Posts tagged ‘Cosentino’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Feb 3, 2014 to Feb 9, 2014

 

 

2012 Block Nine Pinot Noir Caiden’s Vineyards

2008 Water Wheel Shiraz Plus (+)

2003 Château Potensac

2003 La Carraia Fobiano Umbria IGT

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan

2005 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red

 

 

 

2012 Block Nine Pinot Noir Caiden’s Vineyards – $12.82

I grabbed a bottle of this wine from the local store as part of my search for an acceptable under $15 Pinot Noir to accompany a casual week night dinner.  I’ve actually been able to find a few keepers in the price range but I’m always on the lookout for more.

 

This has 13.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red, almost transparent.  The slightly shy nose eventually shows cherries, earthy underbrush, strawberries, wild flowers and a little spice.  The wine has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  This is much more open on the palate with tart cherries and nice earthiness up front with some spice and a faint herbal note coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short but with nice red fruit and a reappearance of the herbal note.  The wine offers no complexity but is crisp and clean with no flaws and no lingering sweetness.   For under $15 this isn’t bad for a week night family dinner, but not much more.  (86 pts)

2012 Block Nine Pinot Noir Caiden's Vineyards

2012 Block Nine Pinot Noir Caiden’s Vineyards

 

 

2008 Water Wheel Shiraz Plus (+) – $10.44

The Plus in this wine’s name comes from 7% Malbec and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon being blended in with the Shiraz.  This is usually an easy drinking Aussie wine that pairs nicely with comfort foods on a week night.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is closed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very nice nose has cherries, blackberries, baking spices, dried herbs, vanilla, dried flowers and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy cherries and juicy berries jump out first with some vanilla and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has decent length with some earthiness coming into the picture.  This is a nice, easy going wine that is not very complex but tasty.  (88 pts)

2008 Water Wheel Shiraz Plus (+)

2008 Water Wheel Shiraz Plus (+)

 

 

2003 Château Potensac – $19.99

This is one of my favorite economically priced Bordeaux wines.  In good vintages this wine usually represents a great value.  In this vintage the wine is a blend of 43.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 23.5% Cabernet Franc.

 

This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to purple color. The very open and inviting nose has cassis, minerals, tobacco, licorice, baking spices, leather, dried herbs, cherries, and cedar. This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity. Nice fruit, spice and minerals take center stage on the palate with some spicy oak coming in on the back end. The finish has decent length but the oak does pop out a touch and the tannins get a touch chalky. This is a nice value priced Bordeaux.  (89 pts)

2003 Château Potensac

2003 Château Potensac

 

 

2003 La Carraia Fobiano Umbria IGT – $19.99

This wine is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Umbria region of Italy.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in a mix of old and new oak barrels.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The classic nose has cassis, tobacco, leather, cedar, cherries, baking spices, cocoa powder and minerals.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and cedar jump out initially with baking spices, cocoa powder and cherries coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a bit of earthiness coming into the picture.  The tannins do get a touch chalky on the finish.  This is probably as good as it will get with this one, which isn’t too bad.  (89 pts)

2003 La Carraia Fobiano Umbria IGT

2003 La Carraia Fobiano Umbria IGT

 

 

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan – $19.94

If you’ve been reading my posts for more than just a couple of weeks, you’ll see I love just about all wines.  That said, my heart belongs to the grapes from the Rhone region in France.  I think these are some of the most versatile grapes in the world.  These grapes seem to be able to adapt to where ever they are planted and can produce many different styles of wine.  I found this specific wine when a  friend tweeted he had this in his glass one evening.  I was able to track down a few bottles from a store in Washington.  A few days later, they were in my cellar.

 

This is a 50/50 blend of Grenache and Carignan from the Columbia Valley in Washington.  I’ve had a couple bottles of this wine last year, but felt it would be better with a bit of cellar time.  I guess it’s time to check in to see how it’s going.  As an added bonus, the wine is closed with a glass stopper.  In my opinion the best stopper for wines that will be consumed in three to eight years.  I need to see some research before I can extend the top end of that range.  I think these stoppers are a bit too costly to use on wines meant to be consumed not long after release.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a shade lighter than a medium ruby red color.  The bright and cheerful nose has raspberries, cherries, minerals, baking spices, licorice, wild flowers, and just a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate to solid  ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this has nice red fruits, spice and some earthiness with no rough edges.  The finish has decent length and again features the red fruit, spice and a touch of earthiness.  This should hold for a couple more years, but is very tasty today.  (90 pts)

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan

 

 

2005 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red – $39.99

This was the “flagship” wine from Cosentino and was priced accordingly.  The release price on this wine $150.  As you can see, I was able to grab several bottles from Invino for about 25% of that price.  This is a blend of blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, and 2% Petite Verdot from Yountville, St. Helena, PopeValley and Oakville.

