Cliffs Wine Picks – October 2017 Vol 5

 

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir – $40

This is 100% Mourvedre from top notch Paso Robles vineyards.  There were 205 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, crushed stones, roasted meat, earthy underbrush, road tar, cedar, white pepper, freshly ground espresso beans and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals and earthy underbrush quickly grab your attention with roasted meat, white pepper and cedar coming in later.  The finish has very good length with espresso beans and dark chocolate providing plenty of depth.  One of the best California Mourvedre wines I’ve had.  Even at 10 years of age, this will last in the cellar for at least another 5 years but it’s going to be hard to resist.  I really liked this one.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (94 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

 

 

 

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $17.30

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

 

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.

 

Modus was first produced in 1997 from grapes selected in the vineyards of the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino.  It was not, though, a new wine in the real sense of the term.  Ruffino had, in fact, been experimenting with the cultivation of non-traditional grape varieties on Tuscan soil since the eighties.  Some of the most encouraging results had been obtained with Cabernet and Merlot.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The mesmerizing nose has black cherries, blackberries, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, warm baking spices, tobacco, smoke, subtle earthiness and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features upfront fruit and spice with dark chocolate and toasty oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and some earthiness.  This still tastes young but it will be hard to resist after just one sip.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch – $14

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

 

This wine is a blend of 58% Syrah, 28% Grenache and 14% Viognier from Adams Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley), Big River Ranch (Alexander Valley) and Landa Vineyard (East side of Sonoma Valley).

 

Winemaker and JCK Wine Company founder John Kane lives for making dense, decadent and delicious Zinfandel and Rhone blends.  Sucker Punch is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Viognier from three distinct vineyards in Sonoma County.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, black cherries, espresso beans, dark bittersweet chocolate, scorched earth and violets.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of ripe fruit, espresso beans and dark chocolate quickly grab control on the front end with scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with floral notes providing depth.  This is a rich, flavorful wine that would be a crown pleaser.  This isn’t one to stash away in the cellar, I’d open this easy to enjoy wine over the next few years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

 

 

 

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

This was a wine I received a couple years ago from Protocol Wines now defunct wine club.  It was misplaced in the cellar and I feared I would never find it.  With about 1400 bottles in the cellar, I gave up looking for it figuring it would never be located.  I was putting some new purchases away when I realized a slot that was supposed to be empty contained a bottle, found it!

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The open and inviting nose has ripe apples, minerals, white peaches, orange blossoms, lime zest and just a hint of roasted nuts.  This has medium body with nice acidity and seems to be just about totally dry.  On the palate this has nice upfront fruit and minerals with a nice citrus bite coming in later.  The finish has good length with more lime zest and a touch of roasted nuts giving the wine nice depth.  Before I opened the bottle I was afraid this would be over the hill, I was wrong.  This tastes wonderful, rich front end but with nice closing acidity.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

 

 

 

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine – SRP $44

This is based on a sample provided by the winery or another company working on their behalf.

 

This appears to be a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 17% Syrah, 8% Petite Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 20 months in a mix of new and seasoned oak barrels with 80% French and 20% American.

 

Flora Springs puts out several “holiday themed” bottles a year.  Even though the labels are a bit whimsical, the wine in the bottle is serious stuff.  This year the winery produced three Halloween themed bottles under their “Ghost Winery” label.  The Ghost Winery label is named for the stone cellar on the winery’s property that was built in 1885.  In 1977 Flora Springs’ owners, Flora and Jerry Komes, renovated the “Ghost Winery”.

