Cliffs Wine Picks – September 2017 Vol 3

 

2009 Gamache Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Cosa Obra Sauvignon Blanc Hummingbird Hill Vineyard

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

2014 Ledge Grenache Blanc G2 Vineyard

2011 Waters Interlude

2015 Château de Cornemps Bordeaux Rosé

 

 

 

2009 Gamache Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon – $21.24

This wine was poured at a recent tasting at the local Total Wine of wines from the Pacific Northwest.  It’s pretty unusual to be able to buy a wine with a few years of bottle age for just a touch over $20.  This is from Washington state’s Columbia Valley.

 

The wine is a dark ruby color.  The very satisfying nose has cherries, cedar, plums, tobacco, crushed stone minerals, dry earth, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, and licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate plums, cherries, minerals and cedar come through quickly on the front end with tobacco and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and licorice providing good depth.  There is a touch of extra oak showing in places but it’s not really a distraction.  This is in a prime drinking window right now and should hold for at least a couple years.  This was very easy to drink and it has superb balance.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 Gamache Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Gamache Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2014 Cosa Obra Sauvignon Blanc Hummingbird Hill Vineyard – $20

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, Clone 1 and Sauvignon Musqué from the Hummingbird Hill Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast.  The vineyard is maintained to produce only 2.5 to 4 tons per acre.  After a 21 day fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel, the wine was moved to neutral French oak barrels to help round out the flavors.  There were 369 cases produced.

 

This is a very light, pale yellow with a slight green tint.  The crisp and refreshing nose has green apples, lemongrass, grapefruit zest, crushed stone minerals and a touch of melon.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and perhaps just a trace of residual sweetness.  On the palate this has tart green apples and grapefruit zest on the front end with lemongrass and minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with just a hint of melon joining the grapefruit zest.  This is very tasty even though it could use a bit more complexity.  The trace of residual sweetness does a great job of buffering the tart grapefruit zest acidity.  This is an easy wine to sip on a hot, sunny day.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Cosa Obra Sauvignon Blanc Hummingbird Hill Vineyard

2014 Cosa Obra Sauvignon Blanc Hummingbird Hill Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard – $32.00

This was a very easy buy from Last Bottle, one of my favorite grapes, from a top notch vineyard, from one of my go-to wineries.  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.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The inviting nose is full of crushed blackberries, dusty minerals, violets, blueberries, white pepper, road tar, dried violets and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  For a Hayne Vineyard Petite Sirah this is bright and lively on your palate with crushed berries, minerals and white pepper hitting on the front end and blueberries, vanilla and dried violets coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with berries and white pepper seeming to linger forever.  This is on the young side but very easy to enjoy even at this stage in its development.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Ledge Grenache Blanc G2 Vineyard – $18.75

I’ve been a big fan of the wines produced by Mark Adams for a few years.  I received a sample of his initial release of Syrah a few years ago and immediately jumped on their mailing list.

 

This wine comes from the G2 Vineyard in the Willow Creek AVA.  This is 100% Grenache Blanc fermented and aged in stainless steel.  Less than 200 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The captivating nose has apples, lemon zest, crushed stone minerals, melon, peach pit, pineapple and leafy green herbs.  This has a medium body with nice acidity and a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals and peach pit come through on the front end with pineapple and green herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with mouthwatering lemon zest providing nice depth.  This has nice balance between the creamy mouth feel, citrusy acidity and just a touch of sweetness to compliment the other elements.  This is perfect with a light meal on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Ledge Grenache Blanc G2 Vineyard

2014 Ledge Grenache Blanc G2 Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Waters Interlude – $16.98

The grapes for this wine come from Stone Tree, Seven Hills, Cold Creek and Old Stones vineyards.  The wine was aged in 20% new French oak and 80% neutral French oak.  There were 1,550 cases of wine produced.  I should note, I bought the wine at a great price from Garagiste Wine, the suggested price for the wine is $28.

 

This is a blend of 61% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot from Washington.  The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very expressive nose has cherries, cassis, stony minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, freshly ground espresso beans, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder and dried earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries and berries hit first with minerals and espresso beans quickly joining in.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs, cocoa powder, dried earth and a hint of eucalyptus entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for a few years.  I wouldn’t want to stash this in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next few of years.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Waters Interlude

2011 Waters Interlude

 

 

 

2015 Château de Cornemps Bordeaux Rosé – $10.78

This is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet from near Saint-Emilion.

 

The wine is a fairly deep pink salmon color.  The appealing nose has strawberries, cherries, minerals, orange blossoms and subtle underbrush.  This has medium body with nice acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals jump out on the front end with orange blossoms coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a touch of underbrush entering the picture.  This is easy drinking but could use a bit more complexity.  For the price this is a nice week day pink wine to enjoy on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2015 Château de Cornemps Bordeaux Rosé

2015 Château de Cornemps Bordeaux Rosé

 

 

 

 

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 – September 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2013 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Schmiedt Road

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc – $22

Direct from the winery:

First, it should be noted that despite not being a “vineyard designated” wine, the Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc is stronger than it has ever been.  The reason for this was the addition of Judge Family Vineyard to the wine—a  site so rocky that Joe Judge removed 200 tons of rock merely to make the site plantable for grapes.  Like Kick Ranch, which is 22% of the blend, the rocky site limits the vigor of the naturally robust Sauvignon Blanc grape and makes for more concentrated fruit.  Roughly 15% of the wine was done in the celebrated “cigare” barrels created by Dider Dageneau and coopered by Tonnellerie Ateleir from tight-grain and lightly toasted oak.  The remainder of the wine split its fermentation between neutral oak barrels and stainless steel.  The resulting wine is the type of Sauvignon Blanc I like to drink, interestingly textured, layered, racy and exotically perfumed.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color with a slight green tint.  The exotic nose has green apples, lemongrass, lime zest, flinty minerals, unripe pineapple and a touch of mowed grass.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and pineapple come through early with lemongrass coming in on the back end.  The juicy finish has good length with lime zest and a touch of mowed grass providing depth.  This is still tasting very nice but I’d probably clear out this vintage in the next year before the freshness starts to fade.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $17.31

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 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 87% Zinfandel, 13% combination of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Durif, Grand Noir, Muscat Hamburg, Négrette, Syrah, and Valdiguié.  Elyse has been making Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard since 1986 and have been the only producer using these grapes since 1988.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The captivating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, dusty minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, dark chocolate, cherries, violets and just a hint of roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and dusty minerals immediately jump out with spicy oak, black pepper and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some subtle earthiness joining a floral note and dark chocolate to add solid depth.  This is a well balanced, food friendly Zinfandel to enjoy over the remainder of the decade.  This wine has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County – $25

In this vintage, all the grapes are from Sta. Rita Hills vineyards but the wine kept the more generic Santa Barbara County designation to maintain flexibility of fruit sourcing.  After a 12 day maceration without stems the wine was fermented and aged for 18 months in stainless steel.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The satisfying nose has black cherries, raspberries, white pepper, dry underbrush, dusty minerals, Asian spices and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, raspberries, dry underbrush and minerals come through on the front end with white pepper and spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note adding depth.  This is a refined, civilized style of Pinot that will pair with a wide range of foods.  This improved the more air it received.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

2013 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Schmiedt Road – $31.00

This wine is a blend of 78% Kirschenmann Vineyard and 22% Katushas Vineyard.  The vineyards are across Schmiedt Road from each other, hence the wine’s name.  Both vineyards were planted in 1915 and are own-rooted in Tokay fine sandy loam.  A lot of the vineyards in Lodi are own -rooted since most of the vineyard pests don’t survive in sandy soil.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, dusty minerals, violets, dark chocolate, pencil shavings and cherries.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate raspberries, minerals and pencil shavings quickly grab your attention on the front end with cherries and violets coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  For a zin from Lodi, this is bright and lively on your palate with no excess weight or any overbearing elements.  With the great balance, I can see this wine improving with some cellar time.  If you open this in the near term, it was considerably better the more air it received.  I really like this feminine style of zinfandel.  This wine proves two things, a zinfandel does not have to be a massive wine to be outstanding and secondly, there are world class wines being produced with grapes from Lodi.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Schmiedt Road

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Schmiedt Road

 

 

 

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay – $25.42

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 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.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with several streams of pinpoint bubbles.  The festive nose is full of tart apples, flinty minerals, yeasty bread, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence and just a slight hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and lemon zest quickly grab hold with yeasty bread coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of orange blossom providing some additional depth.  This has great balance and tastes even better.  There is no rush on this bottle of bubbly but it’s hard to resist.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $20.31

The grape sources for this wine are the Peterson and Soberanes Vineyards.  The vineyards located on opposite sides of River Road in Soledad. The clones from Peterson are Pommard 5, 667 and 828 while the Soberanes is the Pisoni selection.  The grapes were 10% whole cluster ferments and aged for 10 months in 1, 2 and 3 year old French oak.  There were 213 cases produced in this vintage.

