Cliffs Wine Picks – Crocker & Starr

 

This is based on samples provided to me by the winery or a company representing the winery.

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

 

 

crocker-starr-logo

 

I was invited to attend an “online tasting” with Pam Starr and taste a few of the wines produced by Crocker & Starr.  I had never tried these wines but I knew of the winery.  They were always on my personal list of wines I had to sample.  Thankfully the day had come for me to experience these wines.

 

In 1997, Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr established Crocker & Starr on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena, resurrecting a world-class vineyard with roots dating back to the 1870s. Charlie is co-owner with Pam, the winery manager and winemaker. Between Charlie’s historic estate that has grown grapes for over 140 years and Pam’s winemaking expertise, vision, and business acumen, the partners proved to be a spectacular match.

 

Tons of information on Charlie and Pam, the vineyard, winery and most importantly their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

My line up for this tasting

Crocker & Starr Line up

Crocker & Starr Line up

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $34

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 87% from the winery’s Crocker Estate Vineyard with the remaining 13% from Oak Knoll’s Las Trancas Vineyard.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel (68%), used French oak (20%) and concrete egg (12%).  The wine was aged sur lees for 8 to 9 months before blending and bottling.  A total of 1200 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a pale, light yellow with a slight green tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has pear, melon, lime zest, vanilla bean, chalky minerals and a hint of baking spices.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and seems totally dry.  On the palate tart pears, melons, minerals and a hint of baking spices pop out early with lime zest and vanilla bean coming in later.  The finish has great length with lime zest and minerals providing a nice counter balance to the pear and melon.  Don’t serve this too cold, it really sings when it’s just on the cool side.  I’d love to have this with a nice lobster roll or some freshly grilled shrimp.  This has 14.4% alcohol.  (93 pts)

2015 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition – SRP $80

My sample was a full sized, 750 ml bottle.

 

This wine is a blend of 92% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot from the winery’s sustainably farmed vineyard in St. Helena.

 

The grapes were harvested between September 17 and October 3.  After small lot fermentations, the wine was aged for 17 months in French oak with 55% being new.  There were 553 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The dazzling nose has blackberries, plums, dark roasted coffee beans, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, dusty minerals, vanilla bean, licorice and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Crushed berries, plums, coffee beans and dark chocolate jump out on the front end on the palate with baking spices, minerals and licorice coming in later.  The finish has very good length with vanilla bean and scorched earth providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is built to age.  This tastes great now with some air, but a couple years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded.  This will be outstanding in a couple of years and last through at least then end of the next decade.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc – SRP $80

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This wine has 1% Petit Verdot added to the Cabernet Franc.

 

After small lot fermentations the wine was aged for 20 months in French oak with 80% new.  There were 548 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, black cherry, dried leafy herbs, plums, warm baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans and scorched earth.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, dried herbs, ground espresso beans and black cherries quickly take control on the front end with black cherries, baking spices and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  Some time in the cellar will be greatly rewarded but this tastes great now with some time in the decanter.  This has the depth and balance to age very gracefully for two decades.  I love Cabernet Franc wines and this is probably the best I have ever tasted.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (96 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place – SRP $120

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is from 38+ year old vines from the winery’s sustainably farmed Crocker Estate Vineyard in St. Helena.  The grapes came from the oldest plantings on the property, Block 3.

 

After being hand harvested on October 7 & 8, and small lot fermentation, the wine was aged 20+ months in French oak, 90% new.  There were 572 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, cassis, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, dried rosemary, stony minerals, dark chocolate and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spice, eucalyptus and vanilla bean quickly jump out immediately with minerals and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is extremely long with a touch of cedar entering the picture.  This is drinkable now but a couple years in the cellar will be rewarded and is greatly recommended.  The great tannic backbone and acidity as well as the superb balance guarantee a long and graceful life.  If you open this in the next couple of years, give is a lot of air.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

 

 

 

Conclusion

These are world class wines that will appeal to everyone.  These have the great taste that will appeal to infrequent wine drinkers but offer outstanding complexity with enough minerality and savory notes to cause a true wine enthusiast to grab the bottle to see what they are drinking.  Every one of these wines would be a welcome addition to my dinner table and you should give them a shot, you will be equally amazed.

 

 

CCA Logo

 

About Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands.  Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods.  We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

 

For more information, visit the CCA website.

 

 

 

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 3

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom – $16.99

This is another “red blend” that is a palate-pleaser when you want to try “something different”.

 

This is a blend of 39% Zinfandel, 38% Petite Sirah and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg and Amador.  The wine is a dark ruby color.  The outgoing nose has crushed berries, mint, cherries, baking spices, white pepper, toasty oak and dried violets.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Waves of fruit and spice immediately grabs your attention on the palate with white pepper and a touch of mint coming in later.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and spice joined by toasty oak.  This is a take no prisoner style of wine loaded with flavor.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

 

 

 

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard – $22.40

This is the first white wine produced by Jean Edwards Cellars.  This is a blend of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Semillon.

 

The wine is a pale straw yellow color.  The enticing nose has apples, lemon zest, white pepper, leafy herbs, pineapple, dusty minerals, apricot, orange blossoms and anise.  This has medium body with mouthwatering acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white pepper, lemon zest and an herbal streak immediately take control on the front end with apricot and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with anise and dusty minerals joining the tropical fruit and white pepper.  The crisp acidity will leave your mouthwatering for another sip.  A great initial white wine effort from this formerly red wine only winery.  This is very drinkable now but will last for at least two or three years, maybe longer.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

Two Hands wines are a “house favorite” around here.  Unfortunately the prices have rapidly increased, almost to the point the “Garden Series” wines are now special occasion wines.  This wine is still fairly reasonably priced as log as you shop around.  The price I paid is several dollars below the usual price for this wine.  Its a good value at this price, but for over $30 the value starts to get a bit iffy.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, plums, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, charred wood, dark chocolate, baking spices, wild flowers and dried herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, minerals, baking spices and white pepper quickly take control with wild flowers and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a floral note providing depth.  This is a big, rich Shiraz that doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is loaded with fruit and spice.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $19.99

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.

 

Modus was first produced in 1997 from grapes selected in the vineyards of the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino.  It was not, though, a new wine in the real sense of the term.  Ruffino had, in fact, been experimenting with the cultivation of non-traditional grape varieties on Tuscan soil since the eighties.  Some of the most encouraging results had been obtained with Cabernet and Merlot.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The mesmerizing nose has black cherries, blackberries, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, warm baking spices, tobacco, smoke, subtle earthiness and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features up front fruit and spice with dark chocolate and toasty oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and some earthiness.  This still tastes young but it will be hard to resist after just one sip.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino – $18.99

This 100% Sangiovese comes from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at elevations of 150-350 metres on well-exposed hillslopes south-east of Montalcino.  The wine was aged in a mix of Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months followed by a minimum of 3 months of bottle aging before it is released.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dried thyme, baking spices, raspberry, leather and a touch of underbrush.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, minerals and spice initially take hold on the palate with dried thyme and leather coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should continue for a couple years, at least.  This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino – $25.34

The wine is a red to ruby color with a touch of brick at the edge.  The appealing nose has raspberries, cherries, baking spice, earthy underbrush, dried flowers, roasted herbs, minerals, mushrooms and a touch of mint.  This has medium body, slightly chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the baking spices, red fruit and earthiness kick in first with oak, minerals and more earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of mint adding a nice closing element.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for a few more years.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

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 – 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/

 

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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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