2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard




2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah – $7.36

I bought a case of this under $10 gem a couple years ago.  As an experiment to see how well this wine would hold up with some extended cellar time, I left two bottles in the cellar.  Petite Sirah is a grape that will last for a long time in the cellar, but does that apply to one that costs under $10?  I’ll find out tonight.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red to purple color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, smoke, black pepper and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy blackberries and licorice hit first with pepper and some earthiness coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length with black pepper and some earthiness closing the show with a touch of berries in the background providing nice sweetness.    This was a very enjoyable wine and a steal at the price.  (89 pts)

2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah




2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – $11.76

This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah.  All of the fruit comes from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard grown at 3000 feet.  The wine spent 24 months in neutral barrels and was bottled without fining or filtration.


I’ve been a fan of Dave Corey’s Core wines for a few years and highly recommend everyone to give these very reasonably priced wines a shot.


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 garnet red with just a touch of brick at the edge.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, Asian spices, leather, white pepper, dried herbs, plums, a hint of meat juices and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate, warm cherry pie hits first followed by some dried herbs, plums and a touch of earthiness.  The finish is long with the spicy cherries seeming to hang on forever with a touch of earthiness coming in as the fruit fades.  This tastes delicious!  (90 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County




2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $38.75

Well, today is #CabernetDay so I have to open a Cabernet based wine.  I’ve had a few other vintages of this wine, but this will be my first 2008.  I think Jean Edwards Cellars makes some of the most reasonably priced cabernets coming out of the Napa Valley.  The winery has some of the most well known vineyard sources in the valley, even though in some cases, they can’t use the vineyard name on the label.


This is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc.


I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.


Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.


Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.


Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.


For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.


I highly recommend at least joining their mailing list.  This would be a great time to join since their newest release just hit the inbox, just tell them Cliff sent you.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The nose is a real show stopper full of cassis, dried herbs, cigar box, minerals, pencil shavings, and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with spicy berries and minerals up front with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long with the berries, dried herbs, and minerals seeming to last forever.  Even though this is delicious today, it is very young and will improve with some time in the cellar.  (94 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard




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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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.





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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.