Posts tagged ‘Last Bottle’

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – April 2017 Vol 4

 

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey – $15.99

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Monterey appellation in California.  After a three day cold soak, the grapes were “punched down” three times a day during fermentation.  After fermentation was completed the wine was aged for 8 months in 100% French oak barrels, 17% being new.  After aging, the barrels were blended and bottled.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The comforting nose has black cherries, flinty minerals, forest floor, cola, tart red cherries and baking spices.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and baking spices come out on the front end with forest floor and a touch of cola coming in later.  The finish has nice length with tart cherries providing some needed depth.  Not a lot of complexity but that doesn’t make it less tasty.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey

 

 

 

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

This was a gift from friends.  Thanks again Charlie & Kristin!

 

In this vintage, this is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.  The Syrah vines average 40 years and the Grenache vines are 80 years old.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 17 months in 275 liter barrels.  The barrels were a mix of one, two and three years old.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, leather, white pepper, scorched earth, licorice and cocoa powder.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, white pepper and leather come out on the front end with scorched earth, cocoa powder and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the savory notes stealing the show.  This is drinking very nicely now but a bit more cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

2012 Gabriel Meffre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast – $22.99

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from several parcels in Australia’s McLaren Vale region.  The different lots were fermented separately and average 14 days of skin contact.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels with 15% being new Taransaud French oak.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The impressive nose has cassis, blackberries, baking spices, roasted herbs, white pepper, licorice, vanilla bean and a touch of cedar.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice grab control immediately with roasted herbs and cedar slipping in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of vanilla bean coming in.  This is a bit soft so I’d drink this one young.  Not a great vintage for this usually dependable wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

2014 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $46.00

This wine is a blend of three Pinot Noir clones, 115, 667, 777.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French oak, 33% new.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The voluptuous nose is full of black cherries, plums, flinty minerals, black tea leaves, dried wildflowers, blueberries, white pepper and dry earth.  This has a full body with moderate silky tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit and white pepper quickly take control with tea leaves and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish has very good length with blueberries and dry earth providing great depth.  As always, Brian provides his unique interpretation of the Pinot Noir grape.  I know his style turns off some of the purists, but personally, I love his wines…in moderation.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast – $16.31

Courtney Benham is a division of Martin Ray Winery.  Courtney Benham Wines are limited release for special offer to their wine club members but obviously some make it into the hands of the Total Wine stores since I can buy these reasonably priced wines at my local store.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The relaxing nose has black cherries, dry underbrush, white pepper, licorice, Asian spices and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, underbrush and white pepper come through on the front end with spices and a floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a black tea note providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it is an easy to drink Pinot at a very attractive price.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

2014 Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast

 

 

 

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $16.99

I’ve been a fan of St Amant Winery zinfandels for several years.  It was great visiting with the Stuart Spencer, the winemaker for St Amant as well as Jerry Fry, the owner/grower at this vineyard during a recent trip to Lodi.  Even though I’ve loved past vintages of this wine, I think this is their best effort to date.  I’m extremely fortunate to have a Total Wine store in the area that carries this wine so I always have a few bottles in my cellar.  If you live near a Total Wine, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of this wine on your next shopping trip.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has brambly berries, dusty minerals, licorice, black pepper, cherries, charred underbrush, violets and a hint of mint.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, minerals and black pepper quickly take control with underbrush and cherries slipping through on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note and just a hint of mint adding good depth.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  This has great balance and is easy to enjoy.  A great effort.  This has 15.5% alcohol, which was a surprise to me, not a trace shows through any where.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2014 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You may have 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 – April 2017 Vol 3

 

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese *

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard

 

 

 

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception – $14.99

This is a blend of Chardonnay and aligoté.  This is produced by the traditional method.  When the harvests arrive the grapes slowly using via pneumatic wine presses.  Only the first presses are used to produce the wines.  Malolactic fermentation takes place in 100% stainless steel vats.  Secondary fermentation is in the bottle (according to the traditional method), and carried out by adding yeasts and sugar.  This is followed by 18 months of ageing on lees in temperature-controlled cellars.

