Steven Kent Wines – Lola White Blend

 

2014 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

 

This sample was provided by the winery.

 

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Overview

Over the last couple of years, receiving samples from Steven Kent Winery (and La Rochelle) has always been a high point.  Steven Kent Winery produces some of the best Bordeaux varietal based wines coming out of California.  La Rochelle is at the other end of the varietal spectrum producing outstanding wines from the grapes of Burgundy.  This shipment was of one of my favorite warm weather wines, the new vintage of Steven Kent Winery Lola.  This is usually an outstanding blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the white grapes of Bordeaux.

 

 

The Steven Kent Winery Was Born.

In 2005, Steven joined forces with the Ghielmetti family who owned a spectacular vineyard site about three miles east of the winery.  The site was planted to Bordeaux and Rhône varieties, many of which he used to make small-lot releases for his burgeoning wine clubs.  Steven realized in 2007, though, that the farther he went down this path, the further away he’d be from the vision with which he started in the business – to make a single, great, statement wine.

 

Lineage—our Livermore Valley Red Wine—then, is the renaissance of that need to have the effort mean something; for the wine to be a symbol of the passion to create something of great quality, an emblem of one family’s generations-long commitment to the grape.

 

Also in 2005, Steven found an opportunity to close a circle.  His cousins, who had earlier sold the Mirassou brand to Gallo, had started a brand called La Rochelle, named for the town north of Bordeaux from which their progenitor had come to America in 1854.  La Rochelle had an amazingly talented winemaker, Tom Stutz, and a portfolio of wines whose only focus was family vineyard fruit from Monterey.  Steven acquired the brand and brought it and Tom up to Livermore with a new focus on Pinot Noir.  Seven years later, La Rochelle is making some of the best Pinot Noirs (and a newly released, small-lot production focus on Chardonnay) in California.

 

Much more information, links to the wineries, and purchasing information is available at their website.

 

Steven has a very nice blog here – Steven’s Blog.

 

 

Steven Kent Winery Info

“Steven Kent is producing today’s greatest Livermore Cabernets, wines that hearken back to the valley’s roots as one of California’s best wine regions.” – Wine Enthusiast

 

The Steven Kent Winery was started in 1996 with one mission: to make Cabernet here in the Livermore Valley that rivals in quality the greatest red wines made anywhere in the world.

 

Livermore Valley has a long, dedicated history of growing the “Bordeaux” varietals, and in particular Cabernet Sauvignon.  In the 1880s, pioneering winegrowers began to discover the potential of the Livermore Valley region.  Then, as today, L.V.’s climate and soils closely resemble those of Bordeaux’s famed left bank of the Gironde.  By the turn of the last century, Livermore Valley was already far ahead of its Napa Valley neighbor in specializing in the Bordeaux varieties.  Our goal at Steven Kent is to carry on that tradition.

 

“We have worked joyously and strenuously to know our vineyards; to learn how our fruit expresses itself from those sites; to discover the best winemaking and barrel regimens that translates those grapes into world-class vintages.  We’re very gratified that customers, critics, and collectors alike consider our “historic Cabernet” to be an essential addition to their table, their “best of lists,” and their cellars”.  – Steven Kent Mirassou

 

More information is available at their website.

 

 

To check availability or to purchase any of these wine or other wines offered by the wineries in the Steven Kent Portfolio, visit their website.

 

 

2014 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard – SRP $24.00

The fruit for both varietals was fermented separately in stainless tanks.  The Semillon was aged in neutral oak barrels for about three months then blended with the stainless steel aged Sauvignon Blanc.  To maintain as much of the racy fruit as possible Lola did not go through malolactic fermentation and was thus filtered before bottling.

