Posts tagged ‘Carlisle Zinfandel’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Dec 20, 2013 to Dec 22, 2013

 

 

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

2011 Shatter Grenache

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts – $33.60

A friend of mine belongs to the Herman Story mailing list and I’m thankful he shares his allocation with me.  I love these wine made by Russell P. From.

 

This wine is 100% Syrah and comes from Les Galets, Shadow Canyon, Luna Matta, Terra Bella, White Hawk and Larner Vineyards.

 

This has 16.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is closed with a natural cork and a wax seal.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The nose is stunning and full of blackberries, black currant, smoke, meat juices, warm baking spices, blueberries, earthy underbrush and cedar.  This full bodied wine has moderate to solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  This is thick and luscious on the palate with a mouthful of berries and spice grudgingly allowing some spicy oak, earthiness and dark chocolate to enter the picture.  The finish has very nice length with the spicy oak and berries carrying the load.  Not a lot of subtlety but the 16.1% alcohol is kept under wraps.  (93 pts)

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

 

 

2011 Shatter Grenache – $19.99

This wine is from Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars from Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes in the Roussillon of France.  I grabbed a bottle when I saw it on the shelf at the local Costco for a very reasonably price.  Even though it could probably use some time in the cellar, I wanted to give it a try to see if I should grab a few more bottles.

 

This has a very high alcohol level of 15.9%, so I don’t know what to expect.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine was a bright red to ruby color.  The intriguing nose had cherries, dark chocolate, raspberries, baking spices, and some earthiness.  This has a full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there is a mouthful of red fruit and spice up front with dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish had very good length with some earthiness entering the picture.  This would be a hard wine to guess in a blind tasting.  I really don’t think anyone would nail this one as a French Grenache.  This is drinking nicely now with some air but should be even better with some cellar time.  (91 pts)

2011 Shatter Grenache

2011 Shatter Grenache

 

 

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch – $37.00

This bottle was from my friend’s cellar.  I had two bottle of this, but they were consumed a couple years ago.  I’m interested to see how this one aged.  This was unfortunately the last vintage for this wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache)

 

The Vineyard

Our third Pietro’s Ranch and sadly, the last.  In April 2007, this Grande Dame of the Russian River Valley, this vineyard planted in 1905 by brothers Italo and Pietro Barbieri, immigrants from Agnino, Tuscany, was torn up in preparation for replanting to more “fashionable” varieties.  Producing what is potentially our finest zinfandel to date, the loss of this vineyard will forever break my heart.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The compelling nose has brambly berries, black cherries, licorice, warm baking spices, black peppercorns and vanilla.  This had medium to full body, integrated tannins and good acidity.  This was rich and lush on the palate.  The cellar time has helped the wine to shed some “baby fat” and some of its youthful intensity.  This is now a much more laid back and nuanced wine.  On the palate the black cherries and spice slowly allowed berries, black pepper and licorice to make brief appearances.  The long finish featured nice fruit and spice.  I wouldn’t hold onto this one for too much longer, open it and enjoy.  (91 pts)

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro's Ranch

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch

 

 

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero – $29.99

This one is also from my friend’s cellar.  We both bought this wine from the local wine store.  I have enjoyed a few bottles over the last couple of years and it has been consistently impressive.  I bought 7 bottles and unfortunately, I am down to only one bottle remaining.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is ruby red color.  The spellbinding nose has cherries, minerals, raspberries, eucalyptus, smoke, earthy underbrush and dark chocolate.  This had medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, spice and minerals steal the show up front with some earthiness and the eucalyptus note coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the red fruit, minerals and the eucalyptus note slowly fading away.  (93 pts)

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

 

 

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates – $17.09

This wine is a blend of 80% Shiraz, 10% Mataro (Mourvedre) and 10% Grenache from Australia’s Barossa Valley.

 

I highly recommend checking out the winery’s website and their descriptions of the wines by clicking here.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The big and in your face nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, cherries, vanilla, earthy underbrush, plums, dried herbs, and a faint eucalyptus note.  This is fairly full bodied with moderate to solid ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a load of juicy, spice, peppery berries with some plums, dark chocolate, and dried herbs in the background.  The finish has nice length and again highlights the spicy fruit, dried herbs, and dark chocolate.  This is fairly straight forward but nice, especially as a “cocktail wine”.  (88 pts)

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

 

 

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch – $45.00

This is another wine I was able to purchase through a friend’s generosity in sharing his mailing list allocation.  In this case, I was able to get three bottles of this wine as well as the winery’s lower end North Valley Pinot Noir.  My North Valley Pinots are unfortunately all gone now and it’s time to dig into the Estate Pinot.

