Producer Profile – Cline Family Cellars
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Producer Profile – Cline Family Cellars

For those of you looking for some amazing wine to try, let me eagerly guide you towards Cline Family Cellars – a Californian winery run by husband and wife duo Nancy Bunting and Fred Cline.  Having met while studying at UC Davis, the dynamic couple first decided to make wine using Rhône varietals such as Mourvedre, Carignan,  Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier.  They also make beautiful examples of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot.

With minimal intervention, they nourish their plots with a deep respect for the vines and the environment in which it grows.  This includes using sheep to help get rid of weeds, the use of solar panels for electricity, cover crops to help stimulate the life of the soil, and they annually compost and renew all of the digestive and organic waste material from their winery.  Simple examples, yet they have a huge impact on the quality and purity of their wines.  Their sustainable and holistic approach is clearly reflected in their wines that I have come to thoroughly enjoy.

Photo: Cline Family Cellars

Whether you are an ‘ethical’ drinker or not, the bottom line in all of this is that the wines coming from Cline Cellars are incredibly delicious. In general, they have rich and ripe concentrated fruit that is tamed by an incredible stream of acidity, with a finish that goes on for days.  They are also affordable and incredibly easy to drink.  No need to get all cerebral about it;  they are delicious and very well made. Structure. Balance. Enjoyment. Simple as that.

Here are my top 3 recommendations from Cline Cellars:

Cline Viognier 2016

SAQ: 11089792  $16.65

Notes of candied lemon, and peach with wisps of honey and saline notes dominate on the palate. Mid-way through the round and plump mouthfeel, it shows floral notes and lemongrass with a lip smacking acidity that balances the wine. The long and bright finish displays with intense fruit and attractive saltiness. Delicious. Amazing quality for only $16.65. This wine will pair extremely well with Thai Shrimp Curry or for my Coaster friends: boiled salt beef dinner! Continuous product at the SAQ, in limited quantity. Stock up.  Drink now or in the next 3-4 years.

Cline Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2016
This 2016 Estate Pinot Noir has inviting red fruit like strawberries and cherries, and nuances of cedar with soft tannins and a fresh acidity. The fruit is concentrated, having a subtle influence of oak followed by earthy notes on the refined, layered finish. Drink now or in the next 4-5 years.  Pair this wine with braised beef and roasted vegetables.
Cline Zinfandel 2016

SAQ: 00706677  $16.65

This round robust wine has loads of cooked blackberry fruit with dark ripe cherries, blueberries and plum.  Warm spice and vanilla are also evident here with a refreshing acidity . This full bodied wine has medium grained, supple tannins and a nice plush, finish. Big flavour. Big Wine. Drink now or in the next 2-3 years.  This would pair well with BBQ ribs, or juicy beef burger topped with blue cheese.

Photo: Cline Family Cellars