Cliffs Wine Picks – Locations Tasting with Dave Phinney

 

Locations E-4 (Spain)

Locations F-4 (France)

Locations I-4 (Italy)

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Locations E-4

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

 

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

 

 

 

Locations F-4

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

 

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

 

 

 

Locations I-4

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.

 

The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.

 

The results speak for themselves.

 

The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.

 

For more information on Balzac, please click here.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 2017 Vol 4

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview”

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard – $9.91

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.

 

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Mission Ranch Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco Valley.  The wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a bright garnet red color.  The outgoing nose has black cherries, scorched earth, plums, minerals, white pepper, and vanilla bean.  This has a medium body with soft tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly grab your attention on the front end with scorched earth and spices coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with plums and vanilla bean providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but for $10 this is a great week night Pinot Noir.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview” – $15

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 maroon color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, freshly ground espresso beans, baking spices, white pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate and crushed stones.  This has a full body with moderate very ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the front end is full of crushed blackberries and blueberries, later espresso beans and spices break through the wall of fruit.  The finish is long and rich with pepper, chocolate and minerals providing great depth.  This is pretty much a fruit bomb but with enough savory notes to keep it from getting boring.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

 

 

 

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne – $17.99

This sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color with a very persistent stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exuberant nose has apples, freshly baked yeasty bread, minerals, lemon zest, orange blossoms and a spritz of lime.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and very nice effervescence.   On the palate apples, minerals and yeasty bread grab control on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with lemon zest and a touch of lime providing great depth that leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  This offers great QPR!  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

 

 

 

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $24.69

There were 700 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir produced.  This is a blend of the 777 and Wädenswil clones.

 

The wine is an intense ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, black cherries, Asian spice, candied violets, stony minerals and dried wildflowers with just a hint of smoke and forest floor.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this kicks it up a notch with intense dark fruit and spice up front with minerals and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is very long with some earthiness and a touch of dark chocolate adding even more depth and complexity.  This is in a prime drinking window and should drink very nicely through at least the end of the decade, probably longer.  The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat – $39.39

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, a quick search on Wine Searcher showed most stores are charging around $60 for this wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc from the Saint Emilion region in Bordeaux.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sophisticated and inviting nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, plums, roasted leafy herbs, dry underbrush, charred wood and violets. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, minerals and dried leafy herbs jump out quickly on the front end with charred wood and underbrush coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is rich and silky and a pleasure to have with a nice meal.  This is drinking nicely now and will last for another decade or more.  Great job!  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

 

 

 

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard – $18.00

Just about every year Anthill Farms produces a “one-off” wine.  This is a wine that usually doesn’t become part of their wines produced every year.  I say usually because several years ago their one-off wine was a Syrah from Windsor Oaks Vineyard that was so popular it was added to their annual offerings.  This is a one-off wine from a couple years ago from the volcanic soils of the Sonoma Valley.

 

The wine is a very light ruby red color, just a touch darker than some Rosé wines.  The inviting nose has cherries, baking spice, crushed stones, white pepper, wild flowers and a touch of dried herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy, tart cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly take hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs to slip through.  The finish has nice length with cherries, white pepper and minerals seeming to linger forever.  This is very young so patience will be rewarded.  This has outstanding balance and is very food friendly.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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 – May 2017 Vol 3

 

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ducale Oro

2010 Herman Story Larner Vineyard

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $39.00

This wine includes 7% Grand Noir for color and to add spice.  Half the grapes were fermented with indigenous yeast, the remainder was inoculated to increase complexity.  The was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, only 24% were new.  The total production this vintage was 275 cases.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The exotic nose is full of blackberries, plums, minerals, black pepper, baking spices and scorched earth.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals, baking spices and black pepper jump out quickly on the front end with plums and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has great length with a nice mix of fruit and savory elements.  This tastes great now but some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 15.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage – $22

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 an original release price of about $75 from the winery.

 

This bubbly was produced by Robert Hunter Winery.  The family closed the winery after Robert’s death.  Last Bottle Wines bought a lot of their inventory.  Since the wine was ready for market but not yet labeled, it acquired the “Sleeper” label which is Last Bottle’s “in house” label.  This is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from the Sonoma Valley.

