Posts from the ‘My Week in Wine’ Category

Cliffs Wine Picks – September 2018 Vol 1

 

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2013 Westerhold Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Westerhold Vineyard

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2012 Miner Family Grenache Hudson Vineyard

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

 

 

It has been a while since I have been able to post a blog.  There was an extended medical issue for a family member that required 24/7 support.  This issue consumed almost all my free time from early January through the end of July.  It took another month to get everything ironed out and try to settle back into the old routine.  Hopefully I will be able to get back on a posting schedule.  I have a couple blogs just about ready to go and have tasting notes from a couple of online tastings I have to enter.

 

 

 

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet – $59.99

I attended a tasting of 2003 Bordeaux wines at a local wine store several years ago.  Even though I liked Bordeaux wines, I wasn’t all that experienced tasting these wines soon after release when they are generally still very tight and unyielding.  A few of the wines poured were so tight it was hard to get them to reveal very much with the usual small pours at this type of event.  That said, this wine was very tight but you could easily taste the power and depth on the palate.  It was a very easy decision to grab several bottles to stash in the cellar.

 

Winery history

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century.  Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet.  This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

 

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc.  This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865.  He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine’s reputation around the world.  The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

 

Over two centuries Pontet-Canet has been owned by three different families.  Today it is run by Alfred Tesseron with his niece Melanie (daughter of Gerard Tesseron) who is the descendant of Guy Tesseron.  Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac the Tesseron have the satisfaction of knowing that they have gradually replanted some of the vineyard and renovated the buildings and the wine making facilities.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has cassis, cigar box, mint, dried herbs, minerals, warm baking spices, vanilla, well worn leather and a bit of earthiness.  This is a wine you can sit and smell for hours and “almost” be satisfied.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate features spicy fruit with touches of oak, dried herbs and some subtle earthiness.  The finish is extremely long and full of fruit, spice and some oak, which is still noticeable but not obtrusive.  This still seems very young but with some air, it rounded into shape very nicely.  This is very drinkable and enjoyable right now but there is absolutely no hurry with this one, it will last and improve for a few decades.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (96 pts)

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet

2003 Chateau Pontet-Canet

 

 

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – $45.45

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This 100% Chardonnay is only produced when the quality of the grapes is good enough.  It looks like that happened only 6 times since 1999.

 

The wine is a light straw yellow color with a very persistent, steady stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very appealing nose has pears, lemon curd, yeasty bread, white peach, minerals, shaved almonds and orange blossoms.  This has light body with great effervescence and tart acidity.  On the palate tart pears, lemon curd and minerals quickly take control eventually allowing yeasty bread, white peach and shaved almonds to enter the picture on the back end.  The finish has great length with zippy lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This tastes great now but I don’t plan on opening another bottle for a few years.  I think some cellar time will allow the acidity to integrate and additional nuances to develop.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

 

 

2013 Westerhold Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Westerhold Vineyard – $30

I have been a big fan of the winery’s Syrah for several years but I hadn’t had the opportunity to try their Pinot Noir.  Last year the winery had a “holiday sale” so I was able to grab several bottles to try.  The winemaker is the renowned Russell Bevan.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The expressive nose has black cherries, forest floor, spicy oak, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, charred wood, white pepper and dried wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, spicy oak and baking spices come through on the front end with forest floor and charred wood coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing depth.  This comes across as a bit oaky at this time but some additional cellar time may help it integrate since this has good “stuffing”.  As is, this is a tasty, bigger boned Pinot Noir that may not appeal to anyone looking for a Burgundian styled wine but if you want a big, rich Pinot, look no further.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Westerhold Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Westerhold Vineyard

2013 Westerhold Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Westerhold Vineyard

 

 

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $19.50

This wine is a Zinfandel based blend from several regions and vineyards in Sonoma County.

This is a bit confusing, but here is a breakdown of the grape sources:

28% Zinfandel from the Rossi Ranch

28% of the grapes are from Rowe Vineyard, Zinfandel (74%), Petite Sirah (16%), Syrah (8%), and Other (2%)

19% Zinfandel from Banfield Ranch in the Russian River Valley

10% are from Montafi Ranch in the Russian River Valley ( 89% Zinfandel and 11% Mixed Blacks)

8% Sonoma Valley Petite Sirah from Rossi Ranch

5% are from Sodini Vineyard in the Russian River Valley (95% Zinfandel and 5% Mixed Blacks)

2% Russian River Valley Mixed Blacks (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petit Bouschet) from Saitone Ranch

 

There were 986 cases produced

 

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The elegant nose has brambly berries, black cherries, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, dry underbrush and dried wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart berries, black cherries, black peppercorns and baking spices come through on the front end with dry underbrush coming through on the back end.  The finish has good length with a nice dried floral note providing depth.  This is a very civilized and balanced Zinfandel that doesn’t push the ripeness.  How can this wine be under $20?  Very impressive wine that still has years of life.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

2012 Miner Family Grenache Hudson Vineyard – $17.91

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine had a suggested price of $34 so the Last Bottle price was about 50% off.

