Posts tagged ‘Elyse’

2007 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

This is based on a winery supplied sample.

 

 

Elyse Winery was started in 1987 by Ray and his wife Nancy when they 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.

25 years

Ray grew up on a dairy farm in northwest New Jersey and tended various crops before tiring of milk and leaving the roost.  After a two year stint in the army and extensive travel in Europe and Africa, he returned to the states and attended Stockbridge Agricultural College at the University of Massachusetts.  While at school, he worked at a fine wine shop in Boston, and it was here that he discovered fine French wine.  With Coursen’s background in farming and his new appreciation for wine, the idea of making wine took hold.

 

Nancy is a third generation Californian and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Following her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Occupational Therapy, she worked with special needs children in the educational systems of the Boston area.   It was in Boston in 1982 that Nancy met Ray and shortly thereafter his interest in the wine business brought them to the Napa Valley.

Much more information and Ray, Nancy, Elyse, and her younger brother Jacob Franklin can be found at:  http://www.elysewinery.com/25.html

 

 

 

On your next visit to the Napa Valley, I highly recommend a stop at Elyse.  They are about a mile south of Yountville just off Highway 29.  A reservation is required but the visit is well worth the phone call.  More information is available at:  http://www.elysewinery.com/visit.html

 

Elyse Sign

 

 

Everyone knows great wines start in the vineyards, and the Morisoli Vineyard lies in the heart of the famed Rutherford region in Napa Valley.

Morisoli

 

 

 

And finally onto the reason you are visiting this post, the wine.

2007 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard 2

 

 

 

My comments

Elyse has been one of my favorite wineries since my first visit there in 2001.  I was talking to an employee at Merryvale about the style of wines I liked and that I was on the lookout for leads to some nice Petite Sirah based wines.  All he said was, “You have to checkout Elyse”.  As soon as we got back in the car, I pulled out my guidebook of wineries, and looked them up.  According to the guide, they required a reservation so I called them.  About 30 minutes later we were met by a very gracious and inviting tasting room employee.  We spent the next hour trying just about everything they made.  We left with several bottles for the week and ordered a case to be shipped back home.

 

Since that day, Elyse has always been the first winery we visit when we make it to Napa.  I always have several bottles of Elyse wine in my cellar.

 

 

Wine Info

This wine is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot.

 

After a 15 day fermentation using native yeast, the wine was aged 30 months in French oak, 60% of which was new.

 

The alcohol is 14.8%, and the production was 1,190 12-pack 750ml cases and 20 cases of 1.5L magnums.

 

 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep, dark ruby color almost purple.  The enticing nose features cassis, melted licorice, dried herbs, cedar, dark chocolate, minerals, black cherries, and baking spices.  The wine has medium body, solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  The outstanding palate has a good fruit base with plenty of spice, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness and minerals adding considerable depth and complexity.  The long, lingering finish seems to go on forever, showcasing the spicy fruit, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate.  A very powerful and elegant wine that should be left in the cellar for a few years to allow it to reach it’s full potential.  (94 pts)

2007 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

We paired the Elyse Cabernet with our Christmas dinner of prime rib, mashed potatoes casserole with onions and cheddar cheese, Prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and some Asiago Cheese and garlic bread.

Christmas Dinner

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

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!

 

Dec 17, 2012 to Dec 20, 2012

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT – $24.69

 

My comments

This wine was #36 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2011.

 

This wine has been a favorite Italian wine in my house for several years.  This is generally a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Winery history

In the medieval times Podere Terrabianca found itself in the ambiguous situation of being situated in the part of the countryside under the rule of Florence and, at the same time, also in the diocese of the Bishop of Siena.  The very first documents mentioning its presence, dated 1085, describe it as being a country estate as, in fact, its name clearly implies.

 

Today the winery Terrabianca is located at the heart of the Chianti Classico region, in the middle of Tuscany, 12 km from Siena and 50 km from Florence.

 

The soil which consists of layers of chalk, sand and clay from the palaeozoic and mesozoic ages has the ideal composition to grow grapes of highest quality.  On the 124 ha, 307 acres, there are vineyards surrounded by olive groves and woods.

 

They are in the best position, south and southeast exposure, at 250 to 500 mt. above sea level.  The grape variety are Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Canaiolo, Chardonnay, Malvasia and Trebbiano Toscano are grown to produce a total of 350.000 bottles a year.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby color.  The deep and exotic nose has blackberries, cherries, cocoa powder, licorice, underbrush, dried herbs, minerals, and some well worn leather.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has loads of spicy, earthy fruit with dried herbs, and cocoa powder adding considerable depth.  The finish has nice length, but a bit of oak pops out and gets a touch intrusive.  This tastes very nice now but should be better in another year.  Hopefully by then the excess oak on the finish will smoothen out or integrate.  This is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  (92 pts)

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – $11.76

 

My comments

This wine was part of an absolute steal offered on WineWoot a couple months ago.  I immediately jumped on the offer for two sets of the 4 bottle packs.

 

I am a big fan of wines made from the Grenache grape, and an equally big fan of the wines being made by Dave Corey.  This appears to be one of the “entry” level wines offered by Core, but I have high expectations.

 

Winery history

Dave Corey’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San JoseStateUniversity and a master’s degree in Entomology and Plant Physiology from KansasStateUniversity, which was completed in 1995.

 

Prior to entering the wine industry in 1996, Dave worked in Salinas and the Central Valley in agricultural fields including cole crops, cotton, almonds, citrus, walnuts, kiwi, table grapes, apples and stone fruit.  His first position in the wine industry was as a Pest Control Advisor with Cambria Winery and Vineyards and later at Kendall-Jackson Vineyards of Santa Barbara County.

