Posts tagged ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’

Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

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Name

 

 

 

This bottle of wine was a “house warming” gift from the winery.  As gifts go, this one was one of the best I have ever received.  I know the wine will be better down the road but I wanted to try the wine so I could decide how many to buy.  With the miniscule production, I didn’t want to miss out and be kicking myself in the years to come.

 

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

The winery focuses their production on Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon but they added a petite sirah (also top notch) in 2012 and will introduce their first white wine with the 2014 vintage – a sauvignon blanc from Rutherford.  Yes, you read that right, a white wine!

 

Right before the earthquake the winery moved from the Michael Mondavi Winery in Carneros (it was sold) to a new state-of-the-art winery in Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine (from the winery)

Our 2012 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes from an historic vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench.

 

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2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford – SRP $90

This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Hossfield Vineyard Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% French oak, 70% new and the remainder was one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 60 cases.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, warm baking spices, cherries, tobacco, cedar, dusty minerals, dying wood embers, dried herbs, wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate rich fruit, spice and minerals immediately grab your attention, slowly allowing wood embers and cedar to slip into the picture.  The finish has very good length with tobacco and a dried herb note coming into focus.  This is incredibly young with a big tannic bite but already a worthy foil for a piece of juicy, grilled beef.  This is delicious now but will be even better as this decade draws to a close.  (96 pts)

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

 

Conclusion

Like they say, put up or shut up.  I very much enjoyed this wine and ordered a three pack of this wine as well as a six bottle sampler pack that included two more bottles.

 

 

 

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 2015 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

 

 

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 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.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Wine of the week – 2008 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

 

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

The Winery

In 1971 Charles F. (Charlie) Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son Charles J. (Chuck) Wagner, who had just graduated from high school, if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery.  If Chuck declined the offer, Charlie and Lorna were planning to sell out of their ranch in NapaValley and move to Australia.  Chuck accepted his parents’ offer to launch the winery, Caymus Vineyards.

 

The Wagners produced their first vintage in 1972, consisting of 240 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Since then, Caymus has focused their efforts in the production of quality Cabernet Sauvignon.  Today’s production is 65,000 cases.

 

Caymus Vineyards remains 100% family-owned by the Wagners.  Charlie, Lorna Belle, and Chuck worked together as a remarkable team for over 30 years building Caymus Cabernet.  Today, Chuck, his two sons, Charlie and Joe, and one daughter, Jenny, have joined the family team. Farming grapes remain the priority with the family farming about 350 acres of choice Napa Valley land.

 

The Wagners took the name Caymus from the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, given to George Yount in 1836, which encompassed what eventually became the town of Rutherford and much of the surrounding area.

 

 

The Wine

Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons, the generic Napa Valley and the “Special Selection”.  The “house style” for Caymus is a dark, rich, supple wine with smooth tannins.  The winery uses extended “hang time” to achieve their style.  The technique, which risks the loss of crop if an early winter sets in, is simply allowing the grapes to “hang” on the vines as long as possible.

 

Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family.  Even though the winery says this wine is not produced in difficult years, the last vintage the wine was not produced was 1993.  Both the “Napa Valley” and “Special Selection” Cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner.

 

Caymus has long been one of the benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Napa.  Caymus Special Selection is created by selecting the best barrels of wine from the vintage.  The grapes for this wine come from various vineyards scattered around the NapaValley.  In this vintage the appellation breakdown is Rutherford 32%, Atlas Peak 15%, Oak Knoll 14%, St Helena 9%,  Yountville 6% and 24% from lesser known areas in the valley.

 

 

2008 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection – $91.04

After 35 years of being a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine, this vintage included 14% Merlot.  I was able to buy my bottles at a very special price; this wine is generally over $100 a bottle.  On the current auction market, this wine is close to $125 a bottle.

