Posts tagged ‘Carlisle Two Acres’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 5, 2014

 

 

2012 Trentadue Winery Zinfandel

2012 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Central Coast

2008 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

It was another slow week wine wise.  My wife is doing better and as her broken wrist heals, we’ll begin opening more wine, which will give me more to write on this page.

 

 

 

2012 Trentadue Winery Zinfandel – $14.24

I’m always on the lookout for good bottles of wine for week nights.  An Alexander Valley zinfandel on the local wine store’s shelf for around $15 qualifies as a no-brainer.  Trentadue is not a new winery for me, I’ve visited the winery in the past and their Cuvée 32, a California version of a “Super Tuscan”, is one of my favorite wines.  According to the winery’s website, the grapes for this wine come from vines that are over a century old.  The wine has a suggested retail price of $18.00.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a screw top.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The appealing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla bean, underbrush, dried wildflowers, dusty minerals, black cherries and dried herbs.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Tart cherries, pepper and underbrush hit the palate first with vanilla and minerals coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a nice dried floral note entering the picture.  Not a lot of complexity but very tasty and very good QPR.  (89 pts)

2012 Trentadue Winery Zinfandel

2012 Trentadue Winery Zinfandel

 

 

 

2012 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Central Coast – $15.29

I grabbed a bottle of this wine to see how well they did with the exceptional 2012 vintage.  The fact the wine was just a touch over $15 didn’t make my buying decision too tough.  This wine is produced from grapes harvested on California’s Central Coast including Olson Ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The nice nose has cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, cranberry and wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries and spice pop out first with some earthiness coming in on the backend.  The finish has nice length with a nice floral note and cranberries entering the picture.  Not a lot of complexity but a nice, reasonably priced Pinot Noir.  (88 pts)

2012 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Central Coast

2012 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Central Coast

 

 

 

2008 Carlisle Two Acres – $28.75

This vintage of this wine is a blend of 79% Mourvedre, 7% Petite Sirah, 6% Syrah, 5% Carignane and 3% Alicante Bouschet.  The grapes are from the Two Acres Vineyard  in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.  The vineyard was planted in 1910.  According to the winery, “This vineyard was on the brink of death when we took it over in 1996 but slowly and surely we have brought it back to life.  We completed its renovation in 2003 by replacing all missing vines.  Most of the replants were Mourvèdre but we did include a few syrah vines.”

 

This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 296 cases of the wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, fresh cracked black pepper, charred wood, cherries, Asian spices, dried violets, dusty minerals, dry earth and some subtle smoked meat.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this provides a big upfront dose of dark fruit, minerals and spice with black pepper and dried earth on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with cherries and charred wood entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely at this time but should hold for several years.  (93 pts)

2008 Carlisle Two Acres

2008 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

 

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:

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 – June 23, 2014 to June 29, 2014

 

 

2010 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty

2007 Carlisle Two Acres

1974 Moillard Aloxe-Corton

2012 Emerson Vineyards Pinot Noir

2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 

 

 

2010 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile – $20.00

The Turley Juvenile Zinfandel is made of young grapes from the old vine vineyards used in the winery’s single vineyard wines.  The winery doesn’t give a definitive age of the younger vines but they do note that a vine can have several years of age and be considered to be young beside 100+ year old vines.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The comfortable and familiar nose has brambly berries, black pepper, licorice, wood smoke, black cherries and some baking spice.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery berries lead the way with a bit of smoke and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a touch of spicy oak peeking through.  This doesn’t have a lot of complexity but it is very tasty.  (90 pts)

2010 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

2010 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

 

 

 

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty – $16.62

This is a wine I bought based on a local wine store’s e-mail offer.  We generally like Aussie Shiraz as long as it doesn’t cross the line and end up on the sweet and syrupy side.  Based on reviews of previous vintages, this was worth grabbing a six pack.  The first bottle we opened about a year ago showed promise but needed some cellar time.  It’s time to check in again.

 

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

 

Winery history

Betts & Scholl is a cooperative effort between Richard Betts, Master Sommelier & winemaker and Dennis Scholl, contemporary art collector and joyous wine drinker, who typically finds himself either in Aspen or Miami Beach.  Together, they created special relationships with star growers and winemakers from around the world to share in the Betts & Scholl vision.

 

This partnership is totally dedicated to making great wine as Richard & Dennis see it, which is, ultimately, wine that they like to drink.  No trophies, no wine for competition, just wine for the table – wine made to be enjoyed in the spirit of those wines that got Richard hooked on the whole deal in the first place.  This is to say wine you can drink everyday – a grocery, if you will – something that is on the table at lunch, at dinner, in harmony with food, an essential part of the meal.  This notion is fundamental to great living all over Europe, and it’s one that Betts & Scholl aims to bring back and live every day.

 

So Betts & Scholl chose to make the good stuff! Richard & Dennis’ shared aesthetic spoke for elegant, complex, balanced wines of great perfume and finesse with the power to seduce.  The object of the B&S fancy is neither the obvious nor the forceful.  Instead it is those wines that transport: They taste only of the place from where they’ve come.  Come take the trip.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color. The very outgoing nose has blackberries, baking spices, underbrush, black pepper, cherries, licorice, and wild flowers. This has a full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity. On the palate there are ripe, juicy crushed berries and baking spice up front then the acidity kicks in and tart cherries and a bit of earthiness takes over. The finish is fairly long and leans on spicy, earthy cherries. This is a bit disjointed at this time showing distinct, different “personalities” on the palate. This needs some cellar time for the acidity to better integrate or a couple hours of air.  (88 pts)

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Two Acres – $34.00

This wine is a blend of 84% Mourvedre, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 3% Alicante Bouschet and 2% Syrah from a restored 1910 vineyard in the Russian River Valley.

 

Normally this is where I’d tell you to go to their website and sign up for the mailing list, but not this time.  Unfortunately the Carlisle mailing list is full, the best you could do is get on the waiting list.  The problem with that one is big, the wines are so good and fairly priced, very few people drop off the list.  My best advice is to find someone on the list and beg them to share a bottle or two of their allocation with you.

 

This has 13.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Carlisle is a winery that started as a classic “garage winery” for Owner/Winemaker Mike Officer.  His first foray into wine making was making 5 gallons of Zinfandel in his kitchen.  Over the next several years, with the help of his wife Kendall (Carlisle), and some friends, he produced a barrel of wine each vintage.  During this period, he also has a “real job” as a software developer.  To make a long story short, eventually the software developer title was left in the rear view mirror and Owner/Winemaker became his new title.  I highly recommend checking out the complete story at http://www.carlislewinery.com/about.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark garnet color.  The scintillating nose has blackberries, raspberries, warm baking spices, minerals, earthy underbrush, well worn leather, smoke and licorice.  This has a medium body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  Nice black and red fruit with spices and minerals coat the palate initially with some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with red fruit and minerals stealing the closing act.  This is drinking very nicely and should hold for another year or two.  (93 pts)

2007 Carlisle Two Acres

2007 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

 

1974 Moillard Aloxe-Corton – Current Price Unknown

This is a bottle of wine with a sketchy past.  A customer at the local wine store was moving and had some older bottles of wine that the didn’t want to move.  Some of the bottles were in the house’s wine cellar when they bought the home, at least that’s what I think I heard in the way of a back story.  He gave the bottles to the owner of the local store.  The store owner decided he’d share the bottles with friends, good customers and employees.  I work at the store a couple hours a month, luckily I was working on Saturday so he decided it was a good time to open  a bottle, this was the lucky bottle.

 

The wine had 12.5% alcohol by volume.  The bottle was sealed with a natural cork.  I’m using the word “sealed” very loosely.  The cork was not in good shape.  It was covered with “junk”.  I decided to wipe off the cork and bottle top to avoid contaminating the wine.  I could feel the cork was in bad shape.  I very slowly tried to slip an Ah-So style opener between the cork and bottle, but the cork just disintegrated.  That just meant a quick decant through a wire mesh strainer.

 

My Tasting Note

Just to prove first impressions are generally not right, the wine seemed to be dead.  The wine was a deep brick color and the nose was very earthy with stewed fruit.  The process of straining the wine into a decanter solved multiple problems.  Besides removing all the pieces of cork, most of the funkiness blew off and in the decanter the wine showed a deep ruby core with nice bricking.

 

The wine was a deep brick color. The nose had stewed fruit, earthy underbrush, baking spices and well worn leather.  The wine was light to medium body with fully integrated tannins and had good acidity.  On the palate earthy cherries and spice slowly gave way to a slight medicinal note.  The finish had nice length with a nice blend of fruit, spice and earthiness.  For a 40 year old bottle of wine with uncertain provenance, this was not only drinkable but enjoyable.  I gladly took a small second glass.  I left before the decanter was emptied so I don’t know for sure how long it held on before fading into the sunset.  This type of wine is hard to rate, but I can easily give the experience 100 pts.