 

Dave left Kendall Jackson Vineyards in 1999 to begin Vital Vines, a viticultural company providing technical support for vineyard property owners, vineyard managers and winemaking personnel in the promotion of sustainable agriculture.  He has worked with clients that include Laetitia, Barnwood, Beckman, Melville, Stolpman, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Sea Smoke, Le Bon Climat, Sine Qua Non, Rideau, Carhartt, Rusack, Westerly, Fiddlestix, Vogelzang, Andrew Murray, Evergreen, Arita Hills and Royal Oaks.

 

With a major commitment and a second mortgage, Dave gradually decreased his vineyard consulting work to focus on vineyard sourcing, winemaking duties and winery direct sales for CORE wine company which he started in 2001 with his wife, Becky.  Dave passionately continues working in the same capacity today in addition to several new wine projects with family members.  He can also be found pouring wine for customers at the CORE wine company tasting room in Old Orcutt, California.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a garnet red color.  The very intriguing nose has cherries, Asian spices, plums, dried leafy herbs, meat juices, leather, white pepper, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  This has solid fruit and spice on the plush and velvety palate.  The palate leans heavily on the tart cherries and Asian spices, but the pepper, plums, and pepper spread out to totally envelope the palate in flavor.  The long, lingering finish echoes the palate with the spicy, cherries and a touch of earthiness seeming to never totally fade.  This is a fantastic value that should find a place in your cellar.  This can be enjoyed over the next 4 to 5 years.    (91 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2006 Rosenblum Cellars Petite Sirah Heritage Clones – $12.99

 

My comments

I may be in the minority, but in my opinion, this winery has fallen off the cliff since Kent Rosenblum sold his namesake winery and Jeff Cohn left as the winemaker.  This bottle is from the days when Rosenblum on the label meant you were getting some powerhouse juice in the bottle.  It looks like this wine has been dropped from the Rosenblum portfolio since the 2008 vintage is the last one I can see in existence.  One can hope, at some point the owners will attempt to bring the label back into prominence, but every passing vintage is diluting its value to long time fans.

 

Winery history

In 1978, Rosenblum Cellars opened its now-legendary home in Alameda, California; a place known more for its docks and shipyards than for winemaking. But then again, Kent Rosenblum, “The King of Zin,” always did things a little differently from the status quo.

 

When most of the established wineries in California were focused on their estate-grown wines, Kent chose to explore some of the unrecognized and underappreciated grape-growing areas of Northern California. He met families who had been growing grapes for generations; dedicated growers passionate about their vineyards, who worked tirelessly to grow the best grapes possible from old vines their families had planted years before.

 

Their efforts showcased the difference between mountainside and valley floor grapes, the importance of soil types and their influence on the taste of a wine. Kent was fascinated by the character and complexity of the Zin grapes produced by these old vines, and was determined to capture this spirit in a bottle.

 

Kent took grapes back to Alameda and began to make wines, acknowledging the contributions of his friends by placing the vineyard’s name on the bottle. Working out of a factory building near the docks, Kent and his crew looked more like longshoremen than winemakers. But the wine they made spoke for itself.

 

Rosenblum Cellars has become one the most-awarded and highly rated California Zinfandel portfolios. Our head winemaker, John Kane, and his team still travel all over California to find exceptional grapes – working to make bold, delicious wines. And if you’re ever in the neighborhood, we invite you to come visit us next to the docks in Alameda.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, leather, dark chocolate, plums, with lesser notes of cedar, earthy underbrush, and violets.  This is medium to full bodied with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  Mouth filling berries and spice coat the palate with pepper, spicy oak, and some earthiness adding nice depth.  The finish has decent length with the fruit and spice slowly giving way to a touch of excess oak.  All in all, a very nice, middle aged Petite Sirah that may be starting on a down hill curve.  Probably best over the next two, maybe three years.  (90 pts)

2006 Rosenblum Cellars Petite Sirah Heritage Clones

 

 

 

2007 Elyse Zinfandel A.K.A. – $20.00

 

My comments

Elyse has been one of my favorite wineries since my first visit there in 2001.  I was talking to an employee at Merryvale about the style of wines I liked and that I was on the lookout for leads to some nice Petite Sirah based wines.  All he said was, “You have to checkout Elyse”.  As soon as we got back in the car, I pulled out my guidebook of wineries, and looked them up.  According to the guide, they required a reservation so I called them.  About 30 minutes later we were met by a very gracious and inviting tasting room employee.  We spent the next hour trying just about everything they made.  We left with several bottles for the week and ordered a case to be shipped back home.

 

Since that day, Elyse has always been the first winery we visit when we make it to Napa.  I always have several bottles of Elyse wine in my cellar.  A quick check of my cellar on Cellar Tracker shows I currently have 22 bottles of Elyse wines and 12 from their other label, Jacob Franklin in stock.

 

Winery history

In 1983, Nancy and Ray arrived in California from Cape Cod to fulfill Ray’s dream of making wine and Nancy’s taste for adventure.  After working harvest at Mt. Eden Winery in Saratoga, they moved to NapaValley and became innkeepers for a bed &breakfast. Ray then spent formative time at Tonella Vineyard Management, where he gained philosophical perspective and practical knowledge working in the vineyards.  Ray’s nine year tenure at Whitehall Lane Winery under the tutelage of Art Finkelstein first as a cellar worker and then as head winemaker honed his skills in the art of blending and was the inspiration for Ray’s winemaking style today.