 

This wine has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The very nice and inviting nose has cassis, roasted herbs, baking spices, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dried herbs, cherry, dark chocolate, vanilla and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and plush on the palate with loads of crushed berries, baking spices, and dark chocolate.  Dried herbs and cherries come in on the back end filling out the palate and adding depth.  The finish is long and rich with vanilla coming in as well as some eucalyptus and dark chocolate.  This is delicious right now but with all the richness, I don’t know if this will be one to hold long term.  I’d advise enjoying over the next several years.  (94 pts)

2008 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

2008 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

 

 

What would I pair with this wine?  How about a thick, medium rare New York Strip Steak with some freshly made herb butter served over a bed of crisp French fries.  Add a few pieces of grilled baguette and you have a perfect dinner for two.

NY Strip with herb butter and fries

 

 

 

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 – Wine of the Week for Jan 12, 2014

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

 

 Logo

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

After dabbling in the Syrah/Rhone Ranger camp for a period, the winery is now focused only on Napa Valley Cabernets.

 

Jean Edwards Cellars uses the “custom crush” facilities at the Michael Mondavi Family winery in southern Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine

Karen and John are bi-coastal, having residences in New Jersey as well as in the Napa Valley.  The name for this wine, “Seventy Four – Forty One” was named after the coordinates of their east coast residence.

 

This 100% Cabernet is a blend of grapes from a few vineyards in the Napa Valley.  Even though the vineyard names cannot be used for contractual reasons, they can disclose some geographical information.  The major component of this wine is from a Howell Mountain vineyard.  This is combined with grapes from a vineyard in Rutherford and one in Coombsville.

 

The wine was aged 24 months in French oak, 50% new and 50% one year old.

 

This vintage is sold out at the winery.  The current vintage is 2010 and has a price of $65.

 

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley – SRP $65

This bottle of wine was purchased by me and stored in my cellar since release.  This is not a winery supplied sample.

 

I’ve been a fan and customer of the winery for a few years and love opening bottles of their wines for friends to sample.  These are extremely high quality wines sourced from some of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley.  The fact the wines are also sold at very consumer friendly prices is a great bonus.  This is one of the winery’s higher end offerings.

 

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

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The nose is a show stopper, it is filled with cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, mint, cedar, warm baking spices and dried flowers.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the cassis and mint initially carry the load, slowly allowing spice and dried herbs to slip into the picture.  On the back end some spicy oak shines through in the background.  The finish has very good length with a nice mix of fruit and savory elements.  This tastes very nice now but a few years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded.  (93 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four - Forty One Napa Valley

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

In Summary

In a couple of years, my rating will probably be laughably low.  As with most wines that are predominantly made from mountain fruit, they take a few years to fully open up and express their full potential.  Patience will be rewarded.

 

 

 

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 – Dec 16, 2013 to Dec 19, 2013

 

 

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co.

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282 – $24.00

As is usually the case with Cameron Hughes wines, they don’t disclose the source of the wines they sell.

 

That said, when this wine was offered for sell, their information included the following:

Lot 282 2009 Rutherford Cabernet is perfectly suited for the task with impeccable provenance from one of Napa Valley’s flagship Cabernet producers.  Sourced from the well-drained alluvial soils of the west side of Rutherford appellation, this wine explodes with rich and ripe, yet elegant, fruit.  Classically proportioned one would say.  The source winery approached us last fall and we contracted quite a few different 2009 Cabernet’s that they then barreled down for us until we removed them last summer for bottling.  The best of them is this 2009 Rutherford Cabernet (their $80 Rutherford appellation Cabernet being their consistently best rated wine with the 2008 scoring 93+ from Parker).  Lot 282 is the exact same wine they bottled for the 2009 vintage under their own label.  How do I know this?  Not only because they told us as much but because they sold us the entire production at first and then asked very nicely last spring with the economy looking better if they couldn’t have some back.

 

This was enough information to do some digging.  The fact that the 2008 vintage of this $80, Rutherford Cab was given a score of 93+ by the Wine Advocate was enough to determine this wine is actually the 2009 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford.  It was the only wine that met those very specific criteria.  Since this was a wine I had and very much enjoyed in the past, this was an absolute no-brainer.  Don’t bother looking for this deal now, I bought a case back in 2011 and this wine is long gone from the Cameron Hughes store.

