Posts from the ‘Sample Review’ Category

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!

 

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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.

 

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 – Acorn Winery

 

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery.

 

 

ESTATE-GROWN, SUSTAINABLY-FARMED, FIELD-BLENDED WINES

 

 

Acorn is owned by Betsy and Bill Nachbaur.  Besides being the owners, they are also the winegrowers.  The couple owns 32 acres in the Russian River Valley they purchased in 1990.  Their vineyard, Alegria Vineyards is a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard that is planted in alluvial, rocky clay-loam benchland soils.  The estate consists of 70 grape varieties.  The original Zinfandel vineyard was planted in 1890, one of the oldest in Sonoma County.  Hopefully the vineyard, winery and most importantly the family is safe from the fiery destruction the region is encountering this week.  The winery produces less than 3,000 cases of wine a year of Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Axiom® Syrah, Heritage Vines™ Zinfandel, Rosato, Medley® (Blend of Blends) and Acorn Hill® (“Super Tuscan”).

 

In the early days, the family sold their grapes to other wineries but in 1994 they decided to start producing their own wines and established Acorn Winery.  Their first release was the 1994 Sangiovese.

 

The Nachbaur’s passion is “growing and producing co-fermented field-blends (the grapes are interplanted, harvested, and fermented together) creating balanced, food-friendly wines made in the old-world style.”  All of the winery’s vineyards are planted to be used in blends.  As noted below, the Zinfandel vineyard was originally planted in 1890 and includes 18 varieties.  The Syrah blocks have Viognier planted with the three clones of Syrah.

 

The Cabernet Franc block that was planted in 1991 includes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tannat, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Dolcetto blocks also planted in 1991 includes Barbera and Freisa.

The Sangiovese block, again planted in 1991 includes Canaiolo and Mammolo.

 

Besides being the owner and winegrowner, Bill is the winemaker along with consulting winemaker Clay Mauritson.

 

The winery sells these wines consumer-direct in most states and the wines are distributed in several states.  For more information about the winery or to purchase these wonderful wines, visit their website.

 

Here’s wishing a prosperous future to Acorn Winery.  As the saying goes, “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

 

 

 

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards – SRP $48

This wine is a true zinfandel based field blend from a vineyard composed of 18 inter-planted grape varieties that was first planted in 1890.  All work in the vineyard is performed by hand and each vine gets individualized attention.  The extra time and effort shows in the wine.

 

This is a blend of 78% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante Bouschet, 9% Petite Sirah. The remaining 2% includes Carignane, Trousseau, Sangiovese, Petit Bouschet, Negrette, Syrah, Plavac Mali, Tannat, Muscat Noir, Peloursin, Béclan, Palomino, Cinsaut, Monbaclan, and Grenache.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 15 months in 65% French oak (21% new), 25% American oak (5% new) and 10% Hungarian oak.  The barrels came from 8 different coopers.  There were 504 cases bottled in December 2015.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The hypnotic nose has brambly berries, white pepper, crushed rocks, violets, dark bittersweet chocolate, cedar, cherries and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  The juicy palate has berries, minerals and white pepper on the front end with cedar and cherry coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with scorched earth and a floral note providing good depth.  This is a nice, structured, food friendly Zin that doesn’t carry any extra weight or extraction.  This is drinking very nicely right now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  The balance, tannins and acidity show this wine will last several years in the cellar.  Great job!  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

 

 

 

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards – SRP $42

This wine includes 2% Viognier with the 98% Syrah (3 clones) from the winery’s Alegria Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.

 

After a three day cold soak and fermentation, the wine was aged for 18 months in 54% French (28% new) and 46% European oak barrels.  304 cases were produced and bottled in March 2016.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The enticing nose is full of crushed blackberries, melted licorice, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, smoked meat, dried wild flowers and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is bold and velvety on the palate with blackberries, white pepper, minerals and smoked meat on the front end with licorice and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark roast coffee beans and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This tastes very good today but will really shine in another year.  Drink this one starting in 2018 through at least the middle of the next decade.  I’d love this with some Texas barbecue next Summer.  This just gets better with every sip.  Count me as a fan!  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

 

 

 

Conclusion

Bothe of these wines were outstanding already but will be even better down the road.  This was my first exposure to this winery and I look forward to having more of their wine in the future.  I hope the winery and vineyard are able to survive the fires currently engulfing the California wine country.  This is definitely a winery we will hear more from in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These perfectly balanced wines were the perfect companions for dinner.  The Zinfandel was paired with Pork Ribs I smoked for several hours.  I don’t use sauce but the ribs were generously coated with my dry rub.  The ribs were wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator over night so the spice could draw out the juices, mix with them and get reabsorbed into the meat.

