Vineyard: Saralee's

OwnerJackson Family Wines
AppellationRussian River Valley
StoryEstablished by Richard and Saralee Knude in the middle of the Russian River Valley. The vineyard was sold to Jackson Family Wines in November 2012. The Knudes kept about 80 acres of vineyards and plan to continue to sell grapes to 15 wineries, including Jackson Family Wines. The 260-acre site off Slusser Road includes Richard's Grove and Saralee's Vineyard. Grapes had been sold to 45 wineries. Many fundraisers and charity auctions have been held at the site. Richard and Saralee Knude are not affiliated with Kunde Estate Winery, which is operated by Richard Knude's niece and nephews.
Dates Planted1988
SoilsMultiple including various types of sandy and gravelly loam.
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir, Rousanne, Viognier

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2015 Siduri Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 195 cases, $55, screwcap. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Oak-infused berry aromas lead to a full-on attack of purple and black berry fruit flavors framed by noticeable, but well-toned tannins. A Cab lovers Pinot, with a lush mouthfeel and an unctuous fruit finish. Score: 89. Reviewed May 7, 2017 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Davis Family Vineyards Cuvée Luke Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley White Rhone Blend

13.4% alc., $30. 48% Rousanne, 35% Marsanne, 17% Viognier. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of yellow Babcock peach and various tropical fruits. Highly enjoyable, with bright flavors of peach, quince, mango and slight nutty oak. Viognier definitely has put a stamp on this wine through notes of spice and jasmine. Slightly viscous on the palate with impeccable balance and breeding. Score: 92. Reviewed October 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 DRNK Cavers Cuvée Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.78, TA 0.67, 196 cases, $32. From DRNK Wines in Sebastopol. Sourced from Saralee’s, Hallberg Ranch, and Sweetwater Ranch vineyards. Winemaker is Ryan R. Knude. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is shy upon opening and better the following day from a previously opened bottle. Aromas of dark red cherry, brewed tea and gingerbread. A pleasant, easy drinking wine with a mid weight core of slightly sweet cherries with notes of spice, cola and oak. Respectable balance with mild tannins and some finishing power. Score: 88. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $37. Last vintage due to sale of the vineyard. Aged in 38% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Intense aromas of black cherry pie glaze, baking spices and sandalwood. The nose continued to pump out aromas over an hour sampling period. Juicy and crisp on the palate with bright Bing cherry flavor augmented with riffs of spice and cola. Comforting finesse and persistence without weight. A gorgeous wine that displays all the best features of Russian River Valley fruit without the overbearing fruit concentration that detracts from many bottlings from this area. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 96 cases, $35. Clones 115 and Pommard 4. Aged in 25% new French oak. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir offering aromas and flavors of fresh Bing cherries, baking spices, clove and a hint of cola and vanilla. Relatively light in weight, appealingly elegant with mild tannins, offering a silky mouth feel, and showing off some length on the finish. I really like this for its restraint and approachability. I would never guess this wine has moderately high alcohol. Very good (+). Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 45 cases, $42. Clone 115. Aged in 50% new oak. Decanted. · Light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Similar to the regular bottling but displaying more body and tannin and showing more potential for mid-term aging. Aromas and flavors of dark Bing cherries, baking spices and dark red rose petals with a hint of oak. Very polished and seamless, taking on more character and interest over time in the glass, but still holding back enough to suggest that the wine has a ways to go before it fully reveals itself. My only nit would be a subtle sense of heat on the finish, but I like this wine a lot. Reviewed January 19, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Coterie Cellars Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 174 cases, $38. Clones 113 (50%) and 23 (50%). Aged 11 months sur lie in 48% new French oak with minimal racking. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially the nose is quite appealing with bright aromas of black cherry and plum, spice and mesquite, revealing some stem and pungency over time. Medium bodied flavors of darker berries and plum with a thread of green oak, earth and flowers. The wine was more appealing on the nose and in the mouth the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, yet still had a noticeable presence of smoky oak in the background. It would be interesting to revisit this wine in a year or two. Good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Tessier Saralee’s Vineyard Clone 115 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.57, 21 cases, $40, sold out. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of darker red cherries and raspberries with a subtle hint of rose petal. Appealing array of flavorful cherry, red currant, marionberry and strawberry fruit with a sidecar of herbal oak. Firmly structured with a pillowy soft texture, finishing with a tangy red berry flourish. A step up from the Russian River Valley bottling and very approachable at this early stage. Very good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas George Estates Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Blanc

14.0% alc., pH 3.20, 190 cases, $27. Whole cluster pressed to tank, fermented and aged in stainless steel with no malolactic conversion. · Straw color in the glass. Attractive aromas of white peaches, exotic flowers and green apples. Pleasingly dry and crisp with flavors of peaches, pears, honey and roasted nuts. A pleasant change from Chardonnay. Serve slightly chilled as a refreshing aperitif. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., <850 cases. · When you stick your nose in this one, you get a sensual jolt of spiced cherry and cola. The lightly weighted cherry fruit is surrounded by ripe tannins. The most high-strung and tannic wine in the lineup but quite charming. Reviewed January 1, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 J. Lynne Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 973 cases, $25. · Vivid perfume of cherries, strawberries and Asian spices. Refined and compelling flavors of fresh picked cherries, raspberries and strawberries with a hint of cola. Moderately light in weight with suave tannins, lively acidity and admirable elegance. A welcoming wine that is easy to drink and notable for its pinotosity. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., <525 cases, $42. Lost Canyon has accessed fruit from Saralee’s Vineyard since 2002 (actually three of Saralee’s vineyards including Richard’s Grove and Saralee Vineyard Block, Trenton Station Vineyard, and Catie’s Corner Vineyard). Clones are 115 and 777. · Lightest in color in the lineup. A charmer with nice scents of cherry pie, cream soda and smoke. Red cherry leads the red fruit parade complimented by cocoa and coconut notes. Elegant in style and marvelous in taste. Reviewed April 7, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $40. Dijon clones 115 and 777. · A rich, full wine that is still light on its feet. A demure, but complex nose of cassis, raspberries, cola and bittersweet chocolate. The varietal flavors are well-presented and the tannins are well-concealed. A metrosexual wine - masculine with a feminine side. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Joseph Swan Vineyards Cuvee da Trois Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $23. · This Pinot is a real charmer with terrific aromatics of raspberry, tea, and spices. It is a wine of finesse and is light on its feet. No alcohol or tannin onslaught here. You just won’t find a better Pinot Noir for this price anywhere. Reviewed April 30, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2003 Joseph Swan Vineyards Cuvée de Trois Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $23. This is the most popular wine in the winery’s lineup and sells out quickly after release each year. The first year of production was only 100 cases, but this has gradually been ramped up to 1,100 cases. It is a blend of lots including grapes from the young vines of the estate Trenton Vineyard and other vineyards including Saralee’s Vineyard. It is meant to be an easy drinking Pinot from the time of release and is not as complex as the vineyard designates. · What a nice surprise! Very lovely berry, raspberry tea and spice aromas and flavors. The aromatics are flat-out terrific. Not at all overblown, no alcohol or tannins to spoil the party. Very good acid kick at the end. If you like Pinot Noir, this is your cup of tea. Reviewed February 26, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »