Posts tagged ‘Jean Edwards’

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

This was a winery supplied sample.

 

 

 

 

 

This was a pre-release sample that was provided by the winery.   The release price will be $48.

 

The total production was a minuscule 66 cases of wine with a scheduled release in mid-January.  The wine was aged about 13 months in French Oak (50% new) from the Alliere region of France, cooperages are Damy and Billon.

 

To purchase this wine or any of the other wonderful wines the winery produces, you need to get on their mailing list.  The winery does enjoy distribution in parts of the country, but I don’t believe their limited production wines are distributed, so join the mailing list.  As opposed to other winery mailing lists, you are under no obligation to purchase wines.  The winery will not drop you if you do not purchase wines and it is a simple process to opt out of receiving future e-mails from them if you decide to leave.

 

To learn more about the winery or to join their Mailing List, visit their website by clicking here.  The winery has a tasting room on Vine Alley in the Sonoma Court Shops at the historic Sonoma Plaza at 29 E. Napa Street in Sonoma.

 

 

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard – SRP $48

This was a pre-release sample supplied by the winery.  We had the wine with food on the first evening and I followed the bottle over the next couple of days to note its’ evolution.  The wine was better every day and would have probably been even better in coming days, but my bottle was drained.

 

The grapes for this wine come from a cool climate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast that overlooks the San Pablo Bay.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The totally invigorating nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, crushed stone minerals, melon, toasty oak and lemon zest.  This has medium to full body with crisp acidity and a creamy mouth feel.  On the palate tart apples, pears, minerals and spicy oak come through on the front end with melon and orange blossoms coming in on the backend.  The finish has very good length with lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is extremely young, as a matter of fact, it has not even been released at this point.  That said, this is already showing very nice balance.  The oak does peek through at a few points but I’m sure it will integrate nicely in the coming months.  This is very food friendly and is an impressive first Chardonnay from Jean Edwards Cellars.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

2017 Jean Edwards Cellars Chardonnay Gold Coast Vineyard

 

Conclusion

This was a very enjoyable wine.  Even my wife, who doesn’t like Chardonnay wines, liked this one and told me I need to buy some.  I was already planning on grabbing this one as soon as it is released.  This has a touch of spicy oak and has a nice creamy element but it is not a buttery oak monster wine.

 

 

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 2018 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!

 

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

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.

 

 

Logo

 

Name

 

 

 

This bottle of wine was a “house warming” gift from the winery.  As gifts go, this one was one of the best I have ever received.  I know the wine will be better down the road but I wanted to try the wine so I could decide how many to buy.  With the miniscule production, I didn’t want to miss out and be kicking myself in the years to come.

 

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

The winery focuses their production on Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon but they added a petite sirah (also top notch) in 2012 and will introduce their first white wine with the 2014 vintage – a sauvignon blanc from Rutherford.  Yes, you read that right, a white wine!

 

Right before the earthquake the winery moved from the Michael Mondavi Winery in Carneros (it was sold) to a new state-of-the-art winery in Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine (from the winery)

Our 2012 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes from an historic vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench.

 

IMG_0001 

  

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford – SRP $90

This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Hossfield Vineyard Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% French oak, 70% new and the remainder was one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 60 cases.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The stunning nose is full of cassis, warm baking spices, cherries, tobacco, cedar, dusty minerals, dying wood embers, dried herbs, wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate rich fruit, spice and minerals immediately grab your attention, slowly allowing wood embers and cedar to slip into the picture.  The finish has very good length with tobacco and a dried herb note coming into focus.  This is incredibly young with a big tannic bite but already a worthy foil for a piece of juicy, grilled beef.  This is delicious now but will be even better as this decade draws to a close.  (96 pts)

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford

 

 

Conclusion

Like they say, put up or shut up.  I very much enjoyed this wine and ordered a three pack of this wine as well as a six bottle sampler pack that included two more bottles.

 

 

 

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 2015 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 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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

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.

 

 

Logo

 

Overview

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.

 

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “California’s Surprising 2004 Cabernets: 20 to Watch – Exciting New Cabernet Labels” in their annual Cabernet issue.  I’m not sure if the story is free to all or if you have to subscribe to read it.  Here is the link to the story.

 

After dabbling in the Syrah/Rhone Ranger camp for a period, the winery is now focused only on Napa Valley Cabernets, but watch out for a very special Petite Sirah that will be included in their upcoming release.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

In their words –

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.

 

I highly recommend at least joining their mailing list.  This would be a great time to join since their newest release will be coming out in a few weeks, just tell them Cliff sent you.

 

 

The Vineyard

The grapes for this wine came from the famed Stagecoach Vineyard.  The vineyard is located on Pritchard Hill above St. Helena on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.  The list of wineries that use grapes from this vineyard would be a who’s who of the top Cabernet wineries of the Napa Valley.  The list of wineries is available by clicking here.

 

Much more information of this highly esteemed vineyard is available by clicking here.

 

 

Stagecoach Vineyard

Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – SRP $65

I think Jean Edwards Cellars makes some of the most reasonably priced cabernets coming out of the Napa Valley.  The winery has some of the most well known vineyard sources in the valley, even though in some cases, they can’t use the vineyard name on the label.  Obviously, for this wine, the winery can and does use the specific vineyard’s name.  The vineyard is about 1800 feet above sea level.  The winery’s block is in the Pritchard Hill region which includes esteemed neighbors like Paul Hobbs.  The soil is volcanic and includes some boulders, according to Karen, you feel like you are walking on the moon.

 

This is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvgnon and 8% Cabernet Franc.  After fermentation, the wine was aged 24 months in French oak.  The barrels were 50% new and 50% one year old.  The total production was a miniscule 250 cases.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The nose is a real show stopper full of cassis, dried herbs, cigar box, minerals, pencil shavings and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with spicy berries and minerals up front with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is very long with the berries, dried herbs, and minerals seeming to linger forever.  Even though this is delicious today, it is still young and will improve with additional time in the cellar.  (94 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

 

Closing thoughts

I would highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list.  Their next release to the mailing list will be on August 28th (Cabernet Day) and will include four 2011 Cabernets and a 2012 Calistoga Petite Sirah.  The winery’s mailing list is still open, so you will be guaranteed getting a chance at the wines.  As an added bonus, mailing list members get a very generous “friends and family” discount.  These new wines will be available at restaurants and in the retail chain later in the fall.

 

As an added bonus, Karen will be the star of #winechat on Wednesday, August 27th.  This will provide a great opportunity to learn more about the winery, their history and the wines that will be “released” the next day.

 

 

 

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 – Wine of the Week for Jan 12, 2014

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

 

 Logo

 

The Winery

New Jersey natives John and Karen Troisi are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars.  If you’re scratching your head wondering how John and Karen arrived at Jean Edwards for the name of their winery, the answer is simple, they used their middle names.  The third member of the Jean Edwards team is Kian Tavakoli, their consulting winemaker.

 

Karen and John started producing wines commercially in 2004.  The first wine they released was a 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few months after the wine was released, Wine Spectator asked them to supply their magazine with a sample.  A little while later, they awarded the wine 92 points.  A couple months later, Wine Spectator included them in an article titled, “Twenty new cabernet producers to watch” in their annual Cabernet issue.

 

After dabbling in the Syrah/Rhone Ranger camp for a period, the winery is now focused only on Napa Valley Cabernets.

 

Jean Edwards Cellars uses the “custom crush” facilities at the Michael Mondavi Family winery in southern Napa.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.  The winery is also very active on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I highly recommend joining the winery’s mailing list by clicking here.  Members of the mailing list are never under any obligation to buy a specific amount of wine to stay on the mailing list.  Members of the mailing list get a very nice “Friends and Family” discount.

 

 

The Wine

Karen and John are bi-coastal, having residences in New Jersey as well as in the Napa Valley.  The name for this wine, “Seventy Four – Forty One” was named after the coordinates of their east coast residence.

 

This 100% Cabernet is a blend of grapes from a few vineyards in the Napa Valley.  Even though the vineyard names cannot be used for contractual reasons, they can disclose some geographical information.  The major component of this wine is from a Howell Mountain vineyard.  This is combined with grapes from a vineyard in Rutherford and one in Coombsville.

 

The wine was aged 24 months in French oak, 50% new and 50% one year old.

 

This vintage is sold out at the winery.  The current vintage is 2010 and has a price of $65.

 

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley – SRP $65

This bottle of wine was purchased by me and stored in my cellar since release.  This is not a winery supplied sample.

 

I’ve been a fan and customer of the winery for a few years and love opening bottles of their wines for friends to sample.  These are extremely high quality wines sourced from some of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley.  The fact the wines are also sold at very consumer friendly prices is a great bonus.  This is one of the winery’s higher end offerings.

 

The wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The nose is a show stopper, it is filled with cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, mint, cedar, warm baking spices and dried flowers.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the cassis and mint initially carry the load, slowly allowing spice and dried herbs to slip into the picture.  On the back end some spicy oak shines through in the background.  The finish has very good length with a nice mix of fruit and savory elements.  This tastes very nice now but a few years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded.  (93 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four - Forty One Napa Valley

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

In Summary

In a couple of years, my rating will probably be laughably low.  As with most wines that are predominantly made from mountain fruit, they take a few years to fully open up and express their full potential.  Patience will be rewarded.

 

 

 

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 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

 

 

 

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 – Nov 4, 2013 to Nov 7, 2013

 

 

2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

 

 

 

2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend – $28.80

This is the initial release from this winery.  This wine is a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache and it is from Sonoma County.  This was aged for 20 months in 50% new French oak.

 

This wine has 15.2% abv and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery’s Story

We celebrate the artistic nature of winemaking by focusing on small vineyard parcels and blending these lots to create wines of seduction, power and grace.

 

The name Cosa Obra is comprised of two words, the word Cosa meaning “thing” and the word Obra “a hand-crafted body of work”.  This is our thing, this is what we do, this is our hand-crafted body of work.

 

Wine is a living thing.  It evolves and changes through time.  In this way, nature tells the story through the soil, weather and time.  High quality boutique wines require and hand-crafted approach and a team of artisans with a vision.  Owner Gregory Hayes, and Consulting Winemaker Kent Humphrey have come together to form a team with over two decades of experience in the wine industry and a passion for unique and outstanding wines.  Our winemaking goal is very simple; make a small amount of exceptional wine from carefully selected artisan vineyards from Sonoma County and share them at a reasonable price.

 

Through these efforts Cosa Obra produces a Proprietary Red Blend and a Sauvignon Blanc crafted from grapes purchased from small growers in the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Bennett Valley.  Our limited production wines are released when they are ready to share and enjoy with friends & family.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, maroon color.  This smells like a fall day with blackberries, charcoal, smoked meat, hot asphalt, minerals, licorice, toasty oak, vanilla, white pepper, and a bit of cherry.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Big, bold, and ripe on the palate but everything holds together in perfect balance.  Nice meaty, spicy, fruit kick in immediately on the palate with just a touch of earthiness in the background.  A fairly long finish completes the package showcasing the fruit and savory elements with a bit of oak peeking in.  No hurry on this one, and another year in the cellar will be rewarded.   (93 pts)

2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor's Blend

2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend

 

 

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard – $25.00

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.

 

This has 14.2% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color, almost purple.  The very nice nose has blackberries, charred meat, smoke, roasted herbs, licorice, black pepper, minerals, brined olives, wild flowers, and a touch of mint.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has a nice blend between the juicy, crushed berries, and the savory elements of black pepper, roasted herbs, and charred meat.  The finish is long and layered with nice juicy berries adding sweetness to the savory elements.  This is drinking nicely, but will reward some additional cellar time.   (93 pts)

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

 

 

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard – $20.89

This is a very consistent, single vineyard Merlot that used to be a “house favorite”.  Unfortunately, over the years the price increases took enough of a toll, that I felt it no longer offered enough quality to merit the price.  When the local store was able to secure enough of the wine to offer via an “end of vintage” e-mail offer for a touch over $20, I had to jump in.

