Posts tagged ‘Brave Faces’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Apr 19, 2013 to Apr 21, 2013

 

 

2008 Viña Robles RED4 Huerhuero

2011 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

2008 Viña Robles RED4 Huerhuero – $9.49

 

My comments

I bought a bottle of this soon after it arrived in the local wine store.  I took it home and we promptly removed the screw cap.  After a couple quick swirls in the glass, I took a smell.  Good so far but now comes the important moment, a taste.  Wow!  I bought this for under $10?  Time to shoot off a quick e-mail to the store owner and friend, stash me a case.

 

This is my last bottle from the case and it’s still an outstanding bottle of wine.  Though it may not have the complexity of agability of its more expensive counterparts from Paso Robles, it is delicious.  This is a blend of 62% syrah, 34% petite sirah and 2% each of grenache and mourvedre.

 

Winery history

We craft wines that represent a stylistic bridge between the Old and New worlds, capturing the finesse associated with European wines while celebrating the bold natural flavors of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles.

 

Here, proprietor Hans Nef and managing partner Hans – R. Michel bring their Swiss heritage to California’s Central Coast, where they aim to unite the best of both experiences.

 

“I want Vina Robles to express a unique balance of European heritage and American opportunity.  As individuals, we are rooted in the Old World.  As winemakers, we are empowered by the New World.  But both worlds bring value to what we do, and we endeavor to capture this distinction in our wines.”

-Proprietor Hans Nef

 

We first discovered Paso Robles in the early 1980s and became enamored with this emerging wine country.  Along golden slopes, where the Pacific coastline unfolds into rugged ranchlands and cowboy ambiance, a new generation of California winemakers was turning Paso Robles into one of the world’s most dynamic winegrowing regions.

 

In the mid 1990s we planted our first estate vineyard and established Vina Robles as a family winery specializing in varieties that excel in the region’s diverse terroir.  The vision for Vina Robles is summed up by our motto: European Inspiration – California Character.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The very open and inviting nose has blackberries, vanilla, baking spices, white pepper, smoke, dark chocolate, licorice, cherry, and a bit of earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  On the palate you get a mouthful of spicy berries and dark chocolate up front with pepper and some earthiness coming in on the backend.  The finish has nice length but gets a bit muddled and soft.  A nice week night wine if you can find it for around $10.  This is one to drink in the next year, two at most.  (87 pts)

2008 Viña Robles RED4 Huerhuero

 

 

 

2011 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard – $39.67

 

My comments

This was a no-brainer buy for me.  I love Brian Loring’s wines and Grenache is one of my favorite grapes.  The price of admission was a touch steep for a total unknown, but I had to grab some.

 

Winery history

My philosophy on making wine is that the fruit is EVERYTHING.  What happens in the vineyard determines the quality of the wine – I can’t make it better – I can only screw it up!  That’s why I’m extremely picky when choosing vineyards to buy grapes from.  Not only am I looking for the right soil, micro-climate, and clones, I’m also looking for a grower with the same passion and dedication to producing great wine that I have.  In other words, a total Pinot Freak!  My part in the vineyard equation is to throw heaping piles of money at the vineyard owners (so that they can limit yields and still make a profit) and then stay out of the way!  Since most, if not all of the growers keep some fruit to make their own wine, I tell them to farm my acre(s) the same way they do theirs – since they’ll obviously be doing whatever is necessary to get the best possible fruit.  One of the most important decisions made in the vineyard is when to pick.  Some people go by the numbers (brix, pH, TA, etc) and some go by taste.  Once again, I trust the decision to the vineyard people.  The day they pick the fruit for their wine is the day I’m there with a truck to pick mine.  Given this approach, the wine that I produce is as much a reflection of the vineyard owner as it is of my winemaking skills.  I figure that I’m extending the concept of terroir a bit to include the vineyard owner/manager… but it seems to make sense to me.  The added benefit is that I’ll be producing a wide variety of Pinots.  It’d be boring if everything I made tasted the same.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The exotic and inviting nose has black cherries, black raspberries, white pepper, chocolate, crushed rocks, dried herbs, Asian spices, forest floor, and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate features ripe, juicy cherries and berries, minerals, spice, chocolate and some earthiness.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs and white pepper adding some kick to the chocolate and fruit.  This is a ripe and rich style of wine but it doesn’t carry excess weight and is not syrupy.  This will never be mistaken as a Rhone wine, but it is outstanding in its own right.  (92 pts)

2011 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces – $17.09

 

My comments

Two Hands is one of my wife’s favorite wineries and ranks pretty high on my list.  This is a winery not afraid to allow their grapes to get fully ripe before picking.  Some of their wines get awfully close to the over ripe and syrupy side of the line, but most of the time they don’t cross that line.  Remember, ripe fruit is not a flaw in a bottle wine.

 

I was able to grab a case of this wine from my local wine store during a blow out sale a year or two ago.  To me, this was an absolute no brainer buy for a touch over $17 a bottle.  This is 65% Shiraz, 35% Grenache and 100% BarossaValley.  This is the type of wine that made Australia famous before the mass produced “critter wines” did their best to kill that reputation.

 

Winery history (Core Values)

Quality without compromise is central to the Two Hands philosophy, driving all the decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion.

 

We strive to differentiate ourselves; to be unique, fun and innovative in our business approach while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity.

 

Our wines are made by a process of barrel classification – selecting the very best barrels for the Flagship range followed by Garden Series then our Picture Series.  This is achieved by sourcing the best parcels of fruit available to us from six premium regions within Australia.

 

We handle every parcel of fruit, however small, separately from crushing through to fermentation and oak maturation to ensure complexity and personality in the finished wines.

 

Fruit will be the primary feature of all our wines, with oak playing a supporting role.

 

Much more information available at:  http://www.twohandswines.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color. The very outgoing and friendly nose features blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, dying charcoal embers, cherry, vanilla, blueberries, and bittersweet chocolate. This is fairly full bodied with ripe tannins and good acidity. The palate is loaded with juicy berries, spice, and pepper. The finish is fairly long with some dark chocolate adding a nice element to the spicy, peppery, berries. This is drinking very nicely and should hold in the cellar for at least another year or two.  (92 pts)

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces

 

 

 

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $38.75

 

My comments

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the NapaValley.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality NapaValley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.

 

I highly recommend at least joining their mailing list.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The absolutely stunning nose has cassis, melted licorice, dried herbs, cedar, wild flowers, tobacco, and warm baking spices.  This has medium body, fairly solid silky tannins, and very nice acidity.  This is rich and plush on the palate with cassis and baking spices up front with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long, seeming to never totally disappear and full of rich fruit and spice.  This has the balance to age gracefully for several years but it is absolutely irresistible today.  (96 pts)

 

If you’re interested in this wine, the 2007 vintage is sold out, but the 2009 vintage which I reviewed here is still available.

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach 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:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Picked these up at the local wine store:

(2) 2010 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five

(3) 2009 AtalonCabernetSauvignonNapaValley

(2) 2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

I also have wine from Villa Creek and Helioterra sitting in Milwaukee waiting for me to pick them up tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Mar 11, 2013 to Mar 14, 2013

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek

 

 

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $19.94

 

My comments

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.  This sat in the cellar for almost 2 whole days, so it’s time to try one.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces – $17.09

 

My comments

Two Hands is one of my wife’s favorite wineries and ranks pretty high on my list.  This is a winery not afraid to allow their grapes to get fully ripe before picking.  Some of their wines get awfully close to the over ripe and syrupy side of the line, but most of the time they don’t cross that line.  Remember, ripe fruit is not a flaw in a bottle wine.

 

I was able to grab a case of this wine from my local wine store during a blow out sale a year or two ago.  To me, this was an absolute no brainer buy for a touch over $17 a bottle.  This is 65% Shiraz, 35% Grenache and 100% BarossaValley.  This is the type of wine that made Australia famous before the mass produced “critter wines” did their best to kill that reputation.

 

Winery history (Core Values)

Quality without compromise is central to the Two Hands philosophy, driving all the decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion.

 

We strive to differentiate ourselves; to be unique, fun and innovative in our business approach while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity.

 

Our wines are made by a process of barrel classification – selecting the very best barrels for the Flagship range followed by Garden Series then our Picture Series.  This is achieved by sourcing the best parcels of fruit available to us from six premium regions within Australia.

 

We handle every parcel of fruit, however small, separately from crushing through to fermentation and oak maturation to ensure complexity and personality in the finished wines.

 

Fruit will be the primary feature of all our wines, with oak playing a supporting role.

 

Much more information available at:  http://www.twohandswines.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The very outgoing and friendly nose features blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, dying charcoal embers, cherry, vanilla, blueberries, and bittersweet chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with ripe tannins and good acidity.  The palate is loaded with juicy berries, spice, and pepper.  The finish is fairly long with some dark chocolate adding a nice element to the spicy, peppery, berries.  This is drinking very nicely and should hold in the cellar for at least another year or two.  (92 pts)

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces

 

 

 

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico – $18.59

 

My comments

This wine made my “Best Buys” list for 2012, finishing at number 8.  To see the whole list see my post, Top 10 QPR Wines of 2012.