 

This wine has 14.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has cassis, cedar, mocha, dried herbs, minerals, licorice, leather and dark chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  This still tastes a bit young.  The palate features sweet, ripe fruit  and spicy oak up front with minerals and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the rich fruit and spicy oak carrying the load.  This should drink nicely through the end of the decade.  (91 pts)

2005 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red

2005 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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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!

 

Jan 21, 2013 to Jan 24, 2013

 

 

2007 Cosentino Winery Sangiovese Il Chiaretto – $9.49

 

My comments

This was a winery I really liked several years ago.  We used to love stopping at the winery because they always had a ton of different wines available to taste.  Unfortunately, they probably had too many.  Eventually the winery got into financial trouble and had to be sold off.  Part of the problem may have been related to trying to grow too big, too fast.

 

This used to be a nice wine that far exceeded its price point in some vintages.  This was generally mostly Sangiovese with other grapes blended in.  In some vintages the tart and acidic Sangiovese had a dollop of Petite Sirah that added just enough heft and body to take it to the next level.  This was a very nice, under $10, “Super Tuscan” styled wine.

 

Winery history

Led by the spirit of creativity and innovation, Cosentino Winery was founded in 1980 with a commitment to making only the highest quality wines from California’s greatest vineyards.  Because these same ideals ring as true today as they did in the beginning, Cosentino wines have steadily grown in quality and reputation over the years and are considered by many to be among the finest wines made in the world.

 

Cosentino Winery made its first wines in 1980 with its inaugural vintage released in 1981 under the labels of Cosentino Wine Company and Crystal Valley Cellars.  The first several wines produced and released by Cosentino in the early 1980s were made from small lots of grapes acquired from some of the leading growers of California’s NorthCoast counties including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and SacramentoCounties.

 

Cosentino rapidly gained recognition for innovative winemaking and uniquely crafted wines.  Its commitment to high quality winemaking practices has resulted in numerous awards from well respected wine critics and publications worldwide.  Cosentino is recognized as a pioneer in introducing new varietals into the California wine market and as a leader in creating new wine blends that would eventually become commonplace in the industry.  In fact, Cosentino Winery is widely recognized for its role in the development of California’s Meritage style wine, a Bordeaux inspired blend that is now a staple throughout the NapaValley.  In 1989 Cosentino’s release of “The Poet” (1986 vintage), was one of America’s first designated and licensed Meritage wines.  Today, there are over 200 other wineries producing Meritage style wines.

 

In 1990 Cosentino Winery moved into its newly constructed winery in Yountville, California and began its quest to establish long term relationships with Napa’s top vineyards.  These relationships allowed Cosentino to control the farming and harvesting of the grapes used to craft its wines.  Today, many of these same growers work with Cosentino to produce exceptional high quality wines respected worldwide.

 

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Cosentino Winery has grown in quality and reputation with a focus on Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.  After over 30 years of winemaking, our commitment to the future is still focused on producing quality ultra-premium wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The fairly straight forward nose has cherries, black raspberries, spicy oak, earthy underbrush, vanilla, and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium body, fully integrated tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has spicy, earthy cherries and berries with just a hint of eucalyptus.  The finish is fairly short but shows nice, tart cherries and a touch of earthiness.  Probably nearing the end of the line but still enjoyable with a week night Italian dish with a tomato based sauce.  (86 pts)

2007 Cosentino Winery Sangiovese Il Chiaretto

 

 

 

2007 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese – $13.29

 

My comments

I blindly grabbed six bottles of this at the local store during an “end of vintage” blow out sale.  How could I go wrong with a German Spätlese that is probably just approaching a good drinking window?  It’s time to open one to see if I should have passed or kick myself for not grabbing a whole case.

 

Winery history

Eberhard von Kunow is proprietor of an estate at Oberemmel that has been in the same family for six generations.  He and his wife Hildegard reside in the old manor house which many visitors liken to an old castle.

 

The manor house, completed in the 12th century, was initially an added retreat for the famous wine-monastery of St. Maximin in Trier.  Over the years many things have changed above the foundation, but the cellar is today just as it was 800 years ago.

