Cliffs Wine Picks – Feb 16, 2015 to Mar 1, 2015

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

2011 Newton Claret

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch – $35.00

There were 8 barrels of this wine produced.  This has 15.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The masculine nose is full of blackberries, cassis, stone minerals, roasted herbs, white pepper, vanilla, spice and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries and minerals coat the palate on the front end with roasted herbs and vanilla coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a dried floral note adding nice depth.  This is rich and luxurious with enough tannins and acidity to keep everything in check and to provide nice balance for such a big wine.  This can be opened now or through the end of the decade.  (93 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

 

 

 

2011 Newton Claret – $17.99

This vintage is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec.  The wine has 14.0% alcohol.  The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cherries, cedar, dried herbs, dusty minerals, tobacco and dry earth.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit shares the stage with dusty minerals, cedar and dried herbs on the front end with dry earth and tobacco coming in later.  The finish has decent length but loses some of the early richness.  A perfectly acceptable week night cab blend.  (88 pts)

2011 Newton Claret

2011 Newton Claret

 

 

 

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace – $17.50

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter than a typical zinfandel, this actually looks like a Pinot Noir.  The very tempting nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, minerals, smoke, white pepper, wild flowers, and some earthiness.  The wine has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate leans a bit more to the red fruit than black with cherries, spices, minerals, and nice earthiness.  The finish is fairly silky and smooth and lingers nicely. This is drinking very nicely but with great balance will last in the cellar for a few more years.   (93 pts)

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

 

 

 

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

A few years ago the local wine store ran this wine as an e-mail special.  It was a pretty easy decision to grab a case for well under $10 a bottle.  How often can you find a single vineyard Petite at that price?  I don’t know the specifics but according to the winery’s website this was the last vintage for the wine.  I know for a fact they made some in the 2008 vintage, since I have a case in my cellar.  At least I bought a case but I have opened a few bottles.

 

This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

 

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The very masculine nose is loaded with blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, smoke, vanilla, eucalyptus, cherries, and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the peppery berries kick off the show with some smoke and vanilla coming in on the back end. A faint herbal note peaks out on the fairly long finish as well as some earthiness.  This tastes marvelous today and should hold for at least a couple more years.  (90 pts)

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

 

 

 

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

This wine was a free upgrade from Underground Cellars when I bought a few bottles of a lower end Australian Shiraz.  This 100% Italian Syrah has 14% alcohol.  The wine is a medium ruby color with a touch of brick at the edge.  The enticing nose has cherries, chalky minerals, baking spices, roasted herbs, anise, smoke, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This is barely medium body with soft integrated tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the chalky minerals and baking spices jump out first with nice fruit in the background on the front end, scorched earth and dried flowers come in later.  The finish has decent length with the minerals and spices pushing the fruit into the background.  This probably needs to be opened over the next year or two but it will be a great companion to dinner.  (88 pts)

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

 

 

 

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

This wine is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache and 25% Carignan.  A total of 220 cases were produced.  The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The intoxicating nose has black cherries, vanilla bean, crushed stones, raspberries, warm baking spices, well worn leather, dark chocolate, earthy underbrush and violets.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Crushed stones, spices and black cherries dominate the front end on the palate with nice earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries, spice and minerals seeming to linger forever.  An outstanding effort.  (93 pts)

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

 

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $29.99

This wine I generally pick up in bulk when I see it at a good price on a store’s shelf.  The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has tart cherries, baking spices, wild flowers, white pepper, crushed stones and dry underbrush.  This silky wine has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart cherries, white pepper and baking spices coat the palate on the front end with stony minerals and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a bit of earthiness adding some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity at this early point in its development but is still very tasty.  (90 pts)

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

I was in the mood for a very late Thanksgiving dinner.  We pretty much missed Thanksgiving this year since we were packing and loading the truck for our move from Wisconsin to South Carolina.  We saw a TV show where they made “waffles” from the dressing and served them with sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy.  My wife mixed up some cornbread dressing, I put it in the waffle iron, heated up some sliced turkey breast and we had a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner in late February.

