Posts tagged ‘Altesino Rosso di Montalcino’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Dec 6, 2013 to Dec 8, 2013

 

 

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

2012 Calera Pinot Noir

2011 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau

2006 Elyse Zinfandel Korte Ranch

2007 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

 

 

 

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino – $24.33

I like Altesino’s Brunello wines, when the local store stocked this Rosso on their shelf, I had to grab a few bottles.  When done right, a Rosso is just a notch below a Brunello in quality but sells for a fraction of the cost.

 

This is 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

The company is a leader in various, important innovations in the production of Sangiovese di Montalcino, causing it to stand out and become a reference point for the entire territory.

 

The introduction of the “Cru” (Montosoli) concept in 1975, the first experiments with barriques in ’79, the production in ’77 of the first Grappa di Fattoria under the consultancy of the master distiller Gioacchino Nannoni and the first Futures (purchasing wine before its release) for Brunello 1985 are some of the positive contributions putting Montalcino on the world map.

 

An intense relationship has built up over forty years with the land full of history, with its almost sensual beauty that is physically perceived and its subtle charm that reaches the body and soul. This is the philosophy that inspires Altesino to produce wine and maintain its culture.

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with a touch of brick.  The bright nose has cherries, strawberries, raspberries, dried herbs, tobacco, minerals, and a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, light to moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the red fruit and spice hit first with dried herbs, minerals, and tobacco coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the tobacco and minerals closing the show.  Not a wine to contemplate over, but a very tasty Rosso to enjoy over the next few years with a hearty meal.  (89 pts)

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

2012 Calera Pinot Noir

This bottle was from a large wine tasting in a local wine store.  I was able to bring home the wine that was left over at the end, about a half bottle.

 

I’ve had earlier vintages of this wine and enjoyed them.  I’m interested to see what the wine is like from this highly acclaimed vintage.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The tempting and inviting nose has black cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, cola and a touch of spicy oak.  This has medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit is a bit brighter than the nose lead me to expect with tart cherries and baking spices up front with some building earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with fruit and spice carrying the load.  Not bad for an entry level Pinot and a keeper for a touch over $20.  (90 pts)

2012 Calera Pinot Noir

2012 Calera Pinot Noir

 

 

2011 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau

This bottle was from a large wine tasting in a local wine store.  I was able to bring home the wine that was left over at the end, about a third bottle.

 

This is one of the “big names” in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  This vintage didn’t get as much acclaim as earlier vintages.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The outstanding nose has kirsch, brined olives, potpourri, crushed berries, cherries, cedar and minerals.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this wine slowly displays layer after layer of fruit, spice and minerals.  The layered finish has very good length and is loaded with constantly evolving flavors.  This tasted outstanding today but deserves some serious cellar time for it open up and spread its wings.  (94 pts)

2011 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau

2011 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau

 

 

2006 Elyse Zinfandel Korte Ranch – $15.07

From a 375 ml bottle

 

Elyse has been one of my favorite wineries since my first visit there in 2001.  I was talking to an employee at Merryvale about the style of wines I liked and that I was on the lookout for leads to some nice Petite Sirah based wines.  All he said was, “You have to checkout Elyse”.  As soon as we got back in the car, I pulled out my guidebook of wineries, and looked them up.  According to the guide, they required a reservation so I called them.  About 30 minutes later we were met by a very gracious and inviting tasting room employee.  We spent the next hour trying just about everything they made.  We left with several bottles for the week and ordered a case to be shipped back home.

 

The local wine store used to stock this wine in half bottles but I don’t know if anyone other than me bought it.  A quick check of my purchase history in Cellar Tracker show I bought well over 2 cases of this wine.  I know the last case was the last one the distributor had in stock.  I’m not seeing as much Elyse on wine store shelves here in Wisconsin, which is a loss for the normal consumer.  I keep the Elyse (and Jacob Franklin) part of my cellar stocked with purchases direct from the winery.

 

The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

In 1983, Nancy and Ray arrived in California from Cape Cod to fulfill Ray’s dream of making wine and Nancy’s taste for adventure.  After working harvest at Mt. Eden Winery in Saratoga, they moved to NapaValley and became innkeepers for a bed &breakfast. Ray then spent formative time at Tonella Vineyard Management, where he gained philosophical perspective and practical knowledge working in the vineyards.  Ray’s nine year tenure at Whitehall Lane Winery under the tutelage of Art Finkelstein first as a cellar worker and then as head winemaker honed his skills in the art of blending and was the inspiration for Ray’s winemaking style today.

