2008 Schild Estate Shiraz

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom

2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes

2003 Château Pontet-Canet



2008 Schild Estate Shiraz – $19.00


My comments

This has been a very erratic bottle, a couple bottles have been very nice, almost worthy of the lofty position it was anointed by Wine Spectator, this was number 7 on the Wine Spectator, Top 100 Wines of 2010.  The other bottles have been thin, tart, and slightly green.  This was a controversial wine from the start.  After getting the lofty score and its inclusion in the top 10 on WS’s wine of the year list, the winery “made” more of the wine.  Supposedly the wine was made from purchased wine and was purely for consumption in Australia.  The contents of most of the bottles in my case leave me wondering if some of the wine ended up not staying in Australia.


Winery history

The winery’s website is “under construction” so I am posting information from James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion website.  You should visit his wonderful site.


Ed Schild is a BarossaValley grapegrower who first planted a small vineyard at Rowland Flat in 1952, steadily increasing his vineyard holdings over the next 50 years to their present level. The flagship wine is made from 150-year-old shiraz vines on the Moorooroo Block. The cellar door is in the old ANZ Bank at Lyndoch, and provides the sort of ambience that can only be found in the BarossaValley. A $4 million winery was constructed and opened in time for the 2010 vintage. Schild Estate was caught up in a PR storm in early 11 after its 08 Shiraz was ranked no. 8 in the Top 100 Wines of the Wine Spectator. All of its stock had to be sent to the US, and a separate blend was made for Australian distribution with a slip label stating it was blend no. 2. The event has not stopped production increasing from 20 000 to 45 000 dozen. Exports to all major markets.


Author: James Halliday


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, smoke, melted licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, baking spices, white pepper, and some earthy underbrush.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and tart acidity.  On the palate tart berries and spice hit first followed by dark chocolate, earthy elements, and cherries.  The finish has nice length with a green herbal note creeping in.  I’ve encountered some rather extreme bottle variation on this wine.  This one lacks some of the richness found on the better bottles and the acidity is a touch over blown.  (86 pts)

2008 Schild Estate Shiraz




2009 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom – $35.00


My comments

Bedrock has quickly turned to a major provider of white wines in my house.  I generally have a hard time limiting my purchases of Morgan’s white wines to a couple cases.


That said, I joined this e-mail list to get access to the old vine red wines the winery produces.  This wine is mainly Zinfandel (50%) with a healthy amount of Carignane (30%).  The remainder is a mix of the other two dozen varieties interspersed in the vineyard.


Winery history

Bedrock is an itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop.  Fruit from only the most excellent vineyard sites is hand pitch-forked into the destemmer, fermented in open top redwood and stainless vats using only native yeasts, and are manually basket pressed by winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson into the sexiest oak from the coldest French forests.


The winery’s objectives are:


To channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines.

To spread the gospel of Syrah in California by sourcing fruit from great terroirs throughout the NorthCoast.

To proclaim the greatness of Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by sparing no expense on wines of uniqueness and personality.

To reclaim rose’ from the excesses of saignee and focus on precision, delicacy, aromatics, and food friendliness.

To make fascinating and quixotic white wines from unique sites and interesting varietals.

To make California Pinot Noir that ages as well as ’74 Swan.

To dream big but keep production low!



The 2009 Heirloom is a more poised and elegant expression of the red soils found at my family’s Bedrock Vineyard.  Though perhaps not as brooding as the 2008, I find the aromatics of black fruits, pungent orange oil, and exotic spices quite compelling.  On the palate the wine is dense and vibrant and surprisingly open given the normally tannic structure imbued into Zinfandel based wines from Bedrock.  As always, the wine is a blend of the 26 varieties interplanted from the 121-year-old vines at the ranch.  This year’s blend is approximately 50% Zinfandel, 30% Carignane, with the balance being the other 24 or so varieties. 10 barrels and one puncheon made. 60% new, tight-grain, French oak from Ermitage, Rousseau, and Cadus.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright purple color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, baking spices, mocha, fresh ground espresso, cherries, licorice, and wild flowers.  This has medium to fully body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine slowly reveals multiple layers of fruit, spice, and subtle earthiness.  The finish is very long and full of berries and spice with a nice floral note making a closing appearance as well as a touch of dark chocolate.  (92 pts)

2009 Bedrock Wine Co The Bedrock Heirloom




2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes – $13.29


My comments

Generally I am not a point chaser, but when the local wine store puts a new wine of the shelf with a “talker” noting a 93 point score from Robert Parker and the wine is under $15, I had to grab a bottle.  This is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that was aged in concrete.  This will be my first exposure to this wine and if it approaches the level of the Wine Advocate review, I’ll be stocking up.


Winery history

One of the oldest viticultural areas of France, vines in the Roussillon were cultivated by the Romans, and perhaps even before that.  With some of the most dramatic topography in France, many of the zones are composed of extremely steep hillsides – resembling the Priorat in Spain in many ways.


One of the most sought-after winemakers of Europe at the moment, Jean-Marc Lafage lends his expertise with Southern European varietals to several top estates in both France and Spain (he makes Evodia with Eric Solomon among other custom cuvee projects) and also in South America.  However, his best work is perhaps at home at his estate in the hills of the Roussillon with his wife, Eliane, also a highly accomplished winemaker.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  The clean and refreshing nose has cherries, baking spices, eucalyptus, forest floor, tobacco, blackberries, and wild flowers.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has spicy fruit, a touch of eucalyptus, and some earthiness.  The finish has nice length and closes with a touch of dark chocolate.  Not a lot of complexity but a very tasty glass of wine to enjoy over the next few years.  (90 pts)

2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes




2003 Château Pontet-Canet – $67.99


My comments

I attended a tasting of 2003 Bordeaux wines at a local wine store several years ago.  Even though I liked Bordeaux wines, I wasn’t all that experienced tasting these wines soon after release when they are generally still very tight and unyielding.  A few of the wines poured were so tight it was hard to get them to reveal very much with the usual small pours at this type of event.  That said, this wine was very tight but you could easily taste the power and depth on the palate.  It was a very easy decision to grab a few bottles to stash in the cellar.  Seven years later, it’s time to open one to see how it is doing.  Thankfully, I have enough in the cellar to not worry too much about opening this one on the young side.


Winery history

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century.  Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet.  This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.


A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc.  This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865.  He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine’s reputation around the world.  The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.


Over two centuries Pontet-Canet has been owned by three different families.  Today it is run by Alfred Tesseron with his niece Melanie (daughter of Gerard Tesseron) who is the descendant of Guy Tesseron.  Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac the Tesseron have the satisfaction of knowing that they have gradually replanted some of the vineyard and renovated the buildings and the wine making facilities.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to purple color.  The intoxicating nose has cassis, cigar box, mint, dried herbs, minerals, warm baking spices, vanilla, well worn leather, and a bit of earthiness.  This is a wine you can sit and smell for hours and “almost” be satisfied.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate features spicy fruit with touches of oak, dried herbs, and some subtle earthiness.  The finish is extremely long and full of fruit, spice, and some oak, which is noticeable but not obtrusive.  This is still very young but with some air, it rounded into shape very nicely.  I decanted my bottle about two hours.  (95 pts)

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet




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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.