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Terre Rouge and Easton Wines

Terre Rouge and Easton Wines TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines is located in California on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. Our wines are made from vineyards in four Sierra Foothill counties: Placer, El Dorado, Amador, and Calaveras. We also source fruit from one vineyard site in the soon-to-be new Clements appellation. The style of our wines emphasizes deep color, balanced flavors, full middle palate, and a long finish, with power and finesse. They gain complexity with age. Our goal has been to make the finest wines possible from our region - wines that transcend time and place and can be placed on the table with the best wines of the world. They are meant to be enjoyed with good food and friends. Our winery and vineyards are at the biotic transition zone between the Foothill Oak Belt as characterized by the Sierra Foothill Woodland on the Terre Rouge label, and the Yellow Pine Belt as characterized by the Ponderosa Pine on the Easton label. We farm our vineyards sustainably and our winery derives most of its electrical power from solar panels located the roof of the main winery building. On the next few pages, we share our wines with you. We make over twenty different wines, many of which are very small production (under 600 cases). Each is unique and site-specific with a sense of place (terroir) all of their own. Visit us in California’s Shenandoah Valley or just visit us on line. If you get lost on the trail or just want to speak to a person, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

We are located in the Sierra Foothills, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, 45 Miles Southeast of Sacramento. Follow CA route 16 to Plymouth. Head east 3.5 miles on county route E-16 [ Shenandoah Road ] to Dickson Road. Turn left for one quarter mile until you see the winery on the right.

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10801 Dickson Road, Plymouth, CA, US, 95669 Email:
Phone: 209-245-4277 Web:
Fax: 209-245-5415
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  Easton Barbera, Shenandoah Valley
Our Barbera is turning a lot of heads and is the only Cal-Ital that we produce. It seems exceptional well suited to the soils and climate of the Shenandoah Valley. Our Barbera fruit is grown on a South-facing slope on the Cooper Ranch and the vineyard is about 25 years old. This is one of our most popular wines in the tasting room at the winery.
  Easton Cabernet Sauvignon, California
This is the first release of a popularly-priced California Cabernet Sauvignon. This 2000 has full blackberry -cassis fruit flavors and wonderful cedary spices with a nice touch of oak. It has beautiful balance and a sumptuous, juicy mouthfeel. This vintage is made from selected lots from our estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard that did not fit into our final 2000 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon bottling blend. We aged the wine for 20 months in French oak barrels and it is bottled unfiltered. We think you will enjoy this Cabernet and the value it represents.
  Easton Cabernet Sauvignon, Shenandoah Valley, Estate
Our Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Baldinelli Vineyard which was planted in 1972 on St. George rootstock. This is an old, low-bearing small berry/cluster clone. Yields are about 2-2 1/2 tons per acre. Our growing season is longer and cooler than what many might assume. It is comparable in many ways to the Howell Mountain region of the Napa Valley. Red, iron-laden soils of grainy decomposed granite. Warm days moderated by afternoon Delta breezes and cool night air from the high Sierra peaks just 50 miles to our East. Closer to harvest as the days become shorter, fruit cooled overnight takes half the day to warm again and matures slowly. Harvest was late in 1999 with the Cabernet being picked on October 18th. Fruit was physiologically mature with this long hang time. Most of the grapes are fermented in 5 ton open top fermenters and hand-punched. The remainder are fermented in a 10 ton closed top tank where the cap is irrigated with a special device during pumpovers. Lots are combined at a later date depending on the winemaker's discretion. Aging is in 100% French oak including 33% new Taransaud thin-staved Bordeaux-styled Center of France barrels. The wine is in barrel for two years prior to bottling in the Fall of 2001. It was aged in bottle for an additional two years prior to its' release in November of 2003.
  Easton Merlot, Shenandoah Valley
Our Merlot comes from a distinctive, low-yielding vineyard that was planted in 1972 in the heart of California's Shenandoah Valley. These mountain vines produce intensely-flavored fruit that create a wine that is rich, complex, and elegant. 1999 was a particularly cool year with the mid-October harvest being almost a month late. The wine exhibits characteristically St.-Émilion like styling with hints of cedar, exotic tea, and plush plummy berry fruit. Two week fermentation with a special Bordelaise yeast strain, all hand-punched in the vat, and 18 months in French cooperage. Bottled unfiltered. See what a real Merlot should taste like.
  Easton Sauvignon Blanc, Sierra Foothills
This is the premier release of our new Sauvignon Blanc, made from estate grapes grown at the Monarch Mine Vineyard, overlooking the American River Canyon at 2,300 feet, near the town of Foresthill in Placer County. We planted a four acre vineyard at this site to two different selections of Sauvignon Blanc: clone #1 and the Musque clone. We cold ferment this wine in a stainless steel tank and then age it for nine months in neutral French oak barrels on lees before bottling it in late June of 2004. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation and therefore retains its' delicious crispness. The enchanting fruit flavors suggest pineapple and melon and are complimented by a nice creamy mouthfeel. The wine finishes with a brisk minerality. It is the perfect foil for all seafood and absolutely satisfying as an aperitif.
  Easton Zinfandel, Amador County
This is the eighth release of our popularly-priced Amador County Zinfandel. It is made from grapes that grow on our beautiful, rolling mountain sites that have the classic, vermilion-colored, Amador decomposed granite soil. The 2004 has full black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with a beautiful balance and a big, sumptuous, and juicy mouthfeel. It also presents complex spicy aromas,with a nice creamy texture derived from the 10 months time it receives in French oak barrels. This wine has become our popular, but serious cru Beaujolais-styled Zinfandel that has found its way on to many great restaurant lists across North America where it is often listed “by the glass ”. It is consistently rated one of the top Zinfandels in its class and one of the best value Zins available. Although drinkable now, it gains complexity with bottle age. This wine’s release has become highly anticipated by many of our customers each year. We think this 2004 bottling is our best effort yet.
  Easton Zinfandel, El Dorado "Late Harvest"
Another new product that we are excited about is our 2002 EASTON Late Harvest Zinfandel from the Herbert-Cappelli Vineyard in El Dorado County. Marco Cappelli (Swanson Vineyards) asked us if we wanted to try out his fruit after he purchased the historic Herbert property near Somerset in 2002. We obliged and the fruit lent itself to making a Late Harvest wine in the 2002 vintage. Picked ultra ripe at 30 brix, the wine still retains a sense of style and balance without overt dehydrated Zinfandel flavors. Rich, raspberry milk chocolate flavors with an attractive spiciness that I like to get in most of my Zinfandels. We bottled it in 500 ml bottles, which seemed appropriate for a wine with 16% natural alcohol and about 4% residual sugar.
  Easton Zinfandel, Fiddletown "Eschen-Rinaldi"
This 2001 has thick brambly blackberry fruit with pepper, anise, clove, and other exotic spices. Yields were an incredibly low 1 1/2 ton to the acre. Fat and mouthfilling with great persistence on the palate. Like all our EASTON Zinfandels, this wine was aged in exclusively French oak. This 2001 vintage will hold well for 5-10 years.
  Easton Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley
The is the one Zinfandel that we make in both 375ml and 750ml formats. We have had many requests from restaurants and specialty retailers for the 375ml size and we have chosen one of our most popular specific appellation bottlings for this purpose. Our 1999 Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel is dense and concentrated with dark berry fruit flavors and hints of cocoa and pepper spice in the aromas. The palate impression is rich and supple; the finish long and creamy. It has the distinctive flavors of our Amador terroir that make this region so special. Like all of our Zinfandel's, it is aged in 100% French oak cooperage.
  Easton Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley "Estate"
Flavors are full, rich, smooth, and gutsy. The wine has huge brambly blackberry fruit, big cedar, spicebox aromas and flavors. It has a smooth creamy finish from aging in François Frères and Taransaud barrels (1/3 new). 2001 was a particularly great year in the Sierra Foothills and the Shenandoah Valley. Our spring was cool, so fruit set was late. Harvest was dry. Hang time was long. These vineyards were harvested in mid-October. We have bottled the wine in our EASTON “Estate” package with its’ distinctive, but classic label design and heavy bottle.
  Lot 0102 Easton "H" House, California
House or "H" is our new fun, easy drinking everyday table wine composed of predominately Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the New Wave wines of the Languedoc of Southern France, it is made from these two great grape varieties. House is what we like to sip on informal occasions. It is a café wine, a picnic wine, a boating wine, a great luncheon wine, a skiing wine, a wine to enjoy when you want a delicious glass of wine, but you don't want to think too much about it. House complements most Mediterranean and Californian cooking and it works well with other full flavored foods. Have a bottle open on the counter to relax with after work when other beverages just won't do the trick!
  Terre Rouge Enigma®, Sierra Foothills
(54% Marsanne, 23% Viognier & 23% Roussanne) Enigma is made from fruit harvested from one vineyard site planted in volcanic soil at the elevation of 3,000 feet. From this sweeping North slope we harvested the Viognier early on September 10th, the Marsanne and the Roussanne on October 7th in 2004.. This high, cool elevation allows us to let the fruit hang for full flavor development while maintaining proper acidity. The vines grow on a vertical trellis with upward shoot and cane positioning for good fruit exposure to sunlight. The grapes are hand-picked into small bins and whole-cluster pressed. Fermentation takes place in older French oak barrels with a variety of yeast's. The wine is generally bottled 6-9 months later. Aromas suggest wildflower honey and acacia blossom with hints of tangerine and papaya. Flavors are creamy with peach, apple,and quince sensations competing for your taste buds. The finish is crisp with classic white Rhône stone (peach) fruit pit flavors intermingled with mineral tones from this rocky site. Enjoyable young, the wine also gains great complexity with bottle age.
  Terre Rouge Mourvèdre, Amador County
Mourvèdre is always the last variety that we pick for our TERRE ROUGE label. Things were no different in the great vintage of 2000 when we brought our Mourvèdre into the winery on November 6th at 24.5š brix, .65 TA, and 3.8 pH. This is a rich full-bodied vintage that is spicy, powerful, and long on the palate. We use cellaring techniques that involve a long lees reduction to help to broaden and fill the middle palate with great textural sensations. The flavors are of blackberry, meaty, with an almost tomato-like Pommard quality. It is definitely gamey like Bandol, without the funkiness that Bandol, often, unfortunately offers. It is a fabulous partner for wild game, lamb, and wild salmon.
  Terre Rouge Muscat-à-Petits Grains, Shenandoah Valley
Our only dessert wine was inspired by the delicious fresh fortified Muscats of southern France. This is Muscat that isn’t overly sweet. It would be appropriate as an apéritif, but, mainly, we like it as an accompaniment to a desserts like a fresh berry clafoutis or a pear tart with ginger and almonds. Flowery, muscaty/honeyed bouquet with hints of coconut and lush fruity flavors. Try it by itself, for a memorable end to a great evening meal. Harvested, ripe, at 27° brix and fortified to arrest fermentation with high-proof Muscat brandy made from the same vineyard site. Aged nine months in neutral French oak and bottled in the Suummer following harvest.
  Terre Rouge Noir "Grande Année", Sierra Foothills
This is our flagship wine; the first wine we bottled under the TERRE ROUGE label. The name, Noir, means our black proprietary red wine that is reminiscent of the great wines of the Southern Rhône. The Grenache comes predominately from a 70 year-old site that we have sourced since 1985. This vineyard is planted in sandy, granitic soil. The Mourvèdre is from a south facing slope planted at 2,200 feet in the Fiddletown AVA. We bottle this same site as a mono-varietal as well. The Syrah is from one of our Shenandoah Valley vineyard sites. We bottle age this wine for two years, so when it is finally released, the wine is showing more than its primary fruit characteristics, but also some of its secondary spice aromas. This 1999 is extremely juicy and vibrant with characteristic Grenache plum and black cherry flavors, Mourvèdre's smoky gaminess, and Syrah's powerful punch and richness. Only in the best vintages (1991,1994,1996, 1999) do we label the wine "Grande Anné". 1999 was such a special year with perfect flavors and great concentration. This is a dead ringer for a top Southern Rhône like a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas.
  Terre Rouge Roussanne, Shenandoah Valley
We began bottling Roussanne on an annual basis in 2001. This bottling originates from a newly established vineyard site between Auburn and Foresthill called the Monarch Mine Vineyard. it is planted with a clone of the Roussanne grape that originates from a Chave family parcel on the hill at Hermitage. This is a difficult variety to grow. It ripens unevenly, so it must be harvested selectively and not all at the same time. It is also susceptible to powdery mildew. The fruit in 2004 was fully ripe at harvest in mid-September. The resulting wine has classic Roussanne characteristics: Straw golden color; with exquisite quince, honeynut, and beeswax aromas. It has a very rich and silky mouth feel. A rare treat.
  Terre Rouge Syrah, Ascent, Sierra Foothills
Ascent Syrah represents the pinnacle of Syrah production at TERRE ROUGE. Eight of our very best barrels of Syrah are selected from our cellar each vintage to make a meager 400 6-packs of this luxury cuvée. All of the grapes are grown in selected Syrah sites scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada in granite and volcanic-based soils. This is a deeply concentrated wine with dense layers of aromatic complexity. Loads of deeply-concentrated and incredibly spicy fruit aromas fill your glass. In the mouth you'll find thick concentrated and riotous meaty Syrah flavors, smoky wood tones, exotic spices, mineral tones, and fine tannins. Great structure and aging potential. The grapes macerated for two weeks in an open-top fermenter with punch-downs two to three times a day. The wine was aged for 23 months in French oak barrels (100% new François Frères - from four different forests) and lightly egg-white fined prior to being bottled unfiltered. A sublime treat!
  Terre Rouge Syrah, Les Cotes de l'Ouest, California
This is the fifth vintage of our entry level, St. Joseph-like, Syrah. It is made from fruit grown at a superb vineyard site that is planted in the hills just west of the Amador County line, just a few miles from the Mokelumne River (hence the California appellation). We find the wine is very forward and drinkable shortly after bottling, making it a great everyday Syrah and perfect as a restaurant glass pour. This 2002 vintage is exceedingly dark in color with rich, silky wild raspberry fruit flavors laced with pepper, tar, and herb tones. Aromas are raspberry, smoky, wild gamey, peppery, and cinnamon.
  Terre Rouge Syrah, Shenandoah Valley, "Sentinel Oak"
Our single vineyard Syrah is from the oldest Syrah vineyard in the Sierra Nevada (est. 1982) and one of the most famous Syrah sites in California. Each year it provides us with intense luscious fruit. The vineyard is at 1400 feet on a South-facing slope in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, right near our winery. We think you will like the aromas and structure of this 2001. It was picked on September 6th (an early year with verylow yields - crop size was down 40%!) at 25° brix, 3.45 pH, and .70 TA. Reminiscent of our 1994. Dark in color with dense, deep-concentrated layered fruit aromas that are incredibly spicy. In the mouth you’ll find incredibly concentrated framboise flavors, smoky wood tones, and fine tannins. Meaty. Great structure and age ability. It macerated for two weeks in an open-top fermenter with punch-downs two to three times a day. Aged for 23 months in 100% French oak (33% new François Frères) and lightly egg-white fined prior to being bottled unfiltered.
  Terre Rouge Syrah, Sierra Foothills
This wine is made from several of our top younger Syrah sites that average about ten years in age. The 2000 vintage yielded rich, profound and opulent wines. This wine is unique in that it is a blend of higher and lower elevation vineyard sites. The two higher elevation vineyard sites approach 3000 feet where it is quite cool; particularly at night. They ripen later and mature at lower sugar levels. These two soprano lots were blended with some Shenandoah Valley lots which was more basso profundo. The resulting combination harmonizes and sings! The upslope lots provide finesse and wonderful meaty, white pepper nuances, while the downslope lots provide structure, concentration, and a great smoky, spicy Syrah sensibility. The grapes are fermented in small lots, hand-punched, and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels (25% new) prior to bottling.
  Terre Rouge Syrah, Sierra Foothills, "High Slopes"
This wine is made from two of our higher elevation Syrah sites. We thought that they expressed the racy aromatics of the Syrah grape that reminded us of Côte Rotie. We are bottling these two sites together for our inaugural bottling of this Syrah. The 2001 vintage yielded rich, profound and opulent wines. These higher elevation vineyard sites are over 3000 feet where it is quite cool. They ripen later and mature at lower sugar levels. These upslope lots have a lot of finesse and express the wonderful meaty, white pepper nuances of Syrah, while still retaining some of the smoky, spicy qualities of the grape. Our artisan cellar techniques include fermentation in small lots, special yeast strains, manual-punch downs, gentle transfers and pressing, and barrel aging for 20 months in French oak (33% new), prior to bottling the wine unfiltered. Only five barrels or 125 cases were produced.
  Terre Rouge Tête-à-Tête®, Sierra Foothills
Tête-à-Tête is our fun easy drinking assemblage of Mediterranean varietals (in 2002 - its 50% Mourvèdre & 50% Syrah). We blend it with current drinkability in mind, for drinking both at home and as a restaurant pour. We generally put it together from our younger vines and our more forward tasting barrel lots. 2002 was a year where most of our Rhône varietal lots excelled. Therefore this wine drinks like better than most Côtes-du-Rhône Villages bottlings: sappy, spicy, fabulous flavor, and great texture. It is an eminently enjoyable everyday bottle. The 2002 has a deep boysenberry fruit suggestions, smoky/meaty/gamey complex flavor components that emphasize our terroir, and a lengthy creamy texture. Aged for 14 months in François Frères barrels. This is a great California wine value !
  Terre Rouge Vin Gris d'Amador, Sierra Foothills
Our 2003 bottling of Vin Gris has the dryness, richness, and terroir of the best French rosés. With a substantial amount of Mourvèdre in this bottling I think the wine is more reminiscent of Bandol rosé than Tavel, in fact, people often compare our rosé to some of the most famous French rosés. We bleed some of our red Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah tanks to concentrate and intensify flavors. This juice goes into French barrels to ferment just like our other white wines. The wine has subtle cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness with tasty strawberry fruit characteristics. It is absolutely dry with a delicious creamy nuance and crisp bite.
  Terre Rouge Viognier, Shenandoah Valley
A great follow to our popular 2001 Viognier, our 2002 is a bit more opulent. Our Shenandoah Valley Viognier is planted in loamy, decomposed granite soil and cropped carefully. It has great body, richness, and mouth feel. There are also attractive apricot and peach flavors with a delicious texture and a slight stoniness in the finish. The pit (stone) fruit varieties thrive in our Rhône-like climate. We pick the fruit by flavor and physiological maturity. The grapes begin to get a brown speckled look when they approach maturity. We have planted more Viognier in some exciting new sites in the Sierra region, but for the time being this is our top bottling. Our Viognier is a favorite of some of France's top boutique Condrieu producers. Whole-cluster pressed, barrel fermented in slightly used French oak barrels, extended lees aging, no racking, and full malolactic fermentation. Bottled in mid-June of 2003.


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