 

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

 

Winery history

Sterling Vineyards is proud to be a certified Napa County Green Winery, a distinction we achieved in 2009 as one of the first 12 wineries to be included.  This certification is a result of our diligent efforts in conserving water and energy, as well as preventing pollution and landfill waste.

 

In addition, Sterling is also certified as Napa County Green for our land and vineyard practices, which include sustainable vineyard management, water conservation, and fish-friendly farming across 100% of our estate vineyards.

 

Every year we recycle approximately 1,400 tons of waste, resulting in a waste diversion rate of 95%.  This has resulted in awards in the Waste Reduction Awards Program from the California Integrated Waste Management Board for the past three years.  (Proceeds from the award have been donated to local charities each year.)

 

Finally, in December 2008 our iconic tram was converted to solar power.  The solar energy system produces more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year, which is equivalent to the energy required to power 5.5 homes for a full year.  This conversion also eliminates 65 tons of CO2 emitted into the environment annually.

 

From vineyard practices to winery operations to the daily activities at our world-famous tasting rooms, Sterling Vineyards is proud to act as a dedicated steward of our environmental riches.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very nice nose has cherry, cedar, melted licorice, plums, baking spices, tobacco, dried herbs, dark roast espresso, dark bittersweet chocolate and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate shows no excess weight with nice balance between the fruit and savory elements.  The finish is a touch short and a bit lean but other wise this is a very sound and appealing wine.  This is a steal at $20 but questionable value at $60.  (90 pts)

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

 

 

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau – $12.34

This is consistently a very nice, affordably priced, Rhone style blend from the Montsant region of Spain.  This is a blend of 40% Carinena, 40% Syrah, and 20% Garnacha.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Cellers Can Blau was founded in 2003.  The winery produces about 300 barrels of wine a year from their 34 hectares of vineyards.  70% of the wine they produce is exported.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very intriguing nose has plums, minerals, dying wood embers, blackberries, cherry, baking spices, melted licorice, and dried herbs.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy plums and berries lead the show with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with some nice minerality coming into the picture and ends with a smoky note that just seems to hang on forever.  This is now in a very nice drinking window and it should hold for a few years.  This is a steal for south of $15.  (91 pts)

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

 

 

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 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

 

 

 

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 – June 10, 2013 to June 13, 2013

 

 

2003 Château Potensac

2008 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

 

 

The lineup is a bit light this time.  I participated in an online tasting of four Rosé wines from Lodi on Wednesday evening.  I will post a blog on those wines early next week.  A preview – I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wines.

 

 

2003 Château Potensac – $19.99

Over the years Château Potensac has been my “go to” winery for a week night Bordeaux.  Though this is not a sexy or super exciting wine, it is generally a well priced, enjoyable Bordeaux blend.  This vintage is a blend of 43.5% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot and 23.5% cab franc.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to purple color.  The very open and inviting nose has cassis, minerals, tobacco, licorice, baking spices, leather, dried herbs, cherries, and cedar.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  Nice fruit, spice, and minerals take center stage on the palate with some spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length but the oak does pop out a touch and the tannins get a touch chalky.  This is a nice value priced Bordeaux.  (89 pts)

2003 Chateau Potensac

 

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée – $29.75

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Villa Creek is one of my favorite California wineries.  I love all the delicious blends they produce every year.  This wine is a blend of 50% grenache, 30% mourvedre and 20% syrah from the Denner and James Berry Vineyards in Paso Robles.  This, as well as The Avenger and Mas de Maha are my top three wines Villa Creek makes.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The gorgeous nose is full of blackberries, minerals, licorice, dried herbs, cherries, vanilla, black pepper, smoke, dark chocolate, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, mineral laden, peppery berries and some earthiness hit first followed by dark chocolate and a smoky, meaty element.  The long, lingering finish leans more on the savory spectrum but the fruit provides some outstanding sweetness.  This seems to be just entering a very nice drinking window, which should last another 5 to 7 years.  (93 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee

 

 

 

2007 Jean Edwards Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard – $30.00

I was sent a bottle of this wine by the winery to sample about a year ago.  I loved it and immediately ordered 4 bottles.  After having another bottle, I had to order a few more.  If you like reasonably priced Cabernet and Syrah based wines from California, I highly recommend checking them out.  More information and a mailing list sign up is available on their website.  Mailing list members get advance notice of new releases and exceptional pricing.  Why are you still reading this, you can come back after checking them out.   🙂

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color, almost purple. The very nice nose has blackberries, charred meat, smoke, roasted herbs, licorice, black pepper, minerals, brined olives, wild flowers, and a touch of mint. This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity. The palate has a nice blend between the juicy, crushed berries, and the savory elements of black pepper, roasted herbs, and charred meat. The finish is long and layered with nice juicy berries adding sweetness to the savory elements. This is drinking nicely, but will reward some additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

 

(This is a repost of my note from a couple months ago, it is still very accurate)

2007 Jean Edwards Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

 

 

 

***** 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 Mar 25, 2013 to Mar 28, 2013

 

 

 

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Maipe Malbec Reserve

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

 

 

 

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon – $19.00

 

My comments

Something I knew way back but forgot was that Freemark Abbey was the only winery to have two bottles of wine in the 1976 “Judgment in Paris” tasting that put California on the world’s wine map.  After a few lean years, I think the winery has righted the boat and are again producing very nice, bargain priced wines.

 

Winery history

In 1967, seven partners purchased Freemark Abbey, setting the stage for a new era of creativity.  The winery earned the nickname the “University of Freemark” due to the sheer number of innovations and significant winemakers that emerged from our cellars.

