Posts from the ‘Sample Review’ Category

Cliffs Wine Picks – Albariño Wines from Lodi

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.

 

These wines were provided to me for International Albariño Day which was on August 1st.  Since Lodi always raises the bar a notch or two, they turned the day into a long weekend.  Six Lodi wineries, Bokisch Vineyards, Dancing Coyote Wines, Estate Crush, Klinker Brick Winery, Mettler Family Vineyards and Oak Farm Vineyards hosted festivities and special tastings from August 4th to the 6th.

 

Albariño [al-bah-ree-nyoh] is one of the major grape varietals grown in Spain.  The Rias Baixas region is the “home base” for the grape.  The grape occupies 90% of the 8,650 acres of vines planted in Rias Baixas by thousands of independent growers.  This is a thick skinned grape that creates fragrant and floral wines with crisp acidity.

 

Even though the Lodi region is a long way from Rias Baixas, the wines produced here retain the characteristics of their Spanish counterparts but with a touch more ripeness while at the same time maintaining the crisp acidity that allows the wines to be served with a wide range of dishes.  The wine shines when paired with fish and shellfish.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

Here is my line-up for this tasting:

Lodi Albariño Line-up

Lodi Albariño Line-up

 

 

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi – SRP $18

The grapes for this wine come from the epicenter of Albariño in Lodi, Bokisch Vineyards.  The vines are 12 years old and planted in volcanic, gravelly grey loom.  After fermentation, malolactic fermentation was blocked to retain the fresh, crisp acidity.  The wine was aged in 100% stainless steel.  The total production was a miniscule 84 cases.

 

Estate Crush is a custom winemaking operation in downtown Lodi that handles growers desires to make wines from their grapes.  They can process anything from one barrel of wine up to 20 ton lots.  The facility was founded in Spring 2009 and opened in December 2011 and is currently the “home” of 35 brands and 88 wines.

 

More information on the facility is available on their website by clicking here.

 

This is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has green apples, white peach, unripe pineapple, orange blossoms, melon, fresh leafy herbs, lavender, lemon zest and a touch of sea breeze.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart green apples, pineapple and orange blossoms grab your attention on the front end with white peach and lavender coming in later.  The finish has great length with leafy herbs and mouthwatering lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is a really nice Albariño that would be perfect on a warm, sunny day.  This is very easy to kick back and sip.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi – SRP $15

The grapes for this 100% Albariño come from the Mokelumne River appellation in Lodi and were harvested on August 11, 2016.

 

Klinker Brick is owned by Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region.  In the early days, the grapes were picked and packed in boxes that were shipped to the east coast and Canada for home winemakers.  In the late 1980s the winery upgraded their processes and equipment to reduce yields but greatly increase the quality of their grapes.  A few years later the family added winemaking to their resume and released their first vintage of wine.

 

Much more information on Klinker Brick and the Felten family is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale greenish yellow color.  The bright and lively nose has green apples, white peach, lemon peel with some pith, dusty minerals, melon, tangerine and a touch of leafy green herb.  This has light to medium body with great acidity.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and melon jump out quickly with lemon zest and minerals slipping in on the back end.  The mouthwatering finish has very good length with tangerine, lemon pith and a touch of leafy herb providing very nice depth.  The bright citrus makes this a delightful wine to sip alone or with a light meal on a sunny day.  I liked the slight bitter bite on the finish.  I’d love to kick back and sip this on the deck during the upcoming eclipse.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown – SRP $20

The winery says this wine “pairs perfectly with a good time”, I have to wholeheartedly agree.

 

The Mettler family have been growing grapes in the region for six generations.  The family’s organically farmed vineyards have produced many great wines over the years and their sustainable practices mean continued quality in the coming years.  The Mettler family have roots in the wine industry dating back into the 1770s.  The family planted their first vineyard in Lodi in late 1800s.  As with most Lodi grape growers, for most of their history the grapes were sold to other producers but in 2001 the family produced and released their first estate wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

One of my stops in a visit to Lodi last year was at the winery.  These are top notch grape growers and winemakers but more importantly they are friendly and knowledgeable first class people.  Much more information on the winery, the Mettler family and their history is available by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light yellow color.  the outgoing and vibrant nose has green apples, pears, chalky minerals, lime zest, spring flowers, melon and a touch of fresh leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by minerals on the front end with melon and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish lingers nicely with a hint of leafy herbs and a nice jolt of mouthwatering lime zest.  This has enough body to stand up to a slightly heartier dish but with enough acidity to keep it bright and lively.  In my case, it paired wonderfully with pasta tossed with some garlic olive oil topped with a few slices of baked tomatoes that were topped with some fresh basil and oregano.  I really like this wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle (which is one of the nicer I’ve seen) is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

 

Pairing Suggestion

Here is a quick and easy meal that pairs nicely with any of these wines.