 

I will note, this is my first bottle from that purchase but I did sell a few bottles to friends at cost.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The inviting nose has cassis, dusty minerals, baking spices, toasty oak, tobacco, licorice and violets.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead the charge with minerals and toasty oak coming in on the back end.   The finish has very nice length with a nice mix of fruit and the savory elements.  This is drinking very nicely today but will hold and maybe improve for a few years in the cellar.  This was an absolute steal at $24.  (92 pts)

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

 

 

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante – $23.81

This wine is a blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 33% Alicante.

 

This was a Garagiste offering back in November 2008.  The wine sounded good, as is usually the case when Jon Rimmerman preaches about a wine’s virtues.  The wine arrived and was placed in the cellar for a bit of bottle aging.  Here it is, 5 years later and I haven’t opened a bottle.  Tonight’s the night to see how I did with this blind leap of faith.

 

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

 

The Winery

The Azienda Agricolo Forestale RIGOLOCCIO is located in the Gavorrano district in the heart of the Maremma of Grosseto, an area rich in history and tradition.  Due to the mild climate and the rich soil, the Etruscans chose to settle here giving rise to famous settlements such as Vetulonia, Populonia as well as those at LakeAccesa and Poggio Castiglione, visible from Rigoloccio.

 

This area is in the Metallifere Hills, so called because of the wealth of minerals in the subsoil.  Mining became the main employment of the local inhabitants, able to cope with the dangerous and arduous labor thereby developing a civilization which drew its wealth from metalworking and was vital to the development of a district rich in art.  In addition to the mines, the area is characterized by beautiful countryside with its carefully tended gardens, framed by rows of vines and olive groves that bring to mind the unforgettable landscapes of the Impressionists.

 

Olive trees and vines have always been a vital resource for the survival of the inhabitants of the Maremma.  Vines were grown here before anywhere else in Italy!  It was the Etruscans who first imported the vitis vinifera from the ancient Greek islands, thereby beginning the production of wine which has been uninterrupted to this day.

 

In recent years interest in “good wine” has been increasing, consequently the techniques of cultivation and wine making have moved on.  Well known wine specialists and bold new entrepreneurs in this field are developing important new vineyards.  All this is helping to make the Maremma the new Eldorado of good, new wines.  So it is with the Azienda Agricolo Forestale RIGOLOCCIO, a vineyard of 23 hectares in the foothills of the Maremma.  It overlooks the Gulf of Follonica and the island of Elba from where the soft sea breezes emanate.  Rigoloccio (named after one of the mines) is sheltered from the northern winds and gently touched by the sun from dawn to dusk.  This is a paradise, like many others in Maremma, with a soil rich in minerals and microelements that make the land unique and ideal for the cultivation of vines and the production of good wine.  The whole is crowned by olive groves and an oak wood.

 

In 2002 the dream of a new vineyard at Rigoloccio started to take shape under the guidance of the renowned wine maker Fabrizio Moltard.  The choice of vines was bold: Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Alicante produce the red wines and Chardonnay and Fiano combine giving birth to a new and intriguing white wine.  The aim was the production of good wines of the order of the Supertuscans and this has been achieved through inspiration and international experience.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet to purple color.  The stunning nose has cassis, minerals, dried herbs, licorice, charcoal, leather, plums, dried wild flowers and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart fruit and minerals dominate the front end with dried herbs, charcoal and cedar coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a subtle herbal note creeping into the picture as the tannins turn just a touch chalky.  A very nice wine with food but, as with most Italian wines, not one to sip on its own.  This will drink very nicely over the next couple of years.  (90 pts)

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

 

 

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co. – $18.21

This wine’s normal price is in the $45 to $49 range, which I feel is WAY too high.  The community average price in CellarTracker for this wine is over $28, which is again pushing the limit.  Luckily I was able to grab half a case for well under $20.  That makes it a good Napa Valley Cab at a price that won’t break the bank when consumed on a week night, especially for an aged Cabernet is in its’ prime drinking window.

 

I’ve had a couple bottles that I liked and rated 89-90 points.

