Cline Winery was founded by Fred Cline in 1982 in Oakley, CA within Contra Costa County. Fred used an inheritance from his grandfather to rejuvenate many of the ancient vine locations, establishing them as premier Cline Vineyard sites. In 1991, Fred and wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate according to our Cline wine reviews. Though typically known for cooler climate grape varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the Clines decided to plant Rhone varietals in the Carneros region particularly Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. However it is still their one hundred year old plantings of Carignan, Mourvedre and Zinfandel in their Oakley vineyard that help produce their highest rated wines according to our Cline wine ratings. Since 2000, all Cline wines are produced in the “Green String” way, utilizing sustainable and natural farming practices. For more information check out our Cline Buying Guide to see which wines are right for you.
A blast of spice, mint, bramble and pepper explodes from the glass. The wine is dense, dark, deep and mysterious; the flavors pungent, penetrating and persistent. Tannic, layered with herbs and spices, powered with big, punchy fruit. This is classic Cline.
There’s a lovely sweetness to the fruit, which tastes like ripe, just-picked blackberries. Old vines, 100+ years, deliver sweet, supple, sexy fruit. The wine has very dry tannins, and it might profit from some blending, but with a vineyard this special you have to admire the single-vineyard approach.
From the Zinmaster Cline brothers comes a ripe, elegant beauty. Packed with raspberry, dark chocolate, tobacco, nutmeg, clove, and a kiss of vanilla-scented oak, it’s complex and lush. Very dry, very strong and very interesting.
Very rich chocolate, plum and allspice aromas, like a pudding. Classy. From low-yielding old vines, and it shows in the intensity and density. Deft winemaking keeps it from being ponderous. Really alive and fresh; try with braised lamb shank and wild mushrooms.
Great price for a Zin of this purity and varietal truth. Dry and medium-bodied, but sweet in fruit, it shows wonderful flavors of wild forest blackberries, with complications from black pepper, orange peel, anise and Asian spices. The texture is sheer velvet. Best now and through 2010.
The nose takes a little while to open, but when it does, you’ll be entranced by the fresh mint, nutmeg, cinnamon and chalk dust aromas that coat underlying black cherry and red berry notes. In the mouth, the blueberry and blackberry fruit is big, but not to worry—it’s two steps shy of tasting overextracted, and the fruity intensity lets up after a few minutes in…
Smells great, bursting with smoky oak, black cherry, dark chocolate, herb and truffle aromas that make your mouth water. The flavors are less flamboyant, though, wrapped in dusty, sticky tannins that coat the palate. Underneath is a deep core of cherry fruit.