Posts tagged ‘Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Dec 22, 2014 to Dec 28, 2014

 

 

2009 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

NV Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Perle d’Aurore

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

2008 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

Due to ongoing unpacking and organizing from our move and the holiday season, most of these wines only have a tasting note without any other text.  These posts should return to normal in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

2009 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard – $20.00

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The elegant nose has blackberries, violets, eucalyptus, blueberries, baking spices, crushed stone minerals and dried earth.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries and stony minerals jump out first with spice and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a touch of earthiness and eucalyptus.  This is in a very nice drinking window right now but should hold for a couple of years.  (92 pts)

2009 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

2009 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

 

 

 

NV Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Perle d’Aurore – $18.99

 

This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon pink color with very persistent pinpoint bubbles.  The enticing nose has cherries, dark berries, yeasty bread, stony minerals and tangerine zest.  This is very effervescent on the palate with bright fruit, minerals and citrus up front with yeasty notes coming in on the back end.  The crisp and clean finish has nice length and leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  A nice sparkler for a festive occasion.

NV Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Perle d'Aurore

NV Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Brut Perle d’Aurore

 

 

 

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22 – $17.81

As I’ve mentioned here every time I open a bottle, generally the Treasure Hunter line of wines represent outstanding value.  Treasure Hunter isn’t really a winery, more of a wine business.  They buy excess grapes/juice/wine and sell it as is or blend different lots to create their wines.  These are generally very good to outstanding wines that sell for prices well below their level or quality.

 

I love the Cabernet Franc grape.  At its best it has nice dark berry fruit with some cherry and dried herbs.  If the grapes are over cropped and picked before fully ripe, the dried herbs become the much less pleasing green herbal elements.

 

Winery history

Treasure Hunter is a label under the 3 Finger Wine Company family of wines.

 

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 maroon color.  The very interesting and inviting nose has blackberries, dried herbs, licorice, black cherry, baking spices, cigar tobacco, dark chocolate, cedar, and some violets.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a fair amount of upfront berries and black cherry with dried herbs and spices, slowly a nice hit of dark chocolate creeps in on the backend.  The finish has decent length and leans more toward the dried herbs and dark chocolate with the fruit playing more of a supporting role in the background.  This is a fantastic, young wine for under $20.  I’m going to try and hold off opening another for a few months, but it will be tough.  (92 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22

 

 

 

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois – $15.83

This was a spur of the moment purchase from Garagiste several years ago.  How could you pass up on a wine with the following Jon Rimmerman description and a cost of under $16?

 

The Syrah, which makes up 70% of the cepage has teeth like a Northern Rhone (not a Southern Syrah) and the Cabernet is like Left Bank Cabernet in a vintage like 1982 or 1990 – ripe and seductive with a fine tannic bite that only Cabernet skin tannins can provide.  Mix the two together and you have a cool-climate/warm-climate dichotomy from a great vintage (2005) that drinks like a much more expensive wine – no wonder the restaurants are lining up to buy this (can you imagine what the mark-up will be from a Michelin starred venue?).  With only 12.5-13.0% natural alcohol and fascinating levels of balanced natural extract, the glowing red fruit, mineral-dipped flavor has an uncanny Bordelaise edge that is magnified by the meaty, floral capacity of the Syrah.  Basically, it’s a great effort and EXTREMELY LIMITED (only 50 cases of the 2005 for the US).

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The appealing nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, eucalyptus and damp earth.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements share top billing, each taking turns strutting their stuff.  The finish has nice length and shows outstanding balance.  This has a couple more years of life ahead of it before it starts declining.  This is a very nice bottle of wine to share over a meal.  (91 pts)

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

 

 

 

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein – $4.75

I grabbed about a case of this wine for under $5 a bottle to use as an afternoon sipper on the deck.  Even though it filled that role perfectly, it is a very enjoyable wine when paired with a light, spicy dish.

 

My Tasting Note

Light golden-yellow color. Apples, petrol, orange zest, and wet stone minerality on the slightly reserved nose. Light bodied with crisp, mouthwatering acidity and just enough sweetness to give nice balance. Rich and tart on the palate. Initially a very short finish but it filled out and got longer with air and warming up a bit. An absolute steal at $5 on close-out.  (87 pts)

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

 

 

 

2008 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard – $42.00

This is a wine I originally 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.  The winery now also produces a Pinot Noir.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, licorice, baking spices, cedar, black pepper, road tar, dried wildflowers, crushed stone minerals and scorched earth.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This has nice tart berries, black pepper, spicy oak and minerals up front with a dried floral note and some scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The has very nice length on the finish until the tannins and acidity kick in.  This is tasty but really could use some additional cellar time to help the finish open up and fill out.  (93 pts)

2008 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

2008 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente – $22.00

Though this wine is offered on the Bedrock mailing list (and listed in Cellar Tracker) as made by Bedrock, the wine is actually the result of a partnership between winemakers Michael Havens (the first person to make Albariño in the New World) and Morgan Twain-Peterson.

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright and vibrant yellow to light gold color.  The crisp and refreshing nose has apples, lime, lemon zest, orange blossoms, minerals, melon, and a very slight herbal note.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity, and just a touch of residual sweetness.  The orchard fruit and citrus play off each other very nicely on the palate with a streak of minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with a mouthwatering lime note and minerals slowly fading away leaving you wanting to grab the glass for another sip.  This will really shine on a warm Summer evening over a light meal.  (91 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente

 

 

 

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $28.00

I’ve been on the Rhys mailing list for a few years.  A lot of people knock the wines because they don’t taste great upon release.  Rhys wines require a few years in the cellar to smoothen out and open up.  That said, their Alesia wines, which are made from purchased grapes, though also needing some time in the cellar, seem to be ready to drink a couple years earlier.  I grabbed several bottles of this wine when it was offered on their e-mail release.  I’ve had a couple bottles and every bottle has been better than the previous bottle…always a good sign.  I’m glad I still have five bottles to follow over the next few years.

 

This has 13.9% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color. The sexy nose has strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices, underbrush, minerals, cherries, dried flowers, and a slight herbal note. The wine has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity. The very complex palate has layers of fruit, spice, and earthy elements that slowly reveal themselves with each sip, with the nice cleansing acidity evident at all times. The finish is fairly long and the mouthwatering acidity is ever present. This is very food friendly and civilized. There is no excess weight or overly extracted notes evident on the wine. This is still on the young side and can be enjoyed over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but 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 – May 5, 2014 to May 11, 2014

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard – $35.00

Villa Creek is one of my favorite wineries.  This wine along with their Avenger wine are my favorites they produce.  The winery produces several very nice red wines, most of them being innovative blends from the big name vineyards in the Paso Robles area.  Besides the reds, they also produce a very nice white Rhone styled wine and a good Rosé.  The winery is worth the effort of tracking down a few bottles either locally or through their website.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and is closed with a Stelvin LUX+ stopper.

 

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 deep ruby red color.  The very alluring nose has cherries, black raspberries, cola, warm baking spices, white pepper, violets, stony minerals, touch of pine needles, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery cherries grab hold first, slowly allowing some minerals and earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very nice length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This has exceptional balance and should drink well for at least another 3 or 4 years.  (93 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor – $23.74

Jeff Cohn just keeps cranking out the hits.  Since his earlier days making outstanding wines for Rosenblum, Jeff is now making the same style of wines for his own label.  These are generally full throttle, distinctive wines.

 

This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color. The very open and nice nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, meat juices, and a touch of earthiness. This has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity. On the palate the wine is a mouth full of juicy, peppery, berries with dark chocolate and earthy elements coming in on the back end providing extra depth. The finish is fairly long but a touch of excess oak does pop out. This is a big and rich wine that is not sweet or syrupy and has no raisiny notes.  (90 pts)

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

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

I joined the Bedrock mailing list a few years ago to get access to the red wines they were producing.  Even though I really like those reds, I love their white wines.  In my opinion, Morgan Twain-Peterson is currently producing some of the best white wines coming out of California and selling them at killer prices.

 

The wine has 13.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  The nose is a fresh and refreshing, full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  This is in a real nice place right now, but should hold for another year, maybe longer.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins – $12.99

This is a blend of 60% Syrah and 30% Grenache.  The Grenache vines are over 60 years old and the Syrah vines are over 30 years old.  This wine was 100% tank/cement raised (NO wood).

 

This has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, minerals, wood smoke, ripe cherries, licorice, violets and a touch of garrigue.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  The berries, cherries, smoke and minerals coat the palate with outstanding flavor and concentration with a floral element coming into the picture on the back end.  The finish has good length with some dried herbs and a touch of earthiness slipping in.  I wouldn’t hold onto this for more than a year or two, open a bottle and enjoy.  (89 pts)

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

 

 

 

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard – $48.61

This wine is a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot from Washington state’s Horse Heaven Hills.

 

This wine has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Champoux Vineyard

Champoux (pronounced “shampoo”) Vineyard is set back five miles from the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills.  The 175 acre vineyard was first planted in 1972 and Block 1, the oldest section, provides the Cabernet Sauvignon for Andrew Will’s Sorella.

 

Paul Champoux, the leader of the partnership that owns the vineyard, is on site to monitor the growth and to manage the vineyard.  The balance of the plants is sought through use of micro nutrition and keen viticulture practices such as pruning to fruit ratio.  Andrew Will is part of the minority ownership of the vineyard.  Other partners include Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon, and Powers.

