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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – February 2017 Vol 4

 

2013 Orin Swift D66

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

2013 Orin Swift D66 – $29.29

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan from the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes region in France’s Roussillon area.  This wine was aged for 18 months is 30% new French Oak and then bottle aged 5 months prior to release.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The bold nose is full of blackberries, plums, cassis, black pepper, baking spices, charred wood, violets and dark roasted coffee.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit with pepper and charred wood quickly take control with baking spices and dark roast coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but loads of up front fruit.  This has just enough structure and spice to keep it from getting boring.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Orin Swift D66

2013 Orin Swift D66

 

 

 

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard – $18.99

I loved the Rosenblum wines crafted by Jeff Cohn and have never been disappointed by the ones he has produced under his own label.

 

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

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve – $19.48

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a deep ruby red color.  The captivating nose has black cherries, charred wood, plums, crushed stone minerals, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla bean and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cocoa powder, minerals and plums quickly jump out on the front end with charred wood and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and violets providing additional depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for three to five more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 World's End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard – $46.00

I love Brian Loring’s Pinot Noirs, actually I love all the wines of his that I have tried.  Loring’s Pinot Noirs are very Californian in style, which I do not say in a bad way.  Brian’s pinots are usually ripe and bold and very tasty.  If you are looking for a Burgundian style, look elsewhere, if you are looking for a very tasty bottle of wine you’re in the right place.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, minerals, baking spices, black cherries, licorice, raspberries, a touch of smoke, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy berries and minerals dominate the front end with black cherries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length but does show just a touch of alcohol, but not enough to take away from the wine.  This is a very nice combination of a big, rich California Pinot but with plenty of tannins and acidity to provide support and balance.  This is an outstanding effort.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with the usual Loring twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

 

 

 

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve – $29.29

This was picked up at a Last Bottle Marathon, always a great source for special wines at every day prices.  See below for information on the site and a discount on your first purchase.

 

I can’t find, with 100% confidence, the exact blend of grapes for this wine but it appears to be 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.  I should note, I have even seen this noted as 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  This means, your guess is as good as mine.

 

This is a light golden straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized, persistent bubbles.  The festive nose has tart apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, toasted yeasty bread, orange blossoms, white peach and a hint of berries.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence, crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest quickly take control with a hint of white peach and berries slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean thanks to lemony acidity.  This is a joy to sip on its’ own or with a light meal.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

 

 

 

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan – $19.99

I don’t have the exact break down of the grapes used to produce this wine, but the vineyard is comprised of 62% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, so the final blend is probably close to these percentages.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, cassis, dusty minerals, baking spices, scorched earth, violets and pencil shavings.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, cherries, minerals and spices immediately jump out with scorched earth and a hint of spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has nice length with pencil shavings and violets providing nice depth.  This is probably as good as it gets, which is still pretty good.  Pop this one over the remainder of the decade.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork (my cork broke and split as it was being pulled).  (90 pts)

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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 – Crocker & Starr

 

This is based on samples provided to me by the winery or a company representing the winery.

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

 

 

crocker-starr-logo

 

I was invited to attend an “online tasting” with Pam Starr and taste a few of the wines produced by Crocker & Starr.  I had never tried these wines but I knew of the winery.  They were always on my personal list of wines I had to sample.  Thankfully the day had come for me to experience these wines.

 

In 1997, Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr established Crocker & Starr on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena, resurrecting a world-class vineyard with roots dating back to the 1870s. Charlie is co-owner with Pam, the winery manager and winemaker. Between Charlie’s historic estate that has grown grapes for over 140 years and Pam’s winemaking expertise, vision, and business acumen, the partners proved to be a spectacular match.

 

Tons of information on Charlie and Pam, the vineyard, winery and most importantly their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

My line up for this tasting

Crocker & Starr Line up

Crocker & Starr Line up

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $34

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 87% from the winery’s Crocker Estate Vineyard with the remaining 13% from Oak Knoll’s Las Trancas Vineyard.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel (68%), used French oak (20%) and concrete egg (12%).  The wine was aged sur lees for 8 to 9 months before blending and bottling.  A total of 1200 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a pale, light yellow with a slight green tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has pear, melon, lime zest, vanilla bean, chalky minerals and a hint of baking spices.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and seems totally dry.  On the palate tart pears, melons, minerals and a hint of baking spices pop out early with lime zest and vanilla bean coming in later.  The finish has great length with lime zest and minerals providing a nice counter balance to the pear and melon.  Don’t serve this too cold, it really sings when it’s just on the cool side.  I’d love to have this with a nice lobster roll or some freshly grilled shrimp.  This has 14.4% alcohol.  (93 pts)

2015 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition – SRP $80

My sample was a full sized, 750 ml bottle.