1974 Moillard Aloxe-Corton

1974 Moillard Aloxe-Corton

 

 

 

2012 Emerson Vineyards Pinot Noir – $18.99

This wine was totally new to me.  I saw it on the shelf at the local wine store and had to grab a bottle to try out.  Over the last couple of years I have become a big fan of Oregon Pinot Noirs.  They provide a nice chage of pace from my usual bigger, bolder California Pinots.

 

This has 13.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, minerals, baking spices and candied violets.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals pop out first with a slight herbal note coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a touch of oak peeking through the fruit and minerals.  This could use a few month in the cellar to help the oak and herbal notes to better integrate.  (87 pts)

2012 Emerson Vineyards Pinot Noir

2012 Emerson Vineyards Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape – $37.99

The local wine store brought this in and offered it at an “end of vintage” sale price.  Being a fan of CdP, I had to grab a few bottles.  I had a bottle about a year ago and felt it could use a bit more time in the cellar.  Time to see if the year in the cellar was worth the wait.

 

This is a blend of 48% Grenache Noir, 29% Syrah, 22% Mourvedre and 1% Cinsault.

 

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

 

The Winery (from the winery website)

Château La Nerthe was born in the 12th Century around the time vines were first planted  in the stone-strewn soil of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (literally the “Pope’s new castle”), the place the pontiffs chose for their summer residence when the papel court relocated to Avignon.

 

The uncontested nec plus ultra of the historic domains of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe, has always been graced by the attentive care of its successive owners: men of firm conviction, aristocrats, and notable experts on Châteauneuf-du-Pape,

Marquis Tulle de Villefranche, Commandant Joseph Ducos, famille Richard, have all contributed to the reputation for excellence that La Nerthe has acquired and maintained.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The energetic nose has blackberries, minerals, black cherries, wild flowers, dried herbs, scorched earth, licorice and warm spices.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and velvety with a nice balance between the sweet fruit and savory elements, with nothing dominating.  The finish has nice lingering fruit with minerals and spice ever present, but in the background.  This is drinking very nicely and should have a long life ahead of it.  (93 pts)

2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 

 

 

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:

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 – Nov 25, 2013 to Nov 28, 2013

 

 

2007 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard

2008 Seven Hills Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2010 Reininger Syrah Walla Walla Valley

2006 Carlisle Two Acres

2009 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten

 

 

 

2007 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard – $35.00

Turley was one of the original non-Cabernet “cult” wineries in California.  In their early years the zinfandels they produced were a step or two above what was being produced in other wineries.  Over the years the winery has picked up a lot of competition and has slipped in a lot of wine drinker’s eyes but they are still top notch zins.  Even though it seems their mailing list is still in wait list mode, I have been able to buy some of their wines off the shelf at the local wine store.  In some cases the prices locally were better than the mailing list price.

 

This has 15.9% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.

 

Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.

 

As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.

 

In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.

 

By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars was annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The nose is stunning and filled with brambly berries, vanilla, black pepper, melted licorice, minerals, warm baking spices, and violets.  This has a full body, moderate to solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery berries lead off with vanilla and some subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with some crushed stone minerals coming into focus.  This is at the top of its game right now but should hold for at least a couple more years.  (93 pts)

2007 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard

2007 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard

 

 

2008 Seven Hills Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley – $18.99

I attended a tasting at a local store that was hosted by Casey McClellan, the founder /winemaker of Seven Hills Winery.  This was one of two wines that I felt tasted far better than their selling price.  I left with several bottles and they picked up a new fan.

 

This has 13.8% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is one of Walla Walla Valley’s oldest and most respected wineries.  Guided by founder, winemaker and fourth generation farmer, Casey McClellan, Seven Hills Winery crafts an acclaimed portfolio of vineyard-designate and appellation-inspired wines.  Focusing on benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux-varietal reds from the Red Mountain and Walla Walla Valley AVAs, the wines of Seven Hills have played an important role in establishing the region’s reputation for world-class winemaking, and are recognized as some of the finest wines in the Northwest.

 

More information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very satisfying nose has cassis, cherries, cedar, dried herbs, minerals, dried flowers, baking spices and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Spicy, cedary cassis and cherries carry the palate with minerals and a nice leafy herb note coming in late.  The finish is fairly long again highlighted by nice fruit and the herbal note.  This is drinking very nicely and for under $20 it is a steal.  (90 pts)

2008 Seven Hills Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2008 Seven Hills Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

 

 

2010 Reininger Syrah Walla Walla Valley – $22.96

Even though I had heard of the winery for a few years, I have not had any of their wine.  The local wine store offered this wine in an e-mail only offer at an exceptional price, so I had to grab a six pack.

 

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

 

The Winery

From 1997 through 2004, REININGER Winery was located in a small but functional facility located at the historic Walla Walla Regional Airport.  The “shack-teau,” as Chuck and Tracy fondly nicknamed it, was originally designated as a WWII Army Air Corp runway “crash house” and “base theater” where old time crooners and classic films entertained troops.

 

In 2003, REININGER Winery purchased seven acres of land, located six miles west of Walla Walla, adjacent to Highway 12, and began renovating two pre-existing potato sheds into a remodeled 15,000 square foot winery, complete with production facility, administrative offices, and a spacious new tasting room.  “We worked closely with architect Jon Campbell to create a modern production facility incorporating rustic design elements,” said Chuck Reininger.  “This resulted in a unique atmosphere for events and entertaining.”

 

In that same year, Chuck and Tracy partnered with Tracy’s brothers, Jay and Cyndi Tucker, and Kelly and Ann Tucker, as well as her parents, Terry and Ronnie Tucker.  Today, Kelly Tucker serves as general manager and oversees sales and marketing.  Jay Tucker functions as tasting room director, plant manager, and grower relations contact.  Terry and Ronnie Tucker, who’ve been actively involved in both vineyard and winery projects since the 1980’s, bring an abundance of guidance and support to the organization.

 

Much more information can be found on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, minerals, white pepper, dried herbs, warm baking spices, blueberries and a touch of cedar.  On the palate the velvety berries and minerals provide a mountain of flavor with white pepper and dried herbs creeping in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with baking spices joining the party in your mouth.  This is obviously on the young side but it is already outstanding.  (93 pts)

2010 Reininger Syrah Walla Walla Valley

2010 Reininger Syrah Walla Walla Valley

 

 

2006 Carlisle Two Acres – $32.50

This wine is a blend of 75% Mourvèdre, 10% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 5% Syrah and 2% Alicante Bouschet from a restored 1910 vineyard in the Russian River Valley.

 

Normally this is where I’d tell you to go to their website and sign up for the mailing list, but not this time.  Unfortunately the Carlisle mailing list is full, the best you could do is get on the waiting list.  The problem with that one is big, the wines are so good and fairly priced, very few people drop off the list.  My best advice is to find someone on the list and beg them to share a bottle or two of their allocation with you.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Carlisle is a winery that started as a classic “garage winery” for Owner/Winemaker Mike Officer.  His first foray into wine making was making 5 gallons of Zinfandel in his kitchen.  Over the next several years, with the help of his wife Kendall (Carlisle), and some friends, he produced a barrel of wine each vintage.  During this period, he also has a “real job” as a software developer.  To make a long story short, eventually the software developer title was left in the rear view mirror and Owner/Winemaker became his new title.  I highly recommend checking out the complete story at http://www.carlislewinery.com/about.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The ever changing and evolving nose had crushed berries, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, roasted meat, tree bark, leather, cherries, and some dried herbs.  This is a medium to full body wine with ripe tannins and good acidity.  There are loads of spicy berries on the palate with nice earthy elements and dried herbs adding complexity.  This has a nice, lingering, long finish which highlights the more savory elements.  This is in a prime window to enjoy now or over the next half decade.  Outstanding.  (94 pts)

2006 Carlisle Two Acres

2006 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

2009 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten – $75.99

Sea Smoke is another winery that originally was available only via their mailing list.  This once exclusive wine is now finding itself on a fair amount of store shelves around the country.  Luckily for me, the list now includes my local wine store.

 

Ten is named for the ten Pinot Noir clones found on our estate vineyard. Our most masculine wine, it is brooding and intense, with firm, mature tannins and a long, velvety finish.   Ten is not for the faint-of-heart and has been known, on occasion, to convert even the most fanatic Cabernet lover.