 

Twice the building burned to the ground and it was last rebuilt in 1732.  Johann E. Grach, an ancestor of the present proprietor, purchased the estate in 1806, after secularization forced the church to give up the property.  He had also acquired the Kanzemer Berg and the Wawerner Herrenberg, which today are in the hands of his other descendants, Mrs. Maximilian von Othegraven and Dr. Fischer, respectively.

 

The von Kunows, even though respectful of tradition, use the latest methods in their vineyards and in marketing their wines.  As a cellarmaster Eberhard, who is also the auctioneer for the wine auctions at Trier and Bernkastel, uses the old tried and true methods.  All wine is fermented and matured in 100% German oak until bottled.

 

Though some dry (trocken) wines are produced, fruity style Riesling wines predominate.  The estate owns about 27.5 acres of vineyards and has a production of about 5,000 cases.  The Oberemmeler Hütte is the largest holding with 12,5 acres and is wholly owned by the von Kunow family.  A portion of the Oberemmeler Balduinsberg (6,25 acres) and of the famous Scharzhofberg (7.5 acres) round out the estate.  All vineyards are planted to 100% Riesling.

 

1971 Oberemmeler Hütte Spätlese tasted in October 1981, exhibited great fruit, counterbalanced by a very lively acidity and steely backbone, all of which suggested many years of additional life.

 

A founding member of Der Grosse Ring, the von Hövel Estate is a member of the VDP Mosel-Saar-Ruwer.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a clear, pale yellow with a very slight green tint.  The very fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, lime, orange zest, peaches, and a touch of petrol and white pepper.  This has light to medium body with nice residual sweetness and very good balancing acidity.  This is rich and luscious on the palate with juicy fruit, minerals, citrus, and nice sweetness.  The finish is fairly long and very flavorful.  This has the complete package and is very nicely balanced.  This is enjoyable now but will last in the cellar for at least another decade and improve along the way.  (93 pts)

2007 Von Hovel Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese

 

 

 

2008 C.G. di Arie Petite Sirah Estate Grown – $15.19

 

My comments

My local store had these on close out sale, so I had to grab a bottle to see how it tastes.  I’ve liked a lot of the value priced C. G. di Arie wines I’ve had, and there’s always room in my cellar for a good $15 Petite Sirah.  It’s time to try one and decide if I want to stock up this weekend if the store has any left.

 

Winery history

As an inventor and new food product developer, Chaim Gur-Arieh spent 35 years preparing himself for the role of winemaker at C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery.

 

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Chaim immigrated to Israel as a teenager.  After completing his military service as an officer in a tank division, Chaim studied at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering.  Soon after, Chaim moved to the United States to continue his education at the University of Illinois where he earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in Food Science with minors in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering.

 

Chaim then joined the Quaker Oats company where he helped develop the breakfast Cereal Cap’n Crunch.  He moved to California to become Director of New Products at Del Monte Corporation where he created an array of new products including “Pudding Cups”, “Gel Cups”, “Yogurt Cups”, etc.  In 1974 Chaim married Elisheva and founded Food Development Corporation, where he developed numerous new products including Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Power Bars and Wine Coolers.   In 1980, Chaim merged Food Development Corporation with California Brands Flavors, his newly created flavor company.  Over the next 18 years Chaim transformed California Brands Flavors into a major West Coast flavor company.

 

In 1998, Chaim and Elisheva sold their flavor company to Mane & Fils, an international flavor company and went on to pursue their life-long dream of creating world class wines.   In his new role as Winemaker, Chaim developed his innovative “Dual Compartment Submerged Cap Fermentation Tank” (patent pending) which he uses to craft his delicious red wines.  Chaim’s wines are highly extracted, soft and elegant – a perfect match to fine cuisine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, road tar, warm baking spices, melted licorice, dried herbs, and some fresh cracked black peppercorns.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features tart, spicy, peppery berries with some dried herbs coming in on the backend.  The finish has decent length and is quite flavorful ending with some dark chocolate.  Not an overly ripe, full bodied style of Petite Sirah, this is actually nicely balanced and very food friendly.  This should last for several years with the tannins and tart acidity, but it is tasty today with some red meat.  (89 pts)

2008 C G di Arie Petite Sirah Estate Grown

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $17.50

 

My comments

This will sadly be my last bottle of this outstanding, under $20 Zinfandel.  Mike Officer makes great wines and sells them at fantastic prices.  No wonder his mailing list is closed and the waiting list just keeps getting longer and longer.  I placed my order recently and noticed I’ve been on the mailing list since early 2005.  This is one of the few mailing lists I will never drop.

