2006 Myriad Cellars Syrah Las Madres Vineyard – $38.00


My comments

This is a mailing list I jumped on based on the top flight labels Mike Smith had worked with in his brief career.  Even though I have several vintages in the cellar, this will be my first Myriad Syrah.  I have had and greatly enjoyed their Cabernet Sauvignon wines over the past year or two.


Winery history

“Sometimes success is as simple as hearing your inner voice.”


Mike started his winemaking career under the direction of Thomas Brown in 2001.   Traveling from PortlandOregon, Mike worked each crush “free of charge” to learn his craft.  Following his 3rd harvest, Mike accepted a full-time assistant position from Thomas and moved his family to St. Helena.  Today, Mike continues to work with Thomas on several labels (i.e. Schrader, Rivers-Marie, Maybach & Tamber Bey).  The Myriad wines are custom crushed along side these greats…  showcasing Mike’s talents and stylistic “purist” approach to winemaking.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color, lighter at the edge.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, black olives, charred meat, roasted herbs, dark chocolate, minerals, plums, black pepper, with some road tar and earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the fruit takes a back seat to the savory elements, adding a nice crushed berry element on the mid palate before some savory roasted herbs and meat juices take over.  The long finish is again highlighted by the meat juices, olives and roasted herbs with the fruit adding nice sweetness.  An excellent example of a wine that puts the fruit in the back seat and allows the savory elements to drive.  My style of wine.  (92 pts)

2006 Myriad Cellars Syrah Las Madres Vineyard




2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles – $19.79


My comments

I grabbed several bottles of this wine, since a social media friend, Mark Adams, was the wine maker.  I’m glad I loaded up since the past few bottles have all be very good.  It’s always nice to get a good Cabernet for under $20.


Winery history

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.


Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, cassis, cedar, dried herbs, minerals, smoke, licorice, baking spices, and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and velvety on the palate with spicy fruit, dried herbs, and minerals leading the way.  The finish is fairly long with nice spicy fruit, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness slowly fading away.  A nice, rich, but not over the top Cabernet from Paso Robles.  (92 pts)

2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles




2005 Saxum Broken Stones – $45.00


My comments

I was a big fan of Saxum wines long before a certain wine publication brought them to everyone’s attention by naming one of their wines the Wine of the Year a couple years ago.  This wine was always a steal at the release price of $45.  Eventually the winery also noted this and the wine now is released for about $90.  The wine is usually outstanding, but my purchases have been cut back a bit because I just don’t need a boat load of $100 wine in the cellar.


Winery history

Saxum Vineyards is focused on producing Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre based blends from the Templeton Gap/Willow Creek area of Paso Robles.  We let our rocky calcareous soils, steep hillsides, sunny days, and cooling ocean breezes speak through our wines by keeping our yields low, picking the fruit at the peak of ripeness, and using a minimalist approach in the cellar.  We respect our land and farm everything sustainably without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.  Because our vine’s roots penetrate deep through the fissures in the calcareous soil irrigation is rarely needed.  Production is kept at 3000-4000 cases a year divided between seven different cuvees, Broken Stones, James Berry Vineyard, Bone Rock, Booker Vineyards, Paderewski Vineyard, Heart Stone Vineyard and Terry Hoage Vineyard.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep violet color.  The very enticing nose has blackberries, minerals, earthy underbrush, roasted herbs, meat juices, cherries, licorice, dark chocolate, warm baking spices, black peppercorns, and smoke.  This has a fairly full body with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is big and ripe but held together perfectly by the acidity and well supported by the tannins, providing a well balanced wine.  The flavors reveal themselves layer by layer.  The finish is very long and loaded with complexity, the closing notes of dark chocolate and spicy, earthy, cherries seem to never fully fade.  (95 pts)

2005 Saxum Broken Stones




2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc – $6.64


My comments

I grabbed a few of these on close out at the local wine store.  I wanted to try one to see if I should grab some more to last through the upcoming Spring/Summer seasons.  This is a blend of 64.3% Roussanne and 35.7% Grenache Blanc from the Beeswax Vineyard in Arroyo Seco.


Winery history

With his family’s assistance, Randall purchased property in the Santa CruzMountains in a magically quaint area known as Bonny Doon, intent on producing the Great American Pinot Noir.  The GAPN proved to be systematically elusive, but he was greatly encouraged by experimental batches of Rhône varieties.  The late, great Bonny Doon Estate Vineyard (1981 – 1994, a tragic victim to Pierce’s Disease) was eventually planted to Syrah, “Roussanne,” Marsanne, and Viognier and produced achingly beautiful wines, confirming that California’s temperate climate is well suited to the sun-loving grapes of the Mediterranean. In 1986, Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-duPape


My Tasting Note

A very nice looking light yellow to golden color.  The fresh smelling nose has honeysuckle, beeswax, apples, minerals, spices, pears, lemon zest, peaches, orange blossoms, and a touch of honey.  This is light to medium body, is dry, and has good acidity.  Nice tart fruit, minerals, and spice take center stage on the palate with lemon zest and peaches coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with a big streak of minerality hanging on seemingly forever.  Don’t serve this too cold, it’s much better at a cool room temperature.  (92 pts)

2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc




2005 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Bartolucci – $37.99


My comments

Another wine that was purchased locally at a close out sale.  See, you can get great deals if you become friendly with a local wine store.  I am lucky enough to have a local store that scours the distributors close out lists for gems like this to offer at great prices.  I paid well under $40 a bottle for this wine, the average cost on Cellar Tracker for this is about $70.


Winery history

In 1964, Louis Honig purchased a 68-acre ranch in the heart of the NapaValley and planted it with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  He sold the fruit to neighboring wineries with the dream of retiring one day from his San Francisco advertising business and making wine from his vineyard in Rutherford.  Before he could realize his dream, Louis passed away, leaving the estate to his children and grandchildren.  In 1981, as a tribute to his legacy, the family rallied together to produce several hundred cases of Louis Honig Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyard’s old tractor barn.  The wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, and thus, the winery was born.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very pleasing and soothing nose has cassis, cherry, cedar, baking spices, smoke, dried herbs, leather, and violets.  This has a medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine has nice spicy fruit and dried herbs with no notes from overly ripe fruit or aggressive, over extraction.  The finish has very nice length.  This is in a prime drinking window and is one of the better 2005 Cabernets from the NapaValley.  (92 pts)


Sorry for the low quality picture, this has to be one of the worst labels out there to try and photograph.

2005 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Bartolucci




Super Sunday in Wisconsin, fire up the grill even in 12 degree temperatures on a snow covered deck.

Grilling in the snow





***** 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.






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.