For the Syrah, I paired it with a Boneless Pork Loin Chop that was breaded in Chipotle seasoned Panko bread crumbs and fried.  This was served with breaded and fried zucchini and green beans both fresh from the garden.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – August 2017 Vol 6

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2011 Exitus Red Blend

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

Locations AR-6

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

 

 

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris – $13.89

This is 100% Pinot Gris that was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel.  The wine was bottled after 4 months sur lie aging.  This wine was produced primarily from the best selection of grapes from the estate’s certified organic vineyards with some purchased from a handful of other sustainably farmed vineyards throughout Oregon

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The captivating nose has green apples, white peach, flinty minerals, melon, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, white peach and melon quickly grab your attention with minerals and orange blossoms coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tart lemon zest leading you to grab another sip.  Not a lot of complexity but a tasty wine to enjoy on its own or with a light meal on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

 

 

 

2011 Exitus Red Blend – $9.49

A local wine store had this opened for a tasting.  The wine had a suggested price of $25.99, which far exceeded its value.  To me the wine was simply an easy drinking wine to enjoy with friends at the end of an evening.  For their event price of $9.99, the wine seemed to be fairly priced, so I grabbed a couple bottles.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah from Monterey, 31% Merlot from Monterey and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

 

The wine was a deep ruby to purple color.  The comforting nose has blackberries, roasted herbs, cherries, white pepper, licorice and subtle earthiness.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe fruit and spice jump out first with roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  The wine leaves a slightly sweet final impression on the palate.  The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle was sealed with an artificial cork.  (87 pts)

2011 Exitus Red Blend

2011 Exitus Red Blend

 

 

 

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé – SRP $21.99

This is a sample that was provided to me for review purposes by the Susan Magrino Agency.

 

The majority of the fruit for this vintage came from the rolling hills of the Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, San Juan Creek in Paso Robles and Madera County. Smaller percentages from Mendocino and the Red Hills of Lake County provide an accent of high elevation fruit to its elegant core.  This blend of primarily Grenache and Zinfandel with smaller percentages of Carignan, Tempranillo, and Mouvedre.

 

The wine is a light, pale pink color.  The easy going nose has cherries, white peach, dusty minerals, orange blossoms and watermelon with hints of leafy herbs and dry roasted nuts.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a trace amount of lingering sweetness.  On the palate cherries, minerals and white peach grab your attention on the front end with watermelon and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a nice green herb element and a hint of roasted nuts providing depth along with a bit of orange pith.  This is easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

From the winery:

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

 

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

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

Locations AR-6 – $16.48

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

 

First off, the AR in the wine’s name stands for Argentina, not Arkansas.  This is a non-vintage wine since it can include grapes from multiple vintages as deemed necessary by Dave Phinney to make the best wine possible.  I don’t know the exact blend for this bottling, but earlier editions were mainly Malbec with some Cabernet Sauvignon from the Uco Valley in Mendoza.  This is Locations wine’s fourth release of a blend from Argentina.

 

Much more information on Dave Phinney and Locations Wine is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is an inky purple color.  The big and bold nose is full of blackberries, plums, fresh ground espresso beans, dry earth, roasted herbs, baking spices 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 loads of blackberries and plums quickly grabbing your attention on the front end with espresso beans, dry earth and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with roasted herbs and a dried floral note providing some depth.  For the massive fruit and overall size this could use a bit more backbone to hold everything together.  I’d drink this while it’s young before it gets bogged down from the shear size.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

Locations AR-6

Locations AR-6

 

 

 

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County – $8.62

This is a Pinot Noir based blend that was fermented at a cool temperature.  I don’t know about the distribution of Chloe Wines but I see a fair amount at my local Total Wines store and it appears to be available online at Amazon.  I should note, the Total Wine price is considerable better than Amazon’s pricing.

