Posts tagged ‘Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Nov 17, 2014 to Dec 13, 2014

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

2007 Saxum Broken Stones

2011 Château Puech-Haut Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drézéry Prestige

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

 

 

Due to unpacking from a move from Wisconsin to South Carolina, some of these notes are short with very little background information.

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard – $35.00

Villa Creek is one of my favorite wineries.  This wine along with their Avenger wine are my favorites they produce.  The winery produces several very nice red wines, most of them being innovative blends from the big name vineyards in the Paso Robles area.  Besides the reds, they also produce a very nice white Rhone styled wine and a good Rosé.  The winery is worth the effort of tracking down a few bottles either locally or through their website.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and is closed with a Stelvin LUX+ stopper.

 

Winery history

In the spirit of the great wine producers of the southern Rhone and the bodegas of Rioja and Priorat, blending is what Villa Creek does best.  The area’s finest Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Tempranillo Vineyards are just a stone’s throw from the west Paso Robles winery where these blends are lovingly produced by winemaker Cris Cherry and his wife JoAnn.

 

The grapes of the area’s most progressive vineyards, James Berry, Denner, Ohana and Booker, currently grace the wines of Villa Creek Cellars.  Per acre contracts insure that the fruit comes off the same blocks each vintage.  The Cherry’s own 70 acre estate on the west side of Paso Robles boasts elevations of 1400-1800 feet, calcareous soils, south facing slopes and ample water.  In the spring of 2012, the Cherry’s finished planting their first grape vines, 3.5 acres of Grenache.  They look forward to planting Mourvèdre and Carignan in the months to come.

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very alluring nose has cherries, black raspberries, cola, warm baking spices, white pepper, violets, stony minerals, touch of pine needles, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery cherries grab hold first, slowly allowing some minerals and earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very nice length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This has exceptional balance and should drink well for at least another 3 or 4 years.  (93 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard – $33.00

This is another of the non Pinot Noir wines Brian Loring has produced.  Thus far, every one has been outstanding.  This one is a Grenache from the Russell Family Vineyard in Paso Robles.

 

This has 14.9% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

Bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The comforting nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, raspberries, roasted leafy herbs, licorice, and dried flowers.  This has medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is rich and lush with juicy cherries, berries and spice up front with raspberries and white pepper kicking in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with roasted herbs adding some complexity.  This is fairly ripe and juicy but with nice acidity holding everything together.  I wouldn’t stash this in the cellar for too long, but it should drink nicely for at least the next few years.  (91 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Saxum Broken Stones – $45.00

We shared this bottle with some friends so I did not have an opportunity for a good tasting note.  Suffice it to say, this was an absolutely stunning bottle of wine and a steal at the (at that time) price of only $45.  If you have this wine in your cellar, enjoy it now or over the next several years.

2007 Saxum Broken Stones

2007 Saxum Broken Stones

 

 

 

2011 Château Puech-Haut Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drézéry Prestige – $15.99

This wine is a custom cuvee produced by Château Puech-Haut, Philippe Cambie and Eric Soloman, exclusively for the United States.  This is a blend of 55% Grenache from 60 to 75 year old vines and 45% Syrah from 40 year old vines.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in concrete vats.

 

This has 15.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The very open and giving nose is full of black raspberries, chalky minerals, potpourri, cherries, earthy underbrush, pencil shavings and dried herbs.  This has a fairly full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  Chalky minerals and berries immediately coat the palate, slowly allowing dried herbs, pencil shavings and dried herbs to slip in.  The long finish adds a nice dried floral note.  This does show just a touch of alcohol on the finish but that is a minor quibble.  (91 pts)

2011 Château Puech-Haut Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drézéry Prestige

2011 Château Puech-Haut Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drézéry Prestige

 

 

 

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una – $40.84

The local store brought time in and put it on the shelf at a great price.  On Cellar Tracker, the average cost for this wine was close to $55.  Not one to question great values, I grabbed a few bottles.

