Cliffs Wine Picks – Lodi Wines Vol 4

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

 

 

This post includes a mix of wines from my cellar that I purchased and samples that were provided to me.  I have the samples clearly stated as samples and show the suggested retail prices.  Some were from my cellar, some were purchased during my recent tour of Lodi and some were purchased after I returned.  I write about wines but I am also a collector and wine consumer.  I may write about some wines that are provided to me but I buy the wines I want to drink.  Here are some of the wines from Lodi that are now part of my cellar.

 

 

I had the extreme good fortune to be invited on a Press Trip to Lodi last September and it was a wonderful trip.  I had been a fan of Lodi Wines before the trip but now I am a fan of the people of Lodi.  The growers are outstanding people with a true dedication to tending to their vines and producing some of the best grapes in the world.  The winery owners and winemakers treat the grapes with the respect they deserve and produce some of the best wines in the world.  If you think Lodi means big, burly red wines, you owe it to yourself to revisit the area.  Besides the big red wines, the area produces outstanding, lighter bodied, nuanced red wines and some of the best white and rose wines in the world.

 

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo – SRP $23

This is based on a sample provided to me but this is a personal favorite.  I have a couple bottles in my cellar that I purchased before this sample arrived.

 

This wine includes a touch of Graciano.

 

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

 

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

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

 

 

 

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi – SRP $25

Pinotage is an rare grape in California.  In the entire state there are only 58 acres of Pinotage vines and the Mettlers have 4 of these acres.

 

The Mettler family has been growing grapes for 8 generations and in Lodi for over 5 generations.  The grapes the family produced were sold to other well known wineries.  In 2001 the family started the winery and released their inaugural wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Much more information on the family, the winery and their history is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has crushed berries, underbrush, baking spices, dark roasted coffee beans, dried herbs, cherries and dry loam soil.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, underbrush, coffee beans and dried herbs take over on the front end with loamy soil and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with berries and earthiness lingering nicely.  With out a doubt one of the best Pinotage wines I have ever tasted.  It seems like the grape could have a future in Lodi.  This is a nice wine, not a novelty.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

 

 

 

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard – $12.12

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

 

Markus Bokisch was raised in California but spent his childhood summers in Spain with his family.  In 1992 Liz & Markus Bokisch moved to Spain and worked in the Spanish wine industry.  Upon returning to California, they quickly purchased the Terra Alta Vineyards property.  Using the connections they formed while living and working in Spain, they began importing “budwood” and planted the Las Cerezas Vineyard.  They produced their first vintage under the Bokisch label on 2001.

 

The wine is a bright red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, crushed blackberries, baking spices, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, dried violets and dry underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries, berries and white pepper come through on the front end with dried flowers, baking spices and minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries and dry underbrush carrying the load.  This is in a prime drinking window and should hold for a few years.  This is another wine that shows the diversity and quality of wines being produced in Lodi.  This wine is a steal at the SRP of $20.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi – $21.99

This is another wine from Lodi I picked up at Total Wine in Columbia after returning from my trip to Lodi.  I loved my visit to Macchia and highly recommend trying any you may see on a shelf.  I’m thankful the local Total Wine carries several Macchia wines.

 

Besides the usual Lodi wine suspects, Macchia produces several wines from Italian varietals.  A stop at the “man cave” tasting area at Macchia should be on your short list of places to visit in Lodi.  Additional information about the winery is available on their website.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, dry earthy underbrush, violets, dusty minerals and a touch of licorice.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate this wine is full of rich fruit, spices and earthiness on the front end with minerals and a nice floral note on the back end.  The long, lingering finish closes with a hint of orange zest.  This is nothing like an Italian Sangiovese but the wine world would be a boring place if every wine made from a specific grape tasted the same no matter where it was grown.  This demands a hearty meal, think pasta with a meat sauce or a pizza with plenty of pepperoni and sausage.  This has 16.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

 

 

 

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi – SRP $26

This “own rooted” vineyard was planted in 1930, Mr Hatterle has been farming the vineyard for almost 50 years.