 

The wine is an orange-pink color.  The brooding nose has strawberries, melon, dry earth, leafy green herbs and orange zest.  This has medium body with decent acidity and it seems to be just about totally dry.  On the palate strawberries, melon and subtle dry earth come through on the front end with leafy green herbs coming in later.  The finish has decent length with some orange zest entering the picture.  This is starting to taste a little tired, I’d open and kill off this vintage in the next couple of months.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (85 pts)

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

 

 

 

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 – August 2017 Vol 5

 

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema – $16.77

This 100% Sonoma County Pinot Noir comes is comprised of 50% Russian River Valley, 25% Sonoma Coast and 25% Sonoma County grapes.  After fermentation the wine was aged 12 months in 35% new French Oak barrels.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The invigorating nose has black cherries, scorched earth, cranberries, white pepper, underbrush, baking spices and plums.  This has medium body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cranberries, baking spices and white pepper quickly come through on the front end with underbrush and plums coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of scorched earth providing some depth.  This has nice, bold flavors but could use a bit more acidity to help hold everything in check, as is it gets a bit soft and flabby on the back end and finish.  Not bad for a week night Pinot or a bottle to open with a cheese platter with friends.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (86 pts)

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

 

 

 

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H – $15.99

There is just about nothing about this wine on the internet.  This appears to be a “winery direct” wine imported by Total Wine and on the shelf at my local store.  As expected (and probably mandated) by the region, this is 100% Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, white peach, flinty minerals, orange blossoms, lemon zest and ripe melon.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and white peach jump out on the front end with melon and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a nice shot of mouthwatering lemon zest providing depth.  This doesn’t offer much complexity but it is tasty.  This would be a nice glass to pair with a light meal or to simply sip with friends over a nice conversation.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

 

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $18.99

This is a wine that I generally like in almost all vintages but it’s not a wine I hunt down.  If I can find it at a good price I’ll grab a few bottles.

 

The wine is an inky ruby red.  The sexy nose has black cherries, tobacco, blackberries, white pepper, dried flowers, mocha, vanilla and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a fairly full body, moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Intense red and black fruit grabs your palate slowly allowing pepper and mocha to slip in.  On the back end vanilla and some building earthiness enter the picture.  The finish has good length and veers solidly into the earthy spectrum with just a touch of an herbal note coming into play.  This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

 

 

 

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs – $37.99

I can never pick a favorite between Ridge’s Lytton Springs and Geyserville blends.  This vintage is a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah and 6% Carignane

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The invigorating nose has blackberries, melted licorice, dusty minerals, raspberries, cedar, charred wood, dry underbrush, dry dill, espresso beans and wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  This is voluptuous and rich on the palate with berries, minerals, raspberries and cedar coming through on the front end and dry underbrush, charred wood and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has great length with dry dill, espresso beans and a floral note providing very nice depth.  This has nice richness but with a solid backbone.  This has the balance and stuffing to last in the cellar for several more years.  This kept getting better as the evening wore on.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

 

 

 

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT – SRP $16.99

This is a sample that was provided to me for review purposes by the Susan Magrino Agency.

 

This is made from the Negroamaro grape.  I’ve had red wines from the grape but this will be my first Rosé.

 

The wine is a deep pink salmon color.  The fresh and lively nose has strawberries, dry earth, cherries, melon, lemongrass, watermelon and chalky minerals.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals come through on the front end with dry earth and melon coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has nice length with watermelon and lemongrass providing depth.  This is very easy to sip on a warm, sunny day but it would also pair nicely with a light meal or appetizer platter.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

 

 

 

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – $38.50

This wine is a blend of 87% Zinfandel and 13% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Grand Noir, Peloursin, Trousseau noir, Tempranillo, Muscadelle, Malvasia, Muscat, and over 30 other varieties).  The vineyard was planted in 1927.  The winery has undertaken the time consuming job of identifying the variety of every one of the 6000 vines in the vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, licorice, warm baking spices, pencil shavings, stony minerals, black cherries, scorched earth and violets.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate waves of dark fruit, minerals, baking spices and pencil shavings immediately grab your attention with black pepper and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with licorice and violets providing great depth.  This is a rich, lush and powerful Zinfandel that has great balance.  There is no hurry with this wine, it will drink very nicely through at least the end of the decade, probably even longer.  This has 15.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

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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