Cliffs Wine Picks – Assorted Imports

 

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

 

These are miscellaneous bottles that were either samples, last minute bottles that replaced flawed bottles or bottles that were not included in a previous post.

 

 

 

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado – $24.64

This 100% Malbec was aged 20 months in French oak and has 14.5% alcohol.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The suave and sophisticated nose has crushed berries, cocoa powder, violets, baking spices, licorice and dried underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy berries and cocoa powder immediately jumps out with violets and underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some crushed stone minerals slipping in.  This is an elegant, nicely balanced, food friendly wine, not an over the top, full throttle dynamo.  This will reward some time in the cellar but it tastes great today with some air.  (92 pts)

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos – $11.39

Vintage after vintage, this is a favorite week night wine in my house.  This may not have the most complexity out there, but it is generally loaded with flavor.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, smoke, vanilla, baking spices, cherries, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, and some dried herbs.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead off with white pepper, dried herbs, and the coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dark chocolate note joining the party.  A very nice wine and an incredible value.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

 

 

 

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives – $16.99

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, dusty minerals, freshly ground espresso bean, dried herbs, dry flowers and scorched earth.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, espresso beans and dusty minerals quickly take over, slowly allowing dried herbs and cherries to slip in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with dried flowers and scorched earth adding great depth.  This is on the young side and has a great future but it is hard to resist in its youth.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Cave de Tain l'Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

 

 

 

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas – $16.14

This is a blend of 55% Syrah, 35% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The wine was aged for 12 months in American (50%) and French (50%) oak barrels with an additional 6 months in bottle before release.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The intriguing nose has blackberries, baking spices, cherries, earthy underbrush, freshly ground espresso beans, dusty minerals, wildflowers and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, spice, espresso beans and minerals jump out quickly with cherries and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with dried earth and a floral note adding depth.  This is an exceptional wine with great balance and depth.  Stock up when you find it for under $20.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

 

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro – $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.

 

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.  This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

 

 

 

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru – $39.99

Light golden yellow color.  Apples, pears, lemon zest, yeasty bread, orange blossoms on the nose.  Nice pinpoint sized bubbles, labeled as Brut but is pushing the allowed RS to the limit if not slipping past.  It was better on its own after lunch.  Would be nice with spicy appetizers.  (88 pts)

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has tart cherries, dusty minerals, mint, dried earth, baking spices, plums, white pepper and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart cherries, dusty minerals and white pepper quickly take hold on the palate with plums, spice and a touch of mint coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of dried earth and a nice floral note adding depth and complexity.  This is on the young side, some cellar time or an hour in a decanter will be greatly rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

 

 

 

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige – SRP $14.00

The wine is a bright salmon color with steady streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The refreshing nose has strawberries, yeasty bread, lemon zest, orange blossoms and cherries.  This has light body with crisp acidity and a touch of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart strawberries, lemon zest and cherries take over on the front end with yeasty bread coming in later.  On the finish orange blossoms and cherries grab the spotlight.  This is an easy drinking off-dry bottle of bubbles that would be a hit at a party with friends.  (87 pts)

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige 2

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige

 

 

 

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887 – SRP $19.00

This has 11.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard sparkling wine cork.

 

The wine is a bright pink to copper color with persistent pinpoint sized bubbles.  The sexy nose has cherries, strawberries, yeasty bread, lemongrass, stony minerals, orange zest and a hint of roasted nuts.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, a hint of sweetness and great effervescence.  On the palate tart cherries, strawberries and orange zest kick in quickly with yeasty bread coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering acidity balancing out a touch of sweetness.  This is extremely easy to sip.  (89 pts)

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – February 2017 Vol 2

 

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

 

 

 

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux – $15.76

This wine was purchased from the “flash sell” site, Last Bottle.  More information and a credit for signing up is lower in this post.

 

This wine is a Grenache based wine with some Syrah and Mourvedre included in the blend.

 

The wine is garnet red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, scorched earth, dusty minerals, roasted leafy herbs and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, baking spices and minerals jump out first with raspberries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with scorched earth and a floral note entering the picture.  This is an easy drinking and tasty wine.  I wouldn’t stash this away for an extended time, open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

 

 

 

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane – $40.15

I was in the mood for something different today.  I bought six bottles of this wine from the local store a couple years ago.  I opened one about a year ago, and it definitely fell into the “something different” category.  This wasn’t your typical, fruit driven wine.  At that time, the fruit was a bit player in the bigger picture.  It’s time to try my second bottle to see how this is progressing.