 

I’ve now had the opportunity to try a couple Michael Klouda wines and both have left me VERY impressed.  In my opinion, we will hear more about the winery in the coming years.  More information on Michael, the winery and the wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a garnet color.  The sensuous nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, baking spices, scorched earth, violets and licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart berries, black pepper and baking spices take control on the front end with scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a stylish and refined Zinfandel, not a burly beast.  This food friendly and balanced wine would be a nice companion with your dinner.  I like this style of Zinfandel more than the ones that push the ripeness levels to the extreme.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

 

 

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc – $9.49

Ironstone Vineyards is a family owned winery that we visited during our Lodi excursion.  The Kautz family were gracious hosts during the visit.  I enjoyed their entire line-up of value priced wines.  The quality of the wines far exceeded the “low price of admission”.  To me, their Petite Sirah and this Cabernet Franc were the standouts.  I like the wine enough to include a few bottles in the case I bought soon after returning home.  Visit the Ironstone Vineyards website for a ton more information on the winery, family and the wines.

 

This wine is 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alta Mesa and Sloughhouse AVAs in Lodi.  The wine gets a brief two month aging in new French oak.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very approachable nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, dried leafy herbs, vanilla, cedar and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, vanilla and dried herbs dominate the front end with toasty cedar coming in on the back end.  The fruit laden finish has nice length.  This isn’t a wine to lay down, I’d drink this one on the younger side while the fruit is crisp and fresh.  Open this one with a juicy burger hot off the grill or even better with a platter of cheeses and meats with a few friends.  This wine is a steal if you can find it for around $10.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

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

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi – SRP $25

The Proprietor and Winemaker for Uvaggio is Jim Moore.  You may not have heard of Jim, but there is a good chance you have tasted some of his wines over the years.  While working for Robert Mondavi winery, Jim envisioned and developed La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi in California.  Jim was also instrumental in helping to launch the partnership between Robert Mondavi Winery and Frescobaldi family of Florence to launch the Luce and Lucent labels from Tuscany.

 

This wine is 98% Barbera from the Leventini Vineyard and 2% Primitivo from the Bella Vigna Vineyard.  The wine was fermented with a yeast strain isolated in Barolo.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 27% new French oak, 13% once or twice used French oak and the reminder in fairly neutral oak.

 

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

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, black cherries, dry sandy loam, roasted herbs and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and dry earth take control on the front end with roasted herbs and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has very nice length and is loaded with fruit.  This doesn’t offer a lot in the complexity department but the front loaded fruit makes it easy to drink and enjoy.  No hurry on this one, it may even show some improvement with another couple years in the cellar.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Uvaggio (L'Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

 

 

 

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera – SRP $25

I was able to attend a tasting at the winery’s Gill Creek Ranch in late September and loved the “alternative” wines they served.  Their white wines were crisp, light and mineral driven.  I was able to sample this specific wine at a large Barbera tasting with several wineries participating.  This was one of the standouts (for me) at the event.  The winery has a “second label” called Markus, these wines must be tasted, they are truly outstanding.

 

This is 100% Barbera from over 40 year old vines from the vineyard planted around their tasting room in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The winemaker, Markus Niggli (Swiss born) uses native fermentation of only free-run juice.  After fermentation, the wine is aged for 22 months in 35% new French oak.  Total production was a miniscule 120 cases.

 

If you ever make it to Lodi, a stop at Borra Vineyards is a must.  If you’re lucky enough to meet Markus, you’ll be impressed with his forward vision and old-school approach to wine making.  Much more information about the winery, people and wine is available on their website.

 

The wine is a nice garnet color.  The seductive nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, cola, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and spice quickly jump out with cola and dry earth coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a nice dried floral note.  This won’t be mistaken for an Italian Barbera, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I liked this wine…a lot.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist-off cap.  (92 pts)

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – March 2017 Vol 4

 

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

 

 

 

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto – $31.67

This wine is 100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) from my favorite wine region in Spain, Ribera Del Duero.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The stunning nose has blackberry liqueur, melted licorice, warm baking spices, cedar, dark bittersweet chocolate, earthy underbrush and a nice floral note.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and plush with spicy berries, dark chocolate and some earthiness.  The finish is long and loaded with spicy fruit and dark chocolate.  This is in a very good drinking window and should hold for several years.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

 

 

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris – $13.89

This wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with 4 months sur lie aging before bottling.

