Cliffs Wine Picks – Oct 13, 2014 to Oct 19, 2014

 

 

2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2009 Il Borro Toscana IGT

2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

 

 

 

2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred – $26.39

I first tasted this wine several years ago at a Cabernet Sauvignon tasting at a local wine store.  Even though several of the wines being served were considerably more expensive, this one was the star.  I bought several bottles at the event and more as time passed.  All together I bought about a case and a half of this wine.  This, unfortunately, is my last bottle.

 

This has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color with a touch of brick showing at the edge.  The intoxicating nose has cassis, eucalyptus, tobacco, well worn leather, baking spices, dusty minerals and dried violets.  This has medium body with nice acidity and soft, silky tannins.  On the palate cassis, minerals and eucalyptus pop out first with spices and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has great length with the fruit turning more to cherry and some subtle earthiness coming into the picture.  This is probably at its peak.  (93 pts)

2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred

2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred

 

 

 

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine – $22.50

Morgan Twain-Peterson has followed the lead of Carlisle’s Mike Officer, make very good fines from old vines and sell them for great prices.  I’m not sure of the status of Bedrock’s mailing list, but I recommend either getting on the list or accepting a spot on their waiting list.  Besides very good red wines, Bedrock produces some truly outstanding white wines.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The very open and expressive nose has brambly berries, plums, warm baking spices, vanilla, minerals, dried flowers, white pepper and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Tart berries and spice initially grab the palate with white pepper, vanilla and minerals breaking through on the back end.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and some earthiness coming into the picture.  (90 pts)

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

 

 

 

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $14.24

This is a blend of 37% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah and 9% Malbec, from the High Valley AVA in the eastern part of Lake County in California.

 

The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery History

Brassfield Estate Winery & Vineyard is located in the western section of High Valley at High Serenity Ranch on a truly distinctive and remarkable winegrowing property.  Our valley floor vineyards sit at 1800 ft elevation.  The higher vineyard blocks rise to nearly 3000 ft.  The temperatures of some parts of this unique vineyard are some of the coldest in CA, giving Brassfield a heat summation equivalent to a Region 3 or less in some vintages.

 

In 1973, Jerry Brassfield purchased the original 1,600 acres here as a cattle ranch and wildlife reserve.  Over the next three decades Jerry acquired additional property.  Today, the Lake County estate includes 2,500 acres across both the eastern and the western sections of High Valley, as well as the Round Mountain Volcano.

 

The Vineyards were investigated for their potential to produce world-class estate-grown wines in 1998.  Vineyard planting began in 2001.  As the vineyards matured, the winery has grown with a state-of-the-art winemaking facility.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, smoked meat, dark bittersweet chocolate, plums, some eucalyptus, and a hit of earthiness.  This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has a nice initial hit of fruit and dark chocolate that is joined by some building spice and earthiness.  The finish has nice length and is joined by a touch of spicy oak.  The oak has started to integrate and will probably be even better integrated with some air or a little more cellar time.  This is very tasty today if a touch of oak doesn’t bother you too much.  (90 pts)

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

 

 

 

2009 Il Borro Toscana IGT – $29.93

This is a “luxury cuvee” comprised of 50% Merlot grown on rich clay soil, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on ancient alluvial sand and 10% Syrah grown on mineral rich stony soils.  All the vineyards are estate owned.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium garnet color.  The inviting nose has plum, blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, tobacco, leather, dark chocolate and lavender.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate plums, chalky minerals and dried herbs jump out first with tobacco and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a floral note and some subtle earthiness entering the picture.  This really needs and deserves some time in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2009 Il Borro Il Borro Toscana IGT

2009 Il Borro Il Borro Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré – $29.88

Emigré is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Muscadelle harvested from four vineyards, two in cool climates, Greenock and Eden Valley, and the other two from the northern Barossa Valley.  Wines from The Colonial Estate don’t come cheap.  Their lower end wines start at $30.  This is one of their higher end wines and has a release price around $90.  I’ve been lucky in the past (and this time too) to find their wines either on a clearance sale or via Garagiste for under $30.  If you ever have the chance to get a bottle of this wine or either the Exile Cabernet or Shiraz at a great price, grab a bottle, it will bring a smile to your face.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and is closed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