 

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

 

The Winery

Our estate vineyard is located in the world’s southernmost – and sunniest – Region 1 microclimate, which has the coolest temperatures for grape growing.  The Pacific Ocean fog funnels across our hillsides each afternoon, creating ideal growing conditions

 

Our Pinot Noir vines are planted on south-facing hillside bluffs, in ‘transition zones’ characterized by rich clay soils, aiding us in our quest for quality.  This is where Pinot Noir finds its most sublime expression.

 

Our entire vineyard is farmed biodynamically, because nurturing the soil and vines without harsh chemicals is the right thing to do for the land and for our customers.

 

Sea Smoke’s unique combination of sun, fog, soil and meticulous farming results in wines that are lush, elegant and expressive.

 

More information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very open and inviting nose has crushed berries, baking spices, dried flowers, cola, roasted leafy herbs, minerals, mocha and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the plush, spicy berries and minerals jump out first with cola and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is fairly long with a nice earthy element entering the picture add an extra layer.  With an hour of air this was drinking very nicely.  This should drink nicely for a few more years but isn’t one to stash long term.  (93 pts)

2009 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten

2009 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten

 

 

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 – June 21, 2013 to June 23, 2013

 

 

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Casa Santinamaria

2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc Sta. Rita Hills

2011 Villa Creek Pink

2005 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

2007 Westerhold Family Syrah Westerhold Vineyard – $42.00

This is a wine I tried due to Russell Bevan being the winemaker.  It absolutely blew me away.  I quickly ordered more and put the word out on Twitter.  I suggested to Jeb Dunnuck that he should track down a bottle to try, he then gave it 95+ on his The Rhone Report.  A wine store owner friend from Napa (yes, you Carrie) bought some for the store based on my recommendation, and had to restock since it became very popular.  I’m not sure the status of the winery’s mailing list, but I’d recommend checking to see if it is still open.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The intense nose has blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, charcoal, dark bittersweet chocolate, dried herbs, minerals, melted licorice, baking spices, and a nice floral note.  This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins and very good acidity.  This is lush and ripe on the palate but not really pushing the ripeness to the edge.  The palate shows nice peppery berries, licorice, and some smoked meat with baking spices and dried herbs in the background.  The finish is very long and highlights the fruit initially but as the fruit slowly fades, the savory elements keep going.  Still extremely young but already outstanding.  (95 pts)

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Casa Santinamaria – $17.50

I love the Bedrock white wines, like I have mentioned several times in earlier blogs.  This is from a vineyard that was planted in 1905.  This is a “field blend” comprised of Muscadelle, Chasselas, Zinfandel, Semillon, and even a little bit of Chardonnay.  That wasn’t a mistake, some old vine red Zinfandel grapes from the vineyard are in the blend.  Everything was picked together and whole-cluster pressed into old French oak and stainless steel barrels.  This was fermented with native yeasts and malolactic fermentation was inhibited.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow/straw color. A very intriguing nose with apples, pears, peach, minerals, white pepper, citrus zest, a very nice floral note and just a bit of an herbal note. Medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness. This has luscious, juicy fruit on the palate with citrus, herbal notes and a bit of white pepper in the background. This very unusual blend is very unique and delicious. Another winning white wine from Bedrock.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Casa Santinamaria

 

 

 

2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc Sta. Rita Hills – $4.75

The owner at the local wine store saw this on the close out list from the distributor.  Supposedly the cases were misplaced in storage and forgotten about for a few years.  The distributor brought in a bottle for the store to try and the owner grabbed everything they had.  I also figured a 6 year old Pinot Blanc would be tired if not dead, but still grabbed a bottle for the under $5 close out price.  I got home and we opened the bottle at room temperature and were blown away.  I immediately sent off an e-mail to stash me a half case.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color. The light and refreshing nose has lemon curd, apples, stony/flinty minerals, orange blossoms, a touch of spice and a bit of pineapple. This has light to medium body, is dry and has crisp, citrusy acidity. This is very bright and lively on the palate with crisp apples, lemon zest, and flinty minerals, on the backend a touch of spice and orange zest add some depth. The finish has nice length with the citrus, apples, and minerals holding on nicely. This was an absolute steal on closeout for under $5.  (90 pts)

2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc Sta. Rita Hills

 

 

 