 

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

 

 

 

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $14.24

This is a blend of 37% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah and 9% Malbec, from the High Valley AVA in the eastern part of Lake County in California.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, smoked meat, dark bittersweet chocolate, plums, some eucalyptus and a hit of earthiness.  This has a fairly full body, soft tannins, and decent acidity.  The palate has a nice initial hit of fruit and dark chocolate that is joined by some building spice and earthiness.  The finish has nice length and is joined by a touch of spicy oak.  This wine is holding on at this time and tasting good but I think the wine will start a downward trend in the next year.  Drink this on up in the next year, maybe two.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

 

 

 

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard – $25.00

This wine is 100% Sémillon from the McGah Family Vineyard in Rutherford.

 

The wine is a light, pale straw yellow color.  The sexy nose has melon, pineapple, lemon zest, spices, orange blossoms and dusty minerals.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate nice up front fruit is balanced with spice, orange blossoms and minerals.  The finish has great length with tart lemon zest urging you to grab another sip.  This is one of the best Sémillon wines I have had the pleasure to drink.  This has nice richness with good acidity providing very nice structure.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley – $10.19

Bird Song Hill Vineyards is located in the Columbia Valley across from Red Mountain.  This family owned winery was established in 1999.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, baking spices and licorice.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, spices and dried herbs jump out on the front end with cedar coming in later.  The finish has decent length.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity and a little excess oak pokes through at times, that said it is a decent week night Cabernet.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente – $23.00

This was the first release of this wine and it got off to a rocking start.  Well, actually a shaking start.  There were only 75 cases produced but the earthquake in the summer of 2014 caused some of those cases to be destroyed.  The wine was already in short supply so the winery put out a plea to everyone who had requested the maximum purchase of 2 bottles.  If you would give up one of your bottles, the winery would replace it with any other bottle they had in stock.  Even though I really wanted to try the wine, I gave up one of my bottles to allow another wine lover to sample this initial vintage.  Off the top of my head, I can’t remember the specific wine I received in place of my bottle.

 

The wine is a very light yellow color.  The exuberant nose is full of tart pears, lemon zest, white peach, chalky minerals, orange blossoms and lemongrass.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate pears, lemon zest, white peach and minerals quickly jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and lemongrass coming in later.  The finish has good length with lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is drinking very nicely today but I wouldn’t hold onto it for more than a year, maybe two.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

 

 

 

 

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 – March 2017 Vol 3

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged – $55.00

This wine is from the 2009 vintage but was not “disgorged” until May 2015.

 

The wine is a fairly deep salmon pink color with several streams of very persistent pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very inviting nose has cherries, apples, toasted yeasty bread, strawberries, crushed stones, roasted nuts and lime zest.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit, toasted bread and minerals quick take control with apples and crushed stones coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a hint of roasted nuts and mouthwatering lime zest entering the picture.  This is a nice, festive bubbly perfect with a gathering of friends.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an old school crown cap.  (91 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

 

 

 

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard – $59.00

Alpine Vineyard lies between 1200 and 1490 feet above sea-level 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  The vineyard is broken down into 16 blocks, each only .5 acre in size.  Each block is planted with a different clone, 12 are different selections of Pinot Noir and 4 are different selections of Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, minerals, charred wood, warm baking spices, raspberries, cola and white pepper.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush, charred wood and baking spices quickly grab your attention with raspberries, minerals and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has great length with waves of fruit and savory notes seeming to linger forever.  This has great balance will probably improve over the next few years and drink very nicely for another decade.  This is a very stylish and refined Pinot that isn’t made to wow you with up front fruit, that said, it will wow you.  This has 13.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch – $37.00

This is a field-blend of Zinfandel, Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir de la Calmette, Petite Sirah, and Lenoir.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has juicy blackberries, licorice, dusty minerals, cedar, worn leather, scorched earth, tobacco, cracked black peppercorns, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out first with cedar and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a dried floral note and dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is a very easy to drink and love wine with a velvety texture and enough acidity to hold everything together.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

 

 

 

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver – $20.59

Mitolo is one of the premiere wineries in Australia.  The winemaker, Ben Glaetzer, is one of the Australian superstars in the wine business.  This is an Aussie Shiraz that someone lost money on.  The release price was well north of $40 but I bought a case and a half for a touch over $20 a bottle from the local wine store.  This is my last bottle from that purchase.

