There’s no doubt our Proprietary Pinot Noir and Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir are two of our most popular and noteworthy wines in their own right. While the differences might not always be immediately apparent, we’re here to break it down so you can make the most out of each wine when you enjoy them.
There are so many ways these wines contrast one another—think ballet vs. flamenco, Leonardo vs. Michelangelo, Gehrig vs. Babe Ruth. At their core, they have a shared commonality, but the differences can be found in the delicate nuances of their personalities.
Join us as we divulge and give you an insider look into the differences of the terroir, how it’s incorporated into each wine to make them unique, our favorite pairings, and more.
Proprietary Pinot Noir
The majority of the blend of sites for this wine hails from the Putnam Vineyard, which is located about five miles from the Pacific Ocean at 500 ft. elevation in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The terroir boasts fine sandy loam soils, which means it’s composed mostly of sand, silt, and a smaller amount of clay. This type of soil is excellent for producing high-quality, aromatic Pinot Noir.
A second vineyard site is the Van der Kamp Vineyard located on Sonoma Mountain, which maintains spreckels loam and volcanic tuff, bringing a truly beautiful layer of complexity and earth to this wine.
Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir
A small amount of the press juice from the Platt Vineyard was added to this blend due to its lovely floral tones. Less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean, Platt is densely planted in Goldridge fine sandy loam that was uplifted from the Pacific Ocean. Its southwest-facing slopes benefit from the cooling breeze from the Pacific that blows through the Estero Americano to the Petaluma Gap. Pinot Noir from the Platt Vineyard tends to be more Burgundian in character than almost any other site in California. The wines are delicate but wildly complex and vibrant.
The Tasting Notes
2018 Proprietary Pinot Noir
100 cases produced
We selected the top four barrels from the vintage to create this wine. Two from Putnam Vineyard in Annapolis on the far reaches of the North Sonoma Coast, one from Van der Kamp located on Sonoma Mountain, and one from Platt Vineyard.
Boysenberry, blueberry, and fresh dates marry with spiced plum, basil, fresh bay leaf, and hibiscus to lead the heady aroma of this wine. On the palate, these flavors are delivered with a bright, silky feeling and you begin to notice undertones of soft cheese rind and freshly cured meat that delivers a complex and memorable wine.
2018 Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 cases produced
Spring jumps from the glass with this wine, giving you a mix of wild berries: mulberry, cranberry, and strawberry married with blood orange as you bend your nose in for your first inhalation. The wine begins to open up as it breathes to show notes of rose petal, tarragon, and fresh oregano, eventually giving way to undertones of fresh leather and flint. All of this can be found on the palate in abundance, and every sip has us noticing something new. It’s a wine that’s immensely enjoyable on its own but makes you dream of the many fun things you can cook alongside it.
Proprietary Pinot Noir
The 2018 Proprietary Pinot Noir is a truly deep and complex wine that explodes with an array of flavors. Fruity and floral while spicy and earthy at the same time, this wine calls for a dish of equal depth and complexity. The first thing that came to mind when we tasted it was lamb tagine. Lamb’s richer flavors, while not as deep as most other red meats, stand in perfect balance to the weight of this Pinot Noir. The layers of flavor brought on by apricots, ginger, cinnamon, and saffron complement the fruit and spice tones found in this wine as well.
Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir
The fresh fruit and herbs abundant in this wine, along with the earthy elements at play underneath, remind us of all that summer can bring. As we drank, a roast pork tenderloin came to mind. Accompany this meat with sour cherries and wine-soaked mushrooms over wild rice and you’re bound for a match made in heaven. The key here is the spice rub on the pork to accentuate the herbal tones of the wine, and the sour cherries and balsamic highlighting the fruit and acidity while the mushrooms help to elevate the earthier tones.
It can be quite warm in the Alexander Valley during the summer, so we don’t always feel like spending a lot of time in a hot kitchen. Our Co-Founder Elena Reynoso is excited to share some of her favorite family recipes that we frequently turn to throughout the warmer months to enjoy alongside our wines—while staying cool!
Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and Walnut Toast with Asiago and Fig Jam
- Good quality walnut bread (we use a local vendor, Gougette Bakery).
- Shaved Valley Ford Estero Gold Cheese (another one of our local producers), or other high-quality Asiago from your local cheesemaker would work great.
- Fresh figs (when in season), or fig jam.
“We use good quality walnut bread toasted in 2-3 inch pieces, although I’ve found a good quality baguette can work just fine. Valley Ford Creamery produces some of my favorite cheeses. Here I use Estero Gold, which is an Asiago style, though you can use one that is available in your area. We grow figs here on the property so I use those when they are in season, or I make a fig and balsamic jam to use in the colder months.