IMG_7648

 

 

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano – $30.39

A local wine store had a few bottles of this wine on their close-out rack at a great price, it is generally in the $45 neighborhood, so I had to grab a few bottles.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese.  The wine is a deep violet color.  The enticing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, raspberries, licorice, mint, baking spices, violets and scorched earth.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and berries jump out first with spices, mint and dusty minerals coming in quickly.  The finish has very good length with scorched earth entering the picture.  This is a very nice Chianti Classico Riserva, especially for the price I was able to find.  This is usually about 50% more than my price.  (92 pts)

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

 

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire – $36.00

This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre from Denner and Booker Vineyards in Paso Robles.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoked meat, crushed stone minerals, cherries, warm baking spices, black tea leaves, damp underbrush, dried flowers and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  Juicy berries, crushed stones and baking spices coat the palate on the front end with cherries, black tea leaves and nice underbrush coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries, minerals and spice carrying the bulk of the load.  This is tasting very nice right now, but should hold for a few more years.  Impressive!  (93 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Feb 9, 2015 to Feb 15, 2015

 

2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao

2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva

2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2009 Villa Creek Granadina

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

2006 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse

2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba

2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro

 

 

 

2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao – $18.99

This wine has 12.94% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a lighter ruby red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, smoke, roasted herbs, white pepper, wildflowers, orange zest and just a hint of dark chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Tart cherries, minerals and white pepper hit the palate on the front end with roasted hers and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a peppery fruit and a touch of spice carrying the load.  A nice, food friendly Oregon Pinot.  (89 pts)

2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao

2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao

 

 

 

2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva – $16.99

This wine is 100% Tempranillo that was aged for 24 months in French oak.  The alcohol is 13% and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a deep, saturated ruby color.  The very inviting nose has black cherries, crushed stones, tobacco, baking spices, dried herbs, dry earth and flowery potpourri.  This is barely medium body with very nice acidity and moderate tannins.  Fruit, spices and crushed stone minerals explode on the palate immediately with earthiness and a dried floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a touch of white pepper entering the picture.  This is in a great drinking window.  (91 pts)

2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva

2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva

 

 

 

2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive – $29.99

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very open and exuberant nose is full of blackberries, smoky minerals, black pepper, black cherries, violets and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with soft ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This is front loaded with fruit and minerals on the palate with black pepper and flowers coming in late.  The finish has good length with some dark chocolate entering the picture.  I would have preferred a bit more closing intensity and focus, the low acidity and soft tannins allow the wine to lose some shape and balance on the finish.  (87 pts)

2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

 

 

 

2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $29.99

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, roasted herbs, violets, baking spices, earthy underbrush and raspberries.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries, spice and violets hit first with nice earthiness and raspberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with roasted herbs entering the picture.  I wouldn’t hold this one too long, this is drinking very nicely now.  (90 pts)

2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

2009 Villa Creek Granadina – $40.00

This is a blend of 50% Carver Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Denner Vineyard Mourvedre.

 

Some of our favorite Cabernets from Paso Robles (Adelaida Cabs from the early 90’s, Lone Madrone’s Cabs from ‘96 and ‘97) evolved from the spectacular Carver Vineyard. Carver sits high on York Mountain and is just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, due west of Paso Robles. It is surrounded by lush oak forests and looks south and west upon the neighboring hilltops from its steep perch. The fruit off this property actually tastes like Cabernet Sauvignon. It has nice fruit, solid acidity and a spot of that herbal (not vegetal) component that is inherent in the grape. Cab and Mourvèdre are wonderful foils to one another, like chocolate and figs. The wines were fermented separately and aged for 1 year prior to assembly of the final blend. The Cabernet was aged in 100% new French barriques and the Mourvèdre was aged in second fill French Puncheons. The wine went back into barrel for an additional 10 months.

 

15.0% alcohol natural with a wax coating

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The spellbinding nose has cassis, black cherries, tobacco, crushed stone minerals, cedar, roasted herbs, licorice, road tar and a touch of underbrush.  This has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  This bas bright fruit and minerals on the front end with roasted herbs, tobacco and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with a touch of underbrush entering the picture.  This has nice focus and balance right through the delightful finish.  This is a keeper that will provide pleasure over the next several years.  (93 pts)