 

The grapes for this wine come from a single vineyard in Greenock in the northern part of the Barossa Valley.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  The very deep and inviting nose is locked and loaded with blackberries, smoked meat, baking spices, vanilla, dark chocolate, cherries, charcoal, dried herbs and black pepper.  This has a fairly full body, solid, velvety tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate big fruit and spice quickly take hold allowing dried herbs, chocolate, and vanilla to slowly slip into the picture.  The finish is long with cherries and a big blast of black pepper adding considerable interest.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a Stelvin twist-off cap.  (94 pts)

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

 

 

 

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken – $24.64

This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.  The wine spent 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels.

 

This is a deep purple color.  The explosive nose is full of blackberries, dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso beans and plums.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, plums and dark chocolate quickly grab your attention with vanilla and espresso beans coming in later.  The finish has nice length and is totally fruit driven.  This is a fairly soft Cab blend that would be nice after dinner or to share with friends over conversation and a platter of appetizers.  I’d have liked a bit more structure and backbone.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

This wine is from the Rincon Valley in Sonoma County.  The wine is fermented using native yeasts entirely in barrels, with 5% being new Acacia wood.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The open and expressive nose has apples, gooseberry, spice, lemon zest, orange blossoms, minerals, light leafy herbal notes and a hint of roasted nuts.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, spice, slate minerals and gooseberry jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and a slight herbal note coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with orange blossoms and tart lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is drinking wonderfully today and it should hold for another year or two.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Wines of France’s Loire Valley

 

2014 Domaine de Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Cuvée Silex

2015 Remy Pannier Rosé d’Anjou

2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc

2015 Domaine Beausejour Touraine Les Grenettes

2014 Domaine de la Louvetrie (Landron & Fils) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the wineries or an organization representing them.

 

 

 

These wines were provided by Sopexa USA, a part of Sopexa Group.  For more information, please click here.

 

 

 

Here are the wines included in this post:

 

 

 

2014 Domaine de Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Cuvée Silex – SRP $22

This was a reviewer sample supplied by Sopexa c/o Loire Valley Wines.  I don’t know the exact suggested retail price but the average price among major online vendors is $22.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The sensuous nose has white peach, lemon zest, orange blossoms, white pepper, lime zest and tart green apples.  This has medium body with very good acidity.  This has tart lemons, orange blossoms and green apples on the front end of the palate with white peach and white pepper coming through later.  The finish has great lemon and lime citrus that forces you to grab another sip.  This will be outstanding with a seafood dish with a cream or cheese sauce.  Very nice!  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Domaine de Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Cuvée Silex

2014 Domaine de Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray Cuvée Silex

 

 

 

2015 Remy Pannier Rosé d’Anjou – SRP $11

This was a reviewer sample supplied by Sopexa c/o Loire Valley Wines.  I don’t know the exact suggested retail price but the average price among major online vendors is $11.

 

This Loire Valley wine is a blend of 70% Grolleau, 20% Gamay and 10% Cabernet Franc.  The wine is a light pink salmon color.  The fresh and fruity nose has strawberries, cherries, subtle underbrush, white pepper and orange zest.  This has medium body with nice acidity and is just off-dry.  On the palate tart red fruit and orange zest lead the way with a hint of white pepper coming through in the background.  The finish has good length with sweet fruit hanging on.  This off-dry rosé is easy to sip on its own or with a spicy dish.  This has 10.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (88 pts)

2015 Remy Pannier Rosé d'Anjou

2015 Remy Pannier Rosé d’Anjou

 

 

 

2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc – SRP $26

This was a reviewer sample supplied by Sopexa c/o Loire Valley Wines.  I don’t know the exact suggested retail price but the average price among major online vendors is $26.

 

The wine is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The intriguing nose has pears, roasted nuts, lemon zest, chalky minerals, smoke, white peach and thyme.  This seems totally dry, has medium body and great acidity.  On the palate pears, minerals and roasted nuts quickly jump out with white peach and lemon zest coming in later.  The finish has great length with more lemon, minerals and a touch of thyme.  This is very tasty and gets better as it warms a touch and gets some air.  A fantastic example of a Loire Chenin Blanc.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc

2014 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc

 

 

 

2015 Domaine Beausejour Touraine Les Grenettes – SRP $13

This was a reviewer sample supplied by Sopexa c/o Loire Valley Wines.  I don’t know the exact suggested retail price but the average price among major online vendors is $13.