 

This wine is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon from the Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard located in the foothills 3.4 miles east of the Winery.  The wine has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  There was 500 cases of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a clear light straw yellow with a slight green tint.  The fresh and sexy nose has lemon zest, honey suckle, orange blossoms, crushed stone minerals, apples, cut grass, lime zest and a touch of spice.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and lemon zest jump out quickly with minerals and white flowers coming in later.  The finish has very good length with lime zest and a slight grassy note coming in adding nice depth.  This is a killer bottle of wine for a nice au fresco meal on the deck or patio or to sip on its own on a warm day at the pool.  Count me in as a big fan.  (91 pts)

2014 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

2014 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

 

 

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 – Mar 23, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

 

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

2012 ZAP Zinfandel The Heritage Vineyard

2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County

2011 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett – $19.00

I bought a six pack of this wine during a tasting at the local wine store several years ago.  I remember it being fairly sweet but loaded with acidity so I swore I’d keep my hands off the wine for at least 5 years.  I was almost successful waiting for that long and my patience was rewarded.  It’s been another year and a half, so it’s time to check in again.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very alluring nose has apples, honeydew melon, spice, minerals, vanilla, citrus zest, orange blossoms, and a touch of petrol.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity and solid residual sweetness.  The rich and creamy palate has ripe apples dipped in honey, minerals and melon up front with vanilla and lime coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long and full of sweet fruit, minerals and bit of closing citrus.  Definitely on the sweet side for a Kabinett, but the acidity does a valiant job holding everything together.  There’s no hurry on opening this one, it has several years of life, perhaps even more with good cellaring.  This wine has 7.5% alcohol.  (92 pts)

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

 

 

 

2012 ZAP Zinfandel The Heritage Vineyard

The Heritage Vineyard is an unusual and unprecedented collection of rare and famous Zinfandel vine cuttings grown throughout California.  The Heritage Vineyard stretches over one acre within the UC Davis Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley, California.

 

During the first phase of the project in 1995, 63 selections were planted; during the second phase in 1999, an additional 27, so that the total number of selections now totals 90.  The vines are grafted onto St. George rootstock in clay loam soil with a spacing of 9 feet x 8 feet.  Each vine is head-trained and spur-pruned in the “goblet” shape as they would have been in the nineteenth century.  These practices are not as typical today, since they insure a low (and high quality) yield.  ZAP began producing wine from this historical vineyard in 1997.

 

The first Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel was harvested by ZAP winery producer Nils Venge of Saddleback Cellars and Mary Buckles Pisor of PlumpJack Winery in Oakville.  The 1998 vintage by Robert Biale of Robert Biale Vineyards in Napa, the 1999 vintage was by Matthew Cline of Cline Cellars.  The 2000 vintage is by Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan Vineyards, 2001 vintage is produced by Joel Peterson of Ravenswood, 2002 vintage by Ehren Jordon of Turley Wine Cellars, vintage 2003 by Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards, 2004 by Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars, 2005 by Bill Knuttel of Dry Creek Vineyard and Ottimino, 2006 by Dr. J. Bernard Seps of Storybook Mountain Vineyards. 2007 by Joel Peterson of Ravenswood and 2008 produced by Tom Mackey of St. Francis Winery.  2009 by Ted Seghesio of Seghesio Family Vineyards. 2010 by Diane Wilson of Wilson Family Winery. 2011 by Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Wines. 2012 by Chris Leamy of Terra d’Oro Winery.

 

More information on the project is available by clicking here.

 

Each year ZAP selects a distinguished winery member to craft a unique Zinfandel vintage from the Heritage Vineyard, which is available for tasting at many ZAP events and for purchase during the Zinfandel Festival.

 

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

 

This wine was provided to me by Protocol Wine Studio for a tasting during #WineStudio online tasting and chat.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, tart cherries, freshly cracked black peppercorns, dried earth and a touch of mint.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate bright cherries, spice and brambly berries jump out first with dusty minerals and black pepper coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dried earthiness and a touch of mint adding nice depth.  (92 pts)

2012 ZAP Zinfandel The Heritage Vineyard

2012 ZAP Zinfandel The Heritage Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani – $15.19

I enjoy a nice Italian Dolcetto, they are just not that easy to find around here.  I had enjoyed this wine in past vintages so when a local wine store offered this vintage on an e-mail offer, I had to grab several bottles.