 

This wine was produced as a “wine club exclusive” by the winery.

 

This is 100% Grenache from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros, Napa Valley.  The wine was aged for 6 Months in Neutral French Oak.  480 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose has cherries, dusty minerals, white pepper, dried flowers, plums and baking spices.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  This is much more open on the palate than it was on the nose with spicy, tart cherries, white pepper and dusty minerals with dried flowers and plums coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with cherries and white pepper holding down the fort.  Not your typical, push the ripeness limit, California Grenache.  This has nice balance and finesse.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Miner Family Grenache Hudson Vineyard

2012 Miner Family Grenache Hudson Vineyard

 

 

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso – $19.13

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo that was aged 18 months in small oak casks before bottling and another 3 months of bottle age before release.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, tobacco, wild flowers, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, dark chocolate and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and underbrush lead off with wild flowers and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and more wild flowers providing great depth.  This is on the young side but is already very tasty.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2018 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2018 Vol 3

 

2015 Flora Springs Dashaway

2012 Cairdean Vineyards Merlot

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage

2013 Speratus Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

 

 

 

2015 Flora Springs Chardonnay Dashaway – SRP $45

This wine was a winery supplied sample.

 

This is 100% Napa Valley Chardonnay.  This was fermented in French oak barrels with twice-weekly lees stirring.  30% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation to give the wine a creamy texture.  The wine was aged for 7 months in French oak and concrete tanks before bottling.  There were 200 cases produced.  This wine was bottled with a holiday season label.  If you see it on close-out on a store’s shelf, grab it.  Someone told me they spotted it on a World Market shelf.

 

This is a golden yellow color.  The expressive nose has ripe apples, pears, toasted nuts, baking spices, pineapple, orange blossoms and vanilla.  This has medium to full body with a creamy texture and nice acidity.  On the palate apples, pears and roasted nuts quickly grab your attention on the front end with baking spices and pineapple coming in later.  The finish has good length with orange blossoms and vanilla providing nice depth.  The restrained oak use and limited malolactic allows the fruit to shine but still provide nice spice and a creamy texture.  This would be perfect with a wide array of meals or on its own.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2015 Flora Springs Chardonnay Dashaway

2015 Flora Springs Chardonnay Dashaway

 

 

 

2012 Cairdean Vineyards Merlot – $16

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine had a suggested price of $50 so the Last Bottle price was over 67% off.

 

This winery changed their name from Cairdean to Brasswood Napa Valley.  That was the reason Last Bottle Wines was able to sell this wine at such an incredible price.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, white pepper, vanilla, dusty minerals, cedar, eucalyptus, baking spices, dark chocolate and a touch of blueberry.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, baking spices, minerals and white pepper take control on the front end with eucalyptus, dark chocolate and vanilla coming in later.  The finish has good length with spicy cedar and a hint of blueberry providing good depth.  This is tasting very nice now and will hold and possibly improve over the next several years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Cairdean Vineyards Merlot

2012 Cairdean Vineyards Merlot

 

 

 

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage – $22

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had an original release price of about $75 from the winery.

 

This bubbly was produced by Robert Hunter Winery.  The family closed the winery after Robert’s death.  Last Bottle Wines bought a lot of their inventory.  Since the wine was ready for market but not yet labeled, it acquired the “Sleeper” label which is Last Bottle’s “in house” label.  This is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from the Sonoma Valley.

 

This is a straw yellow color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The bright and appealing nose has tart green apples, minerals, yeasty bread, roasted nuts and lemon zest.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and great inner mouth effervescence.  On the palate green apples and minerals quickly grab your attention with yeasty bread and roasted nuts coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a healthy amount of mouthwatering lemon zest making you grab another sip.  This has 12.56% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage work

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage work

 

 

 

2013 Speratus Cabernet Sauvignon – $17.88

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

Following taken from the Last Bottle Wines offer since there is limited information available:

Do you love the wines of Jean Hoefliger (lord knows how many 95-100 pointers at Alpha Omega and others that range from $50-$200)? Do you love the slammin’ good 2013 vintage? Do you love doing good? Well, we are hitting that trifecta today, oh yes!! What a unique find!!

