Posts from the ‘Wine Event’ Category

Cliffs Wine Picks – Vivanco Rioja Wines

 

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

 

 

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

 

vivanco logo

 

 

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

 

A MAN AND HIS VISION  (from the winery)

 

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

 

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

 

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

vivanco line up

Vivanco Online Tasting Line Up

 

 

 

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

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

 

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

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

2017 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Tinta y Blanca Rosado

 

 

 

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

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

 

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

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

2011 Vivanco Rioja Reserva

 

 

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado – SRP $15

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

 

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

 

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

2016 vivanco rioja tempranillo-garnacha rosado

2016 Vivanco Rioja Tempranillo-Garnacha Rosado

 

 

Conclusion

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

When: Tuesdays at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST

Where: Twitter @WiningHourChat using the hashtag #WiningHourChat

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2019 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

This blog has been verified by Rise: Rb4c89e8cc21bbd9321fbfae67aed4e2e

 

 

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 – 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 – 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Bruce Patch Wines

 

2012 Bruce Patch Take Five

2013 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Equavinity Landy Vineyard

2014 Bruce Patch Equavinity Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2014 Bruce Patch Patchwork

2014 Bruce Patch Red Dress

2014 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard

 

This is based on wines provided by the winery at no charge.

 

 

 

 

From Doo Wop to Dry Creek

 

A lot of successful winemakers grow up in the wine industry, others migrate to it based on a life changing experience.  Bruce Patch is from the latter group.  Bruce started out in the music industry.  In his past life he met the Beatles and helped to discover the famous 80s band, The Cars, who happen to be one of my favorite bands of the era.  When Bruce relocated to the west coast from his native Boston, Bruce turned his energies to several small music labels of his own and focused on classic R&B and Doo Wop artists and contemporary South Pacific music.

 

During this period, Bruce met his partner, artist Andrea Cleall, at a donut shop on the outskirts of Topanga Canyon.  When the couple moved to the Russian River Valley in the late 1990s, Bruce transitioned his sales and marketing skills into a successful distribution business representing small independent wineries in Sonoma County.  The experience he gained from these contacts led Bruce to start his own label, Wine Guerrilla.   Over the course of a decade, he built the brand and won accolades for his line-up of stellar single vineyard zinfandels.

 

Bruce doesn’t own any vineyards but the contacts he had made earlier allows him to source fruit from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County.

 

Besides Bruce’s prized Zinfandels, he also produces wines from Primitivo, Malbec and now even a Pinot Noir.

 

Up to this point in his history, all his wines were from Sonoma County grapes but I saw he recently produced a wine using grapes from Lodi.  The future looks very bright for Bruce Patch Wines.

 

Much more information on Bruce and his wines is available on his website by clicking here.

 

 

 

The labels for Bruce’s wine feature unique artwork by Sean Colgin.  Here are the wines for this post:

Bruce Patch Line-up

Bruce Patch Line-up

 

 

 

2012 Bruce Patch Take Five – SRP $35

This is a blend of 50% Merlot, 20% Syrah, 18% Malbec, 8% Sangiovese and 4% Petit Verdot from 5 select Sonoma Valley vineyards.  The wine was aged for 30 months in French and American oak.  There were only 200 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The enticing nose has plums, baking spices, black cherries, tobacco, scorched earth, licorice, fresh ground espresso beans and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate plums, espresso beans, baking spices and black cherries quickly grab your attention with tobacco and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has very good length with licorice and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This is a big bodied wine with nice fruit and savory elements all held together nicely by the tannic backbone and acidity.  No hurry on this one, it has the balance to age gracefully for several years.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bruce Patch Take Five

2012 Bruce Patch Take Five

 

 

 

2013 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Equavinity Landy Vineyard – SRP $30

The Landy Vineyard occupies 23 acres in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley that lies in the warmer part of the valley.  After fermentation the wine was aged for 20 months in American oak.  The total production was only 200 cases.

 

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of brambly berries, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, plums and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit, minerals and black pepper immediately jump out on the front end with bittersweet chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with layers of fruit and peppery spice.  For such a big, full flavored wine, this has the structure and balance to last in the cellar for several years.  That said, this one would be hard to resist.  This has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Equavinity Landy Vineyard

2013 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Equavinity Landy Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Bruce Patch Equavinity Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – SRP $48

This wine is 100% Dijon clones Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast vineyards.  The vineyards enjoyed hot days and cool nights to provide ripe fruit while maintaining good acidity.  The wine was aged for 14 months in French oak with 25% being new.  There were only 100 cases produced.

