Posts tagged ‘John Duval Shiraz Entity’

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 2017 Vol 3

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

Locations WA-4

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County – $18.89

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

 

This is a blend of Syrah from assorted vineyards in Santa Barbara County that provide diverse microclimates.

 

I will preface this review by noting there was a touch of leakage visible on the end of the cork.  I was able to see a small groove in the cork that allowed a drop of wine to escape.  Generally if wine can seep out, a bit of air can seep in.  I have additional bottles of this in the cellar so this review may be replaced when I open the next bottle if the wine has discernible differences.  The bottle doesn’t seem to be damaged in any way.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sexy nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, road tar, black pepper, dark chocolate, violets and warm baking spices.  This has a full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Juicy berries and blueberries coat the palate on the front end with black pepper and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark chocolate and violets providing nice depth.  This is really walking a fine line in regards to the ripeness, as is, it seems to have a bit of residual sweetness.  This isn’t for everyone, but for me, it was very enjoyable.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

Even though they are out of vogue, we still love a nice Australian Shiraz.  Those of us who still drink these wines are usually rewarded with great pricing.  I was able to stock up on this gem for about half the suggested price when the local wine store brought in a fair amount several years ago.

 

2007 was a very challenging vintage, the effects of the ongoing drought and frosty weather greatly reduced yields.  This vintage some fruit from the Eden Valley to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The open and satisfying nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, black pepper, licorice, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dried herbs, a touch of earthiness and a floral note.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries and dark chocolate take center stage with dried herbs, pepper and some earthiness coming in on the sidelines.  The finish is very long with berries, dark chocolate, and dried herbs leading the way with a hit of cherries coming through in the background.  This is at its peak and should be opened in the next couple of years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

Locations WA-4 – $20

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

 

Even though this is a “non-vintage” wine, most, if not all the grapes, were from the 2014 vintage.  This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Sirah that was barrel aged 10 months in French and American oak barrels.

 

The owner and winemaker for Locations is Dave Phinney, better known for his esteemed Orin Swift wines.  The idea behind this label was “what can we do if we break the rules and blend grapes from regions that are normally not blended together”?  Why not make a wine blending grapes from both Bordeaux and the Rhone and throw in some from Roussillon?  The original concept has expanded to now include unique blends from different states in the US.  Besides the normal states, I noticed a Texas blend is now being produced.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, blueberries, dry underbrush, white pepper, dark chocolate, dried wildflowers, warm baking spices and a hint of crushed stones.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, spice and underbrush quickly grab control with white pepper, dark chocolate and crushed stone minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This isn’t a wine to stash away in the cellar, open it over the next 4 to 5 years and enjoy the layers of fruit and spice the wine readily offers up.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

Locations WA-4

Locations WA-4

 

 

 

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard – $39.00

Only made four barrels of this wine was produced in 2009.  The wine is 92% Cabernet with 8% co-fermented Petit Verdot.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The impressive nose has cassis, pencil shavings, plums, charred meat, black cherries, scorched earth, violets, baking spices and crushed stone minerals.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, pencil shavings, minerals and a meaty note jump out on the front end with plums, scorched earth and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice violet note providing some depth.  This still seems to be on the young side, I’ll hold off opening another bottle for a couple years.  This just kept getting better in the glass with every sip.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

This is from one of my long term favorite Petite Sirahs producers.  I have visited the winery a few times over the years and have been enjoying their wines since the 1999 vintage.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The nose is full of blackberries, crushed stone minerals, vanilla, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper and a touch of barnyard.  This has medium to full body with good acidity and moderate solid tannins.  On the palate blackberries, espresso beans, stony minerals and vanilla grab hold first with white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with some barnyard entering the picture.  This wine is in a nice drinking period and can be enjoyed over the couple of years.  This has 13.77% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi – $20.39

