Emiliana Wines – Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Wines

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

 

 

Emiliana logo

 

Overview:

These wines, while not produced by Banfi, were imported into the United States by the company.  Banfi is the importer/distributor of over 30 different labels from around the world.  While the majority of these labels are from Italy, they also work with wineries in Australia, Chile, Spain and even a couple of American wineries.

 

 

 

About the winery:

The Emiliana winery firmly believes that using sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices results in better-balanced, healthier, and more productive vineyards, which in turn results in better quality grapes and therefore better wines.

 

Our mission is to provide our consumers with the highest quality wines with a unique expression of terroir achieved through the benefits of using organic and biodynamic agriculture.

 

To meet this objective, we at Emiliana base our work on two essential principles: care for the environment and respect for our workers and community.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.

 

There is a very informative interactive presentation on the winery’s website that shows the Organic & Biodynamic practices being utilized that I highly recommend checking out by clicking here.

 

 

Banfi logo

 

About Banfi:

Banfi is a private concern, founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. and today owned and operated by his grandchildren.  The company is focused on the production and import of wine.

 

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont.  Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido, Riunite, and Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina, Wisdom & Warter Sherries from Spain and Stone’s Ginger wine from England.  The company has ranked as North America’s leading wine importer for more than three decades.

 

Banfi’s success has enabled the company to play a broad philanthropic role through the Banfi Foundation.  The Foundation provided seed money to help Catholic Relief Services build a technical school and an orphanage as well as an 800-unit housing project in Potenza, Italy, where thousands were left homeless after a devastating earthquake in the early 1980s.  It also generously endows select charities and universities around the world, and sponsors annual scholastic tours to study the food and wine culture of Italy.

 

Banfi is led today by two grandchildren of the founder: James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May, who share the title of co-CEO.  Their fathers, Chairman Emeritus Dr. John F. Mariani and President Emeritus Harry F. Mariani, continue as active counsel to the executive committee and are members of the firm’s advisory board. Banfi’s world headquarters is a 60-room Elizabethan manor located on a 127-acre estate and vineyard in Old Brookville, New York.

 

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Emiliana line up

 

 

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

The grapes for this 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Fundo Rosario Vineyard in Lagunilla.  The vineyard, located 250m above sea level, was planted from 1999 to 2005 primarily on the hillsides.

 

After chilling, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled tanks using selected yeasts.  After fermentation, the wine was aged 4 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.  There were 2,200 cases produced.

 

Organic Agriculture Certified by IMO, Switzerland.

 

The wine has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle was sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow with a green tint.  The fresh smelling nose has fresh cut grass, grapefruit zest, crushed stones, white pepper and a touch of smoke.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate fresh cut grass and green herbs dominate initially until the grapefruit zest takes over.  The finish has nice length with crushed stone minerals entering the picture.  If you are looking for a Sauvignon Blanc loaded with grass and green herbs, look no further.  (88 pts)

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

 

 

 

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

This wine is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot from vineyards in the Rapel Valley.

 

After fermentation, 20% of the wine was aged for 6 months in French oak barrels.

 

Organic Agriculture Certified – IMO, Switzerland.

Social Responsibility Certified – IMO, Switzerland.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cassis, cherries, vanilla, chalky minerals and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate cherries and minerals jump out first with vanilla and herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short but tasty.  This has a slight herbal note and could use some complexity but it will work as a week night or with friends over a platter of cheese.  (86 pts)

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

The winery is very conscious and shows considerable respect for the planet and deserves the awards and recognition they have received.

 

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 – Sep 8, 2014 to Sep 14, 2014

 

 

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

2011 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône Saint-Esprit

N.V. Locations F-2

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Villa Creek “White”

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

N.V. Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial

 

 

 

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard – $15.04

Like a lot of people, Rosenblum was my favorite Zinfandel producer for several years.  After the sale of the winery, the wines have suffered.  I don’t know if this was due to loss of the main people in the operation, bad luck, or more likely the desire of the purchases to cash in on the name quickly and recoup the cost of their investment.