 

This wine is a blend of 92% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot from the winery’s sustainably farmed vineyard in St. Helena.

 

The grapes were harvested between September 17 and October 3.  After small lot fermentations, the wine was aged for 17 months in French oak with 55% being new.  There were 553 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The dazzling nose has blackberries, plums, dark roasted coffee beans, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, dusty minerals, vanilla bean, licorice and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Crushed berries, plums, coffee beans and dark chocolate jump out on the front end on the palate with baking spices, minerals and licorice coming in later.  The finish has very good length with vanilla bean and scorched earth providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is built to age.  This tastes great now with some air, but a couple years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded.  This will be outstanding in a couple of years and last through at least then end of the next decade.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc – SRP $80

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This wine has 1% Petit Verdot added to the Cabernet Franc.

 

After small lot fermentations the wine was aged for 20 months in French oak with 80% new.  There were 548 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, black cherry, dried leafy herbs, plums, warm baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans and scorched earth.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, dried herbs, ground espresso beans and black cherries quickly take control on the front end with black cherries, baking spices and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  Some time in the cellar will be greatly rewarded but this tastes great now with some time in the decanter.  This has the depth and balance to age very gracefully for two decades.  I love Cabernet Franc wines and this is probably the best I have ever tasted.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (96 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place – SRP $120

My sample was a 375 ml bottle.

 

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is from 38+ year old vines from the winery’s sustainably farmed Crocker Estate Vineyard in St. Helena.  The grapes came from the oldest plantings on the property, Block 3.

 

After being hand harvested on October 7 & 8, and small lot fermentation, the wine was aged 20+ months in French oak, 90% new.  There were 572 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, cassis, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, dried rosemary, stony minerals, dark chocolate and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spice, eucalyptus and vanilla bean quickly jump out immediately with minerals and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is extremely long with a touch of cedar entering the picture.  This is drinkable now but a couple years in the cellar will be rewarded and is greatly recommended.  The great tannic backbone and acidity as well as the superb balance guarantee a long and graceful life.  If you open this in the next couple of years, give is a lot of air.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place

 

 

 

Conclusion

These are world class wines that will appeal to everyone.  These have the great taste that will appeal to infrequent wine drinkers but offer outstanding complexity with enough minerality and savory notes to cause a true wine enthusiast to grab the bottle to see what they are drinking.  Every one of these wines would be a welcome addition to my dinner table and you should give them a shot, you will be equally amazed.

 

 

CCA Logo

 

About Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands.  Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods.  We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

 

For more information, visit the CCA 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:

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 – February 2017 Vol 3

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom – $16.99

This is another “red blend” that is a palate-pleaser when you want to try “something different”.

 

This is a blend of 39% Zinfandel, 38% Petite Sirah and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg and Amador.  The wine is a dark ruby color.  The outgoing nose has crushed berries, mint, cherries, baking spices, white pepper, toasty oak and dried violets.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Waves of fruit and spice immediately grabs your attention on the palate with white pepper and a touch of mint coming in later.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and spice joined by toasty oak.  This is a take no prisoner style of wine loaded with flavor.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

 

 

 

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard – $22.40

This is the first white wine produced by Jean Edwards Cellars.  This is a blend of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Semillon.

 

The wine is a pale straw yellow color.  The enticing nose has apples, lemon zest, white pepper, leafy herbs, pineapple, dusty minerals, apricot, orange blossoms and anise.  This has medium body with mouthwatering acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white pepper, lemon zest and an herbal streak immediately take control on the front end with apricot and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with anise and dusty minerals joining the tropical fruit and white pepper.  The crisp acidity will leave your mouthwatering for another sip.  A great initial white wine effort from this formerly red wine only winery.  This is very drinkable now but will last for at least two or three years, maybe longer.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

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

 

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

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $19.99

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 up front 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)

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino – $18.99

This 100% Sangiovese comes from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at elevations of 150-350 metres on well-exposed hillslopes south-east of Montalcino.  The wine was aged in a mix of Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months followed by a minimum of 3 months of bottle aging before it is released.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dried thyme, baking spices, raspberry, leather and a touch of underbrush.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, minerals and spice initially take hold on the palate with dried thyme and leather coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should continue for a couple years, at least.  This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino – $25.34

