2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2009 McPrice Myers Roussanne No Mas James Berry Vineyard

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

2005 Copain Syrah McDowell Valley

2005 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape




2008 JC Cellars The Impostor – $25.73

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.


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




2009 McPrice Myers Roussanne No Mas James Berry Vineyard – $25.60

This wine comes from the now famous James Berry Vineyard in Paso Robles.  This is a new wine to me.  I received this wine for the short period I belonged to the McPrice Myers mailing list.  I don’t know what to expect with their white wines, but their reds are massive and lack enough acidity to provide enough balance to suit my tastes.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, vivid yellow color.  The very clean and fresh nose has white peach, honeysuckle, minerals, lemon zest, melon, spice, and a touch of petrol.  This has medium body, nice acidity, and maybe just a hint of sweetness.  This has good fruit on the palate up front with spice, chalky minerals, and citrus on the back end.  The finish has decent length but it did leave me wanting just a touch more.  Overall, a very nice California Roussanne with a good balance between the fruit and savory elements.  It could have used a touch more acidity mainly on the midpalate, but the finish shows good acidity.  (88 pts)

2009 McPrice Myers Roussanne No Mas James Berry Vineyard




2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet – $28.49

Cosentino was a winery we always visited when we were in wine country.  After falling suffering through some hard times, the winery was eventually sold.  I, for one, am hoping the new owners will get the winery back on course.

This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cigar box, dried herbs, licorice, cherries, baking spice, and some minerality.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate spicy fruit and toasty oak lead off the show with some cherries and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length and again is supported by the fruit and oak.  This is drinking nicely today as long as a bit of oak doesn’t bother you.  This is not made in a big rich style that has become popular with a lot of California Cabernets and blends, this wine needs food.  (91 pts)

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet




2005 Copain Syrah McDowell Valley – $35.00

This wine was a one off wine for Copain.  I’m sure this fell victim to a change in philosophy.  A few years ago, the winery made a stylistic change away from big, ripe wines to ones that were lower alcohol and more nuanced.  I was a big fan of their old style and am glad I still have a healthy stash of these older wines.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The stunning nose is full of blackberries, minerals, roasted herbs, white pepper, warm baking spices, smoked meat, violets, blueberries, and a healthy dose of earthiness.  This has fairly full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice jump out first, quickly followed by roasted herbs, pepper, and meaty elements.  On the back end some nice earthiness comes into the picture.  The finish has very good length and showcases the minerality.  This is a big and rich wine showing a lot of ripeness but it also has nice tannins and acidity to give it good balance.  Not a lot of subtlety but a very tasty glass of wine.  (92 pts)

2005 Copain Syrah McDowell Valley




2005 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape – $26.99

I’m looking forward to trying this wine again.  I sampled it soon after it was released and liked it enough to grab a couple bottles, figuring I could stock up down the road.  That plan was blasted when the wine was named #32 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2007.  I guess I’ll just have to be thankful I was able to grab a couple bottles before it disappeared from store shelves.


The usual blend for this wine is 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Cinsault, and minute amounts of Counoise, Vaccarèse, Muscardin, Terret Noir, and Picpoul Noir.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep and dark ruby color.  The very inviting nose has raspberry, cherry, minerals, roasted herbs, smoked meat, baking spices, dried earth, white pepper, and brined black olives.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate red and black fruit, minerals, and roasted herbs carry the load early with meaty elements, pepper, and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and layered.  This is drinking very nicely right now,  but is still on the young side with plenty of upside potential.  (93 pts)

2005 Clos du Mont-Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape




I grilled a bacon wrapped Pork Tenderloin to go with the Olivet CdP.  This made a wonderful pairing with the smoky bacon and juicy pork matching up nicely with the wine.  The secret is to cook the meat on indirect heat until it is about 140 degrees.  Putting it over the hot coals to crisp up the bacon will raise the temperature of the pork to about 155 to 160 degrees leaving it very flavorful and juicy.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with bacon



Connect with me


You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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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.