Posts tagged ‘Jacob Franklin’

Wine of the Week – 2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Hoffman lane cab outlines.ai

 

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

Ray Coursen, Winemaker & Owner

 

 

Overview

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.

 

 

The Winery

Winemaking is cooking without a flame. Our winemaking philosophy at Elyse in Napa Valley 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.

 

 

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 Napa Valley.  Due to the extremely limited production, these wines are available exclusively through the winery, website, and wine club.

 

Oh Brother!

 

Much more information on Elyse and Jacob Franklin is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

Elyse Sign

 

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – SRP $55.00 (Current vintage is 2008)

“My Sweetheart”

 

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

 

The total production was 375 cases.  The wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

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

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

Closing thoughts

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

 

 

 

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 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Apr 29, 2013 to May 2, 2013

 

 

2007 cc: Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

2007 Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard

 

 

2007 cc: Cabernet Sauvignon – $17.09

 

My comments

This was offered as an e-mail special at the local wine store.  I had to grab a few bottles, how bad could a 2007 Napa Cabernet be when you can get it for well under $20.  I figured this would be a good Cabernet for week day evenings.  According to the producer, “In 2007 we have found ourselves with the unique opportunity to work with one of the world’s most special vineyards and wineries. We are not allowed to tell you exactly who, but we can say it comes from the world-class hillsides above one of those quaint little towns along highway 29 in the Napa.”  I have no idea the source they used, but in the past the wine met my goal of being a decent week night cab.

 

Winery history

We have our own opinions on the way to make great wine.  Great land – excellent start.  Great juice – pretty essential.  Great weather – yes, please.  And trust us, we have all of the above going on – but we believe that one of the most important parts of making wine is the blending.  This is the part where you either shoot the stars and realize all the splendor of your vinous dreams or, alternatively, you can take some amazing ingredients and just muck it all up.  It is actually not unlike cooking.  How much fun is a dry-aged rib eye steak cooked till it’s grey? You like soggy pasta? How about that last fusion dish of blueberries and lobster? Well winemaking is no different.  Once the different pieces are made, they need to be put together in the right way to realize their true potential as one.  One where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and not some put-it-all-together preponderance of confusion.

 

This is where we get off in the creation of our new wines CC: Chardonnay and Cabernet.

 

This is an amazing time in the wine world – never has there been more great wine and never has there been more interest on our shores in drinking the good stuff.  Given that we spend our lives immersed in said stuff and manage to fly a few hundred thousand miles a year chasing it, one might assume that we’d have bumped in to some very special pieces along the way.

 

After having seen some really compelling possibilities and fueled by our motto of wine as a grocery, not a luxury we have decided to go for it.

 

So, we’re taking on two icons, two California classics; Chardonnay and Cabernet.  Long the standard bearers of quality in Cali, these two have become perhaps a bit big for their britches, a tad expensive and those oaky, heavy styles even a bit long in the tooth.  We want to be the opposite of all that is wrong with most of these wines and instead do right by Chardonnay and Cabernet in the GoldenState.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, dried herbs, cedar, baking spices, smoke, a touch of licorice, and some cherry.  This had medium body, fairly integrated tannins, and good acidity.  Smooth fruit and spice on the palate with a bit of dried herbs coming in on the back end.  Nice length on the finish but some spicy oak pops out.  A nice week night cabernet.  Not a lot of complexity, but tasty.  I’d drink this up before the fruit fades a bit and makes the oak even more prominent.  (87 pts)

2007 cc Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

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

 

My comments

This is quickly turning into one of my favorite wines.  I bought a case and this is the third bottle I have opened.  This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petit Verdot.  The number in the wine name indicates the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend.

 

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, website, and wine club.

 

Oh Brother!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby to maroon color.  The outstanding nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, licorice, baking spices, smoke, tobacco, minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, and cherries.  This had medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate has a wonderful blend of fruit and savory elements with everything in balance and harmonious.  The long, lingering finish has nice spicy cassis and dried herbs with just the right amount of spicy oak adding to the profile without being too obtrusive.  I love this wine.  (95 pts)

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

 

2007 Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas – $16.99

 

My comments

I ordered this in late 2008 from Garagiste.  By the time it arrived in their Washington warehouse all my other wines had shipped.  I cut down on my Garagiste purchases, so I received free storage for a couple of years.  I figured the wine was approaching a nice drinking window, so I made sure to order enough wine that these bottles would fill a case and be shipped.  This is my second of 6 bottles I purchased.  To me, Gigondas is a very unheralded area in the Rhone region of France.  These wines usually have a bit more richness than a Cotes du Rhone but in a lot of cases, they only cost a few dollars more.

 

Winery history

Alphonse Vautour, Jean-Marc Autran’s great-grandfather, made his wine in a cellar at the top of a little hill called Les Briguières, to the south of Sablet where he owned six hectares of vines.  The winery was named Ténébi, after the previous owner of the house.

 

Alphonse had to go down the hill, his mules loaded with barrels, to wait for the wine merchant to come by.  If the merchant didn’t come, or didn’t buy his wine, he had to climb back up with his reluctant mules.  So, in 1947 he decided to build a new winery on the road below, where the Piaugier cellars are to this day.