I love that the Total Wine in Columbia, SC carries a nice selection of wines from Lodi.  I loved my visit to Macchia last September and highly recommend trying any you may see on a shelf.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, dry earthy underbrush, violets, dusty minerals and a touch of licorice.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate this wine is full of rich fruit, spices and earthiness on the front end with minerals and a nice floral note on the back end.  The long, lingering finish closes with a hint of orange zest.  This is nothing like an Italian Sangiovese but the wine world would be a boring place if every wine made from a specific grape tasted the same no matter where it was grown.  This demands a hearty meal, think pasta with a meat sauce or a pizza with plenty of pepperoni and sausage.  This has 16.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

 

 

 

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $23.11

From the winery – The Vintner’s Select is just that.  The best barrel was selected from each vineyard site, and then blended to create a very special wine.  The flavors and aromatics are much richer and more mysterious than the Willamette Valley.  It demonstrates great depth and elegance with a touch more toast and a greater potential for aging.  The wine was aged for ten and a half months in French oak barrels and has 36% new oak influence.  The grapes were from Apolloni Vineyard (42%), Veeman Vineyard (42%) and Lia’s Vineyard (16%).

 

Just 49 cases were produced.  Wholesale $25.00 Magnums $53

 

The wine is a very light ruby red color.  The very enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, baking spices, dry underbrush, wildflowers and a nice herbal note.  This has medium body, great acidity and subtle tannins.  On the palate there is a very nice balance between the fruit and spice with the herbal note coming in late.  The finish has nice length and again shows very nice balance.  This isn’t a big, ultra ripe, highly extracted Pinot, this is much more feminine and nuanced.  This is tasting very nice today and should hold for a few years.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py – $15

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

 

Vignerons de Bel Air was established in 1929 by a small group of local produces.  It was these passionate producers goal to create the best Beaujolais possible from their vineyards.

 

The wine is a medium ruby color.  The slightly subdued nose has black raspberries, cherries, underbrush and stony minerals.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  This is much more open on the palate with nice up front fruit and spice with a vein of underbrush coming in later.  The finish has good length with spices and fruit again taking center stage.  This is a tasty Beaujolais that is currently a little light on complexity, I’d give it another year in the cellar.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

 

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $17.31

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

 

This wine is a blend of 87% Zinfandel, 13% combination of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Durif, Grand Noir, Muscat Hamburg, Négrette, Syrah, and Valdiguié.  Elyse has been making Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard since 1986 and have been the only producer using these grapes since 1988.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The captivating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, dusty minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, dark chocolate, cherries, violets and just a hint of roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and dusty minerals immediately jump out with spicy oak, black pepper and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some subtle earthiness joining a floral note and dark chocolate to add solid depth.  This is a well balanced, food friendly Zinfandel to enjoy over the remainder of the decade.  This wine has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2016 – Vol 2

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2011 Bedrock Wine Co Zinfandel Old Vine

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2011 Waters Interlude

2009 Agharta Wines Cabernet Sauvignon White Label Mountain Terraces Vineyard

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range – $9.74

This was another purchase from Last Bottle wines, one of my favorite “flash” wine sites.  If you use the provided link and sign up, we both get a credit to our accounts after your first purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This has been a personal value priced favorite over the last few years. This wine, as most blends, change every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 52% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot, 5% Mourvedre and 2% Cabernet Franc.  This wine always offers great QPR (Quality to Price Ratio).

 

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

 

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very open and giving nose is full of black cherries, licorice, black peppercorns, blackberries, baking spices, dry earth, underbrush, dried herbs and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, black pepper, spice and blackberries pop out on the front end with dried herbs, dry earth and underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with licorice and spice adding nice depth to the fruit.  This could easily pass for a much more expensive bottle of wine.  This can be enjoyed over the remainder of the decade.  (89 pts)

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co Zinfandel Old Vine – $22.00

The Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel is always a bargain.  This wine uses grapes from several older zinfandel vineyards in Sonoma County such as Stellwagen, Casa Santinamaria, Los Chamizal, Rossi Ranch in Kenwood and Monte Rosso.  This also contains a bit of Carignane and Mourvedre from the estate’s Bedrock Vineyard.