2009 Villa Creek Granadina

2009 Villa Creek Granadina

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard – $19.75

This wine has 14.9% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  The wine is a deep red color.  The slightly shy nose has cherries, baking spices, crushed stones, raspberries and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate bright cherries and baking spices immediately take control, slowly allowing minerals a touch of dry earth to slip through.  The finish has nice length with a floral note entering the picture.  This is very easy to drink.  (90 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard – $50.00

This wine has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, violets, dark chocolate, dead wood embers and scorched earth.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Tart berries and spice coat the palate quickly with charred wood and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has great length with dark chocolate coming into the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and it should hold for a few more years.  (92 pts)

2006 Copain Syrah Garys' Vineyard

2006 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse – $18.99

The wine sports a natural cork and has 14.4% alcohol.  The wine is a dark ruby to purple color.  The outgoing nose has brambly berries, baking spices, licorice, black pepper, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and black pepper dominate the front end with a floral note coming in late.  The finish has decent length but does not have much complexity.  This is an easy drinking wine to share with friends.  (86 pts)

2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse

2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse

 

 

 

2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba – $13.99

This has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  The wine is a light red to ruby color.  The enticing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, roses, spice, violets and a hint of road tar.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals jump out first with a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a touch of road tar entering the picture.  This is a very nice, week night Italian Nebbiolo, especially for under $15.  (89 pts)

2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d'Alba

2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba

 

 

 

2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro – $16.99

This wine was aged for 12 months in oak barrels, 50% of which were new.  The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The very satisfying nose has cherries, berries, forest floor, smoky embers, minerals and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate forest floor and minerals jump out first with fruit coming into the picture later as well as nice spice.  The finish has decent length but could use a bit more depth which could come with a bit of cellar time.  For now, this is a very nice, reasonably priced change of pace wine.  (89 pts)

2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro

2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro

 

 

 

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

 

One of our favorite “special treat” dinners is this delicious shrimp recipe.  If you’ve never been to New Orleans or have had barbecue shrimp, this dish is well worth a try.  It is quick (other than letting it sit in the refrigerator) and easy.

 

We’ve tried several different versions of this New Orleans classic dish, but this is the one we now use.

 

 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 – 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

 

Savory, spicy, shrimp that you can’t quit eating…use crusty, French bread to sop up every last drop!

 

ingredients:

2 pounds fresh,jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

 

directions:

Peel and devein the shrimp.

 

Add all of the other ingredients in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and let cool.

 

Arrange the shrimp in an oven- proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake shrimp for 15 – 20 minutes.

 

Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.

 

Click here to visit the Return to Sunday Supper website.

 

 

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

The shrimp and sauce ready to go into the refrigerator.

 

IMG_7588

The finished dish straight from the oven.

 

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

We like the buttery potatoes and a side dish with the shrimp, but the most important companion for the shrimp is a large supply of crusty bread.  You won’t want to miss a drop of that scrumptious sauce.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Feb 2, 2015 to Feb 8, 2015

 

2011 Treasure Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2009 Stolpman Syrah Estate Grown

2004 Bodegas Castano Yecla Casa Cisca

2001 Clos Pegase Home Ranch Reserve Port Home Ranch

2012 Sextant Wines Zinfandel

2012 Pierre-Henri Morel Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2013 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

2006 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

2011 Treasure Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – $28.49

This is a new purchase from this “négociant’ label.  The “winery” buys excess wine from traditional wineries, bottles it, and turns over their inventory fairly quickly.  The wineries are generally eager to sell off their unwanted wines so Treasure Hunter gets the juice at a VERY big discount.  One of the usual stipulations is that the source of the grapes/wine remains anonymous.  In this case, the name of the original winery was “accidently” slipped, so I know who supposedly made the wine, but I’m sworn to secrecy.

 

Here is the info from Treasure Hunter’s website:

Occasionally we find a wine that is so special, it deserves its own label. This is one of those wines. It is a cult wine from a cult winery it just happens to cost a whole lot less. Lucky you.

 

If the source is accurate, the winery produces two cabernet sauvignons, the least expensive costs north of $100 a bottle.  The other cabernet produced by the winery has a community average cost on Cellar Tracker of well over $300 a bottle.

 

This wine is available for sell on the Treasure Cellars website for $45.00 a bottle, click here for more info.