 

This wine has decent distribution in this country.  If you can’t find this wine in your area, there are several online retailers that carry the wine.  Click here to check out some of the online stores that carry this wine.  The release price is $20, but you can generally find it for a couple dollars less.

 

This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The inviting nose has plum, black cherry, dusty minerals, licorice, cocoa powder and wildflowers.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit and minerals hit first, followed by cocoa.  The finish has decent length with a floral note coming into focus.  This is easy to pair with food but is also tasty on its own.  (90 pts)

2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani

2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani

 

 

 

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks – $39.99

I bought a few bottles of this wine hoping it was going to be a nice Cabernet for weekend dinners.  My first bottle was a bit disappointing since the wine lacked everything that makes a Howell Mountain Cab distinctive and interesting.  I’m hoping the first bottle was a bit off but based on a couple other notes, I’m afraid my initial opinion was right.  I guess I’ll see this evening.

 

This has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The big and fully open nose is full of cassis, licorice, warm baking spices, black pepper, leather, dried herbs, and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with soft, ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  On the palate this is soft and jammy for a Howell Mountain wine.  Big, ripe, juicy, berries and spice hit the front end of the palate coating it in flavor with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the backend.  The finish has good length and shows jammy fruit and spice with an oaky overlay but could use some additional complexity.  This is an easier drinking wine than I expected, this isn’t one to stash in the cellar for an extended time.  (89 pts)

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

 

 

 

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County – $16.90

This was about as easy of a purchase that I ever made.  I love the Grenache grape, the wines coming out of Santa Barbara County, and the value the Treasure Hunter label provides.

 

Winery history

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.

 

Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, dried herbs, baking spices, white pepper, crushed stone minerals and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery cherries and raspberries grab hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs and earthiness slip into focus.  The finish had decent length with a nice mix of the fruit and savory elements.  This is drinking very nicely at this time and should hold for another year or two.  This has 14.7% alcohol.  (91 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma's Crush Santa Barbara County

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2011 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard – $24.00

When Mike Smith, the owner/wine maker of Myriad Cellars sent out an e-mail offer for this wine as well as three others with a total combined production of well under 200 total cases, I was lucky enough to get a small allocation.  This was one of those offers you couldn’t refuse.  There was a total production of only 48 cases of this wine.  How can you pass on a single vineyard, Rutherford Sémillon for $24?  I couldn’t!  In the same offer, I had to also grab a few bottles of their Rutherford sourced Petit Verdot, which had an even lower production of only 22 cases.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow with a golden tint.  The crisp and clean nose has melon, pineapple, lemon zest, toasted almonds, minerals, spices, honey, and a very slight herbal note.  This has medium body, tart citrusy acidity, and a touch of tannins.  On the palate this has rich fruit and minerals up front with a big jolt of citrus coming in to hold everything together very nicely on the midpalate.  The finish has nice length with a touch of an herbal element coming into the picture.  This is drinking nicely, this can be enjoyed now or over the next year, maybe two.  This has 14.4% alcohol.  (92 pts)

2011 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2011 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $60.00

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we travelled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For much more information on the winery or to join their mailing list click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby to garnet color with just a touch of lightening at the edge.  The sensuous nose features cassis, cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, cherries, smoke, well worn leather, dried violets and just a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body with moderate ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is rich and velvety on the palate with dried herb laced berries and cherries up front with nice savory notes and spicy oak adding considerable depth and complexity.  The long finish adds a touch of dark chocolate and earthiness to the fruit and dried herbs.  The wine is in a perfect drinking window with absolutely no rough edges or overpowering elements, but it should hold for at least a few more years if not longer.  This wine has 14.7% alcohol and sports a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

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 – Mar 16, 2015 to Mar 22, 2015

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

2011 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale

 

 

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.29

This is a kitchen sink blend that changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Verdot and 1% Carmenere from the Columbia Valley in Washington.  The wine is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  My eyesight may not as good as it used to be but if the alcohol percentage is on the label, I could not find it.  The wine is a fairly dark ruby to maroon color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, smoldering charcoal, vanilla, meat juices, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has a nice mix of fruity and savory elements that play well off of each other.  The finish has decent length leaning a bit more on the savory elements.  This is in a very nice drinking window and is a nice change of pace from the bigger, riper California wines.  This wine has not only survived some cellar time but has improved over the last few years.  What more can you ask of a sub $15 bottle of wine?  (90 pts)