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, warm baking spices, cherries, black peppercorns, licorice, tobacco, dried violets and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  Juicy, crushed berries, cherries, baking spice and black peppercorns coat the palate on the front end with dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a lighter, livelier style of zinfandel that is a perfect companion to a hearty meat dish.  This is in a very nice drinking window and it should hold for a few more years.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co Zinfandel Old Vine

2011 Bedrock Wine Co Zinfandel Old Vine

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $25.00

In my opinion, the Loring appellation wines are some of the best bargains out there when it comes to quality California Pinot Noir.  The Loring appellation wines are, at least to me, dialed down a notch compared to their single vineyard siblings.  This and the lower prices, under $25 make them a nice way to kick up a week night dinner several notches without breaking the bank.

 

This has 14.7% alcohol and is closed via a Stelvin+ screw cap.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

For more information, to buy wine, or to join the mailing list, visit their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby red color.  The alluring nose has raspberries, warm baring spices, cola, cherries, wild flowers, plums, eucalyptus, and some earthiness.  This has medium body, soft tannins, and decent acidity.  On the palate the baking spices and fruit jump out and take hold slowly allowing a touch of eucalyptus and earthiness to break through on the back end.  The finish has good length and adds some minerality to the fruit and spice.  I’d drink this one over the next year before the acidity slides a bit more.  (91 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

2011 Waters Interlude – $16.98

The grapes for this wine come from Stone Tree, Seven Hills, Cold Creek and Old Stones vineyards.  The wine was aged in 20% new French oak and 80% neutral French oak.  There were 1,550 cases of wine produced.  I should note, I bought the wine at a great price from Garagiste Wine, the suggested price for the wine is $28.

 

This is a blend of 61% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot from Washington.  The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very expressive nose has cherries, cassis, stony minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, freshly ground espresso beans, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder and dried earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries and berries hit first with minerals and espresso beans quickly joining in.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs, cocoa powder, dried earth and a hint of eucalyptus entering the picture.  This may be a bit on the young side but it tastes delicious.  I wouldn’t want to stash this in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next couple of years.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Waters Interlude

2011 Waters Interlude

 

 

2009 Agharta Wines Cabernet Sauvignon White Label Mountain Terraces Vineyard – $38.60

Agharta is also commonly known as a mystical place on earth where the hills are made of gold and the rivers run with wine…sounds like a great place to me.  Pax Mahle

 

This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mountain Terraces Vineyard located high above Sonoma Valley and was crafted by Pax Mahle.

I was able to snag a few bottles at a great price from the Garagiste Wine e-mail list about a year ago.  Even though I think this will be on the young side, I wanted to check in on it to decide when to start opening my remaining bottles in their prime.

 

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

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cassis, plums, cedar, white pepper, crushed stones, tobacco, dried herbs, licorice and warm baking spices.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, white pepper and crushed stones quickly take control, slowly allowing dried herbs and cedar to come into play.  The finish has good length with licorice and baking spices adding nice depth.  The tannins are solid and a touch rough at this time, enjoy this with a piece of juicy grilled meat now or let it sleep for a few years.  This has the depth and balance to last in the cellar for another decade or longer.  (92 pts)

2009 Agharta Wines Cabernet Sauvignon White Label Mountain Terraces Vineyard

2009 Agharta Wines Cabernet Sauvignon White Label Mountain Terraces Vineyard

 

 

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard – $28.71

This was another purchase from Garagiste Wine.  My purchases from them have declined over the last couple of years but I still end up receiving a case when shipping season rolls around.

 

The wine has 12.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, white pepper, wild flowers, wet stone minerals, black raspberries and roasted leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate silky tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, baking spices and wet stones quickly take hold with white pepper and earthy underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with roasted herbs and black raspberries entering the picture.  This tastes great now with some air but will be better in a year or two.  (93 pts)

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

 

 

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $33.24

This vintage of Entity includes some Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.  The wine was aged in 100% French oak for 18 months, 36% of which was new.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The very open and powerful nose has blackberries, baking spices, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, blueberries, white pepper, candied violets and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is a beast on the palate, full of dark berries and spice up front with vanilla bean and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is very long with white pepper, candied violets and spicy oak adding considerable depth.  This is drinking very nicely but will improve with some time in the cellar.  Outstanding!  (94 pts)

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $28.17

I had a fair amount of credits in my account at Underground Cellar when a Sojourn Pinot offer popped up.  I quickly grabbed a 6 pack knowing the lowest priced wine I would get was this wine, their Sonoma Coast wine.  By a freak of luck, I only received one bottle of this one, and 5 bottles of their much more expensive single vineyard wines.  That’s how Underground Cellars offers work, you pay the x bottles of the lowest priced wine in the group and some of your bottles get upgraded for free.  Who knows, you may order a mid level California Cabernet and get the steal of the century and get a bottle of the coveted Screaming Eagle.  Check them out by clicking here.  If you sign up via the link I provided we both get a $20 credit when you make your first purchase.

 

This wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cherries, licorice, warm baking spices, cola, dry earth, violets, cranberries and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body with moderate silky tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate spicy cherries, cola and dry earth jump out first with cedar and cranberries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a nice floral note joining the cherries and baking spices.  This improved greatly with air so let it sleep in your cellar for another year of give it an hour in the decanter.  (91 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Oct 6, 2014 to Oct 12, 2014

 

 

2012 Villa Creek “White”

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek “White” – $20.80

This wine is always an easy buy when it’s offered on the Villa Creek release offer.  I should just have a standing order of 6 bottles of this wine and 6 of their “Pink”.  Over the years I’ve turned on a few friends of the great wines offered by the winery.

 

This is a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% James Berry Vineyard Roussanne.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow straw color.  The crisp and refreshing nose has ripe pear, apples, crushed stone minerals, toast, lemon zest, honeysuckle and just a touch of spice.  This has medium body with very nice acidity and a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate pears and minerals jump out first with apples, toast and honeysuckle coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with tart lemon zest and a touch of sweetness providing perfect balance.  This is an outstanding value that will drink nicely over the next few years.  (92 pts)

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Villa Creek White

 

 

 

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard – $25.00

Anthill Farms likes to make a “one off” wine.  In 2005, they made a Syrah with grapes from the Windsor Oaks Vineyard that turned out so well, it was quickly made part of their line up.  This is a classic cool climate Syrah that shows tart acidity and good savory elements.  The vineyard is only 10 miles from the coast and the grapes struggle to ripen in this area, resulting in longer “hang times”.  This is not a fruit forward, fruit driven, fruit bomb.

 

This has 13.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky ruby to purple color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, blackberries, crushed stone minerals, black pepper, licorice, road tar, dried herbs, scorched earth, dark bittersweet chocolate and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Bright fruit, pepper and minerals quickly engulf the palate, slowly allowing dried herbs and scorched earth to slip through.  The finish has very nice length with a nice floral note joining the tart fruit, minerals and pepper.  This will easily last in the cellar and possibly improve over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble – $18.99

This was Copain’s effort to put out a value priced, mid-level, appellation branded level of wines.  The Copain Tous Ensemble line up has grown to now include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, and a Rosé.  In my opinion, the Copain Tous Ensemble lineup offers stunning quality for the price.  I’ve had and greatly enjoyed multiple vintages of the Syrah, Pinot Noir, and the Rosé.  I know these wines have some distribution, I bought this one at a local wine store, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle to sample if you see one on your local wine store’s shelf.

 

This has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

Winery history

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s Rhône Valley 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 Rhone Valley.  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.

 

For more information on Copain, visit their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, brined olives, dried herbs, smoked meat, raspberry, crushed stone minerals and wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brined olives join the berries on the front end with stony minerals and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has good length with a meaty element and wildflowers joining the show.  This will be easy to enjoy over the next few years.  (91 pts)

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

2010 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble

 

 

 

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet – $28.49

Cosentino was a winery we always visited when we were in wine country.  After falling suffering through some hard times, the winery was eventually sold.  I, for one, am hoping the new owners will get the winery back on course.