 

The wine is a light golden straw color with pinpoint sized bubbles.  The refreshing nose has apples, lemon zest, orange blossoms and fresh bread.  This shows just a touch of sweetness but has plenty of citrusy acidity to keep it in check.  On the palate tart apples, lemon zest a yeasty bread grab your attention with a hint of orange blossom coming in on the lingering finish.  Not a ton of complexity but this was easy to enjoy on a warm afternoon with a light lunch on the deck.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard sparkling wine cork.  (87 pts)

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D' Exception

André Delorme Crémant de Bourgogne Terroir D’ Exception

 

 

 

2008 Andrew Will Sorella – $56.99

I tasted this wine not long after release at the local wine store.  The wine, though very young, showed considerable promise.  I grabbed a few bottles and left them stashed in the cellar for a few years.  It’s time to check in to see how the wine is progressing.

 

This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot from the Champoux Vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills.

 

The wine is a dark ruby red color.  The suave and enchanting nose has cassis, cherries, warm baking spices, plums, minerals, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder, leather, cedar and earthy underbrush.  The wine has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The fruit, spices and minerals coat the palate, eventually allowing a touch of cedar and subtle earthiness to enter focus.  The finish is very long with cocoa powder and dried herbs joining the party.  This wine is the complete package and has the balance to improve over the next few years and last in the cellar for another decade or more.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

2008 Andrew Will Sorella

 

 

 

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

100% Chenin Blanc from the Santa Ynez Valley in California’s Central Coast region.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw-yellow color.  The inviting nose has green apples, unripe pears, lemon grass, flinty minerals, honeysuckle and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by lemon grass and flinty minerals.  The finish has nice length with lime zest and honeysuckle providing nice depth.  This is a nice Chenin Blanc for a meal on a sunny deck or patio.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

2013 Ground Effect Gravity Check

 

 

 

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso – $19.13

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 wine is 100% Nebbiolo that was aged 18 months in small oak casks before bottling and another 3 months of bottle age before release.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, tobacco, wild flowers, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, dark chocolate and baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and underbrush lead off with wild flowers and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and more wild flowers providing great depth.  This is on the young side but is already very tasty.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

2010 Tenuta Carretta Roero Bric Paradiso

 

 

 

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese * – $11.39

I bought a couple bottles of this at a close out price at the local wine store (The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin) when I lived in Wisconsin.  I was hoping for a nice Riesling to enjoy on a warm day on the deck.  We opened a bottle that evening and it blew me away.  I immediately shot off an e-mail to the store to stash a case in the back for me.  This was everything I love about a young German Spätlese Riesling, nice rich sweetness along with enough acidity to leave your mouth watering.  This was drinking very nicely young, but I had no doubt this will be fantastic down the road.  An added bonus is this wine is closed with a glass stopper, which I love.  This closure ensures a nice, tight seal and no possible cork taint.  I just haven’t read any studies about long term cellaring of a wine closed in this manner.

 

This has 9.5% alcohol and is sealed with a glass stopper.

 

A golden straw color.  Petrol, honey, apples, pears, peach pits, tangerine, white pepper, pineapple, strong minerality and a floral note on the enticing nose.  Medium body with loads of sweetness and nice balancing acidity.  Rich and fruity on the palate with mouthwatering citrusy acidity kicking in to keep it from being too sweet.  Long finish with the white pepper note from the nose making a background appearance.  This still tastes young and will age and improve for another decade or more.  This has 9.5% alcohol and is sealed with a glass stopper.  (93 pts)

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese

 

 

 

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard – $43.00

For the last few years I’ve felt Big Basin was one of the wineries to keep an eye on.  I think they are one big score away from popping onto most wine drinker’s radar.  Could they become the next Saxum?  In my opinion, the sky is the limit for this winery.

