Posts from the ‘Sample Review’ Category

Cliffs Wine Picks – Vivanco Rioja Wines

 

This is based on samples provided by Wining Hour Chat and a bonus bottle from Foundations Marketing Group, NYC.

 

 

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

 

vivanco logo

 

 

Vivanco’s history began 100 years ago when Pedro Vivanco González, started to make wines with grapes from a small vineyard that the family had in Alberite, La Rioja, Spain.

 

A MAN AND HIS VISION  (from the winery)

 

A humble, amiable, conciliatory man, our father Pedro Vivanco Paracuellos began delivering wine on a bicycle in Logroño when he was 14 years old. Business grew quickly and soon he upgraded to a lorry, enabling him to deliver wine across La Rioja and surrounding provinces. It was on that road that he truly came to love wine. And he decided then, that if he did not start studying, he would not be able to devote his life to his passion. So he went to Requena and earned a degree in Oenology. He went on to purchase his first vineyard where our winery, museum and restaurant have since been built. We have been blessed, the business thrived and our family became even more immersed in Rioja wine culture. Wine made us who we are today and we believe we have the obligation to pay it back. With that focus in mind Bodegas Vivanco was officially born in 2004.

 

Much more information on the family, region and their wines is available on their website.

 

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Here was my line up for the #WiningHourChat online tasting:

vivanco line up

Vivanco Online Tasting Line Up

 

 

 

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

This is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha Tinta and 5% Garnacha Blanca from estate owned vineyards.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The open and giving nose has cherries, strawberries, orange blossoms, melon, white peach and crushed stones.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and crushed stones jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and white peach coming in later.  The finish has good length with melon and a hint of leafy green herbs providing nice depth.  I wish it would have been a warm and sunny day since this wine would shine on the deck or patio.  As is, this is an easy wine of kick back and sip with or without food.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a manmade plastic like closure.  (90 pts)

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

 

 

 

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

This is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano from an estate owned vineyard.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 24 months in a mix of French and American oak barrels.  The unusual shaped bottle was inspired by an 18th century bottle.

 

The wine is a medium ruby to violet color.  The inviting nose has berries, black cherries, well worn leather, roasted herbs, vanilla bean, plums and tobacco.  This has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this shows a nice balance between the up front fruit and the savory notes that are lurking around every corner.  This has nice length but could use a bit more body on the back end.  This is on the young side, if it can add a bit of weight and fill out on the finish this could be a gem in a couple years.  For now it is very enjoyable and easy to sip.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

 

 

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado – SRP $15

This is based on a sample provided by the winery or a company representing the winery.

 

This is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache.  In the past I sampled their white and red Rioja wines and liked them more than the Rosado.  More info on them is available on this site.

 

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The alluring nose has cherries, strawberries, orange zest, leafy herbs, crushed stone minerals, white peach and melon.  This has medium body with decent acidity.  On the palate red fruit and minerals open the show with orange zest, leafy herbs and white peach coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some melon providing depth.  The finish gets a touch soft, a little more acidity would be welcome.  Overall, a nice Rosé to sip on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a plastic “cork”.  (87 pts)

2016 vivanco rioja tempranillo-garnacha rosado

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

 

 

Conclusion

The winery also makes a very enjoyable white wine and Crianza that I had previously reviewed.  My blog featuring those wines are available by clicking here.

Vivanco wines are imported to the United States by Opici Imports and represented by Foundations Marketing Group, NYC.

 

 

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The #WiningHourChat is a Twitter based online wine chat that occurs every Tuesday for an hour starting at 9:00 Eastern.  The chat is full of very knowledgeable and friendly wine lovers and people that want to learn more about wine.  Every week there is a new theme.  Follow #WiningHourChat on Twitter to see what the week’s theme is and to join in the conversation.

 

Who:  Us, You, Our Friends, Your Friends, Everyone, Anyone

What:  A Twitter Wine Tasting & Discussion Entitled, #WiningHourChat

When: Tuesdays at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST

Where: Twitter @WiningHourChat using the hashtag #WiningHourChat

Why: Because. It’s The Wining Hour. Who doesn’t enjoy the wining hour?

 

 

 

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 2019 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:

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!

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

This was a winery supplied sample.

 

 

 

 

 

This was a pre-release sample that was provided by the winery.   The release price will be $48.

 

The total production was a minuscule 66 cases of wine with a scheduled release in mid-January.  The wine was aged about 13 months in French Oak (50% new) from the Alliere region of France, cooperages are Damy and Billon.

 

To purchase this wine or any of the other wonderful wines the winery produces, you need to get on their mailing list.  The winery does enjoy distribution in parts of the country, but I don’t believe their limited production wines are distributed, so join the mailing list.  As opposed to other winery mailing lists, you are under no obligation to purchase wines.  The winery will not drop you if you do not purchase wines and it is a simple process to opt out of receiving future e-mails from them if you decide to leave.

 

To learn more about the winery or to join their Mailing List, visit their website by clicking here.  The winery has a tasting room on Vine Alley in the Sonoma Court Shops at the historic Sonoma Plaza at 29 E. Napa Street in Sonoma.

 

 

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard – SRP $48

This was a pre-release sample supplied by the winery.  We had the wine with food on the first evening and I followed the bottle over the next couple of days to note its’ evolution.  The wine was better every day and would have probably been even better in coming days, but my bottle was drained.

 

The grapes for this wine come from a cool climate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast that overlooks the San Pablo Bay.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The totally invigorating nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, crushed stone minerals, melon, toasty oak and lemon zest.  This has medium to full body with crisp acidity and a creamy mouth feel.  On the palate tart apples, pears, minerals and spicy oak come through on the front end with melon and orange blossoms coming in on the backend.  The finish has very good length with lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is extremely young, as a matter of fact, it has not even been released at this point.  That said, this is already showing very nice balance.  The oak does peek through at a few points but I’m sure it will integrate nicely in the coming months.  This is very food friendly and is an impressive first Chardonnay from Jean Edwards Cellars.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

 

Conclusion

This was a very enjoyable wine.  Even my wife, who doesn’t like Chardonnay wines, liked this one and told me I need to buy some.  I was already planning on grabbing this one as soon as it is released.  This has a touch of spicy oak and has a nice creamy element but it is not a buttery oak monster wine.

 

 

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 – McKahn Family Cellars

 

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or an entity acting on their behalf.

 

 

 

 

McKahn Family Cellars is a San Francisco Bay Area based wine brand established in 2014 that is dedicated to crafting limited production wines of quality and character from some of the best vineyards in California.  We believe a bottle of wine is an experience from the first glass to the last, and that the last should always be the best.  We also believe that wine tastes better when shared and accompanied with good food and conversation.  So please enjoy our wines with friends, because nobody likes to drink alone.

 

The winemaker for McKahn Family Cellars is Charles McKahn, a 2011 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Enology program.  Charles has worked for McKahn Family and Tolosa as well as currently being the head winemaker at William Harrison Winery and in the past was the Assistant Winemaker for Chappellet Winery.

 

The winery has a three tier wine club, with 4, 6 or 12 bottles a shipments three times a year.  All three levels offer discounts as well as invitations to events and release parties.  The winery also offers individual, group and private tastings in their tasting room in Livermore, CA.  Information on the different tastings and setting up your own “special occasion” with up to 32 guests is available on their website.

 

More information about the family, the winery and more importantly their wines is available on their website.

 

 

 

Here are the wines included in this tasting:

McKahn Family Cellars

McKahn Family Cellars

 

 

 

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley – SRP $32

The grapes for this wine came from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.  The grapes were whole cluster pressed to tank and allowed to settle for a day.  After the primary lees were racked off, this was inoculated with yeast.  The wine was then moved to neutral barrels for fermentation and six months of aging.  There were only 125 cases produced.