 

This has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Tony Soter

Tony Soter founded Etude Wines in 1982 and its name, “study,” describes his reverence for the ongoing learning process that is winegrowing.  Early in his career, Soter realized that there were innumerable variables that guided a wine towards excellence.  He learned to distinguish between winemaking techniques fundamental to quality, and those that imparted a winemaker’s signature.  He sought to understand the voice of each individual vineyard, to maximize its expression in the glass.

 

In the mid-1980s, Soter began working as a consulting winemaker in the Napa Valley, assisting luminaries such as Araujo, Niebaum-Coppola, Shafer, Spottswoode, Viader and Dalle Valle.  After years of mentoring and encouraging some of NapaValley’s most respected growers and winemakers, he ended his consulting roles to focus exclusively on Soter Vineyards and his family.

 

Apart from being a culmination, Soter Vineyards is also a beginning.  Soter Vineyards is a family enterprise; with the eventual help of their children, Oregon natives Tony and Michelle Soter hope to establish a legacy of august, estate-bottled wines, in the fashion of the great family domaines of Burgundy.  The wines will consistently express this exotic flare, be sappy and fruit-driven, with lovely acid balance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The elegant nose has cherries, Asian spices, minerals, cola, dried flowers, smoke and a touch of white pepper.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  This is intense on the palate with bright, focused cherries and spice up front, slowly giving way to minerals, cola and white pepper.  The finish has nice length but seems to lose just a touch of its zip and focus.  This is very nice now but will be better in another year of two.  (93 pts)

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

 

 

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.

 

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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 – Apr 26, 2013 to Apr 28, 2013

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Grenache Simpson Vineyard

2011 Wine By Joe Pinot Gris Really Good

2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

2011 Villa Creek Pink

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Grenache Simpson Vineyard – $14.25

 

My comments

I’ve been a big fan of the wines Adam Lee has been producing under his Novy and Siduri labels for several years.  Vintage after vintage, no matter the grape used his wines are very good to outstanding, and are sold for a very fair price.  Buying this wine was a no brainer.  This was part of an “open house” e-mail offer for those not lucky enough to visit in person.  I was able to get this at a sale price and then received another big discount based on the three cases I purchased from the offer.  Where else can you get a single vineyard, low production, Grenache from an outstanding winery for under $15?

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red to ruby color.  The very appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, white pepper, dried herbs, baking spices, minerals, and just hints of smoke and licorice.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has pepper laced red fruit with dried herbs and a touch of toast oak adding depth.  The finish has nice length with no rough edges.  This is drinking very nicely but should last in the cellar for a few more years.  This is not a typical all fruit California Grenache.  (90 pts)

2009 Novy Family Wines Grenache Simpson Vineyard2

 

 

 

2011 Wine By Joe Pinot Gris Really Good – $9.49

 

My comments

Pinot Gris wines, especially those from Oregon are a Summer staple in my house.  These are usually fresh and rich enough to enjoy chilled on the deck while something on the grill is cooking or to just kick back and enjoy on its own while relaxing.  These wines also usually have plenty of closing acidity to pair up nicely with warm weather, leisurely meals.

 

This was a new one for me.  Samples of this were being poured at the local wine store and for under $10, this was a winner.  I had to grab a few bottles for the upcoming “deck season”.

 

Winery history

Joe Dobbes, owner and winemaker at Dobbes Family Estate, is a pretty laid-back guy, but he couldn’t be more serious about making really excellent wine. This bodes well for the world as we know it, because these dueling demeanors bring forth a true gem: Wine By Joe.

 

This is your go-to wine. Delicious, but never pretentious. A high-quality bottle at a no-nonsense price, meant to be shared with people who make you happy.

 

See, it’s smooth and “drinkable,” as they say. But it’s rich and complex, too. Wine By Joe, priced at less than 20 bucks, is as comfortable at a dinner party as it is on a Thursday evening in your backyard. And its consistency from bottle to bottle ensures you’re going to be happy every time you pour it.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, pears, lemon zest, honeysuckle, and a hint of white pepper.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity, just a touch of sweetness.  The palate has nice, tart green apples, pears, and lemon zest.  The crisp, mouthwatering finish has nice length from the juicy apples and lemon zest.  (88 pts)

2011 Wine By Joe Pinot Gris Really Good

 

 

 

2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains – $45.00

 

My comments

I’ve been a fan of Stefania winery for a few years.  As typical in California, they make a full range of wines from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and everything in between.  They produce one of the better red blends being made in California, called Haut Tubee.  Most of their wines sell out via their mailing list and I highly recommend checking them out on their website at http://stefaniawine.com/?page_id=10.