The Colonial Estate is a range of limited-production Australian wines with an old world approach.  The fruit is hand picked and carefully selected; the reds receive cold pre-maceration, fermentation, pressing and maceration on skins prior to ageing in French oak; whilst the whites get whole-bunch pressing, lees stirring and are fermented with naturally occurring yeasts.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The fully open and inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, Asian spices, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, charred meat, dried herbs, wild flowers, and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the big fruit component is matched stride for stride by dusty minerals, dark chocolate, dried herbs, and dark roast coffee, with a meaty element coming in on the back end.  The finish is long with minerals, charred meat, and dried herbs adding a great dimension to the mixed fruits.  This seems to be entering its prime time drinking window.  This is big and bold but not an overly ripe, syrupy style of wine.  (94 pts)

2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré

2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré

 

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $18.99

This is a wine that I generally like in almost all vintages but it’s not a wine I hunt down.  If I can find it at a good price I’ll grab a few bottles.

 

This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is an inky ruby red.  The sexy nose has black cherries, tobacco, blackberries, white pepper, dried flowers, mocha, vanilla and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Intense red and black fruit grabs your palate slowly allowing pepper and mocha to slip in.  On the back end vanilla and some building earthiness enter the picture.  The finish has good length and veers solidly into the earthy spectrum with just a touch of an herbal note coming into play.  (90 pts)

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

 

 

 

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 – 2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

 

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.

 

 

Van Duzer logo

 

Overview

I’m always on the lookout for good Pinot Noirs.  Recently, most of my time (and money) has been spent exploring the Pinots from Oregon.  A local wine store had this wine on the shelf at a great price and that was more than enough reason for me to grab a couple bottles.

 

 

The Winery

Van Duzer Vineyards was built on a dream to find a cool weather site in Oregon for the fussy Pinot Noir grape that would rival the best wines of Burgundy in balance and finesse. In 1998, Van Duzer Vineyards owners Carl and Marilynn Thoma located a hilltop winery with existing vineyards immediately west of the Eola Hills. The estate site occupies a strategic site in the foothills of the Van Duzer Corridor, the conduit through the Coastal Mountains for maritime breezes that enter the Willamette Valley at the close of summer evenings.

 

Located on a scenic hilltop amidst 82 acres of vines, the family estate winery practices sustainable farming and has been endorsed by internationally recognized LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe.

 

Pinot Noir is Van Duzer’s signature wine. A variety of Pinot Noir clonal varieties and microclimates allows Van Duzer Vineyards to produce a multi-dimensional estate Pinot Noir and a handful of limited-production Block Designates of singular personality. Pinot Gris is Oregon’s other wine of note, a white wine that Van Duzer Vineyards makes in a crisp, dry style particularly well suited to a white wine.

 

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

 

 

Van Duzer pinot grapes

 

 

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate – $23.39 (SRP is $32.00)

This wine is produced 100% Van Duzer Estate vineyard grapes.  The clonal breakdown of the grapes are: 22% Pommard, 20% Dijon 777, 19% Wädenswil, 12% Dijon 115, 9% Dijon 828, 9% Dijon 667, 8% Dijon 113 and 1% Dijon 114.

 

The coastal breezes that pass through the vineyards every afternoon greatly influence the grapes the winery uses.  In cool years, the breezes warm up the vineyard so it is warmer than most in the Willamette Valley.  In hotter years, the breezes cool down the vineyards so they are cooler than most in the valley.  In this vintage, a cool growing season, the grapes benefited from extended “hang time”.  The grapes were harvested from October 22 through November 1, just prior to the start of the fall rains.

 

This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There was a total of 5,686 cases produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, stony minerals, baking spices, damp underbrush, white pepper and dried flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and spice jump out first with white pepper and some underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a very slight green herbal note coming into the picture.  A very enjoyable value priced Oregon Pinot.  (90 pts)

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

 

 

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!

 

Rhone Ranger Wines from Elyse

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Elyse L’Ingénue Naggiar

2009 Elyse Le Corbeau Hudson Vineyard

2010 Elyse C’est Si Bon Naggiar Vineyard

 

 

Elyse Winery logo smaller

“A meal with wine is dining – it’s a conversation, an event.  It’s what wine is all about.”