 

Winery history

We are a small SonomaCounty 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 maroon color.  The very promising nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, underbrush, dried herbs, licorice, violets, wood smoke, and dark chocolate.  This has a medium to full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has nice peppery berries, spicy oak, and vanilla up front with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with the peppery berries, spicy oak, and earthiness lingering nicely.  This was a steal at only $17.50.  (92 pts)

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Music Corner – A new addition

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

 

Bob Seger – Mainstreet

 

The Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides

 

Meatloaf – I Would Do Anything for Love

 

The Band – The Weight

 

Iron City Houserockers – Hideaway

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Too many to list, they all seem to be hitting.

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Some winery samples for review:

2009 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Folkendt Vineyard

2009 La Rochelle Pinot NoirSantaLuciaHighlands

2009 La Rochelle Pinot Noir Sleepy Hollow Block A

2009 Steven Kent Malbec Ghielmetti

2009 La Rochelle Chardonnay Ferrington Vineyard

 

Wine for a Twitter wine tasting in February:

2011 Steven Kent Lola Ghielmetti Vineyard

2010 La Rochelle Chardonnay Morelli Lane Dutton Ranch

2009 La Rochelle Pinot NoirSantaLuciaHighlands

2009 La Rochelle Pinot Noir Donum Estate Vineyard

2009 Steven Kent Petit Verdot Ghielmetti

2009 Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignon Home Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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!

 

August 6, 2012 to August 9, 2012

 

2007 Cosentino Winery Cabernet Franc – $9.49

I used to be a big fan of Cosentino Winery but they fell on hard financial times a couple years ago and the winery and name changed hands.  I haven’t had a chance to try their newer releases so I can’t state an opinion of how the new Cosentino is doing.  I hope they are either back on track or at least headed in the right direction.  This was purchased on a blow out sale from my local wine store while the winery/distributor were sorting out their problems.

The wine was decanted for about an hour.  This is a deep ruby color, much lighter at the rim.  On the very nice nose there are blackberries, dried herbs, cedar, licorice, dark chocolate, and some cherry.  The wine has medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice fruit and dried herbs on the palate with some spicy oak in the background.  Decent length on the finish where the fruit fades fairly quickly but the dried herbs and spicy oak linger for a bit.  This is a nice Cabernet Franc that was an absolute steal at under $10, making it a perfect week night wine.  Not one to age too long, but no big hurry.  (88 pts)

 

 

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $16.00

Has there ever been a better $16.00 Zinfandel produced by a major California winery?  Wines like this, at this price point, are the main reason no one drops off of the Carlisle mailing list.  I’ve had this wine several times over the last few years and it has never disappointed.  I’d recommend getting on the mailing list but it is full.  I’m sure the waiting list is even longer since Mike Officer, the owner/winemaker, isn’t going to be increasing his production enough to supply everyone.  Like I stated earlier, very few people drop off of the mailing list allowing new people to join the fun.

This is a deep, dark, opaque ruby to purple color.  Enticing nose with brambly berries, vanilla, black pepper, scorched earth, dark chocolate, melted licorice, a faint floral note, and some eucalyptus.  Fairly full bodied with nice, integrated, ripe tannins and good acidity.  Big, ripe, and mouth filling flavors coat the palate.  The spicy, peppery berries lead the way with vanilla and a bit of oak; some dark chocolate comes in on the back end providing additional depth.  The wine has very nice length on the finish with the peppery berries, chocolate, and some earthy elements lingering.  This is an incredible value at $16, without a doubt one of the best under $20 zinfandels out there.  (93 pts)

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

I’m going to open a bottle of Bedrock wine to celebrate the arrival of their latest e-mail offering.  I haven’t had one of these in almost a year.  I really liked my previous bottles, rating it 91 pts.  It’s looking like a good day for dinner on the deck, which would be perfect with this wine.  I’ll have to see how this pairs with some seared scallops, but I have high expectations.

A light golden straw color.  Apples, lemon zest, peach, fresh cut grass, flinty minerality, grapefruit, and some baking spices on the fresh and clean nose.  Light to medium body with tart, mouthwatering acidity.  Big citrus and herbal elements on the palate.  White fruit and a bit of peach give way to a load of citrus with the herbal notes and minerals coming in on the back end.  Long, lingering finish with the citrus and herbal notes.  An outstanding California Sauvignon Blanc.  (92 pts)

This paired very nicely with a dinner of large seared scallops, with raw, fresh carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, and cherry tomatoes with a spicy, Creole dipping sauce.