In brief: Speratus is a wine that is made 100% for charity. The proceeds of ALL sales are donated to needy families to attend school. In fact, since the wine is exclusively sold to the mailing list, we didn’t even know it EXISTED! But we’re Napa Valley locals, and it was only a matter of time…in addition, every single part of this wine is donated by wineries and winemakers. This list includes a staggering array of incredible producers — including (blended by Jean Hoefliger): Beckstoffer Vineyards, Sangiacomo, Trefethen, Flora Springs, Antinori.. Not to mention all the barrels, corks, capsules, grapes, warehousing, legal stuff, EVERYTHING is donated. Jean blends something magical, ages in French oak barrels and the wine is released and sold via mailing list. It’s NEVER in stores, never in restaurants, in fact, Last Bottle is probably the only place you will ever see this rarity…and our PRICE?! C’mon!!

What’s it like? We think it’s a bit like Bordeaux, with its dusty black currant fruit, but without any rusticity. Rather, we are talking sweet, ripe fruit, medium weight, boysenberry jam, licorice and some dark chocolate, too. At our stupendous price, we instantly thought that this was 6 or 12-pack worthy for sure. We had to offer it on a Saturday, though, because there ain’t much!! Totally cool stuff!!

 

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The expressive nose has cassis, licorice, baking spices, violets, dark roast coffee beans, dusty minerals, roasted herbs, dark chocolate, black cherries and vanilla beans.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is a bit more lean than the usual California Cabernet with cassis, baking spices and minerals on the front end and dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla beans and more roasted herbs.  At this point there is nothing about this wine that would make it leave a lasting impression.  It is very drinkable but not memorable.  The prominent roasted herbs on the back end and finish are an issue for me.  Perhaps a bit more cellar time will bring some improvement.  That said, for under $20 this is fine for a week night Alexander Valley Cabernet.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2013 Speratus Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Speratus Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis – $25

This wine is a field blend consisting of about a dozen different varietals including Gewurtzraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, Chardonnay and a few others from a vineyard planted in 1954.  This is how wines used to be made before people wanted to see a specific grape on the label.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The exotic nose has apples, lychee, white peach, pear, stony minerals, petrol, honeysuckle, orange blossoms and melon.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  This is rich and luxurious on the palate with nice white orchard fruit, orange blossoms, minerals and lychee nuts on the front end with honeysuckle and a touch of lime zest coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of melon and white peach providing great depth.  This was much smoother and richer as it warmed up a bit, don’t serve this one too cold, just a brief chill in the refrigerator will be perfect.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine – $15.29

Macchia makes the big, full bore Zinfandels that originally put Lodi on wine lover’s radar.  Like most other wineries in the region Zinfandel is still the mainstay of their offerings but other grape varieties are also produced masterfully.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, toasty oak, black cherries, vanilla bean, black peppercorns, charcoal, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This is rich and velvety on the palate with big upfront fruit and barrel nuances coming in later.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it makes up for that deficiency with a load of fruit on the palate.  This isn’t a wine to sit back and ponder over, pop the cork and just enjoy.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the Flora Springs Chardonnay with Seafood Lasagna and a salad with lettuce fresh from the garden,

 

The Macchia Zinfandel was perfect with a Grilled Wisconsin Jalapeno-Cheddar Brat and fries.

 

The Speratus Cabernet paired nicely with Pot Roast with veggies and rice.

 

 

 

Recipe Requests

 

I received a couple requests for this recipe from a week or two ago:

 

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

 

2 cups uncooked egg noodles

1 TB Olive Oil

1 (one pound) Pork Tenderloin, trimmed and sliced into 1/2″ thick slices

1/2 t black pepper

1/4 t salt

1 cup dry white wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc)

3 TB Whole Grain Dijon mustard

2 TB water

2 t cornstarch

 

Cook noodles per directions (omit any fat or salt), drain

 

While noodles cook, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high.

Sprinkle pork slices with the salt and pepper.

Brown pork in pan for 2 minutes (at most), turning once.  Don’t over cook!

 

Combine the wine and mustard, pour into pan.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes

Remove pork from skillet and keep warm.

 

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Stir cornstarch mixture into pan with the mustard sauce, bring to a boil and cook for one minute or until it gets thick.  This happens VERY quickly, don’t turn your head.

 

Put the completed noodles in the pan and toss to coat.  The sauce is very flavorful so a light coating is all that is needed, there won’t be excess “sauce”.

 

Serve the pork with the noodles and sauce.

 

I like this with a Pinot Noir or lighter style Syrah.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2018 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2018 Vol 2

 

2014 Brassfield Estate Winery Pinot Noir High Serenity Ranch

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Brassfield Estate Winery Pinot Noir High Serenity Ranch – $12.56

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine had a suggested price of $30 so the Last Bottle price was well over 50% off.

