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Tessier Winery

Owner(s) Kristie Tacey, Jason Wilinski
Web site www.tessierwinery.com
 
Link to this site
Tessier Winery

Owner and winemaker Kristie Tacey specializes in Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Her initial career path was biotechnology and in 2000 worked on the Human Genome Project. While living in the San Francisco Bay area, she become intrigued by wine and winemaking. After working as an assistant winemaker at the former East Bay winery, Lost Canyon, and later as part of the winemaking team at JC Cellars, she launched her own label in 2009. She now has a Certificate in Winemaking from University of California at Davis. Her husband, Jason Wilinski, is her Brand Manager, support and mind behind.

The name, Tessier, is the original French version of Kristie's last name, Tacey. The Tessier label depicts a photograph through a microscope of yeasts budding (a clever depiction since yeasts are the work horses in winemaking). The winery’s tag line is catchy: “Science as Art.”

The Tessier wines are available through the winery's website store, and can be found at several San Francisco Bay retailers and restaurants. Tasting is by appointment. I was particularly impressed by the appealing textures of all three of the 2010 Pinot Noirs.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Tessier Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 60 cases, $37. Winemaker’s note: she also picked the grapes which led to several bee stings and a deeper appreciation for those who pick grapes on a regular basis! Pommard 4 and Dijon 115 clones. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Very appealing nose with bright aromas of black cherry sprinkled with herbs and flowers, pomegranate, and almond. Soft in the mouth with the tasty essence of fresh black cherries, accented with notes of pomegranate juice, raspberry and smoky oak. The tannins are firm but balanced, the wine is fresh and generous, and the graceful finish has impressive length. The typical bright Santa Cruz Mountains acidity contributes verve to the wine. Needs a little more time for the oak to integrate, but hard to turn down now. Score: 91. Reviewed January 20, 2014 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 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 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 ARTICLE »

2010 Tessier Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.58, 122 cases, $28. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherries, cherry syrup and sandalwood. Middleweight flavors of fresh cherries caressed by soft tannins complimented by subtle oak. A solid wine that is very open and approachable with an appealing Elvis on velvet mouth feel. Good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Tessier Las Brisas Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.67, 51 cases, $35. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose offers bright aromas of red plum and red berries with notes of pine needle and grass. Light on its feet and soft in the mouth, this wine has some character with primarily cherry flavor underpinned with a resin-pine riff which I assume is oak in origin. Firm, ripe tannins and bright acidity. Much better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more expressive fruit and resolution of the oak intrusion. Good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 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 ARTICLE »

2009 Tessier Trenton Station Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.50, 182 cases, $35. Clone 37 (Mt. Eden). Aged in 35% new French oak. Winemaker Kristie Tacey. · Some reduction upon opening, quickly resolving to reveal aromas of red fruits, fading over time becoming muted and nondescript. Red-fruit driven with flavors of cranberries, cherries and raspberries with some earth and savory herbs in the background. Bright acidity with a cherry-toned tangy finish. Light and elegant, offering more flavor interest over time in the glass. A Burgundian-styled Pinot that grows on you. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »