Posts tagged ‘Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras’

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2017 Vol 5

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

 

 

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras – $16.62

I’ve been a fan of this wine for several vintages.  To me, a nice Vacqueyras is a solid step up from a Côtes du Rhône but with only a slight increase in price.

 

This is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The warm and relaxing nose has black cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, dried herbs, brined olives, licorice, minerals, earthy elements and wild flowers.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit and olives with a touch of earthiness and chalky minerality coming in on the back end.  The finish has filled out nicely with some time in the cellar and now shows good length.  This one is rocking today and will hold for couple years.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

 

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – $30

“My Sweetheart”

 

The #50 in the wine’s name relates to the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the final blend.  As with most blends, the breakdown changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot from the Abbey, Lynch, Morisoli and Wood Vineyards.  The grapes were picked from September 19 through October 14.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels with 65% being new.  The total production was 375 cases.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The stunning nose has cassis, dried herbs, cedar, smoke, warm baking spices, tobacco, dusty minerals, dark chocolate and licorice.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Spices, dried herbs and cassis immediately coat the palate, slowly allowing cedar and minerals to enter the picture.  On the long finish dusty minerality and dark chocolate join the cassis and dried herbs.  This is a very nicely layered wine with plenty of savory elements that nicely balance out the rich cassis.  This wine is in a prime drinking window allowing it to be a showstopper through the end of the decade.  The wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2007 Jacob Franklin (Elyse) Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

 

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley – $20

I used to split a friend’s Scherrer allocation in their “Futures Program” when I lived in Wisconsin.  In this program, you paid for the wines early in the year before the wine was even bottled.  The advantage was you got the wine at a BIG discount.  Usuallt around $20 for a wine that would sell for $30 to $35.  I used to get three bottles of this wine and three bottles of their Shale Vineyard Zinfandel.  I miss getting these wines at those prices.  The Scherrer zinfandels aren’t big and bold zins, they are much more mild mannered and balanced.  These zins age like a Bordeaux blend.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, tobacco, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, scorched earth, dried wildflowers and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, minerals and baking spices jump out on the front end with cherries, tobacco and dried earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note and a hint of cedar providing good depth.  This has great balance and still has a few years in a great drinking window.  No hurry opening this gem.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

2008 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Alexander Valley

 

 

 

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé – $34.99

This is a bright salmon pink color with steady, persistent streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive and inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, orange zest, fresh bread, chalky minerals and currants.  This has might to medium body with crisp acidity and some lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit, fresh bread and orange zest quickly take control with some minerality slipping in on the back end.  The finish is dominated by sweet cherries with a hint of orange zest.  This really pushes the limits to be called Brut, to me it is distinctly off dry.  To me this is great as an aperitif but the sweetness would make it a difficult to pair with a lighter dish.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (87 pts)

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé

 

 

 

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – SRP $65

As in prior vintages, the fruit for this wine comes from a premium vineyard block located within the Pritchard Hill Region of Stagecoach Vineyard. This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot that was aged for 24 months in French Oak.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The open and expressive nose has cassis, cedar, baking spices, tobacco, scorched earth, dusty minerals, licorice, cocoa powder, violets and dried leafy herbs.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, cedar, minerals and scorched earth jump out quickly on the front end with cocoa powder and dried leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with baking spices and a floral note providing nice depth.  This is still on the young side, either give it an hour or two in the decanter or let it sleep for another couple of years.  This has the depth and balance to improve over the next several years and drink well for a decade or more.  (95 pts)

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2010 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo – $10.19

Grillo is a native Italian grape that may have originated in Puglia.  This grape has been grown in Sicily since the 8th century and today is wide spread in western Sicily.

 

The wine is a straw-yellow color.  The intriguing nose has ripe apples, pineapple, dried straw, juicy peaches, orange blossoms and flinty minerals.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate ripe apples, pineapple, minerals and peaches quickly jump out on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a dry straw note adding nice depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but for the price this is a nice wine for a lighter week night meal.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

2014 Corbera Vini Grillo

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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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 – Aug 4, 2014 to Aug 10, 2014

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2008 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

2005 Meritxell Palleja Priorat Nita

2012 Villa Creek Pink

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Albariño Abrente

2009 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $19.99

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.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

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 up front 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 is on the young side but already very tasty.  (92 pts)

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2008 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman – $29.00

I’ve been a big fan of the Turley Cedarman Zinfandels for a number of years.  The mountain grown fruit always gives this wine a bit more backbone and a gritty edge.  The mountain grown fruit also generally highlights the savory, peppery elements of the zinfandel grape.

 

This has 15.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, black pepper, melted licorice, crushed stones, wild flowers, dark bittersweet chocolate, smoke, and some earthiness.  This has full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the sweet berries provide a nice counter balance to the savory notes of black pepper, minerals, and dark chocolate.  The finish is long and very flavorful with some nice earthiness coming into the picture.  The tannins and acidity provide a solid backbone that ensures this will last in the cellar through the end of the decade.  Enjoy this now or let it sleep for a few more years, either way you’ll enjoy this one.  (93 pts)

2008 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

2008 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

 

 

 

2005 Meritxell Palleja Priorat Nita – $16.74

I’m a pretty big fan of wines from the Priorat region in Spain.  These wines are generally, like the region, on the rugged and rustic side.  You will just about never hear one of these wines described as smooth and subtle.

 

This is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 35% Carinena, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Syrah.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color, almost purple.  The very nice nose is full of minerals, cherries, blackberries, dried herbs, dried earth, well worn leather, vanilla, black pepper, licorice, and wild flowers.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the cherries and minerals hit first, followed by dried herbs, crushed berries, and black pepper.  On the back end and finish dried earth elements emerge and take center stage, especially on the fairly long finish.  This is drinking very nicely, but should last for at least a few more years in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2005 Meritxell Palleja Priorat Nita

2005 Meritxell Palleja Priorat Nita

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

This wine, as well as the one from Bedrock is our go-to Summer rosés.  I usually supplement my supply of rosés with other labels from the local wine store, but these two are our most consumed ones.  This vintage is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre from Paso Robles.

 

This wine has 13.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon color.  The fresh and inviting nose has strawberry, cherry, minerals, apples, a touch of orange zest, and a slight herbal note.  This has light body, crisp acidity, and a touch of sweetness.  The palate has tart red fruit, apples, and a distinct streak of minerality.  The finish has nice length with a nice herbal element coming into the picture before some mouthwatering citrus closes the show.  (89 pts)

2012 Villa Creek Pink

2012 Villa Creek Pink

 

 

 

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.

 

Like I noted above this is not really made by Bedrock, but is actually a “side project” for Morgan Twain-Peterson.  I think this is the only wine being made by this partnership, but I, for one, would love to see them expand the portfolio.

 

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

 

 

 

2009 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina – $38.40

I used to be on the McPrice Myers mailing list but dropped off because the wines all seemed the same to me.  These are big, full bodied, take no prisoner wines that just don’t match up to what I like to drink on a regular basis.

 

This is a blend of 50% Syrah, 45% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre.

 

This has 15.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The big and bold nose has cedary oak, blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, baking spices, vanilla and candied violets.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and decent acidity.  An overload of oak driven berries coat the palate with just a hint of baking spices and vanilla able to slip through.  The finish has good length with some dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is a massive wine that could use some restraint and complexity as well as a bit less oak.  This would be a favorite at a party but gets a touch boring.  (87 pts)

2009 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina

2009 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina

 

 

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras – $16.62

I’ve been a fan of this wine for several vintages.  To me a nice Vacqueyras is a solid step up from a Côtes du Rhône but with only a slight increase in price.

 

This is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault.

 

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

 

Winery history

Domaine La Garrigue is set in the heart of the Vacqueyras appellation area (Southern Côtes du Rhône), in the Vaucluse department of France.  The estate buildings are just 2.5 km from the main village, on a plateau called Les Garrigues.