 

In 1987, Ray & Nancy started Elyse Winery with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard, which is still a cornerstone vineyard source for the winery. After a decade of nomadic winemaking at various custom crush facilities, in 1997 they purchased a small winery and vineyard on Hoffman Lane, the home of Elyse Winery and tasting room.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color showing just a touch of brick, mainly at the edge.  The very appealing nose reminded me more of a Claret than a zinfandel.  There was some brambly berries and pepper, but they were joined with tobacco, cedar, dried herbs, cassis, and warm baking spices.  This has a medium body, soft integrated tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate this has lost most of its early “baby fat” and is a smooth, nuanced Zinfandel that again could be easily mistaken for a quality Claret.  The finish is fairly long with nice fruit, spice, and a touch of earthiness.  To some people, this may be over the hill, to me it is in a wonderful spot. This was from a 375ml bottle.  (93 pts)

2006 Elyse Zinfandel Korte Ranch

2006 Elyse Zinfandel Korte Ranch

 

 

2007 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley – $27.00

This wine is a blend of 77% Dry Creek Valley Syrah, 12% Dry Creek Valley Grenache both from the Teldeschi Vineyard, 9% Knights Valley Syrah from Peklan Ranch and 2% Russian River Valley Viognier.

 

Normally this is where I’d tell you to go to their website and sign up for the mailing list, but not this time.  Unfortunately the Carlisle mailing list is full, the best you could do is get on the waiting list.  The problem with that one is big, the wines are so good and fairly priced, very few people drop off the list.  My best advice is to find someone on the list and beg them to share a bottle or two of their allocation with you.

 

The wine contains 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Carlisle is a winery that started as a classic “garage winery” for Owner/Winemaker Mike Officer.  His first foray into wine making was making 5 gallons of Zinfandel in his kitchen.  Over the next several years, with the help of his wife Kendall (Carlisle), and some friends, he produced a barrel of wine each vintage.  During this period, he also has a “real job” as a software developer.  To make a long story short, eventually the software developer title was left in the rear view mirror and Owner/Winemaker became his new title.  I highly recommend checking out the complete story at http://www.carlislewinery.com/about.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple to black color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, charcoal, white pepper, smoke, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, blueberries, Asian spices and minerals.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is full of crushed berries, white pepper and Asian spices up front with smoke and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some dark chocolate entering the picture.   This is drinking very nicely but has the stuffing and balance to keep in the cellar for another decade or more.  (92 pts)

2007 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

2007 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

 

 

2008 Andrew Will Sorella – $61.74

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

 

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

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda.  The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris had developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years.  Named after the Camardas’ son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor to the success and notoriety in recent years of Washington State wines.  Initially, the winery consisted of 900 square feet of rented industrial space in Seattle.

 

In 1994, the Camardas moved to Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, where they built the present winery.  The fruit however comes from the mainland, across the Cascades in Eastern Washington, where all the significant vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the mountains.

 

Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards are adjacent on the loam and gravel soils of Red Mountain but produce different styles of wine.  Klipsun makes massive, opulent wine to appreciate early. Ciel du Cheval possesses a slightly more tannic structure and great ageing potential.

 

Much more information is available on the winery’s website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

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

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

 

 

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 2013 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

 

 

 

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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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 – Oct 18, 2013 to Oct 20, 2013

 

 

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

2009 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

See information below about the chance to win two passes to the upcoming Napa Valley Film Festival (value $500) as well as two invitations to a VIP kick-off party and a sneak preview screening of August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.   Contest courtesy of Benchmark Wine Group and ends October 31st.

 

 

 

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets – $28.80

I was on the McPrice Myers mailing list for a couple years.  The winery produces full bodied, full throttle wines in a “take no prisoners” style.  Though these are nice once in a while, they aren’t every day wines.  I dropped the list because even though the wines are well made and enjoyable on occasion, I just don’t have the need for too many in my cellar.

 

Making a wine that is the best expression of the vineyard it comes from or a wine that is the most harmonious blend it can be, is a complex series of challenges that renew themselves with every vintage. It is my goal and my passion to produce the best for you that each unique harvest brings.

McPrice “Mac” Myers

 

This has 16.2% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

Deep, dark purple color, almost black. This wine has a massive nose full of blackberries, plums, charcoal, minerals, vanilla, charred meat, wildflowers, and spicy oak. This is a full bodied wine with solid, chewy tannins and good acidity. This has solid walls of fruit and spice on the palate with some nice earthiness and dark chocolate in the background. There is a long lingering finish full of dark fruit, spice, and dark chocolate. This is an outstanding wine that should last several years in the cellar, but I’d probably drink on the young side before the alcohol (16.2%) becomes too noticeable.  (93 pts)

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

 

 

 

2009 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley – $27.00

This is the entry level Pinot Noir produced by the winery.  Don’t look at the phrase “entry level” and think inferior, this is better than most winery’s top end offering.  I generally drink this over a few years while waiting on the winery’s higher end, Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot to be ready to open.

 

This is 13.8% alcohol and is sealed with a synthetic cork.