 

The wine has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has cassis, dark bittersweet chocolate, dried herbs, eucalyptus, cherries, minerals, cigar box, and some “Rutherford Dust” (if this is from Rutherford).  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate big cassis and eucalyptus grab hold eventually allowing cherries, dark chocolate, and some dried herbs enter into the mix.  The finish has very good length with a very slight green herbaceous element creeping in on the back end.  This is extremely young and has a very bright future.  Even at this early stage in its development, the wine has impeccable balance.  I’m sure with some cellar time the slight green element will integrate.  This rating is totally out the window in another couple years.  (92 pts)

2011 Treasure Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2011 Treasure Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 

 

 

2009 Stolpman Syrah Estate Grown – $19.99

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, licorice, cedar, freshly cracked black peppercorns, violets, dark chocolate, warm baking spices and a touch of road tar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and black pepper jump out first with spicy oak and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish had very nice length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  Very nice!  (92 pts)

2009 Stolpman Syrah Estate Grown

2009 Stolpman Syrah Estate Grown

 

 

 

2004 Bodegas Castano Yecla Casa Cisca – $18.99

The wine is in a very thick, heavy bottle.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The exotic nose is full of warm berry pie, cherries, Asian spices, cedar, tobacco, earthy underbrush, minerals, dark chocolate, wild flowers, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is lighter and brighter on the palate than I was expecting based on the slightly brooding nose.  Asian spice and tart cherries lead off the show with minerals and cedar making an appearance on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with minerals, spicy oak and some earthiness adding to the complexity.  This is still on the younger side and some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  That said, with some air this vibrant and bright wine is immensely enjoyable today.  (92 pts)

2004 Bodegas Castano Yecla Casa Cisca

2004 Bodegas Castano Yecla Casa Cisca

 

 

 

2001 Clos Pegase Home Ranch Reserve Port Home Ranch – $28.00

This was a 375 ml bottle, sealed with a natural cork.  The wine has 18.5% alcohol.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, black pepper, melted licorice and baking spices.   This has a full body with moderate tannins, good acidity and nice sweetness.  On the palate ripe berries and spice hit first with pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with nice lingering sweetness.  This has nice richness without being cloyingly sweet.  This doesn’t have much complexity but is a nice way to end an evening.  (88 pts)

2001 Clos Pegase Home Ranch Reserve Port Home Ranch

2001 Clos Pegase Home Ranch Reserve Port Home Ranch

 

 

 

2012 Sextant Wines Zinfandel – $14.99

This wine has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The playful nose has juicy blackberries, baking spices, black pepper, vanilla bean, licorice, dusty minerals, dried flowers and freshly ground coffee beans.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Ripe, juicy berries and spices coat the palate on the front end with black pepper and minerals coming in later.  The finish adds dried flowers and coffee beans to the ripe berries.  This is a ripe and jammy zin that is very easy to drink.  (88 pts)

2012 Sextant Wines Zinfandel

2012 Sextant Wines Zinfandel

 

 

 

2012 Pierre-Henri Morel Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues – $11.99

This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Carignan.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a slightly dull ruby red color.  The promising nose has blackberries, minerals, white pepper, licorice, dried herbs, cherries, dying wood embers and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate tart berries, minerals and white pepper immediately grab your attention with dried herbs and a smoky element coming in later.  The finish has nice length with berries and white pepper doing the heavy lifting.  For such a young wine this is drinking very nicely.  (90 pts)

2012 Pierre-Henri Morel Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues

2012 Pierre-Henri Morel Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues

 

 

 

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz – $25.00

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky ruby color.  The nose has blackberries, minerals, baking spices, smoke, cherries, cedar, licorice and dried flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Ripe berries, minerals and spices coat the palate on the front end with spicy oak and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a smoky element joining in.  This is probably in its prime and should be enjoyed over the next couple of years.  (88 pts)

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

 

 

 

2013 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $24.00

This is from a 375 ml bottle fresh off the delivery truck.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch lighter than ruby red.  The promising nose has cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, raspberries, roasted herbs, licorice, orange zest and subtle underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate bright fruit and spice hit first with nice crushed stone coming in later.  The finish adds roasted herbs and some nice earthiness.  This is extremely young but shows great promise.  (93 pts)

2013 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2013 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé – $16.62

Domaine Lucien Albrecht is one of the oldest and leading Alsace family owned estate, tracing its roots back to 1425.  Through the Albrecht eighteen generations, they have become one of the largest owners of prime Alsace hillside vineyards.  In the early 70’s, Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, the current proprietor and winemaker, was one of the three founding fathers of the regulated Crémant d’Alsace.  In 2004, Lucien Albrecht Crémants made history.  At the 14th Concours National des Crémants de France (Crémant Wine Challenge), they stole the show, winning an unprecedented Four Gold Medals.