Ray Coursen, Winemaker & Owner 

 

 

Overview

Elyse has been one of my favorite wineries since my first visit there in 2001.  I was talking to an employee at Merryvale about the style of wines I liked and that I was on the lookout for leads to some nice Petite Sirah based wines.  All he said was, “You have to checkout Elyse”.  As soon as we got back in the car, I pulled out my guidebook of wineries, and looked them up.  According to the guide, they required a reservation so I called them.  About 30 minutes later we were met by a very gracious and inviting tasting room employee.  We spent the next hour trying just about everything they made.  We left with several bottles for the week and ordered a case to be shipped back home.

 

Since that day, Elyse has always been the first winery we visit when we make it to Napa.  I always have several bottles of Elyse wine in my cellar.

 

 

In case you didn’t notice, even though I love the Bordeaux grapes and a Pinot Noir can be an excellent accompaniment with a meal, my heart lies with the grapes from the Rhone region in France.  I love a nice Grenache or a Syrah but to me, these grapes seem to hit their zenith when used in a blend, such as in these wines.  The grapes complement each other so well, some add dark berry flavors, some cherry, or spice, or black pepper, or earthiness or dried herbs…you get the point, to me the blend is usually greater than the sum of its parts.

 

 

Cool_Trick_002 small

 

The Winery

Elyse Winery was started in 1987 by Ray and his wife Nancy when they crushed 4.5 tons of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford to craft 286 cases of their first wine.  While the portfolio has grown over the last 25 years, the focus remains on creating vineyard driven wines that pair well with food.  Total production is currently 10,000 cases and the wines are nationally and internationally distributed.

 

 

Ray grew up on a dairy farm in northwest New Jersey and tended various crops before tiring of milk and leaving the roost.  After a two year stint in the army and extensive travel in Europe and Africa, he returned to the states and attended Stockbridge Agricultural College at the University of Massachusetts.  While at school, he worked at a fine wine shop in Boston, and it was here that he discovered fine French wine.  With Coursen’s background in farming and his new appreciation for wine, the idea of making wine took hold.

 

Nancy is a third generation Californian and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Following her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Occupational Therapy, she worked with special needs children in the educational systems of the Boston area.   It was in Boston in 1982 that Nancy met Ray and shortly thereafter his interest in the wine business brought them to the Napa Valley.

 

 

Much more information and Ray, Nancy, Elyse, and her younger brother Jacob Franklin can be found by clicking here.

 

 

 

My line up for this event included these three wines:

Elyse Rhone Ranger Lineup

Elyse Rhone Ranger Lineup

 

 

 

2012 Elyse L’Ingénue Naggiar – SRP $32.00

 

L’Ingénue, the naïve girl.  According to the winery, “This is a white even a die-hard red wine drinker will enjoy!”

 

This wine is produced using four white grape varietals best known in France’s Rhone Valley.  This vintage is a blend of 45% Roussanne, 24% Marsanne, 23% Viognier and 8% Grenache Blanc.  The vineyard source is the Naggiar Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills.  After a 15 day fermentation using native yeast, the wine was aged 16 months sur-lie in “experienced” French oak barrels.

 

This wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The total production of this wine was 541 cases.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow straw color.  The crisp and fresh smelling nose has apples, peach pits, spices, stony minerals, orange blossoms, pears and tarragon.  This has medium to full body with a creamy texture and good acidity.  On the palate the crisp apples and spice jump out first with minerals and peach pit coming in later.  The finish has decent length with orange zest and pears adding nice depth.  This is a nice white Rhone blend that should pick up some complexity with a bit of time in the cellar.  (88 pts)

2012 Elyse L'Ingénue Naggiar

2012 Elyse L’Ingénue Naggiar

 

 

 

2009 Elyse Le Corbeau Hudson Vineyard – SRP $37.00

 

“Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe” -from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”.

 

This wine is the winery’s attempt to make a wine in the seductive and expressive style of France’s Chateauneuf du Pape.  The wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah from the Hudson Vineyard in the Los Carneros region in southern Napa/Sonoma counties.  Following a native yeast fermentation, the wine was aged for 22 months in French oak with 20% of the barrels being new.