 

This wine is from a 2600 foot mountaintop vineyard in the Gabilan Mountains with decomposed granite and limestone soils.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The stunning nose is full of crushed blackberries, smoke, plums, dark chocolate, vanilla, minerals, black pepper, creosote, eucalyptus, Asian spices and violets.  This full bodied wine has fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate smoke, berries and plums hit hard on the front end slowly giving way to black pepper and vanilla with building minerality and vanilla coming in on the back end.  The long, luxurious finish has a nice mix of the fruit and savory elements with minerals closing the show.  This intense wine is in a prime drinking window and should drink well for the remainder of the decade.  The wine has 15.7% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard

2007 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview 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 – April 2017 Vol 2

 

2009 Villa Creek Avenger

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Villa Creek Avenger – $33.60

Avenger is my favorite wine being produced by Villa Creek.  This vintage is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Grenache from the Luna Matta, James Berry and Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The open and exuberant nose has blackberries, chalky minerals, baking spices, dried leafy herbs, white pepper, vanilla beans, blueberries and a touch of underbrush.  The wine has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  The wine is rich and lush on the palate with blackberries, minerals and white pepper jumping out first, followed closely by dried herbs and baking spices.  The finish has nice length with vanilla and a touch of underbrush entering the picture.  This is not a lithe and nuanced wine, more of a baseball bat to the back of your head.  The wine has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork with a wax covering.  (91 pts)

2009 Villa Creek Avenger

2009 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard – $32.00

This was a very easy buy from Last Bottle, one of my favorite grapes, from a top notch vineyard, from one of my go-to wineries.  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 purple color.  The inviting nose is full of crushed blackberries, dusty minerals, violets, blueberries, white pepper, road tar, dried violets and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  For a Hayne Vineyard Petite Sirah this is bright and lively on your palate with crushed berries, minerals and white pepper hitting on the front end and blueberries, vanilla and dried violets coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with berries and white pepper seeming to linger forever.  This is on the young side but very easy to enjoy even at this stage in its development.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

2010 Jacob Franklin Petite Sirah Hayne Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente – $22.00

This  was the 5th vintage of this wine made by Michael Havens (the first person to make Albarino in the New World) and Morgan Twain-Peterson.  The wine comes from two sites in the far southern part of Napa Valley.  This vintage consists of almost 60% grapes from the Watson Vineyard, which is planted in limestone.  The fruit from this vineyard adds density and perfume.  This was fermented and aged in stainless steel tank, with no malolactic.

 

The wine is a nice straw yellow color.  The invigorating nose has ripe apple, dusty minerals, lemon zest, white peach, under ripe melon and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate apples, lemon zest and white peach take control on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a bit of melon joining the apples and lemon zest.  This has great citrusy acidity with enough apple and peach to balance the tartness.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block – $38.00

This wine was not bottled in the 2009 vintage.  Most of the fruit in the previous vintage was lost due to heavy rains on October 13th.  The little fruit that was harvested went into the winery’s Sonoma County Syrah.  Thankfully the vineyard rebounded for the 2010 vintage.  For this vintage, two-thirds of the fruit was destemmed, the remainder was whole-cluster.  The wine was fermented with indigenous yeast.  The wine was aged in all French oak with 26% being new. A total of 410 cases were produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The vivid and bold nose is full of crushed blackberries, hot asphalt, black plums, licorice, warm baking spices, black cherries and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Waves of berries and plums are joined with spice and asphalt on the front end with black cherries coming in later.  The finish has good length with a hint of eucalyptus providing nice depth.  This is a big and bold wine that needs to be paired with a hearty meal.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa’s Block

