Posts tagged ‘#CAWineStrong’

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 1

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Head High Wines

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc – $15.59

This wine is part of the winery’s “Coastal Collection.”  The winery add a touch of Semillon to give the wine a little extra acidity and a touch of lemon zest.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw color with a very light green tint, this is actually not too much more colorful than water.  The crisp and clean nose has fresh cut grass, grapefruit zest, tart green apples and lemongrass.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, citrus zest and lemongrass jump out on the front end with a touch of grass coming in later.  The crisp finish has nice length with mouthwatering citrusy acidity buffered slightly with a touch of residual sweetness.  This is a nice Sauvignon Blanc to sip on a sunny day with a light meal.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2014 Head High Wines – $14

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This wine has a suggested price of $36 but Last Bottle sold it for an amazing $14.

 

This is a kitchen sink blend of 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Grenache, 16% Malbec, 15% Tempranillo, 10% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah, 7% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Cabernet Franc.  60% of the grapes are from Sonoma County, 32% from Lake County and 8% from Napa County.

 

This is a deep maroon color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, dark chocolate, black cherries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, violets, baking spices and licorice.  This has a medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This has big fruit on the front end with nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the savory elements taking center stage with the fruit providing nice background sweetness.  This is a nice, easy drinking wine that was a steal for Last Bottle Wines’ price.  This would be a hit at a party or gathering with friends.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Head High Wines

2014 Head High Wines

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – $10

I’m a big fan of wines from Lodi.  If your past experiences of Lodi wines are limited to big red wines, especially Zinfandel, I highly recommend checking out their crisp white and rosé wines.  These wine will make you a fan.

 

This is 100% “Musqué Clone” Sauvignon Blanc from the winery’s Jahant Vineyard in Lodi.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a very slight green tint.  The crisp and fresh nose has tart apples, dusty minerals, lemongrass, lime zest, under ripe pineapple and a spritz of grapefruit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemongrass quickly grab your attention with lime zest and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with a touch of grapefruit joining the tart apples and minerals.  This would be perfect with a light meal on the deck or patio on a warm, sunny day.  The hint of sweetness would also make this a marvelous way to relax before dinner.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

Diano d’Alba is a tiny commune between Barolo and Barbaresco that only produces Dolcetto wines.  The small, family run Brangero winery is situated on a hilltop with views of the Langhe hills and the medival town of Diano d’Alba.

 

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The alluring nose has black cherries, dry forest floor, dusty minerals, dried wildflowers, black raspberries and white pepper.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit and white pepper lead off with nice dry earth and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This is very tasty but doesn’t offer much in the complexity department.  This has enough savory notes on the back end and finish to keep it interesting.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Brangero Diano d'Alba Sorabino Soprano

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

Two Hands wines are a “house favorite” around here.  Unfortunately the prices have rapidly increased, almost to the point the “Garden Series” wines are now special occasion wines.  This wine is still fairly reasonably priced as long as you shop around, hint – check your local Costco.  The price I paid is several dollars below the usual price for this wine.  Its a good value at this price, but for over $30 the value starts to get a bit iffy.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, plums, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, charred wood, dark chocolate, baking spices, wild flowers and dried herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, minerals, baking spices and white pepper quickly take control with wild flowers and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a floral note providing depth.  This is a big, rich Shiraz that doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is loaded with fruit and spice.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles – $14.14

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had a suggested price of $28.

 

This wine is a blend of 50% Staar Ranch Grenache and 50% Kiler Canyon Syrah.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a deep violet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, baking spices, black cherries, crushed stones, dark chocolate and white pepper.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, crushed stones and white pepper quickly jump out on the front end with dark chocolate and black cherries coming in later.  The finish has good length with the mix of fruit and savory elements lingering nicely.  This is a very nice, easy drinking bottle of wine.  This has 14.37% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

I paired the Brangero Dolcetto with a Stromboli stuffed with pepperoni, salami and mozzarella cheese served with a meat sauce.

 

 

The Two Hands Shiraz paired very nicely with a Stacked Enchilada Caserole.

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – October 2017 Vol 5

 

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir – $40

This is 100% Mourvedre from top notch Paso Robles vineyards.  There were 205 cases produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, crushed stones, roasted meat, earthy underbrush, road tar, cedar, white pepper, freshly ground espresso beans and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals and earthy underbrush quickly grab your attention with roasted meat, white pepper and cedar coming in later.  The finish has very good length with espresso beans and dark chocolate providing plenty of depth.  One of the best California Mourvedre wines I’ve had.  Even at 10 years of age, this will last in the cellar for at least another 5 years but it’s going to be hard to resist.  I really liked this one.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (94 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

2007 Villa Creek Mourvedre Damas Noir

 

 

 

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $17.30

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.

