Posts tagged ‘Gnarly Dudes’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Mar 17, 2014 to Mar 23, 2014

 

 

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2011 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris

2012 Meiomi Pinot Noir Meiomi

2010 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica (Old Vines)

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – $23.74

The Two Hands wines have been favorites in my house for several years.  The Garden series wines are usually excellent, but have escalated in price.  To me, the second level of the Two Hands wines are the real sweet spot in their lineup.  These level offer high quality wines at relatively bargain prices.

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky, purple color. The burly nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, plums, meat juices, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, melted licorice, charcoal, and fresh wild flowers. The wine is medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity. On the palate there are loads of spicy, smoky, meaty berries with plums and dark chocolate coming in on the back end to add even more depth. The finish is long, juicy, and flavorful. A seamless, balanced, full flavored Shiraz with no rough edges. Enjoyable now and for the next five years.  (94 pts)

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

 

 

2011 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris – $29.99

This wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The awesome nose has blackberries, kirsch, dark chocolate, minerals, dark roast coffee, candied violets and a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This wine is loaded on the palate with up front fruit, minerals and dark chocolate with coffee and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long and again shows a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This wine has exceptional balance and is built to last in the cellar for several years.  This is very enjoyable today but will be even better in a few years.  (93 pts)

2011 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris

2011 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris

 

 

2012 Meiomi Pinot Noir Meiomi – $21.99

The grapes for this wine are from Monterey County (35%), Santa Barbara County (34%) and Sonoma County (31%).

 

This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The ripe and giving nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, blueberries, mint, wild flowers and a slight earthiness.  This has medium body, silky smooth tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is full of rich fruit and spice with a touch of mint coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with rich fruit carrying the load.  This has a touch of residual sweetness that makes the wine a nice stand alone glass of wine with friends.  (88 pts)

2012 Meiomi Pinot Noir Meiomi

2012 Meiomi Pinot Noir Meiomi

 

 

2010 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica (Old Vines) – $12.82

This is a blend of 85% Garnacha from 70-year-old vines and 15% Syrah from Spain’s Montsant region.

 

This wine has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a synthetic plastic stopper.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The enticing nose has black berries, cherries, baking spices, candied violets, white pepper, crushed stone minerality and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy berries grab your attention initially, slowly allowing minerals and white pepper to sneak in around the edges.  The finish has nice length with a nice candied floral note entering the picture.  This is a stunning bottle of wine for a touch over $10.  (92 pts)

2010 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica (Old Vines)

2010 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica (Old Vines)

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard – $66.33

This is one of the non Pinot Noir wines Brian Loring has produced.  Thus far, every one I have tried has been outstanding.  This wine is 75% Grenache and 25% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.

 

This wine has 15.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red, much lighter at the edge.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, cherries, earthy underbrush, minerals, plums, baking spices, mint and some dried herbs.  The wine has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate is loaded with spicy, juicy berries, but it’s not all about the fruit, there is also nice minerality, dried herbs, and earthiness coming in on the back end adding depth and complexity.  The fairly long finish is a nice continuation of the palate with some additional baking spices, mint, licorice and dried herbs kicking into high gear.  This is on the young side, but absolutely delicious today.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

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:

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

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!

 

Jan 11, 2013 to Jan 13, 2013

 

 

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch – $23.74

 

My comments

JC Cellars is a consistent producer of high quality, full bodied red wine and rich whites.  I grabbed a few bottles of this wine at an end-of-vintage sale at the local wine store.  I think it’s time to open one to see what I have.

 

Winery history

Jeff Cohn, the winemaker, president, and “JC” of JC Cellars got his start in the industry almost 20 years ago.  As an intern at Boordy Vineyards in Maryland, he drove an hour and half each way to prune vines in frigid weather, pick grapes in stifling heat, and scrub everything from barrels to floors.

 

Long before he began his winemaking career he received an associate degree in culinary arts from Johnson & WalesUniversity, and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from FloridaInternationalUniversity.