 

The exclusive wines made for the Ghost Winery series feature labels designed by the wildly creative Virginia-based artist Wes Freed, best known for his Drive-By Truckers CD cover art.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby red color.  The sexy nose has cassis, black cherries, espresso beans, white pepper, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, dusty minerals, roasted herbs and spicy oak.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, blackberries, white pepper and minerals come through on the front end with dark chocolate and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and roasted herbs providing good depth.  This has great balance and should last in the cellar for several years but with a touch of air it tastes great now.  Don’t be fooled with the Halloween themed label, this is a serious, top notch Cabernet based blend.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

 

 

 

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch – $25

This wine is 100% destemmed Pinot Noir that was aged 11 months in used French oak.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The sexy nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, raspberries, dusty minerals, dried herbs and cocoa powder.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tanins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit, spice and earthiness jump out on the front end with minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with a hint of dried herbs providing depth.  This is a well balanced Pinot that is in a nice drinking window.  This will provide drinking pleasure for at least a few more years.  Very tasty stuff!  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

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

 

It was a cool day here in South Carolina so we slow cooked a Corned Beef and at the end of the process we added carrots, onions, potatoes and cabbage from the garden to serve with the Sandler Pinot Noir.

 

The cool spell meant it was time for some pasta and freshly made meat sauce to go with the Ruffio Modus.

 

What goes better with a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine then a steak.  In this case, I cooked a thick Sirloin to rare with the Sous Vide and finished it in a smoking hot cast iron pan.  A fresh from the garden salad with assorted lettuce, onion and broccoli was perfect with the Flora Springs Ghost Winery wine.

 

I now live “in the South” so this was a nice Southern meal.  A boneless pork loin chop coated with chipotle seasoned panko and fried with fresh from the garden green peas and a couple types of cornbread.  One of the cornbreads had fresh from the garden roasted jalapenos the other had bacon and cheddar cheese.  A bottle of Villa Creek Mourvedre was a perfect companion to the meal.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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Cliffs Wine Picks – October 2017 Vol 4

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi – $11.04

Mad Duck is a label owned by Truett-Hurst.  There isn’t much information on the wine on the internet, at least not that I could find.

 

The wine is a ruby red color, looking more like a Pinot Noir than a Zinfandel.  The exotic nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, dry loamy soil, cranberries, white pepper and violets.  This has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, brambly berries and spice come through on the front end with loam and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cranberries and a floral note entering the picture.  This is a leaner style of Zinfandel, especially for one from Lodi.  This could actually use a bit more body and some complexity.  Perhaps some time in the cellar will allow the wine to put on some weight and flesh out a bit.  As is, this is a balanced Zinfandel with nice tart fruit that will work with a lot of meals.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

 

 

 

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz – $25

Don’t you hate it when you go to a winery’s website and there is almost nothing about wine.  In this case, the Estate appears to be a “destination”.  There is loads of info on the resort, restaurant, conference room and gift center.  If I checked out the site before buying the wine, I probably would have passed, but that would have been a mistake.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The open and giving nose has blackberries, roasted leafy herbs, dark bittersweet chocolate, dead wood embers, cherries, licorice, iron shavings, wildflowers and warm baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate berries, roasted herbs and iron shavings quickly grab your attention with charred wood and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a nice floral note providing depth.  This still tastes very young and primary.  I’d sit on this one for a couple more years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

 

 

 

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – $48

This Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Livermore Valley also includes a few percent each of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  The grapes come from Ghielmetti Estate, Home Ranch and Smith Ranch vineyards.  After a 5 to 7 day cold soak the wine was fermented in individual fermenters with an extended 14 day maceration.  The wine was then aged for 22 months in French oak barrels with 60% being new.  There were 1047 cases produced.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The alluring wine has cassis, licorice, roasted herbs, warm baking spices, black cherries, tobacco, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, baking spices and tobacco come through on the front end with black cherries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This is on the young side, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This just seemed to get better throughout the evening.  A solid California Cabernet that is very easy to like.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard – $28.50

There are only one and a half acres of Grüner in Sonoma County, all of which is at Steiner Vineyard.  A very rare and special wine!  The production was ramped up this vintage from 92 cases in 2012 to 212 cases.  The production increased since a second block in the vineyard started producing.