 

The wine is a bright ruby color.  The very appealing nose has black cherry, strawberry, white pepper, dried underbrush, cola, dusty minerals, dark roast coffee beans and dried wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, strawberries and white pepper grab control immediately with dry underbrush, minerals and cola coming in later.  The finish has nice length with coffee beans and a dried floral note providing good depth.  This is on the young side, give it a year or two in the cellar and enjoy it over the next decade.  A pretty nice Pinot Noir from a Zinfandel guy.  I am enjoying this a bit more with every sip.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Bruce Patch Equavinity Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2014 Bruce Patch Equavinity Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Bruce Patch Patchwork – SRP $40

This is a blend of predominately Zinfandel (67%) with lesser amounts of Carignane, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot.  The grapes were from the Alexander and Sonoma valleys.  After fermentation the wine was aged for 20 months in French and American oak.  The total production was a miniscule 85 cases.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The big and outgoing nose has brambly berries, baking spices, charcoal, scorched earth, licorice, freshly cracked black peppercorns, black cherries, crushed stones and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  Berries, spice, scorched earth and black cherries quickly coat your palate on the front end with charcoal and black pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some crushed stone minerals providing depth.  This is a big bruiser that shows nice refinement and is kept lively by the nice acidity.  This tastes great now and should hold for several years in the cellar.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Bruce Patch Patchwork

2014 Bruce Patch Patchwork

 

 

 

2014 Bruce Patch Red Dress – SRP $35

This is a blend of 63% Zinfandel, 16% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 7% Carignan and 4% Petite Sirah from Sonoma County.  The wine was aged for 20 months in French and American before only 90 cases were bottles.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, scorched earth, black cherries, eucalyptus, black pepper, charcoal and a hint of roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium to full body with nice acidity and moderate tannins.  On the palate dark fruit and scorched earth quickly grab your attention with black pepper and charcoal coming in later.  The finish has good length with a touch of pleasing roasted herbs providing nice depth.  This is drinking very nicely now but a year or two in the cellar will be rewarded.  This is a unique blend that works.  This has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Bruce Patch Red Dress

2014 Bruce Patch Red Dress

 

 

 

2014 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard – SRP $35

This wine is a blend of 85% Zinfandel, 10% Carignane and 5% Petite Sirah that was aged for 18 months in French and American oak.  The 17 acre Harris Kratka Vineyard is at the southern end of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.  There were 300 cases of this wine produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The full throttle nose has brambly berries, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans, eucalyptus, black pepper, dry underbrush, dark bittersweet chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, minerals and baking spices quickly take control on the front end with espresso beans, eucalyptus and black pepper coming in later.  The nicely layered, lingering finish has dry underbrush, dark chocolate and a dried floral note providing great depth.  I’d give this one another year or two in the cellar and enjoy it over the following half dozen years.  this has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard

2014 Bruce Patch Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard

 

 

 

Conclusion

These all were big boned wines that were loaded with flavor.  Even though they all taste great now, they have the structure and balance to reward some cellar time.   I highly recommend opening a bottle of one of these and serving it with something hot and juicy fresh off the grill with some Cars music playing in the background.

 

 

 

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 – Flora Springs Chardonnay

 

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

 

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

 

 

Overview:

These wines were provided to me to sample and enjoy for #ChardonnayDay on May 25th.

 

 

Over the years Flora Springs was always one of our stops when we visited Napa Valley.  We took the two pictures below of the stained glass and wall murals during a visit in late August 2001, a couple weeks before 9/11.  When I was offered a couple samples from them, I was excited to reacquaint myself with these wines.

 

 

 

About the winery:

Flora Springs, located in the Northwest corner of the Rutherford appellation at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, was founded in 1978.  The stone cellar of Flora Springs is a once abandoned “ghost winery”.  It was Flora Komes who along with her husband Jerry that found the area while looking for a place to “kick off their boots”.  Flora was the one who saw the possibilities hidden behind decades of neglect, over-grown ivy, and shifting rock walls.  The property’s winemaking roots go back to the 19th century but if was the work of Flora and Jerry’s children, John Komes and his wife Carrie, and Julie Garvey and her husband Pat Garvey, that have etched the legacy of Flora Springs.

 

As both artisan winemakers and growers, the family is committed to the traditions of fine winemaking and responsible stewardship of its 650 acres of vineyard land for future generations to savor and uphold. Today, ninety percent of Flora Springs’ red wines are sourced from its organically-farmed estate vineyards, and all of these wines are crafted in their solar-powered 19th-century stone winery and caves.

 

Much more about the winery, the family and the wines is available on their website by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out their “Working with Nature” and “Farming Responsibly” sections to read about their dedication to sustainability.

 

 

 

These bottles were supplied by the winery and Mora Cronin of Cronin Communications.

Cronin Communications is a marketing communications and public relations agency based in St. Helena, California.  Specializing in the wine industry, the firm provides services including strategic positioning and brand messaging, copy writing and media relations.  For more information, contact moracronin@comcast.net.