 

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  The whole cluster hand-picked grapes are softly pressed in a pneumatic press, hence the coral, light pink salmon color.  Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made by using the same methods as in Champagne, i.e “method traditionnelle”.  After the second fermentation in the bottle, lee ageing lasts for nine months, followed by remuage and disgorging.

 

This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, yeasty bread and a hint of citrus zest.  The wine has light body with crisp acidity and sporadic pinpoint bubbles after an initial blast of bubbles left a nice mousse.   Cherries, strawberries and minerals dominate the palate.  The finish has great length with just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity but very tasty.  (90 pts)

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

 

 

 

2006 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino – $32.00

This is a new winery for me, but it came with a high recommendation from a friend that knows his Italian wines.  I love a big Brunello, especially with beef that has been seasoned with Italian herbs and spices.

 

Winery history

Altesino is a leader in various, important innovations in the production of Sangiovese from Montalcino, causing it to stand out and become a reference point for the entire territory.

 

Some of the positive contributions putting Montalcino on the world map are: the introduction of the “Cru” (Montosoli) concept in 1975, the first experiments with barriques in ’79, the production in ’77 of the first Grappa from a winery and the first Futures (purchasing wine before its release) for Brunello 1985.

 

Over the last forty years an intense relationship has been developed with the land full of history, with its almost sensual beauty that is physically perceived and its subtle charm that reaches the body and soul.

 

This is the philosophy that inspires Altesino to produce wine and maintain its culture.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red, with a much lighter meniscus.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, cherries, warm baking spices, eucalyptus, wild flowers, dark chocolate, earthy underbrush, and some spicy oak.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate leads off with tart, juicy, red fruit but nice spice, oak, and a touch of eucalyptus come into the picture adding depth.  The long finish is full of spicy fruit, oak, and some nice earthiness.  Tasty today but this should add some complexity with additional cellar time.  (92 pts)

2006 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

2006 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Jan 26, 2015 to Feb 1, 2015

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

2008 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva

2010 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet

2012 Truett-Hurst Zinfandel Three Vineyards

2005 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard

2012 Gordon Estate Syrah

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard – $46.00

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, minerals, baking spices, black cherries, licorice, raspberries, a touch of smoke and subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy berries and minerals dominate the front end with black cherries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length but does show just a touch of alcohol, but not enough to take away from the wine.  This is a very nice combination of a big, rich California Pinot but with plenty of tannins and acidity to provide support and balance. An outstanding effort.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva – $17.59

This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine had 13.5% alcohol and the bottle was sealed with a natural cork.  Attempting to pull the cork caused it to split leaving floating pieces.  Pouring the wine through a very fine mesh strainer helped to remove most of the fragments.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The comforting nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, baking spices, tobacco, stony minerals, violets and well worn leather.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate bright cherries, spice and minerals initially grab all the attention with some nice earthiness and a floral note in the background.  The finish has nice length with the earthiness and violets sharing the lead role with tart cherries.  This is in a nice place in its evolution, but I wouldn’t hold it for too much longer.  (89 pts)

2008 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva

2008 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva

 

 

 

2010 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet – $9.89

This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright maroon color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, crushed stones, dried herbs, dying wood embers and freshly ground dark roast coffee.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries and a wall of crushed stone minerals jump out first with dried herbs and a nice smoky element coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark roast coffee and cherries adding very good depth.  This tastes great now but will be better in another year or two.  (92 pts)

2010 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet

2010 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet

 

 

 

I cooked up a pork tenderloin to go with the Domaine Notre Dame, just not in a normal manner.

 

I started with a Pork Tenderloin with a touch of Montreal Steak seasoning then wrapped it in bacon.

IMG_7449

 

I the smoked the tenderloin at a low temperature for four hours.

IMG_7456

 

Lastly, I briefly put the twnderloin on a hot grill for a couple minutes to crisp up the bacon.