 

Winery history

Stefania was born in Minnesota.  Her father was an officer in the U.S. Army and she grew up in California, Nevada and Santiago, Chile.  She uses her background in accounting to run the day to day business of a small winery as well as handling wine making duties, vineyard construction management, purchasing, and of course vineyard work.  She loves to entertain friends at home or in the winery.  She painted the art work used on our labels and takes most of the photos used in our blogs and website.

 

Paul is a California native who has lived in San Jose for over 40 years.  He has worked at various high tech companies in Silicon Valley for 20 years specializing in Technical Support Management.  He handles wine making duties, planning, vineyard design, vineyard management, and acts as the official tour guide.  He loves to cook and host visitors to the winery or home.

 

Stefania and Paul were married in Jackson Square in the the French Quarter of New Orleans in 2003.  They return every year to celebrate their anniversary with friends in New Orleans.  They began  making wine in 2005 and were most interested in finding a business that would combine their love of food, wine and entertaining.  They are hands on in all parts of the grape growing and wine making process. One of their greatest joys has been the growing number of friends across the country who enjoy their wine.

 

Stefania Wine is supported by a small group of part time employees, family members and close friends who volunteer to help with labor intensive tasks.   We are lucky to have such great friends who are always willing to trade a day of hard work for a good meal and an ample supply of wine.

 

Much more information and their interesting blog can be found at:

http://stefaniawine.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, raspberries, warm baking spices, violets, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate is full of earthy, spice laden, juicy red fruit.  The finish is fairly long with tart cherries and earthy elements seeming to hang on forever.  This tastes great today but will last in the cellar and possibly improve over the next several years.  (93 pts)

2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

 

 

 

We used some of the Pinot Gris on Saturday to make this delicious dish for dinner on Saturday.  The leftover Pinot Gris and the Stefania Pinot Noir both went well with the dish.

Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

 

The recipe for this Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta is available on the Comfy Cuisine website.

 

We added a bit extra cayenne to the “breading” since we wanted a little extra kick.

 

 

 

2011 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

 

My comments

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.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a 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

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – $34.00

 

My comments

In my opinion, the Zinfandels Mike Officer makes from his “home vineyard” are always one of the top California zinfandels produced in just about every vintage.  This bottling always has that Carlisle richness and power but plenty of backbone to support the full bodied flavors.

 

Now that Carlisle has their own winery and won’t be using outside crush facilities, I look forward to even greater things coming from them in the upcoming years.

 

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 fairly deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, smoke, licorice, violets, a touch of earthiness, and a slight note of eucalyptus.  This is fairly full bodied with fairly solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  The finish is very long and flavorful.  This is in a prime drinking window but should last a few more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

 

We’re finally getting some Spring like weather here in the upper Midwest.  It has been quite a while, so we decided to have some BBQ Chicken with potato salad and deviled eggs.

 

I don’t know about you, but this looked (and tasted) great to me.  Nothing fancy, but top not “comfort food” in my book.

BBQ Chicken

 

 

 

 

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

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Worked at the local wine store and had to grab a few bottles.

(4) 2011 Wine By Joe Pinot Gris Really Good

(1) 2010 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

(2) 2011 La Crema Pinot Noir

(1) 2011 Calera Pinot Noir

 

 

 

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 – Apr 15, 2013 to Apr 18, 2013

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Petite Sirah The Sweet Trade

2004 Stephane Azemar Cahors Clos d’un Jour

2009 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $17.50

 

My comments

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest wine values in the world.  When it comes to California Zinfandels, I dare anyone to name a better one that costs less.  Wine like this is the reason the Carlisle mailing list is closed and very few people get moved off of the ever expanding waiting list onto the allocation list.  I guess if I was forced to give a negative comment about the winery it would be that they make an incredibly large list of wines, well over two dozen.  If anyone wanted to grab a few bottles of every wine, their cellar size would have to be increased.

