Pale gold color; orange blossom, honeysuckle on the nose; orange, tangerine, peach, apple, melon on the palate.
Dry; good acidity (3.43 pH); no oak; 100% pinot gris grapes; crisp, fresh, clean, refreshing. Light body, light fruit flavors. There is little depth or complexity and the fruits play light on the palate, but it excels as a smooth, fun, very easy drinking, pleasant pour that happily can be quaffed poolside from plastic cups or enjoyed with fish, lighter fare at a summer or Indian summer table.
Fred Cline marches to different drummer. While some of his generation frolicked in the 60s, Fred learned the ways of soil and farming from Valeriano Jacuzzi—Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather and one of seven Jacuzzi brothers who pioneered in American aviation and water pumps. When you turn on a Jacuzzi in your hot tub you are enjoying his family’s work. Eschewing aircraft and whirlpool devices, Fred and his wife, Nancy, decided to go into the wine business in the 1980s.
Cline’s first mission was restoring old vines to grow Rhone-style wine vines. Later came attention to ancient—some more than a century old—zinfandel. It has worked, and Cline is a leader in responsible land management, sustainable farming, and historic preservation. The Clines own and have restored the Dillon Beach Resort, the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, NV, and the Villa Laura in Tuscany, Italy. The California Missions Museum on the Cline Cellars grounds houses scale models of all 21 California Spanish Missions crafted in the 1930s for the San Francisco World’s Fair.
The Clines also operate Green String Farm, a 150-acre working farm that produces a variety of fruits and vegetables grown on soil that is tended and nurtured without toxic chemicals. Produce from Green String is used by such culinary luminaries as Alice Waters of Chez Pannise.
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards specializes in Italian varietals; it is located across the street from Cline Cellars and is modeled on the Jacuzzi family home in northern Italy. The Olive Press is one of the most recognized artisan olive oil and balsamic makers in the U.S. Tonopah Brewing Company is the only brewery in central Nevada serving American ales, IPAs, pilsners, hefeweizen, and Irish red ale, all brewed in-house.
One of the Cline’s seven children, Emma Cline, is the author of a best-selling summer novel, The Girls. You could do a lot worse than reading the book and sipping wine her parents make while relaxing on the beach or in a summer hammock or sun room sofa. If you Google her name and book title, you can find a large amount of very entertaining video interviews with the next generation of Cline achievers.
Cline Cellars Pinot Gris Sonoma Coast Estate Grown 2016 does not present big fruit, rather it delivers a light, clean, refreshing easy drinker that plays well in the mouth and has enough acidity to pair well with food. Pair with grilled fish, seafood, lobster, quiche, lettuce salad. Also would work as an aperitif or with summer picnic fare. $12-15