 

I’ve really enjoyed wines produced from the Rockpile area for a few years and actively hunted them down.  The local wine store brought this wine in and offered it at a great price via their weekly e-mail offers.  I grabbed a case.  Unfortunately, the wine has been a disappointment the few times I’ve tried it.  One last chance to see if another years in the cellar has helped.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The fairly straight forward nose has brambly berries, vanilla, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, camphor, and spicy oak.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine seems a touch thin and driven by the oak related elements with sweet berries coming in from the sides providing needed sweetness.  The finish is a touch short and again highlights the spicy oak and sweet berries.  For a Rosenblum wine, especially one from Rockpile, this could use a bit more extraction and depth.  A decent week night Zin to be consumed over the next couple of years.  (87 pts)

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône Saint-Esprit – $10.99

This is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache.

 

This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, smoke, cherry pits, licorice and dried flowers.  This has medium body, moderate silky tannins and good acidity.  Crushed berries and minerals coat the palate on the front end with smoke and cherry pits coming in later.  The finish has nice length with more smoke and a dried floral note adding depth.  Not as rustic as some Côtes du Rhône wines, much smoother and easy going.  Probably not one to sit on for too long, enjoy this one over the next year or two.  (89 pts)

2011 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône Saint-Esprit

2011 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône Saint-Esprit

 

 

 

N.V. Locations F-2 – $15.38

Even though this is labeled as non vintage, all the grapes are from 2012. This is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and assorted Bordeaux varietals from various regions in France.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep dark ruby to purple color.  The very open nose has blackberries, currants, dried herbs, licorice, charred wood and dried flowers.  This has a fairly full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate an overload of ripe fruit and spicy oak jump out first with licorice and dried herbs slipping into the picture on the back end.  The finish has good length and is very fruit driven.  This doesn’t offer much complexity but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.  This would be a big hit at a party with a platter of meats and cheeses.  (89 pts)

NV Locations F-2

NV Locations F-2

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills – $25.00

In my opinion, the Loring appellation wines are some of the best bargains out there when it comes to quality California Pinot Noir.  The Loring appellation wines are, at least to me, dialed down a notch compared to their single vineyard siblings.  This and the lower prices, under $25 make them a nice way to kick up a week night dinner several notches without breaking the bank.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The very enticing nose has raspberries, cherries, baking spices, cola, and some nice earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich but reigned in and it stays in focus.  The finish is fairly long with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This shows nice balance and the closing acidity provides very nice lift.  This is a great value for the price.  (90 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

 

 

 

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon – $9.49

This is one of the better, value priced, Cabernets out there.  This won’t rock your world, but it is generally a very nice, varietally correct, dry, structured, Cabernet that can be found for under $10.

 

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

 

Winery history

 

Waterbrook Winery was founded in 1984 by Eric and Janet Rindal and is located in Washington State’s lovely Walla Walla Valley.

 

Waterbrook continues to be one of the Walla Walla Valley’s largest producers of premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Melange wines.  Production is around 35,000 cases a year.  Waterbrook was selected by the editors of Wine Spectator as one of 50 great producers every wine lover should know for smart buys.  The tasting room in downtown Walla Walla pairs fine wine with fine art, providing a destination point of distinctive style.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very nice nose features plums, cassis, dried herbs, earthy elements, baking spices, minerals, and cherries.  This has a medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  There is a nice mix of savory and fruity elements on the palate with the savory elements up front and the fruit coming in on the back end.  Decent length on the finish which again has nice fruit, but the savory elements carry the load.  A very nice change of pace if you are tired of fruit forward California Cabernets.  (89 pts)

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2011 Villa Creek “White” – $20.80

This is one of my favorite White California Rhone Ranger wines.  This is a blend of 70% stainless steel fermented Grenache Blanc and 30% James Berry Vineyard Roussanne that was fermented in concrete and neutral oak.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The light and summery nose has melon, peach pit, minerals, white flowers, orange zest and a touch of spice.  This dry wine has medium body and very nice acidity.  On the palate melon and apricot flavors occupy the front end with some building minerality and citrus coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with minerals and some spice seeming to linger forever.  This tastes very good now and will last in the cellar for a couple more years.  (90 pts)

2011 Villa Creek White

2011 Villa Creek White

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Avenger – $35.00

As anyone who has followed me on Twitter or read this blog for very long knows, Villa Creek is one on my top 5 favorite wineries.  Of all the wines offered by the winery, vintage after vintage, The Avenger is my favorite wine they produce.  This is a blend of 75% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache.