 

In 1987, Ray & Nancy started Elyse Winery with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard, which is still a cornerstone vineyard source for the winery. After a decade of nomadic winemaking at various custom crush facilities, in 1997 they purchased a small winery and vineyard on Hoffman Lane, the home of Elyse Winery and tasting room.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark maroon color.  The captivating nose features brambly berries, black pepper, smoke, meat juices, baking spices, and a touch of vanilla and leather.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, this has lost some of the “baby fat” and is now structured like a nice claret.  The peppery berries and spice dominate the palate but there are good earthy and savory notes coming in on the back end that add considerable depth.  The finish has good length and the fruit turns to more of a cherry element with the spice and earthy notes in the background.  This is in a very nice, food friendly place.  (91 pts)

2007 Elyse Zinfandel AKA

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Saxum

The next Offer from Saxum, their 2013 Winter Release, should hit the inbox on January 14th.  This release will include the following wines:

2010 Broken Stones

2010 Booker Vineyard

2010 Heart Stone Vineyard

2010 Bone Rock

 

Quivet

The next release for Mike Smith’s Quivet label will hit on January 8th.  This release will include:

2011 Quivet Cellars Syrah, Kenefick Ranch Vineyard   $38

2011 Quivet Cellars Syrah, Las Madres Vineyard Hulda Block  $40

2012 Quivet Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Tench Vineyard   $25

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

I’ll have some wine to report here in my next post on Sunday.  Hopefully my Bedrock wine will arrive if FedEx can figure out where it is.  According to the tracking info, it arrived in Sacramento on Sunday afternoon but never left the facility.

 

I also have some wine to pickup at the local store and I received a nice Pinot from Tolosa that arrive earlier in the week.

 

 

 

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!

 

Nov 23, 2012 to Nov 25, 2012

 

 

2005 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard – Gift from friend

 

My comments

This was a birthday gift from a friend a few years ago.  I don’t know the release price, but the average cost on Cellar Tracker is about $30.

 

I’ve been a big fan of Jaffurs for close to a decade.  In my opinion, the winery has hit the right formula for success.  Their wines are impressive across the board.  I’m really looking forward to trying this wine.

 

Winery history

Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhone varietal wines with a new-world independence.  Our wines -Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Viognier, and Roussanne – are among the best in the county.  Owner/winemaker Craig Jaffurs, produced his first professional wines during the 1994 harvest.  All our wines are carefully made in small lots.  Only about 3500 cases are produced each year – production is limited.  We work closely with our growers in the Santa Ynez, Santa Rita, Los Alamos, and the Santa Maria growing regions.  We limit vineyard yields and require that optimal farming practices are observed.  All our wines are crushed, pressed, cellared and bottled in our Santa Barbara facility.  Visit us for a glimpse of world class winemaking in the heart of the city.  2007 is our 14th harvest!

 

In September of 2001 we completed construction of our new winery facility in the city of Santa Barbara.  This modern, climate controlled facility allows us to make wine at a natural and careful pace.  (Plus, it is only seven minutes from home!)  We process all the fruit for our harvest here and the resulting wines show the benefits of this improved process.

 

For more information, visit http://www.jaffurswine.com/index.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very dark purple color, almost black.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, blueberries, white pepper, baking spices, melted licorice, violets, and some dark chocolate.  This is medium to full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  Ripe, juicy, spicy berries dominate the palate with some very nice licorice and dark chocolate coming through on the backend.  The bright acidity and tannins keep the wine in check and actually makes it seem a bit lighter in body than the 15.8% alcohol lead me to expect.  The wine has a long finish with the juicy berries and spices slowly fading.  The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden with just a touch peeking through on the finish.  An outstanding Petite Sirah that is drinking perfectly today but with enough acidity and tannins to easily cellar for several more years.  (94 pts)

 

 

 

2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains – $45.00

 

My comments

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

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

http://stefaniawine.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, baking spices, forest floor, vanilla, and some violets.  This has a medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine had juicy, spicy, red fruit with some earthiness adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with the spicy oak adding to the core of earthy, red fruit.  This is very tasty today but will reward another year or two in the cellar.  (91 pts)

 

 

 

2005 Viñas del Cenit Vino de la Tierra de Zamora Venta Mazarrón – $13.99

 

My comments

I bought this bottle a few years ago at the local wine store, but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to opening it.  It’s time to rectify that situation.  I’m a big fan of Spanish Tempranillo wines, so I’m looking forward to trying this one.

 

Winery history

 

I could not find a website for the winery, the following was courtesy of wine.com at

http://www.wine.com/v6/Vinas-del-Cenit/learnabout.aspx?winery=17680

 

 

Tierra del Vino de Zamora is a historic region that goes back much further than other regions which posses DO status.  No other wine-producing region in Spain has a similar title, and in fact some of the 56 towns that are located within the area include ‘del vino’ in their title: Morales del Vino, Corrales del Vino, El Cubo del vino…

The Tierra del Vino is dissected by the famous Vía de la Plata, which dates back to the Roman Empire.  It originally ran through the cities of Mérida and Astorga, serving as a route used by Roman troops and merchants.  The region’s climate is unique within the northern plateau, its temperature being the highest on average in Castilla y León.

 

Viñas del Cénit’s vineyards are organized in small parcels of land planted with a substantial amount of old Tempranillo vines, some of which are over a hundred years old and ungrafted.  The soil is calcareous, gravel and sand-based, with a layer of red clay underneath.

 

The young oenologist Almudena Alberca from Salamanca has had ties to Viñas del Cénit since its inception in 2003. She is in charge of supervising the vineyards and also of the vinification processes.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark garnet color.  The very nice nose has black cherries, vanilla, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and hints of dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, and wild flowers.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice spicy, earthy fruit on the palate with dried herbs, espresso, and dark chocolate adding nice depth and complexity.  The finish is very tasty but a touch short.  A pretty nice lower end Tempranillo that will not disappoint.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

2000 Château La Tour Carnet – $26.32

 

My comments

I grabbed a couple bottles of this wine upon release as part of the purchase of a few cases of the “vintage of the century”.  The last couple bottles of 2000 Bordeaux wines have seemed to be entering a nice drinking window.  Hopefully this one will keep the good drinking streak going.

