Terre Rouge and Easton Wines

Terre Rouge and Easton Wines

Terre Rouge refers to the vermillion color Granitic and Volcanic soils that grace the rugged and varying terroirs of this region of Amador County in the Sierra Foothills. High elevation sites up to 3200’ contribute to the complexity of these wines. Estate grown, farmed using green fertilizers and free of any chemical treatments they exhibit a soulful old world charm. Terre Rouge is exclusively Rhone varietals and often blended as in the Southern Rhone as well as some single vineyard bottlings of Syrah and Mourvedre, Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne. Vigneron Bill Easton also makes another label: Easton, that focuses on non-Rhone Varietals such as Zinfandel, Cabernet and Barbera. The Zins are not alcohol bombs but balanced unique expressions of the wonderful terroir of the Sierra Foothills.

In 2021, Terre Rouge was included in Slow Foods’ “Slow Wine Guide to California and Oregon.”

The Wines

Terre Rouge Syrah ‘Les Cotes de l’Ouest’

96% syrah, 4% viognier planted to eight sites with granitic and volcanic soils just to the west of the Amador county line in the Clements Hill AVA. Hand-harvested in mid-September. Grapes are lightly crushed and co-fermented in stainless steel before being moved to French barrels, 10% new, for 17 months aging. Two years of age in bottle before release.

Terre Rouge ‘Tête-à-Tête’

51% grenache, 32% mourvèdre, 17% syrah from Sierra Foothills plots averaging 20 years of age. Soil is mostly granitic for grenache and mourvèdre. The grenache are Rayas clones and the mourvèdre are Beaucastel clones. Hand-harvested and fermented in stainless steel. 17 months aging in older Burgundy barrels.
LAutre front

Terre Rouge Sierra Foothills Grenache 'L'Autre'

72% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 9% Mourvèdre. The Grenache is from the Duarte-Georgetown Vineyard situated at 2,500 meters elevation, planted to decomposed granite soils. The budwood for these vines are from Chateau Rayas, Beaucastel, and Remelluri. The Mourvèdre comes from two sites in Placer and El Dorado Counties. The Syrah is from a South facing ridge in the Monarch Mine Vineyard.

2013 – 88 pts – Wine Enthusiast – August 2016

Terre Rouge Sierra Foothills Mourvèdre

27 year old mourvèdre vines planted to two sites with granitic soils in the Sierra Foothills, harvested in mid-October. Fermentation in stainless steel, then moved to older Burgundy barrels for 20 months’ aging.

2013 – 92 pts – Wine Enthusiast – August 2016
2013 – 91 pts – Wine & Spirits – August 2016

Terre Rouge Roussanne

Terre Rouge Sierra Foothills Roussanne

100% Roussanne from the Monarch Mine Vineyard which was planted with clones from a Chave family parcel in Hermitage. Fermented in barrel and aged on lees. Aged in bottle for two years prior to release.

2013 – 94 pts – Wine Enthusiast – November 2015

Sentinel Oaks

Terre Rouge Sentinel Oaks Syrah 'Pyramid Block'

36 year old, own-rooted, Hermitage syrah clones planted to granitic soils in the Sierra Nevada’s oldest vineyard at 1,400 feet elevation on South-facing slopes. Hand-harvested in mid-September. Two week maceration in an open top fermenter with punch-downs two to three times a day. Aged for 24 months in 25% new Burgundy barrels. Lightly egg white fined before being bottled unfiltered.

1999 – 94 pts – Wine Enthusiast
2010 – 92 pts – Wine Enthusiast
2013 – 95 pts, Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast

High Slopes

Terre Rouge Sierra Foothills Syrah 'High Slopes'

Average of 25 year old vines planted at over 3,000 feet elevation to two Sierra Foothills plots. One site is granitic, the other volcanic. Fermentation in stainless steel. Aging 24 months in 25% new Burgundy barrels. Bottled unfiltered.

2010 – 91 pts Wine Enthusiast
2013 – 93 pts, Cellar Sellection – Wine Enthusiast
2013 – 90 pts – Wine & Spirits

Ascent front label (1)

Terre Rouge Sierra Foothills Syrah 'Ascent'

This is a cellar selection of the eight best barrels of syrah from selected parcels throughout the Sierra Foothills. Two week maceration in open-top fermenter with punch downs two to three times a day. Aged 23 months in French oak, and lightly egg white fined prior to bottling. Unfiltered.

2013 – 96 pts Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast 8/2016

Easton Cab front (1)

Easton Shenandoah Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

48 year old cabernet sauvignon from the Baldinelli Vineyard planted to red, iron-rich, granitic soils. Most of the fruit is fermented in five ton, open topped fermenters, the rest in 10 ton closed topped fermenters with pumping-over. Aging in 100% French Bordeaux barrels, 50% new, 50% in two-year-old barrels. Aged two years in barrels and then three years in bottle prior to release.

2012 – 92 pts, Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast – Nov. 2015

Easton Amador County Zinfandel

20-80 year old vines planted to granitic soils in 7-8 different mountain sites. Dry farmed. Hand-harvested. Fermented in stainless steel. Aged 11 months in 10% new Burgundy barrels.

2015 – 92 pts Wine Spectator November 2018

Easton Estate Shenandoah Zinfandel

40-100 year old vines planted to granitic soils in the Dickinson and Baldinelli properties that surround the winery. Vines are dry-farmed and hand-harvested in early October. Fermented in stainless steel. Aged 20 months in 25% new Bordeaux barrels.

1999 – 93 pts – Wine Enthusiast

Easton E Front

Easton Fiddletown Zinfandel ``E``

100% Zinfandel from organically tended vines in the Rice-MacDonald Vineyard. Grapes are hand-harvested, fully de-stemmed, and dumped into open-top fermenters. Fermentation with natural yeasts starts within four days, and proceeds typically for 10 days before pressing and racking into third and fourth use French oak barrels. The wine generally ages for 16 months before bottling and is then aged two years prior to release. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

2014 – 92 pts – Wine Enthusiast – September 2017

Rinaldi

Easton Fiddletown Zinfandel Old Vine Rinaldi Vineyard

100% Zinfandel from very old vines in the Rinaldi Vineyard, some of which date back to the original planting in 1865. The yields are extremely low, at about two tons per acre, and barely provide a harvest each year. The 2013 vintage was harvested on October 8th, 15th, and 22nd. The wine is aged exclusively in French oak.