 

The wine has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 355 cases produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice bright red color.  The inviting nose has plums, raspberries, flinty minerals, licorice, earthy underbrush, candied violets, white pepper and dark chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Dried berries, plums and baking spices envelop the palate on the front end with minerals and candied violets coming in later.  The finish picks up some white pepper and subtle earthiness.  This is drinking very nicely and would shine with a rich stew.  (90 pts)

2009 Elyse Le Corbeau Hudson Vineyard

2009 Elyse Le Corbeau Hudson Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Elyse C’est Si Bon Naggiar Vineyard – SRP $28.00

 

C’est si bon is French for “It’s so good”.  Read on to see I think the wine lives up to its name.

 

The wine is a blend of 43% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 17% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault, 7% Counoise and 3% Viognier from the Sierra Foothills Naggiar Vineyard.  These grapes are indigenous to Southern France’s Rhone Valley, and they are well suited to the terroir of the Sierra Foothills.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 22 months in French puncheons, 10% of which were new.

 

The wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 1,451 cases of the wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, black pepper, raspberries, crushed stones, dried herbs, dark chocolate, baking spices and dried flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate fruit, minerals and black pepper take over almost immediately, slowly giving way to dried herbs and a touch of bittersweet chocolate.  The finish has good length with the fruit and spice seeming to linger forever.  This is on the young side but promises a bright future.  (90 pts)

2010 Elyse C'est Si Bon Naggiar Vineyard

2010 Elyse C’est Si Bon Naggiar Vineyard

 

 

Closing comments

Elyse is one of my favorite wineries.  Their wines, across the board, hit my sweet spot.  In my opinion, you can’t go wrong grabbing a bottle of wine with Elyse (or Jacob Franklin) on the label.

 

On your next visit to the Napa Valley, I highly recommend a stop at Elyse.  They are about a mile south of Yountville just off Highway 29.  A reservation is required but the visit is well worth the phone call.  More information is available at:  http://www.elysewinery.com/visit.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!

 

Wines of Turkey via VinoRai

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2013 Turasan Emir Cappadocia

2010 Diren Öküzgözü Collection

 

 

Wines -Turkey

 

Overview

When I was given the opportunity to explore the wine of Turkey, I eagerly accepted.  This is a country that was new, wine wise, to me.  After checking out the importer’s website, I was even more intrigued seeing wines made from grapes that I had never heard of let alone tasted.

 

Sarnic-1-1024x682

 

 

The Country

Wine historians and ampelographers believe that the southeast part of Turkey was the origin of grape domestication, dating back to 9,000 BC.

 

The first evidence of Turkish viticulture and wine making dates back 7,000 years in Anatolia (central Turkey).  It was a custom to celebrate each vintage with a holiday.  Phrygians from Anatolia introduced wine to the Greeks, and by the 6th century BC, Turkish wine was being exported as far abroad as France and Italy.  During the dark days of the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800’s, the Ottoman Empire increased their wine exports substantially, reaching 340 million liters in 1904.

 

There is a very informative History of Turkish Wine available by clicking here.

 

 

VinoRai logo

 

About VinoRai

Vino Rai  was founded in 2012 and has exclusive American rights to import the best wines from the finest wineries in Turkey.  It is their commitment to only select the very best wines for each category and to represent a wide range of varietals so that the wine adventure seekers can try a new wine region without reservations.

 

Much more information is available by clicking here.  VinoRai also actively participates on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

My line up for this session:

Wines of Turkey

Wines of Turkey

 

 

 

2013 Turasan Emir Cappadocia – SRP $13.99

Hasan Turasan established Turasan in 1943 in the heart of Cappadocia.  The winery has been run by the family for three generations and has been the proud pioneers in the Cappadocia wine region.  More information on the winery is available by clicking here.

 

The grape for this wine, Emir (eh-MEER), only grows in one place in the world, Cappadocia, Turkey.  The grape thrives in the region’s high altitude (4,000 to 4,6000 feet) volcanic soil.  The grape benefits from the region’s hot days and cool nights.  The Emir grape is often compared to Torrontes and has been grown in the region since the Hitite era in 1700 BC.

 

The grapes for this wine came from very low yielding vines that averaged 2 tons per acre.  After a temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine was aged sur-lie for 6 months before bottling.  The total production was 20,000 bottles (bottles, not cases).