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT – $19.94

This wine has been a favorite Italian wine in my house for several years.  This is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine was #36 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2011.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle us sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby color.  The deep and exotic nose has blackberries, cherries, cocoa powder, licorice, underbrush, dried herbs, minerals, cedar and well worn leather.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has loads of spicy, earthy fruit with dried herbs, and cocoa powder adding considerable depth.  The finish has nice length, but a bit of oak pops out.  This tastes very nice now but should be even better in another year, allowing the oak on the finish to better integrate.  (92 pts)

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch – $23.74

I bought a few bottles of this wine when the store brought in a few cases for an end of vintage sale.  To me, this was a no brainer.  I love JC Cellars and Petite Sirah, so when these were offered at about half off, several followed me home.

 

This has 15.0% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, black pepper, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, underbrush, melted licorice, and wood smoke.  This has a full body, solid, chewy tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has an overload of ripe, juicy berries, pepper, dark chocolate and ground espresso.  The finish is fairly long and again, like the palate, is loaded with flavor.  The big, mouth coating tannins really kick in on the finish but the fruit and spice still shine through.  If you are not tannin adverse, this can be enjoyed now, if not, let this one sleep for a couple more years.  (93 pts)

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch – $35.00

I’ve been a fan of Copain’s Syrah wine for several years.  The Eaglepoint Ranch wines have always been a personal favorite.  The area gets warm enough the grapes get ripe but cool enough the wines show very good acidity and nice minerality.  I was disappointed when the winery stopped making this wine after the 2007 vintage.  I’m thankful I still have a nice stash of this wine in the cellar going back to the 2005 vintage.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, smoked meat, crushed stone minerals, black pepper, cherries, dried violets and scorched earth.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Peppery berries and cherries jump out on the palate with crushed stones and nice earthiness coming on strong on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried earth and a nice dried violet note entering the picture.  This is in an outstanding drinking window and should hold for a year or two.  (93 pts)

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

 

 

2011 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale

Several years ago this wine was a house favorite.  Whether it was changes in the wine or just our palates changing, this wine fell off our radar.  I decided to grab another bottle to check in on this long, lost friend.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, dusty minerals, eucalyptus, dry earth, wild flowers, plums and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate sweet cherries and dusty minerals jump out first with dry earthiness coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of eucalyptus and a floral note entering the picture.  This is on the young side but this is probably as good as it will get.  This has 14.5% alcohol.  (87 pts)

2011 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale

2011 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale

 

 

 

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 – Mar 9, 2015 to Mar 15, 2015

 

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2010 Herman Story Grenache On The Road

2012 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2009 Continuum Proprietary Red

 

 

 

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $18.00

This vintage uses Zinfandel grapes from Russian River Valley 44%, Sonoma Valley 24% Dry Creek Valley 17%.  15% Petite Sirah was blended in for structure and complexity.  There were 390 cases produced.  The wine is a deep purple color.  The deep and dark nose has brambly berries, black pepper, melted licorice, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, earthy underbrush, dried flowers and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries coat the palate with dried herbs and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with more black pepper and berries seeming to linger forever.  This does show just a touch of alcohol on the nose and finish but it is barely noticeable and does not detract from the overall experience.  This has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

2010 Herman Story Grenache On The Road – $33.60

This 100% Grenache uses grapes from Santa Barbara Highlands, Larner, Shadow Canyon, Terra Bella and Vogelzang Vineyards.  The wine was aged in 40% new French and 60% neutral French oak barrels.  There were 444 cases produced.  The wine is a deep ruby red.  The intoxicating nose has ripe berries, warm baking spices, melted licorice, roasted herbs, dark chocolate, sweet cherries, dried flowers and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe, juicy berries and spice quickly take control, slowly allowing cherries and roasted herbs to slip through.  The finish adds a touch of eucalyptus and a dried floral note with some alcohol poking through at times.  This is a big, bruising, slap you on the back of the head wine that shows it’s alcohol at times but generally is well behaved.  This has 16.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.   (89 pts)

