Posts tagged ‘JC Cellars The Impostor’

Cliffs Wine Picks – October 2017 Vol 4

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi – $11.04

Mad Duck is a label owned by Truett-Hurst.  There isn’t much information on the wine on the internet, at least not that I could find.

 

The wine is a ruby red color, looking more like a Pinot Noir than a Zinfandel.  The exotic nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, dry loamy soil, cranberries, white pepper and violets.  This has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, brambly berries and spice come through on the front end with loam and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cranberries and a floral note entering the picture.  This is a leaner style of Zinfandel, especially for one from Lodi.  This could actually use a bit more body and some complexity.  Perhaps some time in the cellar will allow the wine to put on some weight and flesh out a bit.  As is, this is a balanced Zinfandel with nice tart fruit that will work with a lot of meals.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

 

 

 

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz – $25

Don’t you hate it when you go to a winery’s website and there is almost nothing about wine.  In this case, the Estate appears to be a “destination”.  There is loads of info on the resort, restaurant, conference room and gift center.  If I checked out the site before buying the wine, I probably would have passed, but that would have been a mistake.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The open and giving nose has blackberries, roasted leafy herbs, dark bittersweet chocolate, dead wood embers, cherries, licorice, iron shavings, wildflowers and warm baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate berries, roasted herbs and iron shavings quickly grab your attention with charred wood and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a nice floral note providing depth.  This still tastes very young and primary.  I’d sit on this one for a couple more years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

 

 

 

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – $48

This Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Livermore Valley also includes a few percent each of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  The grapes come from Ghielmetti Estate, Home Ranch and Smith Ranch vineyards.  After a 5 to 7 day cold soak the wine was fermented in individual fermenters with an extended 14 day maceration.  The wine was then aged for 22 months in French oak barrels with 60% being new.  There were 1047 cases produced.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The alluring wine has cassis, licorice, roasted herbs, warm baking spices, black cherries, tobacco, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, baking spices and tobacco come through on the front end with black cherries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This is on the young side, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This just seemed to get better throughout the evening.  A solid California Cabernet that is very easy to like.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard – $28.50

There are only one and a half acres of Grüner in Sonoma County, all of which is at Steiner Vineyard.  A very rare and special wine!  The production was ramped up this vintage from 92 cases in 2012 to 212 cases.  The production increased since a second block in the vineyard started producing.

 

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The exotic nose has pineapple, lemon zest, green pea pods, crushed stone minerals, lime zest, orange blossoms, white peach and vanilla bean.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, under ripe pineapple, minerals and lime zest quickly grab your attention with green pea pods and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and vanilla bean providing depth.  This has very nice balance and the touch of residual sweetness buffers the tart acidity.  This won’t get mistaken for an Austrian Gruner, but who cares, it’s delicious.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor – $19

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 45% Zinfandel, 26% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Grenache, 5% Carignane, 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Black Muscat and 1% Viognier from vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Paso Robles and Amador County.  The total production was 1,913 cases.

 

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of crushed berries, black pepper and scorched earth dominate the front end with baking spices and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is again loaded with fruit and spice with a dried flower note joining the picture.  This is a big, ripe and rich wine that would be a crowd pleaser.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate – Gift

This wine was a very special bottle.  It was a gift from a friend when he had dinner (and a lot of wine) at the house while he was on a business trip.  I was supposed to visit him in Nebraska one day so he could reciprocate, but he passed away before we could get together again.  This was the only time we ever met in person.  Cheers Fred!

 

There is 8% Viognier included with the Syrah.  This is from the Lytton West Vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, cherries, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, licorice, violets, white pepper, raspberries, dry underbrush, dark bittersweet chocolate and potpourri.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate there is great balance between the fruit and savory elements with nothing being too prominent.  The finish has very nice length and again it has no rough edges.  This has aged very nicely and is in a superb drinking window.  Drink this one over the next few years.  This just seemed to get smoother and richer as the bottle was drained.  I wish I had a couple more bottles to open over the next few years.  This is a great, restrained Syrah.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the Mad Duck Zin with one of my favorite cooler weather dishes, a Stacked Enchilada Casserole with layers of spicy, meaty filling loaded with black beans and Monterrey Jack cheese and flour tortillas.  Think of it as a Mexican Lasagna.

 

 

Another cool weather favorite is Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya.  In this case I paired the dish with the Balgownie Shiraz.  Another perfect pairing, at least it was for me.

