Iron Horse Vineyards 2013 Classic Vintage Brut – Review

This is “POP or FLOP”, where we taste test sparkling wines so you don’t have to! (Tough job, we know! 😉) This week we're sippin' on the 2013 Classic Vintage Brut from Iron Horse Vineyards down in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County in California! We visited Iron Horse a few years back and had an incredible time. So let's see if their bubbles are as amazing as we remember shall we? 😉


Iron Horse Vineyards is a small, independent, estate and family owned winery located in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County in California. Premium sparkling wine is best crafted in cooler regions so that the grapes are able to retain high level of acidity, and the Green Valley just so happens to be among the coolest and foggiest in California. It's also predominantly made up of Goldridge soil (sandy loam with excellent drainage), the most sought-after soil type in Sonoma County. These natural factors, combined with Iron Horse's vision, passion and dedication, result in some of the best and most sought after sparkling wines in the country. So special in fact that they have been served at The White House on numerous occasions!

Iron Horse's wines are all about "place". The estated is divided into 39 blocks, all of which are farmed individually and vinified as "single vineyard". They grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir exclusively, and produce 12 different sparkling cuvées, ranging from a delicate Blanc de Blancs to a bold Brut Rosé. Each wine is specific to its vineyard and vintage. The Classic Vintage Brut is a traditional method blend of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, aged 4 years on its lees... and we can't wait to pop it! So enough chit chat, let's taste shall we? As you can see, even Milo is intrigued! 😆

Appearance  👀

  • Deep golden colour, with a delightfully playful effervescence and creamy mousse. Elegant and lively, even before tasting we could already tell that this one was going to be worth the wait! 😍

Aroma 👃

  • On the nose we were drawn in by rich and vibrant aromas of marzipan, biscuit and honey, complimented by lifted aromas of yellow apple, ripe pear, lemon curd and mandarin orange.

Flavour 👅

  • The palate was rich and complex, yet elegant and focused. Bursting with flavours of flakey almond pastry, ripe apple, honeydew melon, candied orange, hazlenut and a distinctive lemon gelato creaminess. Medium+ bodied, high acidity, with a lingering crisp citrus finish.

Food Pairing 🍽

  • This wine had us California Dreamin' of all kinds of delicious food pairings! 😍 From truffle frittes, to a California inspired flat bread topped with grilled chicken and avocado, to oysters, to fried chicken, to... our favourite pairing: a second glass! 😉

The Verdict? 💁

  • It’s… a POP! This wine took us straight back to sunny (er, well, in Green Valley's case – foggy 😆) California! 😍 Not only did it impress us... it blew us away! It's everything a sparkling wine should be. Rich and complex, yet still elegant and focused. Crisp and fresh, yet wonderfully autolytic and intriguing. It's a wine for all occasions, whether it be celebrating something special or celebrating the every day. Now when can we plan our next visit to Iron Horse and have another glass on their epic outdoor tasting bar overlooking the vineyards? 🤔😍

Iron Horse Vineyards Classic Vintage Brut


About the Author



Jeff is WSET Level 3 Certified, and has a fascination with fizz so fierce that he even wrote a song about it! (Search "OMG Classic - Champagne" on iTunes *wink*!)