 

 

2008 Frimaio Chianti Classico – $18.99

After several weeks of dry weather with above normal temperatures, today is cold and wet.  Light rain and an afternoon temperature of only 62 makes me think of pasta for dinner.  We made a large batch of baked ziti in the Spring and froze some for quick and easy dinners.  Today feels like a baked ziti and garlic bread type of day.  Off to Cellar Tracker to find a nice Italian wine to pair with the ziti.  I chose this wine since I haven’t had one in several months and we had liked it the last time we had a bottle.

Deep ruby to maroon color.  There are cherries, wet earth, raspberries, licorice, dried herbs, blackberries, and a slight floral note on the very fragrant nose.  The wine has medium body with ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  This is bigger and darker than most Chianti Classicos with nice, big fruit, spice, and earth on the palate.  Decent finish with the fruit and tart acidity balancing very nicely, just wish it was a bit longer.  Overall, not your usual lighter bodied sangiovese, but still with the acidity to pair up with a nice meat sauce.  (89 pts)

I bought his during a close out sale at the local wine store, and feel like it was a good bargain for south of $20.  This won’t be mistaken for a high end Chianti Classico, but is perfectly acceptable for a Thursday night dinner.

 

Here’s what dinner looked like, it tasted fantastic.  We generally make a very large batch  of the baked ziti and cut it into 4″ x 4″ cubes once it cools down.  We wrap each chunk individually and freeze them for quick weeknight dinners.  The garlic bread sticks are a store bought, frozen brand we like.  I doctor them up by adding a bit of real butter, garlic powder, and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

 

 

Quick Question

Do you have a preferred publication or website to help find information on a new wine or a wine you see mentioned on a website?  Parker’s Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Tanzer’s IWC, RhoneReport, Pinot Report, etc.  I know we all value our own opinion the most, but I’m talking about a wine you’ve never tasted.  How do you decide to pull the trigger on an offer from a flash sale site, or large store’s e-mail offer?

Personally, my order would be in this sequence Steve Tanzer/Josh Raynolds, Jeb Dunnuck’s Rhone Report, Tim Fish from Wine Spectator, Greg Walter’s Pinot Report, a few Cellar Tracker users whose palates I trust, Robert Parker, then the rest.

 

Rants from Manfred Krankl of SQN

In his latest offer Manfred Krankl, offered up “5 Rants”, any opinions?  Agree or disagree with Manfred on these?  Some of these were fairly long winded and hard to distill down to a sentence or two.

1 – “Yes we are growing fruit in a very hot area, but we have such huge diurnal temperature swings that it balances out and that way we also preserve acidity.”  Do your think hot days and cool nights help make a good wine?  Manfred doesn’t think it does.

2 – ‘Old vines always make better wine than young vines.”  We all know “old vines” or “vieilles vignes” are meaningless, non-regulated terms but do you think wines made from wine from a “lazy-assed” grower and old vines are inherently going to be better than wines made from young vines grown by a “smart, caring, and industrious” grower?

3 – “Our soil is 600 million years old.”  This rant seems to run in a circle but seems to be pointed at a grower in Australia.  A closing comment related to finding a whale bone in the vineyard seems to point to a specific vineyard in Paso Robles.

4 – “Our vineyard is so great because we have such wonderfully well drained soils.”  Manfred feels that “well drained soil” is absolutely meaningless in California since most of the time they get ZERO rain from mid April through September and quite often through October or November.

5 – “Terroir”  This rant is very long winded and hard to paraphrase.  Manfred feels terroir is a term sometimes used to gloss over wine flaws or to highlight a wine without “a fingerprint of its maker.”

To me, most of these “rants” seem to point to a winemaker who makes wine from warm but not hot areas with young vines, in new, valley floor vineyards with the wine maker’s fingerprints all over the finished product, who doesn’t like other wineries getting scores that equal or surpass the ones they receive, and to justify high prices.

 

Bedrock Wine Co. Allocation

This is an outstanding winery and a real challenge.  I joined the mailing list go get Morgan’s big red wines but I’m finding myself being sucked in by his whites.  This is not a put down of the Zinfandel, Syrah, and “Heritage” reds but rather me giving them the credit they deserve with the class of their whites.  I’d love to grab my entire allocation, but I’m going to have to leave some on the table for anyone not offered something they want or for new people to join the list.

 

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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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