 

In 1976, wine expert Steven Spurrier conducted a legendary blind tasting in Paris – pitting the upstart wines of California against the establishment of France.  Of the 12 American wineries chosen to compete, only Freemark Abbey had two wines represented – a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon.  In an upset that shocked the wine world, California wines won every category of the tasting, putting Napa Valley firmly on the world stage.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby red color.  The very comforting nose has cassis, warm baking spices, tobacco, dried herbs, plum, licorice, and a touch of smoke.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate features bright and juicy berries, baking spices, dried herbs and a touch of oak.  The finish has nice length with the berries and dried herbs joined by a touch of excess spicy oak.  I would be nice if the touch of extra oak would integrate, but I really don’t see that happening.  No hurry on this one, enjoy it over the next several years.  This was a steal for $19.  (90 pts)

2007 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2009 Maipe Malbec Reserve – $11.39

 

My comments

When we’re having a beef based dinner but I’m in the mood for something different, more times than not, I grab a Malbec from Argentina.  The Malbec grape is one of the Bordeaux grapes, but it found a home in Argentina.  As with most other grapes, Malbec wines run the spectrum from easy drinking week night wines to full blown special occasion wines.  These Malbecs from Argentina should not be passed if you had one that didn’t meet your tastes, shop around and you’ll find a great wine that won’t break the budget.

 

Winery history

At the time of the financial crisis in 2001 that caused the replacement of 4 presidents in a month, violent attacks on bank offices and devaluation of the Peso to a quarter of its worth, Juan Pelizzatti was a telecommunications marketing professional in his mid thirties with a passion for wine, thinking of a project where he could invest his soul and his dreams.

 

The crisis, for a short period of time, gave many Argentines the impression that there was not much left to loose and that only a radically new vision of the future could help them survive it.  Juan was one of them: armed with his family’s life savings and a legacy of winemaking from his Italian grandfather, he took a month’s vacation from his job and literally walked the province of Mendoza in search of a new land.

 

Luck and some good advice helped him find the perfect place in Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo: 150 ha of almost bare land formerly planted with Malbec vines where only 30 hectares had survived the very bad years preceding the crisis.

 

Many years and a lot of work later, this estate has become one of the most promising new wine projects in Argentina, representing one of the most successful business models of the new wine landscape in Argentina.  In the meantime, Argentine exports have sustained double digit growth, whilst Malbec, once a rare local grape, has achieved the status of an internationally demanded variety.

 

Much more information on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, licorice, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, baking spices, and plums.  This has medium body, soft but persistent tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has nice juicy berries but the savory notes of dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee and a lot of depth.  The finish has nice length and is an extension of the palate.  This is drinking very nicely but isn’t really built for the long haul, drink this over the next year, maybe two.  (90 pts)

2009 Maipe Malbec Reserve

 

 

 

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan – $19.94

 

My comments

If you’ve been reading my posts for more than just a couple of weeks, you’ll see I love just about all wines.  That said, my heart belongs to the grapes from the Rhone in France.  I think these are some of the most versatile grapes in the world.  These grapes seem to be able to adapt to where ever they are planted and can produce many different styles of wine.  I found this specific wine when a  friend tweeted he had this in his glass one evening.  I was able to track down a few bottles from a store in Washington.  A few days later, they were in my cellar.

 

Winery history

Birth of Syncline Winery: James and Poppie Mantone.

Poppie and James met during the harvest of 1997 while working together in the cellar at LaVelle Vineyards (Willamette Valley, Oregon).  Shortly after, they had fallen madly in love, married and began plans for a new endeavor: a winery of our own.

 

Four years later they relocated their home to the Columbia Gorge; where passion for Rhône wines led them to explore the emerging potential of vineyards in the Columbia Valley, Washington.

 

Inspired by early efforts of Rhone and Burgundy varietals sampled from Washington wineries, Syncline’s first vintage consisted of 76 cases of Celilo Vineyards Pinot Noir from vines planted in 1972.  The next year, production was increased to include Columbia Valley Syrah and Grenache.  At the same time they began working with vineyards to plant Viognier, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Cinsault, Counoise and Carignan.

 

They have kept production under 6,000 cases annually to ensure intimacy with each barrel and every vine.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a shade lighter than a medium ruby red color.  The bright and cheerful nose has raspberries, cherries, minerals, baking spices, licorice, wild flowers, and just a touch of underbrush.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has nice red fruits, spice, and some earthiness with no rough edges.  The finish has decent length and again features the red fruit, spice, and a touch of earthiness.  This should hold for a couple more years, but is very tasty today.  (90 pts)

2009 Syncline Grenache-Carignan

 

 

 

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County – $30.00

 

My comments

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the Napa Valley.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we traveled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color, almost purple.  The very nice nose has blackberries, charred meat, smoke, roasted herbs, licorice, black pepper, minerals, brined olives, wild flowers, and a touch of mint.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has a nice blend between the juicy, crushed berries, and the savory elements of black pepper, roasted herbs, and charred meat.  The finish is long and layered with nice juicy berries adding sweetness to the savory elements.  This is drinking nicely, but will reward some additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

 

 

***** 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!

 

Feb 22, 2013 to Feb 24, 2013

 

 

2006 Clarendon Hills Syrah Liandra – $37.00

 

My comments

I had a bit of this wine several months ago at a friend’s house and thought it was outstanding, but didn’t take an official tasting note.  Since I have a few bottles, it seems like a perfect time to open one and spend an evening with it to see how it tastes.

 

Winery history

In 1990, Roman Bratasiuk embarked on a truly remarkable wine making journey.  His vision: to create single vineyard wines equal to anything in the world.  Quite simply.  Working with old, dry-grown vines and performing every step of the process by hand, Roman sought to redefine the Australian fine wine landscape by solely conveying the imprint a vineyard forges on the varietal expression.  Every year a pragmatic and calculated Clarendon Hills learns a little more about our vineyards and pushes a little further to propel each one of our 100% varietal wines to the pinacle of their capability.