 

Morrison Lane is the oldest Syrah plantings in the Walla Walla Valley.  It is on the southeastern facing slopes that are on a slightly cooler site in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.  Soil composition consists of Touchet silt loam and riverwash, sandy loam with coarse sand and gravel.  The vineyard was planted in 1984.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, charred meat, smoky embers, dried flowers, brined black olives, black pepper, roasted herbs, vanilla, melted licorice, minerals and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the charred meat, roasted herbs, and black pepper seize control before some fruit can finally break through.  The finish is long and again full of the savory elements with just enough fruit slipping through to add some sweetness before the dark chocolate eventually closes the show.  This still tastes young side and will reward some additional cellar time.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and hard to remove wax.  (93 pts)

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek White – $20.80

This is a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Roussanne from Paso Robles.  A total of 150 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a light straw yellow color.  The bright and fresh nose has tart apples, white peach, crushed stone minerals, fresh leafy herbs, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate apples, white peach and minerals quickly jump out on the front end with leafy herbs and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with some zippy lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is in a prime drinking window and can be enjoyed over the next year or two.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Villa Creek White

 

 

 

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch – $27.99

This is 100% Zinfandel from the Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles.

 

After hand-harvesting the grapes are destemmed and crushed.  The wines are fermented with natural yeasts.  The wine was aged for 11 months in 100% American oak barrels, 25% new, 7% 2-years old, 34% 3-years old and 34% 4-years old.

 

The wine is a garnet red color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, black cherries, dry earth and white pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  Berries, minerals and spices coat the palate on the front end with black cherries, dry earth and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a white pepper note providing some depth.  This is an easy drinking zinfandel that is rich and smooth enough to stand up to some spicy BBQ.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

 

 

 

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut – 36.99

This non-vintage Champagne is the house’s signature cuvee and is a blend of 50%-55% Pinot Noir, 20-25% Pinot Meunier, 15-20% Chardonnay and 15-20% reserve wines.

 

The wine is a bright yellow-straw color with tiny, pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive nose has apples, lemon zest, fresh baked bread, orange blossoms, roasted nuts and crushed stones.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and excellent effervescence.  Tart apples, minerals, roasted nuts and lemon zest quickly grab control on the palate with fresh baked bread and orange blossoms coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tart lemony acidity making you grab another sip.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (90 pts)

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

 

 

 

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve – $55.09

This wine is 100% Estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyard at the winery site in Conn Valley.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The voluptuous nose has cassis, eucalyptus, crushed stone minerals, tobacco, cedar, warm baking spices, dead wood embers, licorice and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, spices and a touch of eucalyptus jump out on the front end with cedar, wood embers and violets coming in later.  The long, lingering finish adds cedar and licorice for extra depth.  This is in a real nice drinking window and should drink very nicely for another decade.  This is a top notch Cabernet!  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2007 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Vivanco Rioja Wines

 

This is based on samples provided by Foundations Marketing Group, NYC.

 

 

2015 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco

2012 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia

 

 

vivanco-logo

 

 

Vivanco’s history began 100 years ago when Pedro Vivanco González, started to make wines with grapes from a small vineyard that the family had in Alberite, La Rioja, Spain.

 

 

A MAN AND HIS VISION  (from the winery)

 

A humble, amiable, conciliatory man, our father Pedro Vivanco Paracuellos began delivering wine on a bicycle in Logroño when he was 14 years old. Business grew quickly and soon he upgraded to a lorry, enabling him to deliver wine across La Rioja and surrounding provinces. It was on that road that he truly came to love wine. And he decided then, that if he did not start studying, he would not be able to devote his life to his passion. So he went to Requena and earned a degree in Oenology. He went on to purchase his first vineyard where our winery, museum and restaurant have since been built. We have been blessed, the business thrived and our family became even more immersed in Rioja wine culture. Wine made us who we are today and we believe we have the obligation to pay it back. With that focus in mind Bodegas Vivanco was officially born in 2004.

 

Much more information on the family, region and their wines is available on their website.

 

 

My line up for this tasting:

my-line-up

 

 

 

2015 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco

This unique wine is a blend of:

50% Viura: The main white grape variety grown in Rioja, it produces fruity wines with floral aromas and remarkable acidity, ideal for making both young and aged whites.  Their Viura vineyards are located in Briones, Rioja Alta.