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine – $22.00

This wine is a blend of grapes mainly from the late ripening Stellwagen Vineyard as well as Casa Santinamaria which was originally slated for a vineyard designated bottling.  The remainder of the wine includes grapes from the terraced Los Chamizal Vineyard, some younger vine fruit from Rossi Ranch in Kenwood, a few barrels of Monte Rosso Zinfandel, and a bit of old-vine Carignane and Mourvedre from the winery’s Bedrock Vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, baking spices, black cherries, dry underbrush and wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, black cherries, black pepper abd baking spices grab control on the front end with underbrush and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with berries and spice dominating.  Not as complex as earlier vintages but that’s a result of the vintage.  This is very tasty and would be a great pairing with a wide range of food.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

 

 

 

2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard – $28.00

The fruit for this wine comes from the meticulously maintained Abba Vineyard owned and farmed by Phil Abba.  The vineyard is on the east side of the Mokelumne River AVA.  The winery also produces a top notch Grenache from this vineyard.  Both are well worth tracking down.

 

I tasted this wine in the vineyard with Phil Abba and winery owner/winemaker Mike McCay in late September and loved this wine.  As soon as we returned to the Lodi Wine Visitor Center, I added a couple bottles to a case I was having shipped home.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, scorched earth, dusty minerals, baking spices, blueberries, dried wildflowers and white pepper.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, minerals, baking spice and scorched earth grab your attention quickly on the front end with white pepper and blueberries coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice dried floral note providing depth.  For such a young wine, this tastes great today but if you can keep your hands off it, some cellar time will be rewarded.  This is a top notch Syrah!  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard

2014 McCay Cellars Syrah Abba 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 – April 2017 Vol 1

 

2012 Domaine de la Presidente Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grands Classiques

2012 FTP Vinhos Douro Duvalley

2009 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

2013 Scriani Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore

 

 

 

2012 Domaine de la Presidente Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grands Classiques – $25.49

This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 20% Roussanne and 10% Bourboulenc. 10% was fermented and aged in barriques for 5 months.  The remainder was fermented and aged in stainless steel before blending.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The intriguing nose has tart apples, flinty minerals, white peach, orange blossoms, white pepper, lemon zest and a hint of leafy herb.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and white pepper quickly jump out on the front end with orange blossoms and leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with tart lemon zest providing some depth and nice zip.  This would be a welcome addition to any dinner table with seafood.  I liked this one.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Domaine de la Presidente Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grands Classiques

2012 Domaine de la Presidente Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Grands Classiques

 

 

 

2012 FTP Vinhos Douro Duvalley – $12.59

This white wine from the Duoro region in Portugal is a blend of 60% Viosinho and 40% Rabigato.  I was able to taste this wine as well as several others with the importer several months ago.  He specializes in small wineries mainly in Spain, Portugal and Chile.

 

The wine is a light yellow color.  The exotic nose has pineapple, apples, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms and lime zest.  This has medium body and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and pineapple jump out on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lime zest and a touch of leafy herb providing good depth.  This is a nice wine for a lighter meal on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  For two unusual grape varieties, this tastes a touch familiar but is also a bit exotic.  I like it!  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 FTP Vinhos Douro Duvalley

2012 FTP Vinhos Douro Duvalley

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman – $29.00

This wine is a blend of fruit from both Rattlesnake Ridge and Dragon Vineyards on Howell Mountain.  This wine is primarily Zinfandel with a small amount of Petite Syrah from the Rattlesnake vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The open and outgoing nose is full of brambly berries, black pepper, licorice, Asian spice, minerals, dry earth and fresh ground espresso beans.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper, and minerals pop out on the front end with Asian spice and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with dark chocolate and espresso beans adding considerable depth and interest.  This is drinking very nicely today and should hold through the end of the decade.  This has 16.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

2009 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman

 

 

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range – $9.74

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 52% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot, 5% Mourvedre and 2% Cabernet Franc.

 

This is a house favorite when we want “something different”.  It was a sad day when the winery closed their doors for good.  At least I was able to stock up on several of the wines when Last Bottle cleared them out.