 

Brassfield’s winemaking team is headed by winemaker Matt Hughes and acclaimed consulting winemaker David Ramey.  The fruit for this 100% Pinot Noir comes from three blocks of the coldest blocks in the winery’s estate vineyard.  15% to 20% whole clusters were used after a three day cold soak.  The fermentation was completed using native yeast and twice a day pumpovers.  After fermentation, the wine was aged sur lie fin 30% new French oak and 70% once used French oak barrels for 10 months.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, raspberries, pencil shavings, white pepper, minerals, dry underbrush and wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, raspberries and minerals jump out of the glass on the front end with pencil shavings and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with white pepper and flowers providing depth.  This seems young and fairly tight at this time, I’d give it a couple hours of air or even better, let it rest in the cellar for another year or two.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Brassfield Estate Winery Pinot Noir High Serenity Ranch

2014 Brassfield Estate Winery Pinot Noir High Serenity Ranch

 

 

 

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic – $15.49

This is a blend of mostly Chardonnay with a healthy amount of Pinot Noir and a touch of Pinot Meunier.

 

This is a light straw color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive nose has green apples, yeasty bread, roasted nuts, lime zest and chalky minerals.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, bread and minerals take control on the front end with roasted nuts coming in later.  Mouthwatering lime zest comes in on the nice finish.  This is a very reasonably priced sparking wine to enjoy any time, not just on a special occasion.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (88 pts)

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $39

Morgan sources the grapes for this wine from the same block his father used for his sought after Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zin.  This famous vineyard on the Sonoma side of Mt Veeder was planted in 1886.  This wine was fermented via native yeasts and was aged in 35% new French oak from four Burgundian coopers.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has brambly berries, plums, dark chocolate, dusty minerals, black pepper, dried herbs, dried wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has full body, moderate to solid tannins, a creamy texture and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals thoroughly coat your palate on the front end slowly allowing black pepper and dried herbs to enter the picture.  The long, lingering finish adds a dried floral note as well as a touch of eucalyptus.  This is drinking marvelously right now but it still seems a bit young.  This one can be opened now or left in the cellar for several more years.  This wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

 

 

 

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru – $28.57

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This 100% Chardonnay was aged for 5 years on its lees.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color with several steady steams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The alluring nose has apples, yeasty bread, lemon zest, dusty minerals, roasted nuts and spring flowers.  This has light to medium body with great acidity.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab control with yeasty bread and a touch of nuttiness coming in later.  The lingering finish adds a nice floral note.  The citrusy crispness in this bubbly will keep you reaching for another sip.  A very good bargain.  This has 12.0% alcohol.  (92 pts)

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

 

 

 

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese – $16.41

I have a special place in my heart for a well aged German Riesling.  In their youth these wines may seem disjointed with plenty of residual sugar and an overload of acidity.  Over time in the cellar everything comes together, the sugar and acidity evolve into a rich, silky wine that is so easy to drink they can get addictive.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color with a slight golden tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has apples, flinty minerals, orange blossoms, honey, lychee nuts, white peach and just a hint of petrol.  This has medium to full body with great acidity and nice lingering sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, honey and lychee nuts jump out quickly on the front end with orange blossoms and white peach coming in later.  The finish is long and lingering with a hint of petrol.  This is rich and luxurious, a wonderful bottle of wine that does not taste 24 years old.  I have no idea how long this will hold in the cellar but I am not in any hurry to open my remaining bottles.  This has 8% alcohol and the bottle was sealed with a natural cork that was nasty on the exposed end but otherwise solid.  (95 pts)

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

 

 

 

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $40

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with almost all the fruit from the esteemed Stagecoach Vineyard.  In this vintage, the winery and winemaker Kian Tavakoli blended in a small amount of valley floor Cabernet to “soften” the mountain fruit and add additional depth and complexity.

 

The grapes were hand picked.  After a cold soak and extended maceration with 75% crushed and 25% whole berries each lot was fermented separately in small closed top stainless steel tanks.  The wine was then aged for 20 months in 100% French oak with 60% being new.  The lots were then blended unfined and unfiltered and bottled.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The sensuous nose has cassis, cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, dusty minerals, licorice, dry earth, violets and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  This explodes on your palate with cassis, cedar, tobacco and minerals quickly grabbing your attention.  On the back end dried herbs and dry earth breaks through the initial wall of flavor providing a solid second wave.  The finish has outstanding length with vanilla bean and violets joining the still prominent cassis and minerals.  This still tastes on the young side, this improved steadily the more air it received.  There is no hurry with this wine, this has the balance and structure to allow it to drink very nicely for at least another decade, perhaps longer.  I’ve loved several Jean Edwards wines over the years but this is one of the best bottles from them that I have opened.  I’d love to follow this wine down the road but unfortunately this is my last bottle of this vintage, my vertical is now only from 2007 to 2014.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (96 pts)

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the 1993 German Spätlese with one of my favorite Cajun dishes, Crawfish and Pasta with Tasso Cream.  The recipe I use is from The Gumbo Shop in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

 

 

What goes great with a Napa Cabernet?  How about Prime Rib?  In this case, the meat was slightly over cooked, closer to medium than medium rare but it was still an outstanding meal.