 

Even though I do like a “regular” Chinti, in my opinion, you need at least a Chianti Classico if you’re having pasta with a meat sauce, which is on our menu for this evening.

 

Winery history

Many of the wineries in the Chianti Region double as tourist attractions.  Not Paolo De Marchi’s Isole e Olena; when you turn right at the main gate and drive by the burnished steel fermentation tanks, you will come to a muddy square where you may find someone working on a wagon with an arc welder.

 

“We don’t have time for tourism,” says Paolo.  “It would distract us from our wines.”  His dedication is our gain; Isole e Olena’s wines are superb.  In addition to Chianti Classico, there is Cepparello, a pure Sangiovese of towering complexity and finesse, and a breathtaking Vinsanto.  The winery also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, and L’Eremo, a Syrah.

 

Syrah is an ancient grape from the RhoneValley, which Paolo originally intended to use to add color and depth to his Chianti Classico (he feels that the Cabernet used in most Tuscan wineries can overwhelm Sangiovese).  However, he has since decided that the best way to improve Chianti is by careful selection of Sangiovese (Chianti’s principal grape), and is working to that end.  Meanwhile, L’Eremo placed fourth in a world-wide blind tasting of Syrah, after three wines from the RhoneValley.

 

Isole e Olena is also worth visiting if you like to talk wines.  Though Paolo has dropped out of the Consorzio del Marchio Storico (formerly Gallo Nero) for philosophical reasons, he firmly believes in the Chianti Classico region, and his opinions are the result of much thought.  For example, there is a movement to establish extra-high quality subzones within the Chianti Classico region.  “Since one of these zones includes Isole e Olena, it would be good for me,” he says with a grin.  “But so long as wineries can double their quality by hiring new enologists, I’m against it — it’s too soon.”

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The very enjoyable nose has cherries, plums, baking spices, dried herbs, violets, and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has nice tart red fruit and spice up front with some earthy elements coming in later adding depth and complexity.  The finish has good length with the tart fruit, spices, and earthiness held together nicely by the acidity.  If you can find this for under $20, stock up.  (91 pts)

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

 

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek – $9.50

 

My comments

Perennially a value priced favorite.  In this vintage, it seems to have a bit more oomph than most vintages.  Perhaps there was a surplus of very good grapes from some of the better vineyards or some grapes headed for single vineyard wines were declassified.  Either way, we’re the winners.  This is a jammy, fruity blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Syrah and Nebbiolo.

 

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.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The easy going nose has blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, vanilla, wild flowers, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, soft, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The wine provides a mouthful of jammy fruit with some earthiness and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with the spicy, earthy fruit.  Not a lot of complexity but a very tasty week night wine.  Offers an outstanding “quality to price ratio” if you can find it for under $10, like I did.  (88 pts)

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek

 

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion Area *****

 

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!

 

Sept 3, 2012 to Sept 6, 2012

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

I really liked the 2010 vintage of this wine; unfortunately we killed off the last bottle a few weeks ago.  The good news is we have a decent stash of the 2011.  I joined the Bedrock mailing list to get my hands on Morgan’s red wines, but his whites have been a revelation.

 

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  This has a fresh and refreshing nose full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy, acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  No hurry on this one, it should easily last a few years in the cellar, but as soon as you finish a bottle you will be drawn to open another.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2001 Boroli Barolo – $32.99

We very much enjoyed the early drinking 2000 vintage of this value priced Barolo.  Now that vintage has disappeared from my cellar, it’s time to check in on the 2001 to see how it is doing.

 

This was decanted for about 2 hours.  The wine is a nice dark ruby color, considerably lighter at the rim and just a hint of bricking.  Black cherries, berries, tar, rose petals, baking spices, and a very slight herbal note on the very elegant nose.  The wine is medium body with velvety tannins and very nice acidity.  This is very civilized on the palate for a youngish Barolo, nice fruit and spice and just a touch of spicy oak pop out in front with some earthiness in the background.  The wine has decent length on the finish which is still a touch ragged with some excess oak and herbal notes popping out.  Give this another year or two in the cellar and drink it over the following several years.  Even today this is outstanding with some upside potential.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2006 Two Hands Brave Faces – $17.09

Two Hands is one of my wife’s favorite wineries and ranks pretty high on my list.  This is one winery that is not afraid to allow their grapes to get fully ripe before picking.  Some of their wines get awfully close to the over ripe and syrupy side of the line, but most of the time they don’t cross that line.  Remember, ripe fruit is not a flaw in a bottle wine.