 

This has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very approachable nose has cherry, raspberry, baking spices, licorice, violets, minerals and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  This offers up nice juicy red fruit and spice up front with  minerals and some subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries seeming to last forever.  (93 pts)

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

 

 

 

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 2014 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:

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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!

 

 

 

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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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Mar 3, 2014 to Mar 9, 2014

 

 

2008 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2011 Austin Hope Grenache Hope Family Vineyard

2000 Château Gloria

 

 

 

2008 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells – $12.99

I’m always on the look out for good, under $15 wines for week night dinners.  I’ve had this in the past and it was always drinkable but lacked anything approaching must buy status.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has cassis, tobacco, cedar, vanilla, eucalyptus and wild flowers.  This has medium body, soft tannins and good acidity.  This has nice up front fruit with spicy oak and a touch of vanilla coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a some eucalyptus coming into the picture.  An acceptable week night Cabernet for south of $15.  (88 pts)

2008 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells

2008 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells

 

 

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una – $40.84

The local store brought time in and put it on the shelf at a great price.  On Cellar Tracker, the average cost for this wine was close to $55.  Not one to question great values, I grabbed a few bottles.

 

This has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very approachable nose has cherry, raspberry, baking spices, licorice, violets, minerals and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  This offers up nice juicy red fruit and spice up front with  minerals and some subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries seeming to last forever.  (93 pts)

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una

 

 

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon – $19.00

Here’s another wine that was purchased at the local store for an outstanding price.  You don’t see too many Napa cabs on a store’s shelf for under $20.  I grabbed 6 bottles and unfortunately this is my last bottle.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby red color.  The very comforting nose has cassis, warm baking spices, tobacco, dried herbs, plum, licorice, and a touch of smoke.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate features bright and juicy berries, baking spices, dried herbs and a touch of oak.  The finish has nice length with the berries and dried herbs joined by a touch of excess spicy oak.  It would be nice if the touch of extra oak would integrate, but I really don’t see that happening.  No hurry on this one, enjoy it over the next several years.  This was a steal for $19.  (90 pts)

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

2011 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses – $12.82

I haven’t had this particular wine in a couple vintages but it used to be one of my go-to values priced wines.  This is a lend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The very outgoing nose has raspberries, cherry, warm baking spices, cocoa powder, minerals, white pepper and dried flowers.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate jammy fruit and spice pops out first with minerals and white pepper kicking in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of dark chocolate joining the party.  Not one to hold onto for too long, open this one over the next few years.  (89 pts)

2011 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses

2011 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Terrasses

 

 

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $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.

 

This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

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.  (90 pts)

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes

 

 

2011 Austin Hope Grenache Hope Family Vineyard – $28.49

I’ve had the Austin Hope Syrah a few times in the past, so when I saw their Grenache on a local wine store shelf, I had to grab a bottle.  I’m generally a pretty big fan of the Rhone Ranger wines coming out of Paso Robles.

 

This wine has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The slightly reserved nose has cherries, raspberries, baking spices, white pepper and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body, moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate spicy red fruit hits first with some white pepper and a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length but loses a bit of its intensity and focus.  (88 pts)

2011 Austin Hope Grenache Hope Family Vineyard

2011 Austin Hope Grenache Hope Family Vineyard

 

 

2000 Château Gloria – $33.24

This was one of my first “go to” bottles of Bordeaux.  I feel they produce a very nice bottle of wine at very consumer friendly prices.  I bought this wine just as it was released, so it has been sleeping untouched in my cellar for over 10 years.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The classic nose has cassis, cedar, baking spices, dried herbs, tobacco and a touch of smoke.  This has medium body, mostly integrated tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy fruit leads off with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the mid-palate.  The finish has very good length with the sweet fruit and spicy oak sharing the spotlight.  I was hoping for a bit more complexity, but this tastes outstanding.  (92 pts)

2000 Château Gloria

2000 Château Gloria

 

We didn’t make anything fancy to pair with the Austin Hope Grenache and Château Gloria, but Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy is always welcomed on our dinner table.

Chicken Fried Steak dinner

Chicken Fried Steak dinner

 

 

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!

 

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