 

The wine is a slightly hazy light to medium ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose grudgingly offers up raspberries, white pepper, earthy underbrush and a touch of baking spices.  This is barely medium body with very nice acidity and soft to moderate tannins.  This is much more open on the palate with raspberries, cherries, earthy underbrush and baking spices coming through on the front end and white pepper and violets coming in later.  The finish has very good length with earthy fruit and spices dominating.  This tastes great, I just wish the nose was a bit more open and giving.  I doubt if additional cellar time will be rewarded, so I’d open this one over the next year or two.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

 

Cajun Andouille Shrimp Skillet

 

Here is a quick, easy and most importantly, very tasty dinner.  The dish can be served as is with a salad for a lighter meal or served over pasta or our preferred method, over rice.

 

2 links Andouille sausage, diced

1 whole shallot, minced

⅓ c. dry white wine, we use Sauvignon Blanc.  Avoid oaky wines, they can get a touch bitter when cooked down.

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1 tsp. paprika (we prefer smoked paprika)

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat for 2 minutes.

Add diced sausage and cook until fat has rendered and pieces are crispy.

Reduce heat to medium and add shallot; cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and add wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add tomatoes and paprika and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until tomatoes start breaking down, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are pink and cooked through, 3-5 minutes.

Cajun Andouille Shrimp Skillet

Cajun Andouille Shrimp Skillet

 

 

 

 

 

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 – September 2017 Vol 1

 

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2015 Loring Wine Company Dornfelder Huber Vineyard

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

2007 Keplinger Grenache N=1

2014 Autonom Rose of Grenache Santa Barbara County

2010 Château Brown Pessac Leognan

 

 

 

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast – $13.42

Courtney Benham is a division of Martin Ray Winery.  Courtney Benham Wines are limited release for special offer to their wine club members but obviously some make it into the hands of the Total Wine stores since I can buy these reasonably priced wines at my local store.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The relaxing nose has black cherries, dry underbrush, white pepper, licorice, Asian spices and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush and white pepper come through on the front end with spices and a floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a black tea note providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it is an easy to drink Pinot at a very attractive price.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

 

 

 

2015 Loring Wine Company Dornfelder Huber Vineyard – $36.66

Dornfelder is an extremely rare grape variety in the United States.  Dornfelder is a dark skinned grape that was created by August Herold in Germany.  Dornfelder is a cross between two grapes that are generally unknown in this country, Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe.  Visit Wikipedia for a full rundown on this grape and its’ origin.  Dornfelder received varietal protection and was released for cultivation in 1979.

 

The wine is a deep purple, almost black.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, licorice, baking spices, scorched earth and dusty minerals.  This has medium body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate tart berries, licorice and baking spices dominate the front end with minerals and plums coming in later.  The finish has nice length with plums and spices carrying the load.  This doesn’t offer much in the complexity department but for a sparsely planted grape it provides a nice mouthful of fruit and spice.  This is much lighter on the palate then the nose lead me to expect.  This is a novelty grape at this point, we’ll have to wait to see if it can gain a foothold in California.  This doesn’t offer a lot of QPR at this point, perhaps an increase in acreage would increase the supply but at this point sampling a Dornfelder from California will cost more than it should.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist-off closure.  (86 pts)

2015 Loring Wine Company Dornfelder Huber Vineyard

2015 Loring Wine Company Dornfelder Huber Vineyard

 

 

 

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru – $28.57

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 100% Chardonnay was aged for 5 years on its lees.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color with several steady steams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The alluring nose has apples, yeasty bread, lemon zest, dusty minerals, roasted nuts and spring flowers.  This has light to medium body with great acidity.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab control with yeasty bread and a touch of nuttiness coming in later.  The lingering finish adds a nice floral note.  The citrusy crispness in this bubbly will keep you reaching for another sip.  A very good bargain.  This has 12.0% alcohol.  (92 pts)

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru

 

 

 

2007 Keplinger Grenache N=1 – $70

Here’s the background on the wine’s name, N=1:

Always game for experimentation, we relented, selecting one 600L barrel to age for another year. This wine is the first iteration of this experiment, hence the name “N=1,” and it will only be repeated in truly exceptional vintages.