 

Slice a vine ripened tomato into 1/2″ slices.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with fresh basil, oregano and garlic.

Bake the slices in a 350 degree over for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle a touch of cheese over the slices and return to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.

Place the tomatoes over pasta that was tossed with some olive oil (and any juice from the baked tomatoes)

Serve with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a slice of garlic bread to soak up the juice and olive oil.

 

For added garlic flavor we prefer to use a garlic-olive oil.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

In my opinion, Albariño has found a new home in Lodi.  The perfect growing conditions allow the grapes to ripen at their pace allowing them to be harvested with great flavor and concentration but with the crisp acidity the wines need to be fresh and vibrant.  These are very easy to enjoy wines that pair very nicely with a wide array of lighter, warm weather meals.  These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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 – Parducci True Grit

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

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

 

 

 

About Parducci and Mendocino Wine Company

 

This years marks Parducci Wine Cellar’s 85th anniversary, the longest running winery in Mendocino County.  The Thornhill family own and operate the winery, as with any family owned business, dedication to the land and people associated with the operation is the number one priority.  For example, the head winemaker, Bob Swain, is celebrating his 20th year in the position.

 

The Thornhill family continues the tradition of sustainable wine growing and land use practices.  They have created an example for how to leave the world a little better than they found it.  In recognition of their leadership, the State of California three times (2007, 2009 & 2014) awarded Parducci Wine Cellars with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest environmental honor.

 

 

 

“Boldly expressive of rich character, True Grit RESERVE wines are the product of very selective fruit sourcing and hands-on winemaking.  Each vintage gives the full range of expression for a fearlessly distinct wine.”

 

The True Grit line of reserve wines use only the best fruit from the finest vineyards in Mendocino County.  This is the 10th vintage for the True Grit Reserve line of wines.

 

 

Here is my line up for this tasting:

True Grit Lineup

True Grit Lineup

 

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay – SRP $17.99

This wine is 100% Mendocino County grown Chardonnay.  The wine was aged in 93% new French oak and 7% stainless steel tanks.

 

The wine is a straw yellow color.  The sexy nose has apples, pears, dead wood embers, lemon zest, spring flowers and a touch of spicy oak.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and a slightly creamy mouth feel.  This has nice upfront white fruit and spicy oak with spring flowers and a bit of charred wood coming in later.  The crisp and lingering finish is highlighted with mouthwatering lemon zest.  This has the body and acidity to be a very nice accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.  I’m not a big fam of oaky Chardonnay wines but in this case the spicy oak provides nice depth and spice without stealing the spotlight from the bright fruit.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Parducci Chardonnay True Grit Reserve

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red – SRP $19.99

This is a red blend that uses some decidedly “outside the box” varietals.  This is a blend of 29% Carignan, 28% Zinfandel, 16% Grenache,  10% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Souzão, 2% Tinto Cão and 2% Touriga Nacional.  The grapes are 100% from Mendocino County.  The wine was aged for 12 months in 40% seasoned oak barrels and 60% neutral tanks.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The mysterious nose has plums, black cherries, tobacco, crushed stone minerals, dark chocolate, blueberries, baking spices, coconut and dry underbrush.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, tobacco, baking spices and tobacco jump out on the front end with dark chocolate, blueberries and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a touch of coconut providing depth.  This is a fairly big and bold wine that would go nicely with something hot off the grill.  I wouldn’t stash this in the cellar, open this over the next few years and enjoy the dark fruit and spice.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

 

 

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP $19.99

This 100% Mendocino wine includes 1% Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 6 months in French oak, 35% new.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The expressive nose has cassis, scorched earth, cherry, eucalyptus, freshly ground espresso beans, chalky minerals, dark chocolate and a touch of licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis, chalky minerals, espresso beans and scorched earth quickly jump out on the front end with cherry and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with scorched earth and chalky minerals moving into the foreground with the fruit in the background providing nice supporting sweetness.  This could use a bit of time in the cellar or some air and a nice piece of grilled meat.  This is a very nice bottle of Cabernet for around $20.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2015 Parducci Cabernet Sauvignon True Grit Reserve

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

Conclusion

These are all very nice, well balanced wines that are reasonably priced.  Any would be a welcome addition to your dinner table.

 

 

 

 

About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.

 

The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.

 

The results speak for themselves.

 

The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.

 

For more information on Balzac, please click here.

 

 

 

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 – Spanish Whites from vintae

 

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

 

 

These wines were provided by vintae, a Spanish wine company that represents wineries throughout Spain and 401 West Communications.