 

This has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The absolutely stunning nose has blackberries, cherries, minerals, eucalyptus, violets, Asian spices, licorice, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins, and good acidity.  This delivers a mouthful of juicy berries and spice up front with minerals, eucalyptus, and some earthiness kicking in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with nice lingering sweet fruit, spice, and minerals.  (92 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

We paired the Avenger with a personal favorite meal from our prior life living in Texas, Chicken Fried Steak.  If properly prepared, the meat is tender and juicy with a the breading adding nice flavor and texture.  The cream gravy provides nice richness.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

 

 

 

N.V. Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial – $36.99

This is roughly a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier and 25% Chardonnay.

 

This has 12% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork Champagne stopper.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden straw color with very persistent, pinpoint bubbles.  The very inviting nose has baked apples, pears, lemon zest, fresh baked bread and a touch or nuttiness.  This has a light body with considerable effervescence, tart citrusy acidity and is just about bone dry.  On the palate baked apple with nutmeg and cinnamon pops out first with yeasty notes and lemon zest coming in later.  The finish is crisp with a touch of nuttiness joining the yeasty notes and lemon zest.  This is very easy to sip while just sitting back and relaxing.  (89 pts)

Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial

 

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 – 2003 Hauts de Pontet-Canet

 

 

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.

 

 

PC Logo

 

Overview

This wine is the “second label” of Chateau Pontet-Canet.  After attending a tasting and being blown away by the 2003 Pontet-Canet and buying several bottles, I decided to grab several bottles of the Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet.  With the outstanding quality of the main wine, the second label had to be very good and at a MUCH lower price.  Well, that wasn’t a given, but thankfully I was right.  Is the Pontet-Canet better?  Yes, but this wine costs 1/3 the price.

 

 

The Winery

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century. Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet. This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc. This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865. He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine’s reputation around the world. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

 

 

The Vineyard

Château Pontet-Canet is located in the heart of the Pauillac appellation, just south of châteaux Mouton Rothschild and d’Armailhac. It has the poor gravelly soil typical of the greatest vineyards. In fact, the soil has so much gravel and sand that it is difficult to imagine that anything could grow there at all. The 80-hectare (200 acres) estate is predominately planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, the signature variety for the great wines of Pauillac. This demanding grape is perfectly adapted to Pauillac’s climate and soil. It produces full-bodied, well-structured, long-lived wines famous for their finesse and elegance. In keeping with a longstanding Médoc tradition, it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which add a touch of smoothness and charm. In certain vintages, Petit Verdot can also be counted on to contribute complexity.

 

Pontet-Canet’s terroir features rises of Garonne gravel on limestone bedrock. The soil is lean, warm, and well-drained. In order to make the most of this terrroir, Alfred Tesseron instituted a plot-by-plot vineyard management system.

 

Careful observation year after year has led to an intimate familiarity with practically every vine. The château’s winegrowing philosophy is to intervene as little as possible and as naturally as possible in the vineyard. Only traditional viticultural and cultivation practices are used. Chemical weed killers are banned in keeping with environmental protection, and priority is given to the vine’s long-term health.

 

 

vignoble06

 

2003 Hauts de Pontet-Canet

This vintage of the wine is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

 

The wine has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cassis, spice box, dusty minerals, black cherries, tobacco, dried herbs, well worn leather and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate bright fruit, cedar and spice jump out first with minerals and tobacco coming in fairly quickly.  The finish has good length with leather and dried herbs adding depth and even more complexity.  This seems to be in a peak drinking window but should hold and maybe even improve over the next few years.  One of the better “second label” Bordeaux I’ve had in several years.  (92 pts)

2003 Hauts de Pontet-Canet

2003 Hauts de Pontet-Canet

 

 

Closing thoughts

In good vintages, I highly recommend the second labels of the top châteaux.  These wines are usually considerably less expensive but are better than the first wines of the lower level estates.