35% Tempranillo Blanco: This grape variety comes from a natural genetic mutation found in a single cane of a red Tempranillo vine, discovered in an old vineyard in Murillo de Río Leza (La Rioja) in 1988.  It has a fruity, intense aroma of bananas, citrus fruit and tropical fruit with floral notes. It does not exist anywhere else in the world.

15% Maturana Blanca: It is the oldest grape variety to have a written record in Rioja, being mentioned in a text dating to 1622.  Maturana Blanca wines are a greenish yellow, with fruity aromas of apples, bananas and citrus fruit underscored by grassy notes.  It does not exist anywhere else in the world.

 

Each grape variety was vinified separately.  After a brief cold maceration of the whole grape clusters (between 10-12 hours), the free-run must was fermented in small stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures (12-15 °C) to retain its full varietal expression.  The wines remained in contact with their lees in stainless steel tanks for 4 months to preserve the varietal aromas against oxidation and give them greater harmony and unctuousness in mouth.

 

The bottle was inspired in an original eighteenth-century bottle that is on exhibit at the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine.

 

The wine is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The intriguing nose has apples, white peaches, dusty minerals, orange blossoms, bananas, leafy herbs and pineapple.  This seems totally dry with medium body and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white peaches and minerals grab your attention on the front end with orange blossoms and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a pleasing herbal providing nice depth.  This has great balance and it loaded with fruity elements with just enough savory notes to provide interest.  This is really nice and I’d love to have a few bottles in my cellar for lighter meals on the deck on a sunny day.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a plastic stopper.  (92 pts)

2015 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco

2015 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco

 

 

 

2012 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia

This wine is 100% Tempranillo.  The vines are 15 to 20 years old from the vineyard in Briones, Rioja Alta.

 

After hand picking in early October, the grapes were placed in a cold room for 36 hours before being processed on the sorting table.  After mild crushing, the grapes were fed by gravity into small French oak vats where they fermented and were left to macerate for 20 days in contact with the skins at a controlled temperature of 28 °C with light pumpovers.  The wine was aged for 16 months in French and American oak barrels, with periodic rackings.  After bottling, the wines were aged for an additional 6 months before being released.

 

The wine is a bright ruby violet red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, baking spices, dry underbrush, stony minerals, dead wood embers, white pepper, licorice and wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate bright cherries, minerals, white pepper and baking spices jump out quickly on the front end with dried herbs and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The juicy finish has very nice length.  I think this could take another year or two in the cellar to help the finish fill out.  That said, it’s already very tasty in a slightly rustic style.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia

2012 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia

 

 

Conclusion

These were both very good wines that will appeal to all wine lovers.  In my case, I loved the unique blend and flavor profile of the white wine.  These are both well worth your time and deserve a place in your cellar.

 

Vivanco wines are imported to the United States by Opici Imports and represented by Foundations Marketing Group, NYC.

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – February 2017 Vol 1

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon – $24.27

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

This is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the winery’s estate vineyard.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cherries, underbrush, cassis, cedar, baking spices, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and spices quickly jump out on the front end with dusty minerals and a touch of cedar coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cassis and violets providing good depth.  This seems to have just a touch of residual sweetness but the acidity keeps it in check.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

 

 

 

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau – $17.50

This wine was made like Beaujolais Nouveau, but it comes from more interesting vineyard material than your typical stuff.  The wine is a blend of Zinfandel from Esola Vineyard, planted on granitic schist at 1600’ in the Amador foothills along with the oldest Cinsault in the country, own-rooted and planted in the 1880s, from Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi.  Both lots were fermented using carbonic maceration in a small concrete tank.  Nouveau is traditionally a fete of the most recent harvest, and 2016 was a great vintage in California deserving some early celebration.

 

The wine is a slightly cloudy light ruby color.  The unusual nose has raspberry, dry earth, cherry, bubble gum, white pepper, orange zest and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body with nice acidity and not a tannin in sight.  On the palate this reminds me of a fruit punch with a lot of up front, easy drinking, fruit with just a touch of white pepper and orange zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length and is again very fruit dominated.  This is some thing different and unusual but not really my style.  I think this could be better in an off year where the fruit wouldn’t be as ripe and in your face.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (85 pts)

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

 

 

 

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay – $25.42

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with several streams of pinpoint bubbles.  The festive nose is full of tart apples, flinty minerals, yeasty bread, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence and just a slight hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and lemon zest quickly grab hold with yeasty bread coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of orange blossom providing some additional depth.  This has great balance and tastes even better.  There is no rush on this bottle of bubbly but it’s hard to resist.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast – $28.17