 

 

I paired the Bedrock Monte Rosso Zinfandel with a burrito stuffed with homemade meat and Mexican rice with black beans and all the usual fixings.

 

 

The Brassfield Pinot Noir was paired with Rotisserie Chicken and fresh from the garden green peas.

 

 

We had the Domaine Chandon Sparking wine with a light lunch on the deck on a warm afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2018 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2018 Vol 1

 

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

2012 Imprimata Grenache

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé – $19

This vintage is a blend of over 60% Mataro (Mourvedre) from the Pagani Ranch and own-rooted fruit from Live Oak Vineyard in Contra Costa County.  The remainder of the grapes are Gibson Ranch Grenache and Cemetery Carignan.

 

The wine is an intense pink salmon color.  The fresh and spellbinding nose has cherries, strawberries, crushed stones, orange blossoms, watermelon, lime zest and a hint of dried herbs.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to have just a touch of lingering sweetness.  The front end is fruit driven until the minerals and orange blossoms kick in on the back end.  The juicy finish has nice length with a touch of lime zest providing nice closing acidity.  This was a tasty vintage for this wine.  This has 12.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

 

 

 

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites – $20

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine had a suggested price of $35 so the Last Bottle price was over 40% off.

 

This is a blend of 47% Zinfandel, 32% Syrah, 12% Charbono and 9% Petite Sirah from Napa Valley.  The vines are all at least 35 years with most being over 50 years old.  The dry farmed vineyard yields under 2 tons of fruit per acre.

 

Each variety was harvested and fermented separately after being given a cold soak, destemmed and lightly crushed.  After a gentle pressing the wines were transferred to 60 gallon oak barrels for a 20 month aging process in 32% new oak (Saury American, Nadalie Virginia, Marchive Pennsylvania, Kadar Hungarian and Remond French)

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, black pepper, dusty minerals, licorice, wood smoke, road tar, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals and black pepper jump out quickly with licorice, dark chocolate and wood smoke coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This isn’t a wine made to sit on for an extended time, it would be best to open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – $10

I’m a big fan of wines from Lodi.  If your past experiences of Lodi wines are limited to big red wines, especially Zinfandel, I highly recommend checking out their crisp white and rosé wines.  These wine will make you a fan.

 

This is 100% “Musqué Clone” Sauvignon Blanc from the winery’s Jahant Vineyard in Lodi.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a very slight green tint.  The crisp and fresh nose has tart apples, dusty minerals, lemongrass, lime zest, under ripe pineapple and a spritz of grapefruit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemongrass quickly grab your attention with lime zest and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with a touch of grapefruit joining the tart apples and minerals.  This would be perfect with a light meal on the deck or patio on a warm, sunny day.  The hint of sweetness would also make this a marvelous way to relax before dinner.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard – $25

Sandler Wine Company is the personal label of ever-present consulting winemaker, Ed Kurtzman.  Sandler Wine Company is devoted to small bottlings of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache, from some of Ed’s favorite vineyard and grower sources.  Production of most wines very seldom exceeds 100 cases and in some cases don’t even reach 25 cases.  This is a highly recommended mailing list to check out if you want very reasonably priced, small production wines.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, raspberries, baking spices, dry underbrush, white pepper, chalky minerals and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, raspberries, baking spices and minerals come through quickly on the front end with dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with white pepper and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This has great closing acidity.  This tastes great now with some air but I think some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Imprimata Grenache – $15.70

100% Grenache grown in the tough Ironstone laden hillside. The vines appear to float above the valley and the sea below, braving the winds off of the Southern Ocean and keeping yields achingly low, thus producing a profound Grenache of delicate balance. Aged in neutral oak for 5 months.  The winemaker is Ben Glaetzer, a very highly regarded and world renowned figure in the Australian wine community.

 

This is a bright ruby color.  The seductive nose has black cherries, raspberries, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, white pepper, cola and a hint of dried leafy herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the cherries and berries jump out on the front end with the savory elements rolling in later.  The finish has very good length with fruit, minerals and white pepper seeming to linger forever.  This is rich and ripe but not overblown like some Aussie wines.  This wouldn’t be mistaken for a Southern Rhone wine but who cares, this is very tasty stuff.  The longer the bottle was opened the more the savory notes came through on the back end and finish.  I’d sit on this one for a couple more years to see what happens.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2012 Imprimata Grenache

2012 Imprimata Grenache

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente – $22

This  was the 5th vintage of this wine made by Michael Havens (the first person to make Albarino in the New World) and Morgan Twain-Peterson.  The wine comes from two sites in the far southern part of Napa Valley.  This vintage consists of almost 60% grapes from the Watson Vineyard, which is planted in limestone.  The fruit from this vineyard adds density and perfume.  This was fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, with no malolactic.