 

The soil is sandy loamy (Warden-Schano-Esquatzel).  The area is differentiated from other parts of Washington by the wind from the Columbia River Gorge, which never seems to stop.  Tannins are noteworthy in the wines from this vineyard.  Noted British wine author and critic Jancis Robinson wrote after tasting several Champoux Vineyard wines including Andrew Will, “what linked them most obviously was the quality and character of the tannis: extremely fine, dark and elegant.  Together with the naturally well balanced acidity, they create a wonderful framework for the rich, dark, blessedly not- overripe fruit; powerful wines that are nevertheless models of restraint.”

 

The Winery

Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda.  The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris had developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years.  Named after the Camardas’ son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor to the success and notoriety in recent years of Washington State wines.  Initially, the winery consisted of 900 square feet of rented industrial space in Seattle.

 

In 1994, the Camardas moved to Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, where they built the present winery.  The fruit however comes from the mainland, across the Cascades in Eastern Washington, where all the significant vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the mountains.

 

Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards are adjacent on the loam and gravel soils of Red Mountain but produce different styles of wine.  Klipsun makes massive, opulent wine to appreciate early. Ciel du Cheval possesses a slightly more tannic structure and great ageing potential.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has cassis, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, violets, mint, smoke, licorice, warm baking spice and a slight green herbal note.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate big fruit and spice jump out first with minerals, mint and a floral note popping out on the mid-palate.  The finish has very good length with a nice herbal note and more mint joining the rich fruit.  This is on the young side and will improve with some additional cellar time but it is already stunning.  (95 pts)

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

 

 

 

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois – $15.83

This was a spur of the moment purchase from Garagiste several years ago.  How could you pass up on a wine with the following Jon Rimmerman description and a cost of under $16?

 

The Syrah, which makes up 70% of the cepage has teeth like a Northern Rhone (not a Southern Syrah) and the Cabernet is like Left Bank Cabernet in a vintage like 1982 or 1990 – ripe and seductive with a fine tannic bite that only Cabernet skin tannins can provide.  Mix the two together and you have a cool-climate/warm-climate dichotomy from a great vintage (2005) that drinks like a much more expensive wine – no wonder the restaurants are lining up to buy this (can you imagine what the mark-up will be from a Michelin starred venue?).  With only 12.5-13.0% natural alcohol and fascinating levels of balanced natural extract, the glowing red fruit, mineral-dipped flavor has an uncanny Bordelaise edge that is magnified by the meaty, floral capacity of the Syrah.  Basically, it’s a great effort and EXTREMELY LIMITED (only 50 cases of the 2005 for the US).

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The appealing nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, eucalyptus and damp earth.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements share top billing, each taking turns strutting their stuff.  The finish has nice length and shows outstanding balance.  This has a couple more years of life ahead of it before it starts declining.  This is a very nice bottle of wine to share over a meal.  (91 pts)

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

 

 

 

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 – Oct 28, 2013 to Oct 31, 2013

 

 

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2010 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard – $33.24

Ledge Vineyards is the winery owned by the One Time Spaceman, Mark Adams.  I was lucky enough to secure a sample of the 2009 vintage of this wine from Mark.  After two sips of the wine, I immediately joined the mailing list.  After securing my spot on the list, I started telling everyone who would listen to get on the list.  If you didn’t hear or heed my earlier advice, you still have time; the 2011 vintage will be released in a few weeks.

 

For more information or to join the mailing list, click here.

 

This wine has 14.5% abv and is sealed with a natural cork and wax coating.

 

About the winery

The Adams Ranch is in the Willow Creek region on the west side of Paso Robles and rests on a plateau with the Santa Lucia Mountains as a backdrop, with a steep drop to Vineyard Drive in the foreground.  The vineyard is almost entirely Syrah, with some Grenache and Mourvedre peppered in.  We expand every year at a snail’s pace, with 25 dry farmed acres as the ultimate goal.  The vines are own rooted and reared in the home nursery after pruning each year.  Once established, the vines are dry farmed, field-blended and co-fermented using only native yeasts and are aged in neutral oak barrels.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, minerals, smoke, raspberries, eucalyptus, black pepper, violets, roasted herbs, and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with nice layers of fruit, spice and minerals.  The finish is very long with rich fruit, spice, minerals and a floral note seeming to hand on forever.  This is on the young side but already a stunning wine.  This will be a nice one to follow over the next decade, maybe even longer.  (93 pts)

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.  With production in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases, this wine can be found just about everywhere.  If you’ve never tried this wine, give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery History

King Estate, celebrating 20 years of Oregon winemaking in 2011, is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay. Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is committed to producing Oregon wines of exceptional quality using organic & sustainable farming methods, meticulous fruit selection, impeccable winemaking practices and judicious blending.

