Posts tagged ‘Big Basin Odeon’

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

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

 

 

Due to a fast approaching move from Wisconsin to South Carolina, some of the wines have minimal information other than my tasting note.

 

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville – $23.74

I always have a hard time choosing a favorite between the Ridge Lytton Springs and the Ridge Geyserville wines.  Both are zinfandel based blends but since Zinfandel generally constitutes less than 75% of the blend, they aren’t labeled as a Zinfandel.  This vintage is a blend of 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre).  This wine is disappearing from my cellar at a fairly fast rate of speed, of the 15 bottles I originally purchased; I now have less than half remaining.

 

The alcohol is listed at 14.4% and this uses a natural cork closure.

 

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 Sonoma County, 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 ruby to maroon color.  The very enticing nose has brambly berries, cherry, black pepper, licorice, warm baking spices, charred meat, forest floor, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has nice up front fruit and spice with more spice, licorice, and meaty elements coming in on the back end.  The finish is long with spice laden fruit slowly giving way to more earthy elements that seem to linger forever.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for at least a few more years.  (92 pts)

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

 

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $12.99

In my ongoing quest to build up a stash of under $15 Pinot Noirs for week night dinners, this is my next candidate.  It looks like I got a great deal on a couple bottles since the average price on Cellar Tracker is almost $10 a bottle higher.  The more I drink Oregon Pinot Noir wines, the more I like them.  They are nice alternatives to the riper, rounder California versions that populate my wine cellar.

 

This has 13.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The mysterious nose has black cherries, smoke, minerals, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, dried flowers and just a touch of nice funk.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spices and cherries jump out first with minerals, smoke and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with cherries and spice carrying the load.  This isn’t the most complex Pinot out there but is a winner for under $15.  (89 pts)

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese – $10.44

 

This wine has 8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a synthetic nomacorc.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very satisfying nose has apples, honey, petrol, orange blossoms, orange zest and crushed stone minerals.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and good residual sweetness.  On the palate honey dipped apples jump out immediately with orange zest and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish have good length and shows great balance between the acidity and sweetness.  There’s no hurry to drink this one, it can last in the cellar for a decade, maybe longer.  (91 pts)

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

 

 

 

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $24.92

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, raspberries, dusty minerals, baking spices, vanilla, wildflowers and subtle underbrush.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and good acidity.  Rich, spicy fruit engulfs the palate with minerals and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a bit of earthiness and vanilla joining the sweet fruit.  This is very easy to drink.  (89 pts)

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon – $40.00

This is a blend of 57% Santa Cruz County Syrah and 43% Monterey County Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 7 barrels of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, cassis, vanilla, dried herbs, stony minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, cracked black peppercorns and dried violets.  The wine has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  Big fruit and minerals jump out first on the palate with dried herbs and vanilla coming in later.  The full flavored finish adds some dark chocolate and black pepper.  This is a beast but the tannins and acidity keep it in check, at least for now.  (93 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

 

 

 

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard – $29.99

This was a very easy wine to buy in bulk, one of my favorite wineries, one of my favorite grapes and one of my favorite vineyards.

 

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

 

Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.

 

In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.

 

Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:

 

  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.

 

Much more information on Novy and the wines they produce is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The very enticing nose has blackberries, licorice, smoked meat, pepper, baking spices, blueberry, dried herbs, minerals and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Spicy fruit with a nice meaty presence grabs hold of your palate with pepper and some earthiness coming in later.  This has a nice lingering finish which again highlights the meaty elements with chocolate and fruit in the background providing nice sweetness.  This is very nice with impressive balance.  (93 pts)

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys' Vineyard

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard – $34.00

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The alluring nose has brambly berries, black cherries, crushed stones, vanilla, dried herbs, black pepper, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries, spice and dark chocolate jump out first with pepper and vanilla coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs and a dried floral note entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely today but should hold for a couple more years.  (91 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

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 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 – Dec 13, 2013 to Dec 15, 2013

 

 

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farráh

2008 Keplinger Lithic

 

 

 

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard – $59.00

I’ve been on the Rhys mailing list for a few years.  A lot of people knock the wines because they don’t taste great upon release.  Rhys wines require a few years in the cellar to smoothen out and open up.

 

This wine has 13.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

At Rhys Vineyards we aspire to make great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from some of California’s most unique and expressive vineyards.  This pursuit has lead us to search the state for exciting rocky soils that exist within the mountainous, cool, Coastal climate zone.   Over the last 15 years we have developed seven estate vineyards, six in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one in Anderson Valley, each of which is capable of producing uniquely compelling, distinctive, soil driven wine.

 

More information on Rhys is available on their website.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has cherries, strawberries, baking spices, minerals, wild flowers, raspberries, and a touch of cedar.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Tart cherries and spice leads off on the palate with minerals, strawberries and a touch of spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with bright fruit and oak driven spice carrying the load.  This is still on the young side but very tasty and food friendly.  (95 pts)

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon – $40.00

For the last few years I’ve felt Big Basin was one of the wineries to keep an eye on.  I think they are one big score away from popping onto most wine drinker’s radar.  Could they become the next Saxum?  In my opinion, the sky is the limit for this winery.