 

The wine is a very light yellow straw color.  The fresh and vibrant nose has bananas, lime zest, melon, unripe pineapple, white peach, chalky minerals, gardenia and anise.  This has medium to full body with good acidity.  This is fresh and fruity on the front end with white peach, banana, melon and pineapple.  On the back end minerality emerges along with a nice floral note.  The finish have good length with mouthwatering lime zest entering the picture enticing your to grab another sip.  This is a very easy to drink Viognier that downplays the usually over powering floral notes.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

 

 

 

 

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena – SRP $45

The grapes for this wine come from Saint Helena in the Napa Valley.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels with 40% new and 60% neutral.  There were only 140 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, saturated ruby color.  This has the nose you run into every once in a while that makes you want to just keep swirling and sniffing, it is full of blackberries, plums, roasted meat, black peppercorns, violets, bacon fat, freshly ground espresso beans, dark bittersweet chocolate, dusty minerals and licorice.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate reflects the nose with nice layers of savory elements complimenting the blackberry and plums, the freshly ground espresso beans is especially noteworthy.  The finish gets a touch clipped when the tannins and acidity kick in but this improves with extended air.  This tastes very good now with considerable air but you will be greatly rewarded stashing this in your cellar for a couple years.  This has the balance to age and improve for a decade or more.  I really like this wine, it is loaded with flavor without pushing the ripeness level.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

 

 

 

I paired the McKahn Family Syrah with a thick cut pork chop that was cooked to medium rare with a Sous Vide and finished in a hot cast iron pan.  The side dishes were sautéed carrots and a Cheesy Broccoli-Cauliflower casserole featuring vegetables fresh from the garden.

 

 

 

Conclusion

These were both exceptional wines, especially the Syrah.  I wholeheartedly recommend checking out these wines.  Besides the two wines I have featured, the winery also produce a Chardonnay, a Zinfandel and a Grenache Rosé.  One note of caution, the winery is currently only able to ship their wine to a limited number of states.  A good way to keep informed and up to date is to subscribe to their mailing list/newsletter via the website, there is a nice reward attached to your welcome e-mail.

 

 

 

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 – November 2017 Vol 4

 

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

 

 

 

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills – $9.99

This was purchased from a special offer to Loring mailing list customers who had made recent purchases.

 

Here is what the winery says about the wine:

The wines are made from all of our top vineyard sources – Rosella’s, Garys’, Aubaine, Clos Pepe, Kessler-Haak, and Rancho La Viña.  We typically choose barrels that are a bit earthier to create the Mateo wines.  They’re really tasty – and both the 2014 and 2015 vintages are showing great right now.  And why are we doing this?  We made a bit extra of the Mateo wines for anticipated sales in Europe, which are going slower than expected.  So we’ve decided to clear out the wines to make space for our new vintage by offering you a once in a lifetime kinda deal.  We don’t have a lot, and at the price, we’ll only be offering the wines by the case to help limit our overhead.  It’ll be some of, if not the BEST, affordable every day drinking wine you’ll ever encounter.  You SERIOUSLY don’t want to miss out on this offer!!

 

The wine is a shade lighter than ruby.  The very appealing nose has black cherries, dry earthy underbrush, vanilla bean, violets, dark roast coffee beans and orange zest.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate nice sweet fruit comes through on the front end with the savory elements coming in on the midpalate before the fruit grabs back control on the backend and nicely lingering finish.  This is a bit earthier then the Loring single vineyard offerings but the usual ripe fruit still grabs the spotlight.  I can’t believe I was able to grab a case of this for under $10 a bottle.  This has to be the absolute best $10 Pinot I have ever tasted.  Liked it enough that I had to grab a case of the 2015 vintage for the same price.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

 

 

 

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal – SRP $17

This was a sample provided by the winery or another company representing the winery.

 

I was looking forward to trying this bottle.  A previous sample a few months ago of the 2015 vintage was corked.

