Iron Horse Vineyards

Classic Vintage Brut 2017

Green Valley, Russian River Valley, California

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The flagship of the estate, this wine shows everything the family strives to accomplish. The quality and finesse strike memory bells that say “Champagne,” while the flavors are unmistakably Sonoma County, Russian River, Green Valley and most distinctly Iron Horse. Delightful and complex rising dough, orange marmalade and baked apple aromas lead to an exquisitely balanced palate with flavors of ripe red apple, mandarin orange and hazelnut.  The complexity of flavors and textures are perhaps only overshadowed by the sheer pleasure of enjoyment.


The Iron Horse estate is in the heart of Green Valley’s cool and foggy climate, 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The certified sustainable estate features 160 acres under vine, planted exclusively to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir across a patchwork of gentle, rolling hills. Each of the 39 blocks has been planted with site-specific rootstock and clonal selections, enabling Iron Horse to farm, harvest, and vinify each block separately. The predominant soil-type is called “Gold Ridge”, a sandy loam that has excellent drainage and is perfectly, inherently balanced, making it one of the most coveted soil types, especially for growing Pinot Noir.


Grapes are hand harvested in the chilly fog of early morning, and gently pressed as whole clusters yielding base wines of great delicacy. A long, cool ferment at 62° to 65° F retains vibrant fruit esters. Individual lots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a shy nose and a touch of fruit are blended to create a sparkling wine that shows rich, nutty and toasty aromas with a hint of fruit and wonderful complexity. The dosage for this wine is 6 mls of Brut LEX, 6 mls of 2018 Rued Chardonnay and 8 mls of 1984 Brut. The final blend is 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay.

Tasting Note

Delicate aromas of white flowers are followed by classic notes of rising dough and faint hints of orange marmalade and baked Gala apple. The palate is delicate yet crisp with Asian pear, mandarin orange, white licorice, and hazelnut.

Suggested Food Pairing

A perfect wine with poached eggs, smoked salmon and toast, salade Nicoise, hard cheeses, classic roast chicken, or a pear crisp with candied ginger.



Grape Varieties

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir


Green Valley, Russian River Valley, California





Suggested Retail Price



"Hazelnut accents"

Wine Spectator - December 3, 2021

"Refined and lushly layered, with expressive strawberry and apple flavors that take on yeast roll and hazelnut accents on the long, invigorating finish." TF 12/21

"Stunning sparkler"

Wine Enthusiast - January 20, 2022

"Made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, this stunning sparkler offers layers of stone fruit, hazelnut liqueur and marzipan. Mineral-driven and sharp in acidity, it stays fresh and focused in citrus and oyster shell flavors." - V.B 12/21

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Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Wedding Cuvée

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The irresistible Wedding Cuvée has witnessed countless special moments since its inception in 1980, served at engagements, weddings, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Iron Horse’s play on a Blanc de Noirs, this wine features extremely expressive and fruit forward Pinot Noir lots blended with just a touch of steely Chardonnay to add a firm acid backbone. A romantic tinge of pink in the glass hints at the character of the Pinot Noir in this cuvée, and raspberry and nutmeg aromas on the nose are followed by juicy stone fruit, lively blood orange, and red berry flavors that are held seamlessly together with refined and delicate bubbles. Dangerously easy to drink.

Russian Cuvée

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Russian Cuvée has multiple layers of meaning. Originally named for the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings in 1985, it also refers to the vineyard’s unique location in the Russian River Valley. The Russian Cuvée is the “richest” in the Iron Horse line up, though it is still technically brut-level dry. A perfect toasting wine, served at White House State Dinners for six consecutive Presidential Administrations, it boasts aromas of caramel apple, nutmeg and orange zest, flavors of ripe red apple, lime, brioche and brown sugar on the palate. It is equally comfortable at the end of the meal with dessert as at the start of the meal for a toast.

Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs

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Ocean Reserve is a special, limited edition, vintage Blanc de Blancs, created in partnership with National Geographic. Iron Horse dedicated its Blanc de Blancs to National Geographic’s Ocean Initiative as a nod to the Pacific Ocean, which is the engine behind the fog and cool, coastal influence in the Green Valley; $4 per bottle sold goes to establishing marine protected areas and supporting sustainable fishing practices around the globe. The Ocean Reserve’s racy lime and tangerine notes, saline acidity, and beautiful creamy finish, conjures images of the ocean itself and pairs flawlessly with all manner of seafood.


Green Valley, Russian River Valley, California

This pure Chardonnay is a natural beauty that showcases the extraordinary qualities of the Green Valley area. It has a crackling brightness, with stone and citrus fruits on the nose joined by an appealing minerality and spice that drive a long finish. The best of both worlds, this bottling combines the tension between concentrated fruit and the raciness of the best Chablis, with a kiss of California sunshine providing fruit and supple texture: it is impossible to put down.

Audrey Chardonnay

Green Valley, Russian River Valley, California

They say ingredient x in a wine is the people behind it – a saying that certainly holds true for this delicious first release of Audrey Chardonnay. It mirrors the beauty and grace of Iron Horse Co-Founder Audrey Sterling. Multi-faceted, brilliant, and memorable. This is a tribute wine, made with love and admiration.

Gold Ridge Pinot Noir

Green Valley, Russian River Valley, California

The Gold Ridge is three clones of Pinot Noir selected from four excellent sites on the estate to create this complex and elegant blend. The unifying factor is our highly prized Gold Ridge soil, among the most coveted, especially for Pinot Noir.