2013 Cuvée ChristineSyrah
The Cuvée Christine continues to be a wine that is slow to evolve in the blending process, as we strive to ensure that all components of Syrah fit together in harmony, showcasing the personality of the blend as a whole. It opens a door into our Sonoma County, like walking through the wardrobe into Narnia.
2013 Cuvée Christine gave us the chance to show off our ability to break up vineyards into many lots, promoting diversity within the finished wines and allowing those sections to reveal their true selves. Christine is made up of some of our best vineyard blocks, producing a seamless and profound wine.
On the nose, Christine is all about darkness: smoked brisket, baking chocolate, plum and black currants. On the palate, the vintage exhibits dynamic flavors and richness with ample acidity. The youthful aromatics and striking freshness will lend longevity to this wine, making it tough to choose between drinking early or cellaring for age. Either would be a good choice for the refined 2013 Cuvée Christine.
2012 Cuvée ChristineTerroir
2012 Cuvée ChristineTasting Notes
“Syrahs have always been the benchmark wines from Donelan, since the early days when he was using winemaker Pax Mahle. The 2012 Syrah Cuvee Christine, which is fermented with a 30% whole clusters and aged in 80% neutral oak, comes from four separate vineyards in the Russian River Valley at Sonoma Mountain. This is 100% Syrah, aged 20 months in 33% new French oak and represents nearly 900 cases of wine. Deep purple in color with lots of roast beef, blackberry, bouquet garni, licorice and charcuterie spices, the wine is rich, beautifully pure, full-bodied and showing well already, which is of course a hallmark of 2012. It should drink well for at least a decade or more.”
– Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
2012 Cuvée ChristinePast Vintages
The 2010 while slow to emerge, is fantastic. 100% Syrah, 35% whole cluster with 30% new oak, blending trials commenced in April 2011 and only recently ceased after meticulous attention to which barrels could produce the most complex and supple example of Sonoma Syrah in 2010. Created with the sweet refined nature of Syrah in mind, was aged for a longer period (18 months) than previous vintages. Intended to represent quintessential Sonoma Syrah with savory characters, blackberry fruit, and spicy notes layered together.
Wine Advocate: 92pts
2009 Cuvée Christine presents a seamless and supple side of Syrah. The wine is built around hilltop Syrah from Windsor Oaks Vineyard, which is complemented with specifically selected barrels of our other sources such as Obsidian, Kobler, and Walker Vine Hill. The 2009 vintage provided the opportunity to produce a blended Syrah of tremendous character and balance. The moderate ripening conditions – read cool – along with limited spring rains made for very concentrated mature fruit. I love the aromatics of the wine, which seem quintessential Syrah with meaty, fruity, and spicy notes layered together.
Wine Advocate: 91-93pts
When studying sensory science, we learned that things like warm or oily don’t have smells. They might have tactile representations, but not smells. Well, I think the 2008 Cuvee Christine provides associations with warmth, perhaps like comfort food. The nose is reminiscent of cherry licorice, or even warm bramble berry tart with cinnamon and clove. The wine also has characters like thyme and anise with a mineral element that is difficult to deconstruct but provides balance to a soft and wonderfully persistent mouth feel.
Wine Advocate: 90-93pts