2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan’s



This will be shorter than usual.  I participated in an online tasting on Friday and attended a dinner party on Saturday.  Both of those events were excluded from this post but will be covered in the next few days.




2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon – $22.79

This is a blend of 78.9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.3% Merlot, 5.2% Malbec and 2.6% Petite Verdot.  From these Napa Valley vineyards, 51.5% Round Pond-Rutherford, 21.5% Stagecoach-Atlas Peak, 13.3% Keyes-Howell Mountain, 5.2% Huichica-Napa Carneros, 4.1% Bosché-Rutherford, 2.9% Veeder Peak-Mt. Veeder, 1.5% Potelle-Mt. Veeder.


The wine has an alcohol level of 14.8% and is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose has cassis, baking spices, cherries, roasted leafy herbs, roses, licorice and a touch of mint.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries and cherries add nice sweetness and are balanced by roasted herbs and spice.  The finish has nice length with the fruit stepping into the background, allowing the savory elements to shine.  This is on the young side with a touch of oak poking through at times.  If you are not a fan of oak let this sleep for a couple years, other wise, open a bottle and enjoy it after it gets a bit of air.  (89 pts)

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon



2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan’s – $44.15

2009 was the first release of this wine since the 2005 vintage.  There has also not been a new vintage of the wine since this release.  I don’t know the story behind the erratic releases and a quick check on their website didn’t yield any answers.


This 100% Syrah from the NapaValley has 15.5% alcohol and is closed with a natural cork.


Winery history

In 1992 Debbie and Randy Lewis established a small family winery in NapaValley and were later joined by their son Dennis in 1999.  Total production is approximately 9,000 cases annually of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


We are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution, and we thrive on this challenge and the relationships we cultivate in the process.  It is our continuing goal to create world-class wines.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, opaque purple color.  The stunning nose is full of crushed berries, minerals, charred meat, scorched earth, vanilla, violets and dark chocolate.  This full bodied wine has fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate, the wine is big and brawny but the tannins and acidity hold everything together.  The initial assault on your palate is quickly reined in and held together through the long finish.  As should be expected from the winery, this is not a wine for the timid or for someone looking for a subtle, nuanced wine.  This will club you over the head and leave you asking for more.  (93 pts)

2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan's

2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan’s



We decided to do a form of Surf & Turf for dinner.  We had a grilled Strip Steak with a few medium shrimp in a VERY garlicky scampi sauce and some roasted broccoli.

The Ethan’s Syrah was a very nice pairing with the dish.  The tannins cut through the juicy meat and the nice acidity was a nice counter point to the rich, buttery sauce.

Surf&Turf  Strip Steak with garlic shrimp




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.


If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.





This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.




***** 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.






Breaking news from Klout:





Remember to support your local wine store!




* * * * * * * * * * * * *


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.