 

The wine is a light, pale yellow color.  The exuberant nose is full of green apples, lemon zest, orange blossoms, white peach, lemongrass, stony minerals and a hint of roasted nuts.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and minerals dominate the front end with a roasted nut note coming through later.  The finish has nice length with tart apples and mouthwatering lemon carrying the load.  Not a lot of complexity but that doesn’t stop it from tasting delicious.  This is Spring in a glass.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork. (90 pts)

2015 Domaine Beausejour Touraine Les Grenettes

2015 Domaine Beausejour Touraine Les Grenettes

 

 

 

2014 Domaine de la Louvetrie (Landron & Fils) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie – SRP $20

This was a reviewer sample supplied by Sopexa c/o Loire Valley Wines.  I don’t know the exact suggested retail price but the average price among major online vendors is $20.

 

This wine is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.

 

This is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The clean and fresh nose has pears, white peach, sea breeze, lemon zest, crushed stones and fresh leafy herbs.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate pears, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab control with white peach coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a pleasant herbal note entering the picture.  This is a perfect wine with a light meal on a sunny day or to serve as an aperitif.  Very tasty!  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Domaine de la Louvetrie (Landron & Fils) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie

2014 Domaine de la Louvetrie (Landron & Fils) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie

 

 

 

Conclusion

All of these wine would be a welcome addition to your dinner table any time of the year but especially on a sunny day on the deck or patio.

 

 

 

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 – March 2017 Vol 2

 

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

 

 

 

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion – $22.80

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This family (and currently woman owned) estate is now in its’ third generation and has grown to now include about 100 acres, 86 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

 

The wine is a nice maroon color.  The very impressive nose has kirsch, strawberries, garrigue, leather, white pepper, scorched earth and wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice upfront fruit is joined by garrigue and white pepper with leather and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with wildflowers coming in.  This tastes great now with some air but some cellar time will be greatly rewarded.  In this youthful time in the wine’s evolution, it is rugged with some power still buried, give it another year in the cellar and drink over the following decade.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

 

 

 

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Estate Grown Amador County – $20.00

Bella Grace currently grows 20 acres of grapes in their sustainably farmed Estate vineyards.  I have tried several of their wines and all have been very good.  The winery produces red, white and even a sparkling wine.  Besides Zinfandel, the winery also grows Primitivo, Vermentino, Roussanne, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, plums, stony minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, white pepper, cherries and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals coat the palate on the front end with white pepper and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and a touch of dark chocolate adding nice depth.  This is a nice, well mannered, balanced Zin that is not overly ripe with high alcohol.  This is a winery that deserves some attention.  This wine has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

 

 

 

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise – $22.70

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

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

 

 

 

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $15.97

This 100% Pinot Noir is sourced from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region.  The coastal region’s boundary begins at the Mendocino County border, continues along the western coastal edge of Sonoma County through the mouth of the Russian River Valley; and extends to the Los Carneros region on the southern Sonoma/Napa border.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The expressive nose has cherries, baking spices, minerals, raspberries, underbrush, white pepper, slight herbal note and cola.  This has a medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals carry the majority of the load.  There is good length on the finish with some earthiness entering the picture.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes – $10.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 30 % Roussanne and 30% Viognier.

 

The wine is a light yellow with a slight green tint.  The refreshing nose has tart apples, crushed stone minerals, lemon zest, leafy herbs, white flowers, lime zest and a hint of white pepper.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  Tart apples, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab your attention on the palate with leafy herbs and white pepper coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with lime zest and a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a nice white Rhone to enjoy with a light meal on a sunny day or to serve as an aperitif.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

 

 

 

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills – $16.79

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This 100% Grenache comes from grapes grown in Naggiar Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills.  Even though this is a single vineyard wine, it is not labeled as such.  Grabbed this wine since I knew of Naggiar Vineyard since another winery I like, Elyse, produced a couple wines from this vineyard.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The expressive nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, roasted leafy herbs, baking spices, scorched earth and a touch of licorice.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices, white pepper and minerals take control on the front end with roasted herbs and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cherries, spices and minerals providing good persistence.  This is a lighter bodied Grenache that would go well with just about anything.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

 

 

 

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 – Lodi Wines Vol 3

 

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

 

 

 

It’s time to revisit some new wines from Lodi!