 

This wine is a blend of 74% Albariño, 10% Loureiro, 7% Godello, 5% Treixadura and 4% Caiño Blanco.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a slight green tint.  The sensuous nose has green apples, white peach, orange blossoms, sea breeze, leafy green herbs, pineapple and lime zest.  This has medium body with a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate bright upfront fruit is buffered by sea breeze, herbs and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has good length with a touch of mouthwatering lime zest forcing you to grab another sip.  This is a top notch Albarino that tastes great and offers nice complexity.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

 

 

 

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur – $19.99

For this vintage, this perennial personal favorite is a blend of 33% Petite Sirah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and 3% Merlot.  There were 430 barrels produced so this wine should be available in most areas.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, black cherries, warm baking spices, scorched earth, plums, licorice, black peppercorns and a touch of vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices and plums pop out quickly on the front end with scorched earth, plums and black peppercorns coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with licorice and vanilla providing some depth.  This is starting to get a little shallow on the back end and finish so I’d probably open this one in the next year or two.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2012 Murrieta's Well The Spur

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

 

 

 

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – $30.94

This was a purchase from Last Bottle Wines, as a matter of fact, this bottle was included in a “mystery case” I purchased.  I don’t very often buy any wine totally blind but I make an exception for Last Bottle since they have never let me down.  Please see below for more information on them and the opportunity to receive a credit on your account by signing up for their e-mail list.

 

I enjoyed seeing this bottle in my mystery case.  It brought back some nice memories since I visited the winery several years ago and sampled their line up of wines.

 

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The open and inviting nose has cassis, cedar, baking spices, tobacco, licorice, dusty minerals, vanilla bean, mocha and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  This has nice upfront cassis, cedar, tobacco and baking spices with minerals and vanilla coming in later.  The finish has very good length with licorice and mocha providing very nice depth.  This has great balance and is in a fantastic drinking window.  This can be enjoyed over the next several years.  I liked this more and more with every sip.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

 

 

 

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva – $14.69

I needed a bottle of bubbly to make Mimosas and this seemed to be a decent midpoint selection.  I didn’t want to ruin a real nice bottle by mixing it with orange juice but I also knew we’d have half the bottle with Mimosas and consume the remainder with lunch so I didn’t want to go too low end.

 

This is a light yellow straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The slightly shy nose has green apples, lemon zest, subtle underbrush, chalky minerals and tart pears.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and great inner mouth effervescence.  On the palate tart apple and pears slowly give way to minerals and a hint of underbrush.  The finish has very good length with zippy lemon zest.  Not the most complex sparkling wine out there but more than acceptable for a party or to serve with a light lunch.  This has 11.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (88 pts)

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

 

 

 

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant – $16.74

This was a purchase from Last Bottle Wines, as a matter of fact, this was another bottle that was included in a “mystery case” I purchased.  Like I mentioned above, I don’t very often buy any wine totally blind but I make an exception for Last Bottle since they have never let me down.  Please see below for more information on them Last Bottle mystery case.

 

This is a blend of 47% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre and 18% Grenache from Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, road tar, crushed stone minerals, blueberries, scorched earth, underbrush, black cherries and dark roasted coffee beans.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  The front end is loaded with dark, rich fruit with minerals, underbrush and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with black cherries and dark roast coffee beans providing depth.  This is a big wine that could use a bit more acidity to help hold everything together, as is it does get a bit unwieldy on the back end and finish.  I wouldn’t hold onto this one for too long, open this in the next year or two.  This has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

 

 

 

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 Cyper Peasant with a Jalapeno-Cheddar Brat and fries for an easy week night dinner.

 

 

 

The Rutherford Grove Cabernet was perfect with Slow Braised Short Ribs over mashed potatoes.

 

 

 

 

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 – November 2017 Vol 3

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi – $19.79

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 Lodi

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru – $28.02

This was a purchase from Last Bottle Wines, please see below for more information on them and the opportunity to receive a credit on your account by signing up for their e-mail list.

 

My previous bottle seemed a bit tired and perhaps past its prime but that was clearly an off bottle.

