Deerfield Ranch Winery Review
Address: 10200 Sonoma Highway Kenwood,California 95452.
Phone Number: 707-833-5215
Tasting Hours: 10:30-4:30
Region: Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
Review Date: 3/30/2013
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
Overview:  Deerfield Ranch winery is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley California, and Robert Rex and his wife PJ are the founders and owners. Robert has been making wine since 1972, and with the 2012 harvest he celebrated 40 years of consecutive winemaking. The Deerfield story is steeped in love and patience that is reflected in every wine they make and with every experience you have at Deerfield Ranch. If you are lucky, you might just catch one of the winery events where you not only get a chance to meet the Rexs, but you also might get to try Roberts amazing handcrafted chocolate truffles.
The Winery:  Even though Robert has been making wine since the 70s, the Deerfield Ranch winery that you see today has only been open for a handful of years. It is one of the best kept secrets in Sonoma Valley. The big attraction (other than the wine) at Deerfield Ranch is the 23,000 square foot glorious wine cave, and their main tasting room is in the heart of it. Upon arrival at the winery, you will drive down the long narrow driveway and immediately notice the wetlands and giant giraffe sculptures to the right. This is part of the winerys ongoing wetland restoration project. And the giraffes are there for PJ, as well as for your pleasure. She is a huge giraffe fan.
Once you begin the short walk towards the caves, you will notice the crushpad and fermenting tanks outside the cave entrance. You walk through beautiful redwood doors to enter the wine glass-shaped cave. You will walk past hundreds of barrels full of aging wine en route to the center of the cave and Grand Tasting Room (note the barrels marked with an X). There will be no standing around a crowded tasting bar here. The vast cave allows plenty of breathing room for everyone to spread out, complete with comfy couches and chairs in which to sit, relax and enjoy your tasting. Bring a sweater to wear inside the cave, however, as the temperature stays at a constant 55 degrees year round (perfect for all that aging wine). In the summer time it will feel refreshing at first, but after staying for an hour, you might get a bit chilly.
The Wines:  This review has already hinted about the quality of the Deerfield wines. They make wine by hand in small lots and taste the wines constantly throughout the wine making process. The wines are fruit forward, perfectly balanced with soft tannins and low acidity. Here are a few of their wines not to be missed:
2011 Checkerbloom Rose.  This is 100% Syrah, and is delicious and a bit dry. This beauty is perfect for a hot summer day and perfect to pair with fish or veggies. All of the proceeds of the sale of this wine go to the restoration and preservation of their wetlands and Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom. 230 cases produced.
2009 Pinot Noir , Russian River Valley.  This pinot is delicate, aromatic, reserved, smooth on the palate, and lingers to keep reminding you how great it is. Winner of Double Gold at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. 500 cases produced.
2007 Old Vine Zinfandel, Reserve.  It might be unfair to you sharing this unbelievable wine, since they dont have much of it left. This wine was made with 120 year old Zinfandel vines. Much like people as they age, vines also get a bit finicky and harder to deal with as they age. Those challenges make the wine that much better. If you like Zinfandel, you will love this wine. 435 cases produced.
2007 Red Rex.  This is Deerfields most popular wine. This is a proprietary red blend that changes from year to year. And this wine is simply delicious, rich and full-bodied. It has a surprising floral nose with an elegant smooth finish. 2,800 cases produced.
2005 DRX Meritage.  This is Deerfields flagship wine. It is a perfect Meritage blend that will totally blow you away. This Bordeaux-style blend lives and breathes complexity and balance and is aged to absolute perfection. Do not leave the winery without trying this wine. The wine barrels marked with an X that you walked past on the way in are designated for this blend. 670 cases produced.
Clean and Green:  Something that is unique to all of the Deerfield Wines is that they are “clean wines.” This means that they are very low in histamines and sulfite levels so that they produce no headaches or allergic reactions. PJ Rex is highly allergic to wine, yet she can consume the Deerfield Wines without any allergic reaction. Deerfield is also a certified green winery, and 98% of the processed wastewater is recycled on-site. Extensive wetlands, forest and habitat on the 40-acre property are actively being restored. All of the estate vineyards are organically farmed, and they make 100% of their own compost.
Wine Tasting Details:  You will have the opportunity to choose from approximately 20 different wines for your tasting experience. The knowledgeable hosts will guide you through your chosen flight. Tasting fees range from $15 to $25 per person, and can be applied towards the purchase of 3 or more bottles of wine. A VIP tasting can be arranged with advance notice. That tasting is hosted by the owners Robert and PJ Rex at their home and is $65. The cost of the wine runs from $18 to $125 per bottle for some of Deerfields library wines. No appointment is necessary for groups under 8. Tours are also available daily, but you must make reservations in advance. The fee for the tour is $45 per person (includes your tasting).
Insider Information:  A little known fact is that Deerfield Ranch also has another label. This up and coming label is called @Wine. And they are just starting to pour them in their tasting cave. Think of them as the everyday versions of the Deerfield Ranch wines. There are four wines that make up the @Wine label. Three of the four are $24 and the fourth, a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, is $40.