 

This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot that was barrel aged for 27 months.

 

This wine has 14.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

From Mitch Cosentino

On Facebook, I asked Mitch about the origin of the name “The Poet”, here was his response:

Ray Manzarek of the Doors always thought of THE POET as Jim Morrison.  Others have thought it was me.  In actuality it was one of four wines in the “Rare Art” series (POET, NOVELIST, SCULPTOR, and WINEMASTER) created some 34 years ago.  Each wine was named for the artist who’s approach to their medium was similar to the approach to that particular wine.  The whole story is longer with more detail than I have time or space here.  I am no longer involved in these any more.  They are the creations I miss most.  But the wines live on. I am still making what was inside the bottle under different identities from most of the same vineyards at PureCru Wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cigar box, dried herbs, licorice, cherries, baking spice, and some minerality.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate spicy fruit and toasty oak lead off the show with some cherries and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length and again is supported by the fruit and oak.  This is drinking nicely today as long as a bit of oak doesn’t bother you.  This is not made in a big rich style that has become popular with a lot of California Cabernets and blends, this wine needs food.  (91 pts)

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

2006 Cosentino Winery The Poet

 

 

 

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $33.24

This vintage of Entity includes some Eden Valley Shiraz to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.  The wine was aged in 100% French oak for 18 months, 36% of which was new.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The very open and powerful nose has blackberries, baking spices, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, blueberries, white pepper, candied violets and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is a beast on the palate, full of dark berries and spice up front with vanilla bean and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is very long with white pepper, candied violets and spicy oak adding considerable depth.  This is drinking very nicely but will improve with some time in the cellar.  Outstanding!  (94 pts)

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2010 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia – $16.62

I grabbed several of these based on recommendations from a few people.  I’m a big fan of Malbecs from Argentina.  I generally open one when I’m in the mood for something different.

 

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

 

Winery history

Our family venture, is a Boutique Winery which is only devoted to produce high quality wines.

 

We combine valuable resourses to satisfy discerning palates, sophisticated experts,

who enjoy of a genuine and thousand-year old beverage, but more contemporary than never.

 

CAPACITY

Our production capacity is about 500.000 litres of wine. They are storaged in 25.000, 20.000, 10.000, 5000 and 2500 stainless steel tanks.

This allows a better and thorough quality control.

The select wine is also put in 225 litres barrels of French and American oak.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine a very deep and dark purple to black color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, freshly sharpened pencil, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, and leather.  The wine has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The rich and velvety palate has loads of berries and dark chocolate up front with dried herbs and a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end adding a lot of depth.  The finish is fairly long with the chocolate, berries, and dried herbs slowly giving way to a touch of excess oak.  This is still a baby and will greatly reward some cellar time, that said, other than a bit of oak on the finish this is already stunning.  (92 pts)

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia

 

 

 

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 – May 20, 2013 to May 23, 2013

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos – $11.39

 

This Spanish Garnacha (Grenache) is a perennial best buy that always over delivers.  If you are looking for a classically structured, old world style Grenache, this isn’t it.  If you want a wine loaded with fruit and spice, grab a bottle, you will love this one.  This could be slipped into a tasting of California wines that cost a lot more and not stick out as a weak link.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, smoke, vanilla, baking spices, cherries, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, and some dried herbs.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead off with white pepper, dried herbs, and the coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dark chocolate note joining the party.  This is a very nice wine and an incredible value.  (91 pts)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

 

Even though they are out of vogue, we still love a nice Australian Shiraz.  Those of us that still drink these wines are usually rewarded with great pricing.  I was able to stock up on this gem for about half the suggested price when the local wine store brought in a fair amount.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The open and satisfying nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, black pepper, licorice, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dried herbs, some earthiness, and a floral note.  This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries and dark chocolate take center stage with dried herbs, pepper, and some earthiness coming in on the sidelines.  The finish is very long with berries, dark chocolate, and dried herbs leading the way with a hit of cherries coming through in the background.  This is delicious today but can easily be cellared for several years.  (94 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $25.00

 

Turley was one of the original “cult” zinfandel producers.  Even though they may have been eclipsed by a few of the young guns like Carlisle and Bedrock, their Juvenile and Old Vines Zins are still very nice bottles of wine for the price.  I have actually dropped off the Turley mailing list since I have been able to buy most of the wines from my local wine store who actually has a very nice selection on their shelves.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The spicy nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, minerals, baking spices, smoke, and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  Brighter on the palate than the nose lead me to expect with the fruit more in the cherry and raspberry arena with a load of black pepper and spice poured on top.  The finish has decent length and adds a touch of earthiness.  This doesn’t offer much complexity but still very tasty.  Not your typical rich and velvety Turley zinfandel.  (91 pts)

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.29

 

This is a kitchen sink blend that changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Verdot, and 1% Carmenere from the ColumbiaValley in Washington.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to maroon color. The enticing nose has blackberries, smoldering charcoal, vanilla, meat juices, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, and a bit of earthiness. This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity. The palate has a nice mix of fruity and savory elements that play well off of each other. The finish has decent length leaning a bit more on the savory elements. This is in a very nice drinking window and is a nice change of pace from the bigger, riper California wines.  (90 pts)

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

Jan 14, 2013 to Jan 17, 2013

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $25.00

 

My comments

I am a big fan of the Loring appellation wines.  These wines are blends of grapes from different vineyards in the region.  These wines may lack some of the uniqueness of the single vineyard wines, but to me they seem to highlight the best features from each vineyard.  The best part is these wines are about half the price of the single vineyard wines so they can be enjoyed without too much guilt any day of the week.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from CottonwoodCanyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The rich and inviting nose has black raspberries, Asian spices, cola, black cherry, wild flowers, white pepper, and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a medium body, moderate, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine has rich, velvety fruit and spice up front with some subtle earthiness and white pepper coming in late.  The finish is fairly long and full of spicy, earthy fruit.  May not be the most complex Pinot out there, but it is delicious and a steal at the mailing list price of $25.  (91 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2009 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel – $15.19

 

My comments

I’ve been a fan of the Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for many years.  It had been a few years since I tried one of their zinfandels.  The local store brought this one in and had it at a great price, so I grabbed a couple bottles.  I sat on my bottles for a few months figuring I could try one and stock up if it was good.  That theory blew up when the wine ended up at #68 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list.  As usually happens, the wine disappeared for store’s shelves.

 

Winery history

Buehler Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in the mountains east of St. Helena in NapaValley.  Situated north of Pritchard Hill and Conn Valley, near the base of Howell Mountain, our hillside vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller blocks of old-vine Zinfandel.

 

Our family has been farming this beautiful estate for thirty-six years.  We combine that experience and the unique terroir of our hillside vineyards with low yields, meticulous vineyard management, and minimalist winemaking techniques to create wines of uncommon complexity and depth, and to present these wines to wine lovers at reasonable prices.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The refined and elegant nose has brambly berries, dried sage, vanilla, black cherries, dried wild flowers, underbrush, and a touch of black pepper.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate has peppery, berries with spicy oak, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness.  The finish is a touch short and the tannins turn a bit chalky.  This has very nice balance but it may be going through a slight bump in its development.  If the slight chalkiness on the finish resolves with a touch of cellar time, which I think they will, this will be very good for a few more years.  (89 pts)

2009 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

 

My comments

It may not be “cool” to admit, but I am still a fan of Australian Shiraz.  Once you get beyond the sea of over ripe, syrupy, raisiny Shiraz, there are some true, bargain priced gems out there.

 

Winery history

Welcome to John Duval Wines.  After 29 years as a winemaker with Penfolds, one of Australia’s most famous wineries, I started my own wine label in 2003.  I have had a fortunate career, graduating in agriculture and winemaking in 1973 at AdelaideUniversity and then following in the footsteps of some of the greats of Australian winemaking such as Max Schubert, the creator of Penfolds Grange and Don Ditter, another famous Penfolds winemaker of the 1970s and early ’80s.

