This is based on wine provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée Blanc

2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée




About Uncorked Ventures

Uncorked Ventures is a small, family owned business that has been growing since its inception in 2010.


Brothers-in-law Mark Aselstine and Matt Krause go treasure-hunting into California, Oregon and Washington wine country to bring you the very best wines that few people have ever heard of.  Building relationships with the winemakers and vineyard proprietors, Mark and Matt find themselves offered access to special limited production wines that astonish and impress.  This “feet on the ground” approach allows them to offer you both high-scoring wines and wines that would score highly—if they weren’t such a secret.


The world of flavors and pairing possibilities Uncorked Ventures can open up for you comes from the unparalleled expertise of the winemakers we discover.  When we work alongside them to see their process, or take the time to get to know them beyond a casual phone call, they become inspired to take a hidden bottle out from behind the counter and say, “I don’t usually share this, but…”

Fresh. Original. Exceptional. Precious. Unforgettable.


Whether as appreciated gifts, in gift baskets with unique artisan items, or as a member of one of our wine clubs, we promise wine experiences that satisfy, surprise and create memories.


Information on the company and the different products they sell is available on their website.



About #WineChat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.



What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.



How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!


Grab a glass and join in!


Click here for the current #winechat schedule.



#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.



About the Winery

Most of the background and information about the winery is on their site in a video format which does not allow for easy transfer to a post like this.  I highly recommend checking out this content.


Information is available about the winery on their website by clicking here.



The Line-up

Here is the line up that was provided for this online tasting event:

Uncorked Venture line up




2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée Blanc – SRP $34

The wine is a blend of 60% Viognier, 30% Roussanne and 10% Grenache Blanc.  This is sealed with a natural cork and has 13.9% alcohol by volume.  There were 275 cases of the wine produced.


The Viognier was barrel fermented in 3 year old French Oak barrels, 50% of these barrels were allowed to go through ML after primary fermentation was complete.  Lees was stirred in all barrels 2 times a month for 6 mos.  The Rousanne and Grenache Blanc were cold fermented in small stainless tanks and not allowed to go through ML, to preserve the exotic aromas and flavors.  The Blend was assembled in tank after 10 mos and then bottled.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The spellbinding nose has pears, nuts, pineapples, spice, white peaches and orange blossoms.  This dry wine has medium body and good acidity.  This is rich and creamy on the palate with nice closing acidity featuring pears, orange zest and nuts.  The finish has good length with some lemon zest coming in late.  (90 pts)

2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée Blanc

2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée Blanc




2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée – SRP $38

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah.  The final alcohol is 14.1% and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


The Grenache was picked in the early morning hours in the winery’s vineyard in Santa Barbara County.  They were hand sorted and de-stemmed (whole berry) to a small stainless steel tank for primary fermentation.  They chose to ferment the Grenache with native yeasts, and after a 3 day cold soak, primary fermentation started.  They gently pumped over the tank 3 times a day and allowed the temp to spike at 88F for one day for maximum extraction and mouth feel.  After 10 days, they racked the free run to neutral barrels where the wine underwent Malolactic fermentation.


The Syrah and Petite Sirah was picked a few weeks later and co-fermented in an open top tank, where it received 3 punch downs a day.  It was racked to new French Oak barrels while it was still fermenting and let it finish in barrel (they believe this aids in color stabilization and increased mouth feel).  The M+ toast French Oak barrels added the wonderful mocha spice and sweet vanilla that comes through in the blend.  Like the Grenache, they let the Syrah-Petite Sirah go through Malolactic fermentation.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red.  The very inviting nose has black cherries, raspberries, minerals, dried herbs and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  There is nice up front fruit on the palate with minerals and dried herbs adding good complexity.  This has good length on the finish with building baking spices providing an extra layer of depth.  (91 pts)

2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée

2011 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvée



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

All rights reserved.




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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  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.