These are mostly samples that were provided to me.  I have the samples clearly marked and supply the suggested retail price for the wines.  Some of the wines were from my cellar, I write about wines but I am also a collector and wine consumer.  I may write about some wines that are provided to me but I buy the wines I want to drink.

 

This is my third post on Lodi Wines.  If you missed my previous posts, they are available by clicking here or here.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

 

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi – SRP $26

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

This small block of Mourvédre is farmed by Ron Silva in the Alta Mesa AVA of Lodi.  The vineyard only produces about 4 tons per acre.  Mourvédre tends to take its time to ripen, they waited around till the end of October for this one.  This was my the winery’s first time working with this fruit and it was not an easy go of it; however, with a lot of love and late night punch downs they was able to create a wine that they really enjoy.  The wine spent 16 months in 100% French oak barrels.

 

More information on the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a saturated ruby color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, blackberries, baking spice, crushed stone minerals, dry underbrush, black pepper, dried leafy herbs and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices, black pepper and minerals quickly grab hold with dried underbrush and a touch of dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a pleasant dried floral note adding depth.  This has great balance and the understated ripeness provides nice finesse allowing the nuances to shine through.  This is a unique interpretation of the Mourvedre grape and based on this wine, the grape may have a nice future in Lodi.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace – SRP $28

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

“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 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard – SRP $30

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

I visited M2 Wines in September and had a wonderful visit, and lunch.  If you make it to Lodi, M2 should be on your must-visit list.  The outgoing and friendly Layne Montgomery is the Winemaker/Founder of the winery and is one of the “characters” in the region.  During the trip to Lodi, another one of our stops was a visit with Kevin Soucie at his Soucie Vineyard.  You could easily see Kevin’s pride in his eyes as we listened to him and Layne talk about the meticulously maintained vineyard.  As they say, the wine is made in the vineyard, and in Lodi the vineyards all receive the attention they deserve.  This vineyard was planted in 1916 making this truly an “old vine” Zinfandel.  More information on M2 is available on their website.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The stunning nose has brambly berries, black pepper, dusty minerals, dry loamy soil, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, freshly ground espresso beans, violets and black cherries.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out early with baking spices, espresso beans and black cherries coming in later.  The long and lingering finish adds dark chocolate and dry loam.  For a wine with 15.6% alcohol the wine has the stuffing to keep it totally buried and the nice acidity actually makes it light on its feet.  A very nice bottle of wine, highly recommended.  This has 15.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi – SRP $26

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Steve and Lori Felton, the owners of Klinker Brick, are the 5th generation of the family to grow grapes in Lodi.  After years of growing and selling grapes, the couple started Klinker Brick in 2000, producing an Old Vine Zinfandel.  Much more information on the winery, people and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep dark purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, vanilla, dead wood embers, dry earth and wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the berries, dark chocolate black pepper and wood embers quickly grab control grudgingly allowing vanilla and dry earth to slip in on the back end.  The lingering finish has a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a big bruiser that demands a hearty piece of grilled meat.  I’d recommend drinking this on the younger side and enjoying the peppery berries and chocolate while they are young and vibrant.  What this wine lacks in subtlety it makes up for with in your face flavor.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

 

 

 

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch – SRP $21

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

St. Amant Winery is a family owned winery located in Lodi, California that prides itself in producing handcrafted wines of superb quality. Founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer, St. Amant crafts distinctive wines from Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian varietals in addition to California’s own Zinfandel.  When his father passed away in 2006, Stuart Spencer took over the winemaker duties.  Having personally met Stuart, he is a well spoken man that dons many hats, not just involving the winery but in many other arenas dealing with Lodi and wine.  The winery’s website contains a wealth of information and should be visited.

