2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon – $24.27

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

This is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the winery’s estate vineyard.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cherries, underbrush, cassis, cedar, baking spices, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and spices quickly jump out on the front end with dusty minerals and a touch of cedar coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cassis and violets providing good depth.  This seems to have just a touch of residual sweetness but the acidity keeps it in check.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

 

 

 

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau – $17.50

This wine was made like Beaujolais Nouveau, but it comes from more interesting vineyard material than your typical stuff.  The wine is a blend of Zinfandel from Esola Vineyard, planted on granitic schist at 1600’ in the Amador foothills along with the oldest Cinsault in the country, own-rooted and planted in the 1880s, from Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi.  Both lots were fermented using carbonic maceration in a small concrete tank.  Nouveau is traditionally a fete of the most recent harvest, and 2016 was a great vintage in California deserving some early celebration.

 

The wine is a slightly cloudy light ruby color.  The unusual nose has raspberry, dry earth, cherry, bubble gum, white pepper, orange zest and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body with nice acidity and not a tannin in sight.  On the palate this reminds me of a fruit punch with a lot of up front, easy drinking, fruit with just a touch of white pepper and orange zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length and is again very fruit dominated.  This is some thing different and unusual but not really my style.  I think this could be better in an off year where the fruit wouldn’t be as ripe and in your face.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (85 pts)

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

 

 

 

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay – $25.42

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with several streams of pinpoint bubbles.  The festive nose is full of tart apples, flinty minerals, yeasty bread, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence and just a slight hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and lemon zest quickly grab hold with yeasty bread coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of orange blossom providing some additional depth.  This has great balance and tastes even better.  There is no rush on this bottle of bubbly but it’s hard to resist.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast – $28.17

Rodgers Creek Vineyard sits high on a ridge in the heart of the cool Petaluma Gap.  The vineyard takes the brunt of the wind and thick fog that define this cool climate zone.  The vines are grown in light, chalky soils on steep inclines.  Two blocks of the Pommard Pinot Noir clone form the foundation of this wine, 15% of which was fermented whole-cluster, contributing verve and depth.  Clone 777 is blended in, adding a layer of bright red fruit to rich spices and dark cherry flavors.  After open-top fermentation using native yeast, this 100% Pinot Noir was aged in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new.  The wine was bottles unfined and unfiltered in September 2013.  There were 725 cases produced.

 

The wine is a bright cherry red to ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has cherries, warm baking spices, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, dried flowers and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the spices and cherries jump out first with minerals and strawberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with white pepper and some earthiness entering the picture.  This is on the young side but already outstanding.  This is perfectly balanced and carries no excess weight.  With a lot of upside potential, this could be mythical in a few years.  This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot – $12.74

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, baking spices, spicy oak, plums and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and oak leads off on the front end with plums and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has decent length with berries and baking spices with a bit of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity here.  A fairly generic California Merlot for mid week meals.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (85 pts)

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $26.50

This is one of the very reasonably prices Appellation wines from Loring.  This is a blend of grapes from Garys’, Rosella’s, Aubaine Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black raspberries, cherries, crushed stones, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, cola and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries, minerals and underbrush grab hold on the front end with roasted herbs and cola coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a pleasing floral note.  This has nice balance and great up front fruit.  This is very easy to enjoy.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Loring twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  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.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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!