 

I guess there was a family precedent to all of this – the Duval family had for many years run a world famous sheep stud and quality vineyards south of Adelaide, coincidentally supplying Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to Penfolds.  So I wasn’t exactly a newcomer to wine.

 

I was appointed Chief Winemaker at Penfolds in 1986 and was lucky enough to oversee one of the most dynamic periods of change in the Australian wine industry.  With the support of my team in the Barossa I secured a number of awards for the company – Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1989; Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London in 1991 and again in 2000; and seeing the 1990 Penfolds Grange named the Wine of the Year by the prestigious US magazine Wine Spectator in 1995.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky, purple color.  The deep, dark, and inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, smoked meat, baking spices, black pepper, licorice, dried herbs, and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body with big, ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there are cocoa powder dusted berries, black pepper, and meaty elements up front with dried herbs, spice, and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The long, lingering finish has the fruit giving way to the dark chocolate and dried herbs.  This is a fairly big wine but it does not push the ripeness to anything extreme.  This tastes wonderful today, but it can easily be cellared through the end of the decade.  (93 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $14.24

 

My comments

This was recently on my list of the Top Value Wines of 2012.  This is still a favorite with week night Italian fare, like tonight’s Veal Parmesan.  I like the extra body imparted by the drying of the grapes but the wine generally retains enough acidity to stand up to the tomato based sauces.  This is also a personal favorite with a nice, meaty pizza.

 

Winery history

Palazzo della Torre comes from the plot of land that encircles Villa della Torre, a veritable jewel of the Italian Renaissance.  The wine is made using an innovative take on the ‘ripasso’ technique.  Most of the grapes are vinified at harvest time, while the rest are set aside to partially dry.  In January, the wine blended with the juice from the raisined grapes undergoes a second fermentation.

 

Allegrini is the leading producer in the Valpolicella Classico area and one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in Italy and throughout the world.  The family’s roots in Valpolicella date back to the 16th century.  Today the winery consists of more than 100 hectares (247 acres) set amongst the rolling hills of the “Classico” appellation.  All wines made under the Allegrini label are produced exclusively from these estate vineyards.  Through research and experimentation over the years, Allegrini has introduced radical innovations in the vineyards, in the grape drying process and in the cellar, with the objective of enhancing the intrinsic quality of Valpolicella.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, plums, warm baking spices, minerals, vanilla, and dried flowers.  The wine has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and plush on the palate with the spicy berries and dried herbs up front and some earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the spicy berries and dried herbs carrying the load.  If you can find this for $15 or less, load up, I did.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

 

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Music Corner – A new addition

Some favorite songs/videos (known to pair with good wine)

 

Gimme Shelter – U2, Mick Jagger, Fergie

 

Stairway to Heaven – Heart (Kennedy Center Honors)

 

Comfortably Numb Live – Pink Floyd

 

That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

ZZ Top – La Grange

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Loring Wine Company

This offer included the following wines:

Russell Family Vineyard Pinot Noir

Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir

Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir

Parmelee-Hill Vineyard Chardonnay

Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay

 

 

Carlisle

The current offer includes:

2011 SonomaMountain “Steiner Vineyard” Grüner Veltliner

2011 RussianRiverValley “Papa’s Block” Syrah

2011 SantaLuciaHighlands “Sierra Mar Vineyard” Syrah

2011 Sonoma County “Three Birds” Red Wine

2011 SonomaValley “Compagni Portis” White Wine

2011 DryCreekValley Zinfandel

2011 Mendocino Ridge “DuPratt Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 NapaValley “Hayne Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 RussianRiverValley “Montafi Ranch” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaCounty Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Bedrock Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Monte Rosso Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Rossi Ranch” Zinfandel

 

Wines bought or received this week

Nothing to report now, but I will be picking up some wine this weekend.

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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