Posts tagged ‘King Estate Pinot Gris’

Cliffs Wine Picks – March 2017 Vol 4

 

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

 

 

 

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto – $31.67

This wine is 100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) from my favorite wine region in Spain, Ribera Del Duero.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The stunning nose has blackberry liqueur, melted licorice, warm baking spices, cedar, dark bittersweet chocolate, earthy underbrush and a nice floral note.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and plush with spicy berries, dark chocolate and some earthiness.  The finish is long and loaded with spicy fruit and dark chocolate.  This is in a very good drinking window and should hold for several years.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

2004 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto

 

 

 

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris – $13.89

This wine was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with 4 months sur lie aging before bottling.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The captivating nose has green apples, white peach, flinty minerals, melon, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, white peach and melon quickly grab your attention with minerals and orange blossoms coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tart lemon zest leading you to grab another sip.  Not a lot of complexity but a tasty wine to enjoy on its own or with a light meal on a sunny day.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

2014 King Estate Pinot Gris

 

 

 

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $14.24

This is a blend of 37% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah and 9% Malbec, from the High Valley AVA in the eastern part of Lake County in California.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, smoked meat, dark bittersweet chocolate, plums, some eucalyptus and a hit of earthiness.  This has a fairly full body, soft tannins, and decent acidity.  The palate has a nice initial hit of fruit and dark chocolate that is joined by some building spice and earthiness.  The finish has nice length and is joined by a touch of spicy oak.  This wine is holding on at this time and tasting good but I think the wine will start a downward trend in the next year.  Drink this on up in the next year, maybe two.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge

 

 

 

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard – $25.00

This wine is 100% Sémillon from the McGah Family Vineyard in Rutherford.

 

The wine is a light, pale straw yellow color.  The sexy nose has melon, pineapple, lemon zest, spices, orange blossoms and dusty minerals.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate nice up front fruit is balanced with spice, orange blossoms and minerals.  The finish has great length with tart lemon zest urging you to grab another sip.  This is one of the best Sémillon wines I have had the pleasure to drink.  This has nice richness with good acidity providing very nice structure.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

2013 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley – $10.19

Bird Song Hill Vineyards is located in the Columbia Valley across from Red Mountain.  This family owned winery was established in 1999.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, baking spices and licorice.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, spices and dried herbs jump out on the front end with cedar coming in later.  The finish has decent length.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity and a little excess oak pokes through at times, that said it is a decent week night Cabernet.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (87 pts)

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

2014 Bird Song Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente – $23.00

This was the first release of this wine and it got off to a rocking start.  Well, actually a shaking start.  There were only 75 cases produced but the earthquake in the summer of 2014 caused some of those cases to be destroyed.  The wine was already in short supply so the winery put out a plea to everyone who had requested the maximum purchase of 2 bottles.  If you would give up one of your bottles, the winery would replace it with any other bottle they had in stock.  Even though I really wanted to try the wine, I gave up one of my bottles to allow another wine lover to sample this initial vintage.  Off the top of my head, I can’t remember the specific wine I received in place of my bottle.

 

The wine is a very light yellow color.  The exuberant nose is full of tart pears, lemon zest, white peach, chalky minerals, orange blossoms and lemongrass.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate pears, lemon zest, white peach and minerals quickly jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and lemongrass coming in later.  The finish has good length with lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is drinking very nicely today but I wouldn’t hold onto it for more than a year, maybe two.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  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 – October Selections 2

 

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

2001 Dehlinger Syrah

2010 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Howell Mountain

2012 Montoya Vineyards Pinot Noir

2010 Tyrrell’s Shiraz Rufus Stone McLaren Vale

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Rattlesnake Rock

2014 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

 

 

 

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs – $29.99

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The incredible nose is full of brambly berries, minerals, vanilla, black peppercorns, cherries, plums, dry earth, underbrush, dead wood embers and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the plush palate the brambly berries, black peppercorns and minerals take control early with vanilla, cherries and plums coming in later.  The finish has great length with wood embers, subtle earthiness and a nice floral note seeming to linger forever.  This tastes fabulous now and should hold nicely for at least a few more years.  This wine has greatly improved over the last couple of years.  The wine has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs

 

 

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala – $35.00

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The explosive nose is full of blackberries, cassis, smoke, dark bittersweet chocolate, charred meat, melted licorice, vanilla, warm baking spices, and violets.  This is full bodied with moderate to solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine grabs hold of your palate unleashing wave after wave of lush fruit, spice, and savory notes in unrelenting layers.  The finish is very long, almost seeming to never end with very nice fruit slowly giving way to dark chocolate and then nice meaty elements and earthiness.  The extra time in the cellar has been rewarded in this case.  There is no hurry on this one, it should hold for at least a few more years.  (95 pts)

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

 

 

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.37

This is a perennial house favorite and best buy.  The blend changes every vintage, but the quality is always in the bottle.  This is always a blend of several grapes that always seems to work.

 

This vintage is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Syrah, 12% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 4% Sangiovese, 2% Zinfandel, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere.

 

Winery history

Whether it’s our highly acclaimed Firehouse Red or one of our limited-production single vineyard reserve blends, Tamarack’s wines offer a delicious expression of Washington vineyards’ style and elegance.

 

When you visit the winery, you won’t find us in a fancy chateau.  Instead you’ll find yourself immersed in the everyday workings of a family-owned winery, racking, blending and bottling wine, in a renovated firehouse located in a World War II Army Air Base.

 

Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack’s first vintage consisted of 300 cases of Merlot.  The goal was to make elegant, balanced, delicious wines and offer them at a fair price.  Years later, and now up to 20,000 cases each year, the focus remains the same. Tamarack Cellars hand-crafts consistently outstanding wines for a great price.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a fairly deep ruby to maroon color.  The pleasant nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, minerals, cherries, baking spices, dried herbs, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  Nice, juicy, spicy fruit hits the palate first with some dark chocolate and earthiness coming in on the back end.  This has decent length on the finish which is showing a touch of oak.  For under $15 this is a keeper.  The bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork, I could not see the alcohol percentage on the label.  Before you ask, I checked before I even had a sip of the wine.  (89 pts)

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue – $8.54

This is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from 40 year old vineyards.

 

This has 14.0% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is garnet red color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, black olives, scorched earth, cherries, dried herbs, and wood smoke.  This has medium body, moderate chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements co-exist peacefully with neither trying to steal the show.  The finish has nice length and leans on the savory side of the spectrum.  This isn’t one to stash away, open this one over the next few years and enjoy.  Offers great QPR if you can find it for under $10.  (89 pts)

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

 

 

2001 Dehlinger Syrah – $25.00

This was a free upgrade from Underground Cellar, I highly recommend checking them out by clicking here.   Note, if you sign up by this link, you will get an automatic $20 credit, if you ever buy wine from them, I’ll also get a $20 credit.  Their unique approach is that you buy a lower end wine and they will “upgrade” some of your bottles to a higher level wine.  Sometimes the upgrade is minor, sometimes you get lucky and score a real gem, like I did in this case.

 

The wine has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a saturated ruby red color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, cherries, warm baking spices, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, melted black licorice, roasted herbs, dry earth, underbrush, plums, tobacco and violets.  This has medium body with resolved tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery berries and cherries jump out first, quickly followed by crushed stones and roasted herbs.  The long, lingering finish adds some nice earthiness, plums and a floral note.  This is at its peak now and very easy to sit back and enjoy.  (93 pts)

2001 Dehlinger Syrah

2001 Dehlinger Syrah

 

 

2010 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

This wine is a blend of 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Franc.  The wine has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cassis, cherries, dried herbs, freshly ground espresso beans, cigar box, crushed stone minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, cherries, tobacco and a load of crushed stones hit on the front end with espresso beans and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has great length with dried herbs entering the picture.  This needs some time in the cellar, at this point the tannins get a bit chalky.  (94 pts)

2010 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

2010 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

 

 

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – 12.69

The wine is a pale golden straw color.  The fresh and appealing nose has apples, melons, lime zest, orange blossoms, flinty minerals and white peaches.  This has a light to medium body with nice acidity and a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, melons and lime zest jump out quickly with flinty minerals coming through on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a touch of white peach and orange blossoms adding nice depth.  The wine has a nice lingering citrus element that leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  This is a great wine for a casual dinner on the deck or patio on a warm evening.  (89 pts)

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Howell Mountain – SRP $37.00

The wine is a deep purple color.  The sensuous nose has brambly berries, crushed stone minerals, fresh ground espresso beans, black pepper, scorched earth, black licorice, dry wildflowers and dried leafy herbs.  This has a medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Brambly berries, crushed stones and espresso immediately coat the palate with black pepper and dried herbs slipping through on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with licorice and scorched earth adding great depth.  This is a nicely balanced and nuanced zinfandel, not one that needs to be sipped on it’s own.  Fire up the grill, throw on a piece of meat, pull the cork and enjoy a great dinner.  This wine has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Howell Mountain

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Howell Mountain

 

 

2012 Montoya Vineyards Pinot Noir – $13.59

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, raspberries, dry earth, chalky minerals, roasted leafy herbs and orange zest.  This has medium body with soft silky tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and white pepper pop out on the front end with roasted herbs and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with subtle earthiness and orange zest.  Not a lot of complexity but this is an easy drinking, tasty, reasonably priced Pinot Noir to enjoy on a week night with a lighter meal.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Montoya Vineyards Pinot Noir

2012 Montoya Vineyards Pinot Noir

 

 

2010 Tyrrell’s Shiraz Rufus Stone McLaren Vale – $16.99

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The outgoing nose has cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee beans, vanilla, road tar and roasted herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, vanilla and roasted herbs hit on the front end with dark chocolate and coffee beans coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of eucalyptus coming in.  Not a lot of complexity and the finish ends with a slight sweet note.  (86 pts)

2010 Tyrrell's Shiraz Rufus Stone McLaren Vale

2010 Tyrrell’s Shiraz Rufus Stone McLaren Vale

 

 

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Rattlesnake Rock – $49.00

I’ve been a big fan of Big Basin for a few years now.  I should say up front, I have only had their non Pinot Noir wines.  Their big reds are generally fairly full bodied but very balanced.  I think they are one big score from a major wine publication away from hitting the big time.

 

Winery history

Our mission is to create wines that reveal the complex nuances of the vineyards that inspire them – cool climate, ocean-influenced, mountain vineyards.  To this end, we spend long hours in our vineyard to insure that the grapes we grow represent the fullest expression of the vineyard and vintage.  We believe in and employ sustainable and organic farming practices.  The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes and fog, and mountain soils promote the development of color and complex flavors.  By keeping the yields very low and harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, we strive to achieve the most important part of winemaking – great fruit.

 

Much more information available at:  http://bigbasinvineyards.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color, almost black.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, plums, minerals, dying charcoal embers, iron shavings, smoked meat, black pepper, dark chocolate, vanilla, and violets.  This is full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The palate is highlighted by nice, mineral laden, spicy, fruit with a touch of earthiness.  The long finish has the fruit slowly giving way to the minerals, spice, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This is drinking very nicely but will last and probably improve in the cellar for several more years.  (94 pts)

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Rattlesnake Rock

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Rattlesnake Rock

 

 

2014 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou – $9.34

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The refreshing nose has strawberries, cherries, orange blossoms, tangerine zest and chalky minerals.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and minerals jump out first with cherries and orange blossoms coming in later.  The crisp finish has a nice tangerine zest note and has nice length.  The perfect wine to sip on a hot day or to pair with a lighter meal.  (89 pts)

2014 Famille Bougrier Rosé d'Anjou

2014 Famille Bougrier Rosé d’Anjou

 

 

