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The 2014 Grand Cuvée – Best of the Best – 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge


Sonoma-Cutrer is well-known for Chardonnays, but our winemakers are always exploring artistic and innovative ways to showcase the unique terroir of our Russian River Valley. Recently, two of our varietals made big news in California’s wine world.


Both the 2014 Russian River Valley Grand Cuvée and the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir were awarded exceptional honors in the 2021 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge. 


The 2014 Russian River Valley Grand Cuvée was awarded Best of Show Sparkling, Best of Sonoma County AND the top prize at the competition – The Best of the Best. Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvée is the first sparkling wine in the history of The Press Democrat’s North Coast Wine Challenge to be awarded this top prize. 


The Grand Cuvée truly highlights the artistry and innovation of our winemakers, and the unique terroir of our vineyards. This wine was first introduced as a part of Sonoma-Cutrer Winemaker’s Release Program. Each year, Sonoma-Cutrer introduces a new limited production wine that focuses on a new offering with a unique story as part of the program. When the decision was made to introduce a sparkling focused on Sonoma-Cutrer’s two varietals – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,   our winemakers consulted with Sonoma County’s premier sparkling house, Korbel.  The Sonoma-Cutrer team then proceeded with making their own unique version of sparkling.


The Sonoma-Cutrer winemakers held back some cases of the original release so they could experiment with a Late Disgorge version. This wine was allowed to age on the lees for an additional year. It was disgorged in May 2019, after almost four and a half years en tirage at the winery. The wine was then bottle aged an additional three months prior to release. 


This Our 2014 sparkling wine is delicate; fine beads rise up through your glass as the wine is poured. Fragrant aromas of red apple and pear are complemented with hints of hazelnut, brioche bread, mineral, and Meyer lemon notes. On the palate, apple fruit, nut, and light strawberry flavors are balanced with Sonoma-Cutrer’s signature acidity. The additional lees aging has added a beautiful layer of richness and complexity to the overall palate structure. The wine is only available for sale in the winery tasting room or at


Sonoma-Cutrer was also awarded Best of Show Red Wine, out of over 600 wines in the category, for the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.


Sonoma-Cutrer has been making Russian River Valley Pinot Noir since 2004, yet it is still considered to be the winery’s “best kept secret.”  All four of our Pinot Noir  wines are produced in our separate Pinot Barn winery on the property in a very delicate and labor intensive winemaking process.


The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a true classic Russian River Pinot Noir, the wine expresses aromas and flavors of lush red and black berry fruit. As you swirl the wine in your glass, you will open up scents of vanilla, baking spice, licorice, dark chocolate and black tea with just a hint of earth. On the palate, you will find the wine to be elegantly structured with fine grain tannins that add to its intensity. Sumptuous black cherry flavors mingle with the balanced acidity to make this a deliciously enjoyable Pinot Noir. 


“The cool thing in this year’s competition is that no one has taken two sweepstakes awards before. I couldn’t swipe the smile off my face. It’s so wonderful to win locally and there’s nothing better than winning in your own backyard.” 

Mick Schroeter, Winemaking Director




“I absolutely love this (Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvee) Sparkling wine and now I know many people agree!  What an honor to receive such praise from our respected peers, especially with our first sparkling wine. Let the bubbles flow. 

At Sonoma-Cutrer we say, ‘do one thing and do it very well.’ We first only made Chardonnay until we felt we mastered the style, then after 20 years we started making a Pinot Noir and now we have stepped out to make a little Sparkling wine. What wonderful news from our peers that our Pinot Noir and Sparkling are loved as much as our Chardonnays.”

Cara Morrison, Chardonnay Winemaker

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