2011 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

This wine as well as the one from Bedrock are our go-to Summer rosés.  I usually supplement my supply of rosés with other labels from the local wine store, but these two are our most consumed ones.  This is a “leftover” from last year and I want to consume these before dipping into my stash of 2012s.  This is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan from Paso Robles.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon color with just a touch of a pink tint. The fresh and relaxing nose has strawberries, white peaches, crushed stones, citrus zest, and some cherries. This has light body, crisp acidity, and just a touch of lingering sweetness. The palates features juicy fruit and minerals with lemon zest coming in on the back end. The finish is long and full of sweet fruit and minerals with just enough citrusy acidity to leave your mouth watering for another sip.  (90 pts)

2011 Villa Creek Pink

 

 

 

2005 Carlisle Two Acres – $32.50

If you are on the Carlisle mailing list, congratulations, you are on one of the best lists out there.  If you are not on their mailing list, I highly recommend you upgrade your circle of friends to include someone on the list that shares their good stuff.

 

This is a blend of 85% Mourvèdre, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah and 4% Carignane from a two acre (hence the name) vineyard planted in 1910.  There is also some alicante bouschet in the vineyard, but for some reason it did not produce any fruit in this vintage.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The stunning nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, melted licorice, eucalyptus, graphite, minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, scorched earth, and some underbrush.  This has a fairly full body, mostly integrated tannins, and good acidity.  This is rich and lush on the palate with layers of fruit, spice, and earthy elements that take turns leading the show.  The finish is very long and flavorful.  This wine is in a fantastic place and is rich and smooth.  No hurry on this one, it should hold for at least a few more years.  (93 pts)

2005 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

Jan 18, 2013 to Jan 20, 2013

 

 

2004 Carlisle Two Acres – $32.50

 

My comments

I decided it was time to open a Carlisle to celebrate their newest offer hitting the inbox earlier in the week.  I’ve been a big fan of this wine for several years.  This is a blend of 85% Mourvèdre, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, and 1% Alicante Bouschet from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.

 

Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, plums, earthy underbrush, violets, leather, smoke, tobacco, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice.  This has a medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the earthy cherries and plums lead the way with dried herbs and spice providing the follow up.  The finish has decent length but is losing some of the richness and oomph and a touch of alcohol is beginning to poke through.  This still tasted very nice, but I think is has started on the downhill path.  (90 pts)

2004 Carlisle Two Acres

 

 

 

2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc – $14.24

 

My comments

This was a new wine for me.  This was one of several wines the local wine store brought in just for a blow out sale.  I’ve been a big fan of Italian Barbera wines for a number of years.  These wines generally have nice, bright, red fruit with some spicy earthiness and a boat load of acidity.  These are generally one of the most food friendly wines around.

 

Winery history

As much as Alessandro Lequio loved his daughters, in staying with Italian traditions, there was no way he was going to hand over the family vineyard to women.  (According to his wife, Donna Bruna, Alessandro actually cried for half-an-hour when their third and final child, Daniela, was born!)  Four generations of fathers had handed the estate down to their sons, and even though he hadn’t had a boy, Alessandro would be damned if the family business was going to be run by the fairer sex.  “Marry a good winemaker,” he would tell them.  Just as stubborn as their father, the sisters all staunchly refuted this notion, and assured him that he would be handing the estate over to them one day… In the end (and presumably tired of arguing), everyone agreed to a “do-or-die” wager, and literally bet the ranch; deciding he could trick them into failure, Alessandro agreed to give the gals everything if they could pass three years of his rigorous tests, culminating in a single vintage of wine which he, himself would judge.  To everyone’s surprise, the Sisters never gave up, and moreover, they actually won more awards in their first year of production than Alessandro had in his entire career!   True to his word, their papa changed his tune and turned the estate over to his daughters.  He was so deeply impressed, he even allowed them to change the name to “Tre Donne”–which means “Three Women.”

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch darker than ruby red.  The elegant nose has black raspberries, melted licorice, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, a touch of mint, minerals, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, soft, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has rich, spicy berries up front with more spice, mint and earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with the fruit turning a bit more tart and a faint herbal note coming into the picture.  A bit fuller body and darker fruit than your usual Barbera.  This would be good with a big, meaty pasta sauce, but may be too big and have too little acidity for a lighter marinara sauce.  Different, but enjoyable.  (90 pts)

2008 Tre Donne Barbera d'Alba d'Arc

 

 

 

2009 Pierre Amadieu Côtes du Rhône Roulepierre – $8.95

 

My comments

I grabbed a six pack of this wine after having a sip at a tasting.  At the time, I noted it needed a year in the cellar.  Well, it’s been 13 months, time to pop one.  This is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah.

