Posts from the ‘Wine Review’ Category

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2017 Vol 1

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch – $11.72

This was a purchase from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This bottle was included in a blind, mixed case purchase.  I never buy wine without knowing exactly what I am getting but make an exception for Last Bottle.  This wine had a release price of $28.

 

This Sonoma County wine is a blend of 50% Syrah from the winery’s Kivelstadt Vineyard, with 25% Carignane, and 25% Grenache from the Venturi Vineyard.  The lots were fermented separately and blended together after 4 months.  The wine was then aged for an additional 12 months in French oak with 10% being new.  There were 1,600 cases produced.

 

This is a deep garnet color.  The slightly shy nose has blackberries, dry underbrush, black cherries, roasted herbs and espresso beans.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate shows much more than the nose lead you to expect.  This has nice tart fruit but this is not a fruit driven wine with loads of savory notes dancing across your palate.  This still seems pretty tight even with a couple hours of air.  I’d stash this in the back of your cellar for a couple years, I think it will need a while to open.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father's Watch

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

 

 

 

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

McGinley Vineyard was formerly known as Westerly Vineyard is located in the newest Santa Barbara County AVA, Happy Canyon.

 

This is a light yellow color with a green tint.  The exhilarating nose has green apples, crushed stone minerals, lemongrass, honeysuckle and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  After a quick shot of green apples on the palate, crushed stones, lemongrass and honeysuckle take control.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lime zest joining the green apples and minerals.  I liked this more and more as the evening work on.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $18.99

This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir uses grapes from the Foley Family Estate in the Dundee Hills and the winery’s Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 100% French oak with 15% being new.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has black cherry, plum, violets, underbrush, warm baking spices and black tea leaves.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate nice dark fruit and spice lead the way with underbrush and black tea coming in later.  The finish is a touch tight and linear right now but a nice violet note provides some depth.  I’d recommend sitting on this for a while or give it a fair amount of air.  This will be better in 6 months to a year and drink nicely for another 5 years after that time.  This is well worth the tariff at my local Costco.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $25

Helioterra produces Pinot Noir, Mourvédre, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Arneis, Melon de Bourgogne, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Riesling. Their wines are distributed to several states and they have a very nice wine club.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light, bright ruby color.  The enjoyable nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stones, dry underbrush and wildflowers.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Cherries, crushed stones and white pepper jump out immediately on the palate with some dried earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with more minerals and a floral note providing nice depth.  This is a keeper.  This wine has 12.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo – $18.40

This wine includes a touch of Graciano.

 

Bokisch Vineyards is one of my favorite Lodi wineries.  The winery specializes in Spanish varietals.  If you ever find yourself in Lodi, I highly recommend a stop at Bokisch.  Besides their top notch red wines, they make some of the best white wines anywhere.  Much more information is available on the Bokisch website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The exotic nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, blackberries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, wildflowers, white pepper and a touch of dark roast coffee beans.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart black cherries, baking spices, underbrush and wildflowers immediately grab your attention on the palate with minerals, tart berries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dark roasted coffee beans and white pepper providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is very easy to enjoy.  Who says Lodi only makes big, bold red wines?  This is full of subtle nuances with no rough edges.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

 

 

 

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard – $30

This note is based on a bottle that was a “leaker”.  The cork had a small slit that allowed about a tablespoon of wine to leak out.  The wine seemed fine but a perfect bottle may show a little differently.

 

Kirschenmann Vineyard is an “own rooted” vineyard in Lodi that was planted in 1915.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The energetic nose has blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, dark chocolate, wildflowers and dry earth.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit on the front end sets up baking spices and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries and a nice floral note providing depth.  This is a lighter bodied, nuanced and lively zinfandel that carries no excess weight.  This has great balance and is very food friendly.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I had Chicken Kiev and my version of Rice-A-Roni with the Bokisch Tempranillo.

 

 

Pork Piccata with Gnocchi, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes paired very nicely with the Helioterra Pinot Noir.

 

 

The Four Graces Pinot Noir went very nicely with Corned Beef with Cabbage, Red Potatoes and Carrots.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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Cliffs Wine Picks – McKahn Family Cellars

 

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Here are the wines included in this tasting:

McKahn Family Cellars

McKahn Family Cellars

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

2016 McKahn Family Cellars Viognier Russian River Valley

 

 

 

 

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena – SRP $45

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

 

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

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

2015 McKahn Family Cellars Syrah St Helena

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Conclusion

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 4

 

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

 

 

 

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

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

 

Here is what the winery says about the wine:

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

 

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

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

2014 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Mateo Sta. Rita Hills

 

 

 

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal – SRP $17

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2016 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

 

 

 

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur – $19.99

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

 

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

2012 Murrieta's Well The Spur

2012 Murrieta’s Well The Spur

 

 

 

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – $30.94

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

 

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

 

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

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

2010 Rutherford Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

 

 

 

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva – $14.69

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

 

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

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

Campo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Reserva

 

 