 

Please join Roman and the Clarendon Hills family in celebrating our 19 single vineyard, 100% varietal wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky, purple color.  The spellbinding nose has charred meat, blackberries, smoke, roasted herbs, blueberries, black pepper, vanilla, licorice, minerals, Asian spices, and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body, ripe and velvety tannins, and good acidity.  The palate on this wine is out of the world with the berries, roasted herbs, and black pepper slowly giving way to spicy, meaty elements and dark chocolate.  The finish is extremely long and highlights the spice, meat, and roasted herbs.  This is the complete package.  Outstanding!  No hurry on this one, it has years of life ahead of it.  (96 pts)

2006 Clarendon Hills Syrah Liandra

 

 

 

2006 Rudius Russian River Valley Grenache – $35.00

 

My comments

I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Ames’ Rudius label since the early days.  I’ve had a few bottles of this Grenache over the years but it’s been a while since I opened one.  Since I’m in the mood for a California Grenache, it’s a perfect day to check in to see how it is progressing.

 

Winery history

Growing up in Memphis and Mobile, Alabama in a family of lawyers, the thought of becoming a winemaker never occurred to Jeff Ames.  But after deciding not to pursue his law degree, a part time job in a local wine shop in Memphis sparked his passion for wine.  Soon after, in 1998, Jeff moved to Oregon on a whim—with no guarantee of a job—and lucked out when Lynn Penner-Ash gave him his first harvest job at Rex Hill.  What started as a much-needed mental break from his Masters program, soon turned into an exciting new career.  After harvest, Jeff couldn’t get enough of the wine business, and made the big move to the NapaValley in 1999.  After bouncing around the industry from tasting room jobs at Freemark Abbey, FloraSprings and Duckhorn, to freelance writing for Decanter Magazine, to sales at WineBid, Jeff finally got the break he was waiting for.  In 2001, he was able to return to production—the side of the industry he has always loved most—when he became Thomas Brown’s assistant winemaker at brands including Schrader, Maybach, Outpost, and Tor.

 

Two short years later, he took over as head winemaker at Tor, where he continues to make extraordinary wines from some of California’s most notable vineyards.  Everything really came together for Jeff in 2005, when, after years of penny-pinching, he finally achieved his ultimate goal of starting his own wine brand—Rudius Wines.  And the result, my friends, is what you have in your cellar!

 

For more information or to sign up for the Rudius mailing list, visit their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby red to violet color.  The sensual nose has raspberries, candied violets, wood smoke, roasted herbs, melted licorice, black pepper, subtle earthiness, brined olives, warm baking spices, and meat juices.  This is one of those wines you could sit a sniff and be happy.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate shows a nice initial hit of raspberry but the savory elements take over from there providing roasted herbs, olives, pepper, and a touch of earthiness.  The finish is fairly long and again leans heavily on the savory spectrum.  This is a delicious wine but not really for those wanting a rich, fruity, style of wine.  This should be enjoyed over the next couple of years.  (93 pts)

2006 Rudius Russian River Valley Grenache

 

 

 

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County – $30.00

 

My comments

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the NapaValley.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality NapaValley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we travelled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

For more information, to order wine, or to join the Jean Edwards mailing list, visit their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, melted licorice, smoke, charred meat, roasted herbs, black pepper, olive tapenade, wild flowers, a touch of eucalyptus, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate features nice berries with black pepper and roasted herbs up front with olives, some earthiness, and meaty elements on the back end adding considerable depth.  The finish is fairly long and leans more on the savory elements but some blackberries are in the background adding nice sweetness.  This is still on the younger side and seemed to hit its’ peak after about two to three hours of air.  I think there is still a fair amount of upside with additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County

 

 

 

We paired the Jean Edwards Syrah with a grilled Strip Steak over a bed of thin, crispy onion rings, grilled potatoes, and a slice of grilled Asiago/Garlic bread.

Dinner is served

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

No purchases or deliveries last week, but I’m sure that will change this week.

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

My Top 10 Wines of 2012

 

 

Here are the top wines I sampled or drank in 2012.  It was a hard task since I had tasting notes on over 500 wines this year.  As an added bonus, I included my next 10 wines, but since they aren’t ranked, I’ll  still call this my Top 10.

 

I set a couple of rules going in, the same winery couldn’t have more than one wine in the top 10 and could not have more than 2 in the top 20.  This only came into play for one wine, causing a bottle to fall from the top 10 to the “number 11 to 20” list.  Sorry Carlisle.

 

Unfortunately, since most of the wines I open have been in my cellar for a number of years, most of these wines are not available to purchase today.  Some are probably available on the auction sites, like WineBid.  If you are interested in any specific wine, let me know and I can help you track down a bottle.

 

top10

 

 

10 – 2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

My comments

This is perennially one of my favorite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.  The Elyse Morisoli Cab generally needs a few years in the cellar to fully open up and reveal all of its layers.

 

My Tasting Note

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

Elyse

 

 

9 – 2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

 

My comments

This was a new find for me early in the year.  I bought a few bottle based purely on the fact Russell Bevan was the winemaker.  As soon as I had a couple sips, I was online stocking up.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The irresistible nose has blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, charcoal, dried herbs, melted licorice, baking spices, and a hint of violets.  This is fairly full body with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  This is lush and ripe on the palate but not really pushing the ripeness to the edge.  The palate shows nice peppery berries, licorice, and some smoked meat with baking spices and dried herbs in the background.  The finish is very long and highlights the fruit initially but as the fruit slowly fades, the savory elements keep going.  Still extremely young but already outstanding.  (95 pts)

Westerhold

 

 

 

8 – 2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

 

My comments

I’ve been a big fan of this Ribera del Duero wine for several years.  It took some cellar time but this outstanding vintage is just now coming out of its shell.