 

Winery history

Our history begins in 1929 when my grand father decides to bottle and trade under the signature Pierre Amadieu his wine coming from the 7 hectares (17 acres) of vineyard in Gigondas passed on by generation to generation.  He is then one of the firsts to print the name of the appellation on his bottles and obtains from 1932 a golden medal in the National Agricultural Concours of Paris.

 

I am presently on the head of the company and I am in charge of winemaking and maturing.  I work with my uncle Claude who runs the vineyard.  Together we follow the familial way of thinking by respecting soils and traditions in order to make you share wines faithful to the quality ambition of our grandfather and by adding a note of modernity in order to delight the most demanding and the most curious palates.

 

I am not a follower of over-extracted wines and often “heavy” to taste; my ambition is rather to obtain well-balanced wines with a Burgundy fineness.  Through the maturing I try to reveal all the elegance and the richness of our protected terroirs located on the heights of the appellation Gigondas.  From vines to the bottling patience and observation are required.  Today appreciated all over the world, every vintage reserves its subtleties which I am happy to subject to your appreciation.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby red color.  The open and inviting nose has blackberries, black cherries, minerals, dried herbs, spices, black pepper, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery, mineral laden fruit takes center stage with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short but very flavorful.  A bit of additional cellar time may help the finish fill out a bit.  This was an absolute steal for the $9 I paid.  (89 pts)

2009 Pierre Amadieu Cotes du Rhone Roulepierre

 

 

 

2003 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon – $34.50

 

My comments

One of my favorite, value priced, Napa Cabernets.  Every vintage Cathy Corison seems to put out a wine that is a lot better than the competition at the same price point.  The winery never seemed to be a media darling, but the changes at the Wine Advocate lead to a new person reviewing the wines, and he seems to appreciate the wines a lot more.  These aren’t wines meant for immediate enjoyment, they need a few years in the cellar to help them transform into something magical.

 

Winery history

Winegrower Cathy Corison produces artisanal Cabernet Sauvignon that speaks of place, sourcing great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena in the NapaValley.

 

The Corison Winery, in its timeless Victorian-style barn, is situated in the heart of Cathy’s beloved Kronos Vineyard.  With eight acres planted exclusively to St. Georges rootstock, Kronos is a historic treasure.  As one of the last old Cabernet Vineyards in the NapaValley, it is one of the few vineyards to have produced world class fruit continuously for more than four decades.  Farmed organically and growing on gravelly loam soils, the gnarly old veterans produce scant yields that result in wines of rare concentration and refinement.  They are juicy with blackberry and plum fruit and complex with a mineral note and exquisite violet perfume.

 

Cathy Corison’s wines are noted for their consistency and impeccable balance.  Powerful and elegant at the same time, they grace the table and enjoy a long, distinguished life.  The 2012 harvest marks Cathy’s 26th vintage of Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The nose is one of those I can sit and just smell and be happy, at least for a little while then I have to take a taste.  The rich and sophisticated nose has cassis, cherry, melted licorice, dried herbs, well worn leather, spice box, tobacco, minerals, and just a bit of smoke.  This has a medium body, ripe, mostly integrated tannins, and very good acidity.  This has nice, rich and spicy fruit on the palate with dried herbs, tea leaves, and a touch of earthiness adding considerable depth and complexity.  The finish is very long and lingering with the spicy fruit and dried herbs seeming to last forever.  This was a killer bottle of wine that is in its prime drinking window.  This should last for at least a couple more years in the cellar, but if you have multiple bottles, give one a try now.  (94 pts)

2003 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

Music Corner – A new addition

Some favorite songs/videos (known to pair with good wine)

 

Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine

 

Canned Heat – On The Road Again

 

Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild

 

Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See

 

Neil Young – Imagine

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

It was busy earlier in the week with Saxum, Loring, and Carlisle hitting the inbox.  The mailing list action is just starting to heat up. 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Picked these up at the local wine store:

(6) 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc @ $6.44

(3) 2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard @ $20.89

(1) 2005 Falesco Montiano Lazio IGT @ $28.49

(1) 2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc @ $14.24

(1) 2008 C.G. di Arie Petite Sirah Estate Grown @ $15.19

 

 

 

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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