 

Winery history

Ongoing efforts since 1962 have brought the wines of Château La Tour Carnet to a point of perfect expression of the qualities of its unique terroir.  This drive for quality has accelerated since April 2000 thanks to the new owner, Bernard Magrez.

 

The cohesion of a team dedicated to perfectionism, plot-by-plot management, and respect for tradition associated with the most advanced techniques, are the guarantee of a new objective: to reveal the full potential of the terroir.

 

Much more background and history available at:

http://www.latour-carnet.com/reveler-le-potentiel-du-terroir-us

 

My Tasting Note

The wine was badly corked!  Backup bottle time.

 

 

 

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – $30.00

 

My comments

My original choice to go with dinner was badly corked, so I needed to grab a last minute replacement bottle.  I’ve had a few bottles of this wine in the past and though it does improve with some air, it’s generally good to go.

 

This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petit Verdot.

 

Winery history

As many of you know, when we started making our own wines in 1987, we named the tiny, 200 case operation after our daughter, Elyse.  Not wanting to leave our son, Jake, out of loop, we eventually named our Rhone blend after him – anyone remember “Jake’s Cuvee”?  It wasn’t enough, because at the ripe age of eight Jake asked, “When do I get my own label without her name on it?”  Good point!  And as parents not wanting to show favoritism, why not create a namesake label for him as well?

 

Jacob Franklin Cellars debut bottling was in 1998 and we fondly and literally refer to it as the brother label of Elyse Winery.  By this time, we had gained access to small quantities of extremely allocated fruit from some highly desirable vineyards in the valley and this label was the perfect place to showcase them along with our only estate wine, Hoffman Lane Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Jacob Franklin Cellars is focused on small production, low yield, vineyard designate wines from NapaValley. Due to the extremely limited production, these wines are available exclusively through the winery at: https://www.net10.net/ShoppingCart/buy/ProductList.asp?sid=64&xs=Y&pcids=548

 

or via the wine club at:

http://elysewinery.com/club.html

 

My Tasting Note

Pretty much pop and pour due to a different wine being corked.  The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The fantastic nose has cassis, dried herbs, licorice, baking spices, cherries, cigar box, smoke, and minerals.  This had medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows very nice spicy fruit full of dried herbs and a touch of licorice.  The wine has a long, lingering finish full of sweet berries, spices, and the dried herbs.  This is the real deal, with no rough edges.  This wine is very highly recommended.  (94 pts)

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Bedrock

It sounds like the Bedrock Winter release may hit the inbox this week.  The vast array of wines being made by the winery always makes it tough to select a case of wine.  This is one winery where it is too easy to get carried away and have multiple cases show up on your door step.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

The short week due to the holiday meant no shipments coming in from California.  Even though I stopped in the local wine store, I held off on any purchases until their big tasting event next weekend.

 

 

 

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!

 

Oct 22, 2012 to Oct 25, 2012

 

 

 

2007 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard – $14.99

 

My comments

I grabbed a few bottles of this wine at a blow out price of $15, based on the wine’s reputation.  We opened a bottle in January 2011, but it was WAY too oaky for our tastes.  I decided to leave it in the cellar for another year or two to see if the oak would integrate, at least a little.

 

Winery history

Richard Sanford came to the Santa Ynez Valley 40 years ago with the desire to create wines that would rival the best of France.  First to recognize the potential of the Santa Rita Hills (now an officially accredited American Viticultural Area as Sta. Rita Hills), and first to plant Pinot Noir vines there, Richard is a pioneer with a well established reputation for excellence in winemaking.

 

Working in partnership for more than 30 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple, successful winegrowing enterprises.  Their latest venture, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, represents the culmination of a lifetime’s experience – an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and environment-friendly commerce.

 

The winery, owned by Richard Sanford, dubbed the father of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir and the first to plant the vine there, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 27.

 

After nearly a half-century of ups and downs in the wine business, Sanford admitted that he’d rather be riding off into the sunset than trying to save the family farm.  “It is true that I have been doing this for 44 years, and Thekla and I were looking forward to having some quiet time,” said Sanford.  “But that’s just not possible yet.”

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The big and bold nose has cherries, black raspberries, baking spices, cedar, wild flowers, smoke, and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and tart acidity.  Tart cherries hit the palate first, followed by some spices and earthiness before the oak takes over, which it does in a big way.  The finish is fairly long but just about totally oak driven.  If you like oak dominated wine, you’ll like this a lot more than I do.  (86 pts)

 

 

 

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvée 32” – $17.04

 

My comments

We have visited the AlexanderValley based Trentadue Winery a few times in the past and always had a good time and an even better tasting.  This is a long time favorite wine in my house.  The blend varies each vintage, this one is 49% Sangiovese, 27% Merlot, 8% Montepulciano, 8% Malbec, 7% Petite Sirah, and 1% Syrah.  This wine has enough acidity from the Sangiovese to stand up to dishes with tomatoes but the other grapes lend enough body and oomph to stand up to meat.  We like this wine with everything from pasta with meat sauce to Veal Parmesan and baked ziti.

 

Winery history

The Trentadue family arrived in SonomaCounty long before their region gained a reputation as the Wine Country. Life-long, hands-on agriculturists, Evelyn and Leo Trentadue contributed significantly to the advancement of their region over the years. In 1959, the Trentadues decided to flee the developers encroaching on their apricot and cherry orchards in Sunnyvale, the area known today around the world as Silicon Valley. To preserve their way of life, these hard-working Italian ranchers purchased 208 acres of land in SonomaCounty’s then remote AlexanderValley.

