Mother and daughter produce balanced wines that marvelously express their Sonoma County sites, one famous, the other less so.
In June 2023 at the Taste of Sonoma wine festival, I asked vintner Rickey Trombetta Stancliff of Trombetta Family Wines what dishes might pair well with the Sonoma County Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs her winemaker daughter, Erica Stancliff, crafts. Two months later, Rickey provided an answer via lunch at Trombetta Vineyard in Forestville. What luck!
The flagship Chardonnay & Pinot Noir come from Gap’s Crown Vineyard (they were superb as always, the 2018 Pinot especially so with pork tenderloin), but for nearly a decade the 2-acre Indindoli Vineyard in the Russian River Valley’s Vine Hill area has been the source for an additional duo. The vineyard’s owner, Carmine Indindoli, got Rickey and her husband, Roger Stancliff, interested in home winemaking, which evolved into Trombetta Wines.
As with the 2019 Gap’s Crown Chardonnay, there’s an intentionally creamy wisp to the 2019 Indindoli Chardonnay that accentuates rather than masks the underlying acidity, minerality, and, in the case of Indindoli, mild salinity. You could almost say the same for the Pinot Noir, which though barely two years old, already comes off smoother and more mature than expected.
Famed winemaker and consultant Paul Hobbs praised Erica’s preteen palate (Rickey was in his employ at the time), and Erica later became his protégé. Comparing the two Chardonnays’ tech notes, I was struck by the divergent vineyard and cellar choices she made with the two wines—e.g., sugar levels at harvest, how the grapes were pressed, and how long the wines aged, in both cases on the lees. The results are two balanced wines that express their sites marvelously.
You can learn more about Trombetta at Region wine bar in Sebastopol, where two selections are always on tap.
Why go: women-run; family owned; thoughtful winemaking.