 

 

Vintae was created to reflect the current Spanish wine landscape – Spanish wines with diverse terroirs fall under the Vintae portfolio, varying in style, flavor and even price point. The Arambarri family has a long history in wine and agriculture and they want people to have fun with wine and not take it so seriously. Their goal is to revolutionize Spanish winemaking and show the vast array of style and flavors that Spain is capable of creating.

 

At Vintae, our dream is to revolutionize the wine world. Only by taking risks will we accomplish our dream. Vintae is not just a wine company; it is a new way of experiencing wine.

 

Our vineyards span fourteen regions of Spain, and while our roots began in Rioja, we were inspired and captivated by the diverse wine growers and terroir that dominate our country. These regions and landscapes each have their own story and it’s our dream to share them with the rest of the world in ways that have not been done or tasted before.

 

Our vineyards and wineries are unique, just like the people who work tirelessly to create top quality products. We are a family who come from around the world, united by the same idea to share our story and our dream to revolutionize wine.

 

Much more information on vintae and their wineries is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

Here are the wines for this post:

Tasting Line Up

Tasting Line Up

 

 

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas – SRP $15.99

This is 100% Albariño from vineyards located in Condado de Tea, on the right bank of River Miño.  The vineyard is on rolling slopes in sandy soils with a granite subsoil at altitudes between 100 and 250 m above sea level.  The overhead vineyard uses a trellis system, reaching a height of up to 2.80 m.  The grapes are manually harvested into plastic boxes.  After sorting the grapes are pressed.  The alcoholic fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless-steel vats at a 18ºC.   After fermentation the wine is racked to separate the lees and it undergoes a cold stabilization.  After being filtered the wine is finally bottled.

 

The wine is a very light straw yellow color.  The refreshing nose has green apples, kiwi, lemon zest and just a hint of ripe banana.  This is just barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and kiwi grab your attention on the front end with tart, mouthwatering lemon zest coming in on the back end and lingering nicely on the long finish.  This is Spring in a bottle, ready to be your companion on a warm, sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco – SRP $9.99

This wine is Viura with lesser amounts of other varietals.  The Viura is from an old vineyard in the area of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja).  The grapes were hand harvested during the entire month of October.   After fermentation, the wine was aged between 3 and 4 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a very light and pale straw yellow color.  The delicate and enticing nose has tart apples, white peach, chalky minerals, citrus zest and a hint of spicy oak.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, peaches and chalky minerals jump out quickly on the front end with lime zest slipping in later.  The finish has very nice length with lemon zest providing great depth and a touch of spicy oak comes in at the end.  This could use a bit of cellar time for the oak notes to better integrate.  This is a delicious white Rioja that will go with a wide variety of lighter meals.  This is very easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerate cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

 

 

Conclusion

These are both nicely nuanced, lighter bodied wines that would be a welcome addition to a meal any time of the year but especially on a warm, sunny day.

 

 

 

 

Rebekah Polster formed 401 West Communications in the winter 2016 after working in public relations and marketing for over 15 years. She has worked with a variety of brands, including: Wines from Rioja, Drink Ribera. Drink Spain, Wines from Spain, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, Yarden Wines of Israel, Grupo Codorníu, Francis Ford Coppola Wineries; Grey Goose Vodka, Bacardi Rum, Van Gogh Vodka, TAP Whisky, Grand Marnier; Valor Chocolates from Spain, Prosciutto di Parma; Joto Sake, illy caffe, Riedel and Spiegelau Crystal, Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Resorts.

 

Rebekah’s diverse background in public relations, marketing, event planning and account management has been tapped for overseeing major press, trade and consumer events, including day-of events and guerrilla marketing, small intimate tastings and press meetings. Rebekah has accumulated key contacts in the food and beverage industry, including sommeliers, mixologists, retailers and educators. She has cultivated a large rolodex of journalist contacts in food, beverage and lifestyle media, adding to the key placements generated for her clients.

 

Rebekah Polster

401 West Communications

President

917.583.5958

http://www.401westcomm.com/

 

 

 

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!

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

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

 

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

Overview:

Faust is owned by Agustin Huneeus, the person who created Quintessa.  When I was offered a sample of the latest Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a quick and easy answer…YES!

 

Faust Vineyard

Faust Vineyard

 

 

About the company:

Faust, the wine, celebrates a legend which has inspired many great minds, among them the German poet Goethe, from whose masterpiece we draw our inspiration.  In Goethe’s most famous work, the aging scholar Dr. Faust barters his soul in the afterlife in exchange for another chance at youth.  He gets his chance, yet ultimately his soul is saved by love.