 

This is a straw yellow color with several streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The bright and appealing nose has tart green apples, minerals, yeasty bread, roasted nuts and lemon zest.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and great inner mouth effervescence.  On the palate green apples and minerals quickly grab your attention with yeasty bread and roasted nuts coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a healthy amount of mouthwatering lemon zest making you grab another sip.  This has 12.56% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage

2008 Sleeper Brut Reserve Extended Tirage

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ducale Oro

Ruffino only produces this wine in outstanding vintages.  When they make Riserva Ducale Oro, the grapes by hand harvested, mostly from their Gretole estate in the Chianti Classico appellation.  The vineyard lots are vinified individually to preserve their specificity to the land.  The wine is aged in oak, stainless steel and concrete vats for 36 months, twelve months longer than required by Italian law.  The wine then spends additional months in bottle before release.  This Sangiovese wine includes some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, plums, leather, white pepper, scorched earth, tobacco, baking spices and cedar.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, leather and baking spices pop out immediately with white pepper and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with a spicy cedar note and plums providing great depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now but will easily hold and maybe even improve for another five years or longer.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

 

 

 

2010 Herman Story Larner Vineyard – $33.60

This is 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache.  The winery intended to produce separate wines from the Larner Vineyard, one Syrah and one Grenache.  During experimentation, they decided the blend was too good to pass up so this was produced and the two straight varietal wines were not produced.  The wine was aged in French oak, 80% new.  A total of 234 cases were produced.

 

This is a deep maroon color.  The exuberant nose has blackberries, roasted meat, warm baking spices, licorice, blueberries, dusty minerals, black cherries and road tar.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate massive fruit and spice quickly grab control with dusty minerals and more fruit coming in later.  The finish has good length with warm berries and spice.  This is a massive wine that doesn’t offer a lot of finesse but the big fruit and spice provide enough complexity to keep it from getting boring.  (90 pts)

2010 Herman Story Larner Vineyard

2010 Herman Story Larner Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range – $9.74

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.

 

This is a blend of 52% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot, 5% Mourvedre and 2% Cabernet Franc.

 

This was a house favorite when we wanted “something different”.  Unfortunately the winery closed so there won’t be more down the road.  Luckily, Last Bottle bought everything the winery had available and sold the wine at an incredible price.  Last Bottle didn’t just buy the winery’s finished wines but also bought barrels the winery had aging in their cellar.  When those wines were ready, they were bottled and released by Last Bottle.  I’ll have reviews of those wines down the road since I stocked up on those offers.

 

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has crushed berries, licorice, black peppercorns, dried wild flowers, dusty minerals, fresh ground espresso beans and dry earth.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and minerals pop out first with dry earth and a nice dried floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with espresso beans providing depth.  This is a nice, easy drinking everyday wine, especially at the price.  I’d enjoy this one over the next 4 or 5 years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (89 pts)

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

 

 

 

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard – $18.99

I loved the Rosenblum wines crafted by Jeff Cohn and have never been disappointed by the ones he has produced under his own label.  A few years ago, the winery dropped the “JC” initials and are labeled as Jeff Cohn Cellars.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has smoky, earthy berries, dark bittersweet chocolate, minerals, meat juices, black pepper, dried herbs, warm baking spices and just a touch of road tar.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to full tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the juicy, smoky berries grab hold, slowly allowing dried herbs, black pepper, and meaty elements to slip through.  The finish has nice length with some earthiness and dark chocolate being added to the mix.  This is in its’ prime drinking window and should hold for a couple of years.  Another winner from Jeff Cohn.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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 – May 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot – $33.24

This is a wine I tasted during a visit to the winery as part of a group of bloggers with Snooth and the Lodi Wine organization.  I liked it enough to include a few bottles in a case of Lodi wines purchased when I returned back home.  For more information, visit the Michael-David Winery website.

 

This wine has a “touch” of Petite Sirah included with the Petit Verdot.  The grapes for this wine came from Jon Wetmore’s vineyard on the northeast side of Lodi.  This wine is always put into new barrels early in the harvest season due to the high level of tannin, color and concentration.  The wine was aged 19 months in French oak.  This is the first varietal bottling of Petit Verdot by the winery, there are very few other Lodi wineries producing Petit Verdot labeled wines.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The impressive nose has crushed berries, baking spices, licorice, black cherries, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, scorched earth and a touch of cedar.  This full bodied wine has moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate loads of crushed berries, baking spices and dusty minerals grab control on the front end with licorice, black cherries and scorched earth coming in later.  The long finish is full of berries, spice and a touch of cedar.  This is an impressive Petit Verdot.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

 

 

 

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $16.87

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 $50.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, warm baking spices, white pepper, dry underbrush, wild flowers and vanilla.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices and white pepper take charge early with dry underbrush and raspberries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla joining the spices and cherries.  This was better after being opened for an hour.  Drink now with some air or let it sleep another year and drink it through the end of the decade.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace – $26.99

“A Merciful End to All Red Blend Competitors!”