 

 

The cool spell lasted a few days, so we were able to pull out a true Southern meal, Fried Cubed Steak with rice and Cream Gravy with mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.  The Steven Kent Cabernet had the body, structure and flavor to pair nicely with this Southern cuisine.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 5, 2014 to May 11, 2014

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard – $35.00

Villa Creek is one of my favorite wineries.  This wine along with their Avenger wine are my favorites they produce.  The winery produces several very nice red wines, most of them being innovative blends from the big name vineyards in the Paso Robles area.  Besides the reds, they also produce a very nice white Rhone styled wine and a good Rosé.  The winery is worth the effort of tracking down a few bottles either locally or through their website.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and is closed with a Stelvin LUX+ stopper.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very alluring nose has cherries, black raspberries, cola, warm baking spices, white pepper, violets, stony minerals, touch of pine needles, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy, peppery cherries grab hold first, slowly allowing some minerals and earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very nice length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements.  This has exceptional balance and should drink well for at least another 3 or 4 years.  (93 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

2007 Villa Creek Garnacha Denner Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor – $23.74

Jeff Cohn just keeps cranking out the hits.  Since his earlier days making outstanding wines for Rosenblum, Jeff is now making the same style of wines for his own label.  These are generally full throttle, distinctive wines.

 

This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color. The very open and nice nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, meat juices, and a touch of earthiness. This has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity. On the palate the wine is a mouth full of juicy, peppery, berries with dark chocolate and earthy elements coming in on the back end providing extra depth. The finish is fairly long but a touch of excess oak does pop out. This is a big and rich wine that is not sweet or syrupy and has no raisiny notes.  (90 pts)

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

I joined the Bedrock mailing list a few years ago to get access to the red wines they were producing.  Even though I really like those reds, I love their white wines.  In my opinion, Morgan Twain-Peterson is currently producing some of the best white wines coming out of California and selling them at killer prices.

 

The wine has 13.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  The nose is a fresh and refreshing, full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  This is in a real nice place right now, but should hold for another year, maybe longer.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins – $12.99

This is a blend of 60% Syrah and 30% Grenache.  The Grenache vines are over 60 years old and the Syrah vines are over 30 years old.  This wine was 100% tank/cement raised (NO wood).

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, minerals, wood smoke, ripe cherries, licorice, violets and a touch of garrigue.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  The berries, cherries, smoke and minerals coat the palate with outstanding flavor and concentration with a floral element coming into the picture on the back end.  The finish has good length with some dried herbs and a touch of earthiness slipping in.  I wouldn’t hold onto this for more than a year or two, open a bottle and enjoy.  (89 pts)

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

2011 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Les Becs Fins

 

 

 

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard – $48.61

This wine is a blend of 52% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot from Washington state’s Horse Heaven Hills.

 

This wine has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Champoux Vineyard

Champoux (pronounced “shampoo”) Vineyard is set back five miles from the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills.  The 175 acre vineyard was first planted in 1972 and Block 1, the oldest section, provides the Cabernet Sauvignon for Andrew Will’s Sorella.

 

Paul Champoux, the leader of the partnership that owns the vineyard, is on site to monitor the growth and to manage the vineyard.  The balance of the plants is sought through use of micro nutrition and keen viticulture practices such as pruning to fruit ratio.  Andrew Will is part of the minority ownership of the vineyard.  Other partners include Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon, and Powers.

 

The soil is sandy loamy (Warden-Schano-Esquatzel).  The area is differentiated from other parts of Washington by the wind from the Columbia River Gorge, which never seems to stop.  Tannins are noteworthy in the wines from this vineyard.  Noted British wine author and critic Jancis Robinson wrote after tasting several Champoux Vineyard wines including Andrew Will, “what linked them most obviously was the quality and character of the tannis: extremely fine, dark and elegant.  Together with the naturally well balanced acidity, they create a wonderful framework for the rich, dark, blessedly not- overripe fruit; powerful wines that are nevertheless models of restraint.”

 

The Winery

Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda.  The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris had developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years.  Named after the Camardas’ son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor to the success and notoriety in recent years of Washington State wines.  Initially, the winery consisted of 900 square feet of rented industrial space in Seattle.

 

In 1994, the Camardas moved to Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, where they built the present winery.  The fruit however comes from the mainland, across the Cascades in Eastern Washington, where all the significant vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the mountains.

 

Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards are adjacent on the loam and gravel soils of Red Mountain but produce different styles of wine.  Klipsun makes massive, opulent wine to appreciate early. Ciel du Cheval possesses a slightly more tannic structure and great ageing potential.