 

Faust is indeed the fruit of renewed passion for Agustin Huneeus, though Mephistopheles has not yet appeared to claim his soul.  The underlying premise for all of the wines he has ever produced has been that great wines must be a reflection of a great vineyard.  Faust is not.  Instead, Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley’s noblest grape – full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Much more information on Agustin and the winery is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

About Agustin Huneeus:

Behind every great wine stands a passionate vintner.  Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the creation of Agustin Huneeus and it continues to satisfy his long held desire to produce a wine that embodies the most seductive characteristics of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin is one of the few vintners who has dedicated his entire professional life to wine.  With a career spanning 50 years, he has produced wine in more than 15 countries.  Perhaps best known today for creating Quintessa, the stunning biodynamic vineyard and winery estate he and his wife Valeria own in Rutherford, Napa Valley, Agustin is recognized as a driving force in how fine wine is produced, recognized, sold and marketed in the United States.  The philosophy that great vineyards make great wine is his guiding principle.

 

Agustin Huneeus has been discovering great vineyards of the world throughout a career spanning five decades and 15 countries.  In addition to owning the Quintessa estate in the renowned Rutherford District of Napa Valley, his current vineyard and winery projects include Illumination Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Veramonte winery in Chile’s Casablanca and Colchagua Valley’s, Neyen winery in Chile’s Apalta Valley and Washington’s Longshadows Vintners where he is a partner.  In 2009, the Huneeus family forged a partnership with Joan and Walt Flowers of Flowers Vineyards & Winery, pioneering vintners who in 1989, established two extraordinary vineyards dedicated to world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the extreme Sonoma Coast.  In 2010, the Huneeus family purchased two edgy wines, The Prisoner, a Napa Valley red blend, and Saldo, a Zinfandel from some of California’s most revered vineyards.

 

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP $55

The wine is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.  Most of the grapes come from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville with small lots from vineyards in Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Rutherford.  These purchased grapes from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs are used to round out the wine.   After fermentation, the wine was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak with 30% being new.

 

According to the winery, 2014 is another dream vintage with quality along the lines of 2012 and 2013.  2014 was a dry year but spring rains during February and March gave the vines a much needed drink of water in time for bud break.  The moderate drought conditions also led to berry sizes that were smaller and had more concentrated flavor.  Despite rumblings from the South Napa Earthquake in August, harvest was early and even with ample ripeness, and depth of flavor.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sexy nose has cassis, plum, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, tobacco, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate rich cassis and plums are joined by minerals and spices on the front end with dark chocolate and tobacco coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with vanilla and a touch of spicy oak providing nice depth.  This could use a bit of time in the cellar for the oak to integrate on the finish but I wouldn’t stash this in the back of the cellar.  This will probably be at its best from 2018 through the early 2020s.  As is, this is a rich and luxurious Napa Cab for a very fair price.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Closing Thoughts

If you are looking for a rich, full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, Faust would be a wonderful choice.  This wine has very good balance and complexity to appeal to wine lovers and the rich, velvety fruit to appeal to people who just want something good to drink.  At $55 a bottle, I would tend to steer guests in the second category to another selection, unless they are very good friends, and keep this one only for true wine lovers.  This is more of a wine to enjoy over its first several years and not one to stash in the cellar for a decade.  Enjoy it while the fruit is young and vibrant.

 

 

 

 

This sample was provided by the winery and Fineman PR.

 

Fineman PR unites large-agency talent, small-agency responsiveness and internationally recognized strategic direction. We are a full-service agency specializing in Brand PR and crisis communications, creating and executing award-winning public relations programs.

 

For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

 

 

 

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 – Rosé Vol 2

 

2015 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Rosado

2016 Barrymore Rose Pinot Noir By Carmel Road

2016 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel

2016 Domaine Guy Mousset Rosé Côtes du Rhône

2016 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé

2016 Château de Nages Costières-de-Nîmes ButiNages

2015 Chemin Des Sables Vin de Pays de La Côte Révée

2016 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

 

 

This is my second post devoted to Rosé wines to enjoy this Summer.  Some of the wines are samples that were provided to me.  I note the samples and show the suggested retail price for these wines.  The rest of the wines were purchased locally or directly from the winery in the case of the Villa Creek wine.

 

 

 

2015 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Rosado – SRP $9.99

Sample provided by Magrino PR for the winery.  Visit their website for more information.

 

Marqués de Riscal is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja, founded in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga.  The winery began making rosé wine in the 1960s, not long after celebrating their 100th anniversary.  The rosé is made from their younger Tempranillo vines, normally under 15 years old.  In 2013 the winery was awarded “Best European Winery” by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

 

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo and 40% Garnacha.

 

The wine is a bright salmon color.  The reflective nose has cherries, strawberries, orange blossoms, dusty minerals and a touch of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with nice acidity and seems to almost totally dry.  On the palate bright red fruit and a light leafy herb jump out on the front end with some minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice orange blossom note providing some depth.  This isn’t the most complex wine out there but it is very tasty and easy to sip with the up front fruit.  With a suggested price of $10, this would be an easy purchase and one to stock up on for the Summer if you can find it at a discounted price.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2015 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Rosado

2015 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Rosado

 

 

 

2016 Barrymore Rose Pinot Noir By Carmel Road – SRP $17.99

Sample provided by Magrino PR for the winery.  Visit their website for more information.