 

My Tasting Note

Decanted about 2.5 hrs.  Deep maroon color.  Blackberry liqueur, licorice, earthy underbrush, cedar, dried herbs, dark chocolate, and dark roasted coffee on the very open and inviting nose.  Medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Loads of spicy, sweet fruit on the palate with no over ripe notes.  Long finish again full of spicy fruit.  This will improve , perhaps quite a bit, with some additional cellar time but it is outstanding now with a couple hours of air.  Delicious!  (95 pts)

Aalto

 

 

 

7 – 2002 Shafer Relentless

 

My comments

Another perennial favorite.  With the current vintage’s number one ranking in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines, I’m sure more people will come to appreciate this gem.

 

My Tasting Note

Deep, dark maroon color.  Blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, licorice, Asian spices, vanilla, dark chocolate, and fresh ground coffee on the very inviting and exotic nose.  Medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and nice acidity.  A big hit of berries on the palate then waves of savory elements grab the palate.  Long, lingering finish with the spicy berries giving way to the dark chocolate and espresso.  Outstanding!  (95 pts)

Relentless

 

 

 

6 – 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard

 

My comments

I’ve been a big fan since back when some of the major wine magazines hated this wine.  This vintage was not only named the number 1, Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator but was bestowed very high scores by just about everyone who rates wines.  In my opinion, it is outstanding but will benefit from some additional cellar time.

 

My Tasting Note

I decanted the wine for a couple hours before tasting.  The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The wine has an exotic nose full of blackberries, blueberries, Asian spices, smoky incense, potpourri, black cherries, minerals, cola, earthy underbrush and a touch of alcohol.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and bright acidity.  On the palate the wine reveals itself in layers.  First there is a solid hit of fruit with slowly building Asian spices.  As the fruit begins to fade, some nice earthy elements slowly start to build, later a bit of dark chocolate starts to take over.  The alcohol note on the nose is not noticeable on the palate or the long finish.  100 pts?  Wine of the Year?  I don’t know if I’d go that far at this point in its evolution, but there is still considerable upside.  (95 pts)

Saxum

 

 

 

5 – 2003 Carlisle Two Acres

 

My comments

This is another wine that tastes great upon release, but some cellar time is greatly rewarded.  For all their early richness, Carlisle wines are balanced enough to improve in the cellar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, saturated maroon color with a touch of bricking at the edge.  The very pleasing and inviting nose features blackberries, licorice, tree bark, leather, meat juices, dried herbs, violets, and a touch of Asian spices.  The wine is fairly full bodied with nice, ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there are nice, spicy berries with just a touch of earthiness and a hit of dark chocolate.  Even though the nose and palate are top notch, the finish is probably the best part of the wine.  The finish is very long and loaded with berries, chocolate, dried herbs, and earthiness with just a bit of a meaty element.  The length is incredible!  There are absolutely no rough edges or any overly dominant taste or aromas in this wine.  This wine is in a perfect drinking window, if I had more I’d recommend drinking over the next year or two.  (95 pts)

Carlisle

 

 

 

4 – 2008 Melville Pinot Noir Carrie’s

 

My comments

This is a wine I grabbed off the shelf at my local wine store to try down the road.  Now I wish I had opened it as soon as I got home so I could have stocked up.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  An intoxicating nose with earthy underbrush, black cherry, raspberry, baking spices, vanilla, melted licorice, and violets.  This has medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity.  Rich and plush on the palate with fantastic, earthy, spicy, fruit that slowly transforms to reveal a new nuance every couple of seconds.  The finish never really seems to dissipate, seemingly lingering forever.   One of the absolute best young California Pinot Noirs I have had the good fortune to enjoy.  Absolutely stunning!  (95 pts)

Melville

 

 

 

3 – 2003 Turley Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

 

My comments

For a long time, one of the upper echelon Petite Sirahs from California.  Over the years other wineries have been able to duplicate Turley’s “formula” when it comes to Zinfandels, but no one has been able to replicate the power and finesse Turley generates from this Hayne Vineyard masterpiece.

 

My Tasting Note

Decanted an hour.  Deep, dark, inky maroon color.  An outstanding nose of blackberries, pepper, melted licorice, baking spices, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, with some vanilla, blueberry, and violets.  Full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Rich and spicy on the palate with loads of dark fruit, pepper, and spice.  Ripe tannins grab the palate coating it with velvety plushness.  Long finish that just seems to go on and on, very slowly fading.  One of the best Petite Sirahs I have ever had.  This is still quite young but very drinkable now with some air.  I’ll hold onto my other bottle for a special occasion.  (95 pts)

Turley

 

 

 

2 – 2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard

 

My comments

Jean Edwards Cellars was another new find for me in 2012.  In this case, my thanks goes to Twitter for leading me to this winery and the wonderful owners.  Check them out on the internet, you can probably still get in on this action before the winery catches on in a big way making the wine extremely hard to get.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby to garnet color.  The sensuous nose features cassis, cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, well worn leather, black cherry, and just a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body with nice, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is rich and velvety on the palate with dried herb laced berries and cherries up front and nice savory notes and spicy oak adding considerable depth and complexity.  The long finish adds a touch of dark chocolate and earthiness to the fruit and dried herbs.  The wine is in a perfect drinking window with absolutely no rough edges or over powering elements, but it should hold for at least a few more years if not longer.  I’ll hold my remaining bottle for another couple years.  (95 pts)

Jean Edwards

 

 

 

1 – 2007 Villa Creek High Road The Long Path James Berry Vineyard

 

My comments

I’ve been buying and very much enjoying the wines from Villa Creek for several years.  This bottle, from a great vintage, and the magical James Berry Vineyard has propelled this wine to the top of my list for the year.  I wish I had bought more of this but my couple bottles will have to make due.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The nose on this wine is absolutely incredible with blackberries, intense stony minerals, violets, smoke, briny olives, blueberries, and dark, bittersweet chocolate with just a hint of earthiness.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Like the nose, the palate on this wine is incredible, loaded with spicy, smoky, mineral laden berries with olives and dark chocolate in the background adding depth and complexity.  The finish is very long, never seeming to end with spicy berries and just a bit of earthiness seeming to last forever.  In a perfect world, this would be cellar worthy for a decade, but realistically it will be next to impossible to resist for more than a year or two in my cellar.  (96 pts)