 

Much more information is available on the winery’s website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has cassis, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, violets, mint, smoke, licorice, warm baking spice and a slight green herbal note.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate big fruit and spice jump out first with minerals, mint and a floral note popping out on the mid-palate.  The finish has very good length with a nice herbal note and more mint joining the rich fruit.  This is on the young side and will improve with some additional cellar time but it is already stunning.  (95 pts)

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

 

 

 

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois – $15.83

This was a spur of the moment purchase from Garagiste several years ago.  How could you pass up on a wine with the following Jon Rimmerman description and a cost of under $16?

 

The Syrah, which makes up 70% of the cepage has teeth like a Northern Rhone (not a Southern Syrah) and the Cabernet is like Left Bank Cabernet in a vintage like 1982 or 1990 – ripe and seductive with a fine tannic bite that only Cabernet skin tannins can provide.  Mix the two together and you have a cool-climate/warm-climate dichotomy from a great vintage (2005) that drinks like a much more expensive wine – no wonder the restaurants are lining up to buy this (can you imagine what the mark-up will be from a Michelin starred venue?).  With only 12.5-13.0% natural alcohol and fascinating levels of balanced natural extract, the glowing red fruit, mineral-dipped flavor has an uncanny Bordelaise edge that is magnified by the meaty, floral capacity of the Syrah.  Basically, it’s a great effort and EXTREMELY LIMITED (only 50 cases of the 2005 for the US).

 

This has 13.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The appealing nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, eucalyptus and damp earth.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements share top billing, each taking turns strutting their stuff.  The finish has nice length and shows outstanding balance.  This has a couple more years of life ahead of it before it starts declining.  This is a very nice bottle of wine to share over a meal.  (91 pts)

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks Mar 22, 2013 to Mar 24, 2013

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill – $37.00

 

My comments

This is probably my favorite Syrah in the Carlisle lineup.  This usually has that little something extra that propels it to the upper echelon.  I’ve never met a Bennett Valley Syrah I didn’t like and actively hunt them down.

 

Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet to purple color.  The soothing nose has blackberries, minerals, smoky ashes, white pepper, dark chocolate, baking spices, dried flowers, meat juices, and licorice.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has nice initial fruit but the more savory notes take over fairly quickly adding a lot of depth.  The finish is fairly long with nice spicy, mineral laden fruit.  This still seems to be on the young side and may be better a couple years down the road.  (92 pts)

2006 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill

 

 

 

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 26th 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, dark, inky purple color.  The sensuous nose has blackberries, black pepper, vanilla, dying coal embers, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, and some well worn leather.  This has a fairly full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, juicy crushed berries hit first, immediately complimented by black pepper, vanilla, and dark chocolate.  The finish is fairly long and adds a dried herb element that blends well with the spicy, peppery berries and dark chocolate.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for another few years at the minimum.  (92 pts)

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

 

 

 

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor – $25.73

 

My comments

Jeff Cohn just keeps cranking out the hits.  Since his earlier days making outstanding wines for Rosenblum, Jeff is now making the same style of wines for his own label.  These are generally full throttle, distinctive wines.

 

This wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier.

 

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 & Wales University, and a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Florida International University.

 

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 California State University, 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 purple color.  The very open and nice nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, dark chocolate, violets, licorice, meat juices, and a touch of earthiness.  This has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is a mouth full of juicy, peppery, berries with dark chocolate and earthy elements coming in on the back end providing extra depth.  The finish is fairly long but a touch of excess oak does pop out.  This is a big and rich wine that is not sweet or syrupy and has no raisiny notes.  (90 pts)

2008 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne Vineyard – $51.75

 

My comments

Turley Winery, in my opinion, was one of the first, “cult wineries” in California.  Their wines were impossible to get, unless you were one of the lucky few on their mailing list.  Some of the luster has faded a bit due to competition from the likes of Carlisle and Bedrock, but the name Turley still commands attention from a LOT of people.

 

It vineyards in California were rated based on the quality and reputations of the grapes they produced, there wouldn’t be too many above the Hayne Vineyard.  The Petite Sirah and the Zinfandel produced from Hayne Vineyard are the top wines made by Turley.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky maroon color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, licorice, black pepper, baking spices, meat juices, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee, blueberries, vanilla, wild flowers, and minerals.  This has full body, solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and velvety with loads of spicy, juicy berries, black pepper, dark chocolate, and minerals.  The finish is very long and ever changing, highlighting different elements every second or two.  The blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, and dark roast coffee stand out the most.  This is absolutely delicious today but will hold for several years.  (95 pts)

2003 Turley Petite Syrah Hayne 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

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

I worked at the wine store yesterday, so I had to grab a few bottles.

(2) 2009 Lewis Cellars Syrah Ethan’s at a steal of a price, $33.24 each

(1) 2011 Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast for $24.69

 

 

 

 

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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