 

The wine has 13.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle has a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery was founded in 1881 by Henry Hagen.  One of their wines won a Silver Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1889.  At that time, Cedar Knoll was one of Napa’s premier wineries.  The winery was a victim of Prohibition and was closed for close to 80 years.  Cedar Knoll is now owned by the Palmaz family.  They have resurrected the vineyards and restored the original Hagen house.  The vineyards occupy 55 acres and are located just northeast of the city of Napa.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby red color, much lighter at the edge.  The very nice and appealing nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, cherry, smoke, tobacco, raspberry, baking spices, and a touch of well worn leather.  This has medium body, good acidity, and fairly integrated tannins.  On the palate the wine has silky smooth fruit up front with spices and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with some spicy oak adding an extra dimension.  Not a lot of complexity but this is in a nice place right now.  This probably should be consumed over the next year or two before the fruit starts to fade.  (89 pts)

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co.

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co.

 

 

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT – $16.62

I bought 6 bottles of this wine from a local wine store e-mail offer based on a solid recommendation from a fellow wine lover.  This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah.

 

This is listed at 13% alcohol and has a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

The wine cellar of Borgo Scopeto renewed and enlarged over the last few years, is equipped with the most modern technology for vinification.

 

The cellar is composed of 50 stainless steel tanks with capacities that range from 11 to 260 hectolitres, for a total of 7000 hectolitres.

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color, lighter at the edge.  The appealing nose has cherries, warm baking spices, blackberries, white pepper, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Tart, spicy, earthy fruit dominate the palate with dried herbs and some chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and is an extension of the palate with just a touch of spicy oak creeping into the picture.  For a very young wine, this is drinking very nicely today.  This should improve with another year in the cellar and drink well for a few additional years.  (91 pts)

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

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 – Aug 26, 2013 to Aug 29, 2013

 

 

2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah – $7.36

I bought a case of this under $10 gem a couple years ago.  As an experiment to see how well this wine would hold up with some extended cellar time, I left two bottles in the cellar.  Petite Sirah is a grape that will last for a long time in the cellar, but does that apply to one that costs under $10?  I’ll find out tonight.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red to purple color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, smoke, black pepper and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy blackberries and licorice hit first with pepper and some earthiness coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length with black pepper and some earthiness closing the show with a touch of berries in the background providing nice sweetness.    This was a very enjoyable wine and a steal at the price.  (89 pts)

2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – $11.76

This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah.  All of the fruit comes from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard grown at 3000 feet.  The wine spent 24 months in neutral barrels and was bottled without fining or filtration.

 

I’ve been a fan of Dave Corey’s Core wines for a few years and highly recommend everyone to give these very reasonably priced wines a shot.

 

Winery history

Dave Corey’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in Entomology and Plant Physiology from Kansas State University, which was completed in 1995.

 

Prior to entering the wine industry in 1996, Dave worked in Salinas and the Central Valley in agricultural fields including cole crops, cotton, almonds, citrus, walnuts, kiwi, table grapes, apples and stone fruit.  His first position in the wine industry was as a Pest Control Advisor with Cambria Winery and Vineyards and later at Kendall-Jackson Vineyards of Santa Barbara County.

 

Dave left Kendall Jackson Vineyards in 1999 to begin Vital Vines, a viticultural company providing technical support for vineyard property owners, vineyard managers and winemaking personnel in the promotion of sustainable agriculture.  He has worked with clients that include Laetitia, Barnwood, Beckman, Melville, Stolpman, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Sea Smoke, Le Bon Climat, Sine Qua Non, Rideau, Carhartt, Rusack, Westerly, Fiddlestix, Vogelzang, Andrew Murray, Evergreen, Arita Hills and Royal Oaks.

