2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey – $15.99

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Monterey appellation in California.  After a three day cold soak, the grapes were “punched down” three times a day during fermentation.  After fermentation was completed the wine was aged for 8 months in 100% French oak barrels, 17% being new.  After aging, the barrels were blended and bottled.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The comforting nose has black cherries, flinty minerals, forest floor, cola, tart red cherries and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and baking spices come out on the front end with forest floor and a touch of cola coming in later.  The finish has nice length with tart cherries providing some needed depth.  Not a lot of complexity but that doesn’t make it less tasty.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

 

 

 

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

This was a gift from friends.  Thanks again Charlie & Kristin!

 

In this vintage, this is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.  The Syrah vines average 40 years and the Grenache vines are 80 years old.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 17 months in 275 liter barrels.  The barrels were a mix of one, two and three years old.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, leather, white pepper, scorched earth, licorice and cocoa powder.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, white pepper and leather come out on the front end with scorched earth, cocoa powder and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the savory notes stealing the show.  This is drinking very nicely now but a bit more cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast – $22.99

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from several parcels in Australia’s McLaren Vale region.  The different lots were fermented separately and average 14 days of skin contact.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels with 15% being new Taransaud French oak.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The impressive nose has cassis, blackberries, baking spices, roasted herbs, white pepper, licorice, vanilla bean and a touch of cedar.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice grab control immediately with roasted herbs and cedar slipping in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of vanilla bean coming in.  This is a bit soft so I’d drink this one young.  Not a great vintage for this usually dependable wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $46.00

This wine is a blend of three Pinot Noir clones, 115, 667, 777.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak, 33% new.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The voluptuous nose is full of black cherries, plums, flinty minerals, black tea leaves, dried wildflowers, blueberries, white pepper and dry earth.  This has a full body with moderate silky tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit and white pepper quickly take control with tea leaves and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish has very good length with blueberries and dry earth providing great depth.  As always, Brian provides his unique interpretation of the Pinot Noir grape.  I know his style turns off some of the purists, but personally, I love his wines…in moderation.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast – $16.31

Courtney Benham is a division of Martin Ray Winery.  Courtney Benham Wines are limited release for special offer to their wine club members but obviously some make it into the hands of the Total Wine stores since I can buy these reasonably priced wines at my local store.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The relaxing nose has black cherries, dry underbrush, white pepper, licorice, Asian spices and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush and white pepper come through on the front end with spices and a floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a black tea note providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it is an easy to drink Pinot at a very attractive price.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

 

 

 

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $16.99

I’ve been a fan of St Amant Winery zinfandels for several years.  It was great visiting with the Stuart Spencer, the winemaker for St Amant as well as Jerry Fry, the owner/grower at this vineyard during a recent trip to Lodi.  Even though I’ve loved past vintages of this wine, I think this is their best effort to date.  I’m extremely fortunate to have a Total Wine store in the area that carries this wine so I always have a few bottles in my cellar.  If you live near a Total Wine, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of this wine on your next shopping trip.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has brambly berries, dusty minerals, licorice, black pepper, cherries, charred underbrush, violets and a hint of mint.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, minerals and black pepper quickly take control with underbrush and cherries slipping through on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note and just a hint of mint adding good depth.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has great balance and is easy to enjoy.  A great effort.  This has 15.5% alcohol, which was a surprise to me, not a trace shows through any where.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You may have 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.

 

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

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 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.

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

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!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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!

 

Advertisements