Cline Family Cellars

Owner(s) Fred Cline, Nancy Cline
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Cline Family Cellars

Fred Cline met Nancy bunting when they were both students at University of California at Davis. They married and started a humble winery in Oakley, California with Fred's small inheritance. They restored acres of 100-year-old vines and produced Rhone-style varietals and Zinfandel.

In 1993, they moved the winery to a 350-acre ranch in Sonoma Carneros where they planted Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. They opened a tasting room in the 1853 farmhouse on the property and renovated the grounds.

Today, the Clines own many acres of vineyards throughout Sonoma County and other properties in Oakley and Tehama County. They also operate Green String Farm, a 150-acre working farm that produces a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The winemaker is University of California at Davis graduate Charlie Tsegeletos who joined Cline Family Cellars in 2002. He crafts Rhone-styled wines, Zinfandel and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay. He also makes the wines for Jacuzzi Family Vineyards (a Cline Family venture specializing in Italian varietals), Cashmere and Farmhouse.

The wines are widely distributed. Tasting and tours are available daily at 24737 Arnold Drive in Sonoma. Several tasting experiences are offered.

Reviewed Wines

2017 Cline Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.83, TA 0.60, RS 0.32%, $14.99. Harvest Brix 24.3º. 100% de-stemmed, indigenous yeast to begin fermentation, cap pumped over twice a day, settled in a stainless steel tank and then aged for 7 months in primarily French oak barrels (a small amount of American and Eastern European oak), 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Notable aromas of black cherry and cinnamon upon opening. Black cherry fruit is at the core of this middleweight wine, with added tastes of earth and oak. Straightforward, with a silken texture. Firm tannins show up on the finish with some astringency. Score: 87. Reviewed October 12, 2018 ARTICLE »

2015 Cline Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.59, RS 0.52 g/100ml, $14.99, screwcap. Harvest Brix 24.1º. Grapes were gently de-stemmed and carefully pressed. Fermented in stainless steel after two days of cooling and settling. No malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred for several months before racking to French oak barrels, 40% new, for 6 months. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Delicate aromas of slate and apple. Easy going in a very delicate style that is clean and crisp, featuring flavors of lemon, pineapple, apple and petrol and a hint of sweet oak. Satisfactory rather than special. Tasted twice with a second bottle showing marked reductive notes of flint, burnt rubber and gun barrel that did not subside even when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle. Score: 85. Reviewed April 19, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Cline Family Cellars Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.72, RS 0.30%, TA 0.60, $16.99. Sourced from the estate Lazy C Vineyard located in the Petaluma Gap and Lazy P and M Ranches located a few miles further north. Harvest Brix 23.8º. 100% de-stemmed, cultured yeast fermentation, cap pumped over three times a day, and the wine aged for 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels and some contribution of small amount of American and Eastern European oak. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam, vanilla, tar and smoke lead off. A gutsy wine with the mid weight plus essence of ripe black fruits underlain with flavors of creosote and tar, finishing with rich fruit and some astringency. There is too much of a role for oak in this wine to suit my taste. Score: 85. Reviewed April 19, 2017 ARTICLE »

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