 

For this wine, Drew Barrymore worked with Carmel Road winemaker Kris Kato to create a line of wines, this is their Rosé.  This is 100% Monterey County Pinot Noir that was fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel tanks.

 

The wine is a pale pink color.  The inviting nose has cherries, strawberries, white peach, orange blossoms, lime zest, some dry underbrush and a touch of sea breeze.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart red fruit, orange blossoms and white peach come through on the front end with orange blossoms and some subtle dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lime zest and a saline note providing good depth.  This is a fruity Rose that would be welcome on a warm sunny day.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 Barrymore Rose Pinot Noir By Carmel Road

2016 Barrymore Rose Pinot Noir By Carmel Road

 

 

 

2016 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel – SRP $22

Sample provided by Magrino PR for the winery.  Visit their website for more information.

 

This is a blend of mainly Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino), and Cinsault from their vineyards as well as grapes purchased form the surrounding area.  Whispering Angel is considered to be one of the world’s greatest rosé wines.

 

The wine is a light pink salmon color.  The refreshing nose has strawberries, cherries, crushed stone minerals, white peach, green leafy herbs, orange blossoms and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit, minerals and leafy herbs jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and white peach coming in later.  The finish has good length with mouth watering lime zest providing some depth.  This is very easy to drink and enjoy.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel

2016 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel

 

 

 

2016 Domaine Guy Mousset Rosé Côtes du Rhône – $11.21

Domaine Guy Mousset is part of Mousset Estates.  Clos Saint Michel and Domaine de Clairfort are the other “tiers” owned by the estate.  Oliver and Franck Mousset represent the fourth generation grape growers.  The wine is predominantly Grenache but the specific blend is not publicized.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The comforting nose has cherries, crushed stones, roasted herbs, white pepper, orange zest and subtle dried earth.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate cherries, minerals and roasted herbs grab control on the front end with white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with orange zest and dried earth providing depth.  The savory notes grab control on the back end and finish to provide nice balance to the front end fruit.  This is an easy wine to like.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Domaine Guy Mousset Rosé Côtes du Rhône

2016 Domaine Guy Mousset Rosé Côtes du Rhône

 

 

 

2016 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé – $13.42

There isn’t much (if any) information on the internet about this wine.  It is a wine that is directly imported into the US by Total Wine & More, so it may not be available from any other source.

 

The wine is a pale pink salmon color.  The exuberant nose has cherries, chalky minerals, strawberries, orange blossoms, lime zest, apricots and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a touch of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals jump out first with orange blossoms and apricots coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with lime zest and just a hint of leafy herbs providing depth.  This would be very easy to sip on a hot Summer day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2016 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé

2016 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé

 

 

 

2016 Château de Nages Costières-de-Nîmes ButiNages – $10.47

Château de Nages is the winery founded by Michel Gassier, and it is generally the home to his “reserve” level of wines.  To improve the quality of wines from the region, Michel planted new varietals including Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.  Michel also cut yields by half in some varietals and utilized newer techniques to force the vines to send their roots deeper into the soil.

 

This is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.

 

The wine is a bright pink color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, crushed stone minerals, strawberries, dry earth, pear, melon, orange blossoms, lime zest and sea breeze.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and strawberries quickly grab your attention with dry earth, pear and melon coming in later.  The finish has great length with orange blossoms and lime zest providing very nice depth.  This is a serious Rosé that is available at a fantastic price.  This could be your go-to Summer sipper.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2016 Château de Nages Costières-de-Nîmes ButiNages

2016 Château de Nages Costières-de-Nîmes ButiNages

 

 

 

2015 Chemin Des Sables Vin de Pays de La Côte Révée – $8.62

This is another winery direct import wine from Total Wine & More so again, there is limited information available.

 

This wine is a blend of 70% Carignan and 30% Grenache.

 

The wine is a pale salmon color.  The slightly subdued nose has strawberries, cherries, dry earth, orange zest, white peach and dusty minerals.  This has medium body and decent acidity with some residual sweetness.  On the palate ripe red fruit and peaches come through on the front end with a touch or dry earth and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with just a touch of orange zest entering the picture.  This could use a bit more acidity and less residual sweetness.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a manmade spongy closure.  (85 pts)

2015 Chemin Des Sables Vin de Pays de La Côte Révée

2015 Chemin Des Sables Vin de Pays de La Côte Révée

 

 

 

2016 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou – $9.49

This family business was created in 1855 by Jean-Claude Bougrier in France’s Loire Valley.  In their early years the family simply sold bulk wine in wooden casks and drove around France in tankers.  From the contacts he made in these ways, Jean-Claude was able to work with growers in the best wine producing regions in the Loire Valley.  By the 1950s the firm was exporting wines from across the Loire Valley.  The family renovated the entire wine production facilities in the 1970s with an extensive modernization.  The family now produces several single vineyards wines as well as the blends.

