2008 Core Grenache Reserve Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard – $20.59


My comments

I had a bottle of the outstanding 2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County in December, so I decided it was time to try this reserve wine.  The regular Grenache found a spot on my Top 10 QPR Wines of 2012.


Winery history

Dave Corey’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in Entomology and Plant Physiology from Kansas State University, which was completed in 1995.


Prior to entering the wine industry in 1996, Dave worked in Salinas and the Central Valley in agricultural fields including cole crops, cotton, almonds, citrus, walnuts, kiwi, table grapes, apples and stone fruit.  His first position in the wine industry was as a Pest Control Advisor with Cambria Winery and Vineyards and later at Kendall-Jackson Vineyards of Santa Barbara County.


Dave left Kendall Jackson Vineyards in 1999 to begin Vital Vines, a viticultural company providing technical support for vineyard property owners, vineyard managers and winemaking personnel in the promotion of sustainable agriculture.  He has worked with clients that include Laetitia, Barnwood, Beckman, Melville, Stolpman, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Sea Smoke, Le Bon Climat, Sine Qua Non, Rideau, Carhartt, Rusack, Westerly, Fiddlestix, Vogelzang, Andrew Murray, Evergreen, Arita Hills and Royal Oaks.


With a major commitment and a second mortgage, Dave gradually decreased his vineyard consulting work to focus on vineyard sourcing, winemaking duties and winery direct sales for CORE wine company which he started in 2001 with his wife, Becky.  Dave passionately continues working in the same capacity today in addition to several new wine projects with family members.  He can also be found pouring wine for customers at the CORE wine company tasting room in Old Orcutt, California.



My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red, much lighter at the edge.  The very nice nose has cherries, dried herbs, black raspberries, baking spices, black pepper, and a touch of licorice.  This has a medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this initially tastes like cherry pie, then the dried herbs and more spice kick in adding depth and balancing out the fruity elements.  This has very nice length with the spicy cherries and dried herbs very slowly fading.  This is a very nice California Grenache that may not appeal to someone looking for a Southern Rhone styled wine, but for the rest, this will have considerable appeal.  (91 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Reserve Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard




2008 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth – $28.80


My comments

A blend of 79% Syrah, 16% Grenache, and 5% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.


Winery history

We work.  We work hard to make good wine.  You work.  You work hard and need good wine.  You might have money, but maybe you’re like us.  We make McPrice Myers wines for people like us.  If you work, and we mean work hard, and you need to drink good wine, and still make your mortgage payments, car payments, kid payments and pet payments, we’re here for you.  Our goal is to make wine that works hard at helping hard working America relax for a minute, take a load off, and remove the nose from the grindstone for a while.  We hope you enjoy them.



My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, vanilla, black pepper, blueberries, cherries, dried herbs, wood smoke, earthy underbrush, dried flowers, and baking spices.  This has a very full body, big, solid tannins and decent acidity.  This is a massive wine on the palate loaded with spicy crushed berries, black pepper, dark chocolate, and dried herbs.  The long finish is a reflection of the palate with some earthiness also popping out.  Nothing timid about this in your face wine.  European, old world, palates should just move along.  (91 pts)

2008 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth




2008 Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley – $15.19


My comments

We went through a half case of the 2007 vintage of this wine.  Every bottle rated in the low 90 point range, a great rating for a sub $13 Dry Creek Zin.  This will be my first bottle of this vintage.  I’m not expecting it to be up to the level of the 2007, but who know.


Winery history

Wine Guerrilla – The Art and Soul of Zinfandel


Snooth.com calls Wine Guerrilla the Defender of Old Vine Zinfandel


“Wine Guerrilla is a specialist operation run by Bruce Patch who is intent on sourcing great fruit from some of Sonoma’s best vineyards to create wines that are true to their origins and that express the intensity and richness that Zinfandel is famous for.”


Our single vineyard wines are sourced from renowned small Dry Creek, RussianRiver, AlexanderValley and SonomaValley vineyards.


Open a bottle today and join the Revolution!


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The bright nose features cherries, brambly berries, earthy underbrush, black pepper, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with sold tannins and tart acidity.  The palate shows tart cherries and berries with some pepper and spice.  The finish has decent length with some dried herbs adding a nice element to the tart fruit.  This is a tough wine to judge, it just doesn’t taste like a zinfandel.  The acidity is much brighter than I expected and even with the elevated (15.7%) alcohol the wine isn’t as rich as expected.  Served blind I could have easily guessed this was a Grenache from a cooler region.  (86 pts)

2008 Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley




2007 Bouchaine Pinot Noir Carneros – $14.24


My comments

The local store was having a blow out sale and this was one of their wines on sale for a big discount.  This was the last bottle they had, so I had to grab it.  Let’s see…nice winery, good region, great vintage, about half off of release price… how could I pass.


Winery history

Bouchaine Vineyards inhabits the oldest continually operated winery in the Carneros wine region.  The site was first planted to vines and orchards in the mid-1800s by pioneer Boon Fly.  In 1927, before the end of Prohibition, the property was purchased by Italian immigrant, Johnny Garetto.  After the Repeal he operated perhaps the first winery with a tasting room in the region.


Garetto shipped his wine to San Francisco and elsewhere from Buchli Station, a historic railway station located at the end of the road of the same name and the address of the Bouchaine property.


Garetto sold the ranch to Beringer Brothers in 1951.  Beringer used the winemaking facility for the next thirty years making upgrades along the way.  In 1981 Gerret and Tatiana Copeland, residents of Wilmington Delaware and long time admirers of the wines of Burgundy, purchased the facility from Beringer and established Bouchaine Vineyards.  A massive renovation was completed in 1995 updating the winemaking facility with new technology and refurbishing the entire facility in a rustic style that garnered numerous awards from historic and architectural organizations.


The most noteworthy change in winemaking style has occurred recently with the hiring of Michael Richmond as winemaker and general manager.  Mike Richmond has over 30 years experience in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production in the Carneros including his founding Acacia Winery.  He and the Bouchaine winemaking team have updated both farming and winemaking to bring the wines to a new standard of excellence.


My Tasting Note

Removing the capsule revealed a red stain covering most he the top of the cork, never a good sign.  The wine is a medium ruby red with a some bricking especially at the edge.  The slightly reserved nose has cherries, baking spices, subtle earthiness, plum, and tobacco.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and very good acidity.  Much more open and lively than the nose lead me to expect with bright, spicy cherries with a nice earthy streak.  Decent length on the palate which closes with just a slight herbal note.  Not a lot of complexity, but this was a steal on the close out rack for under $15.  I wish I had a few more to get me through the remainder of the year.  (88 pts)

2007 Bouchaine Pinot Noir Carneros




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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.







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.