Posts from the ‘Wine of the Week’ Category

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

This was a winery supplied sample.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

 

Conclusion

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

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2018 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Logo

 

Name

 

 

 

This bottle of wine was a “house warming” gift from the winery.  As gifts go, this one was one of the best I have ever received.  I know the wine will be better down the road but I wanted to try the wine so I could decide how many to buy.  With the miniscule production, I didn’t want to miss out and be kicking myself in the years to come.

 

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

The winery focuses their production on Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon but they added a petite sirah (also top notch) in 2012 and will introduce their first white wine with the 2014 vintage – a sauvignon blanc from Rutherford.  Yes, you read that right, a white wine!

 

Right before the earthquake the winery moved from the Michael Mondavi Winery in Carneros (it was sold) to a new state-of-the-art winery in Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine (from the winery)

Our 2012 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes from an historic vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench.

 

IMG_0001 

  

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford – SRP $90

This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Hossfield Vineyard Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% French oak, 70% new and the remainder was one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 60 cases.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, warm baking spices, cherries, tobacco, cedar, dusty minerals, dying wood embers, dried herbs, wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate rich fruit, spice and minerals immediately grab your attention, slowly allowing wood embers and cedar to slip into the picture.  The finish has very good length with tobacco and a dried herb note coming into focus.  This is incredibly young with a big tannic bite but already a worthy foil for a piece of juicy, grilled beef.  This is delicious now but will be even better as this decade draws to a close.  (96 pts)

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

 

Conclusion

Like they say, put up or shut up.  I very much enjoyed this wine and ordered a three pack of this wine as well as a six bottle sampler pack that included two more bottles.

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 St. Amant Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

St Amant Logo

 

Overview

In the past, I have been lucky enough to be included in a few online tastings featuring wines from some of the small, family owned wineries of Lodi.  During a couple of the events, wines from St. Amant were included in the groups.  The wines caught my attention as wines worthy of being “hunted down”.  A couple weeks ago, I saw this wine on the shelf at a local wine store and immediately grabbed a couple bottles.

 

If your knowledge of wines from Lodi is based on a taste of a large production wine from a giant winery, you owe it to yourself to check out the outstanding wines being produced in a much smaller quantity by the smaller artisan wineries in the region.

 

 

The Winery

St. Amant was founded in 1981 by Tim Spencer and his wife, Barbara St. Amant Spencer.  The couple started out by grafting over two acres of Zinfandel vines to the Portuguese varieties, Avarelhao, BastardoSouzao, Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional.  Eventually other European grapes were added like Tempranillo and Barbera.

 

In 1992 the winery began working with the Lodi Winegrape Commission to produce single-vineyard, small production wines for them to market the region.  At that point, virtually no Lodi labeled wines were being made and the Commission wanted to showcase the quality of Lodi vineyards by demonstrating their potential with small artisan winemaking.

 

In 1996 after a legal battle with their landlord, the family had to quickly move the winery to a new location.  They found a place in Lodi, and setup shop at the old Guild Winery.  This was a post prohibition era winery, built in the late 1930’s.  It was anything but picturesque, but it was functional, and allowed the family to continue making wines.

 

The winery released their first Lodi “branded” Zinfandel wine in 1997, as they say, the rest is history.

 

It was also at this time the family vineyard was dying of phyloxera.  When the vineyard dies in a winery that makes wine from the grapes they grow, it could be a problem if not a catastrophe.  At that point Tim Spencer worked out a deal with the Lodi Winegrape Commission – if a grower brought them 2 tons of grapes, they would make the wine, give them 25 cases, and keep the balance for themselves.  They had numerous growers take them up on the offer.  One day Jerry Fry showed up with 7 tons of beautiful Old Vine Zinfandel grapes.  Tim didn’t know what to do, he didn’t have the money to pay for the grapes, and they had no idea how the wine would turn out.  Jerry told him not to worry about it, that they would work it out later.  The winery ended up bottling 450 cases of that first vintage.  It won a bunch of awards, sold out quickly, and has since grown to be their most popular wine.

 

Much more information about the winery, family and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

 

From the winery, in their words

Upon entering our winery a visitor once remarked, “Oh! This doesn’t look like a winery.” My dad quickly replied, “There are tanks, barrels, picking bins, and cases of wine. What is a winery supposed to look like?” She replied, “You know, picnic tables, t-shirts, gift items!” He retorted, “Lady! I think you will be much happier visiting somewhere else, and I know I will!”