 

Production was a minuscule 60 cases, luckily 3 bottles were able to find a home in my cellar.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The stunning nose has cherries, white pepper, warm baking spices, minerals, roasted herbs, cola and dried flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the tart cherries, white pepper and spices jump out first with roasted herbs and cola coming in on the back end.  The finish is extremely long and nicely layered.  This is absolutely stunning today but it still seems to have more buried deep inside.  Enjoy it with plenty of air or let it sleep in the cellar for a couple more years.  This would fit in nicely as a sleeper in a high end CdP tasting.  The wine has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2007 Keplinger Grenache N=1

2007 Keplinger Grenache N=1

 

 

 

2014 Autonom Rose of Grenache Santa Barbara County – $25

Total production was 900 bottles, bottles not cases.

 

The wine is a deep pink salmon color.  The bright and lively nose has cherries, white peach, crushed stones, strawberries, orange blossoms, dry earth and a touch of leafy green herbs.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate bright red fruit and crushed stones come through on the front end with orange blossoms and a hint of leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with strawberries and a touch of dry earth providing depth.  This tastes very nice.  Even though I held on to it for an extra year, it isn’t coming across as anything but fresh and crisp.  I liked this wine.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2014 Autonom Rose of Grenache Santa Barbara County

2014 Autonom Rose of Grenache Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2010 Château Brown Pessac Leognan – $30.30

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 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.  For some reason, I think this is a fantastic name for a winery, right up there with Vine Cliff  🙂

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The invigorating nose has cassis, plums, dusty minerals, cedar, tobacco, cherries, dark roast coffee beans, baking spices, violets and dry earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Cassis, plums, cedar and minerals take control of the palate on the front end with baking spices, cherries and coffee beans coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dry earth and a nice floral note providing good depth.  This is drinking very nicely today with some air but another year or two in the cellar will be rewarded.  This is everything you could want in a lower cost Bordeaux.  I grew to like this more and more as the evening wore on, glad I have a few more bottle in the cellar to follow over the next 8 to 10 years.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2010 Château Brown Pessac Leognan

2010 Château Brown Pessac Leognan

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – August 2017 Vol 6

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2011 Exitus Red Blend

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

Locations AR-6

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

 

 

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris – $13.89

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

 

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

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

 

 

 

2011 Exitus Red Blend – $9.49

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

 

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

 

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

2011 Exitus Red Blend

2011 Exitus Red Blend

 

 

 

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé – SRP $21.99

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

 

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

 

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

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

2016 Smoke Tree Rosé

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

From the winery:

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

 

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

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

Locations AR-6 – $16.48

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Locations AR-6

Locations AR-6

 

 

 

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County – $8.62

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

 

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

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

2015 Chloe Wines Rosé Monterey County

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – August 2017 Vol 5

 

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema – $16.77

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

 

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

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

2014 Amici Cellars Pinot Noir Olema

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

2014 Homage to Heritage Pouilly-Fuissé H to H

 

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $18.99

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

 

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

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

 

 

 

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs – $37.99

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

 

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

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs

 

 

 

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT – SRP $16.99

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

 

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

 

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

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

2016 Tormaresca Calafuria Puglia IGT

 

 

 

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – $38.50

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

 

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

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks –Steven Kent Winery

 

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

 

 

2016 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Franc BDX Collection

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Series Ghielmetti

2013 Steven Kent Lineage

 

 

 

 

I was recently lucky and grateful to receive some wine samples from the Steven Kent Winery.  These are my first samples from the winery in a few years.  In the past these wines were top notch offerings that would make any meal a special event.

 

 

 

The Steven Kent Winery Was Born.