 

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 – Aug 25, 2014 to Sep 7, 2014

 

 

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Carneros

2009 Sandler Wine Company Zinfandel Buck Hill Vineyard

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2006 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block

 

 

 

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico – $18.59

This has been a favorite since a friend suggested I give it a try.

 

80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 5% Syrah in the 2010 vintage, Isole e Olena’s Chianti Classico is probably the wine (along with the 100% Sangiovese Isole e Olena “Cepparello”) for which the Isole e Olena winery has become best known.  Fermented in stainless steel tanks, this 2010 Isole e Olena Chianti was then matured for one year in primarily older oak (the typical capacity of the barrels used was 4000 litres).

 

This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color. The very enjoyable nose has cherries, plums, baking spices, dried herbs, violets, and a touch of earthy underbrush. This wine has medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity. On the palate the wine has nice tart red fruit and spice up front with some earthy elements coming in later adding depth and complexity. The finish has good length with the tart fruit, spices, and earthiness held together nicely by the acidity. If you can find this for under $20, stock up.  (91 pts)

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

 

 

 

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Carneros

I opened this bottle to sip during Karen’s visit to host #winechat on Twitter.  This is a blend of 85% Las Madres Syrah, 10% White Hawk Syrah and 5% Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah.

 

This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The captivating nose has blackberries, cherries, freshly cracked black peppercorns, cedar, dark chocolate, dried herbs, dusty minerals and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate blackberries, black pepper and minerals jump out first with cedar and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with dark chocolate and tart cherries adding nice depth and complexity.  This is a very nice cooler climate, Syrah that seems to be just entering a nice drinking window.  (93 pts)

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Carneros

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Carneros

 

 

 

2009 Sandler Wine Company Zinfandel Buck Hill Vineyard – $30.00

I grab a few bottles from just about every Sandler release.  They produce several very good, nicely priced wines; I highly recommend checking them out.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, white pepper, smoke, dried herbs and a touch of cedar.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and tart acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and white pepper grab hold immediately with some dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with cedar and a touch of dark chocolate entering the picture.  This isn’t your typical zinfandel with ripe fruit and black pepper; this is more subtle and layered.  (92 pts)

2009 Sandler Wine Company Zinfandel Buck Hill Vineyard

2009 Sandler Wine Company Zinfandel Buck Hill Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek – $9.50

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

 

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block – $37.00

The grapes for this wine were picked late in the season, October 31st.  The wine included 40% whole clusters and used indigenous fermentation.  The total production was only 110 cases of wine.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The exotic nose has black plums, blackberries, olive tapenade, Asian spices, charcoal, bacon fat, dark chocolate, charred meat and candied violets.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, olive and charred meat jump out first with spices and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long and nicely layered.  This is in a prime drinking window and should hold for a few more years.  (94 pts)

2006 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

2006 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block

 

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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!

 

Drink Wine For A Healthier Life

 

 

This post was contributed by site supporter, Jennifer Bowen.  Jennifer used to work within the healthcare sector – working to help people with their diet, fitness and nutrition. After a short career break to become a mom she decided to turn to writing instead and now pens articles on the topics she knows most about.

 

glasses

 

New study shows a glass of wine a day could help keep the doctor away

Wine lovers around the world just got the news they have been waiting for – a glass of wine could be just the ticket for a longer, healthier life.  New research[i] has found that both red and white wines could help protect the heart against disease, as long as moderate consumption is combined with regular exercise.  So it sounds like the recipe for reaching a ripe old age could be a glass of wine with dinner followed by a pleasant stroll – no hardship there.  The even better news is that this is not the only health benefit associated with wine- there are in fact many more.  Let’s explore in more detail how wine can help your heart and also look at some of the other medical advantages of being a regular moderate wine drinker.

