very impressed by it. Our entire tasting panel fell instantly in love with this wine, declaring it to be the best Riesling we have ever featured.
This wine is dry, not syrupy or cloying, with an acidity that is in perfect balance with the delicious fruits. This is a very food friendly, all-seasons wine that can be served with a variety of cuisines.
We recommend pairing with Salad Nicoise, a Greek salad, aged cheeses, or a butternut squash pasta. Medeteranian falafel and hummus plate would also be an excellent companion.
Pale straw yellow with sliver and faintest green highlights. Tall, skinny legs form high on the glass wall before moving slowly downward.
Bright and fresh with apricot and melon rind. As the wine warms just slightly, it opens to reveal a lively citrus zest, pink grapefruit, Valencia orange, vanilla, light peach nectar, all framed by a limestone mineral base.
Granny smith apple, young pear, Meyer lemon, pink grapefruit, lemon verbena and green melon. Again, with everything framed by a lovely minerality.
Most flavors go moderately long. Overall, the finish is clean and very fresh with a lingering pear that goes on far longer than the other flavors. Limestone dryness persists for a long time.
What the Winery Says
On the nose, aromas of pineapple and honey mingle with hints of grapefruit and honeydew. Fresh flavors of pear, grapefruit and green apple explode on the palate. These intense flavors help lead to a dry and crisp finish. This wine pairs perfectly with mildly spicy, flavorful foods such as Thai, Cuban or Moroccan dishes.
Mendocino County experienced cooler than normal temperatures and some unusual spurts of rain during the 2011 growing season. Despite this, when the time was right, the grapes ripened into beautiful clusters. The fruit for this vintage of the Clif Family Winery Riesling came from Pauli Ranch in Porter Valley, located about 60 miles north of Healdsburg.
This wine was fermented to dryness in stainless steel tanks for 8 months thus helping preserve its lush fruit character and balanced acidity.
About the Winery
Clif Family Winery has ten acres of Estate vineyards in the Napa Valley. These properties are CCOF certified organic and are the source for our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Zinfandel. Our vineyard management team, together with our Winemaker, strive to achieve balance, structure, varietal character and beauty in an environmentally friendly manner.
Our love of wine is linked to a love of adventure. The journey toward becoming vintners began years ago in Europe, where a long day of cycling ended with a leisurely meal and a great bottle of wine. Today, we seek to recreate those inspiring moments with our wines.
Winemaker Laura Barrett
Laura Barrett joined us as Winemaker in November of 2014, bringing her passion for wine and her life-long love of science to the Clif Family Winery portfolio. Laura received her undergraduate degree, a BS in Chemistry, from The University of Vermont. Looking to put her degree to use for more than just lab work, she decided to pursue a career in winemaking.
Her first step along this path was a job with Stony Ridge Vineyards, a small wine producer located on Waikeke Island in New Zealand. Laura returned to the United States and pursued a Masters in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis where she was quickly recognized as an up and coming winemaker. While studying at UC Davis she received the prestigious La Reve Foundation scholarship, awarded to female Viticulture and Enology students with outstanding academic standing.
After graduating from UC Davis, Laura became Assistant Winemaker at Fisher Vineyards where she worked for five years under the direction of celebrated consulting winemaker Mia Klein. In this role she learned to appreciate and understand the nuances of Napa Valley Cabernet. Aspiring to move into a head winemaker position, Laura took a position with Casey Flat Ranch and spent the next seven years developing the wine program for this Capay Valley producer.
As Winemaker, Laura brings her keen scientific knowledge, attention to detail and creative inspiration to the Clif Family Winery portfolio. Laura developed the final blends for Clif Family Winery’s 2014 vintage wines and with the 2015 vintage assumes responsibility for the entire winemaking process.
From the rocky coastline of Mendocino to the majestic slopes of Howell Mountain, Clif Family strives to give each of our wines a sense of place. We hope that when you open a bottle of Clif Family wine, you enjoy the nuances of the different microclimates and complex geographies that our grapes hail from.
Our own Clif Family Vineyards consist of ten acres of Certified Organic Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grapes in the Napa Valley Appellation. The Home Farm is located on the northeast side of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 1170 feet, where warm summer temperatures create ideal growing conditions. The vineyard is planted to Zinfandel, one of Gary’s favorite grapes.
Working with our vineyard management team and our grower partners from Mendocino and Napa Valley, we produce wines with the finest of fruit.