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White Heart  | “Blanc de Noir”

The Story

In 2008, we had the opportunity to work with Starr Ranch Grenache Noir from our friend and neighbor, Judy Starr. It was a bit lighter in color than usual and Jacob Raines, our winemaker at the time, tried something different. 

Processing the fruit whole cluster and on the lightest press setting (Champagne), he was able to produce an amazing white wine from that red varietal. He named it “White Heart”. We were in love! 

Zachary Raines, taking over for his brother, Jacob, as winemaker, has taken it to the next level with three more vintages of White Heart in 2016, 2017 and 2022. 

One day, a customer in the tasting room commented that he thought a similar wine was made in the Rhone. Curious, I researched and could find nothing so I reached out to British author, and wine expert, Jancis Robinson. The answer was, “No” nothing like that was done in the Rhone. Her staff was intrigued by the story and asked if we could get a bottle to them in London. Not finding anyone traveling “across the pond” in whose suitcase I could send a bottle and finding shipping prohibitive I was about to give up on sharing what was for us a great wine and an even better memory. 

Then into the winery walked a group of tourists from the UK. One very generous couple offered to take the wine back for us, refusing a bottle as a thank you as they had only enough room for one more bottle. The world is truly full of wonderful people!

After making the connection in London, the wine rested from its journey. Tamlyn Currin, staff writer, tasted and reviewed White Heart for Jancis Robinson’s website. We are so grateful for her kind words and loving this wine as much as we do. 

We have another White Heart available 2023! Vintages/vineyards only present themselves as White Heart potential intermittently. In the meantime, if you are in the possession of a bottle, open it for a special occasion or just for a moment of enjoyment and reflection on our small and glorious world. 

The Reviews
2017 White Heart
Score: 17.5 out of 19 possible
Tasted: October 18th, 2018

“Deep gold and an opulent, brocade aroma of apricots in cardamom syrup. Rich, the golden weight of samite, perhaps just off-dry but tasting of baklava dripping with honey, baked peaches, and yet the savoury nuttiness of pistachio and pastry. This has a regal stature, the depth and breadth, of a really fine Condrieu. Absolutely stunning with food – we tried it with a 32-month Comté, prawns in a coconut and chilli mayonnaise, a chicory and celery salad with a pumpkin-seed oil, apple cider vinegar and honey dressing and charcuterie. It ballroom-danced across the room with all of them. I’d love to try it with a really sumptuous macaroni cheese (plus truffle?), butternut soup, slow-cooked belly pork and roast chicken (not all at once, obviously). Alas, the wine is halfway across the world...” (TC)

2022 White Heart 
Score: 16 out of 19 possible
Tasted: September 10, 2023

"Tasted blind. Medium lemon in colour. Honeysuckle and wet chalk on the nose – delicately aromatic. A touch of vanilla blossom, suggestive of well-integrated light-touch oak use. High acid on the palate with flavours of lemon juice and tangerine. Refreshing and light." (SCJ)