Place a couple of shavings of cheese on the toast and top with a slice of fresh fig or a dollop of fig jam. That’s it! It’s seemingly simple yet loaded with flavor, much like the Crescere Ritchie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. It works so well here because the fig’s sweet notes and Asiago’s saltiness really complement the sweet fruit qualities and the saline freshness of the wine. The crunch of the bread with the bright acidity of the wine plays so well together, too. Plus, it’s super easy to throw together for last-minute guests.”
Proprietary Chardonnay with Grilled Sea Bass and Nectarine Salsa
- 3 ripe nectarines, finely chopped
- ½ cup onion (I use the purple onions we grow here when they are in season in the early summer, although white onion would also be fine), finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
- 2 tsp of finely chopped serrano chili, with or without seeds (depending on your preference of spice)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped basil
- 1 tsp sugar
- A pinch or two of salt
- 2 sea bass fillets
“We have many nectarine trees here [at Crescere], so July is the time to enjoy the juicy sweetness of our crop as often as possible. This salsa is great on its own, but we use it with simple grilled white fish filets, typically sea bass. It also works well with chicken thighs and pork chops. Our Proprietary Chardonnay will shine here, picking up the sweetness of the stone fruit while underlining the sweet herb notes as well. The weight and acidity also stands up well with everything from white fish to heartier white meat like pork chops.
To make the salsa, simply combine all the ingredients (except the sea bass, of course) in a large bowl. Try and do this a few hours before if you can as the flavors taste best when they’ve had time to mingle and combine together. If you only have a few minutes before dinner though you won’t be disappointed as it tastes delicious right away.
While I said we avoid a hot kitchen this time of year, I can’t stay away from the grill in the summer. The weather just calls for a cookout. Choose your meat and make sure you get your grill good and hot. Oil up the grill grates to make sure nothing sticks. I usually put a bit of oil on a paper towel and hold that with my tongs to rub the area where I’ll lay down the fish. The fish should take about 7 minutes per side (you only need to flip it once).”
Red Blend and Filet Mignon and Savory Blueberry Sauce
Some days, you just need steak! With that, I always turn to our Crescere Estate Red Blend with this dish.
- 4 1-inch thick filets
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cognac
- ½ cup dry red wine (though not the Crescere, you’ll want to enjoy drinking all of that)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 pt. fresh blueberries, smashed
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
“While we don’t grow blueberries here, I have such fond memories of picking fresh blueberries in the summer growing up in the Midwest. This dish brings me back to those days, and it makes for such a gorgeous accompaniment to our Estate Red Blend which has notes of dark berry compote and sweet tobacco smoke. This is delicious and really easy, but will make you look like a pro.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper and heat a gas or charcoal grill to 400°F. Clean and oil the grate. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp each of both the butter and olive oil. Once they’re melted, add the chopped shallots and sugar. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are softened–about 2 minutes. Add the Cognac and cook, stirring until evaporated. Add the wine, increasing the heat to high, and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape brown bits from the pan. Once the sauce is boiling, add the blueberries and cook until the sauce is thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in your fresh thyme and pour into a blender. Purée until smooth. Return to the pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and swirl until melted. Season with salt to taste. Grill steaks until done to your liking and serve with the warm blueberry sauce.”
Proprietary Pinot Noir with a BLT
“A BLT? Yes, a BLT! Does anything taste better on a hot day than a fresh BLT? Clearly, you don’t really need a recipe for this, but I do have some tips. Don’t use mass market bacon; many are wet cured quickly and injected with things to give it flavor rather than a true slow cure and smoking process. Just like with our wines, taking your time to make a high-quality product yields better results. I use locally produced bacon from Hobbs or Sonoma County’s own Black Pig Meats, but you can use whatever high-quality bacon is available in your area.
Because it’s so hot here, I usually fry the bacon on the stove top as it’s quicker. If it’s cooler where you are, go ahead and cook it in a 400-degree oven on a rack over a sheet pan–you’ll get a more uniform crispy bacon. While any tomato from the grocery store will do, you can take your sandwich to the next level by taking advantage of the beautiful heirlooms available during the summer. We’re happy with plain old mayo, but if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own aioli. I’m not dogmatic on the type of lettuce, but I do like to shred mine to prevent the whole leaves from sliding off the side of my sandwich. Don’t forget a twist of fresh pepper and a touch of salt on the tomatoes and you’re set!
This deceptively simple yet incredibly flavorful sandwich calls for a wine to match. The rich, dark fruits of our Proprietary Pinot Noir work well with both the smokey bacon and fresh, sweet tomato. It’s one of those pairings you wouldn’t normally think about doing, but for a lazy Sunday afternoon, this really hits the spot. Especially if you’ve got your Pinot stored at cellar temperature so it has a touch of chill on it. Excuse me now, I’m off to make one and relax on the couch with my wine!”
No matter the complexity of your dish, Crescere wines are here to bring you to a special place whenever you enjoy them with friends and family. Be sure to share your favorite recipes with us on Facebook and Instagram!