 

Freelance Wines is a joint effort of two long time Lodi locals, Adam Mettler and Mike Stroh.  Coup de Grâce is the company’s first wine to be released.

 

This is a blend of 64% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 11% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc mainly from Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, licorice, black peppercorns, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dead wood embers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black cherries and black pepper take control on the front end with wood embers and licorice coming in later.  The finish has nice length with baking spices and dark chocolate providing added interest.  This is a ripe and rich wine front loaded with nice fruit and enough savory notes to keep it interesting.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

 

 

 

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon – $17.99

This Napa Valley wine icon celebrated their 150th anniversary a few years ago.  To me, the quality of their wines have greatly improved over the last few years.

 

This wine is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc that was aged 17 months in French and American oak.  The wine is a deep violet color.  The inviting nose has cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, cedar, baking spices, scorched earth and wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Cassis, dried herbs and cedar take control of the palate on the front end with baking spices and dried earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label – $40

When I received the offer from Turley for this Cabernet, I had to grab a few bottles.  I’ve had and enjoyed a couple bottles but it has been a while since I opened one, it’s time to check in.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The comforting nose has cassis, baking spices, cedar, violets, cherry, dried herbs, tobacco and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  The creamy palate has nice up front berries, cherries, and spice with dried herbs and some building dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness and spicy oak coming into play.  This may not have a ton of complexity but is an enjoyable wine and seems to be in a very nice drinking window.  The QPR at $40 open for debate, but I’m glad I have more in the cellar.  Don’t expect a Cabernet version of a Turley Zinfandel or you will be disappointed.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

 

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 35% Staar Ranch Grenache and 65% 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

 

 

 

 

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 – May 2017 Vol 1

 

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

 

 

 

I guess I should call this a Last Bottle Wines edition since all the wines this week were purchased from them.

 

 

 

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation – $32.00

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 $68.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from the estate’s St. Helena vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, crushed stones, black cherries, tobacco, cedar, vanilla, white pepper and dried wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries and crushed stone minerals jump out quickly with spicy cedar and black cherries coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with white pepper and dried flowers adding nice depth and interest.  This is drinking very nicely today but there is no hurry with this one.  The wine has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

 

 

 

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese – $18.79

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.

 

This is mostly Sangiovese with small amounts of estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.  This wine was aged for 18 months in French Oak barrels.  This wine has a suggested price of SRP $30, so the Last Bottle price was very good.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, crushed stone minerals, licorice and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and earthy underbrush jump out on the front end with baking spices and licorice coming in later.  The finish has good length with a floral note providing some extra depth.  This is a nice California Sangiovese.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is closed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

 

 

 

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $20

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 grapes for this wine come from the Charles Heintz and Hurst Vineyards in the Russian River Valley.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak with 40% being new.  As with most Last Bottle offers, this wine was purchased at a deep discount, the wine has a suggested price of $40.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has cherries, forest floor, violets, tobacco, wood ashes, cranberries and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins.  On the palate cherries, forest floor and tobacco come through on the front end with wood ashes and cranberries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note providing some depth.  This is a bit lacking in the complexity department but is a tasty week night Pinot.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites – $20

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.

 

This is a blend of 47% Zinfandel, 32% Syrah, 12% Charbono and 9% Petite Sirah from Napa Valley.  The vines are all at least 35 years with most being over 50 years old.  The dry farmed vineyard yields under 2 tons of fruit per acre.  The wine has a suggested price of $35.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, black pepper, dusty minerals, licorice, wood smoke, road tar, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals and black pepper jump out quickly with licorice, dark chocolate and wood smoke coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This isn’t a wine made to sit on for an extended time, it would be best to open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve – $24.26

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.

 

This Cabernet Franc includes some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from various cooler climate vineyards in the Napa Valley.  World’s End is Jonathan Maltus’ Napa Valley project.  Jonathan was part of the original “garage winery” revolution in St. Emilion in the 1990s.  He is the owner of Chateau Teyssier.  This wine had a release price of $45.