IMG_7465

 

The tenderloin was tender and very juicy.  The smokiness and nice peppery spice made it a perfect partner for the wine.

 

 

 

2012 Truett-Hurst Zinfandel Three Vineyards – $22.99

This wine has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The tempting nose has brambly berries, licorice, dusty minerals, white pepper, baking spices, dried flowers and a touch of underbrush.  Ripe, spicy berries and dusty minerals coat the palate on the front end with white pepper and spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and some subtle earthiness entering the picture.  This is a nice middle of the road Dry Creek zinfandel.  (90 pts)

2012 Truett-Hurst Zinfandel Three Vineyards

2012 Truett-Hurst Zinfandel Three Vineyards

 

 

 

2005 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard – $60.00

This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, smoked meat, minerals, blueberries, tar, black pepper, bittersweet chocolate, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The wine isn’t as big on the palate as the nose lead me to expect, it’s actually very civilized.  The palate has nice rich fruit but equal amounts of savory elements to steer clear of getting too fruity and boring.  The tannins and acidity easily holds everything in place and maintain control.  The finish is fairly long with some dark chocolate and earthiness creeping in to add considerable interest.  I may have been in the minority, but I liked this style of Copain Syrah.  (93 pts)

2005 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard

2005 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Gordon Estate Syrah – $21.99

The wine has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon garnet color.  The appealing nose has blackberries, crushed stones, dried herbs, blueberries, smoke, vanilla bean, licorice, dark chocolate and subtle earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit and stony minerals hit first with dried herbs and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has nice length with smoke and underbrush coming into the picture and well as a closing blueberry note.  This is on the young side but already very tasty.  (91 pts)

2012 Gordon Estate Syrah

2012 Gordon Estate Syrah

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Jan 19, 2015 to Jan 25, 2015

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard

2006 Copain Syrah Les Voisins McDowell Valley

2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir

2011 Shingleback Shiraz Wine Maker’s Series

2012 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard – $42.00

The wine has 15.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, warm baking spices, cracked black peppercorns, tart cherries, wood embers, dried herbs and underbrush.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate brambly berries and spice jump out first with cherries and a blast of black pepper coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the berries and black pepper carrying the load.  For a high ABV wine, this is actually lithe and well balanced, not heavy and overbearing.  A very nice job by a top notch winery.  (93 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard

2009 Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Les Voisins McDowell Valley – $35.00

This wine has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The open and expressive nose has blackberries, stony minerals, olive tapenade, smoky embers, black cherries, baking spices, dried wild flowers, licorice and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body with integrated tannins and good acidity.  This has nice spicy fruit and minerals on the front end with olives and a smoky element coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and it should hold for another year or two.   (91 pts)

2006 Copain Syrah Les Voisins McDowell Valley

2006 Copain Syrah Les Voisins McDowell Valley

 

 

 

2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir – $18.99

This twist off cap sealed with has 13.8% alcohol.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, violets, vanilla bean, dead wood embers and some earthiness.  This has medium body with soft, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe, juicy cherries and spice lead the way with smoky wood and a nice floral note coming in late.  The finish has nice length with bright cherries and subtle earthiness carrying the load.  This is a nice, easy drinking Pinot for a week night dinner or to share with friends over conversation.  (89 pts)

2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir

2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2011 Shingleback Shiraz Wine Maker’s Series – $19.79

This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The mysterious nose has blackberries, roasted herbs, spice, olives, flinty minerals, road tar, tobacco and wild flowers.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and bright acidity.  On the palate the berries, spice and olives jump out first with minerals and a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the fruit taking on a redder character to join the roasted herbs.  Not a lot of complexity but tasty none the less.  Don’t expect a big, ripe, syrupy Aussie Shiraz.  (88 pts)

2011 Shingleback Shiraz Wine Maker's Series

2011 Shingleback Shiraz Wine Maker’s Series

 

 

 

2012 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines – $13.99

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and has a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, crushed stones, white pepper, cherries, tobacco, iron shavings, licorice and a floral based potpourri.  This has a medium to full body with moderate  to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Brambly berries, minerals and white pepper coat the palate, slowly allowing a floral note to creep in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tobacco and a hint of iron adding depth.  Not very complex but a winner for under $15.  (89 pts)