We’re thrilled to announce four new 2018 vintage wines have arrived! These Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are the core of who we are, tell an incredible story of the terroir from which they come, and are standouts in our portfolio. Read on as we dive into each of these wines, provide you with quintessential food pairings, perfectly paired books, and even some song choices as you sip!
SONOMA COAST, SONOMA COUNTY
Bright aromas of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and grilled apples give way to wild mountain thyme with undertones of hazelnut, cinnamon, and nutmeg. On the palate, you find a lovely mouth-coating sensation that carries those flavors through to an underlying earthy note with enough acidity to make you want to return to your glass over and over again.
Food pairing: Coconut Curry Chicken
While this Chardonnay leads with gorgeous fruity aromas of melon and grilled apples, there’s much more beneath the surface. With a hint of turmeric detectable on the palate, our minds turn to curry. The earthy notes of our curry blend are echoed by some of the same notes in the wine, while the bright fruit and refreshing acidity help to both complement and cut through the richness of the coconut present in the dish.
Music Pairings: Sounds that transport you to other places
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder
- Under Constructions Part II by Timbaland & Magoo
Book Pairing: Books that make you hungry
- The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
- Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
SONOMA COAST, SONOMA COUNTY
Platt Vineyard is considered by many to be the greatest Chardonnay site in California. This wine makes us think of a cold, wet spring drive on the California coast as soon as we dip our nose in the glass. You’re immediately hit with sea air and wildflowers as you take your first whiff,
quickly followed by Anjou pears both fresh and slightly stewed. With your first sip you find the crisp, refreshing taste of the sea and a long, savory finish that makes you want to linger—as you would with your favorite book.
Food pairing: Pan Seared Halibut with Lemon, Basil, and Capers
This Chardonnay reminded us of a cool, rainy spring day. It made us immediately crave something bright and delicious to match its racy backbone, but also something light and refreshing. Something to pull us into spring, just like this wine does. We thought, why not keep it simple but elegant. Halibut married with a bit of fat from high-quality olive oil, the freshness of basil, and the briny deliciousness of capers makes for a lovely pairing.
Music Pairings: Something that makes you feel spring in the air (for rainy or sunny days)
- Mezzanine by Massive Attack
- Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
- Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
- Want One by Rufus Wainwright
Book Pairing: Books that pull at all your emotions
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
SONOMA COAST, SONOMA COUNTY
Boysenberry, blueberry, and fresh dates marry with spiced plum, basil, fresh bay leaf, and hibiscus to lead the heady aroma of this wine. On the palate, these flavors are delivered with a bright, silky sensation and you begin to notice undertones of soft cheese rind and freshly cured meat that help to deliver a truly complex and memorable experience.
Food pairing: Lamb Tagine
This Pinot Noir is a truly deep and complex wine exploding with an array of flavors. Fruity and floral while also spicy and earthy, it’s a wine that calls for a dish of equal depth and complexity. The first thing that came to mind when we tasted this was lamb tagine. Lamb’s richer flavors, while not as deep as most other red meats, stand in perfect balance to the weight of this Pinot Noir. The layers of flavor brought on by apricots, ginger, cinnamon, and saffron complement the fruit and spice tones.
Music Pairings: Something that always puts a smile on your face
- Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones
- 3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul
- Malibu Anderson .Paak
- Lady Soul by Aretha Franklin
Book Pairing: A good mystery with layers of character development
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
- The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
SONOMA COAST, SONOMA COUNTY
Less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean, Pinot Noir from Platt Vineyard tends to be more Burgundian in character than almost any other site in California. Spring jumps from the glass, giving you a mix of wild berries—mulberry, cranberry, and strawberry—married with blood orange as you first take a whiff. The wine begins to open up as it breathes to show notes of rose petal, tarragon, and fresh oregano, eventually giving way to undertones of fresh leather and flint. It’s a wine that’s immensely enjoyable on its own, but makes you dream of all the fun dishes you can cook alongside it.
Food pairing: Roast Pork tenderloin with sour cherries and wine-soaked mushrooms over wild rice
The fresh fruit and herbs are abundant in the Platt Pinot Noir, along with earthy elements at play underneath, and remind us of all that spring can bring. As we drank, this dish immediately sprang to mind. Pork and Pinot are almost always a match made in heaven, and this is no exception. The key here is the spice rub that accents the herbal tones of the wine while the sour cherries and balsamic highlight the fruit and acidity, while the mushrooms help to elevate the earthy notes.
Music Pairings: Something that makes you feel warm inside
- Parachutes by Coldplay
- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie
- For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
Book Pairing: A book you love to revisit over and over
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
There is truly no wrong way to enjoy these new wines. No matter your food, music, book, or even movie preference, our goal is to provide you a wine you can embrace any moment with. Be sure to share how you’re enjoying your Crescere wines with us on Facebook and Instagram–cheers!