 

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The exotic nose has pineapple, lemon zest, green pea pods, crushed stone minerals, lime zest, orange blossoms, white peach and vanilla bean.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, under ripe pineapple, minerals and lime zest quickly grab your attention with green pea pods and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and vanilla bean providing depth.  This has very nice balance and the touch of residual sweetness buffers the tart acidity.  This won’t get mistaken for an Austrian Gruner, but who cares, it’s delicious.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor – $19

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

 

This is a blend of 45% Zinfandel, 26% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Grenache, 5% Carignane, 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Black Muscat and 1% Viognier from vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Paso Robles and Amador County.  The total production was 1,913 cases.

 

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of crushed berries, black pepper and scorched earth dominate the front end with baking spices and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is again loaded with fruit and spice with a dried flower note joining the picture.  This is a big, ripe and rich wine that would be a crowd pleaser.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate – Gift

This wine was a very special bottle.  It was a gift from a friend when he had dinner (and a lot of wine) at the house while he was on a business trip.  I was supposed to visit him in Nebraska one day so he could reciprocate, but he passed away before we could get together again.  This was the only time we ever met in person.  Cheers Fred!

 

There is 8% Viognier included with the Syrah.  This is from the Lytton West Vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, cherries, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, licorice, violets, white pepper, raspberries, dry underbrush, dark bittersweet chocolate and potpourri.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate there is great balance between the fruit and savory elements with nothing being too prominent.  The finish has very nice length and again it has no rough edges.  This has aged very nicely and is in a superb drinking window.  Drink this one over the next few years.  This just seemed to get smoother and richer as the bottle was drained.  I wish I had a couple more bottles to open over the next few years.  This is a great, restrained Syrah.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

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

 

I paired the Mad Duck Zin with one of my favorite cooler weather dishes, a Stacked Enchilada Casserole with layers of spicy, meaty filling loaded with black beans and Monterrey Jack cheese and flour tortillas.  Think of it as a Mexican Lasagna.

 

 

Another cool weather favorite is Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya.  In this case I paired the dish with the Balgownie Shiraz.  Another perfect pairing, at least it was for me.

 

 

The cool spell lasted a few days, so we were able to pull out a true Southern meal, Fried Cubed Steak with rice and Cream Gravy with mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.  The Steven Kent Cabernet had the body, structure and flavor to pair nicely with this Southern cuisine.

 

 

 

 

 

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 – October 2017 Vol 3

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

2011 Cypher Winery Monarchy

NV Pommery Champagne Brut Royal

2013 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard

2013 McPrice Myers Syrah Head Honcho

 

 

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon – $24.27

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

 

This is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the winery’s estate vineyard in the Napa Valley.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cherries, underbrush, cassis, cedar, baking spices, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and spices quickly jump out on the front end with dusty minerals and a touch of cedar coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cassis and violets providing good depth.  This seems to have just a touch of residual sweetness but the acidity keeps it in check.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

 

 

 

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé – $10.35

This Pinot Noir Rosé is from the Vin de Pays d’Oc appellation from France’s Languedoc Roussillon region.

 

The wine is a very light pink color.  The energetic nose has strawberries, cherries, orange blossoms and subtle minerals.  This has light body with nice acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and minerals pop out on the front end with orange blossoms and lime zest coming through later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with red fruit and lime zest.  This is a light, crisp rosé with nice up front red fruit.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2016 d'Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

2016 d’Autrefois Pinot Noir Rosé

 

 

 

2011 Cypher Winery Monarchy – $15

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  This was a real steal at over 60% off the suggested price of $40.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine is a rather unusual 50/50 blend of Malbec and Petit Verdot from Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The big and burly nose is full of crushed blackberries, blueberries, scorched earth, dried wildflowers, white pepper and baking spices.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of berries grab control quickly with scorched earth and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish has nice length with baking spices and white pepper providing depth.  This is a big, rich, velvety wine with impressive fruit on the front end.  This doesn’t offer much in the complexity department but the rich fruit and spice make up for that shortcoming.  I wouldn’t sit on this one for too long, enjoy this one over the next year or two.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the impressive bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  I love the “label less” bottle, everything is “painted” onto the glass.  (90 pts)

2011 Cypher Winery Monarchy

2011 Cypher Winery Monarchy

 

