Published on March 24th, 2017 | by Greg0
Adler Fels: Affordable California Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Two of the best American varietals, from one of the best American winemaking regions- today, we’re looking at a wine company that you might not know, but whose California roots run deep. As the snow slowly clears and we move into Spring, it’s time to start thinking about picnics and cheese trays- and the wine pairings to go with them, red or white.
Adler Fels has been making wines for thirty-five years, producing under a variety of labels. But we’ve gotten a chance to try their two most recent releases, straight from the winery, located not far from Sonoma and Napa. The name is German for “Eagle Rock”, and it’s actually part of a larger family, the Adams Wine Group, including Vinesse, Sonoma Estate Vintners, and Royal Oaks. And they’ve clearly put their experience to good use, with some excellent labels and wines that are aimed to grab attention.
We’ll start with the 2014 Pinot Noir, sourced from the prime regions of Santa Rita Hills (76%) and the Russian River Valley (24%). Winemaker Aaron Bader offered a cute quote, that “making good Pinot is both a physical and mental exercise”, and it comes through here- a little classic dark fruit, nice immediate nose with some earth and stone, and a little oak towards the finish. And with only 1500 cases produced, it’s not going to be easy to find for long. It’s priced right too, at $24.99 a bottle, and is a flexible, easy-to-like, approachable Pinot with some solid made-in-the-USA character.
The Adler Fels 2015 Chardonnay comes from an even split of grapes from Russian River Valley and Monterey County, and they produced even less, around 1000 cases total. We’re not fans of the buttery chardonnay style, so it was nice that this was a modern, crisp, slightly fruity take- a little cantaloupe or melon, some apricot, a bit of honey but isn’t sweet and just the right acidity. It pairs easily with fish, cheeses, and can be enjoyed by the glass. At $19.99 a bottle, it’s the sort of wine you can break open at a party and be confident that most everyone will enjoy it- and without worrying about the price tag.