Posts tagged ‘Last Bottle’

Cliffs Wine Picks – March 2017 Vol 3

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged – $55.00

This wine is from the 2009 vintage but was not “disgorged” until May 2015.

 

The wine is a fairly deep salmon pink color with several streams of very persistent pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very inviting nose has cherries, apples, toasted yeasty bread, strawberries, crushed stones, roasted nuts and lime zest.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright red fruit, toasted bread and minerals quick take control with apples and crushed stones coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a hint of roasted nuts and mouthwatering lime zest entering the picture.  This is a nice, festive bubbly perfect with a gathering of friends.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an old school crown cap.  (91 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

2009 Loring Wine Company Brut Rosé Late Disgorged

 

 

 

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard – $59.00

Alpine Vineyard lies between 1200 and 1490 feet above sea-level 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  The vineyard is broken down into 16 blocks, each only .5 acre in size.  Each block is planted with a different clone, 12 are different selections of Pinot Noir and 4 are different selections of Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, minerals, charred wood, warm baking spices, raspberries, cola and white pepper.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush, charred wood and baking spices quickly grab your attention with raspberries, minerals and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has great length with waves of fruit and savory notes seeming to linger forever.  This has great balance will probably improve over the next few years and drink very nicely for another decade.  This is a very stylish and refined Pinot that isn’t made to wow you with up front fruit, that said, it will wow you.  This has 13.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch – $37.00

This is a field-blend of Zinfandel, Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir de la Calmette, Petite Sirah, and Lenoir.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has juicy blackberries, licorice, dusty minerals, cedar, worn leather, scorched earth, tobacco, cracked black peppercorns, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out first with cedar and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a dried floral note and dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is a very easy to drink and love wine with a velvety texture and enough acidity to hold everything together.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

 

 

 

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver – $20.59

Mitolo is one of the premiere wineries in Australia.  The winemaker, Ben Glaetzer, is one of the Australian superstars in the wine business.  This is an Aussie Shiraz that someone lost money on.  The release price was well north of $40 but I bought a case and a half for a touch over $20 a bottle from the local wine store.  This is my last bottle from that purchase.

 

The grapes for this wine come from a single vineyard in Greenock in the northern part of the Barossa Valley.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  The very deep and inviting nose is locked and loaded with blackberries, smoked meat, baking spices, vanilla, dark chocolate, cherries, charcoal, dried herbs and black pepper.  This has a fairly full body, solid, velvety tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate big fruit and spice quickly take hold allowing dried herbs, chocolate, and vanilla to slowly slip into the picture.  The finish is long with cherries and a big blast of black pepper adding considerable interest.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a Stelvin twist-off cap.  (94 pts)

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

2005 Mitolo Shiraz Reiver

 

 

 

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken – $24.64

This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.  The wine spent 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels.

 

This is a deep purple color.  The explosive nose is full of blackberries, dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso beans and plums.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, plums and dark chocolate quickly grab your attention with vanilla and espresso beans coming in later.  The finish has nice length and is totally fruit driven.  This is a fairly soft Cab blend that would be nice after dinner or to share with friends over conversation and a platter of appetizers.  I’d have liked a bit more structure and backbone.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

This wine is from the Rincon Valley in Sonoma County.  The wine is fermented using native yeasts entirely in barrels, with 5% being new Acacia wood.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The open and expressive nose has apples, gooseberry, spice, lemon zest, orange blossoms, minerals, light leafy herbal notes and a hint of roasted nuts.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, spice, slate minerals and gooseberry jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and a slight herbal note coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with orange blossoms and tart lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is drinking wonderfully today and it should hold for another year or two.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

 

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 – March 2017 Vol 2

 

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

 

 

 

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion – $22.80

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This family (and currently woman owned) estate is now in its’ third generation and has grown to now include about 100 acres, 86 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

 

The wine is a nice maroon color.  The very impressive nose has kirsch, strawberries, garrigue, leather, white pepper, scorched earth and wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice upfront fruit is joined by garrigue and white pepper with leather and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with wildflowers coming in.  This tastes great now with some air but some cellar time will be greatly rewarded.  In this youthful time in the wine’s evolution, it is rugged with some power still buried, give it another year in the cellar and drink over the following decade.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

2010 Domaine Tour Saint-Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tour du Lion

 

 

 

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Estate Grown Amador County – $20.00