 

Only four barrels of this wine was produced from the vineyard that is planted in sandy soil in the heart of Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, blueberries, fresh ground espresso beans, dead wood embers, scorched earth, licorice and dusty minerals.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  Crushed berries, espresso beans and scorched earth coat the palate on the front end with minerals and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of licorice providing some depth.  This could use a year in the cellar to allow some complexity to develop.  This is a very tasty, fruit forward Petite that provides a lot of drinking pleasure even at this early stage in it’s development.  This will be best in the first 5 years while the fruit is fresh and exuberant.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

 

 

 

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi – SRP $20

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Jeremy Wine Company is owned by the husband and wife team of Jeremy & Choral Trettevik.  In their first harvest the couple barely had 5 tons of grapes, but that has grown to become over 70 tons.  More information on the small family owned winery is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The pleasurable nose has blackberries, black cherries, warm baking spices, black peppercorns, dusty loamy soil, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso beans, licorice and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, black cherries, baking spices and espresso beans jump out on the front end with dusty soil and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a graceful and nuanced Zinfandel that carries no overly ripe notes or excess weight.  This is very easy to enjoy.  Drink this one over the next few years to enjoy the youthful fruit.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé – $16.20

We met Michael MaCay and his Syrah grower Phil Abba and had a “side of the road” tasting at Phil’s Abba Vineyard.  Just like every grower we met you could “feel” Phil’s dedication and pride in the grapes that come out of his vineyard.  I bought this wine as well as McCay Cellars’ Syrah and Grenache wines make from the fruit from Abba Vineyard.  This was fantastic on the side of the hot, dry and dusty road and I could not wait to open a bottle to sip at home.  This is a bottle that I bought and is not a sample.

 

McCay Cellars is owned by Michael McCay.  McCay moved to Lodi in the mid 1980s and started to grow grapes.  He started making wine in 1994 and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.  Much more information is available on the winery, history and most importantly their wines by visiting the McCay Cellars webpage.

 

This wine is mainly Carignane (from 102 year old vines) with Grenache.  The wine was produced with a “native fermentation” in stainless steel.  The wine is a bright salmon color.  The fresh smelling nose has strawberries, peaches, dusty minerals and lime zest.  This has a medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and minerals immediately grab your attention with peaches in the background.  The finish has nice length with a hint of lime zest leading you to grab another sip.  This has just a hint of sweetness making it an easy to enjoy companion to a warm day in the sun.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard – SRP $24

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Fields Family Wines is Russ Fields, the owner, and Ryan Sherman, the winemaker & Partner.  Along with their wives this is truly a “Family” winery.  Besides using some purchased grapes, like in this wine, the winery grows Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Grenache Blanc & Vermentino.  More information on the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

Located on the west side of Lodi but still within the Mokelumne River AVA- the famed and historic Bechthold Vineyard planted own-rooted in 1886, it is believed to be the oldest Cinsault vineyard in the world.

 

The wine was produced with 100% whole-cluster, semi-carbonic, Native/Ambient fermentation & ML.  It was pressed into neutral French oak barrels late August 2015 and bottled early March 2016 to capture its vibrancy.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, raspberries, stony minerals, rose water, orange zest, white pepper and a hint of smoke.  This is barely medium body with good acidity and soft tannins.  On the palate this shows red fruit and minerals on the front end with orange zest and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the red fruit and white pepper stealing the show.  The is a lighter body, nuanced wine that shows great balance and grace.  I’d open this one in the next couple of years to enjoy the vibrant red fruit.  This has 12.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard – SRP $28

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

In Italian, Macchia, means “the spot”.  The owner/winemaker for Macchia is ever dapper, Tim Holdener.  We had a great visit to the winery which included tastes of several barrel samples.  Tim hosted a “Barbera tasting” that included several wineries in his outdoor tasting area which would be better called a “man cave”.  The area was outstanding.  During the event, when asked about the aging potential of Lodi Barbera wines, Tim grabbed a bottle of his 2003 Barbera from his personal stash.  Spoiler alert – it was outstanding.  I highly recommend a visit to the winery (and tasting area) if you ever make it to Lodi.  Much more information is available on the Macchia website.

 

This wine is a deep garnet color.  The big and bold nose is full of crushed blackberries, white pepper, baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans, dark chocolate, dry loamy soil, licorice and wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is like a slice of berry pie with white pepper on the front end with espresso beans and loam coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a big boned monster in a take no prisoner style, in other words an old school California zin.  This would be a perfect match to a piece of barbecue.  This has 16.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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 – March 2017 Vol 1

 

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc – SRP $20

This is based on a sample that was supplied to me by the winery or a business acting on their behalf.

 

This is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.  The grapes for this wine come from Napa Valley –89% (61% Wappo Hill Vineyard, 20% To Kalon Vineyard) and Mendocino County-11%.