 

Modus was first produced in 1997 from grapes selected in the vineyards of the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino.  It was not, though, a new wine in the real sense of the term.  Ruffino had, in fact, been experimenting with the cultivation of non-traditional grape varieties on Tuscan soil since the eighties.  Some of the most encouraging results had been obtained with Cabernet and Merlot.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The mesmerizing nose has black cherries, blackberries, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, warm baking spices, tobacco, smoke, subtle earthiness and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features upfront fruit and spice with dark chocolate and toasty oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and some earthiness.  This still tastes young but it will be hard to resist after just one sip.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2011 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch – $14

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine is a blend of 58% Syrah, 28% Grenache and 14% Viognier from Adams Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley), Big River Ranch (Alexander Valley) and Landa Vineyard (East side of Sonoma Valley).

 

Winemaker and JCK Wine Company founder John Kane lives for making dense, decadent and delicious Zinfandel and Rhone blends.  Sucker Punch is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Viognier from three distinct vineyards in Sonoma County.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, black cherries, espresso beans, dark bittersweet chocolate, scorched earth and violets.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of ripe fruit, espresso beans and dark chocolate quickly grab control on the front end with scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with floral notes providing depth.  This is a rich, flavorful wine that would be a crown pleaser.  This isn’t one to stash away in the cellar, I’d open this easy to enjoy wine over the next few years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

2014 JCK Wine Company Sucker Punch

 

 

 

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

This was a wine I received a couple years ago from Protocol Wines now defunct wine club.  It was misplaced in the cellar and I feared I would never find it.  With about 1400 bottles in the cellar, I gave up looking for it figuring it would never be located.  I was putting some new purchases away when I realized a slot that was supposed to be empty contained a bottle, found it!

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The open and inviting nose has ripe apples, minerals, white peaches, orange blossoms, lime zest and just a hint of roasted nuts.  This has medium body with nice acidity and seems to be just about totally dry.  On the palate this has nice upfront fruit and minerals with a nice citrus bite coming in later.  The finish has good length with more lime zest and a touch of roasted nuts giving the wine nice depth.  Before I opened the bottle I was afraid this would be over the hill, I was wrong.  This tastes wonderful, rich front end but with nice closing acidity.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

2011 Beck-Hartweg Pinot Gris Cuvée Prestige

 

 

 

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine – SRP $44

This is based on a sample provided by the winery or another company working on their behalf.

 

This appears to be a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 17% Syrah, 8% Petite Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 20 months in a mix of new and seasoned oak barrels with 80% French and 20% American.

 

Flora Springs puts out several “holiday themed” bottles a year.  Even though the labels are a bit whimsical, the wine in the bottle is serious stuff.  This year the winery produced three Halloween themed bottles under their “Ghost Winery” label.  The Ghost Winery label is named for the stone cellar on the winery’s property that was built in 1885.  In 1977 Flora Springs’ owners, Flora and Jerry Komes, renovated the “Ghost Winery”.

 

The exclusive wines made for the Ghost Winery series feature labels designed by the wildly creative Virginia-based artist Wes Freed, best known for his Drive-By Truckers CD cover art.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby red color.  The sexy nose has cassis, black cherries, espresso beans, white pepper, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, dusty minerals, roasted herbs and spicy oak.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, blackberries, white pepper and minerals come through on the front end with dark chocolate and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and roasted herbs providing good depth.  This has great balance and should last in the cellar for several years but with a touch of air it tastes great now.  Don’t be fooled with the Halloween themed label, this is a serious, top notch Cabernet based blend.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine

 

 

 

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch – $25

This wine is 100% destemmed Pinot Noir that was aged 11 months in used French oak.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The sexy nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, raspberries, dusty minerals, dried herbs and cocoa powder.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tanins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit, spice and earthiness jump out on the front end with minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with a hint of dried herbs providing depth.  This is a well balanced Pinot that is in a nice drinking window.  This will provide drinking pleasure for at least a few more years.  Very tasty stuff!  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

It was a cool day here in South Carolina so we slow cooked a Corned Beef and at the end of the process we added carrots, onions, potatoes and cabbage from the garden to serve with the Sandler Pinot Noir.

 

The cool spell meant it was time for some pasta and freshly made meat sauce to go with the Ruffio Modus.

 

What goes better with a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine then a steak.  In this case, I cooked a thick Sirloin to rare with the Sous Vide and finished it in a smoking hot cast iron pan.  A fresh from the garden salad with assorted lettuce, onion and broccoli was perfect with the Flora Springs Ghost Winery wine.

 

I now live “in the South” so this was a nice Southern meal.  A boneless pork loin chop coated with chipotle seasoned panko and fried with fresh from the garden green peas and a couple types of cornbread.  One of the cornbreads had fresh from the garden roasted jalapenos the other had bacon and cheddar cheese.  A bottle of Villa Creek Mourvedre was a perfect companion to the meal.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but 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!

 

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