2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2008 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

De Margerie Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé

2008 Lillian Winery Syrah

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

 

 

 

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – $19.02

This was another steal from Last Bottle. see below for info on joining their e-mail list.

 

Gnarly Dudes is made with fruit sourced from mature vineyards from the Barossa’s western ranges.

 

The lots making up this wine were crushed into and fermented in 3, 5, 7 and 10 ton open top vessels.  Three daily pumpovers were performed during the peak of fermentation to extract flavor, color and tannins.  The batches were drained and pressed to tank, then racked to barrel for oak maturation where malolactic fermentation occurred.  All batches were kept separate and blended just prior to bottling.  The wine was aged 14 months in hogsheads, 11% new French oak with the balance in 1 to 4 year old French oak

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky, purple color.  The burly nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, plums, meat juices, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, melted licorice, charcoal and fresh wild flowers.  The wine has full body with solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The palate is loaded with ripe berries, plums, spices, smokiness, meat juices and dark chocolate.  The finish is long, juicy and flavorful.  A seamless, balanced, full flavored Shiraz with no rough edges.  Enjoyable now and for the next five years.  This wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (92 pts)

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

 

2008 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains – $40.00

The grapes for this wine come from the Harvest Moon, Elandrich and Chaine d’Or vineyards.  These vineyards are all located on the Eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  The vineyards were fermented separately with native yeast.  This Cabernet Sauvignon based wine also includes 17% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.  The wine was aged in a mix of new and old French oak barrels.  The total production was a miniscule 94 cases.

 

The wine is a deep garnet to purple color.  The intoxicating nose has cassis, cedar, minerals, dried herbs, warm baking spices, white pepper, eucalyptus, plums, vanilla bean and a touch of wood smoke.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate spices and minerals join rich cassis upfront with toasty oak and vanilla coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried herbs, eucalyptus and white pepper adding nice savory layers.  This still tastes young side comes around nicely with some air.  This still has plenty of upside potential.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains

2008 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains

 

 

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino – $18.99

This 100% Sangiovese comes from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at elevations of 150-350 metres on well-exposed hillslopes south-east of Montalcino.  The wine was aged in a mix of Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months followed by a minimum of 3 months of bottle aging before it is released.

 

This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dried thyme, baking spices, raspberry, leather and a touch of underbrush.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, minerals and spice initially take hold on the palate with dried thyme and leather coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is on the young side but already showing very nicely.  (91 pts)

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

De Margerie Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé – $39.94

I couldn’t find a lot of information on this wine on the internet including the percentages of the grapes used in its production.  This is a staple at my local Total Wines so I usually have a couple bottles in the cellar.

 

The wine is a bright salmon pink color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The bright and refreshing nose has cherries, fresh baked yeasty bread, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms and a hint of nuttiness.  This is crisp and dry on the palate with great effervescence.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and orange blossoms take over quickly on the front end with yeasty bread coming in later.  The finish has great length with a burst of lemon zest leading you to grab another sip.  This is a perfect holiday or celebration bubbly to get a special occasion off to a great start.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (91 pts)

De Margerie Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé

De Margerie Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé

 

 

2008 Lillian Winery Syrah – $62.00

I’ve been on the Lillian mailing list for a few years but I just can’t seem to buy enough.  These wines are not early drinking wines, they need some time in your cellar.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The incredible nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, dark roasted espresso beans, spicy cedar, vanilla beans, roasted meat, crushed stone minerals, black peppercorns and warm baking spices.  This full bodied wine has solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  This is rich and powerful on the palate with an overload of berries, minerals, dark chocolate, baking spices quickly grabbing your attention on the front end with espresso beans, meat juices, black pepper, cedar and vanilla coming through on the back end.  The finish is long and lingering, full of fruit and spice.  Even though this has a few years of cellar time already under its’ belt, it could use another year or two.  If you only have one bottle of this wine either leave it in the cellar or give it plenty of air.  This has 15.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2008 Lillian Winery Syrah

2008 Lillian Winery Syrah

 

 

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10 – $14.90

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This Russian River Valley Red is a blend of 59% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane and 1% Alicante Bouschet.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, licorice, crushed stone minerals, dark chocolate, dry underbrush, black cherries, dried wild flowers, black peppercorns, baking spices and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, minerals and dark chocolate take control early with black cherries and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with black peppercorns and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This is an easy drinking, much more civilized version of The Prisoner.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  Four of the wines in this post were purchased from the site, Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese, Casey Flat Ranch Open Range, Robert Hunter Pinot Noir Reserve Hunter Farms and Jaffe Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Metamorphosis.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2016 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

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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:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

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 always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  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.

 

 

 

Cheers!