 

This wine is deep ruby to maroon.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, baking spices, roasted herbs, mint, tobacco and cedar.  This has medium body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  Spicy berries, baking spices and roasted herbs pop out on the front end with dark chocolate and cedar coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice minty note entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely today and it should hold for a few more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2009 World's End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

 

 

 

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise – $22.70

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 decision to purchase this wine from Last Bottle was pretty simple since I had previously purchased the wine directly from the winery upon initial release for $38.  This was an outstanding price for a wine from one of my favorite Napa Valley based wineries.

 

Rudius is generally a mailing list only wine but some bottles do make it to outside sources.  I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Ames’ wines for several years and when a few of the wines showed up on Last Bottle Wines, I had to jump in and load up.  Since I’ve moved to South Carolina, I no longer have direct access to the wines since they don’t ship here.  In the mean time, I was able to purchase several wines in volume that will hold me over for a few years.

 

This is a blend of Bainise a blend of 57% Grenache, 36% Mourvedre and 7% Syrah from Sonoma County.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, raspberries, warm baking spices, dry earth, underbrush, minerals, roasted leafy herbs, dark chocolate and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate red fruit, baking spices, underbrush and dry earth jump out quickly on the front end with roasted herbs and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note joining the tart red fruit.  A little more time in the cellar will be rewarded but this tastes nice now with some air.  This is a nice, balanced, nuanced wine, not a powerful brut.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

 

 

 

 

 

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 – April 2017 Vol 4

 

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey – $15.99

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Monterey appellation in California.  After a three day cold soak, the grapes were “punched down” three times a day during fermentation.  After fermentation was completed the wine was aged for 8 months in 100% French oak barrels, 17% being new.  After aging, the barrels were blended and bottled.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The comforting nose has black cherries, flinty minerals, forest floor, cola, tart red cherries and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and baking spices come out on the front end with forest floor and a touch of cola coming in later.  The finish has nice length with tart cherries providing some needed depth.  Not a lot of complexity but that doesn’t make it less tasty.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

 

 

 

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

This was a gift from friends.  Thanks again Charlie & Kristin!

 

In this vintage, this is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.  The Syrah vines average 40 years and the Grenache vines are 80 years old.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 17 months in 275 liter barrels.  The barrels were a mix of one, two and three years old.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, leather, white pepper, scorched earth, licorice and cocoa powder.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, white pepper and leather come out on the front end with scorched earth, cocoa powder and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the savory notes stealing the show.  This is drinking very nicely now but a bit more cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast – $22.99

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from several parcels in Australia’s McLaren Vale region.  The different lots were fermented separately and average 14 days of skin contact.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels with 15% being new Taransaud French oak.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The impressive nose has cassis, blackberries, baking spices, roasted herbs, white pepper, licorice, vanilla bean and a touch of cedar.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice grab control immediately with roasted herbs and cedar slipping in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of vanilla bean coming in.  This is a bit soft so I’d drink this one young.  Not a great vintage for this usually dependable wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $46.00

This wine is a blend of three Pinot Noir clones, 115, 667, 777.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak, 33% new.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The voluptuous nose is full of black cherries, plums, flinty minerals, black tea leaves, dried wildflowers, blueberries, white pepper and dry earth.  This has a full body with moderate silky tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit and white pepper quickly take control with tea leaves and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish has very good length with blueberries and dry earth providing great depth.  As always, Brian provides his unique interpretation of the Pinot Noir grape.  I know his style turns off some of the purists, but personally, I love his wines…in moderation.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast – $16.31

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

 

 

 

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $16.99

I’ve been a fan of St Amant Winery zinfandels for several years.  It was great visiting with the Stuart Spencer, the winemaker for St Amant as well as Jerry Fry, the owner/grower at this vineyard during a recent trip to Lodi.  Even though I’ve loved past vintages of this wine, I think this is their best effort to date.  I’m extremely fortunate to have a Total Wine store in the area that carries this wine so I always have a few bottles in my cellar.  If you live near a Total Wine, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of this wine on your next shopping trip.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has brambly berries, dusty minerals, licorice, black pepper, cherries, charred underbrush, violets and a hint of mint.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, minerals and black pepper quickly take control with underbrush and cherries slipping through on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note and just a hint of mint adding good depth.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has great balance and is easy to enjoy.  A great effort.  This has 15.5% alcohol, which was a surprise to me, not a trace shows through any where.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You may have 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 – April 2017 Vol 3

 

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese *

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard

 

 

 

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception – $14.99

This is a blend of Chardonnay and aligoté.  This is produced by the traditional method.  When the harvests arrive the grapes slowly using via pneumatic wine presses.  Only the first presses are used to produce the wines.  Malolactic fermentation takes place in 100% stainless steel vats.  Secondary fermentation is in the bottle (according to the traditional method), and carried out by adding yeasts and sugar.  This is followed by 18 months of ageing on lees in temperature-controlled cellars.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with pinpoint sized bubbles.  The refreshing nose has apples, lemon zest, orange blossoms and fresh bread.  This shows just a touch of sweetness but has plenty of citrusy acidity to keep it in check.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest a yeasty bread grab your attention with a hint of orange blossom coming in on the lingering finish.  Not a ton of complexity but this was easy to enjoy on a warm afternoon with a light lunch on the deck.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard sparkling wine cork.  (87 pts)

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D' Exception

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception

 

 

 

2008 Andrew Will Sorella – $56.99

I tasted this wine not long after release at the local wine store.  The wine, though very young, showed considerable promise.  I grabbed a few bottles and left them stashed in the cellar for a few years.  It’s time to check in to see how the wine is progressing.

 

This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot from the Champoux Vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The suave and enchanting nose has cassis, cherries, warm baking spices, plums, minerals, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder, leather, cedar and earthy underbrush.  The wine has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The fruit, spices and minerals coat the palate, eventually allowing a touch of cedar and subtle earthiness to enter focus.  The finish is very long with cocoa powder and dried herbs joining the party.  This wine is the complete package and has the balance to improve over the next few years and last in the cellar for another decade or more.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

 

 

 

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

100% Chenin Blanc from the Santa Ynez Valley in California’s Central Coast region.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw-yellow color.  The inviting nose has green apples, unripe pears, lemon grass, flinty minerals, honeysuckle and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by lemon grass and flinty minerals.  The finish has nice length with lime zest and honeysuckle providing nice depth.  This is a nice Chenin Blanc for a meal on a sunny deck or patio.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

 

 

 

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso – $19.13

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.

 

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo that was aged 18 months in small oak casks before bottling and another 3 months of bottle age before release.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, tobacco, wild flowers, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, dark chocolate and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and underbrush lead off with wild flowers and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and more wild flowers providing great depth.  This is on the young side but is already very tasty.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

 

 

 

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese * – $11.39

I bought a couple bottles of this at a close out price at the local wine store (The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin) when I lived in Wisconsin.  I was hoping for a nice Riesling to enjoy on a warm day on the deck.  We opened a bottle that evening and it blew me away.  I immediately shot off an e-mail to the store to stash a case in the back for me.  This was everything I love about a young German Spätlese Riesling, nice rich sweetness along with enough acidity to leave your mouth watering.  This was drinking very nicely young, but I had no doubt this will be fantastic down the road.  An added bonus is this wine is closed with a glass stopper, which I love.  This closure ensures a nice, tight seal and no possible cork taint.  I just haven’t read any studies about long term cellaring of a wine closed in this manner.

 

This has 9.5% alcohol and is sealed with a glass stopper.

 

A golden straw color.  Petrol, honey, apples, pears, peach pits, tangerine, white pepper, pineapple, strong minerality and a floral note on the enticing nose.  Medium body with loads of sweetness and nice balancing acidity.  Rich and fruity on the palate with mouthwatering citrusy acidity kicking in to keep it from being too sweet.  Long finish with the white pepper note from the nose making a background appearance.  This still tastes young and will age and improve for another decade or more.  This has 9.5% alcohol and is sealed with a glass stopper.  (93 pts)

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

 

 

 

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard – $43.00

For the last few years I’ve felt Big Basin was one of the wineries to keep an eye on.  I think they are one big score away from popping onto most wine drinker’s radar.  Could they become the next Saxum?  In my opinion, the sky is the limit for this winery.

 

This wine is from a 2600 foot mountaintop vineyard in the Gabilan Mountains with decomposed granite and limestone soils.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The stunning nose is full of crushed blackberries, smoke, plums, dark chocolate, vanilla, minerals, black pepper, creosote, eucalyptus, Asian spices and violets.  This full bodied wine has fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate smoke, berries and plums hit hard on the front end slowly giving way to black pepper and vanilla with building minerality and vanilla coming in on the back end.  The long, luxurious finish has a nice mix of the fruit and savory elements with minerals closing the show.  This intense wine is in a prime drinking window and should drink well for the remainder of the decade.  The wine has 15.7% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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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