2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill – $37.00

 

My comments

This is probably my favorite Syrah in the Carlisle lineup.  This usually has that little something extra that propels it to the upper echelon.  I’ve never met a Bennett Valley Syrah I didn’t like and actively hunt them down.

 

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 deep garnet to purple color.  The soothing nose has blackberries, minerals, smoky ashes, white pepper, dark chocolate, baking spices, dried flowers, meat juices, and licorice.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has nice initial fruit but the more savory notes take over fairly quickly adding a lot of depth.  The finish is fairly long with nice spicy, mineral laden fruit.  This still seems to be on the young side and may be better a couple years down the road.  (92 pts)

2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill

 

 

 

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section – $19.00

 

My comments

One of my wife’s all time favorite wines.  How much does she like it?  Per Cellar Tracker I bought a total of 33 bottles, and his will be the 26th bottle we’ve opened since December 2009.

 

I should add I like this wine as well.  I still do not understand how it was such a slow mover at the local wine store.  This is part of my last case which only cost me $19.00, a bottle.  A steal based on the $35 release price.

 

Winery history

Stuart Miller is the winemaker and caretaker of the vineyard: this is truly a hands-on winery where every step of production from vineyard to bottling is overseen by Stuart himself.  His family are involved in all stages of the process, picking grapes, pruning vines, bottling, packaging and more.

 

Oliverhill was established in the early 1970s and the Miller family moved in during the early 1990s.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The sensuous nose has blackberries, black pepper, vanilla, dying coal embers, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, and some well worn leather.  This has a fairly full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, juicy crushed berries hit first, immediately complimented by black pepper, vanilla, and dark chocolate.  The finish is fairly long and adds a dried herb element that blends well with the spicy, peppery berries and dark chocolate.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for another few years at the minimum.  (92 pts)

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

 

 

 

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor – $25.73

 

My comments

Jeff Cohn just keeps cranking out the hits.  Since his earlier days making outstanding wines for Rosenblum, Jeff is now making the same style of wines for his own label.  These are generally full throttle, distinctive wines.

 

This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier.

 

Winery history

Jeff Cohn, the winemaker, president, and “JC” of JC Cellars got his start in the industry almost 20 years ago.  As an intern at Boordy Vineyards in Maryland, he drove an hour and half each way to prune vines in frigid weather, pick grapes in stifling heat, and scrub everything from barrels to floors.

 

Long before he began his winemaking career he received an associate degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Florida International University.

 

Cohn had always loved the hospitality industry, and as he worked through several high profile positions after college he found his passion for wine steadily growing.  The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn, until he realized that becoming a winemaker was his ultimate goal.  The job at Boordy was a deciding factor in the trajectory of his career — in spite of all the scrubbing.

 

With the encouragement and support of his family, Cohn moved to California in 1993 to follow his dream.  He earned his master’s degree in agriculture chemistry, with an emphasis on enology, from California State University, Fresno in 1996.  It was here that Cohn discovered French winemaking techniques and the concept of terroir.  “The flavor profile was so different than anything else I had ever tried,” he says of the first Chateauneuf-du-Pape he tried in school.  “It was a shocker.  To go from tasting only single varietals to a blend really opened my eyes.”

 

For more info, visit http://www.jccellars.com/about-jeff-cohn.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very open and nice nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, meat juices, and a touch of earthiness.  This has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is a mouth full of juicy, peppery, berries with dark chocolate and earthy elements coming in on the back end providing extra depth.  The finish is fairly long but a touch of excess oak does pop out.  This is a big and rich wine that is not sweet or syrupy and has no raisiny notes.  (90 pts)

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard – $51.75

 

My comments

Turley Winery, in my opinion, was one of the first, “cult wineries” in California.  Their wines were impossible to get, unless you were one of the lucky few on their mailing list.  Some of the luster has faded a bit due to competition from the likes of Carlisle and Bedrock, but the name Turley still commands attention from a LOT of people.

 

It vineyards in California were rated based on the quality and reputations of the grapes they produced, there wouldn’t be too many above the Hayne Vineyard.  The Petite Sirah and the Zinfandel produced from Hayne Vineyard are the top wines made by Turley.

 

Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.

 

Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.

 

As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.

 

In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.

 

By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars is annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky maroon color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, licorice, black pepper, baking spices, meat juices, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee, blueberries, vanilla, wild flowers, and minerals.  This has full body, solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and velvety with loads of spicy, juicy berries, black pepper, dark chocolate, and minerals.  The finish is very long and ever changing, highlighting different elements every second or two.  The blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, and dark roast coffee stand out the most.  This is absolutely delicious today but will hold for several years.  (95 pts)

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard

 

 

***** 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.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

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Wines bought or received this week

 

I worked at the wine store yesterday, so I had to grab a few bottles.

(2) 2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan’s at a steal of a price, $33.24 each

(1) 2011 Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast for $24.69

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Cheers!