 

This is a light straw color with several persistent streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exhilarating nose has tart apples, lemon zest, yeasty bread, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms and roasted nuts.  This has light body with great inner mouth effervescence and crisp acidity.  This has nice fruit on the front end with the savory notes quickly entering the picture.  The finish has nice length with yeasty bread and minerals providing a nice counterpoint to the fruit.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (90 pts)

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

 

 

 

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey – $24.99

This 100% Pinot Noir is from the village of Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise region.  The vines are an average of 25 years old.  After a traditional fermentation, the wine is aged 10 to 12 months in stainless steel vats.  The wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, chalky minerals, orange zest, dry earth and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals jump out first with white pepper and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with white pepper and a hint of orange zest adding nice depth.  Not the most complex wine out there, but this is very tasty and offers great QPR for around $25.  (90 pts)

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

 

 

 

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard – $49

Rhys makes world class wines that usually need a few years in the cellar to develop and open up before they show their best.

 

This vineyard used to be a Christmas tree farm.  In 2002 the Sletten, Martin, Sullivan and Harvey families formed a partnership and decided to convert the farm into a vineyard due to its loamy clay soil and eastern aspect.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The exotic and sexy nose features cherries, black raspberries, crushed stones, white pepper, Asian spices, fresh cut flowers and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and outstanding acidity.  On the palate spicy red and black fruit dominate on the front end with the savory elements coming in later.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with tart, spicy cherries, minerals and some earthiness lingering seemingly forever.  This still seems young and there is absolutely no hurry to open this one.  Even at 10 years old, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch – $40.50

Vincent Arroyo holds a special place in my heart.  This was one of the first wineries I visited on my first trip to Napa many years ago.  For me, a trip to Napa isn’t complete without a stop at the winery which usually includes trying just about everything they have aging in barrels.  If you ever visit the winery, Greenwood Ranch is the home vineyard around the winery.  The winery owns 85 acres and cultivate 9 different wine grape varieties.  The winery produces about 8,000 cases of wine a year.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has blackberries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, melted licorice, blueberries, dry underbrush and a touch of adhesive tape.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit comes through on the front end with minerals, spices and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice balance between the fruit and savory elements.  This is in a very good drinking window with the tannins integrated and very good acidity.  Caution with this one, my cork pretty much disintegrated and there was a LOT of sediment.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

 

 

 

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine – SRP $45

This wine was supplied to me by Lodi Wine to help celebrate Zinfandel Day.

 

There are always heated arguments over what should be considered to be an “old vine”.  In this case, there should be no disagreement that this wine comes from “ancient vines” since the vineyard was planted in the 1800’s.  To me, a wine produced from vines over 100 years old deserves to be called Ancient Vines.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has plums, brambly berries, white pepper, dry earth, baking spices and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  This has bright fruit on the front end and nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has good length with nice sweet fruit and spice.  This is a nicely structured zinfandel that shows good balance with no over ripe notes.  This tastes very good now but a year in the cellar will be rewarded.  This has a surprising 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)

2013 Jessie's Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient 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.

 

 

The Louis Latour Mercurey paired wonderfully with ham, macaroni & cheese and mixed peas from this year’s garden.

 

 

I paired the Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel with a cooler weather staple, Red Beans & Rice.

 

 

I opted to open the Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah with prime rib instead of my normal Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

The Macchia Zinfandel was my choice to open with a large serving of Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Rías Baixas

 

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience – Not part of the tasting event

 

These wines were supplied to me for a massive tasting of wines from Spain’s Rías Baixas region.  One bottle was supplied to me as a separate review sample and included as a bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

In 1980 “Denominación Específica Albariño” was created specifically to honor the Albariño grape variety.  In 1986 when Spain joined the European Union, the name had to be changed since EU wine laws did not recognize a DO named for a single grape variety.  This was the birth of DO Rías Baixas.  Since 1988, DO Rías Baixas has complied with all Spanish and EU wine regulations.  DO Rías Baixas is regulated by the Consejo Regulador (local governing body) which ensures adherence to permitted grape varieties, viticultural practices, winemaking and aging procedures.