 

A healthier body

Many studies have been conducted which look at the linkages between wine and heart health.  Red wine has historically been considered to offer the most positive heart health effects due to its specific ingredients which can collectively increase levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (often referred to as good cholesterol) and also guard against damage to arteries.  Research conducted on mice has suggested that a specific polyphenol (one of the antioxidants found in red wine) called resveratrol [ii]can protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart, reduce low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and prevent blood clots.  White wine drinkers need not despair though as it has its own antioxidant properties – tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol.  These antioxidants, which are also present in olive oil, can protect the heart just as much as those found in red wine[iii].

Another less well known benefit of moderate red wine consumption is that it has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing some forms of cancer.  Good old resveratrol is believed to help protect the body’s cells from damage that could eventually lead to cancer[iv].  One particular study into prostate cancer showed that drinking a glass of red wine every day may cut the risk of developing this form of cancer by half.  Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center [v]concluded that men who consumed 4 or more glasses of red wine each week halved their chances of getting prostate cancer and also had a 60% lower incidence of the most aggressive forms of the disease.  A separate study undertaken by scientists from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, looked at the potential of resveratrol in terms of preventing colon cancer.  They found that moderate red wine consumption could reduce the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%[vi].

 

A healthier mind

Wine is also a force for good when it comes to improving mental health and maintaining the brain’s agility as we grow older.  A team of scientists in Spain have discovered that a glass of wine a day can contribute to the fight against depression.  Their investigations established that older men and women who drank between two and seven small glasses of wine each week were 32 percent less likely to develop depression, compared with those who had no alcohol intake[vii].

Dementia is another major health challenge which it seems wine can help to address.  With an increasingly large ageing global population there has been a significant rise in the number of people developing this debilitating condition.  Researchers found that participants in a focused study who consumed 2-3 units of alcohol per day were around 30% less likely to demonstrate dementia symptoms after a three year period, compared to those who were teetotal.  Wine was considered to be particularly beneficial due to the natural antioxidants called flavanoids which it contains[viii].

Another study has suggested that physical balance in older people could also be improved through moderate red wine consumption.  Balance is a major issue for elderly people with over 1.6 million older adults every year in this country attending emergency departments for fall-related injuries[ix].  An experiment was conducted with laboratory mice in which they were fed a diet containing a high percentage of resveratrol (the antioxidant highlighted earlier in this article).  The study found that over time, the older mice developed better balance.  The researchers involved believed that this effect could be replicated in older humans.

Wine is for many something to be relished and with this array of mind and body benefits, it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure – so drink up and reap the health rewards!

 

[i] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/11066516/Glass-of-wine-with-dinner-helps-you-live-longer-scientists-claim.html

 

[ii] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

 

[iii] http://www.alternativemedicine.com/alcohol/case-white-wine

 

[iv] http://www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/cancer-information/cancer-topics/prevention-and-screening/food/redwinecancer.html

 

[v] http://www.oncologypractice.com/jso/journal/articles/0206488.pdf

 

[vi] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253718.php

 

[vii] http://www.livescience.com/39320-drinking-wine-protect-against-depression.html

 

[viii] http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/1102/blwine1102.htm

 

[ix] http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/aboutfalls/01.html

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

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.

 

 

Purple Hands logo

 

Overview

A little over a year ago the local wine store brought in the 2010 vintage of this wine and offered it as an e-mail special.  I grabbed a six pack even though I had never had the wine.  After opening and enjoying a bottle, I had to grab six more bottles.  When the store offered the newest vintage a couple weeks ago, grabbing a six pack was a no-brainer.

 

 

The Winery

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well-known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

It was all but inevitable that we’d make our living from the earth.  Cody Wright, our founder and winemaker, was raised by esteemed pioneers of the Oregon wine industry.  He spent childhood days wandering between vineyard rows and moving fermenters with forklifts.  And his wife, Marque Wright, who assists in managing winery business, grew up in southern Oregon amidst timber operations and cattle farms.  Together, they are the soul of Purple Hands.