Rodgers Creek Vineyard sits high on a ridge in the heart of the cool Petaluma Gap.  The vineyard takes the brunt of the wind and thick fog that define this cool climate zone.  The vines are grown in light, chalky soils on steep inclines.  Two blocks of the Pommard Pinot Noir clone form the foundation of this wine, 15% of which was fermented whole-cluster, contributing verve and depth.  Clone 777 is blended in, adding a layer of bright red fruit to rich spices and dark cherry flavors.  After open-top fermentation using native yeast, this 100% Pinot Noir was aged in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new.  The wine was bottles unfined and unfiltered in September 2013.  There were 725 cases produced.

 

The wine is a bright cherry red to ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has cherries, warm baking spices, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, dried flowers and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the spices and cherries jump out first with minerals and strawberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with white pepper and some earthiness entering the picture.  This is on the young side but already outstanding.  This is perfectly balanced and carries no excess weight.  With a lot of upside potential, this could be mythical in a few years.  This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot – $12.74

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, baking spices, spicy oak, plums and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and oak leads off on the front end with plums and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has decent length with berries and baking spices with a bit of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity here.  A fairly generic California Merlot for mid week meals.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (85 pts)

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $26.50

This is one of the very reasonably prices Appellation wines from Loring.  This is a blend of grapes from Garys’, Rosella’s, Aubaine Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black raspberries, cherries, crushed stones, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, cola and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries, minerals and underbrush grab hold on the front end with roasted herbs and cola coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a pleasing floral note.  This has nice balance and great up front fruit.  This is very easy to enjoy.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Loring twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2017 Vol 5

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

 

 

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras – $16.62

I’ve been a fan of this wine for several vintages.  To me, a nice Vacqueyras is a solid step up from a Côtes du Rhône but with only a slight increase in price.

 

This is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The warm and relaxing nose has black cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, dried herbs, brined olives, licorice, minerals, earthy elements and wild flowers.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit and olives with a touch of earthiness and chalky minerality coming in on the back end.  The finish has filled out nicely with some time in the cellar and now shows good length.  This one is rocking today and will hold for couple years.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

 

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – $30

“My Sweetheart”

 

The #50 in the wine’s name relates to the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the final blend.  As with most blends, the breakdown changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot from the Abbey, Lynch, Morisoli and Wood Vineyards.  The grapes were picked from September 19 through October 14.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels with 65% being new.  The total production was 375 cases.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The stunning nose has cassis, dried herbs, cedar, smoke, warm baking spices, tobacco, dusty minerals, dark chocolate and licorice.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Spices, dried herbs and cassis immediately coat the palate, slowly allowing cedar and minerals to enter the picture.  On the long finish dusty minerality and dark chocolate join the cassis and dried herbs.  This is a very nicely layered wine with plenty of savory elements that nicely balance out the rich cassis.  This wine is in a prime drinking window allowing it to be a showstopper through the end of the decade.  The wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

 

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley – $20

I used to split a friend’s Scherrer allocation in their “Futures Program” when I lived in Wisconsin.  In this program, you paid for the wines early in the year before the wine was even bottled.  The advantage was you got the wine at a BIG discount.  Usuallt around $20 for a wine that would sell for $30 to $35.  I used to get three bottles of this wine and three bottles of their Shale Vineyard Zinfandel.  I miss getting these wines at those prices.  The Scherrer zinfandels aren’t big and bold zins, they are much more mild mannered and balanced.  These zins age like a Bordeaux blend.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, tobacco, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, scorched earth, dried wildflowers and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, minerals and baking spices jump out on the front end with cherries, tobacco and dried earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note and a hint of cedar providing good depth.  This has great balance and still has a few years in a great drinking window.  No hurry opening this gem.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

 

 

 

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé – $34.99

This is a bright salmon pink color with steady, persistent streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive and inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, orange zest, fresh bread, chalky minerals and currants.  This has might to medium body with crisp acidity and some lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit, fresh bread and orange zest quickly take control with some minerality slipping in on the back end.  The finish is dominated by sweet cherries with a hint of orange zest.  This really pushes the limits to be called Brut, to me it is distinctly off dry.  To me this is great as an aperitif but the sweetness would make it a difficult to pair with a lighter dish.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (87 pts)

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

 

 

