2004 Carlisle Two Acres – $32.50


My comments

I decided it was time to open a Carlisle to celebrate their newest offer hitting the inbox earlier in the week.  I’ve been a big fan of this wine for several years.  This is a blend of 85% Mourvèdre, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, and 1% Alicante Bouschet from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.


Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.


Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, plums, earthy underbrush, violets, leather, smoke, tobacco, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice.  This has a medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the earthy cherries and plums lead the way with dried herbs and spice providing the follow up.  The finish has decent length but is losing some of the richness and oomph and a touch of alcohol is beginning to poke through.  This still tasted very nice, but I think is has started on the downhill path.  (90 pts)

2004 Carlisle Two Acres




2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc – $14.24


My comments

This was a new wine for me.  This was one of several wines the local wine store brought in just for a blow out sale.  I’ve been a big fan of Italian Barbera wines for a number of years.  These wines generally have nice, bright, red fruit with some spicy earthiness and a boat load of acidity.  These are generally one of the most food friendly wines around.


Winery history

As much as Alessandro Lequio loved his daughters, in staying with Italian traditions, there was no way he was going to hand over the family vineyard to women.  (According to his wife, Donna Bruna, Alessandro actually cried for half-an-hour when their third and final child, Daniela, was born!)  Four generations of fathers had handed the estate down to their sons, and even though he hadn’t had a boy, Alessandro would be damned if the family business was going to be run by the fairer sex.  “Marry a good winemaker,” he would tell them.  Just as stubborn as their father, the sisters all staunchly refuted this notion, and assured him that he would be handing the estate over to them one day… In the end (and presumably tired of arguing), everyone agreed to a “do-or-die” wager, and literally bet the ranch; deciding he could trick them into failure, Alessandro agreed to give the gals everything if they could pass three years of his rigorous tests, culminating in a single vintage of wine which he, himself would judge.  To everyone’s surprise, the Sisters never gave up, and moreover, they actually won more awards in their first year of production than Alessandro had in his entire career!   True to his word, their papa changed his tune and turned the estate over to his daughters.  He was so deeply impressed, he even allowed them to change the name to “Tre Donne”–which means “Three Women.”


My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch darker than ruby red.  The elegant nose has black raspberries, melted licorice, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, a touch of mint, minerals, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, soft, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has rich, spicy berries up front with more spice, mint and earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with the fruit turning a bit more tart and a faint herbal note coming into the picture.  A bit fuller body and darker fruit than your usual Barbera.  This would be good with a big, meaty pasta sauce, but may be too big and have too little acidity for a lighter marinara sauce.  Different, but enjoyable.  (90 pts)

2008 Tre Donne Barbera d'Alba d'Arc




2009 Pierre Amadieu Côtes du Rhône Roulepierre – $8.95


My comments

I grabbed a six pack of this wine after having a sip at a tasting.  At the time, I noted it needed a year in the cellar.  Well, it’s been 13 months, time to pop one.  This is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah.


Winery history

Our history begins in 1929 when my grand father decides to bottle and trade under the signature Pierre Amadieu his wine coming from the 7 hectares (17 acres) of vineyard in Gigondas passed on by generation to generation.  He is then one of the firsts to print the name of the appellation on his bottles and obtains from 1932 a golden medal in the National Agricultural Concours of Paris.


I am presently on the head of the company and I am in charge of winemaking and maturing.  I work with my uncle Claude who runs the vineyard.  Together we follow the familial way of thinking by respecting soils and traditions in order to make you share wines faithful to the quality ambition of our grandfather and by adding a note of modernity in order to delight the most demanding and the most curious palates.


I am not a follower of over-extracted wines and often “heavy” to taste; my ambition is rather to obtain well-balanced wines with a Burgundy fineness.  Through the maturing I try to reveal all the elegance and the richness of our protected terroirs located on the heights of the appellation Gigondas.  From vines to the bottling patience and observation are required.  Today appreciated all over the world, every vintage reserves its subtleties which I am happy to subject to your appreciation.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby red color.  The open and inviting nose has blackberries, black cherries, minerals, dried herbs, spices, black pepper, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery, mineral laden fruit takes center stage with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short but very flavorful.  A bit of additional cellar time may help the finish fill out a bit.  This was an absolute steal for the $9 I paid.  (89 pts)

2009 Pierre Amadieu Cotes du Rhone Roulepierre




2003 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon – $34.50


My comments

One of my favorite, value priced, Napa Cabernets.  Every vintage Cathy Corison seems to put out a wine that is a lot better than the competition at the same price point.  The winery never seemed to be a media darling, but the changes at the Wine Advocate lead to a new person reviewing the wines, and he seems to appreciate the wines a lot more.  These aren’t wines meant for immediate enjoyment, they need a few years in the cellar to help them transform into something magical.


Winery history

Winegrower Cathy Corison produces artisanal Cabernet Sauvignon that speaks of place, sourcing great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena in the NapaValley.


The Corison Winery, in its timeless Victorian-style barn, is situated in the heart of Cathy’s beloved Kronos Vineyard.  With eight acres planted exclusively to St. Georges rootstock, Kronos is a historic treasure.  As one of the last old Cabernet Vineyards in the NapaValley, it is one of the few vineyards to have produced world class fruit continuously for more than four decades.  Farmed organically and growing on gravelly loam soils, the gnarly old veterans produce scant yields that result in wines of rare concentration and refinement.  They are juicy with blackberry and plum fruit and complex with a mineral note and exquisite violet perfume.


Cathy Corison’s wines are noted for their consistency and impeccable balance.  Powerful and elegant at the same time, they grace the table and enjoy a long, distinguished life.  The 2012 harvest marks Cathy’s 26th vintage of Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The nose is one of those I can sit and just smell and be happy, at least for a little while then I have to take a taste.  The rich and sophisticated nose has cassis, cherry, melted licorice, dried herbs, well worn leather, spice box, tobacco, minerals, and just a bit of smoke.  This has a medium body, ripe, mostly integrated tannins, and very good acidity.  This has nice, rich and spicy fruit on the palate with dried herbs, tea leaves, and a touch of earthiness adding considerable depth and complexity.  The finish is very long and lingering with the spicy fruit and dried herbs seeming to last forever.  This was a killer bottle of wine that is in its prime drinking window.  This should last for at least a couple more years in the cellar, but if you have multiple bottles, give one a try now.  (94 pts)

2003 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon




***** 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.






Music Corner – A new addition

Some favorite songs/videos (known to pair with good wine)


Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine


Canned Heat – On The Road Again


Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild


Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See


Neil Young – Imagine





Mailing Lists


It was busy earlier in the week with Saxum, Loring, and Carlisle hitting the inbox.  The mailing list action is just starting to heat up. 



Wines bought or received this week


Picked these up at the local wine store:

(6) 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc @ $6.44

(3) 2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard @ $20.89

(1) 2005 Falesco Montiano Lazio IGT @ $28.49

(1) 2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc @ $14.24

(1) 2008 C.G. di Arie Petite Sirah Estate Grown @ $15.19




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.