Bella Grace currently grows 20 acres of grapes in their sustainably farmed Estate vineyards.  I have tried several of their wines and all have been very good.  The winery produces red, white and even a sparkling wine.  Besides Zinfandel, the winery also grows Primitivo, Vermentino, Roussanne, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, plums, stony minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, white pepper, cherries and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals coat the palate on the front end with white pepper and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and a touch of dark chocolate adding nice depth.  This is a nice, well mannered, balanced Zin that is not overly ripe with high alcohol.  This is a winery that deserves some attention.  This wine has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel Amador County

 

 

 

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise – $22.70

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

Rudius is generally a mailing list only wine but some bottles do make it to outside sources.  I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Ames’ wines for several years and when a few of the wines showed up on Last Bottle Wines, I had to jump in and load up.  Since I’ve moved to South Carolina, I no longer have direct access to the wines since they don’t ship here.  In the mean time, I was able to purchase several wines in volume that will hold me over for a few years.

 

This is a blend of Bainise a blend of 57% Grenache, 36% Mourvedre and 7% Syrah from Sonoma County.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, raspberries, warm baking spices, dry earth, underbrush, minerals, roasted leafy herbs, dark chocolate and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate red fruit, baking spices, underbrush and dry earth jump out quickly on the front end with roasted herbs and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note joining the tart red fruit.  A little more time in the cellar will be rewarded but this tastes nice now with some air.  This is a nice, balanced, nuanced wine, not a powerful brut.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

 

 

 

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $15.97

This 100% Pinot Noir is sourced from several vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region.  The coastal region’s boundary begins at the Mendocino County border, continues along the western coastal edge of Sonoma County through the mouth of the Russian River Valley; and extends to the Los Carneros region on the southern Sonoma/Napa border.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The expressive nose has cherries, baking spices, minerals, raspberries, underbrush, white pepper, slight herbal note and cola.  This has a medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals carry the majority of the load.  There is good length on the finish with some earthiness entering the picture.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes – $10.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 30 % Roussanne and 30% Viognier.

 

The wine is a light yellow with a slight green tint.  The refreshing nose has tart apples, crushed stone minerals, lemon zest, leafy herbs, white flowers, lime zest and a hint of white pepper.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  Tart apples, lemon zest and minerals quickly grab your attention on the palate with leafy herbs and white pepper coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with lime zest and a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a nice white Rhone to enjoy with a light meal on a sunny day or to serve as an aperitif.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

2014 Domaine de Poulvarel Costières-de-Nîmes

 

 

 

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills – $16.79

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wine, an internet based “flash sell” site that offers one wine a day until it sells out.  More information and a link to join the e-mail list with a $10 credit is below.

 

This 100% Grenache comes from grapes grown in Naggiar Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills.  Even though this is a single vineyard wine, it is not labeled as such.  Grabbed this wine since I knew of Naggiar Vineyard since another winery I like, Elyse, produced a couple wines from this vineyard.

 

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The expressive nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, roasted leafy herbs, baking spices, scorched earth and a touch of licorice.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices, white pepper and minerals take control on the front end with roasted herbs and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cherries, spices and minerals providing good persistence.  This is a lighter bodied Grenache that would go well with just about anything.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

2013 Miner Family Grenache Sierra Foothills

 

 

 

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 – March 2017 Vol 1

 

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc – SRP $20

This is based on a sample that was supplied to me by the winery or a business acting on their behalf.

 

This is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.  The grapes for this wine come from Napa Valley –89% (61% Wappo Hill Vineyard, 20% To Kalon Vineyard) and Mendocino County-11%.

 

After hand-harvesting in the cool morning the grapes were gently pressed as whole clusters, minimizing skin contact, to retain freshness and vibrancy.  Sixty percent of the juice was barrel fermented for added richness and complexity, with eight percent in new French oak.  The balance underwent a cool fermentation in stainless steel to heighten the vibrant fruity and herbal flavors.  The new wine was aged for five months in 60-gallon French oak barrels, sûr lie (on the yeast lees) and hand stirred twice a month for a creamy texture and seamless integration of flavors.  The addition of 10% Semillon gives the final blend a broader mouth feel and enhanced complexity.