 

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 deep, dark, ruby color.  The sexy and inviting nose has black raspberries, white pepper, melted licorice, violets, dried herbs, and lesser notes of baking spice, dark bittersweet chocolate, and underbrush.  This has fairly full body, moderate ripe tannins, and outstanding acidity.  The palate starts off with solid black raspberries and pepper with the dried herbs and dark chocolate building quickly, on the back end a floral note and some earthiness come into the picture adding even more depth and complexity.  The long, lingering finish showcases the juicy berries, chocolate, and earthiness with the acidity giving a lot of lift and brightness.  This is just entering a nice drinking window, and the tannins and acidity will keep this alive and kicking through most of the decade.  (92 pts)

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Petite Sirah The Sweet Trade – $16.90

 

My comments

I’ve been a big fan of the wines being churned out by this Négociant winery.  This winery owns no vineyards and actually isn’t really a winery, in the normal sense.  They buy “wine” from other wineries that have excess.  Usually the wine is in barrels, but on occasion they buy the wine after it has been bottled.  The winery generally does some blending if needed, bottle the wine, and send it on its way to customers around the country.  For the wine lovers, this generally means getting a quality bottle of wine for far less than it would have cost if it was sold by the original winery.

 

Winery history

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.

 

Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The soft and friendly nose has blackberry jam, baking spices, licorice, violets, dark bittersweet chocolate, white pepper, and a touch of forest floor.  This has medium body, moderate ripe tannins, and nice acidity.  The palate has jammy fruit and spice with a bit of earthiness and oak creeping in on the backend.  The finish has decent length with a touch of dark chocolate entering the picture.  I don’t think this is one to keep for several years in the cellar, open this one over the next few years and enjoy the rich fruit.  (88 pts)

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Petite Sirah The Sweet Trade

 

 

 

2004 Stephane Azemar Cahors Clos d’un Jour – $13.92

 

My comments

This was another “find” by Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste Wine from Washington.  In my opinion, Jon provides two great services to wine consumers, he can hunt down perfectly aged German Rieslings and can help find occasional gems that you never heard of let alone tried.  This falls into the second category.

 

Winery history

As usual for small “old world” wineries, there is not a lot of background available on the internet.  I did find a write up about the owners Véronique and Stéphane Azémar and the winery on  La Revue du Vin de France.  You can check it out if you can read French or tolerate the web based translation programs.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The relaxing nose has blackberries, forest floor, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee, roasted herbs, and just a touch of charred meat.  This has medium body, mostly integrated tannins, and nice acidity.  The palate has a quick hit of berries followed by a blast of dark chocolate, meat, and earthy elements.  The finish is fairly long again highlighted by dark chocolate and berries.  Drinking nicely today but seems to be approaching a crossroads where the savory notes will totally override the remaining fruit.  (88 pts)

2004 Stephane Azemar Cahors Un Jour

 

 

 

2009 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble – $25.00

 

My comments

I’ve slowed down my Copain purchases over the last couple of years, but I’m still a big fan of their “Tous Ensemble” wines.  To me, the Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Rosé all have quality that greatly exceeds their price points.  This has been a consistently good $25 Anderson Valley Pinot that is comparable to $40 or higher wines from the area.

 

This was Copain’s effort to put out a value priced, mid-level, appellation branded level of wines.  The Copain Tous Ensemble line up has grown to now include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, and a Rosé.  In my opinion, the Copain Tous Ensemble lineup offers stunning quality for the price.  I’ve had and greatly enjoyed multiple vintages of the Syrah, Pinot Noir, and the Rosé.  I believe these wines have some distribution, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle to sample if you see one on your local wine store’s shelf.

 

Winery history

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s RhôneValley in particular.  So much so, he picked up and moved with his new bride to the region to learn from the best.  For two years, Wells apprenticed for esteemed winemaker and living legend Michel Chapoutier in France’s RhoneValley.  During that time, Wells was deeply inspired by the traditions and practices of French winemaking, not to mention the European attitude that wine is an essential part of life.  At Copain, he creates wines that are firmly rooted in California, yet with the sensibilities of the European wines that so moved him.  He is as committed to crafting these elegant, nuanced wines as he is to building a legacy that will be passed down to his daughters in the great tradition of European winemakers whose estates have been in the same family for generations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose eventually has earthy raspberries, baking spices, cherries, and a faint herbal note.  This is barely medium body with soft, silky tannins and good acidity.  Much more open on the palate than the nose with sweet, juicy cherries and baking spices, some earthiness comes in on the backend.  The finish has decent length with a slight herbal note again making an appearance.  A bit more complexity would be nice but this is an outstanding week night Pinot.  (89 pts)

2009 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Music Corner 

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

 

Gimme Shelter – U2, Mick Jagger, Fergie

 

Stairway to Heaven – Heart (Kennedy Center Honors)

 

Comfortably Numb Live – Pink Floyd

 

That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

ZZ Top – La Grange

 

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

Nothing new to report in this area this week.  The Villa Creek Summer offer came out last week which is a buy event for me.  I have to stock up on their White and Rose for the summer season.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

Nothing new so far, but I have a couple shipments scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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