 

The wine is a nice straw yellow color.  The invigorating nose has ripe apple, dusty minerals, lemon zest, white peach, under ripe melon and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate apples, lemon zest and white peach take control on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a bit of melon joining the apples and lemon zest.  This has great citrusy acidity with enough apple and peach to balance the tartness.  The couple years in the cellar have been very kind to this wine but I’d advise consuming this one over the next year or two.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the Sandler Pinot Noir with Pork Tenderloin medallions over egg noodles with a mustard sauce.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2018 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2017 Vol 3

 

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (barrel sample shiner)

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine) – $12.56

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This bottle was included in a “mystery case” offer.

 

This is an “orange” wine.  No, there were no oranges used to produce the wine.  An orange wine is a wine made with white grapes, in this case, Pinot Gris, that is fermented “on the skins” like a red wine.  The fermentation process gives the wine an orange tint, hence the name.

 

The wine is a light peach color.  The very fragrant nose has cherry skin, white peach, orange blossoms, honeysuckle, pears, chalky minerals and pears.  This has medium to full body with decent acidity and a touch of residual sweetness.  On the palate cherry skins, pears and minerals grab hold on the front end with a big floral note coming in later.  This has nice length with cherry skins, minerals and the lingering floral notes.  This is an oddity but in this case, it works nicely.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

 

 

 

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (unlabeled barrel sample)

This bottle of wine was a sample from a barrel that was aging at the winery.  This may not be representative of the final product since the released wines is produced by blending multiple barrels together.  Technically every barrel is slightly different so my sample may have been slightly better or worse than the released wine depending on the barrel that was used for my sample.  The released wine also would have spent additional time aging in the barrel, so that is another variable.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very open and outgoing nose is full of blackberry, black peppercorns, scorched earth, blueberries, cedar, baking spices, licorice and vanilla bean.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the front end is a warm berry pie full of blackberries, baking spices and blueberries.  The back end brings in black pepper and scorched earth notes.  The finish has nice length with cedar and vanilla bean providing depth.  This is a very easy to drink, fruit forward, Petite Sirah.  Some time in the cellar may allow some complexity to show through but why wait, enjoy this now for the great fruit and spice.  Since my bottle was an unlabeled sample, I don’t know the alcohol level or the closure used.  My bottle was closed with a manmade, spongy type closure.  No score since this wasn’t the released wine, but I did enjoy the wine.

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (shiner)

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (shiner)

 

 

 

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux – $16.48

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the release price was $32, so the Last Bottle price was almost 50% off.

 

This is a blend of 84% Grenache, 9% Syrah and 7% Mourvedre mostly from Lodi.

 

This is a deep ruby color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, raspberries, scorched earth, baking spices, blueberries and underbrush.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the front end is wall to wall fruit, thankfully some baking spices, underbrush and scorched earth come in on the backend.  The finish has good length and is again very fruit driven.  This is big, rich and lush and loaded with ripe fruit that pushes the sweetness a bit too far.  This may not be a wine for everyone but I bet it would be a smash hit at a holiday party.  I very much preferred the 2011 vintage of this wine.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (86 pts)

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

 

 

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White – $28.50

This wine is a blend of 54% Semillon from Monte Rosso Vineyard, 30% Muscadelle from Monte Rosso Vineyard and 16% Palomino from Saitone Ranch in the Russian River Valley.   All the vines were planted between 1886 and 1920.  The Muscadelle was fermented in all stainless steel.  The Palomino was fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% new oak.  The Semillon was fermented in all oak but only 22% new.  Malolactic fermentation was prevented to preserve acidity and freshness.  There were 316 cases produced.

 

This is a light golden yellow color.  The exuberant nose has tart apples, beeswax, lemon zest, unripe pineapple, crushed stone minerals and white peach.  This has a fairly full body with crisp acidity.  On the palate nice orchard fruit comes through on the front end with minerals, beeswax and pineapple coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest.  This is a contradictory wine, if it big and rich on the front end but when the lemony acidity kicks in on the finish it becomes lighter and more nuanced.  This is drinking very nicely today and should hold for at least a couple more years.  I liked this wine from the start but grew to appreciate it even more as the time rolled on.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

 

 

 

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT – $24.69

This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A “Super Tuscan” wine is a wine that includes grapes not traditionally associated with Italian wine like Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine is a fairly dark ruby color with some lightening at the edge.  The deep and exotic nose has blackberries, cherries, cocoa powder, licorice, underbrush, dried herbs, minerals and some well worn leather.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has loads of spicy, earthy fruit with dried herbs and cocoa powder adding considerable depth.  The finish has nice length, but a bit of oak pops out and gets a touch intrusive.  I don’t think there is a lot of upside by keeping this in the cellar but it should drink very nicely for the next five years, maybe even longer.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense – $12.99