 

This is a light straw yellow color.  The inviting nose has tart apples, lemon zest, dusty minerals, leafy herbs and a hint of toasty oak.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest and dusty minerals jump out on the front end with a touch of leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest and just a hint of spicy oak.  This is drinking very nicely today and it should hold for another year or two.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

2013 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc

 

 

 

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard – $15.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

Sleeper is a brand created by the folks at Last Bottle.  On occasion, a winery has more wine than they wanted to produce.  Perhaps they have enough wine to make 300 cases but only want to release 200 cases.  The winery has a few options, one of which is to sell the excess wine to someone.  Last Bottle will buy the extra wine, bottle it and sell it for a lot less than the original winery is charging for the same wine.  This is a win/win solution, the winery doesn’t flood the market with too much wine or have to resort to lowering their “brand appeal” by being forced to sell the wine at a large discount.  Last Bottle wins by being able to offer great wine at an exceptional price.  We win since we get great juice at a remarkable price.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sexy nose has black cherries, underbrush, violets, smoke, orange zest and a hint of pencil shavings.  This has medium body with soft tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush and baking spices initially grab your attention on the front end with smoke and pencil shavings coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but the nice balance and generous palate makes it a perfect week night Pinot.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

2013 Sleeper Pinot Noir Wohler Road Vineyard

 

 

 

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11 – $19.98

There is no greater joy in the wine world than being able to drink a 24 year old German Riesling.  In their youth an Auslese, such as this one would have high levels of residual sugar and equally high acidity.  Drinkable, yes…enjoyable, probably…but time allows everything to meld into an exquisite elixir.

 

This wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The sensuous nose has apples, honey, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms, white pepper, lime zest and a hint of petrol.  This has medium to full body with crisp acidity and elegant richness.  Ripe apples, homey, lemon zest and orange blossoms coat the palate quickly on the front end with minerals and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has great length with enough acidity to support the sweet richness.  This is a fantastic bottle of wine!  There is absolutely no hurry on this wine, it will last several more years.  This has 8.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

1993 Schwaab-Kiebel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #11

 

 

 

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo – $22.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

Pazzo means “crazy” in Italian.

 

This is a blend of 46% Sangiovese, 28% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, roasted leafy herbs, dark roasted coffee beans, white pepper, baking spices and wildflowers.  This has medium body with Soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, roasted herbs, coffee beans and baking spices jump out on the front end with raspberries and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with subtle underbrush providing some depth.  This is an easy drinking wine that is full of fruit and savory notes to enjoy over the next few years.  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a spongy man made closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

2014 Bacio Divino Pazzo

 

 

 

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno – $40.00

This wine is a blend of 65% Napa County (Buon Block) and 35% Sonoma County (Unti Ranch in Dry Creek Valley) grapes.  Only 140 cases of this wine were produced.

 

From the winery:

Our paternal grandfather, Nonno, immigrated to California from Northern Italy and brought his passion for food, wine, art, and family tradition.  The Buoncristiani brothers, Nonno’s grandsons, planted Dolcetto to be crafted into a wine as a tribute to their roots, and in honor of Nonno.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, blueberries, dry underbrush, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, white pepper and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, dark chocolate, underbrush and minerals grab control on the front end with baking spices and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with berries and dark chocolate joined by a nice floral note.  This is a serious Dolcetto.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

2012 Buoncristiani Dolcetto di Nonno

 

 

 

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino – $15.00

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines.  More information and the opportunity join the list and receive a $10 credit on your first order is below.

 

This wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso from the eastern slopes of Montalcino.  The grapes were fermented for 16 days at a controlled temperature.  The wine was then aged 10 months in Slavonian oak barrels.

 

The wine is a nice garnet color.  The easy to love nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, dusty minerals, roasted herbs, mocha and a hint of road tar.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and roasted herbs jump out on the front end with minerals and mocha coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note entering the picture.  This is a very nice Rosso di Montalcino that work very nicely with pasta and meat sauce or in my case, a pizza loaded with pepperoni and sausage.  This has the good acidity to stand up to tomato based dishes and the body and backbone for meat.  Very nice!  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

2012 Croce di Mezzo Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

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 – February 2017 Vol 4

 

2013 Orin Swift D66

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

2013 Orin Swift D66 – $29.29

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan from the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes region in France’s Roussillon area.  This wine was aged for 18 months is 30% new French Oak and then bottle aged 5 months prior to release.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The bold nose is full of blackberries, plums, cassis, black pepper, baking spices, charred wood, violets and dark roasted coffee.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit with pepper and charred wood quickly take control with baking spices and dark roast coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but loads of up front fruit.  This has just enough structure and spice to keep it from getting boring.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Orin Swift D66

2013 Orin Swift D66

 

 

 

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard – $18.99

I loved the Rosenblum wines crafted by Jeff Cohn and have never been disappointed by the ones he has produced under his own label.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has smoky, earthy berries, dark bittersweet chocolate, minerals, meat juices, black pepper, dried herbs, warm baking spices and just a touch of road tar.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to full tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the juicy, smoky berries grab hold, slowly allowing dried herbs, black pepper, and meaty elements to slip through.  The finish has nice length with some earthiness and dark chocolate being added to the mix.  This is in its’ prime drinking window and should hold for a couple of years.  Another winner from Jeff Cohn.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve – $19.48

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a deep ruby red color.  The captivating nose has black cherries, charred wood, plums, crushed stone minerals, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla bean and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cocoa powder, minerals and plums quickly jump out on the front end with charred wood and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and violets providing additional depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for three to five more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 World's End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard – $46.00

I love Brian Loring’s Pinot Noirs, actually I love all the wines of his that I have tried.  Loring’s Pinot Noirs are very Californian in style, which I do not say in a bad way.  Brian’s pinots are usually ripe and bold and very tasty.  If you are looking for a Burgundian style, look elsewhere, if you are looking for a very tasty bottle of wine you’re in the right place.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, minerals, baking spices, black cherries, licorice, raspberries, a touch of smoke, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy berries and minerals dominate the front end with black cherries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length but does show just a touch of alcohol, but not enough to take away from the wine.  This is a very nice combination of a big, rich California Pinot but with plenty of tannins and acidity to provide support and balance.  This is an outstanding effort.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with the usual Loring twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

 

 

 

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve – $29.29

This was picked up at a Last Bottle Marathon, always a great source for special wines at every day prices.  See below for information on the site and a discount on your first purchase.

 

I can’t find, with 100% confidence, the exact blend of grapes for this wine but it appears to be 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.  I should note, I have even seen this noted as 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  This means, your guess is as good as mine.

 

This is a light golden straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized, persistent bubbles.  The festive nose has tart apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, toasted yeasty bread, orange blossoms, white peach and a hint of berries.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence, crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest quickly take control with a hint of white peach and berries slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean thanks to lemony acidity.  This is a joy to sip on its’ own or with a light meal.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

 

 

 

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan – $19.99

I don’t have the exact break down of the grapes used to produce this wine, but the vineyard is comprised of 62% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, so the final blend is probably close to these percentages.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, cassis, dusty minerals, baking spices, scorched earth, violets and pencil shavings.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, cherries, minerals and spices immediately jump out with scorched earth and a hint of spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has nice length with pencil shavings and violets providing nice depth.  This is probably as good as it gets, which is still pretty good.  Pop this one over the remainder of the decade.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork (my cork broke and split as it was being pulled).  (90 pts)

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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 – February 2017 Vol 3

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom – $16.99

This is another “red blend” that is a palate-pleaser when you want to try “something different”.

 

This is a blend of 39% Zinfandel, 38% Petite Sirah and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Lodi, Clarksburg and Amador.  The wine is a dark ruby color.  The outgoing nose has crushed berries, mint, cherries, baking spices, white pepper, toasty oak and dried violets.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Waves of fruit and spice immediately grabs your attention on the palate with white pepper and a touch of mint coming in later.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and spice joined by toasty oak.  This is a take no prisoner style of wine loaded with flavor.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

2013 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

 

 

 

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard – $22.40

This is the first white wine produced by Jean Edwards Cellars.  This is a blend of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Semillon.

 

The wine is a pale straw yellow color.  The enticing nose has apples, lemon zest, white pepper, leafy herbs, pineapple, dusty minerals, apricot, orange blossoms and anise.  This has medium body with mouthwatering acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white pepper, lemon zest and an herbal streak immediately take control on the front end with apricot and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with anise and dusty minerals joining the tropical fruit and white pepper.  The crisp acidity will leave your mouthwatering for another sip.  A great initial white wine effort from this formerly red wine only winery.  This is very drinkable now but will last for at least two or three years, maybe longer.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

Two Hands wines are a “house favorite” around here.  Unfortunately the prices have rapidly increased, almost to the point the “Garden Series” wines are now special occasion wines.  This wine is still fairly reasonably priced as log as you shop around.  The price I paid is several dollars below the usual price for this wine.  Its a good value at this price, but for over $30 the value starts to get a bit iffy.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, plums, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, charred wood, dark chocolate, baking spices, wild flowers and dried herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, minerals, baking spices and white pepper quickly take control with wild flowers and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a floral note providing depth.  This is a big, rich Shiraz that doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is loaded with fruit and spice.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $19.99

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.

 

Modus was first produced in 1997 from grapes selected in the vineyards of the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino.  It was not, though, a new wine in the real sense of the term.  Ruffino had, in fact, been experimenting with the cultivation of non-traditional grape varieties on Tuscan soil since the eighties.  Some of the most encouraging results had been obtained with Cabernet and Merlot.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The mesmerizing nose has black cherries, blackberries, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, warm baking spices, tobacco, smoke, subtle earthiness and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features up front fruit and spice with dark chocolate and toasty oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and some earthiness.  This still tastes young but it will be hard to resist after just one sip.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino – $18.99

This 100% Sangiovese comes from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, at elevations of 150-350 metres on well-exposed hillslopes south-east of Montalcino.  The wine was aged in a mix of Slavonian and French oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months followed by a minimum of 3 months of bottle aging before it is released.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dried thyme, baking spices, raspberry, leather and a touch of underbrush.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, minerals and spice initially take hold on the palate with dried thyme and leather coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with just a touch of earthiness entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should continue for a couple years, at least.  This wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino – $25.34

The wine is a red to ruby color with a touch of brick at the edge.  The appealing nose has raspberries, cherries, baking spice, earthy underbrush, dried flowers, roasted herbs, minerals, mushrooms and a touch of mint.  This has medium body, slightly chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the baking spices, red fruit and earthiness kick in first with oak, minerals and more earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of mint adding a nice closing element.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for a few more years.  This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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 – February 2017 Vol 2

 

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

 

 

 

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux – $15.76

This wine was purchased from the “flash sell” site, Last Bottle.  More information and a credit for signing up is lower in this post.

 

This wine is a Grenache based wine with some Syrah and Mourvedre included in the blend.

 

The wine is garnet red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, scorched earth, dusty minerals, roasted leafy herbs and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, baking spices and minerals jump out first with raspberries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with scorched earth and a floral note entering the picture.  This is an easy drinking and tasty wine.  I wouldn’t stash this away for an extended time, open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

 

 

 

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane – $40.15

I was in the mood for something different today.  I bought six bottles of this wine from the local store a couple years ago.  I opened one about a year ago, and it definitely fell into the “something different” category.  This wasn’t your typical, fruit driven wine.  At that time, the fruit was a bit player in the bigger picture.  It’s time to try my second bottle to see how this is progressing.

 

Morrison Lane is the oldest Syrah plantings in the Walla Walla Valley.  It is on the southeastern facing slopes that are on a slightly cooler site in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.  Soil composition consists of Touchet silt loam and riverwash, sandy loam with coarse sand and gravel.  The vineyard was planted in 1984.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, charred meat, smoky embers, dried flowers, brined black olives, black pepper, roasted herbs, vanilla, melted licorice, minerals and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the charred meat, roasted herbs, and black pepper seize control before some fruit can finally break through.  The finish is long and again full of the savory elements with just enough fruit slipping through to add some sweetness before the dark chocolate eventually closes the show.  This still tastes young side and will reward some additional cellar time.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and hard to remove wax.  (93 pts)

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

2007 K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek White – $20.80

This is a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Roussanne from Paso Robles.  A total of 150 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a light straw yellow color.  The bright and fresh nose has tart apples, white peach, crushed stone minerals, fresh leafy herbs, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate apples, white peach and minerals quickly jump out on the front end with leafy herbs and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with some zippy lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is in a prime drinking window and can be enjoyed over the next year or two.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Villa Creek White

2012 Villa Creek White

 

 

 

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch – $27.99

This is 100% Zinfandel from the Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles.

 

After hand-harvesting the grapes are destemmed and crushed.  The wines are fermented with natural yeasts.  The wine was aged for 11 months in 100% American oak barrels, 25% new, 7% 2-years old, 34% 3-years old and 34% 4-years old.

 

The wine is a garnet red color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, black cherries, dry earth and white pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  Berries, minerals and spices coat the palate on the front end with black cherries, dry earth and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a white pepper note providing some depth.  This is an easy drinking zinfandel that is rich and smooth enough to stand up to some spicy BBQ.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

2012 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch

 

 

 

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut – 36.99

This non-vintage Champagne is the house’s signature cuvee and is a blend of 50%-55% Pinot Noir, 20-25% Pinot Meunier, 15-20% Chardonnay and 15-20% reserve wines.