 

Cohn had always loved the hospitality industry, and as he worked through several high profile positions after college he found his passion for wine steadily growing.  The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn, until he realized that becoming a winemaker was his ultimate goal.  The job at Boordy was a deciding factor in the trajectory of his career — in spite of all the scrubbing.

 

With the encouragement and support of his family, Cohn moved to California in 1993 to follow his dream.  He earned his master’s degree in agriculture chemistry, with an emphasis on enology, from CaliforniaStateUniversity, Fresno in 1996.  It was here that Cohn discovered French winemaking techniques and the concept of terroir.  “The flavor profile was so different than anything else I had ever tried,” he says of the first Chateauneuf-du-Pape he tried in school.  “It was a shocker.  To go from tasting only single varietals to a blend really opened my eyes.”

 

For more info, visit http://www.jccellars.com/about-jeff-cohn.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The big and bold nose had blackberries, black pepper, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, underbrush, melted licorice, and wood smoke.  This has a full body, solid, chewy tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has an overload of ripe, juicy berries, pepper, dark chocolate and ground espresso.  The finish is fairly long and again, like the palate, is loaded with flavor.  The big, mouth coating tannins really kick in on the finish but the fruit and spice still shine through.  If you are not tannin adverse, this can be enjoyed now, if not, let this one sleep for a couple more years.  (93 pts)

2007 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – $23.74

 

My comments

The Two Hands wines have been favorites in my house for several years.  The Garden series wines are usually excellent, but have escalated in price.  To me, the second level of the Two Hands wines are the real sweet spot in their lineup.  High quality wines at relatively bargain prices.

 

Winery history (Core Values)

Quality without compromise is central to the Two Hands philosophy, driving all the decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion.

 

We strive to differentiate ourselves; to be unique, fun and innovative in our business approach while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity.

 

Our wines are made by a process of barrel classification – selecting the very best barrels for the Flagship range followed by Garden Series then our Picture Series.  This is achieved by sourcing the best parcels of fruit available to us from six premium regions within Australia.

 

We handle every parcel of fruit, however small, separately from crushing through to fermentation and oak maturation to ensure complexity and personality in the finished wines.

 

Fruit will be the primary feature of all our wines, with oak playing a supporting role.

 

Much more information available at:  http://www.twohandswines.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky, purple color.  The burly nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, plums, meat juices, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, melted licorice, charcoal, and fresh wild flowers.  The wine is medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate there are loads of spicy, smoky, meaty berries with plums and dark chocolate coming in on the back end to add even more depth.  The finish is long, juicy, and flavorful.  A seamless, balanced, full flavored Shiraz with no rough edges.  Enjoyable now and for the next five years.  (94 pts)

2010 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

 

 

2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel – $39.99

 

My comments

I grabbed a couple of these upon release and have been sitting on them for a few years.  This is the flagship wine from one of the highest quality producers and a fantastic vintage, how could this not be outstanding?  Well, opening it too early is the best way to have a less than stellar showing.  I hope I waited long enough.

 

Winery history

Tablas Creek is the realization of the combined efforts of two of the international wine community’s leading families, the Perrin family, proprietors of Château de Beaucastel, and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands.  They had since the 1970s believed the California climate to be ideal for planting Rhône varietal grapes.  In 1987, they began the lengthy process of creating a Châteauneuf-du-Pape style vineyard from scratch in the New World.  The Tablas Creek Vineyard Partnership was born, with the Perrin and Haas families as majority partners, and French and American wine loving friends as minority partners.

 

The partners searched California from the foothills of the Sierras in the north to coastal VenturaCounty in the south, looking for a close match to the Mediterranean climate and high pH soils of Château de Beaucastel.  In 1989, they purchased a 120-acre parcel twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean in west Paso Robles.  They named it Tablas Creek Vineyard, after the small creek running through the property.

 

The property elevation averages 1,500 feet, and the shallow, rocky limestone soils are of the same geologic origin as those at Beaucastel.  Summer days are hot and sunny, but the influence of the nearby Pacific cools the nights, and the remarkably Rhône-like Paso Robles climate allows the grapes to mature fully and yet retain crisp acidity.

 

Much more history and info available at:  http://www.tablascreek.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has blackberry, eucalyptus, kirsch, cherry, flower laden potpourri, minerals, licorice, Asian spices, and just a touch of underbrush.  This is medium to full body, with solid tannins and very good acidity.  Nice, bright, spicy fruit on the palate with minerals and a touch of mint.  The finish is very long and satisfying.  Not a big, in your face style of wine, this could very easily be slipped into a CdP tasting and not be out of place.  This is still on the young side, but still very tasty.  (95 pts)

2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel

 

 

 

2008 Saviah Cellars Une Vallée Walla Walla Valley – $31.76

 

My comments

This wine is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon Pepper Bridge and McClellan Vineyards, 38% Merlot, Seven Hills Vineyard, and 6% Cabernet Franc.

 

I bought one of these at the local store to try upon release, and immediately went back for more as soon as we opened the bottle.  It was very young but equally as impressive.  Time to see if a couple years in the cellar will be rewarded.

 

Winery history

Saviah Cellars is a family-owned and operated artisan winery located in the acclaimed Walla WallaValley of southeastern Washington.  The winery specializes in producing small quantities of ultra-premium wines that showcase the remarkable qualities of Washington’s finest vineyards.  Founded in 2000, the winery’s first vintage was only 300 cases.  Today, the winery produces approximately 9,500 cases of wine per year.

 

Winemaker Richard Funk and his wife Anita, both natives of Montana, moved to Walla Walla in 1991.  The name Saviah is a family name from Anita’s great-grandmother, a schoolteacher, artist and author, who settled in western Montana in the early 1900s.

 

The family’s heritage is also reflected in its Star Meadows white wine, the location of the original family homestead, its Une Vallée® red wine inspired by the current family homestead called “OneValley”, and its Big Sky Cuvée® in honor of their Montana roots.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby color.  The very nice nose has plums, cassis, dying wood embers, dried herbs, cherries, minerals, cedar, dark chocolate, and warm baking spices.  This has medium body with nice tannins and good acidity.  This has a nice melding of the fruit and savory notes on the palate with nothing appearing over bearing and omnipresent, just layers of flavor.  The finish is fairly long and again with no rough ends or out of place elements.  This is just entering a very nice drinking window and with the outstanding balance, should show well for several years.  (92 pts)

2008 Saviah Cellars Une Vallee

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Still receiving a lot of “save the date” messages, but not much in the way of releases…yet.

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Picked these up at the local wine store:

(3) 2009 Chateau Des Karantes Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape

(3) 2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spatlese

(6) 2007 Von Hovel Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese

(3) 2009 Domaine Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Sommelongue

(6) 2009 Domaine Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Sabrine

(3) 2009 Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Cuvee Fayard

 

Not bad, two cases with an average price of under $11 a bottle.

 

 

 

 

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 26, 2012 to Nov 29, 2012

 

 

1990 Schloss Schönborn Geisenheimer Schlossgarten Riesling Spätlese – $23.78

 

My comments

We’re real big fans of off-dry German Riesling wines with some age on them.  The overt sweetness and tingly acidity mellow and integrate over time leaving a delicious, food friendly elixir.  These wines are better defined as rich instead of sweet.  Try an aged Riesling with a spicy dish and you will become a fan.

 

Winery history

Schloss Schönborn – famous wines with a long tradition.  Located in the heart of the Rheingau valley, the Domänenweingut Schloss Schönborn has long stood for premium wine culture.