 

With a major commitment and a second mortgage, Dave gradually decreased his vineyard consulting work to focus on vineyard sourcing, winemaking duties and winery direct sales for CORE wine company which he started in 2001 with his wife, Becky.  Dave passionately continues working in the same capacity today in addition to several new wine projects with family members.  He can also be found pouring wine for customers at the CORE wine company tasting room in Old Orcutt, California.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a garnet red with just a touch of brick at the edge.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, Asian spices, leather, white pepper, dried herbs, plums, a hint of meat juices and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate, warm cherry pie hits first followed by some dried herbs, plums and a touch of earthiness.  The finish is long with the spicy cherries seeming to hang on forever with a touch of earthiness coming in as the fruit fades.  This tastes delicious!  (90 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $38.75

Well, today is #CabernetDay so I have to open a Cabernet based wine.  I’ve had a few other vintages of this wine, but this will be my first 2008.  I think Jean Edwards Cellars makes some of the most reasonably priced cabernets coming out of the Napa Valley.  The winery has some of the most well known vineyard sources in the valley, even though in some cases, they can’t use the vineyard name on the label.

 

This is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc.

 

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 Napa Valley.

 

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 Napa Valley 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.  This would be a great time to join since their newest release just hit the inbox, just tell them Cliff sent you.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The nose is a real show stopper full of cassis, dried herbs, cigar box, minerals, pencil shavings, and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with spicy berries and minerals up front with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long with the berries, dried herbs, and minerals seeming to last forever.  Even though this is delicious today, it is very young and will improve with some time in the cellar.  (94 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach 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 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!

 

Two Reds from Northwest Totem Cellars

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery.

 

 

 

totem cellars propertybb

 

Northwest Totem Cellars –  A name that pays respect to a life and people that once depended on, respected and revered their environment and the living world.  We and our children are committed ambassadors to this living world.  Our commitment to compassion runs broadly across many constituents; people, planet and, never to be overlooked, all other non-human living beings who share our world.  Our reverence for life securely encompasses the animals of our planet.  We share a view that they are their own communities, like that of our native ancestors, like us today.  They are their own nations.  The totem is our connection to life; old and new, human and non-human.

 

 

Tucked away on a private property, we are a small, family-owned winery producing hand-crafted wines in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country.  We share our love of wine and community with some of the best wineries in WashingtonState.  We’re proud to be a part of a growing wine region that is the most rapidly-increasing wine tasting area in the world!

 

The words “personal” and “warm” will define your experience at Northwest Totem Cellars.  As you walk through the front door, you realize this tasting experience will be one of your most memorable.  Pouring our wines from the “kitchen” private tasting room, Mike Sharadin, our winemaker, barrel washer, one-man show et al, will enlighten you on Washington wines, our own voyage as a small producer and will share with you the passion that has fueled our love of the grape.

 

 

Much more information as well as links to purchase wine is available on their website.

 

nwtc_logo

 “Enjoy our glass closure

Cut foil & give it a thumbs up”

 

 

My Information

Northwest Totem Cellars was a new winery for me.  I met the owner/winemaker, Mike Sharadin, on Twitter a couple years ago.  Even though he is a Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Cowboys fan, which usually makes a person the “low man on the totem pole” to someone from Pittsburgh, we “tweeted” quite a bit.

 

As a fan of the wines coming out of the Pacific Northwest and Washington in particular, I became more intrigued and interested in learning more about Northwest Totem Cellars.  When Mike offered to send me a few samples to try, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

 

I like the fact the winery uses glass stoppers on their bottles.  To me, this is a fantastic alternative to cork and much classier than the “twist off” options.  I won’t even bring up the synthetic cork options which I despise.

 

 

 

I don’t know the exact status, but Mike is opening a new eatery (and drinkery) called Mike’s Wine Café in Friday Harbor, WA.  If all goes well, it could be open by June.  Good Luck in the new venture!  To keep up to date follow @MikesWineCafe on Twitter.

 

 

 

Enough with the words, onto the wines:

757717715

 

 

 

2008 Northwest Totem Cellars Qo-ne (SRP $35)

 

Qo-ne – “Friend” Haida (native American language)

 

This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot from Washington’s ColumbiaValley.

 

14.2% ABV

 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very open and appealing nose has cassis, cherry, Asian spices, minerals, dried herbs, some cedar, eucalyptus, and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body, fairly solid but smooth tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has nice, bright fruit up front that gets joined by savory notes of dried herbs, spices, and minerals that add a ton of depth and complexity.  The finish is extremely long and full of sweet fruit, dried herbs, and minerals with a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate coming through at the end.  (94 pts)

 

On the second day, the fruit had retreated into the background on the nose with the dried herbs, minerals, and some earthiness dominating.  On the palate the fruit is still sweet and juicy up front with the savory notes quickly storming in and dominating.  The finish is full of the savory elements with the fruit a background note.  Good on day two, but much more enjoyable on the first day.