 

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – SRP $65

As in prior vintages, the fruit for this wine comes from a premium vineyard block located within the Pritchard Hill Region of Stagecoach Vineyard. This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot that was aged for 24 months in French Oak.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The open and expressive nose has cassis, cedar, baking spices, tobacco, scorched earth, dusty minerals, licorice, cocoa powder, violets and dried leafy herbs.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, cedar, minerals and scorched earth jump out quickly on the front end with cocoa powder and dried leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with baking spices and a floral note providing nice depth.  This is still on the young side, either give it an hour or two in the decanter or let it sleep for another couple of years.  This has the depth and balance to improve over the next several years and drink well for a decade or more.  (95 pts)

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo – $10.19

Grillo is a native Italian grape that may have originated in Puglia.  This grape has been grown in Sicily since the 8th century and today is wide spread in western Sicily.

 

The wine is a straw-yellow color.  The intriguing nose has ripe apples, pineapple, dried straw, juicy peaches, orange blossoms and flinty minerals.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate ripe apples, pineapple, minerals and peaches quickly jump out on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a dry straw note adding nice depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but for the price this is a nice wine for a lighter week night meal.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Red Blends

 

2011 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

2010 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth

2006 Vincent Arroyo Bodega

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

These are a few bottles from the past couple of months that were missed in that week’s post.  Most were either an emergency replacement for an off bottle, consumed on a business trip or a bottle I was afraid may be past its’ peak.

 

 

 

2011 Murrieta’s Well The Spur – $21.99

This wine is a blend of 31% Petite Sirah, 29% Petit Verdot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, and 5% Cabernet Franc.  The bottle is closed with a screw cap.

 

Each varietal was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 14 months in a combination of American, French, Eastern European, and neutral oak barrels.

 

There were 425 barrels of the wine produced and the final alcohol level is 13.5%.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The nose is big, dark, and serious with smoke, loamy earth, berries, black cherries, minerals, plums, black pepper, licorice, dried herbs and some underbrush.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries, smoke, and earthy elements hit first with plums and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length and closes with a big dash of black pepper.  This wine screams for something hot and juicy right off the grill.  This is drinking very nicely right now, no reason to hold on to it even though it should hold for a couple more years.  (90 pts)

2011 Murrieta's Well The Spur

2011 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

 

 

 

2010 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth – $30.40

This is a blend of 80% Syrah 11% Mourvedre 9% Grenache.

 

The wine is a deep purple color, dark as midnight.  The intoxicating nose is full of crushed berries, crushed stones, ground espresso beans, meat juices, cherries, Asian spices, black licorice, violets and scorched earth.  This is full bodied with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  The palate is greeted with a load of berries, crushed stones and Asian spices immediately.  On the back end meat juices and ground espresso beans grab your attention.  The finish has good length with scorched earth grabbing the spotlight and violets in the wings.  A little alcoholic heat slips through at times but the wine easily conceals most of the 15.6% alcohol.  One of the better McPrice Myers wines I’ve had over the years.  This has 15.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth

2010 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth

 

 

 

2006 Vincent Arroyo Bodega – $19.99

I’ve been a long time supporter and buyer of the wines from Vincent Arroyo.  This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot.

 

The wine is a medium to dark garnet color.  The very appealing nose features blackberries, baking spices, cedar, tobacco, cherry, vanilla, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the spicy fruit hits first with some cedar and earthiness in the background adding depth.  The finish has nice length with cherries and spice carrying the load.  A very nice Bordeaux style blend from Napa.  (90 pts)

2006 Vincent Arroyo Bodega

2006 Vincent Arroyo Bodega

 

 

 

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32 – $16.90

We have visited the Alexander Valley based Trentadue Winery a few times in the past and always had a good time and an even better tasting.  This is a long time favorite wine in my house.  The blend varies each vintage, this one is 49% Sangiovese, 27% Merlot, 8% Montepulciano, 8% Malbec, 7% Petite Sirah and 1% Syrah.  This wine has enough acidity from the Sangiovese to stand up to dishes with tomatoes but the other grapes lend enough body and oomph to stand up to meat.  We like this wine with everything from pasta with meat sauce to Veal Parmesan and baked ziti.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and is sealed via a natural cork.