 

Cody’s official foray into winemaking took off after he completed a degree in environmental science at the University of Oregon.  He worked in various vineyard management and winemaking roles at Argyle, Ken Wright Cellars, and ROCO.  Abroad, he further honed his craft at Knappstein Winery in Claire Valley, South Australia and Ata Rangi in Martinborough, New Zealand.  In 2005, Cody established Purple Hands as a small boutique winery.  And in ten years’ time—with no small help from Marque—the winery transformed into a cult favorite that produces several thousand cases a year of critically acclaimed wine.

Our winery’s name speaks to a juxtaposition we love: the earthen processes and exquisite products of winemaking.  The toils and stains of working vineyards and crushing grapes lead to the shining bottle on your living room table.  We hope you’ll share our wines with friends and family—and be uplifted by the power of place!

 

 

The Vineyard

Stoller Vineyard is situated on the southern flank of the Dundee Hills, with an optimal winegrowing aspect.  The vines are planted on a narrow elevation band—from 300 to 650 feet—on ancient Jory soils, the fertile and well-drained red soils that define the Dundee Hills.  The vineyard is surrounded by protective mountain ranges that provide a slightly warmer microclimate, which ensures consistent ripening from vintage to vintage.

 

Bill and Cathy Stoller, owners of Stoller Vineyard, bought the former turkey farmland from a cousin in 1993.  In 1995, they planted their first acres in the rocky soil: 10 acres each of pinot noir and chardonnay.  Today, the vineyard is the largest vineyard site in the Dundee Hills—with nearly 200 acres planted to many different varietals and clones.

 

 

Purple Hands Vineyard

 

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $24.69

There were 700 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir produced.  This is a blend of the 777 and Wädenswil clones.

 

The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is an intense ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, black cherries, Asian spice, candied violets, stony minerals and dried wildflowers with just a hint of smoke and forest floor.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this kicks it up a notch with intense dark fruit and spice up front with minerals and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is very long with some earthiness and a touch of dark chocolate adding even more depth and complexity.  This is very young but already is a showstopper.  This will improve with some additional time in the cellar.  Load up if you can find this at a good price and savor it over the next decade and a half.  (93 pts)

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

Closing thoughts

If you have not tried a Pinot Noir from Oregon, I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles to try.  Purple Hands is a great winery to start your journey but if you can’t find one of their wines, ask for suggestions or just grab a bottle or two.  Oregon Pinot Noirs generally are less expensive than their California counterparts.  Grab a bottle and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 – Aug 18, 2014 to Aug 24, 2014

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2007 Core Ground Around

N.V. Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $19.94

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

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.

 

This has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

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 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 a touch of alcohol on the nose and on the finish but it is barely noticeable and does not detract from the overall experience.  (90 pts)

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Avenger – $35.00

As anyone who has followed me on Twitter or read this blog for very long knows, Villa Creek is one on my top 5 favorite wineries.  Of all the wines offered by the winery, vintage after vintage, The Avenger is my favorite wine they produce.  This is a blend of 75% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The absolutely stunning nose has blackberries, cherries, minerals, eucalyptus, violets, Asian spices, licorice, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins, and good acidity.  This delivers a mouthful of juicy berries and spice up front with minerals, eucalyptus, and some earthiness kicking in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with nice lingering sweet fruit, spice, and minerals.  (92 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $45.00

Loring produces some of my favorite Pinot Noirs made in California and their wine from the Clos Pepe Vineyard is one of my favorite they produce.  To me, this wine always has the rich and lush fruit that is the “house style” for Loring wines and has plenty of acidity and tannins to support the body and depth usually in this wine.  For a wine of this quality, the price actually represents a nice value for a higher end, single vineyard, Pinot from California.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very nice nose has cherries, baking spices, raspberries, underbrush, minerals, licorice and a touch of smoke.  This has medium to full body, moderate, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and lush with juicy fruit but with plenty of savory elements adding considerable depth and complexity.  The finish is long and very flavorful with the fruit, spice, and subtle earthiness lingering seemingly forever.  This is outstanding today, but will last at least a few more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Core Ground Around – $20.59

Core is quickly becoming one of my “go to” wineries when I want something a little different.  Dave Corey is making several straight varietal wines that are outstanding, but he shines with his blends, like this one.  Most of these blends are along the standard lines like Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, but they also make unique and distinctive blends.  This wine is a blend of predominantly Tempranillo with Grenache and Syrah.  Even the Tempranillo isn’t from one single vineyard; it comes from two separate vineyards, Santa Barbara Highlands and Laetitia Vineyards.