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow straw color.  The intriguing nose has pears, fennel seeds, orange zest, crushed stones, pineapples, dry straw and tropical flowers.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate pears, fennel seed and orange zest jump out first with crushed stone minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried straw and a nice floral note joining the show.  For my first time tasting either a wine from the Emir grape or a wine from Turkey, I’m impressed.  (91 pts)

2013 Turasan Emir Cappadocia

2013 Turasan Emir Cappadocia

 

 

 

2010 Diren Öküzgözü Collection – SRP $14.99

Diren Winery was founded in 1958 by Mustafa Vasfi Diren in the northern part of Turkey.  They produce quality wines of Anatolia, predominantly, the Tokat region.  In 1985 Mustafa turned over the winery reins to his son Ali Diren.  Ali has continued the family legacy at the helm of one of Turkey’s oldest wineries.

 

More information on the winery is available by clicking here.

 

The late ripening Öküzgözü grapes came from estate vineyards planted in sandy soil in Mid-Eastern Anatolia.  The vineyards yielded 3.3 tons per acre.  The wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.  The wine was aged for 18 months in tanks before bottling.  The total production was 1,000 cases.

 

This wine is a blend of 85% Öküzgözü (pronounced oh-couscous–zoo), and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine has 13.3% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The deep and dark nose has plums, road tar, stony minerals, warm baking spices, dried violets and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Plums and spice coat the palate, slowly allowing stony minerals and some earthiness to enter the picture on the back end.  The finish has nice length with dried flowers coming into play.  This would work nicely with a rich stew.  The wine would also pair nicely with grilled chicken or lamb.  The wine can also be served slightly chilled.  (89 pts)

2010 Diren Öküzgözü Collection

2010 Diren Öküzgözü Collection

 

 

 

Closing comments

I went into this tasting not knowing what to expect but was a fan by the time I was done.  I highly recommend checking out Turkish wines in general and specifically the selections offered by VinoRai.  It looks like their wines are available on Amazon (only California shipping) and selected labels are available nationwide by Compass Wines.  Check out VinoRai’s site for options by clicking here.

 

After exchanging several e-mails with Shane Rai, I did learn one meaty tidbit of information; by law Turkish wineries are not allowed to market their winery and products in Turkey.

 

 

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 – Oct 6, 2014 to Oct 12, 2014

 

 

2012 Villa Creek “White”

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek “White” – $20.80

This wine is always an easy buy when it’s offered on the Villa Creek release offer.  I should just have a standing order of 6 bottles of this wine and 6 of their “Pink”.  Over the years I’ve turned on a few friends of the great wines offered by the winery.

 

This is a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% James Berry Vineyard Roussanne.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow straw color.  The crisp and refreshing nose has ripe pear, apples, crushed stone minerals, toast, lemon zest, honeysuckle and just a touch of spice.  This has medium body with very nice acidity and a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate pears and minerals jump out first with apples, toast and honeysuckle coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with tart lemon zest and a touch of sweetness providing perfect balance.  This is an outstanding value that will drink nicely over the next few years.  (92 pts)

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Villa Creek White

 

 

 

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard – $25.00

Anthill Farms likes to make a “one off” wine.  In 2005, they made a Syrah with grapes from the Windsor Oaks Vineyard that turned out so well, it was quickly made part of their line up.  This is a classic cool climate Syrah that shows tart acidity and good savory elements.  The vineyard is only 10 miles from the coast and the grapes struggle to ripen in this area, resulting in longer “hang times”.  This is not a fruit forward, fruit driven, fruit bomb.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky ruby to purple color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, blackberries, crushed stone minerals, black pepper, licorice, road tar, dried herbs, scorched earth, dark bittersweet chocolate and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Bright fruit, pepper and minerals quickly engulf the palate, slowly allowing dried herbs and scorched earth to slip through.  The finish has very nice length with a nice floral note joining the tart fruit, minerals and pepper.  This will easily last in the cellar and possibly improve over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble – $18.99

This was Copain’s effort to put out a value priced, mid-level, appellation branded level of wines.  The Copain Tous Ensemble line up has grown to now include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, and a Rosé.  In my opinion, the Copain Tous Ensemble lineup offers stunning quality for the price.  I’ve had and greatly enjoyed multiple vintages of the Syrah, Pinot Noir, and the Rosé.  I know these wines have some distribution, I bought this one at a local wine store, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle to sample if you see one on your local wine store’s shelf.

