2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2008 Turley Zinfandel Moore “Earthquake” Vineyard




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.


This has 16.5% abv and is sealed with a natural cork.


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 year or two at most.  (88 pts)

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard



2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard – $29.99

Villa Creek is one of my favorite wineries.  This wine along with their Avenger wine are my favorites they produce.  The winery produces several very nice red wines, most of them being innovative blends from the big name vineyards in the Paso Robles area.  Besides the reds, they also produce a very nice white Rhone styled wine and a good Rosé.  The winery is worth the effort of tracking down a few bottles either locally or through their website.


While doing a bit of digging, I noticed the winery used a tasting note of mine from CellarTracker on their website.


This has 14.8% abv and is closed with a Stelvin LUX+ stopper.


Winery history

In the spirit of the great wine producers of the southern Rhone and the bodegas of Rioja and Priorat, blending is what Villa Creek does best.  The area’s finest Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Tempranillo Vineyards are just a stone’s throw from the west Paso Robles winery where these blends are lovingly produced by winemaker Cris Cherry and his wife JoAnn.


The grapes of the area’s most progressive vineyards, James Berry, Denner, Ohana and Booker, currently grace the wines of Villa Creek Cellars.  Per acre contracts insure that the fruit comes off the same blocks each vintage.  The Cherry’s own 70 acre estate on the west side of Paso Robles boasts elevations of 1400-1800 feet, calcareous soils, south facing slopes and ample water.  In the spring of 2012, the Cherry’s finished planting their first grape vines, 3.5 acres of Grenache.  They look forward to planting Mourvèdre and Carignan in the months to come.


Much more information is available on their website.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very alluring nose has cherries, black raspberries, cola, warm baking spices, white pepper, violets, stony minerals, touch of pine needles, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery cherries grab hold first, slowly allowing some minerals and earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very nice length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This has exceptional balance and should drink well for at least another 3 or 4 years.  (93 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard



2008 Turley Zinfandel Moore “Earthquake” Vineyard – $48.00

This, as well as their Ueberroth Vineyard was my favorite single vineyards Zins produced by Turley, other than their Hayne Vineyard, which is in a different class in both quality and price.  The operative word in the prior sentence is “was”.  This was the last vintage of this wine produced by Turley.  Most of the grapes now goes to Robert Biale Vineyards.


This has 15.8% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.


Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.


Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.


As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.


In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.


By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars was annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The nose on this wine is a show stopper, filled with brambly berries, stony minerals, black pepper, roasted herbs, kirsch, violets, warm baking spices and licorice.  This full bodied wine has moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this the brambly berries and pepper up front with nice savory elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length but does show some alcohol.  (92 pts)

2008 Turley Zinfandel Moore Earthquake Vineyard

2008 Turley Zinfandel Moore Earthquake Vineyard



We did up some barbecue chicken for dinner with potato salad and deviled eggs.  With the upcoming cold weather season, this may be the last time we can enjoy the BBQ chicken until Spring.

BBQ Chicken




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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.