 

Many of the vineyards along the slopes bordering the RhineRiver have been part of the Schönborn family estate since 1349, which has been added to continuously since then.  Several top sites were acquired in the 17th and 18th centuries, giving the estate a real boost.  The estate now covers 50 ha, of which 90% are planted with Riesling.  The remaining vineyards feature Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc.  The Schloss Schönborn wine estate is one of the founder members of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP) and has for many years been managing its valuable vineyards in tune with nature.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, golden yellow color.  The very fresh smelling nose has lime zest, apples, honey, petrol, orange blossoms, and a touch of white pepper.  This is light to medium body with very nice, juicy, acidity and is nicely off dry, but not sugary sweet.  Juicy, honey drenched fruit and key lime greet the palate with just a touch of spice in the background.  The finish is very tasty but a bit short, with the key lime and honey carrying the major load.  Not my favorite from the Garagiste Riesling fest a few years ago, but still very enjoyable.  The wine lacks some complexity and length on the finish, but it still tastes marvelous.  This still tastes young and fresh for a 22 year old wine.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – $20.00

 

My comments

If you are a fan of a big, ripe, structured wine, you should know Two Hands.  Their wines are generally not for someone looking for subtly or nuance, they are bold, brash, and in your face.  Their take no prisoners style of wines have MANY fans including the wine related magazines that bestow high ratings and awards on them annually.  These wines are not ones you will want to have every day or even weekly, but once a month or so, these are very enjoyable.

 

Winery history

 

TWO HANDS WINES CORE VALUES

Quality without compromise is central to the Two Hands philosophy, driving all the decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion.

 

We strive to differentiate ourselves; to be unique, fun and innovative in our business approach while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and integrity.

 

Our wines are made by a process of barrel classification – selecting the very best barrels for the Flagship range followed by Garden Series then our Picture Series.  This is achieved by sourcing the best parcels of fruit available to us from six premium regions within Australia.

 

We handle every parcel of fruit, however small, separately from crushing through to fermentation and oak maturation to ensure complexity and personality in the finished wines.

 

Fruit will be the primary feature of all our wines, with oak playing a supporting role.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The outstanding nose features blackberry, licorice, blueberries, dark chocolate, black pepper, dried herbs, fresh violets, and a bit of vanilla.  This is fairly full bodied with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Loads of spicy, juicy berries greets the palate with some pepper and dried herbs in the background adding nice depth.  The finish is fairly long with the fruit slowly giving way to dried herbs and some chocolate.  This is big and rich but with the tannins and acidity to hold it all together.  This isn’t for everyone, but it tasted great to me tonight.  (92 pts)

 

 

2009 Waterbrook Cabernet Sauvignon – $9.49

 

My comments

This is one of the better, value priced, Cabernets out there.  This won’t rock your world, but it is generally a very nice, varietally correct, dry, structured, Cabernet that can be found for under $10.

 

Winery history

 

Waterbrook Winery was founded in 1984 by Eric and Janet Rindal and is located in WashingtonState’s lovely Walla WallaValley.

 

Waterbrook continues to be one of the Walla WallaValley’s largest producers of premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Melange wines.  Production is around 35,000 cases a year.  Waterbrook was selected by the editors of Wine Spectator as one of 50 great producers every wine lover should know for smart buys.  The tasting room in downtown Walla Walla pairs fine wine with fine art, providing a destination point of distinctive style.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very nice nose features plums, cassis, dried herbs, earthy elements, baking spices, minerals, and cherries.  This has a medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  There is a nice mix of savory and fruity elements on the palate with the savory elements up front and the fruit coming in on the back end.  Decent length on the finish which again has nice fruit, but the savory elements carry the load.  A very nice change of pace if you are tired of fruit forward California Cabernets.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Bedrock

As expected, the Winter offer from Bedrock hit the inbox this week.  Morgan is making growing number of wines that is making it hard to decide what to buy.  For instance, this offer included eight different wines but one was a VERY low production wine with limited availability.  These are generally very nice wines at customer friendly prices.  It’s no wonder the Bedrock mailing list is now full.  I would highly recommend joining the waiting list, your time will come.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

It’s been a quiet week so far.  I received an e-mail from Turley that my “The Label” cabs will be shipping soon, but the supplied tracking number shows the wine has not been picked up yet.

 

I did receive a sampler package from Franciscan Estates with the following:

2010 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Franciscan Estate Chardonnay

 

I’ve already had and reviewed the Cabernet, but I’ll try the Chardonnay soon and post my review.

 

 

 

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!

 

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