 

 

NV Pommery Champagne Brut Royal – $50.99

This is a blend of the three “classic” grapes used in Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive nose has green apples, yeasty bread, lime zest, toasted nuts and crushed stone minerals.  This has light body with great effervescence.  On the palate apples, lemon zest and fresh baked bread jump out on the front end with minerals coming in later.  The nicely lingering finish has good length with toasted nuts entering the picture.  This was enjoyable but for about the same price there are better selections out there.  I should note, even though I bought the bottle just a few months ago, it did seem a touch tired which is unusual, so this could have encountered some subpar treatment before it reached my cellar.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (87 pts)

NV Pommery Champagne Brut Royal

NV Pommery Champagne Brut Royal

 

 

 

2013 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard – $44

This 100% Cabernet is from the winery’s estate vineyard in the Napa Valley that is certified organic and was planted in 1989.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The sexy nose has cassis, warm baking spices, cedar, tobacco, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, roasted leafy herbs and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, cedar and baking spices grab your attention on the front end with tobacco and roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with minerals and vanilla bean providing nice depth.  This has nice balance and shows good restraint.  This just kept getting better and better the more air it received.  No hurry on this one, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2013 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard

2013 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 McPrice Myers Syrah Head Honcho – $18

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

 

This was originally to be released under the Barrel 27 label but all wines destined for that label are now released as McPrice Myers in their “Blue Collar” series.  This wine is 96% Syrah with 2% each Viognier and Roussanne.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, blueberries, cedar, baking spices, black olives, black pepper, crushed stone minerals, and roasted meat.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of berries, cedar and spices jump out quickly on the front end with black olives, crushed stones and roasted meat coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some black pepper entering the picture.  As with most McPrice Myers wines, don’t expect a lot of subtlety, these are beasts.  This is big and full but smooth and seamless.  Personally, I’d like a bit more acidity to help hold everything in check.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 McPrice Myers Syrah Head Honcho

2013 McPrice Myers Syrah Head Honcho

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

This was a simple Ravioli Lasagna, fresh from the garden salad and garlic bread paired with the Benessere wine.

 

The classic steak and cab.  In this case, a Strip Steak that was cooked with the Sous Vide to rare and finished on a hot grill with a fresh from the garden salad and grilled potatoes paired with the Turley Cabernet.

 

When you have some leftover steak, what can beat steak tacos?  I paired this with the Head Honcho Syrah.

 

 

 

 

 

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 – October 2017 Vol 2

 

2010 Buccella Remnant

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

 

 

 

2010 Buccella Remnant – $41.40

This wine is a blend of 67% Carignane, 17% Petite Sirah and 16% Grenache from Mendocino County.  I saw this on the shelf at a wine store in Pinehurst, NC during a business trip and had to grab a bottle to try out.  I can’t find much information on the wine on the internet, even the winery’s website.  This seems to be a one-off wine since this appears to be the only vintage that was produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The alluring nose has blackberries, black cherries, crushed stones, dry underbrush, black peppercorns, baking spices, plums, cocoa powder and dried flowers.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate clack cherries, berries, minerals and baking spices quickly grab your attention with black pepper, plums and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and dry underbrush providing good depth.  This is a bit of an unusual blend that works nicely.  This has nice balance and doesn’t push the ripeness or extraction.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Buccella Remnant

2010 Buccella Remnant

 

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard – $28.17

This 100% Pinot Noir comes from a vineyard at the western base of Sonoma Mountain.  The coastal location provides cool ocean breezes and Petaluma Gap fog helps keep the heat in check.  The wine was aged in French oak, 50% new.  1,150 cases of this wine was produced.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, Asian spice, plums, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, strawberries, licorice, dry underbrush and dried wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, Asian spice and stony minerals take control quickly with white pepper, strawberries and plums coming in later.  The finish has very good length with underbrush and a dried floral note adding great depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now but there is absolutely no hurry on this one, it will easily last through the end of the decade.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

 

 

 

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé – $10.35

This is a blend of 73% Grenache and 27% Syrah.  I grabbed a few bottles of this at the local Total Wine in Columbia, SC on a visit to stock up on Rosé wines for the warm South Carolina weather.