In 2005, Steven joined forces with the Ghielmetti family who owned a spectacular vineyard site about three miles east of the winery.  The site was planted to Bordeaux and Rhône varieties, many of which he used to make small-lot releases for his burgeoning wine clubs.  Steven realized in 2007, though, that the farther he went down this path, the further away he’d be from the vision with which he started in the business – to make a single, great, statement wine.

 

Lineage—our Livermore Valley Red Wine—then, is the renaissance of that need to have the effort mean something; for the wine to be a symbol of the passion to create something of great quality, an emblem of one family’s generations-long commitment to the grape.

 

Also in 2005, Steven found an opportunity to close a circle.  His cousins, who had earlier sold the Mirassou brand to Gallo, had started a brand called La Rochelle, named for the town north of Bordeaux from which their progenitor had come to America in 1854.  La Rochelle had an amazingly talented winemaker, Tom Stutz, and a portfolio of wines whose only focus was family vineyard fruit from Monterey.  Steven acquired the brand and brought it and Tom up to Livermore with a new focus on Pinot Noir.  Seven years later, La Rochelle is making some of the best Pinot Noirs (and a newly released, small-lot production focus on Chardonnay) in California.

 

Much more information, links to the wineries, and purchasing information is available at their website.

 

 

Steven has a very nice blog here – Steven’s Blog.

 

 

 

Steven Kent Winery Info

“Steven Kent is producing today’s greatest Livermore Cabernets, wines that hearken back to the valley’s roots as one of California’s best wine regions.” – Wine Enthusiast

 

The Steven Kent Winery was started in 1996 with one mission: to make Cabernet here in the Livermore Valley that rivals in quality the greatest red wines made anywhere in the world.

 

Livermore Valley has a long, dedicated history of growing the “Bordeaux” varietals, and in particular Cabernet Sauvignon.  In the 1880s, pioneering winegrowers began to discover the potential of the Livermore Valley region.  Then, as today, L.V.’s climate and soils closely resemble those of Bordeaux’s famed left bank of the Gironde.  By the turn of the last century, Livermore Valley was already far ahead of its Napa Valley neighbor in specializing in the Bordeaux varieties.  The goal at Steven Kent is to carry on that tradition.

 

“We have worked joyously and strenuously to know our vineyards; to learn how our fruit expresses itself from those sites; to discover the best winemaking and barrel regimens that translates those grapes into world-class vintages.  We’re very gratified that customers, critics, and collectors alike consider our “historic Cabernet” to be an essential addition to their table, their “best of lists,” and their cellars”.  – Steven Kent Mirassou

 

More information is available at their website.

 

 

To check availability or to purchase any of these wine or other wines offered by the wineries in the Steven Kent Portfolio, visit their website.

 

 

 

The line up for this tasting:

Steven Kent Winery

Steven Kent Winery

 

 

 

2016 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard – SRP $24

This wine is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillion from the winery’s Ghielmetti Vineyard in California’s Livermore Valley.  This wine is a crowd pleaser that will be enjoyed by casual wine drinkers it has the crispness and complexity to please an experienced wine lover’s palate.

 

The varietals were fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks separately for three months before being blended.  The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation so it would retain the fresh, crisp personality of the grapes.  There were only 476 cases produced in this vintage.

 

The wine is a pale yellow with a slight green tint.  The exuberant nose has green apples, lime zest, orange blossoms, white peach, crushed stone minerals, ginger and a hint of green leafy herbs.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart green apples, lime zest and crushed stone minerals quickly grab your attention with white peach and ginger coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with orange blossoms and a touch of leafy green herbs providing depth.  This is a very nice, crisp wine perfect for a lighter meal on a sunny day.  This is very easy to enjoy.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2016 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

2016 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Franc BDX Collection – SRP $48

All the fruit for this wine comes from a 3.73 acre block in the winery’s Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard.

 

After a 5 to 7 day cold soak and fermentation, the wine had an extended 14 day maceration.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 20 months in French oak barrels with 30% being new.  The total production was 249 cases.