 

Jean-Marc Autran, Alphonse’s great-grandson, took over the winery from his father Marc in 1985.  He acquired more vineyards and, with the assistance of his wife Sophie, started bottling and developed sales.  The winery soon became too small and they extended it in 1995 to enable them to age and store the wines in the best possible conditions.

 

In homage to this family history, Jean-Marc has dedicated a wine to his ancestor, the Réserve Alphonse Vautour, which is made from grapes grown in his original fields.

 

Today, Piaugier wines are sold as far away as the United States, Japan and Brazil.

 

Much more information is available at http://www.domainedepiaugier.com/en_index.htm

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bit darker than a medium ruby color.  The very appealing nose has raspberries, baking spices, cherries, white pepper, dried herbs, fresh wild flowers, smoke, and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity.  Spicy fruit hits the palate first, followed by nice dried herbs, pepper, and a touch of scorched earth.  The finish has good length and leans more on the savory elements with the fruit providing nice background sweetness.  This is drinking very nicely today but can be enjoyed over the next few years.  (91 pts)

2007 Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas

 

 

 

I like pairing grilled pork chops with a nice wine from France’s Rhone region.  Tonight we grilled pork chops and asparagus and had a little potato salad.   The smoke from the grilled meat brought out the smoky element in the wine.

Pork chop dinner

 

 

 

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard – $14.24

 

My comments

When it comes to big, brawny, take no prisoner wines, this 16.5% ABV wine, is a heavy weight.  If it’s at all possible, the massive wine actually conceals most of the alcohol but a touch does peak out from around the corners.  I was able to snag a case of this for under $15 a bottle and it is an enjoyable bottle of wine, every once in a while.  There is absolutely nothing subtle about this wine and a lot of people will hate it even without trying it.

 

Winery history

We are fortunate to source our grapes from many of the most desirable vineyards in Santa BarbaraCounty and work with some of the most reputable growers in the area to help showcase the unique qualities of each these special vineyards.

 

Winemaker and co-owner, Brett Escalera works closely with the growers and in the vineyards to produce beautiful wines with a richness and elegance we hope to share all around the world.  While Consilience focuses loosely on Rhone varietals and few others we couldn’t resist, Consilience’s sister winery, Tre Anelli wines is inspired by the traditions of Italy and Spain with a Santa BarbaraCounty flare.

 

Whether you’re a fan of rich Rhone style wines or have a liking for Italian and Spanish style wines we hope both Consilience and Tre Anelli wines capture your attention!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color with a touch of bricking at the edge.  The dark and inviting nose has blackberries, dying wood embers, black pepper, blueberries, melted licorice, smoked meat, forest floor, dark bittersweet chocolate, and vanilla.  This has a full body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  This is so big on the palate, you almost instinctively start to chew it.  On the palate there are layer upon layer of fruit, dark chocolate, and meaty elements with more alcohol poking through than I remember from past bottles.  The finish has decent length but could use a bit more acidity to help support the massive flavors.  Based on this bottle the wine has peaked and may be starting its long, gradual decline.  Probably needs consumed over the next two years.  (88 pts)

2005 Consilience Syrah Camp 4 Vineyard

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Apr 22, 2013 to Apr 25, 2013

 

 

2002 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Howell Mountain

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty

2010 Vincent Arroyo Mélange Reserve

 

2002 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Howell Mountain – $36.00

 

My comments

This is my last bottle of four I bought at the winery in June 2005.  After killing off a couple fairly quickly, I’m glad I was able to stash one so I could check it out with some bottle age.  In its youth, this was big and brash, full of big fruit, pepper, and spice and equally big tannins.

 

This is actually a blend of 85% Petite Sirah from the Dunn Vineyard and 15% Black-Sears Vineyard Zinfandel.  This was the last vintage for this wine, Randy Dunn pulled the grapes from Elyse so he could supply his son Mike’s new project.

 

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, website, and wine club.

 

Oh Brother!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color, much lighter at the edge.  The smooth and sophisticated nose has blackberries, plums, white pepper, forest floor, dried herbs, dark chocolate, baking spices, tobacco, smoke, and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium body, fairly integrated tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy, earthy berries steal the show with dried herbs and dark chocolate adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with chocolate dusted berries and dried herbs hanging on for quite a while.  This is drinking very nicely now, but could last in the cellar for a few more years.  Don’t expect a big and brutish Petite Sirah, this has mellowed into something smooth and sophisticated. (94 pts)

2002 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Howell Mountain

 

 

 

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT – $16.62

 

My comments

I bought 6 bottles of this wine from a local wine store e-mail offer based on a solid recommendation from a fellow wine lover.  This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah.  It’s a cool, rainy, Midwestern day in mid April, a perfect time for some pasta and my wife’s meat sauce.  This seems to be a good occasion to sample a bottle.

 

Winery history

The wine cellar of Borgo Scopeto renewed and enlarged over the last few years, is equipped with the most modern technology for vinification.