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage – $18.71

The Crozes-Hermitage is my go to region for value priced wines from the Northern Rhone.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol by volume ands the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, cherries, dried herbs, minerals, smoked meat, black pepper, and some forest floor.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the nicely layered palate spicy fruit is joined by minerals and smoked meat with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length and leans on the savory elements with the fruit providing a touch of sweetness in the background.  This is drinking very nicely today but there is absolutely no need to drink these soon.  (91 pts)

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

 

 

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 28, 2013 to Oct 31, 2013

 

 

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2010 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard – $33.24

Ledge Vineyards is the winery owned by the One Time Spaceman, Mark Adams.  I was lucky enough to secure a sample of the 2009 vintage of this wine from Mark.  After two sips of the wine, I immediately joined the mailing list.  After securing my spot on the list, I started telling everyone who would listen to get on the list.  If you didn’t hear or heed my earlier advice, you still have time; the 2011 vintage will be released in a few weeks.

 

For more information or to join the mailing list, click here.

 

This wine has 14.5% abv and is sealed with a natural cork and wax coating.

 

About the winery

The Adams Ranch is in the Willow Creek region on the west side of Paso Robles and rests on a plateau with the Santa Lucia Mountains as a backdrop, with a steep drop to Vineyard Drive in the foreground.  The vineyard is almost entirely Syrah, with some Grenache and Mourvedre peppered in.  We expand every year at a snail’s pace, with 25 dry farmed acres as the ultimate goal.  The vines are own rooted and reared in the home nursery after pruning each year.  Once established, the vines are dry farmed, field-blended and co-fermented using only native yeasts and are aged in neutral oak barrels.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, minerals, smoke, raspberries, eucalyptus, black pepper, violets, roasted herbs, and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with nice layers of fruit, spice and minerals.  The finish is very long with rich fruit, spice, minerals and a floral note seeming to hand on forever.  This is on the young side but already a stunning wine.  This will be a nice one to follow over the next decade, maybe even longer.  (93 pts)

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.  With production in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases, this wine can be found just about everywhere.  If you’ve never tried this wine, give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.

 

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

 

Winery History

King Estate, celebrating 20 years of Oregon winemaking in 2011, is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay. Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is committed to producing Oregon wines of exceptional quality using organic & sustainable farming methods, meticulous fruit selection, impeccable winemaking practices and judicious blending.

 

The beautiful estate of 1,033 acres is certified organic and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.

 

More information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color. The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body and crisp acidity. On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top. The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

2005 Château Margüi Côteaux Varois – $15.83

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

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

2005 Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois

2005 Chateau Margui Coteaux Varois

 

 

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $28.00

I’ve been on the Rhys mailing list for a few years.  A lot of people knock the wines because they don’t taste great upon release.  Rhys wines require a few years in the cellar to smoothen out and open up.  That said, their Alesia wines, which are made from purchased grapes, though also needing some time in the cellar, seem to be ready to drink a couple years earlier.  I grabbed several bottles of this wine when it was offered on their e-mail release.  I’ve had a couple bottles and every bottle has been better than the previous bottle…always a good sign.  I’m glad I still have five bottles to follow over the next few years.

 

This has 13.9% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color. The sexy nose has strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices, underbrush, minerals, cherries, dried flowers, and a slight herbal note. The wine has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity. The very complex palate has layers of fruit, spice, and earthy elements that slowly reveal themselves with each sip, with the nice cleansing acidity evident at all times. The finish is fairly long and the mouthwatering acidity is ever present. This is very food friendly and civilized. There is no excess weight or overly extracted notes evident on the wine. This is still on the young side and can be enjoyed over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

2010 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley – $18.99

I’ve been a big fan of the Novy/Siduri wines from Adam Lee for several years.  For some reason, their Zinfandels seem to fly under the radar.  Their single vineyard offerings are some of the best values out there, grab one if you happen to see one sitting on a store shelf.

 

This has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.

 

In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.

 

Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:

 

  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The soothing and inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, warm baking spices, licorice, dried herbs, tobacco, dark chocolate and some red raspberries.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and tart acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries grab the palate initially with dried herbs and dark chocolate coming in on the mid palate.  The finish has decent length highlighted by tart red raspberries.  This has much brighter acidity than your usual California zin, which obscures any richness that may be present.  With the good tannins and abundant acidity, this should last in the cellar and improve for several years.  (90 pts)

2010 Novy Zinfandel Russian River Valley

2010 Novy Zinfandel Russian River Valley

 

 

Napa Valley Film Festival

Are you interested in attending the Napa Valley Film Festival?  The festival runs from November 13 through 17.

 

Oh, almost forgot, how does attending the event for free sound?  To celebrate being a sponsor of the event, Benchmark Wine Group is giving away a very nice package to one lucky person.  Enter by October 31st for your chance to win.

 

The Napa-based company is offering one lucky winner two Festival Passes to the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), worth a $500 value; two private invitations to the Benchmark Opening Night VIP kick-off party; and exclusive access to the sneak preview screening of ‘August: Osage County’, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

 

Benchmark Wine Group will be hosting an exclusive Opening Night VIP kick-off party on Wednesday, November 13 and a winemaker tasting with Todd Alexander of Bryant and Bettina on Friday, November 15.  NVFF Patrons and special guests will be invited to join Benchmark Wine Group at the Michael Holmes Gallery at Riverfront, 606 Main Street, from 8 pm to 10 pm Wednesday to launch the week’s festivities.  Every guest Wednesday will be entered into a raffle for a chance to buy a bottle of 2001 Château Haut-Brion for $1; taste magnums of 1983 Pétrus, 1966 Château Margaux, and 2003 Diamond Creek; and enjoy food catered by Morimoto Napa.

 

For more information, click here.

 

To view the official rules and to enter, click here.

 

A video about the event from my bud, Amy Payne, is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

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 – Sep 16, 2013 to Sep 19, 2013

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County

2010 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $27.00

I’ve been on the Vincent Arroyo mailing list since the 2000 vintage.  I was hooked after our first visit to the winery.  I was fortunate enough to get in on a sale of their library wines so I have had the wines from as far back as the 1995 vintage.  If you ever make it to the Calistoga area, I highly recommend a stop at Vincent Arroyo.  They generally have a couple bottles open but the highlight is the barrel tasting.  You have the opportunity to buy the exact wines you sample from the barrel when they are released in the fall.

 

Petite Sirah is the “signature” wine from Vincent Arroyo.  This is their standard Napa Valley bottling but they also produce a couple of single vineyard Petites.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red with some brick at the edge.  The comforting nose has tobacco, cedar, baking spices, blackberries, wet earth, and some minerals.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the savory notes dominate with the berries adding nice sweetness.  The finish has good length and again leans on the savory and earthy notes with the fruit present but playing a supporting role.  This is drinking nicely but I wouldn’t hold for more than another year or two before the fruit totally disappears.  (91 pts)

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

Barrel Tasting at Vincent Arroyo Winery several years ago.

VA Barrel Tasting

 

 

 

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County – $16.90

This was about as easy of a purchase that I ever made.  I love the Grenache grape, the wines coming out of Santa Barbara County, and the value the Treasure Hunter label provides.  I grabbed a few bottles but this will be the first one I open.

 

Winery history

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.

 

Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, dried herbs, baking spices, black pepper, minerals and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery cherries and raspberries grab hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs and earthiness slip into focus.  The finish had decent length with a nice mix of the fruit and savory elements.  This could pass for a higher end French Cotes du Rhone.  (91 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emmas Crush Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2010 Loring Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard – $39.67

For several years, Brian Loring specialized in fuller body, ripe, California Pinot Noirs.  A few years ago, Brian added Chardonnay to his line up.  In the last couple of years they have further expanded their offerings by including Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cabernet Sauvignon to their stable of wines.

 

This is the first vintage of a Cabernet Sauvignon labeled wine from the winery.  I bought a few bottles from their mailing list when it was released.  This will be my first bottle opened from that purchase.

 

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 deep ruby color to maroon color.  The very open and inviting nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, tobacco, dark bittersweet chocolate, and minerals.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate cassis and cedar dominate the front end with dried herbs and cherry coming through later.  The finish has nice length with sweet fruit and spicy oak carrying the load.  This could use a bit more complexity and it may come out with some time in the cellar.  That said, it is still a delicious bottle of wine.  (89 pts)

2010 Loring Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.  With production in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases, this wine can be found just about everywhere.  If you’ve never tried this wine, give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.

 

Winery History

King Estate, celebrating 20 years of Oregon winemaking in 2011, is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay. Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is committed to producing Oregon wines of exceptional quality using organic & sustainable farming methods, meticulous fruit selection, impeccable winemaking practices and judicious blending.

 

The beautiful estate of 1,033 acres is certified organic and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.

 

More information available on their website.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color. The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body and crisp acidity. On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top. The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

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 – July 15, 2013 to July 18, 2013

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2008 New Harbor Pinot Noir

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.  With production in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases, this wine can be found just about everywhere.  If you’ve never tried this wine, give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color with a slight greenish tint. The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body and crisp acidity. On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top. The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

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

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

 

My Tasting Note

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

2011 Bedrock Wine Co Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2008 New Harbor Pinot Noir – $5.70

It’s another hot and humid day in the upper Midwest.  After a few days of white wines, I was in the mood for a lighter bodied red wine.  I remembered I still had a couple bottles of this wine, and it should be perfect.  In the past this inexpensive gem has been a nice week night Pinot Noir.  We aren’t talking about anything earth moving or monumental, after all, it cost me just a touch over $5.  This is a light bodied, easy drinking, Pinot Noir from New Zealand.  It has a touch of residual sweetness which does nothing more than add a touch of richness on the back end and finish.  The best part is, it works nicely with a slight chill.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light ruby red color.  The soft, delicate, and alluring nose has cherries, baking spices, a bit of earthiness, and some plum.  This has light to medium body, soft silky tannins, nice acidity, and a touch of residual sweetness.  On the palate, sweet fruit and spice dominate with just a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short, but the touch of sweetness adds some nice richness.  This is fairly straight forward, but it still makes a nice week night Pinot Noir for under $6.  This works  nicely with a slight chill, which works out perfectly on a warm day.  (86 pts)

2008 New Harbor Pinot Noir

 

 

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info and 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 – May 27, 2013 to May 30, 2013

 

 

2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Kraken

2012 Villa Creek Pink

2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard

2012 New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc – $16.90

Cloudy Bay has been my favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for several years.  When I saw this wine on my local wine store’s shelf and found out the owner/wine maker is Kevin Judd, a decision to grab a few bottles was easy.  Kevin Judd, was the founding wine maker for Cloudy Bay.  After directing 25 vintages at Cloudy Bay, Kevin decided it was time to fulfill his life long dream and set his own course.  Greywacke, which opened in 2009, is the culmination of that dream.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light, pale, straw color.  The crisp and clean nose has grapefruit, minerals, lime, lemon zest, white pepper, gooseberry, and a touch of an herbal note.  This has a light body with tart citrusy acidity.  On the palate tart grapefruit and white pepper lead off with lime and lemon kicking in on the back end.  The finish is long and mouthwatering with minerals and an herbal note joining the citrus and white pepper.  A stunning wine for a warm afternoon with or without food.  (92 pts)

2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Avenger – $35.00

As anyone who has followed me on Twitter or read this blog for very long knows, Villa Creek is one on my top 5 wineries.  Of all the wines offered by the winery, vintage after vintage, The Avenger is my favorite wine they produce.  This is a blend of 75% syrah, 15% mourvedre and 10% grenache.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The absolutely stunning nose has blackberries, cherries, minerals, eucalyptus, violets, Asian spices, licorice, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins, and good acidity.  This delivers a mouthful of juicy berries and spice up front with minerals, eucalyptus, and some earthiness kicking in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with nice lingering sweet fruit, spice, and minerals.  (92 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its’ own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color.  The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body and crisp acidity.  On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top.  The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Kraken – $23.75

