These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate



Cline logo



Cline was the guest of honor for the Twitter based #winechat on April 30th.  I was lucky to be sent the three bottles we will be discussing during the event.  I’ve been a fan of the wines made by Cline for a number of years.  Their wines are generally very reasonably priced and they have great distribution around the country.



Oakley Vineyard


The Winery

In the latter part of the 1800s, Oakley, Contra Costa County was a booming farming community with thousands of acres of orchards and healthy vineyards.  Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi of pump and spa fame, called this place home.  On summer visits to his grandparents, Fred learned both the love of agricultural life and the mysteries of vinifying grapes into wine.  These lessons led Fred to obtain a degree in Agriculture Management from U.C. Davis.  In 1982, with an inheritance from his grandfather, Fred founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California.  Here, he preserved and restored many ancient vine sites to their rightful reign as premier California wine lands.


In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities.  While much of the cool Carneros region is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, Fred pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.


Much more information on the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.






About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat session deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.



What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.



How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!


Grab a glass and join in!


The #winechat schedule is available on their Facebook page by clicking here.


#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.




My line up for this event looked like this:

Cline line up

Cline line up




2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne – SRP $22

This wine is a blend of 66% Marsanne and 34% Roussanne.  The Marsanne comes from Cline’s estate vineyard in Sonoma Carneros, the Roussanne comes from their Sonoma Coast vineyard.


The grapes were hand-picked and destemmed.  After pressing in a tank press the juice is pumped into a settling tank and chilled at 55 degrees.  The next day the juice is racked to another tank and fermented.  This wine does not receive any oak aging to preserve the fresh and lively fruit character.


This wine is not distributed.  It is only available at the winery or via their website.


The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw color.  The fresh smelling nose has ripe apples, peaches, orange zest, minerals, honey, lime zest and white flowers.  The wine has a medium body with decent acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  Rich and ripe fruit quickly coats the palate with a jolt of citrus, spice and minerals grabbing hold on the mid-palate.  The finish has good length with spice, minerals and citrus closing the show.  (88 pts)

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne




2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé – SRP $14

This wine is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes from the winery’s Oakley vineyard in Contra Costa County.  The vines in this vineyard are over a century old.


This wine is made as a Blanc de Noir or “white of a red grape” in style.  Just after fermentation begins, the wine is pressed to remove the skins.  A small amount of color, flavor and astringent tannins are retained in the juice.  The juice is fermented slowly at a cold temperature to preserve the bright fruit flavors.  Fermentation is halted just before the wine is fully dry to add a touch of sweetness.


The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and there is .81% residual sugar.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a vivid pink to red color.  The lively nose has cherries, plums, underbrush, minerals and a touch of spice.  This has a medium body with good acidity and a bit of lingering sweetness.  On the palate sweet fruit and minerals pop out first with some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and earthiness closing the show.  This leaves a pleasant, lingering sweetness.  (87 pts)

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé




2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate – SRP $18

This 100% Pinot Noir uses grapes from the estate’s vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation.  This region is often covered by coastal fog which helps mitigate daytime heat during the growing season.


For this wine, the grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and pumped directly into stainless steel fermentation tanks.  The wine is pumped over the cap of grape solids three times a day to help extract additional flavor and color.  After fermentation completes, the wine is pressed off the solids and moved into settling tanks.  After settling, the wine is racked into 35% new French oak barrels for 9 months of aging.


The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, eucalyptus, vanilla bean, baking spices, earthy underbrush and a nice floral note.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the bright red fruit and spice lead off with eucalyptus and an earthy note coming in later.  The finish has good length with a floral note closing the show.  This is a very good value for under $20.  (90 pts)

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate




Closing comments

Cline always offers wines that are tasty and value priced.  Any time you grab a bottle with Cline on the label you are guaranteed to not be disappointed.




Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.