 

This is a blend of 50% Gamay and 50% Grolleau from the Loire region of France.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The open and inviting nose has strawberries, cherries, bananas, minerals, green leafy herbs and citrus zest.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity.  Bright strawberries and tart cherries jump out on the front end with minerals and a touch of leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has good length with lime zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This has just a touch of residual sweetness but it is buffered nicely by the nice acidity.  This is very easy to sip.  This has 11% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2016 Famille Bougrier Rosé d'Anjou

2016 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou

 

 

 

2016 Villa Creek Rosé – $19.20

Villa Creek (as well as Bedrock) are the two wineries that always receive an order from me for their Rosé wine.  Villa Creek is a personal favorite winery of mine.  They are located in Paso Robles and utilize some of the “big name” vineyards in the region as well as their own vineyards.  To me, they make some of the best, reasonably priced red wines coming out of Paso Robles.

 

This vintage is a blend of 75% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 5% Carignan from Luna Matta and Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a salmon pink color.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, strawberries, crushed stone minerals, wildflowers, peaches, subtle dry earth and orange zest.  On the palate red fruit and minerals quickly grab your attention with peaches and wildflowers coming in later.  The juicy finish has very good length with nice depth being provided by orange zest and a hint of dry earthiness.  The is crisp, clean and dry, perfect for a warm afternoon lunch or lighter dinner on the deck or patio.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  Even though none of the wines in this post came from them, they do on occasion offer Rosé wines.  All of these wines they offer come 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 – Lodi Summer Wines – Vol 2

 

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

2016 d’Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.  I am showing the suggested retail price for the wines.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.  I highly recommend reading ” The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing” to learn more about the region’s commitment to the environment and leaving the area better for future generations.  This is very important for a region built around family owned businesses.

 

 

 

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane – SRP $18

This wine is made from 100% Carignane grapes grown from the Mule Plane Vineyard that was planted “sometime” around 1920.  The vineyard’s name, “Mule Plane”, is in respect of the mules that pulled cast-iron blades to cultivate the ground and vines in the early days.

 

This is made in a traditional French style; the grapes were harvested, then crushed, and the skins were allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time to gain color and flavor.  After the must is pressed, the juice is fermented as if it was a white wine at a very low temperature.  The total production was only 180 cases.

 

Much more information on the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light peach color.  The bright and vibrant nose has cherries, chalky minerals, strawberries, white peach, melon, orange blossoms, subtle underbrush and a hint of leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with nice acidity and just a subtle hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart cherries, white peach, strawberries and minerals grab your attention immediately with melon and a touch of underbrush coming in later.  The juicy finish has good length with orange blossoms and a touch of leafy herb providing nice depth.  The nice upfront fruit makes this easy to sip and the savory notes coming in on the back end and finish keep it interesting.  Nice job!  This has 12.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

 

 

 

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño – SRP $20

Jeremy Wine Co is owned by Jeremy & Choral Trettevik.  The winery has grown from 5 tons of grapes in their first harvest to now harvesting well over 100 tons.

 

I’ve been very impressed by the Albariño wines being produced in Lodi.  These are world-class wines that rival the wines being produced anywhere in the world.  The grapes for this 100% Albariño come from the Felten Vineyard.  The grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel.  There were only 210 cases of this wine produced in this vintage.

 

For more information on the winery and their wines or to make a purchase, visit their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light straw golden color.  The alluring nose has apples, white peach, lemon grass, orange blossoms, lime zest and dusty minerals.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate apples, white peach and lemon grass jump out on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering lime zest providing depth and compelling you to grab another sip.  This is great as an aperitif or with a light meal, preferably one with seafood.  This is very easy to like.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

 

 

 

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé – SRP $15

St. Amant is a family owned and run winery that was founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer.  Their son, Stuart is currently the  knowledgeable and very friendly winemaker.  I highly encourage you to read about the wonderful history and growth of this winery by clicking here.  While you are visiting the site, you can purchase their wines.

 

My first exposure to this specific wine was at a “welcome” reception and dinner in Lodi in September.  I love this crisp and flavorful wine.  I’m glad I was able to try the latest vintage.