 

While my father may not have attended the Disney school of customer service, his point was that our winery was built to make wine, not entertain guests with “non-wine” experiences. Our winery was built with the express intent of making the best wines possible. Although we’re housed in an old industrial winery, where the drain tends to be the highest point in the room, we’ve built our winery to produce exceptional quality hand-crafted wines.

 

We make all our wines on site. From crushing to bottling, the wines never leave our control. We do everything by hand, in small lots, and by a few people. This gives us an intimate understanding of each vineyard, each vintage, and each lot of wine so that we can consistently produce original hand-crafted wines.

 

 

The Vineyard (from the winery)

Mohr-Fry Ranch is farmed by our good friends Jerry and Bruce Fry. The father and son team is responsible for managing the family’s diversified farming operation that includes winegrapes and heirloom beans. The family has been farming in California for over 150 years, and their vineyards are the source of our most popular wine – Mohr-Fry Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel.

 

Their home ranch sits directly south of the city of Lodi, on a beautiful 225 acre ranch comprised of 9 separate blocks of own-rooted Old Vine Zinfandel dating back to 1901. We source grapes from multiple vineyard blocks planted between 1901 and 1945. All of them are head-trained and planted on their own roots in very sandy soils. In our opinion, these vineyards produce some of California’s best Zinfandel wines, consistently ripening beautiful grapes.

 

 

This vineyard was one of the first “certified” vineyards under the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to address the overall health of the vineyard and ecosystem.  The farming standards go beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, soil and water health, and employee safety.  For more information, please click here.

 

 

mohr-frye-vineyard Jerry and Bruce Fry at the Mohr-Fry Wineyard

  

About Lodi

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.

 

 

 

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $19.99

 

(Even though I paid a bit more at the local store, the suggested retail price for the wine is only $18.  It is available to purchase for $18 on the winery’s website by clicking here.

 

This wine is a blend of 100% Zinfandel that comes from two vineyards planted on Mohr-Fry Ranch.  One vineyard was planted in 1901, the other in 1944.  The head-pruned vines are own-rooted and are situated in the sandy soils just southwest of the city of Lodi.  The vines benefit from the distinctive delta breezes that cool the appellation in the late afternoon and early evening creating an ideal climate for high-quality Zinfandel.

 

The grapes were harvested from September 25th through October 2nd.  The grapes were hand sorted and fermented for 7 days at cool temperature with gentle pumpovers.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 60 gallon American oak barrels, with 25% being new.  A total of 3.068 cases were bottled on July 13, 2013.

 

The wine has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby to garnet color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean, dried flowers and a touch of subtle earthiness.  This has a fairly full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  The spicy, brambly berries coat the palate on the front end with dusty minerals, black pepper and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a nice floral note and subtle earthiness joining the berries and spice.  This is a very easy wine to enjoy now and over the next couple of years.  (91 pts)

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

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.

 

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 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Wine of the Week – 2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

carlisle_title

 

Overview

I generally refrain from selecting a wine as my Wine of the Week that is not generally available.  This is a wine that is generally only available to those of us fortunate enough to be on the winery’s mailing list.  Add to that, the wine is several vintages old, making it even harder to buy.  That said, even though this wine has sold out long ago through the winery and didn’t make it onto your local wine store’s shelf, it’s still available.  The wine makes rather frequent appearances on winebid.com.  This bottle was purchased via Wine Bid to supplement the bottles I was able to get via the winery’s mailing list.  A quick check this morning shows a bottle on the Wine Bid site with no current bids.  You may be able to snag the bottle for the starting bid price of $35.

 

I wanted to check in on this wine again.  I had a bottle a couple years ago and felt it needed some cellar time.  What’s a better time to open a big red then a cold November day in Wisconsin and to pair it with a thick rib-eye hot and juicy off the grill?

 

 

The Winery

In the winery’s words – We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

In my words – This is the one mailing list you have to join.  Mike Officer makes some of the best wines coming out of California and sells them at incredibly reasonable prices.  I was lucky to be an early fan of the winery and was able to join the mailing list immediately.  For the unlucky people who were not able to jump on early, the mailing list is full.  The winery actually has a waiting list to get on the mailing list.  No one can accurately say how long it will actually take to move from the waiting list to the mailing list for one very good reason…no one, or probably more accurately, very few people drop off the list.  These are usually outstanding wines and with their pricing, these are some of the best QPR wines out there.

 

Much more information on the winery, their wines and access to their mailing list is available by clicking here.