 

 

 

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $16.99

The wine is a pale straw color.  The bright and lively nose has tart apples, lemon and lime zest, chalky minerals, leafy herbs and orange blossoms.  This has a light body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab control on the front end with lime zest and leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with orange blossoms joining the tart apples and lemon zest.  This is Spring in a bottle.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $15

The wine is a bright yellow with a slight green tint.  The fresh nose has apples, pears, apricot, lime zest and a light herbal note.  This has medium body with decent acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate green apples, pears and lemon zest jump out immediately with lime zest and a touch of a green herbal note coming in later.  The finish has decent length with tart acidity buffering the residual sweetness.  This would be perfect on its’ own on a warm and sunny deck or patio.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio – SRP 19.99

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The soothing nose has green apples, pears, white peach, leafy herbs, stony minerals and lemon zest.  This has medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by white peach on the front end with leafy herbs and lemon zest coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a hint of minerality making an appearance before the mouthwatering lemon zest cleans everything up and forces you to grab another sip.  The nice acidity would make this a great companion to a lighter seafood meal on a sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

 

 

 

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal – SRP $20

My bottle of this wine was unfortunately corked.  The over riding notes were musty paper, dry straw and dehydrated apples.  The palate was overly musty with tart acidity.  (Flawed)

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

 

 

 

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas – SRP $17

The wine is a light straw yellow color.  The vibrant nose has apples, pineapple, orange blossoms, chalky minerals, white peach, lemon zest and a hint of green leafy herbs.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and white peach come through on the front end with orange blossoms slipping in later.  The finish has good length with lemon zest and a touch of leafy herb providing extra depth.  This is a very nice Albarino with nice up front fruit and enough savory elements to provide balance.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a manmade cork like closure.  (92 pts)

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release – SRP $15.99

The wine is a pale yellow color.  The soothing nose has ripe apples, white peach, pineapple, orange blossoms, lime zest and a slight leafy herb note.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate orchard fruit and sweet pineapple quickly grab your attention with orange blossoms and lime zest coming in on the back end.  The finish is full of fruit and has nice length.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it is a very fruit driven, tasty wine.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

 

 

 

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $18

The wine is a pale yellow color with a slight green tint.  The appealing nose has apples, white peach, beeswax, orange blossoms and lime zest.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, white peach and orange blossoms come through on the front end with beeswax slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lime zest providing nice depth.  This would be right at home on a warm, sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas – SRP $14

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The sensuous nose has ripe apples, white peach, pineapple, crushed stones, orange blossoms, lemongrass and lemon zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, pineapples and crushed stones jump out on the front end with lemongrass, white peach and orange blossoms coming in later.  The crisp finish has good length with tart lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is made to enjoy on a sunny day with a light meal.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años – SRP $18.99

The wine is a medium yellow straw color.  The appealing nose has apples, peach, leafy herbs, gardenia and orange zest.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate apples and peaches come through on the front end with leafy herbs and gardenias coming in later.  The finish has decent length with tart orange zest providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it is very easy to drink.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

 

 

 

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $25

The wine is a light straw yellow color.  The exuberant nose has apples, white peach, orange blossoms, lemon zest, pineapple, minerals and a hint of white pepper.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  Ripe apples, white peach and minerals hit the palate on the front end with orange blossoms, pineapple and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with lemon zest providing depth.  This is a fresh and fruity Albarino with would excel on a warm, sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience – SRP $18

The wine is a light straw yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, minerals, bananas, melon, lime zest and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate apples, minerals and lime zest jump out on the front end with melon and leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has apples and mouth watering lime zest.  This has a creamy texture on the front end with zippy acidity coming in on the back end keeping it in balance.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience

 

 

 

Conclusion

These wines excel during the Spring and Summer, but are also great any time of the year.  If you or a family member is a white wine lover, open a bottle for Thanksgiving instead of the normal Chardonnay.

 

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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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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