 

Winery History

Soter Vineyards began in 1997 when Oregon natives Michelle and Tony Soter purchased the Beacon Hill Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton District of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Named for a lighthouse like structure at the top of the hill, this vineyard was the source of Soter’s first estate grown Pinot Noir and sparkling wines.

 

Today, Soter Vineyards makes its home on the Mineral Springs Ranch near Carlton, Oregon.  This 240 acre property is the base for all Soter winemaking and business operations.  The estate vineyard here is ideally situated on an east – west ridge known as Savanna Ridge and planted to 30 acres of Pinot Noir.  An additional 2 acres of Chardonnay are dedicated to sparkling wine production.  Initial vineyard plantings began in 2002 and continued in 2006 and 2007.  Remaining acreage is committed to forest, woodland, and grazing land for flocks of sheep and goats.

 

Soter Vineyards wines are made in a refurbished barn originally dating from 1943.  All tirage, riddling, and disgorgement of our sparkling wines are performed here, allowing us to maintain meticulous control of these processes.  In the hillside next to the barn, underground caves serve as our barrel room.  A recently constructed fermentation space completes our production facilities.

 

The aim of Soter Vineyards is to produce Pinot Noir that is thrilling to the senses, complex, balanced and age worthy.  At the same time, we seek to be model stewards of our land with ultimate respect and regard for this place we call Mineral Springs Ranch.

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby red color.  On the open and very sexy nose there are cherries, baking spices, minerals, fresh wild flowers, and a bit of earthiness.  The wine is barely medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is very elegant on the palate with spicy, earthy red fruit, spice, and just a hint of an herbal note adding complexity.  Very nice length on the finish which is again highlighted by the spicy, earthy fruit. This seems to be entering its prime drinking window and can be enjoyed over the next few years.  (91 pts)

2009 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley

2009 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley

 

 

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs – $29.99

I’ve mentioned a few times in the past, I always have a hard time choosing a favorite between this and the winery’s Geyserville wine.  Both are zinfandel based blends but since Zinfandel generally constitutes less than 75% of the blend, they aren’t labeled as a Zinfandel.  In this vintage, this wine is a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane.

 

This is 14.4% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery History

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge.  He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892.  This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility.  At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

 

In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s.  From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet.  That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era.  Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage.

 

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge.  This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel.  The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres.  Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity.  By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership.  A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile’s coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist.  His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward “hands off” approach pioneered at Ridge.  Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established.  Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage.  Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.

 

Lytton Springs, in SonomaCounty, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991.  A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground.  Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals.  Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology.  Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The very appealing nose has brambly berries, minerals, black pepper, Asian spices, cherries, vanilla, potpourri, and some earthy underbrush.  This has a medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows great balance with no rough edges or overly showy elements.  The finish has very nice length and comes at you in waves.  I think this will improve with another year or two in the cellar but it is enjoyable today with some air.   (92 pts)

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

 

 

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino – $24.33

I like Altesino’s Brunello wines, when the local store stocked this Rosso on their shelf, I had to grab a few bottles.  When done right, a Rosso is just a notch below a Brunello in quality but sells for a fraction of the cost.

 

This is 14.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

The company is a leader in various, important innovations in the production of Sangiovese di Montalcino, causing it to stand out and become a reference point for the entire territory.

 

The introduction of the “Cru” (Montosoli) concept in 1975, the first experiments with barriques in ’79, the production in ’77 of the first Grappa di Fattoria under the consultancy of the master distiller Gioacchino Nannoni and the first Futures (purchasing wine before its release) for Brunello 1985 are some of the positive contributions putting Montalcino on the world map.

 

An intense relationship has built up over forty years with the land full of history, with its almost sensual beauty that is physically perceived and its subtle charm that reaches the body and soul. This is the philosophy that inspires Altesino to produce wine and maintain its culture.

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with a touch of brick.  The bright nose has cherries, strawberries, raspberries, dried herbs, tobacco, minerals, and a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, light to moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the red fruit and spice hit first with dried herbs, minerals, and tobacco coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the tobacco and minerals closing the show.  Not a wine to contemplate over, but a very tasty Rosso to enjoy over the next few years with a hearty meal.  (89 pts)

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

About the only thing I like about colder weather is the food possibilities are wide open.  Today was a perfect example, my wife simmered a large pot of meat sauce most of the day.  The house smelled great and the resulting dinner was fantastic.  This plate of pasta with meat sauce and garlic cheese bread was a perfect pairing with the Altesino Rosso.

Pasta with meat sauce

 

 

 

Napa Valley Film Festival

Are you interested in attending the Napa Valley Film Festival?  The festival runs from November 13 through 17.

 

Oh, almost forgot, how does attending the event for free sound?  To celebrate being a sponsor of the event, Benchmark Wine Group is giving away a very nice package to one lucky person.  Enter by October 31st for your chance to win.