 

This has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

Winery history

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s Rhône Valley in particular.  So much so, he picked up and moved with his new bride to the region to learn from the best.  For two years, Wells apprenticed for esteemed winemaker and living legend Michel Chapoutier in France’s Rhone Valley.  During that time, Wells was deeply inspired by the traditions and practices of French winemaking, not to mention the European attitude that wine is an essential part of life.  At Copain, he creates wines that are firmly rooted in California, yet with the sensibilities of the European wines that so moved him.  He is as committed to crafting these elegant, nuanced wines as he is to building a legacy that will be passed down to his daughters in the great tradition of European winemakers whose estates have been in the same family for generations.

 

For more information on Copain, visit their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, brined olives, dried herbs, smoked meat, raspberry, crushed stone minerals and wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brined olives join the berries on the front end with stony minerals and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has good length with a meaty element and wildflowers joining the show.  This will be easy to enjoy over the next few years.  (91 pts)

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

 

 

 

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet – $28.49

Cosentino was a winery we always visited when we were in wine country.  After falling suffering through some hard times, the winery was eventually sold.  I, for one, am hoping the new owners will get the winery back on course.

 

This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot that was barrel aged for 27 months.

 

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

 

From Mitch Cosentino

On Facebook, I asked Mitch about the origin of the name “The Poet”, here was his response:

Ray Manzarek of the Doors always thought of THE POET as Jim Morrison.  Others have thought it was me.  In actuality it was one of four wines in the “Rare Art” series (POET, NOVELIST, SCULPTOR, and WINEMASTER) created some 34 years ago.  Each wine was named for the artist who’s approach to their medium was similar to the approach to that particular wine.  The whole story is longer with more detail than I have time or space here.  I am no longer involved in these any more.  They are the creations I miss most.  But the wines live on. I am still making what was inside the bottle under different identities from most of the same vineyards at PureCru Wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cigar box, dried herbs, licorice, cherries, baking spice, and some minerality.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate spicy fruit and toasty oak lead off the show with some cherries and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length and again is supported by the fruit and oak.  This is drinking nicely today as long as a bit of oak doesn’t bother you.  This is not made in a big rich style that has become popular with a lot of California Cabernets and blends, this wine needs food.  (91 pts)

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

 

 

 

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $33.24

This vintage of Entity includes some Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.  The wine was aged in 100% French oak for 18 months, 36% of which was new.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The very open and powerful nose has blackberries, baking spices, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, blueberries, white pepper, candied violets and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is a beast on the palate, full of dark berries and spice up front with vanilla bean and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is very long with white pepper, candied violets and spicy oak adding considerable depth.  This is drinking very nicely but will improve with some time in the cellar.  Outstanding!  (94 pts)

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia – $16.62

I grabbed several of these based on recommendations from a few people.  I’m a big fan of Malbecs from Argentina.  I generally open one when I’m in the mood for something different.

 

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

 

Winery history

Our family venture, is a Boutique Winery which is only devoted to produce high quality wines.

 

We combine valuable resourses to satisfy discerning palates, sophisticated experts,

who enjoy of a genuine and thousand-year old beverage, but more contemporary than never.

 

CAPACITY

Our production capacity is about 500.000 litres of wine. They are storaged in 25.000, 20.000, 10.000, 5000 and 2500 stainless steel tanks.

This allows a better and thorough quality control.

The select wine is also put in 225 litres barrels of French and American oak.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine a very deep and dark purple to black color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, freshly sharpened pencil, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, and leather.  The wine has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The rich and velvety palate has loads of berries and dark chocolate up front with dried herbs and a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end adding a lot of depth.  The finish is fairly long with the chocolate, berries, and dried herbs slowly giving way to a touch of excess oak.  This is still a baby and will greatly reward some cellar time, that said, other than a bit of oak on the finish this is already stunning.  (92 pts)

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

 

 

 

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!

 

Rhone Valley Rose Wines

 

 

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

 

 

2013 Lavau Tavel

2013 Château Mourgues du Gres Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé Fleur d’Eglantine

2012 Marrenon a la Tour d’Aigues Luberon Petula

2013 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé

 

 

CDR Logo

 

Overview:

I was given the opportunity to sample a few rosés last month from France’s Rhône Valley.  A vacation to South Carolina seemed like the perfect time to sample (drink) these wine.  Even though rosé wines can be enjoyed throughout the year, they can be even more special on a warm evening.

