Russian River Valley,Sonoma County,Sparkling,Wine

Is your wine cellar ready for the last third of the year? Iron Horse is at the top of my list for readiness

For me, Iron Horse Vineyards has to always be “in the house.” You never know what’s worth celebrating, above and beyond the usual celebrations. Sometimes, it’s just a wonderful surprise… like finishing the last chapter of your book. That was a moment to remember and one I didn’t anticipate until it happened; and so, I was able to celebrate the moment with a 2010 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée. It wasn’t a wedding that I was celebrating, but I was definitely “in the pink,” so it perfectly fit the occasion. I remember writing at the time, “Very easy to enjoy… Delicious day, delicious wine.”

[This Wedding Cuvée picture is one that was taken by Iron Horse Vineyards and used on their Facebook Page.]

Today, I’m off to a harvest festival at Iron Horse. Pinch me, Jose, to make sure I’m not just dreaming. You brought me to a place on earth where most people can only visit from afar, and dream about for the rest of the year. Here we are, and being able to just head over to Iron Horse to renew my supply is a gift from Bacchus.

How’s your wine closet doing, as we stock up for the final third of the year?

  • The First third is always devoted to preparations.
  • The next third is devoted to hard work.
  • The last third is devoted to celebrations…

In many ways, it’s my favorite time of the year, with November and December being the most joyous, and now I’m planning ahead. Here’s my list for upcoming events:

The Bubbly List

  • PRETTY IN PINK ~ 2010 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée
    • Very easy to enjoy… Delicious day, delicious wine
    • This wine would also be great for any holiday wedding ceremonies, and they do exist as a great way to wrap up the end of the year. Mostly crafted from Pinot Noir grapes, this is where this wine gets its pretty pink hue. Great bridal showers or for the sparking wine that is perfect for toasting the bride and groom, this wine is just fabulous.
  • SOCIALLY CONSCIENTIOUS ~ 2009 Iron Horse Vineyards Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs
    • When I first tasted it, I said to Jose, “This one is as smooth as a calm sea, after a violent storm…” The storm being the yeast eating the sugar and turning it into bubbles, which cannot escape from the bottle. Since it’s been in the process of aging for the last five years, the bubbles are very tiny, and the wine is incredibly delicious.   
    • This sparkling wine is for the socially consciously among us. It’s a special, limited edition, which commemorates National Geographic’s 125 Anniversary. Iron Horse donates $4.00 from every bottle to the National Geo’s Ocean Initiative.
    • A beautiful wine that makes you feel considerate and involved while enjoying it.
  • DRY AND CRISP THANKSGIVING~ 2009 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut  (Brut being the dry incarnation of these grapes)
    • This one is made from both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and it showcases the best of the 2009 vintage. I love the creaminess and rich flavors.
    • Every single one of these wines is from Green Valley of the Russian River Valley. This is one of the coolest regions of Russian River Valley. Very few acres are devoted to Pinot Noir in the grand scheme of things. This wine is a rare as it is precious.
  • FOR THE EXTREMIST (WRITING)~ 2009 Iron Horse Brut X
    • Very dry, very bright, very expressive… See yourself in here anywhere? Dry humor perhaps, great intellect? Perhaps you like to write stories with great flair, like Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde… According to John F. Evans, Ed.D, Expressive Writing is the cornerstone of wellness and writing connections.
    • Enjoy this wine while penning something that will become a favorite.
  • HISTORIC ROOTS (RUSSIAN) ~ 2009 Russian Cuvée
    • This wine is made in the commemorative style of the one that was enjoyed during the Reagan – Gorbachev summit meetings, intended to the end the Cold War. We, who live and/or work in Russian River Valley, know that we have even deeper Russian Roots than the Cold War. I’m betting that this might have been a back story for Gorbachev. I would have pulled the card out of my hat, had I been in those meetings. There’s nothing like a common bond to bring people together.
    • I have a new appreciation for the entire “Russian” part of Russian River Valley. It was a Russian who first planted grape vines in Russian River Valley. The history of the Russians coming into Sonoma County is one attached to the fur trade, but they also brought agronomist Yegor Chernykh as its first wine grape grower and winemaker, all in the heart of Green Valley of Russian River Valley. I personally love that this history isn’t like the rest of California stories of settlement. It wasn’t about the Gold Rush, it was something else that drew the Russians. Today, we call it the “Bounty of the County.” This wine celebrates our bounty in a delicious way. Hand harvested in the chilly fog of early morning, this wine is the best of the best.
  • VIVID AND BOLD (CHRISTMAS and/or HANUKKAH) ~ 2007 Brut Rosé
    • I’m betting that this one would make a great Hanukkah wine.
    • Lively and full bodied from ripe, red Pinot Noir fruit, this one is as dry as it is gorgeous. The creamy texture comes from this wine being aged four plus years en triage.
    • En triage is the blend of a base wine, a yeast nutrient, and a source of sugar. The latter two are added to the base, and then the mixture is fermented a second time. This is done in a sealed container, which traps in the resulting carbon dioxide. This process produced the effervescence, tiny bubbles.
    • I always adore this one for its bright color and exception dry quality.
  • RICHLY ELEGANT (NEW YEARS) ~ 2004 Brut LD 1.5 Liter
    • Last, but definitely not least, this is the one for New Year’s Eve.
    • It’s highly likely that you’ll be celebrating with your close family and friends. This wine is a befitting choice for those whom you love the most, most especially since a larger bottle of wine, and you’d be closing out a 10 year cycle – From 2004 to 2014… Celebrate say goodbye to that decade, versus just the past year. For some of us, this could be quite the celebration!

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