2010 Herman Story Grenache On The Road

2010 Herman Story Grenache On The Road

 

 

 

2012 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard – $28.50

If you’re not familiar with this specific wine, there’s a good reason, there were only 92 cases produced.  This is Mike Officer’s California version of a Smaragd (the ripest level for dry wines produced in the Wachau) Grüner Veltliner from Austria.    An additional acre of Grüner has been planted in the vineyard so down the road production will increase a bit.  The wine is a bright golden yellow with a slight green tint.  The intriguing nose has lemon zest, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, green beans, dry straw and grapefruit zest.  This has medium body with good acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate nice citrus zest, minerals and white pepper jump out first with straw and crisp, raw green beans coming in later.  The finish has good length and leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  A great California version of an Austrian GrüVe.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2012 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Continuum Proprietary Red – $89.99

This vintage is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot.  82% of the 2009 Continuum was grown on Pritchard Hill on the western hills above Oakville. The winery’s 62 acre estate vineyard features a variety of western and south facing aspects with plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot.  The remainder of the 2009 blend was sourced from Diamond Mountain, Mt. Veeder and Saint Helena.  The wine was aged for 21 months in 95% new French oak barrels.  25% of the potential lots were declassified as they did not meet Continuum’s quality standard.  The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, dusty minerals, licorice, dried herbs, cedar, scorched earth and cocoa powder.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Loads of dusty minerals, cassis and dried herbs coat the palate on the front end with cedar and cocoa powder coming in later.  The finish has nice length with minerals and cedar carrying the load with cassis in the background providing nice sweetness.  This tastes great today but a few years in the cellar will be highly rewarded.  The wine has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2009 Continuum Proprietary Red

2009 Continuum Proprietary Red

 

 

 

What would pair with a young bottle of Continuum, how about a thick cut, bone-in Rib-eye?  This beast weighed in at about 2.5 pounds.  This was plenty for my wife and I to share and the dogs had a great evening passing the bone back and forth between them.  Add a nice salad and a shared baked potato and a great evening was a certainty.

Bone-in Rib Eye

 

 

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 – Mar 2, 2015 to Mar 8, 2015

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch – $37.00

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has juicy blackberries, licorice, dusty minerals, cedar, worn leather, scorched earth, tobacco, cracked black peppercorns, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out first with cedar and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a dried floral note and dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is a very easy to drink and love wine with a velvety texture and enough acidity to hold everything together.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

 

 

 

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

The wine is a dark, inky ruby color.  The captivating nose has blackberries, dead wood embers, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, adhesive tape, damp underbrush, black cherries, roasted herbs and a touch of mint.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate a quick hit of crushed berries are quickly joined by spice, wood embers, underbrush and roasted herbs.  The finish has nice length with some mint and a hint of adhesive tape.  Some vintages from this winery seem to show a bit more bret than others, this one is somewhere in the middle, it’s there but not too bad.  The wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell – $37.99

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The exhilarating nose is full of crushed blackberries, licorice, crushed stones, black pepper, baking spices, roasted herbs, tobacco, violets and vanilla bean.  This has a fairly full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  The palate is immediately coated with juicy berries, spice, minerals and black pepper with a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The long finish is loaded with rich berries and spice and seems to linger forever.  This doesn’t offer a lot of subtlety but is, none the less, stunningly delicious.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.   (93 pts)

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

 

 

 

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label – $40.00

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cassis, tobacco, dried herbs, baking spices, cedar and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis and baking spices jump out first with cedar and dried herbs following in their footsteps.  The finish has nice length with a slight leafy herb note coming into the picture.  This is a nice, refined style of cabernet, not trying to get into a competition with the big, voluptuous versions common from Napa Valley.  A very enjoyable bottle of wine.  This wine has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

 

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 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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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!

 

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