 

The cellar is composed of 50 stainless steal tanks with capacities that ranges from 11 to 260 hectolitres, for a total of 7000 hectolitres.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color, lighter at the edge.  The appealing nose has cherries, warm baking spices, blackberries, white pepper, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Tart, spicy, earthy fruit dominate the palate with dried herbs and some chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and is an extension of the palate with just a touch of spicy oak creeping into the picture.  For a very young wine, this is drinking very nicely today.  This should improve with another year in the cellar and drink well for a few additional years.  (91 pts)

2009 Borgo Scopeto Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty – $16.62

 

My comments

This is another wine I bought based on a local wine store’s e-mail offer.  We generally like Aussie Shiraz as long as it doesn’t cross the line and end up on the sweet and syrupy side.  Based on reviews of previous vintages, this was worth grabbing a six pack.  It’s time to open one and see what I have.

 

Winery history

Betts & Scholl is a cooperative effort between Richard Betts, Master Sommelier & winemaker and Dennis Scholl, contemporary art collector and joyous wine drinker, who typically finds himself either in Aspen or Miami Beach.  Together, they created special relationships with star growers and winemakers from around the world to share in the Betts & Scholl vision.

 

This partnership is totally dedicated to making great wine as Richard & Dennis see it, which is, ultimately, wine that they like to drink.  No trophies, no wine for competition, just wine for the table – wine made to be enjoyed in the spirit of those wines that got Richard hooked on the whole deal in the first place.  This is to say wine you can drink everyday – a grocery, if you will – something that is on the table at lunch, at dinner, in harmony with food, an essential part of the meal.  This notion is fundamental to great living all over Europe, and it’s one that Betts & Scholl aims to bring back and live every day.

 

So Betts & Scholl chose to make the good stuff! Richard & Dennis’ shared aesthetic spoke for elegant, complex, balanced wines of great perfume and finesse with the power to seduce.  The object of the B&S fancy is neither the obvious nor the forceful.  Instead it is those wines that transport: They taste only of the place from where they’ve come.  Come take the trip.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very outgoing nose has blackberries, baking spices, underbrush, black pepper, cherries, licorice, and wild flowers.  This has a full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate there are ripe, juicy crushed berries and baking spice up front then the acidity kicks in and tart cherries and a bit of earthiness takes over.  The finish is fairly long and leans on spicy, earthy cherries.  This is a bit disjointed at this time showing distinct, different “personalities” on the palate.  This needs some cellar time for the acidity to better integrate or a couple hours of air.  (88 pts)

2009 Betts & Scholl Shiraz Black Betty

 

 

 

2010 Vincent Arroyo Mélange Reserve – $15.30

 

My comments

 

This is a nice everyday wine from one of my favorite small Napa Valley wineries.  If you make it to wine country, pay a visit to the Calistoga based Vincent Arroyo Winery.  Their tastings usually lead to a trip into the barrel storage area and some barrel tastes.

 

This popular blend combines Estate grown Gamay with our Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah.  Always blended to taste, our goal is to create a wine that can be opened “any time” — from the get-me-to-dinner glass to the perfect complement for pasta or steak salad.  The wine usually doesn’t last long in anyone’s cellar (or closet!) but ages very well as the Burgundy characteristics begin to emerge after several years introducing a new dynamic to what many might think of as an easy-drinking wine.

 

Winery history

Walking into the Vincent Arroyo Winery, one gets the sense that it has been here forever.  Is it just the comfortable atmosphere of a big barn full of oak wine barrels that lends to the sense of permanence?  Vincent Arroyo, himself, may feel like he has been here forever, as well.  He left behind a career as a mechanical engineer in the Silicon Valley during the early 70’s and headed to Calistoga, at the northern tip of the NapaValley.  He felt much more at home close to the land, being able to see and taste the fruits of his labors.

 

The purchase of the 23 acres of the Greenwood Ranch property in 1974 began the evolution of what is seen today, 85 acres cultivating 9 different wine grape varietals.  Vince has always been a farmer at heart, taking care of the land to produce the best that it can.  He began to transform the Greenwood Ranch by ripping out existing prune trees and unhealthy vines and planting new vineyards.  For many years, he did it all alone, the tractor work, cellar work and a one-man sales force.  Originally he made just a few hundred cases of his favorites, Petite Sirah and Cabernet, selling the majority of the grape tonnage to other Napa wineries.  Today, he produces over 8,000 cases of seven different varietals.

 

More information is available at: http://www.vincentarroyo.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The nice but slightly shy nose has black raspberries, plums, baking spices, fresh wild flowers, and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body, soft tannins, and nice acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit, with a bit of toasty oak.  The finish has decent length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is a very nice “change of pace” wine and something very unique.  This is mainly estate grown Gamay with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Sirah.  (88 pts)

2010 Vincent Arroyo Mélange Reserve

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Received my last couple of deliveries for the Spring shipping season:

 

(3) 2011 HelioterraPinotNoirWillametteValley

(3) 2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

(6) 2012 Villa Creek Pink

(6) 2012 Villa Creek “White”

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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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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