This end of the week was a bit light, wine wise.  We left for vacation on Saturday morning, so we dialed down the wine list a bit.



2009 Girard Petite Sirah Napa Valley – $17.09

This has been a long time favorite of mine.  My consumption has declined over the last few vintages as the price escalated.  My local store loaded up and offered the wine at a killer price via their e-mail list, so I had to “back up the truck”.


This was decanted for about an hour. The wine is a deep, dark purple color. There are blackberries, black pepper, smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, dried herbs, underbrush, and some earthiness on the dark and pleasing nose.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  There is a lot of fruit and spice on the palate with just a bit of earthiness coming in on the back end with dark chocolate and black pepper.  Nice length on the finish where the dark chocolate really kicks into high gear.  This is very young but already very nice.  (91 pts)




2007 JC Cellars Smoke and Mirrors – $15.19

We’ve had this wine a few times over the last several months.  To me, it has always been a bit of a disappointment.  This is a wine that could really use a big injection of tannins and acidity.  As is, I figured this would be a nice wine to sip in a hotel after 800 miles on the road.


This is a deep, dark garnet to maroon color. There are blackberries, blueberries, plums, vanilla, black pepper and smoked meat on the nose dark and brooding nose.  The wine is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and marginal acidity.  This is a bit out of balance on the palate with loads of fruit and tannins but very soft acidity.  This is more of a party/cocktail wine than something to serve with anything more than a cheese/sausage plate.  This is tasty but a bit too flabby.  (86 pts)




2009 Clayhouse Vineyard Cuvée Blanc Red Cedar Vineyard – $22.99

I tried this about a few weeks ago as part of my review of a Super Flight Sampler from  To me, based on the taste, this was a wine I had to buy.  Luckily, the Super Flight Sampler included two pre-paid bottles.  I selected two bottles of this wine.  This is a blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Rousanne, and 20% Viognier from Paso Robles.


The wine is a very pale yellow to straw color, just a step or two about water.  This has a very interesting nose of apples, white peaches, minerals, white pepper, pears, orange zest, and a lively floral note.  The wine is medium body at most with very nice acidity,  The wine is initially has a silky, soft, impact on the palate with the apples, spice, and white peach elements dominating, but then the other hammer drops and white pepper and citrus kick in adding immensely.  A nice, lingering finish with all the elements in perfect harmony.  This is a very interesting California version of a French white Chateauneuf.  I like this wine, a lot!  (92 pts)




Mailing Lists


Jean Edwards Cellars

This is the home of some fantastic Napa Valley cabernets at unbelievable prices.  Their latest offer includes their 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet and the 2009 Seventy Four – Forty One Howell Mountain Cab came out of Friday.  If you can bribe your way onto their pre-release mailing list, these are 25% off the normal, release price.  As a bonus, they also have a Library Release of their first commercial offering, the 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet.  Visit and tell Karen I sent you.  I have an earlier blog here with a review of the 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet.





Save the Date: August 30, 2012 will be the third annual global celebration of Cabernet.  You have a couple weeks to pick out a bottle to open.  Let us know which wine you choose.  #Cabernet Day




Remember to support your local wine store!




Nice Wine Stuff

A Facebook friend, Heidi McLain, has a very nice product and is looking for some startup funding.  The product is the To Your Taste!® Wine Party Kit.  As an incentive to donate, she has some really nice “pledge rewards” for pledges of as little as $25.  Visit to see the marvelous product or even better to assist in the funding effort.  You can also visit the Facebook page at



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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  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.