 

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant – $16.74

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

 

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

 

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

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

2011 Cypher Winery Peasant

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 3

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi – $19.79

Macchia makes the big, full bore Zinfandels that originally put Lodi on wine lover’s radar.  Like most other wineries in the region Zinfandel is still the mainstay of their offerings but other grape varieties are also produced masterfully.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, toasty oak, black cherries, vanilla bean, black peppercorns, charcoal, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This is rich and velvety on the palate with big upfront fruit and barrel nuances coming in later.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it makes up for that deficiency with a load of fruit on the palate.  This isn’t a wine to sit back and ponder over, pop the cork and just enjoy.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru – $28.02

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

 

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

 

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

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

 

 

 

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey – $24.99

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

 

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

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

 

 

 

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard – $49

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

 

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

 

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

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch – $40.50

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

 

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

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

2013 Jessie's Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 2

 

Locations AR-6

2014 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc East Side Vineyards

Cantine Umberto Bortolotti Dei Signori Rosato Brut

2015 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

2014 Michael-David Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow

2014 Dwyane Wade Cellars Three by Wade Napa Valley

 

 

 

Locations AR-6 – $16.48

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Locations AR-6

Locations AR-6

 

 

 

2014 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc East Side Vineyards – SRP $14

The grapes for this wine come from three Dry Creek Valley vineyards, the winery’s estate vineyard and two neighboring vineyards.  The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and saw no oak.

 

The wine is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The crisp and clean nose has green apple, cut grass, white peach, lemongrass, grapefruit zest and a touch of chalky minerality.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and a touch of lingering sweetness.  This has nice upfront tart fruit and grassy notes with a tasty peach note coming in later.  The mouthwatering citrusy acidity on the lingering finish is buffered nicely with just a touch of residual sweetness.  This is very easy to drink by itself on a warm sunny day or with a lighter meal, preferably on a deck or patio.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc East Side Vineyards

2014 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc East Side Vineyards

 

 

 

Cantine Umberto Bortolotti Dei Signori Rosato Brut – $19.99

As with a lot of the wines “direct imported” by Total Wines there isn’t much information available in the internet.

 

This is a light, bright red color, one of the darker Rosé wines I have seen, with sporadic bubbles after the initial big blast.  The slightly reserved nose has cherries, strawberries, orange zest and a touch of minerality.   This has medium body with light inner mouth effervescence and surprising sweetness for a sparkling wine labeled as being brut.  This is fairly one dimensional on the palate with mainly red fruit with a touch of orange zest on the back end.  This has a fairly short finish.  There are much better sparkling wines out there for the same price.  This was sealed with a standard sparkling wine cork and this has 12% alcohol.  (84 pts)

Cantine Umberto Bortolotti Dei Signori Rosato Brut

Cantine Umberto Bortolotti Dei Signori Rosato Brut

 

 

 

2015 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive – $25.49

This is a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah and 9% Syrah from Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 months in French oak, 30% new.

 

This is a deep maroon color.  The big and intimidating nose has blackberries, licorice, dead wood embers, blueberries, dry underbrush, violets and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  There is a fruit overload on the front end on the palate with some savory notes coming in later.  The finish has nice length and again is fruit dominated.  This is a big burly fruit bomb that would be a good choice for a party or gathering but would be hard to pair with a meal.  A pretty good bit of alcohol pokes through on the nose and finish.  Imagine a bottle of The Prisoner kicked up a notch or two.  This has 15.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (85 pts)

2015 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

2015 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive

 

 

 

2014 Michael-David Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow – $15.99

As with a majority of the winery’s red offerings, there is a bit of Petite Sirah blended in with the Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels.

 

This is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very inviting nose has cassis, black cherry, warm baking spices, plums, white pepper, charred wood and dusty minerals.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the fruit comes through on the front end with the savory notes coming in later and on the lingering finish.  This is an easy drinking, rich and flavorful Cabernet for any night of the week.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Michael-David Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow

2014 Michael-David Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow

 

 

 

2014 Dwyane Wade Cellars Three by Wade Napa Valley – $15

This was a purchase from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  This wine has a suggested price of $35, so Last Bottle’s price was almost 60% off.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine is a blend of 58% Malbec, 22% Merlot, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, and 5% Zinfandel.  There were only 60 cases allocated to the US.  The winemaker is Jayson Pahlmeyer.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The exotic nose has blackberries, cherries, mint, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, violets and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  This has a nice fruity element on the palate but the minerals, spice and underbrush compliment the fruit very nicely.  This isn’t a big, overly ripe wine, it is very “light on its feet” and nuanced.  This can use a year of two in the cellar and should last for several years.  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerate cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Dwyane Wade Cellars Three by Wade Napa Valley

2014 Dwyane Wade Cellars Three by Wade Napa Valley

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

What goes better with a big, juicy Cheeseburger that an flavorful red wine, in this case the Locations AR.

