T.G.I.F. Champagne and the like…2004 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut

This week’s sparkler is from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma.  Iron Horse Vineyards is one of four Sonoma sparkling wine houses (the others being J, Korbel and Gloria Ferrer) in Sonoma County. They are a family owned winery founded by Audrey and Barry Sterling.  Iron Horse produces a variety of vintage sparkling wines along with still wines (Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay).  The winery produced their first estate Chardonnay in 1978, officially opened in 1979, and produced their first sparkling wine in 1980.  All Iron Horse sparklers are estate bottled and vintage except for Joy!, their cuvée de prestige that is aged 10-15 years on lees, and available only in magnums.

2004 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut (click to enlarge)

2004 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 

Region: California>Sonoma>Green Valley

Variety – 68% Pinot Noir 32% Chardonnay

Residual Sugar – 1.1 g/100ml

$33 – Retail (but may be found for $25, or less), 13.5% a.b.v.

Production method: Méthode traditionnelle;  Aged an average of 4 years on lees

My tasting notes follow:

Appearance: Light straw yellow color with a constellation of pinprick bubble

Aromas: Sweet bread, hazelnut, and red fruit aromas

Body: On the palate a creamy mousse and medium-bodied with nervy acidity, and fruity yet dry

Taste: Pear, fuji apple, baking spice, citrus and a touch of vanilla flavors.

Finish: Medium

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate refreshing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This was delightful as an aperitif and with would be delightful with food because it’s medium bodied.   Pair with crab cakes, grilled cheese sandwich, fried chicken, or a tuna casserole.

This is an outstanding sparkler, and compares favorably with entry level Champagne. I highly recommend!  89 pts   (Click here to find this wine)