 

The beautiful estate of 1,033 acres is certified organic and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.

 

More information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color. The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body and crisp acidity. On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top. The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois – $15.83

This was a spur of the moment purchase from Garagiste several years ago.  How could you pass up on a wine with the following Jon Rimmerman description and a cost of under $16?

 

The Syrah, which makes up 70% of the cepage has teeth like a Northern Rhone (not a Southern Syrah) and the Cabernet is like Left Bank Cabernet in a vintage like 1982 or 1990 – ripe and seductive with a fine tannic bite that only Cabernet skin tannins can provide. Mix the two together and you have a cool-climate/warm-climate dichotomy from a great vintage (2005) that drinks like a much more expensive wine – no wonder the restaurants are lining up to buy this (can you imagine what the mark-up will be from a Michelin starred venue?). With only 12.5-13.0% natural alcohol and fascinating levels of balanced natural extract, the glowing red fruit, mineral-dipped flavor has an uncanny Bordelaise edge that is magnified by the meaty, floral capacity of the Syrah. Basically, it’s a great effort and EXTREMELY LIMITED (only 50 cases of the 2005 for the US).

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The appealing nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, eucalyptus and damp earth.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements share top billing, each taking turns showing their goods.  The finish has nice length and shows outstanding balance.  This has a few more years of life ahead of it before it starts declining.  This is a very nice bottle of wine to share over a meal.  (91 pts)

2005 Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois

2005 Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois

 

 

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $28.00

I’ve been on the Rhys mailing list for a few years.  A lot of people knock the wines because they don’t taste great upon release.  Rhys wines require a few years in the cellar to smoothen out and open up.  That said, their Alesia wines, which are made from purchased grapes, though also needing some time in the cellar, seem to be ready to drink a couple years earlier.  I grabbed several bottles of this wine when it was offered on their e-mail release.  I’ve had a couple bottles and every bottle has been better than the previous bottle…always a good sign.  I’m glad I still have five bottles to follow over the next few years.

 

This has 13.9% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color. The sexy nose has strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices, underbrush, minerals, cherries, dried flowers, and a slight herbal note. The wine has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity. The very complex palate has layers of fruit, spice, and earthy elements that slowly reveal themselves with each sip, with the nice cleansing acidity evident at all times. The finish is fairly long and the mouthwatering acidity is ever present. This is very food friendly and civilized. There is no excess weight or overly extracted notes evident on the wine. This is still on the young side and can be enjoyed over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

2010 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley – $18.99

I’ve been a big fan of the Novy/Siduri wines from Adam Lee for several years.  For some reason, their Zinfandels seem to fly under the radar.  Their single vineyard offerings are some of the best values out there, grab one if you happen to see one sitting on a store shelf.

 

This has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

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 medium ruby red color.  The soothing and inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, warm baking spices, licorice, dried herbs, tobacco, dark chocolate and some red raspberries.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and tart acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries grab the palate initially with dried herbs and dark chocolate coming in on the mid palate.  The finish has decent length highlighted by tart red raspberries.  This has much brighter acidity than your usual California zin, which obscures any richness that may be present.  With the good tannins and abundant acidity, this should last in the cellar and improve for several years.  (90 pts)

2010 Novy Zinfandel Russian River Valley

2010 Novy Zinfandel Russian River Valley

 

 

Napa Valley Film Festival

Are you interested in attending the Napa Valley Film Festival?  The festival runs from November 13 through 17.

 

Oh, almost forgot, how does attending the event for free sound?  To celebrate being a sponsor of the event, Benchmark Wine Group is giving away a very nice package to one lucky person.  Enter by October 31st for your chance to win.

 

The Napa-based company is offering one lucky winner two Festival Passes to the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), worth a $500 value; two private invitations to the Benchmark Opening Night VIP kick-off party; and exclusive access to the sneak preview screening of ‘August: Osage County’, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

 

Benchmark Wine Group will be hosting an exclusive Opening Night VIP kick-off party on Wednesday, November 13 and a winemaker tasting with Todd Alexander of Bryant and Bettina on Friday, November 15.  NVFF Patrons and special guests will be invited to join Benchmark Wine Group at the Michael Holmes Gallery at Riverfront, 606 Main Street, from 8 pm to 10 pm Wednesday to launch the week’s festivities.  Every guest Wednesday will be entered into a raffle for a chance to buy a bottle of 2001 Château Haut-Brion for $1; taste magnums of 1983 Pétrus, 1966 Château Margaux, and 2003 Diamond Creek; and enjoy food catered by Morimoto Napa.

 

For more information, click here.

 

To view the official rules and to enter, click here.

 

A video about the event from my bud, Amy Payne, is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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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