Russian Cuvee commemorates the style of Sparkling that Iron Horse made for the historic
Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings, which ended the Cold War. It is the sweetest of their cuvees - right on
the edge of Brut level dry and hits a perfect balance point. The higher dosage doesn't come across as sweet,
per se, but makes the wine richer and more floral.
Russian Cuvee was originally designed as a toasting wine. It is exceptional with foie gras (for
the same reason Sauterne goes with foie gras) as well as the sweet and sour tastes of many Asian
dishes. It is surprising with vine-ripened tomatoes and when October rolls around, a fabulous cocktail is
Russian Cuvee with a handful of pomegranate seeds bobbing in the glass. For dessert, almond cake with
strawberries and whipped cream, or anything to do with ginger.
Iron Horse Winery
A pioneer in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River area of Sonoma County, the Iron Horse family is building a legacy of prestige sparkling wines and elegant estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir within a "holistic" environment of natural balance, cultivation and love of the land.
Iron Horse is best known for its Sparkling Wines, which have been served at the White House since 1985, beginning with the historic U.S.-Russian Summit Meetings ending the Cold War, at the White House Millennium celebrations ushering in the new century, and at the White House dinner honoring the Pope.
Their Chardonnay is considered a signature wine for the cool, foggy Green Valley region. Pinot Noir is the winery's rising star wine.
Iron Horse has been named an American icon in a reference book published by Random House called "Icons of the American Market Place". Listed in alphabetical order, Iron Horse takes its place between iPod and Jack Daniel’s, validating Iron Horse’s reputation as a brand backed by pride, passion and quality.
The Iron Horse name came from a train that cut across the property in the 1890s. The logo, the rampant horse on a weather vane, came from a 19th century weathervane found while clearing away the rubble to build the winery.
View all Iron Horse Wines
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
The proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
The appearance of this wine is very light, almost clear. Little depth in the color (1 of 2). The bouquet is light and has just the faintest flowery hint to it (2 of 4). This wine does have a very nice presentation however. It is very easy to drink, and a light slightly sweet (This is no Brut!) body with little depth gives the drinker nothing at which to take offense (5 of 10). Overall, this sparkling wine will have broad appeal as per the winemakers design, but it will not excite any experienced wine fans. (2 of 4). I'll keep a half case of this on hand for events to which I need to bring a mass-appeal sparkling wine. TOTAL: 10 of 20
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.