This wine is mostly Syrah with a touch of Petite Sirah.  The winery likes to add a bit of Petite Sirah to most of their wines.  I was jokingly told they would add it to their Chardonnay if they could.  This wine was aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

 

The winery is one of the “big boys” in Lodi.  The family has been growing fruit and vegetable in the region since the 1850s and have been growing grapes for nearly 100 years.  With an eye to the future the winery has adopted some of the most progressive sustainable farming practices in the state.  All of the 750 acres of family vineyards are third party certified as being sustainably farmed.  Since the 2011 vintage, 100% of the Lodi grown fruit crushed at the winery has been certified as sustainably farmed.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website.

 

From the winery:

The Phillips brothers planted one of the first Syrah vineyards in California in 1982. With Michael’s son Kevin continuing the Phillips grape growing tradition into the 6th generation, this Syrah vineyard was one of the first he tended to as our Vineyard Manager. If you turn the bottle around you will see Kevin’s eye looking out from the inside of the bottle, making sure the wine is being enjoyed!

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, blueberries, asphalt, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso beans, dry underbrush, licorice, violets and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This has massive berries and ground espresso beans on the front end with underbrush, dark chocolate and a big floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and lingering with black pepper coming into play.  Not a lot of subtlety here but the big fruit and nice structure makes for a worthy companion for something hot off the grill.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This is a steal for the price.  (89 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

I paired the Ironstone Petite Sirah with a burger made from ground New York Strip steak.  The burger was topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese.

 

 

The Michael-David Syrah went very nicely with grilled beef and chicken fajitas.

 

 

A rib-eye steak was marinated several hours with Italian herbs and cooked to medium rare with the Sous Vide then finished in a smoking hot cast iron pan.  This paired very nicely with the Terrabianca Campaccio.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.69

This is a very popular white wine in my house.  This is usually a very easy to drink wine that works with a wide array of meals or on its own on a sunny day.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The vibrant nose has apples, honeysuckle, minerals, orange blossoms, white peach and lime zest.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  This has great front end fruit with minerals, honeysuckle and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has good length with a touch of mouthwatering lime zest.  This is very easy to sip on its own or with a light meal.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $45

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.

 

This wine is a deep maroon color.  The intoxicating nose is full of black raspberries, blueberries, violets, crushed stones, dry underbrush, licorice, Asian spices and white pepper.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  This is full of rich and velvety fruit on the front end of the palate with minerals, spices, white pepper and underbrush coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length with the fruit and minerals lingering nicely.  This still tastes great and is holding up nicely but I wouldn’t hold onto it for too much longer.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

 

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast – $16

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This 100% Pinot Noir uses grapes mainly from a western Russian River Valley vineyard with additional grapes from the Carneros region and others from the western edge of the Petaluma gap.  After fermentation the wine was aged for 10 months sur lies in French oak with 20% being new.

 

This wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, crushed stone minerals, strawberries, wildflowers, baking spices, white pepper and vanilla bean.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices and minerals come through on the front end with white pepper, earthy underbrush and vanilla bean coming in later.  The finish has good length with strawberry and a nice floral note providing depth.  For such a young wine, this is delicious with some air.  I wouldn’t stash this away in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next few years.  This has great balance and the bright flavors make this a perfect dinner companion to a wide array of meals.  I can’t believe I bought this for only $16, I really should have loaded up.  If Last Bottle offers this again, I’ll be all in.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range – $9.74

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 52% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot, 5% Mourvedre and 2% Cabernet Franc.

 

This was a house favorite when we wanted “something different”.  Unfortunately the winery closed so there won’t be more down the road.  Luckily, Last Bottle bought everything the winery had available and sold the wine at an incredible price.  Last Bottle didn’t just buy the winery’s finished wines but also bought barrels the winery had aging in their cellar.  When those wines were ready, they were bottled and released by Last Bottle.  I’ll have reviews of those wines down the road since I stocked up on those offers.

 

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has crushed berries, licorice, black peppercorns, dried wild flowers, dusty minerals, fresh ground espresso beans and dry earth.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and minerals pop out first with dry earth and a nice dried floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with espresso beans providing depth.  This is a nice, easy drinking everyday wine, especially at the price.  I’d enjoy this one over the next few years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (89 pts)

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve – $19.48

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a deep ruby red color.  The captivating nose has black cherries, charred wood, plums, crushed stone minerals, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla bean and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cocoa powder, minerals and plums quickly jump out on the front end with charred wood and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and violets providing additional depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for three to five more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 World's End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

 

 

 

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $25

This is a perennial best buy.  This is a blend of grapes from vineyards to small to have a vineyard designated wine or vineyards that are “new” sources for Turley.  The vines for this wine are 45 to over 130 years old.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The comforting nose has briary berries, dry earth, baking spices, black pepper, black cherries, licorice and plums.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, pepper and dry earth power the front end with plums, black cherries and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with licorice and dry earth joining the berries.  This still seems to be on the young side so there is no hurry with one.  This is rich and lush with good fruit and plenty of structure.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

I paired the Villa Creek Mas de Maha with a Rack of Pork, my favorite potatoes and mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.