 

Yorkville Highlands

 

Here is a picture of the Yorkville Highlands

courtesy of the Yorkville Highlands Growers & Vintners Association.

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands – $34.50

This wine is 100% Petite Sirah.  The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 28% of which were new.  The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.  The wine was released in November 2009 and the winery is sold out of this wine.  Like I noted above, this wine makes fairly frequent appearances on the Wine Bid site.

 

The wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The total production of this wine was only 152 cases.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, midnight purple color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, cracked black peppercorns, road tar, blueberries, camphor, minerals, licorice, dried flowers, dark chocolate and some earthiness.  The wine is full bodied with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate is full of rich fruit and peppery spices on the front end with minerals, dark chocolate and flowers coming in later.  The finish is long and full of sweet fruit and spice.  This is drinking very nicely and should hold and potentially improve for several years.  This is not a big, massively extracted Petite Sirah, this would make a very civilized and well-mannered guest on your dinner table.  (93 pts)

2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands

2007 Carlisle Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2008 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Boudreaux Logo

 

Overview

This wine was a totally blind purchase.  This wine was offered on Garagiste Wine simply as Mystery Wine #80.  I generally avoid these “mystery” wines because I prefer to know what I’m buying.  That said, a Cabernet blend, directly from the winery of their current release (at the time of the offer), which normally sells in the $55 to $60 range for a touch under $30, was too hard to pass up.

 

The Winery (in their words)

Boudreaux Cellars is located on the Icicle River just outside of Leavenworth, Washington, four miles off the power grid (The only winery in Washington State completely self-powered). Rob relies heavily on nature in many ways to aide his winemaking. The 200 barrel cellar is completely underground, providing very constant temperatures for the somewhat extended two- and three-year barrel aging. Above ground, thick insulated walls, and propane heat when necessary, provide good wine making conditions for blending, bottling, labeling, waxing, and shipping. Gravity provides transport for wines from the press to the barrel. Blending is done in a series of tanks ranging from 225 gallon poly to 2000 gallon French oak. The site is not well-suited for grape farming although Rob is experimenting with Pinot Noir, Lemberger, and Reisling in our estate vineyard.

 

The winery is faced with local granite stone, blending it into the majestic Stuart Range setting. The drive from Leavenworth along the Icicle River is worth the trip. The spectacular wines are a bonus!

 

The site is well-suited for living deep in the Cascade Mountains in majestic surroundings and the views from the winery’s tasting room windows are spectacular. The Newsom’s log home, located next to the winery, was used extensively as a location by Warner Brothers for the Steven Segal movie, “On Deadly Ground.” as well as numerous magazine and catalogue photo shoots.

 

Much more information on the winery including some very nice photos are available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

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2008 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon – $29.80 (SRP $60)

This wine is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot.  The grapes for this wine come from some of the oldest vines in these vineyards, Bacchus 23%, Champoux 4%, Dutchman 2%, Gamache 5%, Klipsun 6%, Loess 4%, Pepper Bridge 2%, Seven Hills 20%, Wallula 28% and Weinbau 6%.

 

The grapes get an cold soak and extended maceration before a cool ferment.  The wine is moved through the process in the winery’s gravity fed system.  The wine is aged for 32 months in high quality French oak before being blended in a 2000 gallon Radoux oak tank.

 

The wine has 13.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were a total of 1,050 cases of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  I can just sit back and keep enjoying the nose on this wine, it is full of cassis, crushed stones, cedar, mint, dried herbs, dried flowers and fresh ground espresso beans.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Sweet fruit and layers of savory elements roll over the palate in waves with no off notes or overpowering elements poking through or trying to steal the show.  The wine has impressive balance and equally impressive depth.  This is a winner to follow over the next decade, maybe longer.  (94 pts)

2008 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2011 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noir Edna Valley

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Chamisal Logo

 

 

Overview

I noticed I have had a high percentage of Pinot Noirs as my wine of the week lately.  That’s probably due to me actively tracking down Pinots that have attractive pricing to potentially add to my cellar.  A local wine store had this wine on sale for about half suggested price, which made it easy to grab a couple bottles.  It’s been a few years since I last had a Chamisal wine, so I’m looking forward to giving this one a try.

 

 

The Winery

 

Our Historic Vineyard

In 1973 Chamisal became the first winery to plant vines in Edna Valley, a gamble that paved the way for one of the most revered wine regions of California.  Our Central Coast vineyard is named for the native, white-flowered Chamise plant that thrives on the property.  In the early 1990’s after a period of dormancy, the vineyard was replanted and the estate was renamed Domain Alfred, but when we took ownership in 2008 we restored the original name – Chamisal Vineyard – to honor its place in Edna Valley history.  Now planted to five grape varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah and Pinot Gris, this exceptional estate vineyard is the centerpiece, source and inspiration of Chamisal’s bold and distinctive wines.

 

Winemaking Philosophy

At Chamisal our winemaking philosophy encompasses an approach that is all about bringing out the natural characteristics of our estate-grown fruit in the wines.  All vineyard work is done by hand.  During harvest, we take as many as four passes through each block to ensure the grapes are picked at ideal ripeness.  We ferment and age each lot separately, tailoring our winemaking, such as the kind of French oak we use, to highlight the characteristics unique to each particular vineyard block.  From our painstaking work in the field to the careful handcrafting of our wines, our style is about allowing each varietal to shine, expressing our Edna Valley vineyard’s naturally bold and complex flavors.

More information on the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

 

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2011 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noir Edna Valley – $19.99 (SRP $40)

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir made using seven clones of the grape, all from the estate vineyard in the Edna Valley.

 

The different clones were harvested at night over the course of 19 separate picks.  After hand sorting, each pick was fermented separately with a small percentage of grapes left whole cluster.  The grapes were subjected to a pre-fermentation cold soak of three to seven days.  A combination of native and cultured yeasts was utilized for fermentation in small open-top fermenters at low temperatures.  After 10 to 14 days of fermentation the wine was racked to French oak barrels (35% new) for seven months.  At that time, the wines were blended and aged an additional four months in barrels.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 3,020 cases of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, crushed stones, earthy underbrush, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and great acidity.  Cherries and spices jump out quickly on the palate with minerals and underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note entering the picture.  This is a very easy to drink and enjoy Pinot.  (91 pts)

2011 Chamisal Vineyards Pinot Noir Edna Valley

 

 

 

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.

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Van Duzer logo

 

Overview

I’m always on the lookout for good Pinot Noirs.  Recently, most of my time (and money) has been spent exploring the Pinots from Oregon.  A local wine store had this wine on the shelf at a great price and that was more than enough reason for me to grab a couple bottles.

 

 

The Winery

Van Duzer Vineyards was built on a dream to find a cool weather site in Oregon for the fussy Pinot Noir grape that would rival the best wines of Burgundy in balance and finesse. In 1998, Van Duzer Vineyards owners Carl and Marilynn Thoma located a hilltop winery with existing vineyards immediately west of the Eola Hills. The estate site occupies a strategic site in the foothills of the Van Duzer Corridor, the conduit through the Coastal Mountains for maritime breezes that enter the Willamette Valley at the close of summer evenings.

 

Located on a scenic hilltop amidst 82 acres of vines, the family estate winery practices sustainable farming and has been endorsed by internationally recognized LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe.

 

Pinot Noir is Van Duzer’s signature wine. A variety of Pinot Noir clonal varieties and microclimates allows Van Duzer Vineyards to produce a multi-dimensional estate Pinot Noir and a handful of limited-production Block Designates of singular personality. Pinot Gris is Oregon’s other wine of note, a white wine that Van Duzer Vineyards makes in a crisp, dry style particularly well suited to a white wine.

 

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

 

 

Van Duzer pinot grapes

 

 

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate – $23.39 (SRP is $32.00)

This wine is produced 100% Van Duzer Estate vineyard grapes.  The clonal breakdown of the grapes are: 22% Pommard, 20% Dijon 777, 19% Wädenswil, 12% Dijon 115, 9% Dijon 828, 9% Dijon 667, 8% Dijon 113 and 1% Dijon 114.

 

The coastal breezes that pass through the vineyards every afternoon greatly influence the grapes the winery uses.  In cool years, the breezes warm up the vineyard so it is warmer than most in the Willamette Valley.  In hotter years, the breezes cool down the vineyards so they are cooler than most in the valley.  In this vintage, a cool growing season, the grapes benefited from extended “hang time”.  The grapes were harvested from October 22 through November 1, just prior to the start of the fall rains.

 

This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There was a total of 5,686 cases produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, stony minerals, baking spices, damp underbrush, white pepper and dried flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and spice jump out first with white pepper and some underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a very slight green herbal note coming into the picture.  A very enjoyable value priced Oregon Pinot.  (90 pts)

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

 

 

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.

 

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 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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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