2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

1999 Château Lamartine Cahors

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard




2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch – $32.29

For some reason, this wine always slipped through the crack when I was placing my order with Turley.  I grabbed one bottle of the 2008 vintage, but that was the only bottle of this wine I ever bought.  In May 2011, the local wine store received a stash of this wine and put it on the shelf at a great price, so I had to grab a few bottles.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The typically Turley nose is full of brambly berries, warm baking spices, vanilla, stony minerals, black pepper, wild flowers and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a fairly full body, solid tannins and good acidity.  The palate is immediately flooded with spicy, peppery, berries and minerals with vanilla and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and full of peppery berries.  This is still on the young side but still delicious.  (94 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch 




2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $14.24

I had this wine on my list of the Top Value Wines of 2012.  This is still a favorite with week night Italian fare, like tonight’s Veal Parmesan.  I like the extra body and richness imparted by the drying of the grapes but the wine generally retains enough acidity to stand up to the tomato based sauces.  This is also a personal favorite with a nice, meaty pizza.


Winery history

Allegrini is the leading producer in the Valpolicella Classico area and one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in Italy and throughout the world.  The family’s roots in Valpolicella date back to the 16th century.  Today the winery consists of more than 100 hectares (247 acres) set amongst the rolling hills of the “Classico” appellation.  All wines made under the Allegrini label are produced exclusively from these estate vineyards.  Through research and experimentation over the years, Allegrini has introduced radical innovations in the vineyards, in the grape drying process and in the cellar, with the objective of enhancing the intrinsic quality of Valpolicella.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color. The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, plums, warm baking spices, minerals, vanilla, and dried flowers. The wine has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and good acidity. The wine is rich and plush on the palate with the spicy berries and dried herbs up front and some earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later. The finish has very nice length with the spicy berries and dried herbs carrying the load. If you can find this for $15 or less, load up, I did.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT 




1999 Château Lamartine Cahors – $16.00

I bought this bottle of wine close to a decade ago from Back Room Wines in Napa during a visit to wine country.  I bought it thinking we may open it some time during the week.  Since I figured we’d drink it over the short term, I didn’t bother adding it to my wine database.  Fast forward several years, while moving some wine, I ran across the bottle.  I moved it to my rack of wine to drink over the next few months.  Unfortunately it again was forgotten, but at least I added it to my wine inventory.  Looking for something “different” to open this morning, I saw this wine and decided today was the day.  Hopefully this under $20 wine survived the time in the cellar.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red with some bricking at the edge.  The slightly shy nose has tobacco, blackberries, cedar, dried herbs, baking spices, wild flowers, and some earthiness.  This has medium body, soft tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, blackberries and baking spices hit first with some spicy oak and subtle earthiness coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some cherry joining the picture.  This probably should have been opened a couple years ago, but I still find it very enjoyable.  (88 pts)

1999 Chateau Lamartine Cahors 




2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard – $14.24

When it comes to big, brawny, take no prisoner wines, this 16.5% ABV wine, is a heavy weight.  If it’s at all possible, the massive wine actually conceals most of the alcohol but a touch does peak out from around the corners.  I was able to snag a case of this for under $15 a bottle and it is an enjoyable bottle of wine, every once in a while.  There is absolutely nothing subtle about this wine and a lot of people will hate it even without trying it.


Winery history

We are fortunate to source our grapes from many of the most desirable vineyards in Santa Barbara County and work with some of the most reputable growers in the area to help showcase the unique qualities of each these special vineyards.


Winemaker and co-owner, Brett Escalera works closely with the growers and in the vineyards to produce beautiful wines with a richness and elegance we hope to share all around the world.  While Consilience focuses loosely on Rhone varietals and few others we couldn’t resist, Consilience’s sister winery, Tre Anelli wines is inspired by the traditions of Italy and Spain with a Santa Barbara County flare.


Whether you’re a fan of rich Rhone style wines or have a liking for Italian and Spanish style wines we hope both Consilience and Tre Anelli wines capture your attention!


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color with a touch of bricking at the edge.  The dark and inviting nose has blackberries, dying wood embers, black pepper, blueberries, melted licorice, smoked meat, forest floor, dark bittersweet chocolate, and vanilla.  This has a full body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  This is so big on the palate, you almost instinctively start to chew it.  On the palate there are layer upon layer of fruit, dark chocolate, and meaty elements with more alcohol poking through than I remember from past bottles.  The finish has decent length but could use a bit more acidity to help support the massive flavors.  Based on this bottle the wine has peaked and may be starting its long, gradual decline.  Probably needs consumed over the next two years.  (88 pts)

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 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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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.