 

See more at:  http://www.trentadue.com/winery/heritage.asp

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  On very enticing nose there are cherries, raspberries, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, blackberries, black pepper, and violets.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is full of tart, spicy, fruit with nice earthy elements and some pepper adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long and features tart, juicy cherries, licorice, and some earthiness.  This is a very nice “Super Tuscan” from California.  Tastes fantastic today, but this will last in the cellar for up to five years.  (91 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $17.50

 

My comments

This is one of my all time favorite QPR values.  This is a Zinfandel that is every bit as good as ones that are on shelves at $30 or more, and it cost me well under $20.

 

Winery history

Carlisle is a winery that started as a classic “garage winery” for Owner/Winemaker Mike Officer.  His first foray into wine making was making 5 gallons of Zinfandel in his kitchen.  Over the next several years, with the help of his wife Kendall (Carlisle), and some friends, he produced a barrel of wine each vintage.  During this period, he also has a “real job” as a software developer.  To make a long story short, eventually the software developer title was left in the rear view mirror and Owner/Winemaker became his new title.  I highly recommend checking out the complete story at http://www.carlislewinery.com/about.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  On the big but civilized nose there are brambly berries, black pepper, dark chocolate, vanilla, licorice, dried herbs, smoke, wild flowers, and a touch of earthiness.  This is medium to full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a load of peppery berries with licorice, dried herbs and a bit of earthiness adding depth and complexity.  The finish is long and features the peppery berries.  An incredible wine and an absolute steal for under $20.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Novy Family Wines Grenache Judge Family Vineyard – $19.00

 

My comments

I really like wines from California made with grapes native to France’s RhoneValley.  The thing I most like is what frustrates a lot of people, the variety.  There are soft and fruity wines, full bodied and bold wines, and medium bodied versions full of black pepper and spice.  I like the wines made by Novy because they are usually in the third category, medium bodied and full of spice.  This style is the closest to the styles made in France and also the most food friendly.

 

Winery history

We met Dianna Lee at an in store wine tasting here in the Milwaukee area a couple years ago.  While we talked she mentioned going to college in East Texas.  After talking a bit more, it turned out she was in college about a mile from our house while we were living in Nacogdoches, TX.  We were able to talk about having Margaritas in a local Mexican Restaurant.  There’s a good chance we were all enjoying happy hour together, a few tables apart.  Who knows, maybe La Hacienda closed down because they lost all our business when we moved to Milwaukee and Dianna met Adam and moved to wine country.  Truly a small world.

 

For us, the beauty of making our own wine is the total freedom to do it our way, without compromise. Although it is necessary to be able to adapt to new circumstances with each and every vintage, we have found that these principles hold true year after year.

 

We believe that great wine is made in the vineyard. Only with great grapes can we produce great wines. To this end, we purchase the majority of our fruit by the acre rather than by the ton.

We believe in minimal intervention winemaking that promotes, rather than overshadows the work we do in the vineyard.

Most importantly, we believe that wine should be a pleasure to drink. If you don’t like the way a wine tastes, what’s the point? Novy Family wines are made to be enjoyed with good friends and good food.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color, much lighter at the edge.  The very interesting and unique nose has raspberries, earthy underbrush, black pepper, dried herbs, baking spices, smoke, licorice, cherries, and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate a nice hit of cherry and raspberry precedes a blast of savory elements including black pepper, dried herbs, and nice earthy notes.   The finish is fairly long and leans towards the savory spectrum with nice cherry and raspberry in the background adding subtle sweetness.  Not a fruit forward, fruit bomb, very food friendly.  I like this a lot and feel it should last in the cellar for another year, maybe two.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

Nice delivery of samples from Elyse for me to review arrived today.  I look forward to sampling them in the next couple of weeks.  The reviews will be in a special edition of Cliff’s Wine Picks.  Selections include 2008 Morisoli Zinfandel, 2010 Barrel SelectNapa Valley Petite Sirah, and the 2007 Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

The Loring e-mail with their non Pinot Noir wine hit and I immediately grabbed several bottles.  My main buys were the Grenache and the Convergence wines.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

I received the samples noted above from Elyse, but that is all, so far.  If everything gets delivered tomorrow that is due, I’ll receive wine from Core (WineWoot), Garagiste Wine, and from a new favorite, Ledge.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

If you want me to review your wines, see my Sample Policy or e-mail me at Cliff@CliffsWinePicks.com

 

 

 

Cheers!

Oct 19, 2012 to Oct 21, 2012

 

 

 

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section – $19.00

 

My comments

One of my wife’s all time favorite wines.  How much does she like it?  Per Cellar Tracker I bought a total of 33 bottles, and his will be the 24th bottle we’ve opened since December 2009.

 

I should add I like this wine as well.  I still do not understand how it was such a slow mover at the local wine store.  This is part of my last case which only cost me $19.00, a bottle.  A steal based on the $35 release price.

 

Winery history

Stuart Miller is the winemaker and caretaker of the vineyard: this is truly a hands-on winery where every step of production from vineyard to bottling is overseen by Stuart himself.  His family are involved in all stages of the process, picking grapes, pruning vines, bottling, packaging and more.