 

I was able to grab a case of this wine from my local wine store during a blow out sale about a year ago.  To me, this was an absolute no brainer buy for a touch over $17 a bottle.  This is 65% Shiraz, 35% Grenache and 100% BarossaValley.  This is the type of wine that made Australia famous before the mass produced “critter wines” did their best to kill that reputation.

 

This was pretty much a pop and pour tonight.  This is a deep, dark maroon to purple color.  There are blackberries, charcoal, black pepper, smoke, meat juices. vanilla, black cherry, and baking spices on the warm and comforting nose.  The wine is fairly full bodied with velvety tannins and good acidity.  This is locked and loaded on the palate, full of fruit, pepper, and spice.  There is a long flavor filled finish full of spicy fruit.  As with most Two Hands wines, this is full of ripe fruit but it is not sweet or syrupy.  This is in a prime drinking window, drink over the next year or two.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2004 Castle Rock Petite Sirah – $9.49

This is a bottle that slipped through the cracks, I had it marked to drink through 2010.  Even though it’s from the Lodi region, which tends to produce very ripe and high alcohol wines, this one is only 13.5% ABV.  If it’s dead, I have a few tons of other wine to choose from as a backup.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color with just a touch of lightening at the edge.  On the very nice nose are blackberries, blueberries, baking spices, some black pepper, and a bit of earthiness.  This is medium body with ripe, integrated tannins and good acidity.  Nice spicy berries on the palate with just a bit of earthiness coming in on the backend.  The finish is a bit short and some oak is popping out as the fruit fades.  This is on the down side of its life but was still an enjoyable week night accompaniment with dinner, especially for an under $10, 8 year old bottle.  (86 pts)

 

The wine held up and had a nice nose and palate, the most obvious sign of old age was the quickly fading fruit on the finish leaving some excess oak.

 

 

 

2006 Magito Zinfandel Panorama Blend – $13.23

Even though labeled as a Zinfandel, the Blend part of the name is very applicable.  Per the label and website, this is actually a blend of 75% Amador, Napa and Solano County Vineyards Zinfandel, 8% Sonoma Mountain Scopa Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Napa Valley Voyager vineyard Sangiovese, 5% Napa Valley Sarco Vineyard Syrah, 4% Mendocino County Merlot, and  2% Napa Valley Jonquil vineyard Petite Sirah.

 

I had a taste of this at the local wine store, and had to grab a couple bottles.  I remember the wine had a fair amount of acidity when I had sampled it a couple years ago.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this one tonight.

The wine is a medium ruby color.  There are brambly berries, black pepper, cherries, dark chocolate, dried herbs, and a touch of smoked meat on the very interesting and intriguing nose.  The wine is barely medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Lively black and red fruit on the palate with some nice spice and dried herbs, there is a touch of earthiness in the background.  Decent length on the finish which does show a touch of excess oak.  A nice zinfandel for a week night dinner, as long as you aren’t looking for a classic zinfandel flavor profile.  (87 pts)

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

August West Wine

The August West offer hit the inbox on Wednesday.  Included in this offer were the 2011 Pinot and the 2010 Syrah from the RussianRiverValley, 2011 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot, and the 2010 Rosella’s Vineyard Syrah.  Visit http://www.augustwestwine.com/ to sign up for partner/winemaker Ed Kurtzman’s wonderful list.  All wines are very high quality and under $40 a bottle.

 

 

Anthill Farms Winery

The latest offer from Anthill Farms hit the old inbox on Wednesday.  The initial allocations are guaranteed through September 26th.  This release includes three single vineyard Pinot Noirs, an Anderson Valley Pinot, and one of the best mailing list bargains out there, their 2010 Sonoma Coast Syrah, which is only $18.  For additional information, visit http://www.anthillfarms.com/

 

 

Helioterra

Helioterra is a new discovery for me.  I met the owner/winemaker, Anne Hubatch, when she came back to visit her family in Wisconsin.  We tasted through her whole line up and I was very impressed.  I recommend getting in on the ground floor of this exciting Oregon winery.  Their next release is coming shortly, for more information, visit http://bit.ly/Q5TmSl

 

 

Wind Gap

Pax Mahle’s Wind Gap Winery had their latest offer go live on Thursday.  Included in this offer are a couple I’d love to try.  Included in this release are:

2009 Yuen Chardonnay, James Berry & Brosseau Vineyards, CentralCoast – $36

2011 PinotNoirSonomaCoast – $36

2011 Mourvedre, Bedrock Vineyard, SonomaValley – $32

2010 Syrah Armagh Vineyard, SonomaCoast – $40

Reasonable prices for Pax’s high quality wines.

As an added bonus, they also have some Library wines available.

 

 

 

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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