 

After hand-harvesting in the cool morning the grapes were gently pressed as whole clusters, minimizing skin contact, to retain freshness and vibrancy.  Sixty percent of the juice was barrel fermented for added richness and complexity, with eight percent in new French oak.  The balance underwent a cool fermentation in stainless steel to heighten the vibrant fruity and herbal flavors.  The new wine was aged for five months in 60-gallon French oak barrels, sûr lie (on the yeast lees) and hand stirred twice a month for a creamy texture and seamless integration of flavors.  The addition of 10% Semillon gives the final blend a broader mouth feel and enhanced complexity.

 

This is a light straw yellow color.  The inviting nose has tart apples, lemon zest, dusty minerals, leafy herbs and a hint of toasty oak.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and dusty minerals jump out on the front end with a touch of leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest and just a hint of spicy oak.  This is drinking very nicely today and it should hold for another year or two.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

 

 

 

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard – $15.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

Sleeper is a brand created by the folks at Last Bottle.  On occasion, a winery has more wine than they wanted to produce.  Perhaps they have enough wine to make 300 cases but only want to release 200 cases.  The winery has a few options, one of which is to sell the excess wine to someone.  Last Bottle will buy the extra wine, bottle it and sell it for a lot less than the original winery is charging for the same wine.  This is a win/win solution, the winery doesn’t flood the market with too much wine or have to resort to lowering their “brand appeal” by being forced to sell the wine at a large discount.  Last Bottle wins by being able to offer great wine at an exceptional price.  We win since we get great juice at a remarkable price.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sexy nose has black cherries, underbrush, violets, smoke, orange zest and a hint of pencil shavings.  This has medium body with soft tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush and baking spices initially grab your attention on the front end with smoke and pencil shavings coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but the nice balance and generous palate makes it a perfect week night Pinot.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

 

 

 

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11 – $19.98

There is no greater joy in the wine world than being able to drink a 24 year old German Riesling.  In their youth an Auslese, such as this one would have high levels of residual sugar and equally high acidity.  Drinkable, yes…enjoyable, probably…but time allows everything to meld into an exquisite elixir.

 

This wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The sensuous nose has apples, honey, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms, white pepper, lime zest and a hint of petrol.  This has medium to full body with crisp acidity and elegant richness.  Ripe apples, homey, lemon zest and orange blossoms coat the palate quickly on the front end with minerals and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has great length with enough acidity to support the sweet richness.  This is a fantastic bottle of wine!  There is absolutely no hurry on this wine, it will last several more years.  This has 8.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

 

 

 

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo – $22.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

Pazzo means “crazy” in Italian.

 

This is a blend of 46% Sangiovese, 28% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, roasted leafy herbs, dark roasted coffee beans, white pepper, baking spices and wildflowers.  This has medium body with Soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, roasted herbs, coffee beans and baking spices jump out on the front end with raspberries and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with subtle underbrush providing some depth.  This is an easy drinking wine that is full of fruit and savory notes to enjoy over the next few years.  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a spongy man made closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

 

 

 

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno – $40.00

This wine is a blend of 65% Napa County (Buon Block) and 35% Sonoma County (Unti Ranch in Dry Creek Valley) grapes.  Only 140 cases of this wine were produced.

 

From the winery:

Our paternal grandfather, Nonno, immigrated to California from Northern Italy and brought his passion for food, wine, art, and family tradition.  The Buoncristiani brothers, Nonno’s grandsons, planted Dolcetto to be crafted into a wine as a tribute to their roots, and in honor of Nonno.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, blueberries, dry underbrush, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, white pepper and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, dark chocolate, underbrush and minerals grab control on the front end with baking spices and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with berries and dark chocolate joined by a nice floral note.  This is a serious Dolcetto.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

 

 

 

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino – $15.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso from the eastern slopes of Montalcino.  The grapes were fermented for 16 days at a controlled temperature.  The wine was then aged 10 months in Slavonian oak barrels.

 

The wine is a nice garnet color.  The easy to love nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, dusty minerals, roasted herbs, mocha and a hint of road tar.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and roasted herbs jump out on the front end with minerals and mocha coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note entering the picture.  This is a very nice Rosso di Montalcino that work very nicely with pasta and meat sauce or in my case, a pizza loaded with pepperoni and sausage.  This has the good acidity to stand up to tomato based dishes and the body and backbone for meat.  Very nice!  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

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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