 

Oliverhill was established in the early 1970s and the Miller family moved in during the early 1990s.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The very inviting nose is full of blackberries, black pepper, vanilla, smoldering charcoal, licorice, leather, wild flowers, and dark chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine gives a big blast of ripe, juicy berries with spicy oak and black pepper adding nice savory elements.  This is a big, bold, and ripe wine that pushes the ripeness but does not cross over into the sweet or syrupy level.  (93 pts)

 

 

 

2011 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

 

My comments

Having a little Rosé tasting with a friend today, so my contributions are this wine and the Bedrock listed below.  These two along with the One Time Spaceman MCA Rosé were the work horse wines this Summer in my house.

 

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.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very nice looking pinkish salmon color.  The very crisp and clean nose has strawberries, white peaches, cherries, Asian spices, citrus zest, and a touch of earthiness.  Light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness makes for a very nice, easy drinking wine on a warm evening.  The palate has nice crisp, sweet fruit and spices with some earthiness lurking in the background.  The finish shows nice length with the fruit and spice slowly giving way to a touch of mouthwatering, citrusy acidity.  A very nice Rose with or without food.  (91 pts)

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé – $18.00

 

My comments

Having a little Rosé tasting with a friend today, so my contributions are this wine and the Villa Creek listed above.  These two along with the One Time Spaceman MCA Rosé were the work horse wines this Summer in my house.

 

 

Winery history

Bedrock is an itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop. Fruit from only the most excellent vineyard sites is hand pitch-forked into the destemmer, fermented in open top redwood and stainless vats using only native yeasts, and are manually basket pressed by winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson into the sexiest oak from the coldest French forests.

 

The winery’s objectives are:

.  To channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines.

.  To spread the gospel of Syrah in California by sourcing fruit from great terroirs throughout the NorthCoast.

.  To proclaim the greatness of Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by sparing no expense on wines of uniqueness and personality.

.  To reclaim rose’ from the excesses of saignee and focus on precision, delicacy, aromatics, and food friendliness.

.  To make fascinating and quixotic white wines from unique sites and interesting varietals.

.  To make California Pinot Noir that ages as well as ’74 Swan.

.  To dream big but keep production low!

 

My Tasting Note

A nice, light, pinkish salmon color. Minerals, strawberry, white pepper, melons, orange zest, and a bit of dusty earthiness on the very appealing nose.  Light body with crisp acidity.  A very dry rose with nice minerality and fruit with the white pepper and citrus making an appearance on the back end.  Nice, lingering, mouthwatering finish.  The real deal.  Even those who like a crisp French Rose will find pleasure in this wine.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2005 Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino – $26.91

 

My comments

I’ve been wanting to check in on this wine again.  We had a bottle about a year and a half ago and though it was enjoyable, I felt it needed some additional cellar time.

 

Winery history

The “Caparzo” name seems to originate from Ca’ Pazzo, as seen in several ancient maps.

The vineyards, cellars and all wine-making equipment were developed towards the end of the 1960s, with progressive adaptation and constant up-dating of both the land and the cellars.

Innovative cultivation systems and, in particular, several clones are still experimented today on the estates – extending over an area of 200 hectares (470 acres), comprising 90 hectares of vineyards, 4 of olive groves, 87 of woodlands and 19 of sowable land.

 

Caparzo aims to ensure top quality products through meticulous, craftsmanlike techniques while equally taking a modern approach to management, efficiency and business relationships.

More than forty years have passed from the first rows of vines and from the first wine-shop experiences.

Caparzo has since grown while keeping faith with the traditions of Brunello and the various local terroirs, at the same time as enhancing its wines with creative spirit and dedication to innovation as a means of ensuring the highest possible quality.

This is why Caparzo wines are served by the most famous restaurants in the world, as well as at international meetings and on official State occasions.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about two hours.  The wine is a ruby to garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  On the very nice nose there is cherry, raspberry, well worn leather, cedar, sautéed mushrooms, baking spices, dried herbs, wild flowers, and earthy underbrush.  This is medium body with moderate, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine has a nice initial attack on the palate but the oak eventually takes over.  The finish had nice length but the oak once again dominates.  A bit of excess oak can be over looked, but this is a couple steps beyond just excess.  Hopefully I’m just catching it at a bad time and the other elements will show up, but for now, let this one sleep unless an abundance of oak is not a problem for you.  Checking an earlier tasting note, I didn’t list excess oak as being a problem.  I’m leaning towards catching the wine at a bad point in its evolution.  If that is the case, my score will be dreadfully low.  (86 pts)

 

 

 

We had the Brunello with some Tortellini in Marinara Sauce with Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, and fresh Basil.  A fantastic pairing!

 

 

 

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek – $9.97

 

My comments

The 2007 vintage of this wine was a show stopper for under $10.  When the local received a small cache of the 2008 vintage and made it available for $10 via an e-mail offer, I had to grab a case.  My first bottle wasn’t up to the level of the 2007, but it showed considerable promise.  I don’t know the story behind this vintage since the winery’s website says the 2007 was the last one produced.

 

Winery history

At Wild Hog Vineyard it is difficult to separate the wine from the winemaker. Daniel Schoenfeld began making wine as a home winemaker in 1977. He loved good food and wine and wanted to share his enjoyment with friends. He and Marion, his wife and co-owner, are both gardeners with a passionate belief in sustainable living. Marion tends a three acre organic garden which produces the vegetables and fruits that the family consumes. Daniel farms the five acre vineyard above the house. Together with their two children, Iris and Ariel, they harvest the bounty from the land. They take from the land only what they give in return.

