Raeburn can be found in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, where it’s turning out unique, interesting, and affordable wines. Let’s look at a pair from the new 2021 vintage and a 2020 chardonnay.
2021 Raeburn Rose Russian River Valley – Extremely pale in color, you could be easily forgiven for assuming this was a standard white wine based on color. You’ll know it’s a rose from the palate right away. Composed of an unusual blend of comprised of 61% pinot noir, 36% zinfandel, and 3% grenache, it offers strong notes of strawberry and a slightly tropical bent. The wine develops a nice, refreshing bite with some bitterness in the form of lime peel on the back end — plus a touch of saline. A- / $20
2021 Raeburn Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – A bright and beautiful pinot noir, lacking the intense earth and extracted fruit notes that Russian River pinot has lately come to exhibit. Raspberry and cherry dominate, with touches of mint in the mix. Lightly infused with chocolate and vanilla on the finish. Light in body on the whole, but never short of engaging — and an excellent value. A- / $20
2020 Raeburn Chardonnay Russian River Valley – Perhaps the most innocuous wine in the lineup, this is California chardonnay on mute, restrained notes of vanilla-scented oak and coconut informing a simple yet perfectly approachable core of baked apples and a bit of lemon. The aggressive attack endemic to this region’s chardonnay is lacking — but that’s no complaint in a category that’s typically way overblown. Still, I’d love to see a bolder flavor profile, as Raeburn’s delicacy makes for a wine that is often a little too subtle. B+/ $19 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]