 

The wine is a nice garnet red color.  The sexy nose has black cherries, plums, dried leafy herbs, sandalwood, dark chocolate, warm baking spices, dry underbrush, licorice, dusty minerals and dried wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice bright fruit and baking spices quickly grab your attention with dried leafy herbs, sandalwood and dusty minerals coming in on the back end.  The nicely lingering finish is highlighted by dark chocolate, a dried floral note and dry underbrush.  This is the full package for a Cab Franc, nice upfront fruit with spice and herbs on the mid-palate.  This tastes great now but a year or two in the cellar will be warmly rewarded.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Franc BDX Collection

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Franc BDX Collection

 

 

 

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Series Ghielmetti – SRP $65

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard in the Livermore Valley.

 

After a 5 to 7 day cold soak and fermentation, the wine had an extended 14 day maceration.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 24 months in mostly new French oak barrels.  The total production was meager 212 cases.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red to maroon color.  The enticing nose has cassis, cherries, spicy oak, baking spices, plums, dried leafy herbs, crushed stones, licorice, scorched earth and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the open and very expressive palate cassis, cherries, baking spices, crushed stones and spicy oak quickly grab your attention on the front end with plums and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has great length with scorched earth and a nice floral note providing very nice depth.  This tastes great now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This is a top notch cabernet that will rival any Napa cabernet that costs twice this price.  Needless to say, I love this wine.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Series Ghielmetti

2014 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Series Ghielmetti

 

 

 

2013 Steven Kent Lineage – SRP $155

This vintage of Lineage is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec from the Ghielmetti Estate & Home Ranch Vineyards in the Livermore Valley.  Even though 2013 was one of the best vintages in the Livermore Valley in the past 20 years, extreme sorting and sampling lead to the “declassification” of 95% of the Bordeaux varietals.  This meant the total production of 2013 Lineage was a miniscule 3300 750ml bottles (mine was number 3112).  There were also 60 magnums, 5 double-magnums and 5 five-liter bottles produced.

 

Each vintage of Lineage begins with the evaluation of individual lots of wine after malo-lactic conversion is finished in late winter the year after harvesting. This process will take many months as each barrel in each lot is tasted blind several times before it is deemed of great-enough quality to be considered as part of the Lineage blend. Scores of mock blends later, the final assemblage is made, rebarreled for about six months so that the wine’s components have an opportunity to marry into an elegant whole, then bottled.

 

10 of 13 barrels included in this blend were new French oak (Taransaud, Le Grand, and François Frerès.)  Total aging time was 24 months.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The incredible nose is full of cassis, warm baking spices, dried herbs, dusty minerals, cedar, violets, dry underbrush, dark bittersweet chocolate, cherries, road tar and freshly ground espresso beans.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and outstanding acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, baking spices and dried herbs quickly grab your attention with cedar, cherries, dry underbrush and espresso beans coming in later.  The finish is long and nicely layered with dark chocolate and violets providing good depth.  This wine is a stunner even at this very young period in its evolution.  This wine deserves a year or two in the cellar, even more time will be rewarded.  This is a WOW wine.  This has the balance to age and improve for a long time.  The wine has 14.4% alcohol and the heavy duty, premium bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  I loved this wine, without a doubt my favorite wine this year.  (96 pts)

2013 Steven Kent Lineage

2013 Steven Kent Lineage

 

 

 

Conclusions

Across the board these were some of the best wines I have enjoyed this year.  The Lola is a wonderful white wine to enjoy in the waning days of Summer but would also be fantastic any time of the year.  The three red wines, especially the Lineage, would benefit from some cellar time, but with some air would be a welcome addition to your dinner table in the upcoming holiday season.  It was the winery’s aim to showcase the Livermore Valley as a world class region, and in my judgment, they have succeeded.

 

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – August 2017 Vol 4

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

2006 Saxum Syrah Broken Stones

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon Tofanelli Vineyard

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru – $28.02

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.

