2007 Scherrer Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $0.00


My comments

This wine was a gift from a friend.  I don’t know the actual release price, but the average cost for 50 Cellar Tracker users was $38.24.


I’ve been a big fan of Scherrer’s Zinfandels for several years.  A couple years ago, I bought 5 half bottles of this wine for my wife to enjoy while I was traveling.  Obviously she loved the wine since all the bottles are gone.  Unfortunately, since I was traveling when the bottles were opened, I have not had the opportunity to try the wine.


Needless to say, I am looking forward to trying this bottle.


Winery history – Philosophy

Everyone seems to believe in doing minimal manipulation with the goal of letting the vineyard site speak.  Additionally, I try to make good tasting wine that will age well.


Since grapes do not walk off the vines and into the winery, let alone into barrels and bottles, we must actually do something with the grapes and wine along the way from time to time.  Rest assured that I do try to get in the way as little as possible while trying to achieve the desired outcome.  Most of our work is done and choices are made during the harvest season.  Afterward, there is little reason to touch a wine on a wonderful trajectory.  With the exception of our Dry Rosé, all our wines are bottled without fining or filtration.


Sometimes we bottle wines from single vineyards, or even blocks within a vineyard.  Usually, these vineyard designates are the synthesis of multiple sub-sites within a given vineyard.  Sometimes we bottle ‘Appellation wines’ that are also single vineyard sourced but happen not to have unusually special personality beyond being delicious examples of their appellation.  Other times, these Appellation wines are the result of blending carefully selected vineyard sites.  Occasionally, with our Zinfandoodle we blend between two vintages to achieve balance and harmony.  If any parcels are left over that are not assets to these wines, they find a home in someone else’s program, rather than ours.


I regularly underplay the wines’ provenance rather than overplay it.  This causes some confusion and frustrates merchants who sell our wines.  For this, I offer my apologies.  I am, however, unlikely to change this deeply engrained habit.


Much more information available at:  http://www.scherrerwinery.com/


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very refined and elegant nose features black cherries, baking spices, plums, violets, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, tart fruit adds a touch of earthiness on the backend which continues through the moderately long finish.  Very tasty now, but this will hold and potentially improve with additional cellar time.  (92 pts)

2007 Scherrer Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley




2007 Red Car Syrah Boxcar – $16.63


My comments

One of the mysteries of life, how could I get this wine for under $17 on a blow out sale?  My only guess is people weren’t expecting a wine that demanded considerable time in a decanter or a few years in the cellar for $25.  Someone took a beating on the bottom line, but it wasn’t me…this time.


Winery history

Winemaking Style

Red Car uses meticulous viticulture and transparent winemaking to craft wines with authentic character and originality.  Combining old and new world techniques, we minimize manipulation so the fruit can faithfully express the cool climate personality of the SonomaCoast.



Red Car was founded by Carroll Kemp and Mark Estrin in 2000 with 50 cases of Syrah from a single ton of grapes.  Besides an enthusiasm for wine, they also shared a Hollywood background – Carroll as producer, Mark as screenwriter.  Their intent was simple: source great grapes, make great wine and market it in an inventive, original way.


The winery name is a tribute to the electric trolley cars that ran throughout Los Angeles from the late 19th century through the early 1960’s.  These “red cars” provided transportation in a romanticized time and place.  We strive to make wines that are similarly memorable and transportive.


If you find yourself in wine country, the Red Car tasting room is open from 10am to 5pm, seven days a week.


More information available at:  http://www.redcarwine.com/


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very appealing and exotic nose features blackberries, dying wood embers, bacon, black pepper, licorice, dried herbs, wild flowers, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The savory elements are in the forefront on the palate with crushed berries coming in underneath.  The finish has nice length with the peppery, earthy berries slowly giving way to dried herbs.  This is in a prime drinking window, but should hold for a couple years.  Solid, but not really for anyone looking for a fruit forward easy drinker.  (90 pts)

2007 Red Car Syrah Boxcar Sonoma Coast




2009 Caldora Sangiovese Terre di Chieti IGT – $6.02


My comments

Although this wine is nothing too special, this Italian Sangiovese is perfect for some week night pizza or pasta.  Nice red fruit with some earthiness and tart acidity is a perfect companion for an informal dinner at home.  What more could you ask from a $6 wine.


Winery history (from the Winery)

Not all our partners’ vineyards are fit to become Caldora’s vineyards; in fact, after a careful selection based on over 1,000 total hectares of land, we have chosen less than 200 hectares of very aged vineyards, with the best clones, located on the best lands.  The working rules of our vineyards are very strict, with a very low yield and rapid working time to face the changes of the climatic conditions.  Then, when the time is best, harvest is carried out by handpicking within only 3 working days to avoid dangerous climatic changes.  To keep the yield low, our partners are paid according to the size of the vineyard, not to the amount of grapes, this radically changes the concept of “co-operative” aiming directly to the final quality of our wines.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  On the fairly straight forward nose there are cherries, earthy elements, baking spices, violets, licorice, and just a touch of raisin.  This has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate shows nice tart cherries with some earthiness and spices in the background.  The finish has decent length.  This is a very straight forward, no frills, Italian Sangiovese with little complexity.  That said, for $6, this is fine with some pizza or pasta at home on a week night.  (85 pts)

2009 Caldora Sangiovese Terre di Chieti IGT




2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré – $29.88


My comments

Emigré is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Muscadelle harvested from four vineyards, two in cool climates, Greenock and EdenValley, and the other two from the northern BarossaValley.  Wines from The Colonial Estate don’t come cheap.  Their lower end wines start at $30.  This is one of their higher end wines and has a release price around $90.  I’ve been lucky in the past (and this time too) to find their wines either on a clearance sale or via Garagiste for under $30.  If you ever have the chance to get a bottle of this wine or either the Exile Cabernet or Shiraz at a great price, grab a bottle, it will bring a smile to your face.


Winery history

The Colonial Estate is a range of limited-production Australian wines with an old world approach.  The fruit is hand picked and carefully selected; the reds receive cold pre-maceration, fermentation, pressing and maceration on skins prior to ageing in French oak; whilst the whites get whole-bunch pressing, lees stirring and are fermented with naturally occurring yeasts.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby, but is much lighter at the edge.  The very sexy and inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, Asian spices, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, blueberries, black pepper, wild flowers, and a dusty, earthy element.  This is medium to full bodied with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.   On the palate the dusty, mineral laden fruit shares the top billing with dried herbs and espresso.  The finish has great length and adds a touch of dark chocolate.  This is still quite young but promises a long, flavorful life.  This is not a big, overly ripe, Australian fruit bomb.  (94 pts)

2006 The Colonial Estate Emigre




Mailing Lists


Sandler Wine Co

Ed Kurtzman’s Sandler offer hit the inbox.  Generally very nice wines for unbelievable prices, I had to grab:

(3) 2010 Connell Vineyard (BennettValley) Syrah at $20 each

(3) 2010 Boer Vineyard Grenache at $25 each

Two other wines were offered, but I passed:

2010 SantaLuciaHighlands Pinot Noir and

2010 Buck Hill Vineyard Zinfandel


As per the winery’s usual policy, the shipping was free.


To sign up for the list, visit:





Wines bought or received this week


The following bottles arrived this week direct from the winery.

(4) 2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

(3) 2010 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard

(1) 2011 Loring Wine Company Chardonnay Durell Vineyard




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.