 

This is a blend of 41% Tempranillo from Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, 23% Tempranillo from Laetitia Vineyard, 18% Grenache from Alta Mesa Vineyard and 18% Syrah from Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard.

 

This wine has 14.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

Dave Corey’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in Entomology and Plant Physiology from Kansas State University, which was completed in 1995. Prior to entering the wine industry in 1996 , Dave worked in Salinas and the Central Valley in agricultural fields including cole crops, cotton, almonds, citrus, walnuts, kiwi, table grapes, apples and stone fruit. His first position in the wine industry was as a Pest Control Advisor with Cambria Winery and Vineyards and later at Kendall-Jackson Vineyards of Santa Barbara County.

 

Dave left Kendall Jackson Vineyards in 1999 to begin Vital Vines, a viticultural company providing technical support for vineyard property owners, vineyard managers and winemaking personnel in the promotion of sustainable agriculture. He has worked with clients that include Laetitia, Barnwood, Beckman, Melville, Stolpman, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Sea Smoke, Le Bon Climat, Sine Qua Non, Rideau, Carhartt, Rusack, Westerly, Fiddlestix, Vogelzang, Andrew Murray, Evergreen, Arita Hills and Royal Oaks.

 

With a major commitment and a second mortgage, Dave gradually decreased his vineyard consulting work to focus on vineyard sourcing, winemaking duties and winery direct sales for CORE wine company which he started in 2001 with his wife, Becky. Dave passionately continues working in the same capacity today in addition to several new wine projects with family members. He can also be found pouring wine for customers at the CORE wine company tasting room in Old Orcutt, California.

 

Much more information about Dave, the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dried cherries, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, licorice, dried herbs, fresh ground espresso, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate nice blackberry and cherry supply good sweetness up front with the minerals, spice, licorice and coffee coming in later, adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with the fruit and spice carrying the load with the eucalyptus making a nice closing appearance.  This still tastes young and may improve down the road.  (91 pts)

2007 Core Ground Around

2007 Core Ground Around

 

 

 

N.V. Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut – $29.99

Over the last year we’ve gone from not really being big bubbly fans to actively building a nice collection in the cellar.  This wine is a total unknown, I grabbed a couple bottles from a Garagiste Wine offer but there are no Cellar Tracker notes on the wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with the usual sparkling wine natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color with abundant persistent pinpoint bubbles.  The very enticing nose has green apples, freshly baked biscuits, minerals, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  Tart apples, minerals and lemon zest grab hold initially, slowly allowing yeasty notes and a floral element to slip into the picture.  The finish has good length and leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  (90 pts)

Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $39.00

Morgan sources the grapes for this wine from the same block his father used for his sought after Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zin.  This famous vineyard on the Sonoma side of Mt Veeder was planted in 1886.

 

This wine was fermented via native yeasts and was aged in 35% new French oak from four Burgundian coopers.

 

This wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has brambly berries, plums, dark chocolate, dusty minerals, black pepper, dried herbs, dried wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has full body, moderate to solid tannins, a creamy texture and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals thoroughly coat your palate slowly allowing black pepper and dried herbs to enter the picture.  The long, lingering finish adds a dried floral note as well as a touch of eucalyptus.  For such a young wine, this is drinking marvelously right now.  This one can be opened now or left in the cellar for a decade.  (94 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

I joined the Bedrock mailing list a few years ago to get access to the red wines they were producing.  Even though I really like those reds, I love their white wines.  In my opinion, Morgan Twain-Peterson is currently producing some of the best white wines coming out of California and selling them at killer prices.

 

The wine has 13.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  The nose is a fresh and refreshing, full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  This is in a real nice place right now, but should hold for another year, maybe longer.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

Connect with me

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

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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

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

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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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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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