2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

This is a wine we love to have with dinner on the deck in the Summer.  If we drank more white wine, this would be called our “house white”.

A light, golden, straw color. Apples, white peaches, pears, citrus zest, minerals, and a slight floral note on the fresh and lively nose. Light to medium body with crisp acidity. Nice juicy, citrus and white fruit on the palate with some minerality. Mouthwatering finish with lime and apples. Not as rich as prior vintages but still very nice, especially on a warm Summer evening.  (88 pts)


I paired the King Estate Pinot Gris with a favorite Summer meal, a Crawfish Salad.  The recipe, from Hanneke Eerden, from The Netherlands is available at http://www.thedutchesscooks.com/2012/05/crawfish-salad/  I replaced the avocado with an egg, but the Crawfish and her salad dressing makes the dish.  The wine has enough acidity to cut through the dressing but enough fruit to tame the spicy Crawfish.


2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard – $14.24

I got a little flack on Facebook over this wine.  Granted, it is a massive wine packing 16.5% ABV.  The wine actually is big enough to support and conceal “most” of the alcohol.  This isn’t a wine to have every night, or even every month, and it will be a total turnoff for a lot of wine drinkers, but every once in a while, I enjoy a wine in this style.

Deep, dark purple color. Charcoal, blackberries, black pepper, blueberries, smoked meat, dark chocolate, and some vanilla on the big and open nose. Full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and decent acidity. A mouthful of fruit and spice with some smoked meat coming in on the back end. Decent length on the finish which also stars the smoked meat and berries. Could use a touch more acidity to help hold it in check, it gets a bit muddled on the back end and finish and shows a touch of alcoholic heat. No subtlety but tasty.  (90 pts)


2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $24.00

Loring is a mailing list I very highly recommend.  Brian’s wines are usually very good to outstanding.  I feel their appellation wines, such as this one, are some of the best deals available in the marketplace on quality California Pinot Noirs.  The house style is fruit forward, rich, wines.  These will never be confused with a Red Burgundy.  Ripe fruit is not a flaw.  Luckily I get these wines in sufficient quantities because we seem to have a Loring wine every other week.

From a bottle that had been opened about 2 hours but not decanted.  Deep ruby color.  Black cherries, raspberries, baking spices, minerals, white pepper, fresh wild flowers, and a hint of earthy underbrush on the very enticing nose.  Medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice spicy fruit on the palate with minerals and an earthy element in the background.  Long, lingering finish featuring the spicy fruit.  Outstanding effort with great QPR.  (93 pts)


2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé – $18.00

The Bedrock Rosé as well as the Villa Creek Pink is our main Summer Rosé wines.  We usually stock up on one other wine to get us through the season.  This year the third bottling was the 2011 One Time Spaceman MCA Rosé.  All three are made with Rhone grapes but are very different from each other.  The Bedrock has the bigger acidity with nice spice and minerality and the One Time Spaceman is the softest and fruitiest.  The Villa Creek is somewhere in the middle.  All three are very different, but very tasty and welcome on my deck with dinner any time.

A nice, light, pinkish salmon color. Minerals, strawberry, white pepper, melons, orange zest, and a bit of dusty earthiness on the very appealing nose. Light body with crisp acidity. A very dry rose with nice minerality and fruit with the white pepper and citrus making an appearance on the back end. Nice, lingering, mouthwatering finish. The real deal. Even those who like a crisp French Rose will find pleasure in this wine. (92 pts)


We tried a new dish for dinner to pair with the Bedrock Rosé, Pan-Fried Shrimp with Creole Mayonnaise from MyRecipes.com via Cooking Light magazine.  We just julienned some cucumber and carrots and added some broccoli florets to go with the dipping sauce to round out the meal.  The recipe is available at http://bit.ly/OsKpBe

The acidity in the wine helped cut through the slightly spicy mayonnaise, but the nice fruit helped tame the spicy shrimp.  I love a nice cold Rosé with a hot from the pan dish, a case of opposites attract.  Next time, I may kick up the heat a bit and open an off dry Riesling.




Wine News:

The always anticipated newest Saxum offer hit the old inbox this week.  Great wines, but the price increases are pushing the wine to the “Very Special Occasion” category.  I remember when the wines were south of $50, now they are getting close to the $100 price point.  The wines get great scores so I’m sure the point chasers and the flippers will be buying, but my purchases are dwindling.


One winery that always gets my business is Carlisle.  Great wines and the owner, Mike Officer, is doing a great job keeping the wines reasonably priced.  I took just about everything Mike offered in his latest release.


Also at nice price points, Villa Creek and Bedrock offers will be out in the near future.


Surprise news:

A few years ago I ordered and paid for a case of wine from a Napa Valley based winery.  We visited the winery multiple times and always enjoyed their Cabernet Franc.  After ordering the wine but before shipping, the winery went bankrupt.  After repeated attempts to get “my” wine, I was told everything was gone, there were no “bones left to pick”.

I e-mailed and used every available means to get hold of the owner.  I have been exchanging e-mails with him over the last few days, and he has agreed he owes me the wine and will send me my case out of his “personal” stash as soon as the weather cools a bit.  I don’t have the wine yet, but this is the closest I have been to getting it in 3 years.  Fingers crossed I’ll get my 2007 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Franc.


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


Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.


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