2009 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard
2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani
2011 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red
2007 Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas
N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Rosella’s Vineyard
2009 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard – $48.00
Ueberroth is my favorite vineyard source for Turley grapes that is not named Hayne. This vineyard generally yields a big, full bodied wine with loads of pepper and spice. In a nutshell, this is the type of old vine Zinfandel that put Turley on the map.
The wine has 16.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep maroon color. The exotic nose has brambly berries, crushed stones, white pepper, warm baking spices, potpourri, dried earth, plums, dark bittersweet chocolate and licorice. This full bodied gem had moderate ripe tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate berries, crushed stones, baking spices and white pepper immediately jump out with dried herbs and wildflowers quickly joining in. The finish has outstanding length with dry earth and dark chocolate adding considerable depth. This is in its’ prime drinking window and should hold until the end of the decade. A quintessential Turley zin, ripe and rich with considerable power “under the hood”. (95 pts)
2011 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto Dogliani – $15.19
Who doesn’t love a glass of good Italian wine with a meal? Italian wines all seem to have one thing in common, great natural acidity. This acidity makes these wines some of the most food friendly wines out there. Just like everywhere, good Italian wines can be costly. Luckily, there are some very reasonably priced wines out there, besides Chianti, that can help provide a pleasing change of pace from your normal wine drinking routine. Two very versatile grapes to seek out are Barbera and the basis for this post, Dolcetto.
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 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red – $46.66
This is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 15% Malbec and 11% Merlot from various vineyards including Hyde, Stagecoach, Hossfeld, Tench and Bennett. OPC stands for “Ol’ Pa’s Cuvée”
This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep garnet color. The outgoing and enticing nose has cassis, dusty minerals, cherries, warm baking spices, roasted leafy herbs, scorched earth, fresh ground espresso beans, dark chocolate and dried violets. This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate cassis, baking spices, cherries and dusty minerals dominate the front end with roasted herbs and espresso beans coming in on the back end. The long finish adds dark chocolate and a dried floral note. This may be on the young side but it is already stunning. (94 pts)
2007 Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas – $16.99
I ordered this in late 2008 from Garagiste. By the time it arrived in their Washington warehouse all my other wines had shipped. I cut down on my Garagiste purchases, so I received free storage for a couple of years. I figured the wine was approaching a nice drinking window, so I made sure to order enough wine that these bottles would fill a case and be shipped. This is my fourth of the six bottles I purchased. To me, Gigondas is a very unheralded area in the Rhone region of France. These wines usually have a bit more richness than a Cotes du Rhone but in a lot of cases, they only cost a few dollars more.
Alphonse Vautour, Jean-Marc Autran’s great-grandfather, made his wine in a cellar at the top of a little hill called Les Briguières, to the south of Sablet where he owned six hectares of vines. The winery was named Ténébi, after the previous owner of the house.
Alphonse had to go down the hill, his mules loaded with barrels, to wait for the wine merchant to come by. If the merchant didn’t come, or didn’t buy his wine, he had to climb back up with his reluctant mules. So, in 1947 he decided to build a new winery on the road below, where the Piaugier cellars are to this day.
Jean-Marc Autran, Alphonse’s great-grandson, took over the winery from his father Marc in 1985. He acquired more vineyards and, with the assistance of his wife Sophie, started bottling and developed sales. The winery soon became too small and they extended it in 1995 to enable them to age and store the wines in the best possible conditions.
In homage to this family history, Jean-Marc has dedicated a wine to his ancestor, the Réserve Alphonse Vautour, which is made from grapes grown in his original fields.
Today, Piaugier wines are sold as far away as the United States, Japan and Brazil.
Much more information is available at http://www.domainedepiaugier.com/en_index.htm
My Tasting Note
The wine is a bit darker than a medium ruby color. The very appealing nose has raspberries, baking spices, cherries, white pepper, dried herbs, fresh wild flowers, smoke, and a touch of earthy underbrush. This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity. Spicy fruit hits the palate first, followed by nice dried herbs, pepper, and a touch of scorched earth. The finish has good length and leans more on the savory elements with the fruit providing nice background sweetness but it does lose some depth and richness. This is drinking very nicely today but can be enjoyed over the next few years. (90 pts)
N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé – $16.62
Domaine Lucien Albrecht is one of the oldest and leading Alsace family owned estate, tracing its roots back to 1425. Through the Albrecht eighteen generations, they have become one of the largest owners of prime Alsace hillside vineyards. In the early 70’s, Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, the current proprietor and winemaker, was one of the three founding fathers of the regulated Crémant d’Alsace. In 2004, Lucien Albrecht Crémants made history. At the 14th Concours National des Crémants de France (Crémant Wine Challenge), they stole the show, winning an unprecedented Four Gold Medals.
Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir. The whole cluster hand-picked grapes are softly pressed in a pneumatic press, hence the coral, light pink salmon color. Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made by using the same methods as in Champagne, i.e “method traditionnelle”. After the second fermentation in the bottle, lee ageing lasts for nine months, followed by remuage and disgorging.
This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a bright salmon pink color. The enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, yeasty bread and a hint of citrus zest. The wine has light body with crisp acidity and sporadic pinpoint bubbles after an initial blast of bubbles left a nice mousse. Cherries, strawberries and minerals dominate the palate. The finish has great length with just a hint of lingering sweetness. Not a lot of complexity but very tasty. (90 pts)
2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Rosella’s Vineyard – $33.00
The wine is a dark ruby to purple color. The exotic nose has blackberries, dead wood embers, fresh ground coffee beans, dark chocolate, citrus zest, roasted herbs, white pepper, dark chocolate and dried flowers. This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate smoky berries and coffee beans jump out first with dark chocolate and citrus zest coming in on the backend. The finish has good length with white pepper coming into play. This is drinking very nicely today but will hold for a few more years. This is not a big fruit driven wine, the savory elements play a big role. (92 pts)
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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 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.