2012 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines

2012 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Russian River Valley – $22.99

The wine has 14.1% alcohol and a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color, lighter at the edge.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, crushed stones, plums, cherries, baking spices, smoked meat, freshly cracked black peppercorns, vanilla bean and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart berries, stones and spice initially coat the palate slowly allowing plums, black pepper and smoked meat to slip in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tart cherries and some subtle earthiness coming into the picture adding nice depth.  This wine is in a marvelous drinking window.  (92 pts)

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Russian River Valley

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Russian River Valley

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Logo

 

Name

 

 

 

This bottle of wine was a “house warming” gift from the winery.  As gifts go, this one was one of the best I have ever received.  I know the wine will be better down the road but I wanted to try the wine so I could decide how many to buy.  With the miniscule production, I didn’t want to miss out and be kicking myself in the years to come.

 

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

The winery focuses their production on Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon but they added a petite sirah (also top notch) in 2012 and will introduce their first white wine with the 2014 vintage – a sauvignon blanc from Rutherford.  Yes, you read that right, a white wine!

 

Right before the earthquake the winery moved from the Michael Mondavi Winery in Carneros (it was sold) to a new state-of-the-art winery in Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine (from the winery)

Our 2012 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes from an historic vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench.

 

IMG_0001 

  

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford – SRP $90

This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Hossfield Vineyard Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% French oak, 70% new and the remainder was one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 60 cases.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, warm baking spices, cherries, tobacco, cedar, dusty minerals, dying wood embers, dried herbs, wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate rich fruit, spice and minerals immediately grab your attention, slowly allowing wood embers and cedar to slip into the picture.  The finish has very good length with tobacco and a dried herb note coming into focus.  This is incredibly young with a big tannic bite but already a worthy foil for a piece of juicy, grilled beef.  This is delicious now but will be even better as this decade draws to a close.  (96 pts)

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

 

Conclusion

Like they say, put up or shut up.  I very much enjoyed this wine and ordered a three pack of this wine as well as a six bottle sampler pack that included two more bottles.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Jan 12, 2015 to Jan 18, 2015

 

2006 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2009 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2011 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2011 Exitus

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

 

2006 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva – $13.59

This was an unfamiliar wine when I saw it on the shelf at a local wine store.  Since I had a coupon worth 20% off on “old world” wine and we always seem to be low on Italian wines, I had to grab a bottle.  Since the bottle already had a couple years of age “under its belt”, I’m hoping it’s good to go.  This wine is 90% Sangiovese, 5% Alicante, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dull ruby color with some bricking at the edge.  The pleasurable nose has cherries, dusty minerals, baking spices, underbrush, roasted herbs, vanilla bean and dried violets.  This has medium body with very good acidity and just a touch of tannins.  On the palate cherry and dusty minerals grab hold first, slowly allowing spices and roasted herbs to slip into the picture.  The finish has good length with some underbrush and a touch of dark chocolate coming in late.  This was a steal at well under $15.  (92 pts)

2006 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2006 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

 

 

 

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – $32.99

In July 2012, the store where we used to live brought this in at a great price, under $25 a bottle.  Those bottles are long gone, but when I saw this on the shelf of a store near our new home, I had to grab a bottle even though the cost was not as low.  Two Hands is one of my wife’s favorite wineries so it was nice to open something I knew she would appreciate.

 

Gnarly Dudes is made with fruit sourced from mature vineyards from the Barossa’s western ranges.

 

The lots making up this wine were crushed into and fermented in 3, 5, 7 and 10 ton open top vessels.  Three daily pump overs were performed during the peak of fermentation to extract flavor, color and tannins.  The batches were drained and pressed to tank, then racked to barrel for oak maturation where malolactic fermentation occurred.  All batches were kept separate and blended just prior to bottling.  The wine was aged 14 months in hogsheads, 11% new French oak with the balance in 1 to 4 year old French oak

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky, purple color.  The burly nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, plums, meat juices, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, melted licorice, charcoal, and fresh wild flowers.  The wine is medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate there are loads of spicy, smoky, meaty berries with plums and dark chocolate coming in on the back end to add even more depth.  The finish is long, juicy, and flavorful.  A seamless, balanced, full flavored Shiraz with no rough edges.  Enjoyable now and for the next five years.  (94 pts)

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

 

 

 

2009 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard – $33.60

This wine is 100% Grenache from the Denner Vineyard in Paso Robles.

