2005 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard – Gift from friend


My comments

This was a birthday gift from a friend a few years ago.  I don’t know the release price, but the average cost on Cellar Tracker is about $30.


I’ve been a big fan of Jaffurs for close to a decade.  In my opinion, the winery has hit the right formula for success.  Their wines are impressive across the board.  I’m really looking forward to trying this wine.


Winery history

Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhone varietal wines with a new-world independence.  Our wines -Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Viognier, and Roussanne – are among the best in the county.  Owner/winemaker Craig Jaffurs, produced his first professional wines during the 1994 harvest.  All our wines are carefully made in small lots.  Only about 3500 cases are produced each year – production is limited.  We work closely with our growers in the Santa Ynez, Santa Rita, Los Alamos, and the Santa Maria growing regions.  We limit vineyard yields and require that optimal farming practices are observed.  All our wines are crushed, pressed, cellared and bottled in our Santa Barbara facility.  Visit us for a glimpse of world class winemaking in the heart of the city.  2007 is our 14th harvest!


In September of 2001 we completed construction of our new winery facility in the city of Santa Barbara.  This modern, climate controlled facility allows us to make wine at a natural and careful pace.  (Plus, it is only seven minutes from home!)  We process all the fruit for our harvest here and the resulting wines show the benefits of this improved process.


For more information, visit http://www.jaffurswine.com/index.html


My Tasting Note

The wine is a very dark purple color, almost black.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, blueberries, white pepper, baking spices, melted licorice, violets, and some dark chocolate.  This is medium to full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  Ripe, juicy, spicy berries dominate the palate with some very nice licorice and dark chocolate coming through on the backend.  The bright acidity and tannins keep the wine in check and actually makes it seem a bit lighter in body than the 15.8% alcohol lead me to expect.  The wine has a long finish with the juicy berries and spices slowly fading.  The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden with just a touch peeking through on the finish.  An outstanding Petite Sirah that is drinking perfectly today but with enough acidity and tannins to easily cellar for several more years.  (94 pts)




2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains – $45.00


My comments

I’ve been a fan of Stefania winery for a few years.  As typical in California, they make a full range of wines from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and everything in between.  They produce one of the better red blends being made in California, called Haut Tubee.  Most of their wines sell out via their mailing list, but on occasion, there may be a few leftovers available on their website at http://stefaniawine.com/?page_id=10


Winery history

Stefania was born in Minnesota.  Her father was an officer in the U.S. Army and she grew up in California, Nevada and Santiago, Chile.  She uses her background in accounting to run the day to day business of a small winery as well as handling wine making duties, vineyard construction management, purchasing, and of course vineyard work.  She loves to entertain friends at home or in the winery.  She painted the art work used on our labels and takes most of the photos used in our blogs and website.


Paul is a California native who has lived in San Jose for over 40 years.  He has worked at various high tech companies in Silicon Valley for 20 years specializing in Technical Support Management.  He handles wine making duties, planning, vineyard design, vineyard management, and acts as the official tour guide.  He loves to cook and host visitors to the winery or home.


Stefania and Paul were married in Jackson Square in the the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2003.  They return every year to celebrate their anniversary with friends in New Orleans.  They began  making wine in 2005 and were most interested in finding a business that would combine their love of food, wine and entertaining.  They are hands on in all parts of the grape growing and wine making process. One of their greatest joys has been the growing number of friends across the country who enjoy their wine.


Stefania Wine is supported by a small group of part time employees, family members and close friends who volunteer to help with labor intensive tasks.   We are lucky to have such great friends who are always willing to trade a day of hard work for a good meal and an ample supply of wine.


Much more information and their interesting blog can be found at:



My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, baking spices, forest floor, vanilla, and some violets.  This has a medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine had juicy, spicy, red fruit with some earthiness adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with the spicy oak adding to the core of earthy, red fruit.  This is very tasty today but will reward another year or two in the cellar.  (91 pts)




2005 Viñas del Cenit Vino de la Tierra de Zamora Venta Mazarrón – $13.99


My comments

I bought this bottle a few years ago at the local wine store, but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to opening it.  It’s time to rectify that situation.  I’m a big fan of Spanish Tempranillo wines, so I’m looking forward to trying this one.