 

The wine is a bright cherry color.  The fresh and lively nose has strawberries, cherries, dusty minerals, orange blossoms and a touch of leafy herb.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate tart strawberries and cherries jump out on the front end with minerals and a hint of leafy herb coming in later.  The finish has nice length with orange blossom and a touch of citrus zest providing depth.  This is extremely easy to sip on a warm and sunny day alone or with a light meal.  This may not be the most complex bottle of wine out there but it is extremely tasty.  I like this one a lot.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $16

The Michael and David are brother Michael and David Philips, the fifth generation of grape growers in the Philips family storied history.

 

Sustainable farming practices are just slogans and buzzwords for the Michael David Winery.  They have adopted some of the most progressive sustainable farming practices in state.  All 750 acres of the family’s vineyards are third party certified.  The winery goes as far as offering a per ton bonus to follow in the family’s foot steps.  Starting with the 2011 vintage, 100% of the Lodi grown fruit crushed at Michael David winery have been certified sustainable.

 

Much more info on the family, the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a very light straw yellow with a slight green tint.  The enticing nose has green apples, flinty minerals, lemon grass, apricot and grapefruit zest.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, apricot and minerals pop out on the front end with lemon zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering grapefruit zest providing depth.  This would be very nice by itself or with a light meal on a warm day in a sunny location.  This is very appealing and refreshing.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé – SRP $24

The proprietor/winemaker for Uvaggio is Jim Moore.  Jim has a long history in the California wine business.  It was his vision and development that lead to the creation of La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi.  This was my first introduction to the other wines coming out of California beyond Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot, etc.  Their Barbera was our “house wine” for several years.  I’m glad I now know and can enjoy the newest iteration of these wonderful wines.

 

Much more information on Jim, the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

This 100% Lodi sourced wine is a blend of 80% Cinsaut from the Bechthold Vineyard, 11% Vermentino from Gayla’s Vineyard and 9% Grenache from the Mettler Vineyard.  For this wine, the winery co-fermented the Vermentino with the Cinsault and a week later added the Grenache to prolong the fermentation to add additional complexity.

 

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The expressive nose has strawberries, cherries, orange blossoms, lime zest, white peach and a hint of white pepper.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright strawberries and cherries are joined with orange blossoms on the front end with white peaches coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with white pepper and tart lime zest providing nice depth.  This is very easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Uvaggio (L'Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

 

 

 

2016 d’Art Wines White Barbera – SRP $22

“What does a Spanish dancer have to do with a winery that has a French name?”  so begins the history of d’Art Wines.

 

d’Art Wines is owned by Helen and Dave Dart, and this is truly a family business.  Dave and their daughter Jessica handle the winemaking end of the business while Helen greets visitors in the tasting room and shares the winery’s history and some of her wine friendly recipes to pair with the wines.  Some of these recipes are available on their website.  I know I’m looking forward to trying here recipe for Pappa Al Pomodoro, especially with a few of the serving suggestions.

 

Much more information on the Darts, their winery, the wines and Helen’s recipes is available by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale orange color.  The fresh and exotic nose has cherries, orange blossoms, leafy herbs, strawberries, white pepper and dusty earth.  This is barely medium body with nice acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart cherries, strawberries and orange zest come through on the front end with white pepper and leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of dusty earth providing some depth.  This is a lighter bodied wine that will stand up to a lighter meal or even better with a small platter of cheese.  This is easy to sip on a hot sunny day.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2016 d'Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

2016 d’Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

How can’t you talk about these food friendly wines and not show a few of the dishes that were paired with them.

 

Seafood Boil with Jeremy Albarino

Seafood Boil with Jeremy Albarino

 

 

Shrimp Stir-fry with Michael-David Sauvignon Blanc

Shrimp Stir-fry with Michael-David Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

Steak Bruschetta with Uvaggio Cinsault Rose

Steak Bruschetta with Uvaggio Cinsault Rose

 

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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 – Summer Rosé – Vol 1

 

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

2016 Bodegas Casado Morales Rioja Rosado

2015 Domaine La Rabiotte Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence

2015 Domaine de la Vivonne Côtes de Provence Rosé

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2015 Terre di Talamo Maremma Toscana Piano Piano

2016 V. Sattui Winery Rosato di Sangiovese

2016 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

 

 

 

Rosé wine is the fastest growing segment of the wine market in the United States.  A lot of wineries are having a hard time keeping up to the demand.  Even though Summer has just begun, a lot of wineries are already sold out of their pink wines.  I would only buy a pink wine that was produced within the previous two years, in this case 2015 and 2016.  Even though these wines can be enjoyed for a year or two longer, they are fragile wines that can be harmed by conditions outside the norm.  There is really no way to accurately know how the wine was handled during the entire process used in its’ distribution from the winery to your store’s shelf.