 

As a winemaker, Daniel has a very simple view-allow the fruit to speak for itself. All Wild Hog wines are unfiltered allowing the full flavor to be extracted. The grapes are picked ripe and crushed (or de-stemmed) into open top fermentors-1 to 4 ton size. Yeast is added and the must will ferment 10 to 21 days, until dry. The must is then pressed and the juice held in American oak barrels. After 12 months in the barrel for Pinot Noir and 18 months for Zinfandel, the wine is bottled at the winery, using our own equipment. Since we do no filtering, the wine is racked two or three times during its time in the barrel. The winery produces between 3000 to 4000 cases per year, depending on harvest and availability of good fruit.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The intriguing nose has blackberries, black pepper, minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, violets, dried herbs, and some earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows peppery, crushed berries, some earthiness and minerality, and the eucalyptus note on the back end.  The finish has very nice fruit and savory elements, and has decent length.  I really like the mint/eucalyptus note that carries through from the nose to the finish.  The label says 15% alcohol, but it seems much lower.  This is not a big, ripe, fruit forward wine like the 2007.  (90 pts)

 

 

 

2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard – $30.00

 

My comments

The Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Cabernets have been a personal favorite for several years.  The Mosisoli Cabernet, like a lot of the great Napa Valley Cabs taste very nice upon release, but some time in the cellar helps bring out the nuances and terrior, transforming them into something special.

 

Winery history

NapaValley’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 very nice, deep ruby color, showing absolutely no sign of age.  The outstanding nose has cassis, smoke, well worn leather, fresh ground coffee, dark chocolate, dried herbs, tobacco, and a faint hint of cedar.  This is medium bodied with nice, ripe, integrated tannins and very nice acidity.  The wine is very civilized and refined on the palate with a nice fruit to savory balance.  The finish is long and full of cassis, dried herbs, and dark chocolate.  Very food friendly, but I’m very much enjoying a post dinner glass.  This can easily rest in the cellar for a few more years, but it is stunning today.  (94 pts)

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Loring Wine Company

This could get costly.  Loring is one of our favorite wineries.  They are mainly into making big and ripe Pinot Noirs, but have branched out a bit.  Now they are going about three steps beyond just branching out.  In their next release on October 24th, they will be releasing five wines, none of which is Pinot Noir based.  This release will include the following:

 

2011 Grenache

Amazingly pure high notes of blackberry, plum, and red and black cherry. Plush and rich, but the acidity keeps it bright and focused. Concentrated but not heavy. Spice and minerality round out the finish.

 

2011 Mourvedre

A symphony of blackberry, coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Great intensity and precision, with depth and richness. Once again, great acidity holds everything together in one seamless chorus of deliciousness.

 

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

A dizzying array of blackberry, red and black cherry aromas and flavors, along with deep crème de cassis. Nice elements of baking spice and toasty oak. Muscular, dense, and concentrated on the palate, but still bright with a surprisingly elegant finish due to great acidity.

 

2010 Convergence (75% Grenache / 25% Mourvedre)

Super intense with layers of ripe raspberry, blackberry, baking spice, and vanilla that jump out of the glass. Deep and concentrated on the palate, with additional notes of smoked meat and minerality in the finish. An immense wine that’s still light on its feet.

 

2010 Divergence

The 2010 is a little less crazy than our past two vintages, but it’s still one of the biggest, baddest wines you’ll ever come across. Massive in every way, but still amazingly balanced. Blackberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla cascade over your palate. Insanely concentrated and mouth-coating, but with stunning acidity that keeps the finish bright and focused.

 

Visit http://loringwinecompany.com/ for more information or even better, to sign up for the mailing list.

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

Direct from the winery:

(6) 2007 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown DiamondMountain

(4) Villa Creek Mas de Maha

(3) Vila Creek Avenger

(2) Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard

 

From local wine store:

(6) 2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc SantaRitaHills – Sta.RitaHills

(3) 2007 Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino

(2) 2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvée 32”

(1) 2009 Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir Riviera

 

 

 

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!

 

Oct 5, 2012 to Oct 7, 2012

 

 

 

2004 Elyse Petite Sirah Rutherford – $26.99

 

My comments

Elyse is one of my favorite wineries when it comes to reasonably priced, larger framed, red wines.  Elyse is usually our first stop when we visit wine Napa, and we have been known to stop again before we head home.  We love all their red wines and their Petite Sirahs have always been top notch.  I highly recommend stopping by if you ever find yourself in Napa and want to avoid the usual high traffic areas.  The winery is not far off of Highway 29 just north of the city of Napa before you get to Yountville.   You’ll thank me later.

 

Winery history

NapaValley’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.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour.  The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, dying embers, licorice, dark chocolate, violets, and a touch of vanilla.  This is full bodied with solid, slightly rustic, mouth coating tannins and good acidity.  The berries, dark chocolate, and pepper grab the palate almost immediately and then the slightly drying tannins kick in, clipping the finish fairly severely.  This still needs some time in the cellar for the tannins to integrate.  If you open a bottle now, give it plenty of air, probably a few hours.  My remaining bottles will sleep for at least another two years, probably longer.  (90 pts, this wine is hard to rate at this point, but I feel it will be 92-94 pts in a couple years)

 

 

 

A quick stop at the local UPS Depot netted me a couple wine samples from Mondavi, a book, salami, recipes and other swag.  These bottles will be featured in a future blog posting, but I don’t think the salami will make it through the weekend, it looks good!

 

 

 

1996 Klein aux Vieux Remparts Riesling Burgreben Alsace – $18.93

 

My comments

Another bottle from my stash of aged Rieslings.  This one is from the Alsace region in France.  I had a bottle several months ago and with a touch of air and warming up a bit, it was outstanding.  I may give it a quick decant to help it shake off the cobwebs and warm it up a touch since that helped last bottle.  We love older Rieslings, but I have far more experience with ones from Germany.

 

Winery history

I couldn’t find too much information on the winery to do with their history.

 

For your reading pleasure, here is a write up from Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste on this wine:

 

When we get a chance to acquire a wine with this age and this level of provenance we jump in head first.

 

It’s not often you get the opportunity to acquire cellar stock from a decade ago, nearing its peak drinking window – especially from Alsace. This wine is going to blow people out of their socks (well, not literally but you know what I mean)…

 

I originally inquired about this wine after tasting it at a dinner last winter in Strasbourg where a local collector was trying to showcase the best unknown producers in Alsace. I couldn’t find any at the winery but I found a few bottles at a local retailer and was told he had access to three more cases that were lying in the winery cellar as a library release. I inquired again at the winery and due to persistence was told there were “a few cases” but no more. I visited, tasted the wine again and walked through the cellar where I found a stash of this, unlabeled and full of the typical dust and mold one finds in decade-old bottles resting in a cave. I asked if indeed there were more than “a few” cases available and indeed there were (remember, this started as “nothing available”, “a few” and now “more than a few” – such is the nature of my job, gentle prodding that can seem determined to many Europeans but the results are in your cellar).

 

Hand-picked and hand made, this is an esoteric bottle of wine that contains a mystery of flavor and stony but honeyed Riesling fruit that is strong but medium in weight and beautifully balanced. It is just starting to mature and open and its best days are well ahead of it. Klein is known to have some of the longest-lived examples in Alsace (even the Trimbachs are fans) and 1980s examples are still going strong (even an early 1990s Muscat tasted was magical). The Klein Burgreben reminds me of a junior version of Boxler’s Riesling “Brand” from the 1996 vintage (or even Tempe’s 1998 Burgreben which is quite close) and I liken this offer to one of the Schloss Schonborn deals we had over the winter – cellar stock that is in absolutely pristine condition.

 

While we have the opportunity, I urge you to partake of this shimmering, lightly golden elixir – it’s just a great bottle of terroir-focussed Riesling (this time dry), directly from the winery cellar and never moved since bottling. The wine was just labeled on your behalf a week ago and sent on its way to us. For this price it makes a mockery of many of the world’s current Riesling release offers.

 

My Tasting Note

This is much better at a slightly warmer temperature.  This is a light golden yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, lime zest, pears, petrol, minerals, and orange blossoms.  This is dry with light body and tart, citrusy acidity.  The wine’s finish has very good length with loads of minerals and citrus zest.  Drinking very nicely today, but no real hurry on this one, it should hold a few more years in the cellar.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Keplinger Grenache Red Slope Knights Valley – $50.00

 

My comments

This is another mailing list only wine that I was fortunate to join before they started getting high scores from the wine publications.  The “rock star” winemaker, Helen Keplinger is now the winemaker for the “cult” winery, Bryant Family, which appeared to be a bit outside of her normal “comfort zone” since she made her name and honed her talents working mainly with the Rhone varietals.  I bought several bottles of this wine, but have been patient long enough, one gets popped tonight.

 

Winery history (actually Winemaker background)

I always had an intense curiosity for science, a huge appreciation of art, and a gravitation toward and revitalization in nature – all which dynamically come together in winemaking. In 1998, I moved to California to attend the MS program in Enology at UCDavis.

 

After Davis, I worked with Heidi Barrett, Kathy Joseph, consultant Claude Gros, and David Abreu. Since 2004, I have been the winemaker for some exciting projects, including Cellers Melis (Priorat), Kenzo Estate, FortRoss, Sarocka, Scully, and Arrow & Branch. I am currently focused solely on Keplinger Wines and Bryant Family Vineyards.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a medium to dark violet color.  The wine has an enticing nose with raspberry, strawberry, olives, minerals, wild flowers, roasted meat, fresh brewed tea, dried herbs and spices.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, slightly drying tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate features nice, savory tinged fruit in the front with dried herbs and a touch of spicy oak in the background.  Very nice length on the finish which leans very heavily on the dried herbs and spices.  Don’t open this looking for an easy drinking, fruit forward wine.  This is very serious and in need of a couple more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

 

About a half bottle was recorked and left on the counter.  The next day the tannins had integrated and lost the dryness.  The fruit has also come to the forefront and has pushed the still present savory notes into the background.  The wine is now much smoother and polished.  Leave these in the cellar of give them a ton of air.

 

 

 

2003 Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet – $29.99

 

My comments

I’m in the mood for a nice Bordeaux.  I saw my stack of 2003 Pontet-Canet but decided it was WAY too early to open one of them.  Then I remembered I grabbed a few of this, their second wine.  This should be at least getting close to a nice drinking window, so one get opened later today.  I’ll probably open the bottle later and decide if it needs decanted or if it’s ready to rock.

 

Winery history

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century. Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet. This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

 

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc. This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865. He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine’s reputation around the world. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

 

Over two centuries Pontet-Canet has been owned by three different families. Today it is run by Alfred Tesseron with his niece Melanie (daughter of Gerard Tesseron) who is the descendant of Guy Tesseron. Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac the Tesseron have the satisfaction of knowing that they have gradually replanted some of the vineyard and renovated the buildings and the wine making facilities.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour and a half.  The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter at the edge.  The very nice nose has cassis, spice box, minerals, dried herbs, graphite, leather, some earthy underbrush, and a touch of cherry.  This is medium bodied with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice length on the finish which features the dried herbs, and spices, with the fruit leaning more towards cherry than cassis.  Still a bit young, but outstanding for a second label.  (91 pts)

 

 

 Mailing Lists

 

The mailing list season is just about over.  There may be a few stragglers or lists that are looking to move a few less popular bottles, but for most of us, it’s “Shipping Season”.  Shipping Season is that glorious time of the year where generic cardboard boxes arrive, and like kids at Christmas, we rip into the boxes.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

 

 

 

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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