 

 

Fruity, refreshing and a lush shade of pink, rosé wines are undoubtedly a summertime favorite.  The breaking news is that they can be enjoyed all year.  All rosés are not created equal, and many are too light to match more substantial fare.  These dishes call for a rosé d’assiette, or “plate” in French, named for the wine’s ability to pair well with food.

 

No matter what’s on your plate, balanced and full-bodied rosés from the Rhône Valley provide the complexity and structure to complement flavorful dishes.  These rosés d’assiettes can be enjoyed alongside a green bean salad with corn and black olives, lamb burgers with Moroccan spices or sweet and sour salmon teriyaki.

 

 

rose glass

 

 

The Region:

Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages: Produced from Grenache for its ripe fruit flavor, Mourvèdre and Syrah for spiciness and body and Cinsault for finesse, these well-structured rosés have good aging potential.

 

Costières de Nîmes: This southernmost region in the Rhône produces rosés that derive their character from exceptional soil, warm weather and the mistral. Made with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, these wines have ripe fruit notes, smooth tannins and a fresh finish.

 

Luberon: These rosés benefit from the warmth of the Mediterranean climate in the southern Rhône Valley. Composed of mainly Syrah and Grenache, rosé from the Luberon ranges in color and has notes of red berries with a fresh finish.

 

Tavel: The only appellation in the Rhône to produce rosé exclusively, Tavel wines can benefit from aging – a testament to their concentration and depth. A rich shade of fuschia, these rosés are made with Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes.

 

Ventoux: Grown on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, where Mediterranean and Alpine worlds combine, Ventoux rosés are a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan. These fresh, lingering wines have notes of cherry, raspberry and fresh flowers.

 

 

Wine Folly (Madeline Puckette) has an outstanding post on the Côtes-du-Rhône with one of the best maps of the region that I have seen.  To read more about the area, click here to visit her site.

 

 

Teuwen logo

 

I want to thank the wineries and especially Teuwen Communications for providing me with this opportunity to try these wines.  For more information on Teuwen Communications, please click here.

 

 

 

Here is the line-up for this post:

French Rose lineup

French Rose lineup

 

 

 

2013 Lavau Tavel

This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 45% Cinsault and 5% Syrah.

 

For the best quality, the grapes were picked in the early morning.  After a direct crushing the wine was cold fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks before being bottled.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, vibrant pink with an orange tint.  The very tempting nose has cherries, strawberries, stony minerals, orange zest, white flowers and a hint of herbs.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals hit up front with orange zest and a light herbal note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with minerals and orange zest carrying the load.  This is perfect on its own or with a light meal on a warm day.  (88 pts)

2013 Lavau Tavel

2013 Lavau Tavel

 

 

 

2013 Château Mourgues du Gres Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé Fleur d’Eglantine – SRP $11

This wine is mostly Mourvedre with smaller amounts of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan.  The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon color.  The refreshing nose has cherries, watermelon, minerals, strawberries and orange blossoms.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate bright fruit and minerals grab hold, slowly giving way to orange zest.  The finish has nice length with cherries and minerals carrying the load.  This is extremely easy to drink.  (88 pts)

2013 Château Mourgues du Gres Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé Fleur d'Eglantine

2013 Château Mourgues du Gres Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé Fleur d’Eglantine

 

 

 

2012 Marrenon a la Tour d’Aigues Luberon Petula – SRP $12

This wine is a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache.

 

After being harvested at night, a pneumatic pressing and a short maceration, the wine was fermented.  After fermentation was completed, the wine was aged for 4 months on the fine lees.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pink to orange color.  The inviting nose has cherries, stony minerals, white pepper, white flowers, strawberries and orange zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and a hint of sweetness.  On the palate, minerals and cherries jump out first with white pepper and strawberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with strawberries and orange zest seeming to linger forever.  (89 pts)

2012 Marrenon a la Tour d'Aigues Luberon Petula

2012 Marrenon a la Tour d’Aigues Luberon Petula

 

 

 

2013 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé

This wine is a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre.