Winery history


I could not find a website for the winery, the following was courtesy of wine.com at




Tierra del Vino de Zamora is a historic region that goes back much further than other regions which posses DO status.  No other wine-producing region in Spain has a similar title, and in fact some of the 56 towns that are located within the area include ‘del vino’ in their title: Morales del Vino, Corrales del Vino, El Cubo del vino…

The Tierra del Vino is dissected by the famous Vía de la Plata, which dates back to the Roman Empire.  It originally ran through the cities of Mérida and Astorga, serving as a route used by Roman troops and merchants.  The region’s climate is unique within the northern plateau, its temperature being the highest on average in Castilla y León.


Viñas del Cénit’s vineyards are organized in small parcels of land planted with a substantial amount of old Tempranillo vines, some of which are over a hundred years old and ungrafted.  The soil is calcareous, gravel and sand-based, with a layer of red clay underneath.


The young oenologist Almudena Alberca from Salamanca has had ties to Viñas del Cénit since its inception in 2003. She is in charge of supervising the vineyards and also of the vinification processes.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark garnet color.  The very nice nose has black cherries, vanilla, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and hints of dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, and wild flowers.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice spicy, earthy fruit on the palate with dried herbs, espresso, and dark chocolate adding nice depth and complexity.  The finish is very tasty but a touch short.  A pretty nice lower end Tempranillo that will not disappoint.  (89 pts)




2000 Château La Tour Carnet – $26.32


My comments

I grabbed a couple bottles of this wine upon release as part of the purchase of a few cases of the “vintage of the century”.  The last couple bottles of 2000 Bordeaux wines have seemed to be entering a nice drinking window.  Hopefully this one will keep the good drinking streak going.


Winery history

Ongoing efforts since 1962 have brought the wines of Château La Tour Carnet to a point of perfect expression of the qualities of its unique terroir.  This drive for quality has accelerated since April 2000 thanks to the new owner, Bernard Magrez.


The cohesion of a team dedicated to perfectionism, plot-by-plot management, and respect for tradition associated with the most advanced techniques, are the guarantee of a new objective: to reveal the full potential of the terroir.


Much more background and history available at:



My Tasting Note

The wine was badly corked!  Backup bottle time.




2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – $30.00


My comments

My original choice to go with dinner was badly corked, so I needed to grab a last minute replacement bottle.  I’ve had a few bottles of this wine in the past and though it does improve with some air, it’s generally good to go.


This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petit Verdot.


Winery history

As many of you know, when we started making our own wines in 1987, we named the tiny, 200 case operation after our daughter, Elyse.  Not wanting to leave our son, Jake, out of loop, we eventually named our Rhone blend after him – anyone remember “Jake’s Cuvee”?  It wasn’t enough, because at the ripe age of eight Jake asked, “When do I get my own label without her name on it?”  Good point!  And as parents not wanting to show favoritism, why not create a namesake label for him as well?


Jacob Franklin Cellars debut bottling was in 1998 and we fondly and literally refer to it as the brother label of Elyse Winery.  By this time, we had gained access to small quantities of extremely allocated fruit from some highly desirable vineyards in the valley and this label was the perfect place to showcase them along with our only estate wine, Hoffman Lane Cabernet Sauvignon.


Jacob Franklin Cellars is focused on small production, low yield, vineyard designate wines from NapaValley. Due to the extremely limited production, these wines are available exclusively through the winery at: https://www.net10.net/ShoppingCart/buy/ProductList.asp?sid=64&xs=Y&pcids=548


or via the wine club at:



My Tasting Note

Pretty much pop and pour due to a different wine being corked.  The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The fantastic nose has cassis, dried herbs, licorice, baking spices, cherries, cigar box, smoke, and minerals.  This had medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows very nice spicy fruit full of dried herbs and a touch of licorice.  The wine has a long, lingering finish full of sweet berries, spices, and the dried herbs.  This is the real deal, with no rough edges.  This wine is very highly recommended.  (94 pts)





Mailing Lists



It sounds like the Bedrock Winter release may hit the inbox this week.  The vast array of wines being made by the winery always makes it tough to select a case of wine.  This is one winery where it is too easy to get carried away and have multiple cases show up on your door step.




Wines bought or received this week

The short week due to the holiday meant no shipments coming in from California.  Even though I stopped in the local wine store, I held off on any purchases until their big tasting event next weekend.




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 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.