 

Summer started a week ago, so to most people, it is now Rosé season.  To a lot of us, there isn’t a Rosé season since we drink them all year.  This is the first of two blogs I will be posting dedicated to Rosé wines.  The second will be posted in the next week or two.  Most of these wines were purchased at my local Total Wine and I show the price I paid with any sales/coupons/volume discounts.  They are probably available at other retailers.  A couple were samples provided to me for review purposes, there are marked as such and I show the suggested price that was supplied to me or the average price I found on the internet.

 

 

 

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé – $10.35

This Pinot Noir Rosé is from the Vin de Pays d’Oc appellation from France’s Languedoc Roussillon region.

 

The wine is a very light pink color.  The energetic nose has strawberries, cherries, orange blossoms and subtle minerals.  This has light body with nice acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals pop out on the front end with orange blossoms and lime zest coming through later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with red fruit and lime zest.  This is a light, crisp rosé with nice up front red fruit.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2016 d'Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

 

 

 

2016 Bodegas Casado Morales Rioja Rosado – $8.62

This appears to be a blend of Tempranillo 60% and Viura 40%.

 

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The fresh and lively nose has cherries, crushed stone minerals, orange zest, underbrush and white pepper.  The has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and a hint of underbrush pop out on the front end with orange zest coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of white pepper providing some depth.  This is a fresh and lively summer sipper.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a pink plastic stopper.  (89 pts)

2016 Bodegas Casado Morales Rioja Rosado

2016 Bodegas Casado Morales Rioja Rosado

 

 

 

2015 Domaine La Rabiotte Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence – $11.21

This appears to be a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

 

The wine is a pale pink salmon color.  The easy going nose has strawberries, cherries, stony minerals, white pepper, orange zest and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with nice acidity and seems totally dry.  On the palate red fruit and minerals pop out first with white pepper and a touch of herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of orange zest entering the picture.  This is a nice, easy drinking Rose for a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2015 Domaine La Rabiotte Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence

2015 Domaine La Rabiotte Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence

 

 

 

2015 Domaine de la Vivonne Côtes de Provence Rosé – $11.98

This is a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.

 

This is a pale pink salmon color.  The slightly subdued nose has strawberries, minerals, cherries, white peach, white pepper and a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and white peach come through on the front end with strawberries and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of underbrush providing some depth.  A nice rosé for a warm, sunny meal on the deck or patio.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a manmade cork substitute.  (89 pts)

2015 Domaine de la Vivonne Côtes de Provence Rosé

2015 Domaine de la Vivonne Côtes de Provence Rosé

 

 

 

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé – $10.35

This is a blend of 73% Grenache and 27% Syrah.

 

The wine is a deep salmon pink color.  The riveting nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, orange blossoms and a hint of dry earth.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate red fruit, minerals and white pepper immediately grab your attention with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of dry earth providing depth.  This is a little fuller body than most Rosés from the region but it has the bolder flavors and nice acidity to support the extra weight.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (91 pts)

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Terre di Talamo Maremma Toscana Piano Piano – $14.99

This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Sangiovese.

 

The wine is a bright pink color.  The fresh and lively nose has cherries, strawberries, dusty minerals, dry earth and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, strawberries and minerals take control on the front end with dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with orange blossoms providing some depth.  This is an easy drinking Rosé to enjoy on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (89 pts)

2015 Terre di Talamo Maremma Toscana Piano Piano

2015 Terre di Talamo Maremma Toscana Piano Piano

 

 

 

2016 V. Sattui Winery Rosato di Sangiovese – SRP $26

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

 

This wine is 100% Sangiovese primarily from the winery’s Hibbard Ranch in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley.  This wine is only available direct from the winery, visit their website for more info or to purchase.

 

The wine is a bright peach color.  The inviting nose has cherries, strawberries, melon, subtle dry earth, orange blossoms and lime zest.  This has medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate the fruit controls the front end with cherries and strawberries immediately grabbing your attention, later melon and a touch of dry earth enter the picture.  The finish has nice length with orange blossom and lime zest providing good depth.  This is very easy to sip on a sunny warm day by itself or with a light meal.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2016 V. Sattui Winery Rosato di Sangiovese

2016 V. Sattui Winery Rosato di Sangiovese

 

 

 

2016 Dinastía 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 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 decent length with some melon providing depth.  The finish gets a touch soft, a little more acidity would be welcome.  Over all, a nice Rosé to sip alone on a warm, sunny day but the lower acidity would present a challenge to pair with food.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a plastic “cork”.  (87 pts)

2016 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

2016 Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

 

 

 

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence – $16.99

This is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

 

The wine is a light, pale pink color.  The inviting nose has strawberries, cherries, white peach, orange blossoms, lime zest and minerals.  This has light to medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and cherries pop out quickly with orange blossoms and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lime zest providing depth and a crisp acidic closing note.  The slight sweetness makes this very easy to sip on a warm, sunny day.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

 

 

 

 

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