 

The wine is a medium to dark garnet color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, warm baking spices, dried herbs, raspberries, black pepper, wild flowers, licorice and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery fruit jumps out first with dried herbs and earthiness coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with good balance between the fruity and savory elements.  This California version of a “Super Tuscan” is one of the better ones currently being produced.  This is in a prime drinking window but will last in the cellar for another couple of years.  (91 pts)

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32

 

 

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.29

This is a kitchen sink blend that changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Verdot and 1% Carmenere from the Columbia Valley in Washington.  The wine is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  My eyesight may not as good as it used to be but if the alcohol percentage is on the label, I could not find it.

 

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to maroon color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, smoldering charcoal, vanilla, meat juices, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has a nice mix of fruity and savory elements that play well off of each other.  The finish has decent length leaning a bit more on the savory elements.  This is in a very nice drinking window and is a nice change of pace from the bigger, riper California wines.  This wine has not only survived some cellar time but has improved over the last few years.  The end of the line is near, this needs consumed in the next year.  What more can you ask of a sub $15 bottle of wine?  (89 pts)

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  They offer one wine per day at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2017 Vol 4

 

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – $45.45

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This 100% Chardonnay is only produced when the quality of the grapes is good enough.  It looks like that happened only 6 times since 1999.

 

The wine is a light straw yellow color with a very persistent, steady stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very appealing nose has pears, lemon curd, yeasty bread, white peach, minerals, shaved almonds and orange blossoms.  This has light body with great effervescence and tart acidity.  On the palate tart pears, lemon curd and minerals quickly take control eventually allowing yeasty bread, white peach and shaved almonds to enter the picture on the back end.  The finish has great length with zippy lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This tastes great now but I don’t plan on opening another bottle for a few years.  I think some cellar time will allow the acidity to integrate and additional nuances to develop.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

 

 

 

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon – $45.00

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This vintage is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that were harvested from September 28 to October 26.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months, 65% new.

 

The wine is a deep violet color.  The elegant nose has cassis, tobacco, baking spices, dusty minerals, violets, cedar, cherries and licorice.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, spicy oak, dusty minerals and baking spices jump out on the front end with tobacco and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with violets and licorice providing some depth.  This needs a bit of time in the cellar to add some weight and fill out on the palate.  This is very nice now but I think the best days are a couple years down the road.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10 – $14.90

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This Russian River Valley Red is a blend of 59% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane and 1% Alicante Bouschet.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, licorice, crushed stone minerals, dark chocolate, dry underbrush, black cherries, dried wild flowers, black peppercorns, baking spices and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, minerals and dark chocolate take control early with black cherries and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with black peppercorns and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This is an easy drinking, much more civilized version of The Prisoner.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend – $16.50

This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.  I bought this as a pre-release from the winery, so the price I paid is no longer available.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The stunning nose has cassis, licorice, earthy underbrush, black cherries, dried herbs, cedar, stony minerals, tobacco, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate, juicy berries and spicy oak jump out first with dried herbs, cherries and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a nice earthy element and chocolate coming into the picture adding some complexity.  Not a wine made to stash in the cellar but to open and enjoy over the next couple of years.  A great value for under $20.  This wine has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis – $25.00

This wine is a field blend consisting of about a dozen different varietals including Gewurtzraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, Chardonnay and a few others from a vineyard planted in 1954.  This is how wines used to be made before people wanted to see a specific grape on the label.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The exotic nose has apples, lychee, white peach, pear, stony minerals, petrol, honeysuckle, orange blossoms and melon.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  This is rich and luxurious on the palate with nice white orchard fruit, orange blossoms, minerals and lychee nuts on the front end with honeysuckle and a touch of lime zest coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of melon and white peach providing great depth.  This was much smoother and richer as it warmed up a bit, don’t serve this one too cold, just a brief chill in the refrigerator will be perfect.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

 

 

 

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.77

This is a perennial house favorite and best buy.  The blend changes every vintage, but the quality is always in the bottle.  This is always a blend of several grapes that always seems to work.

 

This vintage is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Syrah, 12% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 4% Sangiovese, 2% Zinfandel, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere.

 

This is a fairly deep ruby to maroon color.  The pleasant nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, minerals, cherries, baking spices, dried herbs, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  Nice, juicy, spicy fruit hits the palate first with some dark chocolate and earthiness coming in on the back end.  This has decent length on the finish which is showing a touch of oak.  For under $15 this is a keeper.  The bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork, I could not see the alcohol percentage on the label.  Before you ask, I checked before I even had a sip of the wine.  I think this wine is reaching the end of the line, kill this one off in the next year.  (89 pts)

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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 always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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