 

This wine is produced using the saigneé method where the wine is drawn off the skins after a brief maceration.  The grapes for this wine are grown for making this rosé wine, the wine is not a byproduct of trying to “beef up” a red wine.  The wine was slowly fermented in temperature controlled tanks.  The average age of the vines used to produce this wine is 25 years old.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep salmon pink color.  The fresh and inviting nose has strawberries, cherries, crushed stone minerals, orange zest, white pepper, wild flowers and just a hint of earthiness.  This has medium body with good acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate nice red fruit and minerals jump out first with orange zest and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has good length and leaves a touch of lingering sweetness to accompany the minerals and mouthwatering orange zest.  This is a very easy wine to sip on a warm day.  (89 pts)

2013 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé

2013 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé

 

 

 

Conclusion

All four of these wines would be perfect on a warm evening or on your table paired with a flavorful meal.  The prices are very wallet friendly and most enjoy good distribution in this country.

 

 

 

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 – 2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

 

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.

 

 

Long Shadows logo

 

Overview

When the local wine store acquired a relatively small number of bottles of several Long Shadows wines a few weeks ago and offered them at close out prices via their e-mail list, I had to jump in.  I bought a few bottles of three of the wines.  After having this bottle and a bottle of their 2008 Chester-Kidder a few weeks ago, I realized I really screwed up.  I should have bought more, a lot more.

 

 

The Winery

Named for the “long shadows” cast by the industry luminaries who travel to Washington to make wine here and shed light on the Columbia Valley’s world-class vineyards.

 

Long Shadows brings seven highly acclaimed vintners from the major wine regions of the world to Washington State, each an owner-partner in a unique winery dedicated to producing Columbia Valley wines that showcase the best of this growing region.

 

Founded in 2003, Long Shadows is the brainchild of Washington wine luminary Allen Shoup.  As president and CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle and its affiliated wineries, Allen spent 20 years building the reputation of the growing region, in part by forging winemaking partnerships that brought Italy’s Piero Antinori and Germany’s Dr. Ernst Loosen to the Columbia Valley.

 

After leaving Ste. Michelle in 2000, Allen’s commitment to advancing the Columbia Valley remained undaunted.  He spent the next three years developing Long Shadows, a proposition that was as simple as it was complex: recruit a cadre of the finest winemakers in the world; give each vintner access to Washington State’s best grapes; and outfit a winery to accommodate a diverse group of winemakers’ exacting cellar specifications.

 

With the vision in place, Allen began by introducing a dream team of celebrated vintners to the vines and wines of the growing region.  The idea quickly sold itself; and from the beginning, the wines have enjoyed critical acclaim that has continued to grow, vintage after vintage. In addition to the wines, Long Shadows collectively has won numerous awards, including recognition as Food & Wine magazine’s “Winery of the Year.”

 

I’ve been a fan of the Long Shadows wines for a few years.  This “winery” has a very interesting story and I highly recommend reading the story on their website by clicking here.

 

 

The Winemaker

The winemaking partner for this wine is John Duval.  John was formerly the winemaker for Penfolds Grange and is the owner/winemaker of his aptly named Duval Wines.

 

John joined the Penfolds team in 1974.  In 1986 he was appointed the title of Chief Winemaker.  Some of the recognition he has garnered over the years include the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year in 1989 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.  He is also a two time recipient of the Rew Winemaker of the year at the same event.  In 1995, John’s 1990 Grange  was named Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year.

 

 

block504_harvest

 

 

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel – $28.49 (SRP is $50)

This wine has 1% Cabernet Sauvignon added to the Syrah.  The grapes for this wine came from Boushey, Bacchus, Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills vineyards.

 

During fermentation, some of the lots undergo “delestage” or “racked and returned”, an Australia technique that helps extract optimal color and richness.  Some other lots are cold soaked to enhance fruitiness and freshness.  Other lots undergo extended maceration for up to 30 days to enhance the wine’s mouth feel.

 

The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels, with about two-thirds being new.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The nose is loaded with blackberries, dark chocolate, crushed rocks, road tar, black pepper, melted licorice, dried herbs, baking spices and violets.  The wine has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Layers of fruit and spice engulf the palate on the front end with minerals, dried herbs and black pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with a nice blend of fruity and savory elements.  I should note a touch of alcohol pokes through on occasion but not enough to detract from the overall experience.   (94 pts)

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

2009 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel

 

 

 

Connect with me

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Cheers!

 

 

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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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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.

 

 

 

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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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