 

The wine is a deep salmon pink color.  The riveting nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, orange blossoms and a hint of dry earth.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate red fruit, minerals and white pepper immediately grab your attention with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of dry earth providing depth.  This is a little fuller body than most Rosés from the region but it has the bolder flavors and nice acidity to support the extra weight.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (91 pts)

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi – $10.19

I grabbed a bottle of this wine on my latest stop at Total Wine.  If you check out this blog very often, you’ll notice I drink a fair amount of wines from Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very open and giving nose is full of crushed berries, baking spices, white pepper, scorched earth, licorice and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and white pepper come through on the front end with scorched earth and licorice coming in later.  The finish has decent length with wildflowers providing depth.  This finishes with a touch of lingering sweetness and gets a bit soft.  The soft tannins and touch of sweetness makes this a perfect companion to some spicy barbecue.  This is an easy drinking wine to open with friends over the next year.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee – $11.54

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.

 

Rubino is a Blend of Alexander Valley Cabernet, Dry Creek Valley Merlot, Russian River Valley Syrah and Napa Valley Petite Sirah. Aged in French Oak for 20 months.

Aged in French Oak for 24 months.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The alluring nose has cassis, baking spices, raspberries, dry underbrush, plums, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate nice front end fruit is buffered by spices and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with plums and dark chocolate providing depth.  This isn’t a power house wine, but it has nice balance and a smooth texture.  I wouldn’t hold this one for more than a year or two.  For under $12 (my cost from last bottle) this is a QPR star.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

 

 

 

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn – $29.12

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.

 

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s Diamond Mountain vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, roasted leafy herbs, baking spices, tobacco, licorice, cedar, crushed stone minerals, white pepper and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis, baking spices and minerals jump out on the front end with roasted herbs and tobacco coming in later.  The lingering finish adds cedar, white pepper and a nice dried floral note.  This isn’t a powerhouse, but it has great balance and is a big success for the vintage.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

 

 

 

Here are a few meals that featured some of the wines reviewed above.

 

A piece of Slow-cooked Chuck Roast with Gravy over Egg Noodles with the Stars & Goats Cabernet

 

 

BBQ Chicken Wings with my dry rub, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and the Hunted Zinfandel

 

 

 

 

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 – Acorn Winery

 

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery.

 

 

ESTATE-GROWN, SUSTAINABLY-FARMED, FIELD-BLENDED WINES

 

 

Acorn is owned by Betsy and Bill Nachbaur.  Besides being the owners, they are also the winegrowers.  The couple owns 32 acres in the Russian River Valley they purchased in 1990.  Their vineyard, Alegria Vineyards is a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard that is planted in alluvial, rocky clay-loam benchland soils.  The estate consists of 70 grape varieties.  The original Zinfandel vineyard was planted in 1890, one of the oldest in Sonoma County.  Hopefully the vineyard, winery and most importantly the family is safe from the fiery destruction the region is encountering this week.  The winery produces less than 3,000 cases of wine a year of Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Axiom® Syrah, Heritage Vines™ Zinfandel, Rosato, Medley® (Blend of Blends) and Acorn Hill® (“Super Tuscan”).

 

In the early days, the family sold their grapes to other wineries but in 1994 they decided to start producing their own wines and established Acorn Winery.  Their first release was the 1994 Sangiovese.

 

The Nachbaur’s passion is “growing and producing co-fermented field-blends (the grapes are interplanted, harvested, and fermented together) creating balanced, food-friendly wines made in the old-world style.”  All of the winery’s vineyards are planted to be used in blends.  As noted below, the Zinfandel vineyard was originally planted in 1890 and includes 18 varieties.  The Syrah blocks have Viognier planted with the three clones of Syrah.

 

The Cabernet Franc block that was planted in 1991 includes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tannat, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Dolcetto blocks also planted in 1991 includes Barbera and Freisa.