 

 

 

The wines for this tasting:

 

 

 

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select – SRP $35

This wine comes from three sustainably farmed vineyards in Oakville, Oak Knoll District and Carneros.  The grapes were fermented in a combination of oak barrels (76%) and stainless steel tanks (24%).  The lees were stirred bi-weekly and the 20% went through malolactic fermentation.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak for seven months.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, pineapple, melon, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, lemon zest, flinty minerals and a hint of almond.  This has medium to full body with a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate apples, melon, spices and pineapple quickly grab your attention with vanilla bean, minerals and lemon zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a hint of almond joining the rich fruit and tart lemon zest.  This has a nice creamy texture from 20% malolactic fermentation but retains the crisp acidity to provide nice balance.  This is very easy to drink and would be a great companion for a nice dinner on the deck or patio this Summer.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and a hard plastic like disk.  (92 pts)

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

 

 

 

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill – SRP $50

Flora Springs’ Lavender Hill Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard in southern Carneros, one of the coolest sites in the Napa Valley.  70% of the juice was fermented in small French oak barrels to allow the oak to better integrate with the wine.  The remaining 30% was fermented and aged in concrete vessels.  The concrete does not leave behind any discernable flavor but the small microscopic pockets hold oxygen which help preserve aromatics and broaden the mouthfeel.  During the eight month aging process, the wine was stirred every two weeks to suspend the lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity.  The wine also went through partial malolactic fermentation to balance the bright fruit and give it a rich and supple palate.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The bright and inviting nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of honey.  This has a full body with a creamy texture and very good acidity.  On the palate tart apples and pears combine with orange blossoms on the front end with baking spices and a touch of minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla and mouth watering lemon zest providing great depth and forcing you to reach for another sip.  This is a very food friendly wine that has great balance.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork topped with a hard disc.  (93 pts)

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

 

 

 

Conclusion

Both of these wines would be a welcome addition to your dinner table.  They have nice up front fruit and good closing acidity to be a good accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.

 

 

 

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 – Locations Tasting with Dave Phinney

 

Locations E-4 (Spain)

Locations F-4 (France)

Locations I-4 (Italy)

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

 

 

The question is – do you break the rules, and thousands of years of history and tradition, in pursuit of expressing freedom?

 

You do, if you are Dave Phinney of Locations Wines.

 

 

I was recently invited to “sit in” on an online tasting and chat with Dave Phinney the winemaker for Locations Wines.  It was a lively hour learning about Dave and his vision of Locations Wines.  You can tell this is a very important project for Dave.  There were a few times when the emotions took over making the chat seem even more real.

 

Dave’s goal is to create the best wine possible in a country regardless of where the wines were grown.  This may sound perfectly normal but this goes against the traditions (and regulations) that have been in place, in some cases, forever.  In America, cross appellation wines are common place.  It’s not unusual for a wine to contain grapes from multiple regions.  Ever see a bottle of Zinfandel labeled as coming from California?  This means the grapes came from multiple regions in the state…perhaps Lodi, Russian River Valley, Lake County, Amador, or anywhere in the state.  Dave goes one step further, he uses grapes from anywhere in the country.  Imagine a US blend including Pinot Noir from Oregon, Merlot from Washington, Cabernet Sauvignon from California and Cabernet Franc from New York.

 

Much more information is available about the winery, their vision and the wines is available on their website by clicking here.  If you are interested, I highly recommend checking out the site.

 

 

Here are the wines that were included in this online tasting:

 

 

 

Locations E-4

This is a blend of Grenache(Garnacha), Tempranillo, Monastrell and Carignan(Cariñena) sourced mainly from vineyards in Priorat, Jumilla, Toto, Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  After fermentation, the wine was barrel aged for 10 months.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The exuberant nose has blackberries, well worn leather, plums, baking spices, licorice, roasted herbs and earthy underbrush.  This has full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, plums, leather, spices and roasted herbs jump out on the front end with roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some underbrush providing depth.  This is a big, rich, smooth wine that is ready to go and full of flavor.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

Locations F-4

This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and assorted Bordeaux varietals mainly from Rhone, Roussillon and Bordeaux.  The wine was barrel aged for 10 months prior to bottling and release.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The outgoing nose has blackberries, raspberries, tobacco, baking spices, dried herbs, dark chocolate and wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit and spices take control on the front end with dried herbs and tobacco coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a nice floral note providing plenty of depth.  This is a ripe and rich wine with enough acidity and tannins to hold everything in check.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

 

 

 

Locations I-4

This wine is a blend of Negroamaro and Nero d’Avola from Puglia and Barbera from Piemonte.  Like the other Locations wine in this tasting, the wine was barrel aged for 10 months after fermentation was completed.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The initially slightly shy but inviting nose opens up with some air revealing blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, vanilla bean, pine needles, dry underbrush and a hint of cocoa powder.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices and underbrush grab your attention on the front end with cocoa powder coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a pine note and vanilla bean providing depth.  This is much more open on the palate than the nose at this time.  A bit of time in the cellar will be rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

 

 

Conclusion – These wines were unique and most were made for immediate enjoyment.  In the case of the Italian wine, I think it has some upside potential if cellared for a year or two.  For the purists, don’t look for the infamous terroir.  Since these grapes are from multiple regions the terroir gets blended away.  These are fairly full bodied wines with soft to moderate tannins and lower levels of acidity making them very easy to drink.  These would be a big hit at your next party or gathering.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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