2009 Villa Creek Avenger
2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard
2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente
2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block
2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine
2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard
2009 Villa Creek Avenger – $33.60
Avenger is my favorite wine being produced by Villa Creek. This vintage is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Grenache from the Luna Matta, James Berry and Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles.
The wine is a deep purple color. The open and exuberant nose has blackberries, chalky minerals, baking spices, dried leafy herbs, white pepper, vanilla beans, blueberries and a touch of underbrush. The wine has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity. The wine is rich and lush on the palate with blackberries, minerals and white pepper jumping out first, followed closely by dried herbs and baking spices. The finish has nice length with vanilla and a touch of underbrush entering the picture. This is not a lithe and nuanced wine, more of a baseball bat to the back of your head. The wine has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork with a wax covering. (91 pts)
2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard – $32.00
This was a very easy buy from Last Bottle, one of my favorite grapes, from a top notch vineyard, from one of my go-to wineries. This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site. If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase. Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.
The wine is a deep purple color. The inviting nose is full of crushed blackberries, dusty minerals, violets, blueberries, white pepper, road tar, dried violets and vanilla bean. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. For a Hayne Vineyard Petite Sirah this is bright and lively on your palate with crushed berries, minerals and white pepper hitting on the front end and blueberries, vanilla and dried violets coming in later. The finish has very nice length with berries and white pepper seeming to linger forever. This is on the young side but very easy to enjoy even at this stage in its development. This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)
2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente – $22.00
This was the 5th vintage of this wine made by Michael Havens (the first person to make Albarino in the New World) and Morgan Twain-Peterson. The wine comes from two sites in the far southern part of Napa Valley. This vintage consists of almost 60% grapes from the Watson Vineyard, which is planted in limestone. The fruit from this vineyard adds density and perfume. This was fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, with no malolactic.
The wine is a nice straw yellow color. The invigorating nose has ripe apple, dusty minerals, lemon zest, white peach, under ripe melon and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body with crisp acidity. On the palate apples, lemon zest and white peach take control on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later. The finish has nice length with a bit of melon joining the apples and lemon zest. This has great citrusy acidity with enough apple and peach to balance the tartness. This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure. (90 pts)
2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block – $38.00
This wine was not bottled in the 2009 vintage. Most of the fruit in the previous vintage was lost due to heavy rains on October 13th. The little fruit that was harvested went into the winery’s Sonoma County Syrah. Thankfully the vineyard rebounded for the 2010 vintage. For this vintage, two-thirds of the fruit was destemmed, the remainder was whole-cluster. The wine was fermented with indigenous yeast. The wine was aged in all French oak with 26% being new. A total of 410 cases were produced.
The wine is a deep maroon color. The vivid and bold nose is full of crushed blackberries, hot asphalt, black plums, licorice, warm baking spices, black cherries and a hint of eucalyptus. This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity. Waves of berries and plums are joined with spice and asphalt on the front end with black cherries coming in later. The finish has good length with a hint of eucalyptus providing nice depth. This is a big and bold wine that needs to be paired with a hearty meal. This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (91 pts)
2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine – $22.00
This wine is a blend of grapes mainly from the late ripening Stellwagen Vineyard as well as Casa Santinamaria which was originally slated for a vineyard designated bottling. The remainder of the wine includes grapes from the terraced Los Chamizal Vineyard, some younger vine fruit from Rossi Ranch in Kenwood, a few barrels of Monte Rosso Zinfandel, and a bit of old-vine Carignane and Mourvedre from the winery’s Bedrock Vineyard.
The wine is a deep garnet color. The inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, baking spices, black cherries, dry underbrush and wild flowers. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity. On the palate brambly berries, black cherries, black pepper abd baking spices grab control on the front end with underbrush and a nice floral note coming in later. The finish has nice length with berries and spice dominating. Not as complex as earlier vintages but that’s a result of the vintage. This is very tasty and would be a great pairing with a wide range of food. This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (90 pts)
2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard – $28.00
The fruit for this wine comes from the meticulously maintained Abba Vineyard owned and farmed by Phil Abba. The vineyard is on the east side of the Mokelumne River AVA. The winery also produces a top notch Grenache from this vineyard. Both are well worth tracking down.
I tasted this wine in the vineyard with Phil Abba and winery owner/winemaker Mike McCay in late September and loved this wine. As soon as we returned to the Lodi Wine Visitor Center, I added a couple bottles to a case I was having shipped home.
The wine is a deep maroon color. The enticing nose has blackberries, scorched earth, dusty minerals, baking spices, blueberries, dried wildflowers and white pepper. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate blackberries, minerals, baking spice and scorched earth grab your attention quickly on the front end with white pepper and blueberries coming in later. The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note providing depth. For such a young wine, this tastes great today but if you can keep your hands off it, some cellar time will be rewarded. This is a top notch Syrah! This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (94 pts)
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.
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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 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.