The Sangiovese block, again planted in 1991 includes Canaiolo and Mammolo.

 

Besides being the owner and winegrowner, Bill is the winemaker along with consulting winemaker Clay Mauritson.

 

The winery sells these wines consumer-direct in most states and the wines are distributed in several states.  For more information about the winery or to purchase these wonderful wines, visit their website.

 

Here’s wishing a prosperous future to Acorn Winery.  As the saying goes, “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

 

 

 

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards – SRP $48

This wine is a true zinfandel based field blend from a vineyard composed of 18 inter-planted grape varieties that was first planted in 1890.  All work in the vineyard is performed by hand and each vine gets individualized attention.  The extra time and effort shows in the wine.

 

This is a blend of 78% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante Bouschet, 9% Petite Sirah. The remaining 2% includes Carignane, Trousseau, Sangiovese, Petit Bouschet, Negrette, Syrah, Plavac Mali, Tannat, Muscat Noir, Peloursin, Béclan, Palomino, Cinsaut, Monbaclan, and Grenache.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 15 months in 65% French oak (21% new), 25% American oak (5% new) and 10% Hungarian oak.  The barrels came from 8 different coopers.  There were 504 cases bottled in December 2015.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The hypnotic nose has brambly berries, white pepper, crushed rocks, violets, dark bittersweet chocolate, cedar, cherries and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  The juicy palate has berries, minerals and white pepper on the front end with cedar and cherry coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with scorched earth and a floral note providing good depth.  This is a nice, structured, food friendly Zin that doesn’t carry any extra weight or extraction.  This is drinking very nicely right now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  The balance, tannins and acidity show this wine will last several years in the cellar.  Great job!  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

 

 

 

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards – SRP $42

This wine includes 2% Viognier with the 98% Syrah (3 clones) from the winery’s Alegria Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.

 

After a three day cold soak and fermentation, the wine was aged for 18 months in 54% French (28% new) and 46% European oak barrels.  304 cases were produced and bottled in March 2016.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The enticing nose is full of crushed blackberries, melted licorice, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, smoked meat, dried wild flowers and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is bold and velvety on the palate with blackberries, white pepper, minerals and smoked meat on the front end with licorice and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark roast coffee beans and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This tastes very good today but will really shine in another year.  Drink this one starting in 2018 through at least the middle of the next decade.  I’d love this with some Texas barbecue next Summer.  This just gets better with every sip.  Count me as a fan!  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

 

 

 

Conclusion

Bothe of these wines were outstanding already but will be even better down the road.  This was my first exposure to this winery and I look forward to having more of their wine in the future.  I hope the winery and vineyard are able to survive the fires currently engulfing the California wine country.  This is definitely a winery we will hear more from in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These perfectly balanced wines were the perfect companions for dinner.  The Zinfandel was paired with Pork Ribs I smoked for several hours.  I don’t use sauce but the ribs were generously coated with my dry rub.  The ribs were wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator over night so the spice could draw out the juices, mix with them and get reabsorbed into the meat.

For the Syrah, I paired it with a Boneless Pork Loin Chop that was breaded in Chipotle seasoned Panko bread crumbs and fried.  This was served with breaded and fried zucchini and green beans both fresh from the garden.

 

 

 

 

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 – October 2017 Vol 1

 

2012 Treana White Central Coast

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

2011 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2012 Romanelli Montefalco Rosso

 

 

 

2012 Treana White Central Coast

This is a 50/50 blend of Marsanne and Viognier.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The fresh and lively nose has green apples, white peach, wet stone minerals, lemongrass, orange blossoms and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with decent acidity.  On the palate tart apples, peaches and minerals come through on the front end with lemon grass and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with sweet vanilla providing some depth.  Traces of alcohol peak through at times on the back end and finish.  This tastes very nice but should be opened over the next year before the alcohol becomes more pervasive.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Treana White Central Coast

2012 Treana White Central Coast

 

 

 

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar – $32.50

It may put me in the “uncool” camp but I still love an occasional Australian Shiraz.  I avoid the low end offerings that inevitably end up in “close out” sales, but there are outstanding bargains out there in high end wines if you look around.

