Evelyn and I have taken a number of trips to the Sonoma Coast. It is about a 2 hour drive from our house. So often times we stop for a little refreshment along the way. Enter Iron Horse Vineyards outside of Sebastopol.
Iron Horse specializes in Champagne. They are served at the White House in Washington DC. Fine Champagne Houses make Non Vintage wines and Declared wines. Non Vintage wines are blends and are thus produced every year. Declared wines are select and are thus produced only during the best vintages. Iron Horse releases its Declared wine as an “LD”, which stands for “late disgorged”. The wine lies on the lees (dead yeast) for about 10 years. The result are wonderful caramel overtones. I highly recommend this wine. Iron Horse Champagnes are primarily from Green Valley APA.
Chards & Pinots
Iron Horse has also branched out into Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These wines are also primarily from vineyards in Green Valley. Their Chardonnays are not heavy and are thus mostly aged in stainless steel. They are light, easy to drink wines that should go good with food. Iron Horse Pinots are a big surprise. They are obviously putting some effort into the quality.
So enough talk. How do these wines stack up? Iron Horse offers three different tasting flights: Champagne, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. We manned up and did all three.
1) 2008 Wedding Cuvee
A slight blush, very nice. Not to dry.
2) 2008 Russian Cuvee
Nice and dry. Very food neutral.
3) 2006 Brut Rose
A great Rose, good with salad. Nice and dry.
4) 2004 Chinese Cuvee
This is a new offering. We did not like the flavour.
I would have liked to sample the 2003 Brut LD, but they were not pouring. I purchased a bottle of the Wedding Cuvee and the Brut LD.
1) 2009 Unoaked Chardonnay
Aged in stainless steel. Dry and crisp. Very nice.
2) 2009 Rued Chardonnay
A hint of oak but still dry and crisp. Very nice.
3) 2012 native yeast Chardonnay
A hint of oak, dry and crisp. Very nice.
I plan on serving all three of these Chardonnays at once with a meal. They should be good with salads or light dishes.
Pinot Noir Flight
1) 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
A light burgundy style.
2) 2011 Estate Pinot Noir
A nice Burgundy style. Opens up nicely in the glass. Great nose and flavour.
3) 2010 Thomas Road Pinot Noir
California nose but Burgundy flavour.
I was very impressed with these Pinots. Three nice styles. I plan on serving them together with a meal. They should be great with cheese, pork, or chicken.