 

The estate was created in 1850, and has always been worked by the same family, spanning 6 generations.  The Bernard family has always worked in respect of tradition, crafting authentic natural wines that are typical of the terroirs they came from.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The warm and relaxing nose has black cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, dried herbs, brined green olives, licorice, minerals, earthy elements and wild flowers.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit and olives with a touch of earthiness and chalky minerality coming in on the back end.  The finish has filled out nicely with a year in the cellar and now shows good length.  This one is rocking today and will hold for several years.  (92 pts)

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

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!

 

Mar 8, 2013 to Mar 10, 2013

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard – $45.00

 

My comments

My wife just returned from a 10 day business trip, so I wanted to open something really good.  Since Loring is one of both of our favorite wineries, this was an easy choice.  Brian’s Pinot from Garys’ Vineyard is also one of out two favorite vineyard sources he uses.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The open and inviting nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, black tea leaves, white pepper, raspberries, dried flowers, minerals, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has a nice blend of tart cherries, sweet raspberries, spices, and subtle earthiness.  The finish is fairly long and again, very flavorful with nice closing acidity holding everything together.  Very tasty today, but no hurry on this one.  (92 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras – $16.62

 

My comments

The local wine store recently put this one on the shelf.  A friend who works there insisted I give this one a try.  Since I generally agree with his palate, I grabbed three bottles.  Even though I think it’s still a bit young, it’s a perfect night to try one in case I want to stock up before the store sells out.

 

Winery history

Domaine La Garrigue is set in the heart of the Vacqueyras appellation area (Southern Côtes du Rhône), in the Vaucluse department of France.  The estate buildings are just 2.5 km from the main village, on a plateau called Les Garrigues.

 

The estate was created in 1850, and has always been worked by the same family, spanning 6 generations.  The Bernard family has always worked in respect of tradition, crafting authentic natural wines that are typical of the terroirs they came from.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The warm and relaxing nose has black cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, dried herbs, brined green olives, licorice, minerals, earthy elements, and wild flowers.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit and olives with a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch clipped when the tannins and acidity kick in.  Let this one sleep for at least a year, preferably two.  This has a lot of upside potential.  (90 pts)

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

 

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard – $30.00

 

My comments

In my opinion, this is perennially one of the best Napa Cabernets for the price.  This is a cabernet that generally needs a few years of bottle age to fully reach its potential and show its best.  If you get the opportunity to try this wine, jump on it, you can thank me later.

 

Winery history

Napa Valley’s Elyse Winery has two causes for celebration this harvest.  In addition to a stellar looking 2012 vintage in NapaValley, it is the 25th harvest for the winery.

 

It was back in 1987 that Ray and Nancy Coursen crushed 4.5 tons of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford to craft 286 cases of their first wine.  While the portfolio has grown over the last 25 years, the focus remains on creating vineyard driven wines that pair well with food.  Total production is currently 10,000 cases and the wines are nationally and internationally distributed.

 

Winemaking is cooking without a flame.  Our winemaking philosophy at Elyse in NapaValley is similar to the approach of a great chef who carefully prepares artisan grown ingredients to bring each layer of flavor to the table.  Long term alliances with our growers form the cornerstone to our portfolio of vineyard driven wines that possess an unfaltering affinity for pairing with food.

 

“A meal with wine is dining – it’s a conversation, an event.  It’s what wine is all about.” – Ray Coursen, Winemaker & Owner

 

“This excellent winery continues to carve out a well-deserved reputation for its interesting red wine portfolio.” – Robert M. Parker Jr.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color, with no signs of it being eleven years old.  The very elegant and powerful nose has cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, dusty minerals, melted licorice, warm baking spices, violets, black cherries, and lesser notes of cedar, vanilla, and earthiness.  This has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate is loaded with rich, juicy berries, dried herbs, and just the right amount of spicy oak.  The very flavorful finish is very long, seeming to linger forever.  The wine is perfectly balanced and in a wonderful place.  It is velvety with no rough edges or out of place or excessive elements.  (94 pts)

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Grabbed a mixed case at the local wine store.

(3) 2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras @ $16.62

(1) 2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon @ $25.36

(6) 2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard @ $19.94

(2) 2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico @ $18.59

 

 

 

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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