Villa Creek

 

 

 

Number 11 to 20 by winery

 

 

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon Black Ridge Vineyard

This was decanted for about 3 hours.   The wine is a deep, dark, purple color.  The very deep and interesting nose had cassis, blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, licorice, fresh ground espresso, dark chocolate, dried herbs, minerals, and some toasty oak.  This is full bodied with a nice tannic backbone and good acidity.  The wine explodes on your palate coating it with spicy fruit, dark chocolate, and dried herbs.  There is a some nice, spicy oak providing some background “seasoning”.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with just enough toast oak to add interest without over powering the fruit and dried herbs.  This is a big, ripe, rich wine that perfectly conceals the alcohol.  This wine has years of life ahead of it, but it is delicious today with some air.  (94 pts)

 

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

Decanted about an hour.  Deep, dark maroon color.  Brambly berries, melted licorice, black pepper, smoke, dark chocolate, with a bit of vanilla on the fantastic nose.  Full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Big, ripe, and bold on the palate with loads of juicy, peppery berries.  Long, spicy finish.  Wine still tastes young and has youthful tannins and very nice acidity, this could cellar for several more years.  This is an absolutely stunning zinfandel, one of the best I have ever had. and I think it will still improve with some additional cellar time.  (95 pts)

 

2005 Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Decanted about 2 hours.  Deep, dark ruby color with just a touch of lightening at the edge.  Black cherries, raspberries, loads of minerality, dried herbs, spices, scorched earth, a bit of underbrush, black pepper, and meat juices on the rich and luxurious nose.  Medium body with solid but silky tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich, smooth, and velvety with no jagged edges or off notes, it just envelopes the palate with spicy, earthy fruit.  Long, lingering finish.  This may be very young, but with some air it is a knock out.  Top rate and at under $30 a QPR masterpiece!  (94 pts)

 

2003 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon

Decanted about an hour.  Deep, saturated ruby color.  Cassis, cherry, licorice, worn leather, cocoa, dried herbs, smoke, tobacco, and just a bit of cedar on the slightly reserved nose.  Medium body with fairly solid but ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Much more expressive on the palate than on the nose, everything seems to be turned up a notch, with the rich and spicy fruit leading the way.  Nice dried herbs are in the background with a bit of dark chocolate coming in on the backend.  Long finish with the dried herbs and dark chocolate seeming to last forever.  I think the nose will open up with another year or two in the cellar.  Very nice now, probably even better in a year or two.  (94 pts)

 

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

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)

 

2005 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard

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)

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir “The Three”

Decanted about 2 hours.  Deep ruby red color.  Black cherries, blackberries, baking spices, white pepper, underbrush, and vanilla on the very intriguing nose.  Medium to full body with fairly solid but ripe and silky tannins and very nice acidity.  Big, rich, and spicy on the palate with loads of dark fruit and baking spices.  Very nice length on the finish with the spicy fruit lingering for a long time.  This is not a Pinot for Francophiles, VERY unique.  I would call this hedonistic, even though I absolutely despise that term in a tasting note because it usually denotes an over ripe, sweet, syrupy wine, which this is not.  Not for everyone, and not an everyday wine, but tonight I absolutely loved it.  (94 pts)

 

1988 Schloss Schonborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spatlese

The wine is a bright, golden yellow color.  The very pleasing nose has petrol, apples, white peaches, honey, minerals, citrus zest, lime, and some white pepper.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and nice sweetness.  Very rich and smooth on the palate with most of the overt sugar having been incorporated into the magical elixir.  The wine has a long, lingering finish full of peach, apples, honey, minerals, and lime.  This actually still tastes young.  (94 pts)

 

2000 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile

A bright golden yellow color.  Apple, peach, lemon zest, minerals, lime zest, petrol, and a touch of white pepper on the very luxurious nose.  Light to medium body, dry with outstanding acidity.  Tart and tangy white fruit and citrus on the palate with minerals and a bit of white pepper coming in on the back end.  Long finish with mouthwatering citrus and spicy minerals seeming to last forever.  An truly outstanding example of a dry Riesling.  (94 pts)

 

2007 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee

Decanted about an hour.  Deep ruby color.  Cherries, blackberries, white pepper, baking spices, some earthiness, licorice, and nice minerality on the very open and inviting nose.  Medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Rich fruit and solid peppery spice on the palate with some minerality and earthiness coming in on the back end.  Long finish with the fruit, spice, minerality, and earthiness all lingering seemingly forever.  I love this wine every vintage, but one seems to have that little something extra.  This is special.  (94 pts)

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Nov 9, 2012 to Nov 11, 2012

 

 

2005 Copain Syrah Brosseau Vineyard – $45.00

 

My comments

The last few 2005 Copain Syrahs I’ve had have been outstanding.  I bought a three pack of this wine in October 2007, this will be the first I have opened.  This is one of the nice parts of having a fairly large wine cellar, you have enough other choices so you have the opportunity to let a wine sleep until it gets into a prime drinking window.  I have a feeling this will benefit from a couple more years in the cellar but I won’t know for sure until I try one.

