Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.







I’ve been a big fan of Cabernet Franc based wines for many years.  Unfortunately there just aren’t that many wines out there at decent prices with good availability other than ones from the Loire Valley.  I like a nice Loire Cab Franc, but they at times get a touch too “green” for my tastes.  Usually I have to settle for a blend with some Cab Franc in the mix.


This wine is a great exception.  The price exceeds most people’s (including mine) budget for a week night wine, even a week end wine, but a splurge every once in a while is not a bad thing.  There were 577 cases of the wine produced, so it is available, but it could take some work or a Google search to find it.  Luckily for me, I was able to grab a few bottles from a local store when it was on sale.



The Winery

Ehlers Estate 100% Organic Vineyard and Viticulture Profile

History: The Ehlers Estate vineyard is located on an historic winegrowing site in the northern part of Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation.  Grapes have been cultivated on this coveted site since the mid-1800s.  The vineyard was replanted using a diversity of clone and rootstock selections under the guidance of renowned enologist Jacques Boissenot in 1995.  Today, the Ehlers Estate vineyard, which is the source of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc, is farmed with strict adherence to organic and biodynamic farming standards.


Much more information on the winery, their wines, the people and their commitment to improving our planet is available by clicking here.






2010 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc St. Helena – $39.99

The local wine store put this on sale for a killer price a couple weeks ago, so I had to reduce their inventory by a few bottles.  I am a big fan of Cabernet Franc based wines and there are very few with a high enough percentage of the grape to be labeled with the varietal.


This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This is 100% Cabernet Franc from 100% CCOF certified organic, 100% Demeter Certified Biodynamic estate vineyards.  The wine was aged in 100% French oak, 50% new.  There were 597 cases of wine produced.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The stunning nose has blackberries, cassis, dusty minerals, dried herbs, tobacco, violets, cedar, underbrush and baking spices.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate fruit, minerals and spices jump out first with a floral note and subtle earthiness coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a touch of cedar joining the nice lingering fruit.  This is on the young side but already showing very well.  I look forward to following the wine’s evolution over the next decade.  (94 pts)

2010 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc St. Helena

2010 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc St. Helena



Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation





Underground Cellar is offering you a chance to win an all-inclusive VIP weekend in Sonoma wine country.


The winner will get the following with a value of $6,500:

  • Weekend getaway for 4 to California’s exclusive Sonoma wine country
  • Stay at the luxurious 5,500 sq. ft. Villa Terra Nova Retreat
  • Behind-the-scenes private tour of Iron Horse Vineyards, by winemaker David Munskgard
  • VIP chef’s dinner at award-winning “the girl and the fig” restaurant
  • Rountrip airfare, luxury transportation, and many other surprises!


A big bonus is that you can pick your own dates if you win, even a weekend. 

Winner can pick any 2 nights, including weekends (e.g. Check in Friday, Check out Sunday).

Winner can schedule any dates they choose through 2014, as long as Villa Terra Nova has availability.



Click here to enter.   If you win, you can even include me as one of your friends.

Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is over $3,000 of gift cards with a value of up to $200 to be given away.



The deadline to enter is Saturday, April 26th at midnight.  Winner will be announced on 30th.




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 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.






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Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:



WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN MARCH 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks – White wines for spring.




WINES WE’VE LOVED!  Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks




OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend




WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!




SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks




Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views




WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere




WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks



Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard



Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com





Remember to support your local wine store!




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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.