The wine is a red to ruby color with a touch of brick at the edge.  The appealing nose has raspberries, cherries, baking spice, earthy underbrush, dried flowers, roasted herbs, minerals, mushrooms and a touch of mint.  This has medium body, slightly chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the baking spices, red fruit and earthiness kick in first with oak, minerals and more earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of mint adding a nice closing element.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for a few more years.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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 – Assorted Imports

 

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

 

These are miscellaneous bottles that were either samples, last minute bottles that replaced flawed bottles or bottles that were not included in a previous post.

 

 

 

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado – $24.64

This 100% Malbec was aged 20 months in French oak and has 14.5% alcohol.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The suave and sophisticated nose has crushed berries, cocoa powder, violets, baking spices, licorice and dried underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy berries and cocoa powder immediately jumps out with violets and underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some crushed stone minerals slipping in.  This is an elegant, nicely balanced, food friendly wine, not an over the top, full throttle dynamo.  This will reward some time in the cellar but it tastes great today with some air.  (92 pts)

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

2011 Recuerdo Malbec Aliado

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos – $11.39

Vintage after vintage, this is a favorite week night wine in my house.  This may not have the most complexity out there, but it is generally loaded with flavor.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, smoke, vanilla, baking spices, cherries, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, and some dried herbs.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead off with white pepper, dried herbs, and the coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dark chocolate note joining the party.  A very nice wine and an incredible value.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

 

 

 

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives – $16.99

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, dusty minerals, freshly ground espresso bean, dried herbs, dry flowers and scorched earth.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, espresso beans and dusty minerals quickly take over, slowly allowing dried herbs and cherries to slip in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with dried flowers and scorched earth adding great depth.  This is on the young side and has a great future but it is hard to resist in its youth.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Cave de Tain l'Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

2011 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Nobles Rives

 

 

 

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas – $16.14

This is a blend of 55% Syrah, 35% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The wine was aged for 12 months in American (50%) and French (50%) oak barrels with an additional 6 months in bottle before release.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The intriguing nose has blackberries, baking spices, cherries, earthy underbrush, freshly ground espresso beans, dusty minerals, wildflowers and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, spice, espresso beans and minerals jump out quickly with cherries and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with dried earth and a floral note adding depth.  This is an exceptional wine with great balance and depth.  Stock up when you find it for under $20.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

2012 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas

 

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro – $18.99

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

 

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

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro

 

 

 

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru – $39.99

Light golden yellow color.  Apples, pears, lemon zest, yeasty bread, orange blossoms on the nose.  Nice pinpoint sized bubbles, labeled as Brut but is pushing the allowed RS to the limit if not slipping past.  It was better on its own after lunch.  Would be nice with spicy appetizers.  (88 pts)

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

NV Georges Vesselle Champagne Brut Grand Cru

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has tart cherries, dusty minerals, mint, dried earth, baking spices, plums, white pepper and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart cherries, dusty minerals and white pepper quickly take hold on the palate with plums, spice and a touch of mint coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of dried earth and a nice floral note adding depth and complexity.  This is on the young side, some cellar time or an hour in a decanter will be greatly rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

2010 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro

 

 

 

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige – SRP $14.00

The wine is a bright salmon color with steady streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The refreshing nose has strawberries, yeasty bread, lemon zest, orange blossoms and cherries.  This has light body with crisp acidity and a touch of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart strawberries, lemon zest and cherries take over on the front end with yeasty bread coming in later.  On the finish orange blossoms and cherries grab the spotlight.  This is an easy drinking off-dry bottle of bubbles that would be a hit at a party with friends.  (87 pts)

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige 2

Mionetto Gran Rosé Prestige

 

 

 

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887 – SRP $19.00

This has 11.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard sparkling wine cork.

 

The wine is a bright pink to copper color with persistent pinpoint sized bubbles.  The sexy nose has cherries, strawberries, yeasty bread, lemongrass, stony minerals, orange zest and a hint of roasted nuts.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, a hint of sweetness and great effervescence.  On the palate tart cherries, strawberries and orange zest kick in quickly with yeasty bread coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering acidity balancing out a touch of sweetness.  This is extremely easy to sip.  (89 pts)

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

Mionetto Cuvée Sergio Rosé 1887

 

 

 

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:

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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