757716906

 

 

 

2008 Northwest Totem Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $35)

 

YakimaValley

14.5% ABV

 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The nose is a bit tight and shy initially but opens with some air, eventually showing cassis, spice box, tobacco, dried herbs, minerals, melted licorice, violets, and a touch of cherry.  This has medium body, fairly solid, slightly chalky tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has nice cherry and cassis up front with solid spice and dried herbs that quickly build.  The finish starts off very flavorful but gets clipped when then the tannins and acidity clamp down.

 

On the second day, the nose was much more open and accessible with the minerals, dried herbs, and spice box cranked up a notch or two.  On the palate the wine had added depth and the fruit was much richer.  The tannins had integrated to a point they were no longer clipping the finish, which now had great length with sweet fruit and a boat load of savory notes.  This was MUCH better on day two, almost like two totally different wines.  (93 pts)

757717055

 

 

 

I’d recommend enjoying the Qo-ne now and let the Cabernet sleep for a couple years, or at least give it plenty of air.

 

 

Even though Mike Sharidan, the owner/winemaker/barrel washer, a vegan, probably wouldn’t approve, here’s what we paired with these two wines.

 

Just to ensure the wines would work with a hearty dinner, we made a medium rare chuck-eye roast, oven fried potatoes with garlic, parsley, and Romano cheese, green beans, and a hot from the oven French baguette for dinner.  Everything was superb.

Dinner

 

 

 

There are additional reviews of Northwest Totem Cellars wine available here.

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

 

This is based on a Sample sent to me. 

 

I’ve been looking forward to trying this wine for a couple weeks.  I wanted to give it time to settle down from the shipping to the Midwest from California.  I figured this was the perfect time to open it since the wine was just offered by Jean Edwards Cellars on their pre-release e-mail offer on Friday.  Total production was only 250 cases of this wine.

 

I’ve had past vintages of this wine and its’ quality far exceeded the price point.

 

I decanted the wine for about 5 hours, but it probably could have used more.  The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The nose on the wine is deep and dark with cassis, black cherry, dried herbs, wood smoke, cedar, Asian spices, vanilla, earthy underbrush, tobacco, dark chocolate, and some violets.  This is medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  Nice spicy, forward fruit and spice but with plenty of power and grip on the palate, dark chocolate, cherry, and a bit of oak add dimension and depth.  There is a long, flavorful finish with just a touch of spicy oak popping out.  This tastes very nice now, but a couple of years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this shuts down some what in the next six months, so try early or wait a few years.  (94 pts now, but better in a few years)

 

I highly recommend this wine, and ordered a mixed case from their offer.

 

 

Here is the information from the winery on their offer:

 

2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (750ml) – pre-release

Release price $65

 

Our 2009 cab from Stagecoach is a real gem! As with most cabs from this vineyard, there is a very nice Asian spice element that sits on top of a solid core of delicious black cherry notes, cassis and cola. The nose is very full with dark fruit, tobacco and vanilla. Medium weight – it’s a bit more fruit forward than our 2008 without going over the edge and for such a young cabernet it shows tremendous integration and length. The wine is 98% cabernet sauvignon and 2% petite verdot; aged 22 months in French Oak (50% new/50% one year old barrels). Our 2009 offering provides the supple, round mouth of our 2007 along with the power and fruit structure of our 2008.  We are absolutely in love with this wine and know you will love it too!

 

 

There are two other wines in the latest offer, the 2009 Seventy Four – Forty One Cabernet Sauvignon – HowellMountain and a special “Library Release” of their first commercial offering the 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

I should add, there are significant discounts for mailing list members off the release price.

 

If you’re interested, visit http://www.jeanedwardscellars.com/ tell Karen, Cliff sent you.  They are also available at wine@jeanedwardscellars.com.

 

 

Cheers!

 

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