 

 

The Michael-David Freakshow Cab went nicely with a mini meatloaf and some mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 1

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Head High Wines

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc – $15.59

This wine is part of the winery’s “Coastal Collection.”  The winery add a touch of Semillon to give the wine a little extra acidity and a touch of lemon zest.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw color with a very light green tint, this is actually not too much more colorful than water.  The crisp and clean nose has fresh cut grass, grapefruit zest, tart green apples and lemongrass.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, citrus zest and lemongrass jump out on the front end with a touch of grass coming in later.  The crisp finish has nice length with mouthwatering citrusy acidity buffered slightly with a touch of residual sweetness.  This is a nice Sauvignon Blanc to sip on a sunny day with a light meal.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2014 Head High Wines – $14

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine has a suggested price of $36 but Last Bottle sold it for an amazing $14.

 

This is a kitchen sink blend of 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Grenache, 16% Malbec, 15% Tempranillo, 10% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah, 7% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Cabernet Franc.  60% of the grapes are from Sonoma County, 32% from Lake County and 8% from Napa County.

 

This is a deep maroon color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, dark chocolate, black cherries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, violets, baking spices and licorice.  This has a medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This has big fruit on the front end with nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the savory elements taking center stage with the fruit providing nice background sweetness.  This is a nice, easy drinking wine that was a steal for Last Bottle Wines’ price.  This would be a hit at a party or gathering with friends.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Head High Wines

2014 Head High Wines

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – $10

I’m a big fan of wines from Lodi.  If your past experiences of Lodi wines are limited to big red wines, especially Zinfandel, I highly recommend checking out their crisp white and rosé wines.  These wine will make you a fan.

 

This is 100% “Musqué Clone” Sauvignon Blanc from the winery’s Jahant Vineyard in Lodi.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a very slight green tint.  The crisp and fresh nose has tart apples, dusty minerals, lemongrass, lime zest, under ripe pineapple and a spritz of grapefruit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemongrass quickly grab your attention with lime zest and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with a touch of grapefruit joining the tart apples and minerals.  This would be perfect with a light meal on the deck or patio on a warm, sunny day.  The hint of sweetness would also make this a marvelous way to relax before dinner.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

Diano d’Alba is a tiny commune between Barolo and Barbaresco that only produces Dolcetto wines.  The small, family run Brangero winery is situated on a hilltop with views of the Langhe hills and the medival town of Diano d’Alba.

 

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The alluring nose has black cherries, dry forest floor, dusty minerals, dried wildflowers, black raspberries and white pepper.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit and white pepper lead off with nice dry earth and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This is very tasty but doesn’t offer much in the complexity department.  This has enough savory notes on the back end and finish to keep it interesting.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Brangero Diano d'Alba Sorabino Soprano

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

Two Hands wines are a “house favorite” around here.  Unfortunately the prices have rapidly increased, almost to the point the “Garden Series” wines are now special occasion wines.  This wine is still fairly reasonably priced as long as you shop around, hint – check your local Costco.  The price I paid is several dollars below the usual price for this wine.  Its a good value at this price, but for over $30 the value starts to get a bit iffy.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, plums, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, charred wood, dark chocolate, baking spices, wild flowers and dried herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, minerals, baking spices and white pepper quickly take control with wild flowers and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a floral note providing depth.  This is a big, rich Shiraz that doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is loaded with fruit and spice.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles – $14.14

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had a suggested price of $28.

 

This wine is a blend of 50% Staar Ranch Grenache and 50% Kiler Canyon Syrah.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a deep violet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, baking spices, black cherries, crushed stones, dark chocolate and white pepper.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, crushed stones and white pepper quickly jump out on the front end with dark chocolate and black cherries coming in later.  The finish has good length with the mix of fruit and savory elements lingering nicely.  This is a very nice, easy drinking bottle of wine.  This has 14.37% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

I paired the Brangero Dolcetto with a Stromboli stuffed with pepperoni, salami and mozzarella cheese served with a meat sauce.

 

 

The Two Hands Shiraz paired very nicely with a Stacked Enchilada Caserole.

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Rías Baixas

 

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $16.99

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

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

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

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

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

2015 Adega Condes de Albarei Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

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

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

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

2015 Terras Gauda Rías Baixas Abadia de San Campio

 

 

 

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal – SRP $20

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

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

2015 Santiago Ruiz Rías Baixas O Rosal

 

 

 

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas – SRP $17

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

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

2015 Pazo de San Mauro Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release – SRP $15.99

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

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

2015 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas Limited Release

 

 

 

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $18

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

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

2016 Robalino Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas – SRP $14

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

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

2015 Bodegas Altos de Torona Rías Baixas

 

 

 

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

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

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

2015 Adegas Valmiñor Albariño Rías Baixas Edición especial 10 años

 

 

 

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas – SRP $25

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

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

2016 Pazo de Señoráns Albariño Rías Baixas

 

 

 

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

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

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience

2016 Bodegas Agnusdei Albariño Rías Baixas You & Me White Experience

 

 

 

Conclusion

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

 

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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