 

This is a blend of 57% Santa Cruz County Syrah and 43% Monterrey County Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, with a new winery building completed in 2003.  Proprietor and wine maker Bradley Brown sources his wines from three Estate Vineyards – Rattlesnake Rock, Old Corral Block and Homestead Block.  All of the Estate vineyards are planted to Alban Selections on steep hillsides with mudstone and shale soils – 7 acres of Syrah, 2 acres of Grenache and 1 acre of Roussanne – and are farmed organically.  Additionally, Bradley works closely with Coastview Vineyard located at 2400 ft on a mountain top in the Gabilan Mountains overlooking the Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay (several miles due south of Mt. Harlan).  He has contracted with the vineyard to purchase Syrah planted in 1998 and to bud over certain sections of the vineyard to Pinot Noir and Grenache (in 2008) and plant a new block to an Alban selection of Syrah.  This vineyard is also farmed organically and managed according to Bradley’s direction.  Beginning in 2006, Big Basin started making Pinot Noir sourced from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  As of 2009, Big Basin is making three different single vineyard Pinots from the Santa Cruz Mountains (Alfaro Family, Lester Family and Woodruff Family Vineyards), plus the Pinot from Coastview Vineyard in the Gabilan Mountains.

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The stunning nose has cassis, charred meat, vanilla, dark chocolate, minerals, blueberries, and a touch of cedar.  This has a full body, moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is very big, rich and plush.  Though it pushes the ripeness to the top, it does not go over.  This is loaded with fruit and savory elements on the palate with a nice tannic backbone and just enough acidity to hold it all together.  The finish is impressively long and decadent.  I don’t think I’d want to stash this in the cellar for too long, but this will offer a lot of pleasure over the next few years.  (94 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

 

 

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farráh – $17.99

I grabbed a bottle of this after trying the winery’s Bricks & Mortar blend at an online tasting of Lodi wines.  If your opinion of wines from Lodi is based on some of the big, industrial, high volume wineries, take my advice and seek out something from one of the smaller, family owned producers.

 

This wine has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

The Felten Family own and manage fifteen individual vineyard blocks of “Old Vine” Zinfandel that range in age from 40 to 120 years old.  Each vineyard is planted in sandy loam soils in the Mokelumne River Appellation of Lodi and the Clements Foothills.

 

In the nineties, the family began to market their zinfandel in the bulk wine market, selling to a number of prestigious, benchmark producers of Zinfandel in Napa and Sonoma Counties.

 

In 2000, Steve and Lori produced their first vintage of Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel.  They continue to produce wine from all of the vineyard blocks, culling only the very best lots for bottling Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel and designated vineyard wines.  They produced their first vintage of Farrah Syrah in 2001.  They have one goal…to produce world-class wine.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, raspberries, minerals, cocoa powder, white pepper, smoke, dried herbs, and a nice floral note.  This has medium body, moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Lush berries and dried herbs coat the palate with cocoa and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with nice layers of fruit and savory elements.  Drinking nicely now, but not one to stash in the cellar.  The acidity is adequate for now but I’d be afraid of the wine losing its balance as the acidity drops in the aging process.  Drink over the next few years and be happy.  (90 pts)

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farráh

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farráh

 

 

2008 Keplinger Lithic – $40.00

This is another mailing list only wine that I was fortunate to join before they started getting high scores from the wine publications.  The “rock star” winemaker, Helen Keplinger.  I bought several bottles of this wine, but have been patient long enough, one gets popped tonight.

 

This wine is a blend of 46% Mourvedre, 40% Grenache and 14% Syrah from Amador County.

 

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

 

Winery history (actually Winemaker background)

The culture of wine has been a part of my life since I can remember.  My dad had a wine cellar, which was the source of my childhood wine bottle collection – I also collected rocks, an early indication of my future as a winegrower.  Wine accompanied every gourmet dinner my mom prepared nightly; this combination of food and wine was an important part of our family evenings together.

 

I always had an intense curiosity for science, a huge appreciation of art, and a gravitation toward and revitalization in nature – all which dynamically come together in winemaking.  In 1998, I moved to California to attend the MS program in Enology at UCDavis.

 

Since UC Davis, I have worked with Heidi Barrett, Kathy Joseph, Michel Rolland, and David Abreu.  Since 2004, I have been the winemaker for some exciting projects, including Cellers Melis (Priorat), Kenzo Estate, Fort Ross, Sarocka, Scullly, Arrow & Branch, and Bryant Family Vineyards.  I am currently focused solely on Keplinger Wines.

 

I absolutely love what I do – I constantly strive to make great wines, respond to the curveballs of Mother Nature, and respect that each wine is a reflection not only of its origin, but the variables and characteristics of a particular vintage.

 

More information on the winery, their wines and access to the mailing list is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, saturated ruby to purple color.  The nose is stunning and full of blackberries, black cherries, minerals, earthy underbrush, licorice, warm baking spices and roasted herbs.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this displays layer after layer of fruit, spice, minerals, and earthy elements.  The finish is extremely long, seeming to linger forever with perfect balance between the fruit and savory notes.  This is built to last but tastes great today.  A monumental wine showing the quality AmadorCounty is capable of producing.  (95 pts)

2008 Keplinger Lithic

2008 Keplinger Lithic

 

 

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!

 

%d bloggers like this: