Posts tagged ‘Last Bottle’

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 2017 Vol 3

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

Locations WA-4

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County – $18.89

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

 

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

 

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

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

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

 

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

 

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

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

Locations WA-4 – $20

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Locations WA-4

Locations WA-4

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

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

 

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

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi – $20.39

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

 

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

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

 

 

 

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $23.11

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

 

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

 

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

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py – $15

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

 

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

 

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

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

 

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $17.31

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

 

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

 

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

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

2014 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine

2001 Boroli Barolo

2012 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir – $22.40

This 100% Pinot Noir is a blend of 56% Carneros and 44% Russian River Valley.  The wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak, 30% new.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, tobacco and dry underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  This is much more open on the palate with cherries, white pepper and minerals on the front end with tobacco and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cranberries and dry underbrush entering the picture.  This wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala – $35

Total production was 8 barrels.  This is a blend of 88% Syrah, 8% Grenache and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, baking spices, dying wood embers, dark chocolate, dried violets and dusty minerals.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate layers of fruit, spice and minerals jump out on the front end with wood embers and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note adding some depth.  This is a big, bold and rich wine that needs a hearty meal.  This is now in a prime drinking window that should last another 4 or 5 years.  What this wine lacks in subtlety it makes up for in taste.  This has 15.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Mandala

 

 

 

2014 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine – $14.84

This wine is a blend of Zinfandel from 16 different vineyard blocks.  The vines have an average age of 86 years.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, licorice, plums, black pepper, dry earth and a touch of spicy oak.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, black pepper and dry earth jump out on the front end with plums and licorice coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some spicy oak providing depth.  A textbook big zinfandel with sweet fruit and peppery spice that is easy to drink but doesn’t offer much complexity.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine

2014 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine

 

 

 

2001 Boroli Barolo – $32.99

This 100% Nebbiolo comes from vineyards in the territory of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Langhe and the Barolo area.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color with some bricking at the edge.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, eucalyptus, cedar, tobacco, leather, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, dried roses, road tar and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cedar, tobacco and dried underbrush come through on the front end with spices, tar and leather coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a dried floral note and a hint of eucalyptus providing depth.  This is drinking marvelously today and should hold for a few more years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2001 Boroli Barolo

2001 Boroli Barolo

 

 

 

2012 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva – $15.09

This wine is a blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Alicante and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The vines are an average of 10 years old.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, scorched earth, underbrush, white pepper, mushrooms and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, underbrush and dry earth jump out on the front end with white pepper and roasted mushrooms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This tastes very nice today but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2012 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard – $46.00

If you follow this blog, you already know I’m a big fan of Brian Loring’s wines.  His Rosella’s Vineyard is generally my second favorite wine behind the Clos Pepe wines.  These are generally made in a bigger riper style, very Californian.  If you’re looking for a Burgundian style of wine, look elsewhere.  If you are looking for a rich and flavorful Pinot Noir, welcome home.

 

The wine is a nice deep garnet red color.  The easy to enjoy nose has black raspberries, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, wild flowers, baking spices, earthy underbrush and a touch of mint.  This has medium to full body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy dark fruit and some earthiness hit first, followed by minerals and a hint of mint.  The finish has great length and full of nicely layered fruit, spice and earthiness.  This wine is in its’ prime drinking window now and should hold for a couple years.  This has 14.9% alcohol by volume and is closed with a twist off cap.  (94 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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 – Flora Springs Chardonnay

 

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or an organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

Overview:

These wines were provided to me to sample and enjoy for #ChardonnayDay on May 25th.

 

 

Over the years Flora Springs was always one of our stops when we visited Napa Valley.  We took the two pictures below of the stained glass and wall murals during a visit in late August 2001, a couple weeks before 9/11.  When I was offered a couple samples from them, I was excited to reacquaint myself with these wines.

 

 

 

About the winery:

Flora Springs, located in the Northwest corner of the Rutherford appellation at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, was founded in 1978.  The stone cellar of Flora Springs is a once abandoned “ghost winery”.  It was Flora Komes who along with her husband Jerry that found the area while looking for a place to “kick off their boots”.  Flora was the one who saw the possibilities hidden behind decades of neglect, over-grown ivy, and shifting rock walls.  The property’s winemaking roots go back to the 19th century but if was the work of Flora and Jerry’s children, John Komes and his wife Carrie, and Julie Garvey and her husband Pat Garvey, that have etched the legacy of Flora Springs.

 

As both artisan winemakers and growers, the family is committed to the traditions of fine winemaking and responsible stewardship of its 650 acres of vineyard land for future generations to savor and uphold. Today, ninety percent of Flora Springs’ red wines are sourced from its organically-farmed estate vineyards, and all of these wines are crafted in their solar-powered 19th-century stone winery and caves.

 

Much more about the winery, the family and the wines is available on their website by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out their “Working with Nature” and “Farming Responsibly” sections to read about their dedication to sustainability.

 

 

 

These bottles were supplied by the winery and Mora Cronin of Cronin Communications.

Cronin Communications is a marketing communications and public relations agency based in St. Helena, California.  Specializing in the wine industry, the firm provides services including strategic positioning and brand messaging, copy writing and media relations.  For more information, contact moracronin@comcast.net.

 

 

 

The wines for this tasting:

 

 

 

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select – SRP $35

This wine comes from three sustainably farmed vineyards in Oakville, Oak Knoll District and Carneros.  The grapes were fermented in a combination of oak barrels (76%) and stainless steel tanks (24%).  The lees were stirred bi-weekly and the 20% went through malolactic fermentation.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak for seven months.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, pineapple, melon, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, lemon zest, flinty minerals and a hint of almond.  This has medium to full body with a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate apples, melon, spices and pineapple quickly grab your attention with vanilla bean, minerals and lemon zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a hint of almond joining the rich fruit and tart lemon zest.  This has a nice creamy texture from 20% malolactic fermentation but retains the crisp acidity to provide nice balance.  This is very easy to drink and would be a great companion for a nice dinner on the deck or patio this Summer.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and a hard plastic like disk.  (92 pts)

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

 

 

 

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill – SRP $50

Flora Springs’ Lavender Hill Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard in southern Carneros, one of the coolest sites in the Napa Valley.  70% of the juice was fermented in small French oak barrels to allow the oak to better integrate with the wine.  The remaining 30% was fermented and aged in concrete vessels.  The concrete does not leave behind any discernable flavor but the small microscopic pockets hold oxygen which help preserve aromatics and broaden the mouthfeel.  During the eight month aging process, the wine was stirred every two weeks to suspend the lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity.  The wine also went through partial malolactic fermentation to balance the bright fruit and give it a rich and supple palate.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The bright and inviting nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of honey.  This has a full body with a creamy texture and very good acidity.  On the palate tart apples and pears combine with orange blossoms on the front end with baking spices and a touch of minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla and mouth watering lemon zest providing great depth and forcing you to reach for another sip.  This is a very food friendly wine that has great balance.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork topped with a hard disc.  (93 pts)

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

 

 

 

Conclusion

Both of these wines would be a welcome addition to your dinner table.  They have nice up front fruit and good closing acidity to be a good accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.

 

 

 

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 – June 2017 Vol 1

 

2013 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino

2013 Taken Wine Co. Taken

2014 Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese

2009 Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

2011 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red

 

 

 

2013 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino – $14.91

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

La Fortuna is one of the oldest wineries in Montalcino.  The Zannoni family has been running the winery of 5 generations, over 100 years.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese from vines between 15 and 25 years old.

 

The wine is ruby red in color.  The very inviting nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, roasted leafy herbs, scorched earth, underbrush, well worn leather, tobacco and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, dusty minerals and roasted herbs jump out quickly on the front end with scorched earth, tobacco and leather coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dried flowers and underbrush entering the picture.  A really nice Rosso di Montalcino.  This one will last in the cellar for at least a couple years.  This wine has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino

2013 La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

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 would 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

 

 

 

2014 Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese – $14.71

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  It looks like the winery’s suggested price for this wine is $42.00 making this a great Last Bottle offer.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine was aged 10 months in 30% new American oak and 70% neutral French oak.

 

According to the winery:

2013 was a drought year in all of Sonoma County and California, with warm, consistent sunshine and zero precipitation for nearly the entire growing season.  Yields looked good, similar to 2012 … until August arrived. The consistently dry weather began to stress the vines a bit too much,  specially in the dry farmed vineyards, resulting in lower yields in many vineyards. Meticulous pre-sorting in each and every vineyard was crucial in 2013. We harvested Sangiovese in the Lake Block Vineyard on September 23. Overall, 2013 yielded rich concentration of flavor, color and vineyard source.

 

This is from Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley.  The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, dry underbrush, dusty minerals, dried violets, baking spices and a hint of cedar.  This has medium body with good acidity and soft tannins.  On the palate bright cherries, raspberries and minerals grab hold on the front end with underbrush and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a dried floral note and a touch of cedar providing depth.  This is a very tasty, food friendly alternative to a Chianti Riserva for pizza or pasta.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese

2014 Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese

 

 

 

2009 Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend – $37.99

This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.  There were 1000 cases of this wine produced.

 

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The big, bold and rich nose is full of crushed blackberries, blueberries, smoke, charred meat, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, cedar, fresh ground coffee and scorched earth.  This has a full body with fairly solid tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the spicy berries, pepper and meaty elements hit first followed by vanilla, dark chocolate and some earthiness.  The finish is fairly long and is highlighted by dark chocolate, vanilla and berries with spicy cedar also making an appearance.  This is a big and ripe wine made in a take no prisoners style.  This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2009 Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend

2009 Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard – $28.00

I have been on the Bedrock mailing list since the inception several years ago.  Bedrock is owned by Morgan Twain-Peterson, son of former Ravenswood owner and Zinfandel visionary, Joel Peterson.

 

Kirschenmann Vineyard is dry-farmed, organically-farmed, and own-rooted in silica rich soils along the Mokolumne River in Lodi.  The vineyard owner is Tegan Passalacqua, who is also responsible for the winemaking and vineyard management at Turley.

 

This is from a vineyard now owned by Tegan Passalacqua (Turley winemaker) and his wife Olivia.  This is an “own rooted” Zinfandel vineyard that was planted in 1915.  The “own rooted” vines had survived because the soil is very sandy which is a natural deterant to pests and diseases they plague vines in other soil conditions.  The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very inviting nose has brambly berries, cherries, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, black peppercorns, dried leafy herbs, licorice and violets.  This has a medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This is rich and voluptuous on the palate with juicy fruit, minerals, black pepper and dusty minerals on the front end with dried herbs and dry earth coming in later.  The spicy finish has nice length.  This is a very easy Zinfandel to sip and enjoy.  The wine has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red – $28.99

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  The current release of this wine, from the 2013 vintage, carries a suggested price of $70.  Some quick math shows the Last Bottle price was over 50% off.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 15% Malbec and 11% Merlot from various vineyards including Hyde, Stagecoach, Hossfeld, Tench and Bennett.  OPC stands for “Ol’ Pa’s Cuvée”

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The outgoing and enticing nose has cassis, dusty minerals, cherries, warm baking spices, roasted leafy herbs, scorched earth, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, dark chocolate and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, baking spices, cherries and dusty minerals dominate the front end with roasted herbs and espresso beans coming in on the back end.  The long finish adds dark chocolate, white pepper and a dried floral note.  This may be on the young side but it is already stunning.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2011 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red

2011 Buoncristiani OPC Proprietary Red

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 2017 Vol 4

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview”

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard – $9.91

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Mission Ranch Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco Valley.  The wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a bright garnet red color.  The outgoing nose has black cherries, scorched earth, plums, minerals, white pepper, and vanilla bean.  This has a medium body with soft tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly grab your attention on the front end with scorched earth and spices coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with plums and vanilla bean providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but for $10 this is a great week night Pinot Noir.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview” – $15

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, freshly ground espresso beans, baking spices, white pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate and crushed stones.  This has a full body with moderate very ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the front end is full of crushed blackberries and blueberries, later espresso beans and spices break through the wall of fruit.  The finish is long and rich with pepper, chocolate and minerals providing great depth.  This is pretty much a fruit bomb but with enough savory notes to keep it from getting boring.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

 

 

 

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne – $17.99

This sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color with a very persistent stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exuberant nose has apples, freshly baked yeasty bread, minerals, lemon zest, orange blossoms and a spritz of lime.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and very nice effervescence.   On the palate apples, minerals and yeasty bread grab control on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with lemon zest and a touch of lime providing great depth that leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  This offers great QPR!  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

 

 

 

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $24.69

There were 700 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir produced.  This is a blend of the 777 and Wädenswil clones.

 

The wine is an intense ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, black cherries, Asian spice, candied violets, stony minerals and dried wildflowers with just a hint of smoke and forest floor.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this kicks it up a notch with intense dark fruit and spice up front with minerals and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is very long with some earthiness and a touch of dark chocolate adding even more depth and complexity.  This is in a prime drinking window and should drink very nicely through at least the end of the decade, probably longer.  The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat – $39.39

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, a quick search on Wine Searcher showed most stores are charging around $60 for this wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc from the Saint Emilion region in Bordeaux.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sophisticated and inviting nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, plums, roasted leafy herbs, dry underbrush, charred wood and violets. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, minerals and dried leafy herbs jump out quickly on the front end with charred wood and underbrush coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is rich and silky and a pleasure to have with a nice meal.  This is drinking nicely now and will last for another decade or more.  Great job!  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

 

 

 

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard – $18.00

Just about every year Anthill Farms produces a “one-off” wine.  This is a wine that usually doesn’t become part of their wines produced every year.  I say usually because several years ago their one-off wine was a Syrah from Windsor Oaks Vineyard that was so popular it was added to their annual offerings.  This is a one-off wine from a couple years ago from the volcanic soils of the Sonoma Valley.

 

The wine is a very light ruby red color, just a touch darker than some Rosé wines.  The inviting nose has cherries, baking spice, crushed stones, white pepper, wild flowers and a touch of dried herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy, tart cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly take hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs to slip through.  The finish has nice length with cherries, white pepper and minerals seeming to linger forever.  This is very young so patience will be rewarded.  This has outstanding balance and is very food friendly.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot – $33.24

This is a wine I tasted during a visit to the winery as part of a group of bloggers with Snooth and the Lodi Wine organization.  I liked it enough to include a few bottles in a case of Lodi wines purchased when I returned back home.  For more information, visit the Michael-David Winery website.

 

This wine has a “touch” of Petite Sirah included with the Petit Verdot.  The grapes for this wine came from Jon Wetmore’s vineyard on the northeast side of Lodi.  This wine is always put into new barrels early in the harvest season due to the high level of tannin, color and concentration.  The wine was aged 19 months in French oak.  This is the first varietal bottling of Petit Verdot by the winery, there are very few other Lodi wineries producing Petit Verdot labeled wines.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The impressive nose has crushed berries, baking spices, licorice, black cherries, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, scorched earth and a touch of cedar.  This full bodied wine has moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate loads of crushed berries, baking spices and dusty minerals grab control on the front end with licorice, black cherries and scorched earth coming in later.  The long finish is full of berries, spice and a touch of cedar.  This is an impressive Petit Verdot.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

 

 

 

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $16.87

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had a suggested price of $50.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, raspberries, warm baking spices, white pepper, dry underbrush, wild flowers and vanilla.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices and white pepper take charge early with dry underbrush and raspberries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla joining the spices and cherries.  This was better after being opened for an hour.  Drink now with some air or let it sleep another year and drink it through the end of the decade.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace – $26.99

“A Merciful End to All Red Blend Competitors!”

 

Freelance Wines is a joint effort of two long time Lodi locals, Adam Mettler and Mike Stroh.  Coup de Grâce is the company’s first wine to be released.

 

This is a blend of 64% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 11% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc mainly from Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, licorice, black peppercorns, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dead wood embers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black cherries and black pepper take control on the front end with wood embers and licorice coming in later.  The finish has nice length with baking spices and dark chocolate providing added interest.  This is a ripe and rich wine front loaded with nice fruit and enough savory notes to keep it interesting.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

 

 

 

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon – $17.99

This Napa Valley wine icon celebrated their 150th anniversary a few years ago.  To me, the quality of their wines have greatly improved over the last few years.

 

This wine is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc that was aged 17 months in French and American oak.  The wine is a deep violet color.  The inviting nose has cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, cedar, baking spices, scorched earth and wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Cassis, dried herbs and cedar take control of the palate on the front end with baking spices and dried earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Charles Krug Winery (Peter Mondavi Family) Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label – $40

When I received the offer from Turley for this Cabernet, I had to grab a few bottles.  I’ve had and enjoyed a couple bottles but it has been a while since I opened one, it’s time to check in.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The comforting nose has cassis, baking spices, cedar, violets, cherry, dried herbs, tobacco and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  The creamy palate has nice up front berries, cherries, and spice with dried herbs and some building dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness and spicy oak coming into play.  This may not have a ton of complexity but is an enjoyable wine and seems to be in a very nice drinking window.  The QPR at $40 open for debate, but I’m glad I have more in the cellar.  Don’t expect a Cabernet version of a Turley Zinfandel or you will be disappointed.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

 

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles – $14.14

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had a suggested price of $28.

 

This wine is a blend of 35% Staar Ranch Grenache and 65% Kiler Canyon Syrah.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a deep violet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, baking spices, black cherries, crushed stones, dark chocolate and white pepper.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, crushed stones and white pepper quickly jump out on the front end with dark chocolate and black cherries coming in later.  The finish has good length with the mix of fruit and savory elements lingering nicely.  This is a very nice, easy drinking bottle of wine.  This has 14.37% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 2017 Vol 1

 

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise

 

 

 

I guess I should call this a Last Bottle Wines edition since all the wines this week were purchased from them.

 

 

 

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation – $32.00

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, the wine had a suggested price of $68.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from the estate’s St. Helena vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, crushed stones, black cherries, tobacco, cedar, vanilla, white pepper and dried wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries and crushed stone minerals jump out quickly with spicy cedar and black cherries coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with white pepper and dried flowers adding nice depth and interest.  This is drinking very nicely today but there is no hurry with this one.  The wine has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

2008 Jaffe Estate Transformation

 

 

 

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese – $18.79

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is mostly Sangiovese with small amounts of estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.  This wine was aged for 18 months in French Oak barrels.  This wine has a suggested price of SRP $30, so the Last Bottle price was very good.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, crushed stone minerals, licorice and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and earthy underbrush jump out on the front end with baking spices and licorice coming in later.  The finish has good length with a floral note providing some extra depth.  This is a nice California Sangiovese.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is closed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

2014 Speedy Creek Sangiovese

 

 

 

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $20

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

The grapes for this wine come from the Charles Heintz and Hurst Vineyards in the Russian River Valley.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak with 40% being new.  As with most Last Bottle offers, this wine was purchased at a deep discount, the wine has a suggested price of $40.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The inviting nose has cherries, forest floor, violets, tobacco, wood ashes, cranberries and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins.  On the palate cherries, forest floor and tobacco come through on the front end with wood ashes and cranberries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note providing some depth.  This is a bit lacking in the complexity department but is a tasty week night Pinot.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (88 pts)

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2013 Matias Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites – $20

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 47% Zinfandel, 32% Syrah, 12% Charbono and 9% Petite Sirah from Napa Valley.  The vines are all at least 35 years with most being over 50 years old.  The dry farmed vineyard yields under 2 tons of fruit per acre.  The wine has a suggested price of $35.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The expressive nose has blackberries, black pepper, dusty minerals, licorice, wood smoke, road tar, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals and black pepper jump out quickly with licorice, dark chocolate and wood smoke coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This isn’t a wine made to sit on for an extended time, it would be best to open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve – $24.26

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This Cabernet Franc includes some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from various cooler climate vineyards in the Napa Valley.  World’s End is Jonathan Maltus’ Napa Valley project.  Jonathan was part of the original “garage winery” revolution in St. Emilion in the 1990s.  He is the owner of Chateau Teyssier.  This wine had a release price of $45.

 

This wine is deep ruby to maroon.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, baking spices, roasted herbs, mint, tobacco and cedar.  This has medium body with moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  Spicy berries, baking spices and roasted herbs pop out on the front end with dark chocolate and cedar coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice minty note entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely today and it should hold for a few more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2009 World's End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

2009 World’s End Cabernet Franc Against The Wind Reserve

 

 

 

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise – $22.70

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

The decision to purchase this wine from Last Bottle was pretty simple since I had previously purchased the wine directly from the winery upon initial release for $38.  This was an outstanding price for a wine from one of my favorite Napa Valley based wineries.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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