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Notre Vue

Reviews & Accolades

 “Some of the most stylish wines in the county” -Dan Berger

 “For the entire team, preservation is key. The viticulturalists work with a variety of soils on the property, from low fertility ancient riverbed soils to intense volcanic soils at higher elevations – which spans both the Russian River and Chalk Hill AVAs.” -Wine Business Monthly, Aug. 16, 2013 

 


Life between the vines Podcast / Video with Winemaker Alex Holman 

Listen (or watch) to Winemaker Alex Holman discuss wine, cleanup after the fire, and terms like "Native Fermentation.” Click to hear podcast | Click to watch video

Banjo-playing viticulturist tunes up for the next crush 

By day, the Petaluma native frets over the welfare of wine grapes. He was recently named the viticulturist for Notre Vue Estate and Balverne Wines, based in Windsor. At night, however, the fretting is all done on the neck of his banjo as he lays down the chords for the King Street Giants, a traditional, New Orleans-style jazz band.

As the “grape doctor” for 250 acres of vines in the Chalk Hill and Russian River appellations, Charles loves his work. [Read More]

Winemaker Alex Holman has kept himself moving

No matter what questions you have about making liquid sunshine, Alex Holman has the answers. After studying chemistry and winemaking at Fresno State and spending five years in the Army, the San Francisco native has created wine in all of Sonoma County’s 17 appellations.

“I’ve pretty much done it all,” Holman says. [Read More]
 

Why Your Next Bottle of Sparkling Wine Should Be From Sonoma

Some wineries have yet to launch their particular projects: …Alex Holman, winemaker at Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards, hopes to have his sparkling wine in the market in the next couple years. Right now he’s trying to decide what sort of wine it should be—a traditional blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay or something more outré, like a Malbec rosé?) [Link]

 


 Balverne 2017 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley).

  • 92 Points 

This is classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Translucently clear in color, it has the silky tannins that mark the variety, making it light enough to enjoy with chicken and salmon. But there’s nothing light about the flavors. They’re ripe and robust, featuring Dr. Pepper cola, cherries and strawberries, along with exotic spices and an earthiness that reflects the local cool-climate terroir. The finish is perfectly dry despite the richness of the fruit and oak. It’s hard to balance delicacy with robust flavors, yet this thoughtful Pinot Noir manages to straddle that line. Drink now-2022.  -Steve Heimoff, retired Wine Enthusiast editor

Balverne 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Chalk Hill).

  •  92 Points 

Compared to a Napa Valley Cabernet, which for me is the inevitable comparison, this is drier, less rich, more herbaceous and better structured. That’s not a put down; it’s a compliment. There’s room for both styles. You’ll find plenty of ripe, luscious blackberries and currants, with oak influence, but also a lovely earthiness that reminds me of clove tea and anise. I hate the term “food wine,” but this is a Cab sommeliers would happily recommend in their restaurants. It’s not low in alcohol, but it’s not dense or heavy or decadent, although it is full-bodied enough to drink with beef or pork. I would decant this elegant Cab for a few hours before pouring. -Steve Heimoff, retired Wine Enthusiast editor

Balverne 2017 Forever Wild Chardonnay (Russian River Valley).

  •  89 Points 

The wine shows a balance of fruit and oak. The fruit is foremost: green apple, pear, honeydew and tangerine, with oak adding the usual notes of smoky toast and honey. Refreshing acidity provides mouthwatering cleanness. The malolactic fermentation gives a rounded, buttery creaminess. The result is a classic Russian River Valley Chard that will appeal to fans of the variety. -Steve Heimoff, retired Wine Enthusiast editor

Balverne 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (Chalk Hill)

  •  89 Points 

Chalk Hill, a lesser-known growing region in Sonoma County, is more easterly (further from the ocean influence) and warmer than the central Russian River Valley, which makes it good for the two Sauvignons, Cabernet and Blanc. This bottling is lush in tropical and citrus fruits, yet it has an appealing grassiness, reminiscent of the gooseberries of New Zealand, that makes it particularly savory. With no oak at all, the wine is completely dry and crisp in acidity, with fresh, clean flavors. -Steve Heimoff, retired Wine Enthusiast editor

 


Sauvignon Blanc

2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley

  • 'Best of Class'  94 Points - 2018 Los Angeles International Wine Competition
  • Double Gold - 2018 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
  • Gold Medal - 2018 OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition 
  • Gold Medal - 2018 WSWA Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal - 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley

  • 'Best of Class' Double Gold Medal – 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Best of Class (White)' Double Gold Medal  – 2017 CA State Fair
  • Silver Medal – 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition

 


Chardonnay

2017 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 

  • Silver Medal - 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal - 2018 Sonoma County Harvest Fair

2016 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 

  • Gold Medal – 2018 WSWA Wine Competition

2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

  • Gold Medal – 2017 Gold North Coast Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal – 2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
  • Silver Medal - 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 

  • Gold Medal – 2017 CA State Fair

 


Pinot Noir

2015 Reserve Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

  • 90 points Robert Parker
  • Silver Medal – 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

  • 92 points James Suckling
  • 'Best of Class' 92 Points – 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Awards 
  • Silver Medal - 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

  • Gold Medal  –  2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal   -  2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
  • Silver Medal – 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal – 2017 CA State Fair

 


Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill 

  • Double Gold Medal -  2018 WSWA Wine Comp 
  • Double Gold Medal  – 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal  – 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal – 2017 CA State Fair
     

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