 

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The rich and luxurious nose has blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, vanilla, smoked meat, dried herbs, warm baking spices and some earthiness.  This has a full body, fairly solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  This is a massive wine on the palate with loads of spicy, peppery berries with a nice smoked meat element followed by spicy oak and dried herbs.  The finish is very long and like the palate, packed with flavor.  No subtlety and not the most complex wine out there, but very balanced and tasty.  Not a wine for everyone nor an everyday wine, but on occasion, this one will rock.  This is in a prime drinking window and should hold nicely for several years.  This has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar

 

 

 

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence – $16.99

This is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

 

The wine is a light, pale pink color.  The inviting nose has strawberries, cherries, white peach, orange blossoms, lime zest and minerals.  This has light to medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and cherries pop out quickly with orange blossoms and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lime zest providing depth and a crisp acidic closing note.  The slight sweetness makes this very easy to sip on a warm, sunny day.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

2016 Domaine de Bendel Côtes de Provence

 

 

 

2011 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape – $29.66

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

 

This is a blend of 74% stainless steel aged Grenache and 26% barrel aged Syrah.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The exuberant nose has cherries, stony minerals, garrigue, raspberries, scorched earth and dried wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, raspberries, minerals and garrigue come through on the front end with scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a nice dried floral note providing depth.  This is drinking very nicely but there is absolutely no hurry to open this one.   I liked this one more and more as the evening wore on.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2011 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2011 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape

 

 

 

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard – $25

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

 

 

 

2012 Romanelli Montefalco Rosso

Rosso wines from Montefalco are required to contain 60-70% Sangiovese, 10-15% Sagrantino and 15-30% other varieties of the winemaker’s choosing.

 

This is a blend of 65% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.  The varieties were fermented and aged separately in a mix of small and large previously used French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, dry underbrush, plums, baking spices, roasted herbs, violets and chalky minerals.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, plums and dry underbrush jump out on the front end with baking spices and roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with minerals and violets providing nice depth.  This is a fairly luxurious Rosso that tastes very good.  I really liked this one.  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Romanelli Montefalco Rosso

2012 Romanelli Montefalco Rosso

 

 

 

Here are a few meals that featured some of the wines reviewed above.

 

Boneless Pork Loin Chop that was cooked with the Sous-Vide before being finished in a hot cast iron pan.  A pan sauce with shallot, red wine and the juices from the sous-vide bag was than made in the pan.  Some breaded and fried, fresh from the garden Okra and a baked potato completed the meal.

 

To pair with the Myriad Sémillon I breaded a couple fish filets with panko breadcrumbs and quickly sauteed.  The fish was then cut into chunks and served with fresh from the garden greens and cheese as Fish Tacos.  A little Mexican Rice was served on the side.

 

What goes better with a nice Italian Rosso than pizza?  In this case a pie from the local pizza shop with two types of pepperoni, Italian sausage and extra cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – September 2017 Vol 6

 

2015 Northwest Wine Company Pinot Noir Kudos Reserve

2015 Macchia Barbera Delicious Lodi

2009 World’s End Wavelength Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard

2016 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2011 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel Lust Lodi

 

 

 

2015 Northwest Wine Company Pinot Noir Kudos Reserve – $16.14

The grapes for this wine come from select vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  After a long, cold fermentation in small lots, the wine was aged for 9 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The energetic nose has tart cherries, white pepper, earthy underbrush, crushed stone minerals, roasted herbs, baking spices, cola bean and dry wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, white pepper, minerals and earthy underbrush come through on the front end with cola bean, roasted herbs and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and more white pepper providing nice depth.  This isn’t the most complex Pinot out there but the savory notes keep it interesting.  For well under $20, this is a keeper.  I’m sure some cellar time will be rewarded and may allow more complexity to enter the picture.  I’d advise to hold for another year.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Northwest Wine Company Pinot Noir Kudos Reserve