 

This is the first year Villa Creek used concrete vats for a portion of the Grenache, which was fermented with 50% whole clusters. The other two lots were fermented in steel and aged in 500 liter barrels, 50% new.

 

The wine has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork with wax coating.  There were 360 cases produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a ruby tint.  The sensuous nose has ripe cherries, crushed stone minerals, plums, licorice, dried herbs, dried flowers and a touch of scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the ripe cherries and stony minerals jump out quickly with dried herbs and dried earth coming in later.  The finish is long and lingering with licorice and a nice floral note entering the picture and adding good depth.  This is very easy to drink now and should provide plenty of pleasure over the next couple of years.  (93 pts)

2009 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2009 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast – $39.99

Two Hands is one of my wife’s favorite wineries so I have to grab a bottle or two any time I see them on a store’s shelf.  I bought this bottle at the same time I grabbed the Gnarly Dudes also on this post.

 

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia’s McLaren Vale region.

 

The lots that went into this wine were crushed into and fermented in open top vessels.  There were three daily pump overs to extract flavors, color and tannins.  The average time ‘on skins’ was 14 days.  The batches were then drained and pressed to tank and then racked to barrel for oak maturation.  The wine was aged 14 months in hogsheads: 12% new French oak, balance in one to four year old French oak.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The relaxing nose has ripe cassis, licorice, baking spices, pencil shavings and a hint of roasted herbs.  This has a medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Ripe, rich fruit and spice coat the palate on the front end with a bit of roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has good length with pencil shavings and a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This wine is very easy to drink and enjoy.  (90 pts)

2011 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2011 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

 

 

 

2011 Exitus – $9.49

A local wine store had this opened for a tasting.  The wine had a suggested price of $25.99, which far exceeded its value.  To me the wine was simply an easy drinking wine to enjoy with friends at the end of an evening.  For their event price of $9.99, the wine seemed to be fairly priced, so I grabbed a couple bottles.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah from Monterey, 31% Merlot from Monterey and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle was sealed with an artificial cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine was a deep ruby to purple color.  The comforting nose has blackberries, roasted herbs, cherries, white pepper, licorice and subtle earthiness.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe fruit and spice jump out first with roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  The wine leaves a slightly sweet final impression on the palate.  (87 pts)

2011 Exitus

2011 Exitus

 

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville – $23.74

I always have a hard time choosing a favorite between the Ridge Lytton Springs and the Ridge Geyserville wines.  Both are zinfandel based blends but since Zinfandel generally constitutes less than 75% of the blend, they aren’t labeled as a Zinfandel.  This vintage is a blend of 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre).  This wine is disappearing from my cellar at a fairly fast rate of speed, of the 15 bottles I originally purchased; I now have less than half remaining.

 

The alcohol is listed at 14.4% and this uses a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge.  He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892.  This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility.  At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

 

In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s.  From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet.  That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era.  Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage.

 

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge.  This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel.  The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres.  Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity.  By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership.  A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile’s coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist.  His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward “hands off” approach pioneered at Ridge.  Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established.  Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage.  Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.

 

Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991.  A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground.  Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals.  Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology.  Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very enticing nose has brambly berries, cherry, black pepper, licorice, warm baking spices, charred meat, forest floor, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has nice up front fruit and spice with more spice, licorice, and meaty elements coming in on the back end.  The finish is long with spice laden fruit slowly giving way to more earthy elements that seem to linger forever.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for at least a few more years.  (92 pts)

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

I decided to try something different to pair with the Ridge Geyserville.  I have a pellet grill that I use to smoke meat and decided to see how a chicken would turn out.  I started with a five to six pound whole fryer.  After brining it overnight in water with kosher salt and brown sugar, I rinsed it off with cold water, patted it dry and coated it with my spice rub.  The bird then went into the pellet grill for 6 hours at 180 degrees.  For the last hour, I upped the temperature to 225.

Chicken - Before

 

Here is the finished chicken.  It was very tender and extremely juicy with just a touch of spice from the dry rub and it had a very nice smoky aroma and taste.  The chick and the wine worked very nicely together.

Chicken - After

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,624 other followers

%d bloggers like this: