If you’re driving to Sonoma, Cline is always worth a stop, not just because it’s one of the first wineries you encounter as you drive into the area. We got our hands on four affordable, summer-friendly whites (one’s a rose). Thoughts follow.
2012 Cline Cool Climate Pinot Gris Sonoma Coast – Crisp and refreshing, with lots of fruit. Very slightly pink, something you see in a few Pinot Gris wines, particularly those produced in Alsace. Lovely pear notes here, plus a little peach, with a bit of a creamy, nougaty back end. Think marshmallows. Very nice. A / $13
2011 Cline Marsanne Roussanne Sonoma Coast – This Rhone blend is classically structured with both peach and apricot notes, backed with an aromatic perfume character. The backbone hints at tree bark and rhubarb. Nice complexity and a fresh, easy complexion. A- / $22
2012 Cline Viognier North Coast – Muddy. Some mild peach notes but complicated by something akin to twigs and a touch of watermelon Jolly Ranchers. The finish is almost cloying and unbalanced, though it has a modest acidity to it. B- / $18
2012 Cline Mourvedre Rose Contra Costa County – Pretty floral and light berry notes on this textbook rose. Candied rose petals meet strawberry jam in a fragrant and lightly acidic body. Refreshing, if uncomplicated. B+ / $14