 

 

 

I made up a large batch of spicy Mexican Meatballs and served them with Chipotle Refried Beans with the Turley Old Vine Zinfandel.

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Beef Cubed Steak and mashed red skin potatoes covered in a thick, rich gravy was paired with the World’s End Merlot.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2017 Vol 1

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch – $11.72

This was a purchase from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This bottle was included in a blind, mixed case purchase.  I never buy wine without knowing exactly what I am getting but make an exception for Last Bottle.  This wine had a release price of $28.

 

This Sonoma County wine is a blend of 50% Syrah from the winery’s Kivelstadt Vineyard, with 25% Carignane, and 25% Grenache from the Venturi Vineyard.  The lots were fermented separately and blended together after 4 months.  The wine was then aged for an additional 12 months in French oak with 10% being new.  There were 1,600 cases produced.

 

This is a deep garnet color.  The slightly shy nose has blackberries, dry underbrush, black cherries, roasted herbs and espresso beans.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate shows much more than the nose lead you to expect.  This has nice tart fruit but this is not a fruit driven wine with loads of savory notes dancing across your palate.  This still seems pretty tight even with a couple hours of air.  I’d stash this in the back of your cellar for a couple years, I think it will need a while to open.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father's Watch

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

 

 

 

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

McGinley Vineyard was formerly known as Westerly Vineyard is located in the newest Santa Barbara County AVA, Happy Canyon.

 

This is a light yellow color with a green tint.  The exhilarating nose has green apples, crushed stone minerals, lemongrass, honeysuckle and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  After a quick shot of green apples on the palate, crushed stones, lemongrass and honeysuckle take control.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lime zest joining the green apples and minerals.  I liked this more and more as the evening work on.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $18.99

This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir uses grapes from the Foley Family Estate in the Dundee Hills and the winery’s Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 100% French oak with 15% being new.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has black cherry, plum, violets, underbrush, warm baking spices and black tea leaves.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate nice dark fruit and spice lead the way with underbrush and black tea coming in later.  The finish is a touch tight and linear right now but a nice violet note provides some depth.  I’d recommend sitting on this for a while or give it a fair amount of air.  This will be better in 6 months to a year and drink nicely for another 5 years after that time.  This is well worth the tariff at my local Costco.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $25

Helioterra produces Pinot Noir, Mourvédre, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Arneis, Melon de Bourgogne, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Riesling. Their wines are distributed to several states and they have a very nice wine club.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light, bright ruby color.  The enjoyable nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stones, dry underbrush and wildflowers.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Cherries, crushed stones and white pepper jump out immediately on the palate with some dried earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with more minerals and a floral note providing nice depth.  This is a keeper.  This wine has 12.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo – $18.40

This wine includes a touch of Graciano.

 

Bokisch Vineyards is one of my favorite Lodi wineries.  The winery specializes in Spanish varietals.  If you ever find yourself in Lodi, I highly recommend a stop at Bokisch.  Besides their top notch red wines, they make some of the best white wines anywhere.  Much more information is available on the Bokisch website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The exotic nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, blackberries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, wildflowers, white pepper and a touch of dark roast coffee beans.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart black cherries, baking spices, underbrush and wildflowers immediately grab your attention on the palate with minerals, tart berries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dark roasted coffee beans and white pepper providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is very easy to enjoy.  Who says Lodi only makes big, bold red wines?  This is full of subtle nuances with no rough edges.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

 

 

 

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard – $30

This note is based on a bottle that was a “leaker”.  The cork had a small slit that allowed about a tablespoon of wine to leak out.  The wine seemed fine but a perfect bottle may show a little differently.

 

Kirschenmann Vineyard is an “own rooted” vineyard in Lodi that was planted in 1915.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The energetic nose has blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, dark chocolate, wildflowers and dry earth.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit on the front end sets up baking spices and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries and a nice floral note providing depth.  This is a lighter bodied, nuanced and lively zinfandel that carries no excess weight.  This has great balance and is very food friendly.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I had Chicken Kiev and my version of Rice-A-Roni with the Bokisch Tempranillo.

 

 

Pork Piccata with Gnocchi, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes paired very nicely with the Helioterra Pinot Noir.

 

 

The Four Graces Pinot Noir went very nicely with Corned Beef with Cabbage, Red Potatoes and Carrots.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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!

 

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