In this case, this was a Last Bottle $15 mystery bottle from one of their Marathons.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive nose has ripe apples, roasted nuts, lemon zest, orange blossoms and stony minerals.  On the palate the front end is dominated by apples and minerals with roasted nuts and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of lemon zest providing some depth.  This bottle seems a bit tired and a little past its prime.  I have one bottle left and will be opening it in the next couple of months in case this is the case.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (85 pts)

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

 

 

 

2006 Saxum Syrah Broken Stones – $45

This was purchased from Saxum before the winery exploded after one of their wines was named the Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator.  Even before this time, the wines were highly allocated and available only via their mailing list.  Within a couple years the prices escalated to a level more appropriate their quality level.  The ride was fun while it lasted, but prices doubling or tripling within a couple years was a hard pill to swallow.  This is a blend of 63% Syrah, 24% Grenache and 13% Mourvedre.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The intense and flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, licorice, crushed stones, scorched earth, violets, raspberries and roasted meat.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Waves of flavor greet the palate starting with blackberry jam, crushed stones and scorched earth with roasted meat and raspberries slipping in later.  The finish is very long and nicely layered, every sip shows a new nuance.  This isn’t for the faint of heart but the great complexity will convert all but the most die-hard low alcohol fanatics.  This wine was from just before Saxum grabbed the wine world by their palate and their popularity exploded.  Thankfully I was a buyer before the frenzy and subsequent price escalation.  This has 16.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (96 pts)

2006 Saxum Syrah Broken Stones

2006 Saxum Syrah Broken Stones

 

 

 

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon Tofanelli Vineyard – $25

This is another winery mailing list I joined in their early days.  Early on, they produced some outstanding Syrah and Cabernet wines but eventually branched out to include a few white wines, such as this one.  This is 100% old vine Sémillon from Vince Tofanelli’s Napa vineyard.  As with most of these mailing list only wines, production was miniscule.  In this case there were only 48 cases produced.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The very fragrant nose has apples, white peach, honeysuckle, lemongrass, lime zest and beeswax.  This has medium to full body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white leach and lemongrass jump out quickly on the front end with white peach and honeysuckle coming in later.  The finish lingers nicely with lime zest and beeswax providing good depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now but since this is Sémillon, which tends to age very gracefully, I bet it will last in the cellar through the end of the decade or longer.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon Tofanelli Vineyard

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon Tofanelli Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley – $20

I used to split a friend’s Scherrer allocation in their “Futures Program” when I lived in Wisconsin.  In this program, you paid for the wines early in the year before they were even bottled.  The advantage was you got the wine at a BIG discount.  Usually around $20 for a wine that would sell for $30 to $35.  I used to get three bottles of this wine and three bottles of their Shale Vineyard Zinfandel.  I miss getting these wines at those prices.  The Scherrer zinfandels aren’t big and bold zins, they are much more mild mannered and balanced.  These zins age like a Bordeaux blend.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, tobacco, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, scorched earth, dried wildflowers and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, minerals and baking spices jump out on the front end with cherries, tobacco and dried earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note and a hint of cedar providing good depth.  This has great balance and still has a few years in a great drinking window.  No hurry opening this gem.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

 

 

 

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard – $55

Ledge Vineyards is the winery owned by the One Time Spaceman, Mark Adams.  I was lucky enough to secure a sample of the 2009 vintage of this wine from Mark.  After two sips of the wine, I immediately joined the mailing list.  After securing my spot on the list, I started telling everyone who would listen to get on the list.

 

For more information, order wine, or to join the mailing list, click here.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, crushed stone minerals, smoke, raspberries, baking spices, eucalyptus, black pepper, violets, roasted herbs and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with nice layers of fruit, spice and minerals.  The finish is very long with rich fruit, spice, minerals and a floral note seeming to hang on forever.  This still seems a touch on the young side but already a stunning wine.  This will be a nice one to follow over the next decade, maybe even longer.  This wine has 14.5% abv and is sealed with a natural cork and wax coating.  (95 pts)

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente – $22

This  was the 5th vintage of this wine made by Michael Havens (the first person to make Albarino in the New World) and Morgan Twain-Peterson.  The wine comes from two sites in the far southern part of Napa Valley.  This vintage consists of almost 60% grapes from the Watson Vineyard, which is planted in limestone.  The fruit from this vineyard adds density and perfume.  This was fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, with no malolactic.

 

The wine is a nice straw yellow color.  The invigorating nose has ripe apple, dusty minerals, lemon zest, white peach, under ripe melon and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate apples, lemon zest and white peach take control on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a bit of melon joining the apples and lemon zest.  This has great citrusy acidity with enough apple and peach to balance the tartness.  The couple years in the cellar have been very kind to this wine but I’d advise consuming this one over the next year or two.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

 

 

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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