2015 Northwest Wine Company Pinot Noir Kudos Reserve

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Barbera Delicious Lodi – $19.54

Barbera is another grape that is used to produce some real gems in Lodi.  In Lodi, the grape gets a bit riper and more luxurious then their Italian counterparts.  These are nice, easy drinking, fruit driven wines that will surprise you when you try one.  Last year I participated in a big Lodi Barbera tasting at Macchia Wines and across the board, these were outstanding wines.  Do these wines age?  After trying his 2014 and 2015 vintages, Tim Holdener, Macchia owner/winemaker, pulled a 2003 vintage from his personal stash for us to taste.  The wine held up marvelously and proved Lodi wines can age, even those produced from the Barbera grape which is usually consumed within a couple years of being produced.  As for the Barbera tasting, we sampled about a dozen different wines.  The photo a little further down this post shows some of the winemakers and bottles from the event.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The exotic nose has cherries, blackberries, white pepper, dusty minerals, roasted herbs, scorched earth and dried violets.  This has a full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, blackberries, white pepper and minerals come through on the front end with roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with scorched earth and a dried floral note providing good depth.  The wine finishes with a lingering sweet note.  This won’t be confused with an Italian Barbera but who cares, it’s very tasty.  This has 15.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Macchia Barbera Delicious Lodi

2015 Macchia Barbera Delicious Lodi

 

 

Lodi Barbera Tasting

Lodi Barbera Tasting

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Wavelength Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard – $28.69

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

 

This wine is an unusual blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Cabernet Franc.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has plums, blackberries, cherries, cedar, dark chocolate, scorched earth, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, dried leafy herbs and violets.  This has a full body with moderate to full tannins and very good acidity.  Nice fruit, spice, cedar and minerals take control on the front end of the palate with dark chocolate and dried herbs coming in later.  The lingering finish adds dry earth and a nice floral note.  This is drinking very nicely right now with some air but there is no rush on this one, it will last in the cellar for several years.  A great bottle of wine.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2009 World's End Wavelength Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard

2009 World’s End Wavelength Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard

 

 

 

2016 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses – $11.99

This is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.

 

The three grape varietals are harvested separately when they reach the desired level of ripeness, not all at the same time.  The grapes are machine harvested and contains a built-in sorting system.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The tantalizing nose has raspberry, white peach, white pepper, cherries, minerals, orange zest and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with a creamy texture and nice acidity.  On the palate bright fruit and minerals take control on the front end with white pepper and leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a bit of orange zest providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but tasty.  This would be perfect for a light lunch on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (88 pts)

2016 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2016 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

 

 

 

2011 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon – $25

This vintage is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec.  The grapes are sourced from a short list of vineyards the winery considers to be among the best in the state including Ciel du Cheval, Red Heaven, Red Mountain, Weinbau and Shaw vineyards.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, dried herbs, minerals, cedar, baking spices, cherries and a hint of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate rich fruit and spice lead off with minerals and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with cherries, spice and a touch of dark chocolate lingering nicely.  This is drinking very nicely today and should continue doing so for at least a few more years.  This was a steal for $25.  This has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2012 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel Lust – $46.79

Lust Zinfandel is produced by the winery by selecting only their best small lots.  In this vintage, only three lots were selected.  The three lots were blended and aged in American oak (70% for 18 months) and French oak (30% for 10 months).  After the aging, a bit of Petite Sirah was added to the blend before the wine was bottled.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby red color.  The flamboyant nose has warm blackberry pie, dusty minerals, black peppercorns, vanilla bean, licorice and black cherries.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, black peppercorns and minerals grab hold quickly on the front end with vanilla bean and black cherries coming in later.  The robust finish has great length with blackberries, spice and black pepper seeing to hold on forever.  This is a big, bold and rich wine that demands an equally big piece of meat.  This doesn’t offer a lot of subtlety or nuance, but the trade-off is a ton of fruit and spice.  This paired wonderfully with some pulled pork.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel Lust

2012 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel Lust

 

 

 

 

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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