 

Winery history

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s RhôneValley in particular.  So much so, he picked up and moved with his new bride to the region to learn from the best.  For two years, Wells apprenticed for esteemed winemaker and living legend Michel Chapoutier in France’s RhoneValley.  During that time, Wells was deeply inspired by the traditions and practices of French winemaking, not to mention the European attitude that wine is an essential part of life.  At Copain, he creates wines that are firmly rooted in California, yet with the sensibilities of the European wines that so moved him.  He is as committed to crafting these elegant, nuanced wines as he is to building a legacy that will be passed down to his daughters in the great tradition of European winemakers whose estates have been in the same family for generations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, dried herbs, charred meat, black pepper, minerals, dark chocolate, and fresh ground espresso.  This has medium to full body with big, solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is much more reminiscent of a French Northern Rhone than a ripe and fruity California Syrah, think higher end Hermitage.  Meaty, spicy fruit with dried herbs hit the palate first with the dark chocolate and ground espresso beans coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length but may be clipped a bit when the tannins and acidity clamp down.  If chewy tannins don’t bother you, this is drinking very nicely with some air, if you prefer fully integrated tannins, this may take a few more years in the cellar.  I say, give a bottle a couple hours of air and serve with a nice, rare to medium rare roast beef this Winter.  (94 pts)

 

 

 

2004 Clarendon Hills Grenache Old Vines Blewitt Springs – $25.00

 

My comments

I’ve sampled a few Clarendon Hills wines over the years, but this will be my first bottle opened at home.  I know the wines are generally big, bold, and ripe.  It was a long day and I want a wine that just tastes good without pretense.

 

Winery history

In 1990, Roman Bratasiuk embarked on a truly remarkable wine making journey.  His vision: to create single vineyard wines equal to anything in the world.  Quite simply.  Working with old, dry-grown vines and performing every step of the process by hand, Roman sought to redefine the Australian fine wine landscape by solely conveying the imprint a vineyard forges on the varietal expression.  Every year a pragmatic and calculated Clarendon Hills learns a little more about our vineyards and pushes a little further to propel each one of our 100% varietal wines to the pinacle of their capability.

 

Please join Roman and the Clarendon Hills family in celebrating our 19 single vineyard, 100% varietal wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The big and bold nose features kircsh,  raspberry, licorice, baking spices, black pepper, blackberries, and a touch of earthiness.  This has a full body with solid, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate you encounter a massive hit of ripe, juicy berries that are unrelenting only allowing a bit of spice and pepper slip through.  As the berries slowly fade, the spices, pepper, and a bit of earthiness fills in the void.  The wine has a long finish, again filled with the remaining rich berries, though the savory notes have an easier time showing through.  This wine will not appeal to anyone looking for finesse or subtle elegance.  Fortunately, it’s a Saturday night and I just wanted something big and bold, so in that regard, this is a success.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2008 Stefania Haut Tubee – $20.00

 

My comments

This is one of my favorite red blends coming out of California.  Every year the blend changes drastically based on the grapes available.  This vintage consists of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Syrah, 15% Merlot, 10% Zinfandel, 2% Grenache, and trace amounts of Mourvedre, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Pinot Gris.  As a point of reference, the fantastic 2007 vintage of the wine was 50% Syrah with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Grenache, and Mourvedre making up the remaining 50%.

 

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.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The very nice nose features blackberries, cedar, licorice, cherry, dried herbs, white pepper, plums, dark chocolate, violets, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Much brighter on the palate than I expected from the nose, with spicy cherries and plums leading the way with dried herbs and blackberries in the background.  The finish is full of juicy fruit and spice with a touch of earthiness.  A very tasty and unique wine for around $20.  (91 pts)

 

 

 

2004 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $60.00

 

My comments

I guess you can call this a Social Media relationship.  I learned of Jean Edwards Cellars via Twitter.  I read their Tweets and started following them, luckily they followed me back.  Over the last couple of years we have exchanged jokes and Tweets about just about everything.  I was finally able to order a few bottles of their wine, and after giving a bottle a good 15 minutes to recover from the trip half way across the country, I popped the cork.  I am now a big fan and I spread their name to anyone who will listen to me.  I highly encourage you to check out their website and join their mailing list.  These are two very nice people making some of the best wine in the NapaValley.

 

Winery history

We are the owner/vintners of Jean Edwards Cellars – we share a passion for wine, a similar palate and a singular vision on the style of wines we produce.  We live by our motto that “you should only make wines you love to drink” and focus our production on artisan red wines that are full-bodied and classically styled.

 

Quality and heritage are important to us – our wines are reflective of their origins and are sourced some of the most prestigious vineyards (and vineyard blocks) throughout Napa Valley including Stagecoach Vineyard (on Pritchard Hill); vineyards on the valley floor in Rutherford, Oakville and Coombsville; and mountain vineyards on Howell and Spring Mountain.

 

Time really flies – we started producing commercial wines in 2004 but our dream of producing high quality NapaValley cabernet sauvignon wines started much earlier when we travelled to the valley in 1985.  During that trip, we developed a true appreciation for cabernet sauvignon wines and decided we would some day be a part of the business and produce a wine called Jean Edwards Cellars (our two middle names).  It was a goal worth waiting for and twenty plus years later we released our first wine in the Spring of 2006.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby to garnet color.  The sensuous nose features cassis, cedar, tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, well worn leather, black cherry, and just a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body with nice, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is rich and velvety on the palate with dried herb laced berries and cherries up front and nice savory notes and spicy oak adding considerable depth and complexity.  The long finish adds a touch of dark chocolate and earthiness to the fruit and dried herbs.  The wine is in a perfect drinking window with absolutely no rough edges or over powering elements, but it should hold for at least a few more years if not longer.  I’ll hold my remaining bottle for another couple years.  (94 pts)

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

It’s getting to be about time for the few wineries who have a Winter release to hit the inbox.  There usually aren’t that many, and other than the Loring release a week or two ago, most aren’t that exciting to me.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Direct from the winery

(2) 2010 McPrice Myers Syrah Larner Vineyard

(2) 2010 McPrice Myers Altas Vinas Alta Mesa Vineyard

(2) 2010 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

(4) 2010 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

(2) 2010 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III

 

From a local store

(3) 2004 Clarendon Hills Grenache Old Vines Blewitt Springs

 

Winery sample for online Twitter tasting

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Coastal Crush Red

 

 

 

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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