Treasure Hunter is a “négociant’ label.  The “winery” doesn’t own any vineyards or even a winery.  They buy excess wine from other wineries and either bottle it as is or do some blending and then bottle the finished product.  In most cases Treasure Hunter wines are identical to another, much more expensive, wine in the market place.  During the recent “economic downturn” when a lot of wineries were cutting back on their production, Treasure Hunter was the recipients of some great juice that they sold at killer prices.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color. The outstanding nose has cassis, dried herbs, licorice, cherries, minerals, eucalyptus, baking spices, leather, and some cedar.  This has medium body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  Nice fruit and spice on the palate with minerals, dried herbs and a bit of earthiness coming in on the backend.  Fairly long finish with the fruit, spice, dried herbs and earthiness all in perfect balance.  A very good Napa Cab no matter the price, but an absolute steal for under $25.  (93 pts)

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Kraken

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

This wine, along with the Bedrock Rosé, meet most of my Summer rosé requirements.  This is usually a nice, easy drinking, rosé with crisp acidity and just a hit of lingering sweetness.  This is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pink to salmon color.  The fresh and inviting nose has strawberry, cherry, minerals, apples, a touch of orange zest, and a slight herbal note.  This has light body, crisp acidity, and a touch of sweetness.  The palate has tart red fruit, apples, and a distinct streak of minerality.  The finish has nice length with a nice herbal element coming into the picture before some mouthwatering citrus closes the show.  (89 pts)

2012 Villa Creek Pink

 

 

 

2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard – $9.49

This is another wine I found on the shelf at the local wine store.  In my opinion, even after several fantastic vintages, the wines from the Southern Rhone represent fantastic values.  One of these days enough people are going to recognize these marvelous wines and cause price increases, until that time, I will be stocking up.  This is a blend of 50% Grenache and the rest Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, minerals, cherries, smoke, dried herbs, road tar, vanilla, wild flowers, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  Nice red and black fruit and a load of minerals coat the palate with some dried herbs, chocolate, and a bit of earthiness coming in on the backend.  The finish has decent length again highlighting the mineral laden fruit and subtle earthiness.  This is drinking very nicely today and should provide a lot of good drinking over the next four to six years.  (90 pts)

2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard

 

 

 

2012 New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc – $8.54

I had to grab a couple bottles of this to try to see if I need to stock up for the Summer.  It’s hard to pass on a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc when you can grab it for under $9.00 a bottle.  I’m not expecting a Cloudy Bay clone, but for about one third the price, I’m looking for something to enjoy with dinner on the deck on a week night.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light golden straw color, almost colorless.  The clean and refreshing nose has tart apples, grapefruit, lemon zest, spice, and a solid herbal note.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and a bit of residual sweetness.  On the palate the wine highlights both the crisp citrus and herbal elements with a touch of spice in the background and some lingering sweetness.  The finish has decent length and closes with tart, mouthwatering citrus, with some lingering sweetness providing nice richness without getting in the way.  (88 pts)

2012 New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard – $33.00

I grabbed a half case of this wine upon release, figuring I’d be able to enjoy these over several years.  At least that was the plan, this will be my last bottle from that purchase.  Every bottle of this wine has been outstanding and I’m looking forward to saying goodbye to this old friend this evening.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The exciting nose has blackberries, licorice, baking spices, charred meat, grapefruit zest, black pepper, dried herbs, earthy underbrush, vanilla, and violets.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate spicy berries, pepper, and a twist of grapefruit dominate the front end with dried herbs and meaty elements coming in on the backend.  The finish is very long and flavorful with some earthy elements and the grapefruit zest seeming to last forever.  This is in a very nice drinking window, but there is no hurry on this one, it should last in the cellar for at least a few more years.  (94 pts)

2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys Vineyard

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

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Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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