 

The Napa-based company is offering one lucky winner two Festival Passes to the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), worth a $500 value; two private invitations to the Benchmark Opening Night VIP kick-off party; and exclusive access to the sneak preview screening of ‘August: Osage County’, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

 

Benchmark Wine Group will be hosting an exclusive Opening Night VIP kick-off party on Wednesday, November 13 and a winemaker tasting with Todd Alexander of Bryant and Bettina on Friday, November 15.  NVFF Patrons and special guests will be invited to join Benchmark Wine Group at the Michael Holmes Gallery at Riverfront, 606 Main Street, from 8 pm to 10 pm Wednesday to launch the week’s festivities.  Every guest Wednesday will be entered into a raffle for a chance to buy a bottle of 2001 Château Haut-Brion for $1; taste magnums of 1983 Pétrus, 1966 Château Margaux, and 2003 Diamond Creek; and enjoy food catered by Morimoto Napa.

 

For more information, click here.

 

To view the official rules and to enter, click here.

 

A video about the event from my bud, Amy Payne, is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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 2013 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

 

 

 

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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 31, 2013 to June 2, 2013

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $17.50

Year after year one of the greatest values out there.  This is absolutely the best zinfandel you can get for $20 or less, in my opinion.  Mike Officer deserves a mountain of credit for holding the line on price increases even though his wines constantly sell out and get great reviews and ratings.  If you’re on Carlisle’s mailing list you know what I mean, if you aren’t, you need to become friends with someone who is.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby color. The sexy and inviting nose has black raspberries, white pepper, melted licorice, violets, dried herbs, and lesser notes of baking spice, dark bittersweet chocolate, and underbrush. This has fairly full body, moderate ripe tannins, and outstanding acidity. The palate starts off with solid black raspberries and pepper with the dried herbs and dark chocolate building quickly, on the back end a floral note and some earthiness come into the picture adding even more depth and complexity. The long, lingering finish showcases the juicy berries, chocolate, and earthiness with the acidity giving a lot of lift and brightness. This is just entering a nice drinking window, and the tannins and acidity will keep this alive and kicking through most of the decade.  (92 pts)

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino – $24.33

I like Altesino’s Brunello wines, when the local store stocked this Rosso on their shelf, I had to grab a few bottles.  When done right, a Rosso is just a half notch below a Brunello in quality but sells for a fraction of the cost.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with a touch of brick.  The bright nose has cherries, strawberries, raspberries, dried herbs, tobacco, minerals, and a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, light to moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the red fruit and spice hit first with dried herbs, minerals, and tobacco coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the tobacco and minerals closing the show.  Not a wine to contemplate over, but a very tasty Rosso to enjoy over the next few years.  (89 pts)

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek – $9.50

A few years ago the local wine store ran this wine as an e-mail special.  It was a pretty easy decision to grab a case for well under $10 a bottle.  How often can you find a single vineyard Petite at that price?  I don’t know the specifics but according to the winery’s website this was the last vintage for the wine.  I know for a fact they made some in the 2008 vintage, since I have a case in my cellar.  At least I bought a case but I have opened a few bottles.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The very masculine nose is loaded with blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, smoke, vanilla, eucalyptus, cherries, and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the peppery berries kick off the show with some smoke and vanilla coming in on the back end. A faint herbal note peaks out on the fairly long finish as well as some earthiness.  This tastes marvelous today and should hold for at least a couple more years.  (90 pts)

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

 

 

 

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard – $35.00

Elyse (including their Jacob Franklin label) is one of the wineries on the very short list of my favorites.  Across the board, Elyse churns out some of the most delicious red wines coming out of the Napa Valley at killer prices.  I usually love this wine, but it is actually my third favorite cabernet they make behind the Elyse Morisoli Cab and the Jacob Franklin Hoffman Lane Cab.  If you ever make it to Napa, I highly recommend paying them a visit.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The absolutely stunning nose has cassis, cigar box, warm baking spices, minerals (I’d say Rutherford dust but it’s not quite in Rutherford), black cherries, eucalyptus, dried herbs, rose petals, dark bittersweet chocolate, and melted licorice.  This has medium body, soft, integrated tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the cassis and spice lead off with minerals, dried herbs, and a touch of toasty oak building up in the background.  The finish is long and leans on the savory elements with cassis adding some nice sweetness from the sidelines.  This is in a perfect drinking window and extremely smooth and rich.  Probably one of the best Elyse Tietjen Cabernets I have consumed.  This wine is stunning today and should hold for a few more years, but why wait?  (94 pts)

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard

 

 

 

 

***** 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:

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Wines bought or received this week

2010 Altesino Rosso di Montalcino – 3 bottles for $24.33

2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc – 6 bottles for $15.78

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – 3 bottles for $18.16

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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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