 

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has crushed berries, licorice, black peppercorns, dried wild flowers, dusty minerals, fresh ground espresso beans and dry earth.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and minerals pop out first with dry earth and a nice dried floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with espresso beans providing depth.  This is a nice, easy drinking everyday wine, especially at the price.  I’d enjoy this one over the next 4 or 5 years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (89 pts)

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé – $12.00

This wine comes from the vineyard across Jahant Road from the winery.

 

The wine is a bright, saturated pink color.  The invigorating nose has cherries, strawberries, crushed stone minerals, dusty earth and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit, minerals and a touch of earthiness dominate with a touch of orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with the bright red fruit and subtle minerality lingering nicely.  This is an easy wine to enjoy on a warm, sunny day.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

 

 

 

2013 Scriani Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore – $20.69

This is a blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 7% Croatina and 3% Oseleta.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, dusty minerals, baking spices, dried flowers, underbrush and a touch of licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, spices and minerals jump out on the front end with underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This is a classic, easy drinking Ripasso.  Nicely done!  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Scriani Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore

2013 Scriani Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore

 

 

 

 

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 5

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses – $11.49

This is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.

 

The three grape varietals are harvested separately when they reach the desired level of ripeness, not all at the same time.  The grapes are machine harvested and contains a built-in sorting system.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The tantalizing nose has raspberry, white peach, white pepper, cherries, minerals, orange zest and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with a creamy texture and nice acidity.  On the palate bright fruit and minerals take control on the front end with white pepper and leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a bit of orange zest providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but tasty.  This would be perfect for a light lunch on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (88 pts)

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

 

 

 

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne – SRP $50

This was a sample provided by the winery or a company working on their behalf.

 

This wine is a blend of 55% Roussanne, 26% Grenache Blanc and 19% Picpoul Blanc and is the winery’s homage to the complex blended wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

 

The wine is a very light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The intriguing nose has apple, honeysuckle, lemon zest, pears, chalky minerals, beeswax, orange blossoms and a hint of leafy herbs.  This is creamy and medium bodied on the palate with enough acidity to keep it lively.  On the palate apples, pears and chalky minerals quickly grab control on the front end with orange blossoms and lemon zest slipping in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a leafy herb note providing depth.  This is in a very nice drinking window right now and it should hold for another few years.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.   (92 pts)

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

 

 

 

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

This has been a favorite Petite Sirah since I first visited the winery well over a decade ago.  I always encourage friends to visit the winery since a visit usually includes barrel tasting at least a few of their wines.  On one visit, we must have tasted wines from a dozen different barrels.

 

This is the winery’s “signature” wine.  It is a blend of several different blocks that surround the winery.  I’ve always felt a winery’s best looking vineyard was the one around the winery and tasting room, this is, in most cases, a person’s first impression of the winery.  Great looking and well maintained vineyards will greatly improve a potential buyer’s impression of the winery.  Conversely, if the vineyard and grapes don’t look appealing, a person’s first impression may be a negative one.

 

The wine is a dark purple to black color with no signs that it’s 13 years old.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, black pepper, warm baking spices, cedar, well worn leather and just a hint of adhesive tape.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  The palate is dominated by spicy, peppery berries on the front end with a touch of cedar coming in late.  The finish has very good length with a hint of adhesive tape.  The wine does seem to have a touch of brett but only in a good way, like a lot of the Rhone wines.  This still seems to have years of life left if stored in a decent cellar.  This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé – $19.00

This rosé comes from vines planted before 1940.  The grapes were picked specifically for rosé and was not created to “beef up” a red wine, a practice at some wineries.  The majority of this wine is old vine Mourvedre with small amounts of Cemetary Vineyard Carignane and fruit from Evangelho Vineyard.  This is one of my Go-To rosé wines every year.

 

The wine is a deep pink salmon color.  The very inviting nose has strawberry, cherry, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, orange blossoms and just a hint of dry earth.  This is barely medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate nice red fruit and minerals  quickly grab your attention with white pepper and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has good length with just a hint of earthiness providing depth.  This is one of my go-to Summer sippers.  This has 12.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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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