 

The wine is a bright yellow-straw color with tiny, pinpoint sized bubbles.  The festive nose has apples, lemon zest, fresh baked bread, orange blossoms, roasted nuts and crushed stones.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and excellent effervescence.  Tart apples, minerals, roasted nuts and lemon zest quickly grab control on the palate with fresh baked bread and orange blossoms coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with tart lemony acidity making you grab another sip.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (90 pts)

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut

 

 

 

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve – $55.09

This wine is 100% Estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyard at the winery site in Conn Valley.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The voluptuous nose has cassis, eucalyptus, crushed stone minerals, tobacco, cedar, warm baking spices, dead wood embers, licorice and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, spices and a touch of eucalyptus jump out on the front end with cedar, wood embers and violets coming in later.  The long, lingering finish adds cedar and licorice for extra depth.  This is in a real nice drinking window and should drink very nicely for another decade.  This is a top notch Cabernet!  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2007 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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:

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 – February 2017 Vol 1

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

2011 Benessere Phenomenon – $24.27

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

This is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the winery’s estate vineyard.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cherries, underbrush, cassis, cedar, baking spices, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, underbrush and spices quickly jump out on the front end with dusty minerals and a touch of cedar coming in later.  The finish has nice length with cassis and violets providing good depth.  This seems to have just a touch of residual sweetness but the acidity keeps it in check.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

2011 Benessere Phenomenon

 

 

 

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Nouveau – $17.50

This wine was made like Beaujolais Nouveau, but it comes from more interesting vineyard material than your typical stuff.  The wine is a blend of Zinfandel from Esola Vineyard, planted on granitic schist at 1600’ in the Amador foothills along with the oldest Cinsault in the country, own-rooted and planted in the 1880s, from Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi.  Both lots were fermented using carbonic maceration in a small concrete tank.  Nouveau is traditionally a fete of the most recent harvest, and 2016 was a great vintage in California deserving some early celebration.

 

The wine is a slightly cloudy light ruby color.  The unusual nose has raspberry, dry earth, cherry, bubble gum, white pepper, orange zest and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body with nice acidity and not a tannin in sight.  On the palate this reminds me of a fruit punch with a lot of up front, easy drinking, fruit with just a touch of white pepper and orange zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length and is again very fruit dominated.  This is some thing different and unusual but not really my style.  I think this could be better in an off year where the fruit wouldn’t be as ripe and in your face.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (85 pts)

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Nouveau Esola

 

 

 

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay – $25.42

This was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a discount on your first purchase.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with several streams of pinpoint bubbles.  The festive nose is full of tart apples, flinty minerals, yeasty bread, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence and just a slight hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and lemon zest quickly grab hold with yeasty bread coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of orange blossom providing some additional depth.  This has great balance and tastes even better.  There is no rush on this bottle of bubbly but it’s hard to resist.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast – $28.17

Rodgers Creek Vineyard sits high on a ridge in the heart of the cool Petaluma Gap.  The vineyard takes the brunt of the wind and thick fog that define this cool climate zone.  The vines are grown in light, chalky soils on steep inclines.  Two blocks of the Pommard Pinot Noir clone form the foundation of this wine, 15% of which was fermented whole-cluster, contributing verve and depth.  Clone 777 is blended in, adding a layer of bright red fruit to rich spices and dark cherry flavors.  After open-top fermentation using native yeast, this 100% Pinot Noir was aged in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new.  The wine was bottles unfined and unfiltered in September 2013.  There were 725 cases produced.

 

The wine is a bright cherry red to ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has cherries, warm baking spices, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, dried flowers and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the spices and cherries jump out first with minerals and strawberries coming in on the back end.  The finish has outstanding length with white pepper and some earthiness entering the picture.  This is on the young side but already outstanding.  This is perfectly balanced and carries no excess weight.  With a lot of upside potential, this could be mythical in a few years.  This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Rodgers Creek Vineyard Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot – $12.74

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, baking spices, spicy oak, plums and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and oak leads off on the front end with plums and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has decent length with berries and baking spices with a bit of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity here.  A fairly generic California Merlot for mid week meals.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (85 pts)

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

2014 Cannonball Wines Merlot

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $26.50

This is one of the very reasonably prices Appellation wines from Loring.  This is a blend of grapes from Garys’, Rosella’s, Aubaine Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black raspberries, cherries, crushed stones, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, cola and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries, minerals and underbrush grab hold on the front end with roasted herbs and cola coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a pleasing floral note.  This has nice balance and great up front fruit.  This is very easy to enjoy.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Loring twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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.

 

 

 

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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!

 

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