Posts tagged ‘Lodi’

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 3

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi – $19.79

Macchia makes the big, full bore Zinfandels that originally put Lodi on wine lover’s radar.  Like most other wineries in the region Zinfandel is still the mainstay of their offerings but other grape varieties are also produced masterfully.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, toasty oak, black cherries, vanilla bean, black peppercorns, charcoal, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This is rich and velvety on the palate with big upfront fruit and barrel nuances coming in later.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it makes up for that deficiency with a load of fruit on the palate.  This isn’t a wine to sit back and ponder over, pop the cork and just enjoy.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru – $28.02

This was a purchase from Last Bottle Wines, please see below for more information on them and the opportunity to receive a credit on your account by signing up for their e-mail list.

 

My previous bottle seemed a bit tired and perhaps past its prime but that was clearly an off bottle.

 

This is a light straw color with several persistent streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exhilarating nose has tart apples, lemon zest, yeasty bread, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms and roasted nuts.  This has light body with great inner mouth effervescence and crisp acidity.  This has nice fruit on the front end with the savory notes quickly entering the picture.  The finish has nice length with yeasty bread and minerals providing a nice counterpoint to the fruit.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (90 pts)

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

 

 

 

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey – $24.99

This 100% Pinot Noir is from the village of Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise region.  The vines are an average of 25 years old.  After a traditional fermentation, the wine is aged 10 to 12 months in stainless steel vats.  The wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, chalky minerals, orange zest, dry earth and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals jump out first with white pepper and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with white pepper and a hint of orange zest adding nice depth.  Not the most complex wine out there, but this is very tasty and offers great QPR for around $25.  (90 pts)

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

 

 

 

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard – $49

Rhys makes world class wines that usually need a few years in the cellar to develop and open up before they show their best.

 

This vineyard used to be a Christmas tree farm.  In 2002 the Sletten, Martin, Sullivan and Harvey families formed a partnership and decided to convert the farm into a vineyard due to its loamy clay soil and eastern aspect.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The exotic and sexy nose features cherries, black raspberries, crushed stones, white pepper, Asian spices, fresh cut flowers and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and outstanding acidity.  On the palate spicy red and black fruit dominate on the front end with the savory elements coming in later.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with tart, spicy cherries, minerals and some earthiness lingering seemingly forever.  This still seems young and there is absolutely no hurry to open this one.  Even at 10 years old, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch – $40.50

Vincent Arroyo holds a special place in my heart.  This was one of the first wineries I visited on my first trip to Napa many years ago.  For me, a trip to Napa isn’t complete without a stop at the winery which usually includes trying just about everything they have aging in barrels.  If you ever visit the winery, Greenwood Ranch is the home vineyard around the winery.  The winery owns 85 acres and cultivate 9 different wine grape varieties.  The winery produces about 8,000 cases of wine a year.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has blackberries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, melted licorice, blueberries, dry underbrush and a touch of adhesive tape.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit comes through on the front end with minerals, spices and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice balance between the fruit and savory elements.  This is in a very good drinking window with the tannins integrated and very good acidity.  Caution with this one, my cork pretty much disintegrated and there was a LOT of sediment.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

 

 

 

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine – SRP $45

This wine was supplied to me by Lodi Wine to help celebrate Zinfandel Day.

 

There are always heated arguments over what should be considered to be an “old vine”.  In this case, there should be no disagreement that this wine comes from “ancient vines” since the vineyard was planted in the 1800’s.  To me, a wine produced from vines over 100 years old deserves to be called Ancient Vines.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has plums, brambly berries, white pepper, dry earth, baking spices and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  This has bright fruit on the front end and nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has good length with nice sweet fruit and spice.  This is a nicely structured zinfandel that shows good balance with no over ripe notes.  This tastes very good now but a year in the cellar will be rewarded.  This has a surprising 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)

2013 Jessie's Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

The Louis Latour Mercurey paired wonderfully with ham, macaroni & cheese and mixed peas from this year’s garden.

 

 

I paired the Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel with a cooler weather staple, Red Beans & Rice.

 

 

I opted to open the Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah with prime rib instead of my normal Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

The Macchia Zinfandel was my choice to open with a large serving of Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.

 

 

 

 

 

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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Cliffs Wine Picks – October 2017 Vol 4

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi – $11.04

Mad Duck is a label owned by Truett-Hurst.  There isn’t much information on the wine on the internet, at least not that I could find.

 

The wine is a ruby red color, looking more like a Pinot Noir than a Zinfandel.  The exotic nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, dry loamy soil, cranberries, white pepper and violets.  This has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, brambly berries and spice come through on the front end with loam and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cranberries and a floral note entering the picture.  This is a leaner style of Zinfandel, especially for one from Lodi.  This could actually use a bit more body and some complexity.  Perhaps some time in the cellar will allow the wine to put on some weight and flesh out a bit.  As is, this is a balanced Zinfandel with nice tart fruit that will work with a lot of meals.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

2016 Mad Duck Zinfandel Lodi

 

 

 

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz – $25

Don’t you hate it when you go to a winery’s website and there is almost nothing about wine.  In this case, the Estate appears to be a “destination”.  There is loads of info on the resort, restaurant, conference room and gift center.  If I checked out the site before buying the wine, I probably would have passed, but that would have been a mistake.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The open and giving nose has blackberries, roasted leafy herbs, dark bittersweet chocolate, dead wood embers, cherries, licorice, iron shavings, wildflowers and warm baking spices.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate berries, roasted herbs and iron shavings quickly grab your attention with charred wood and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a nice floral note providing depth.  This still tastes very young and primary.  I’d sit on this one for a couple more years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

2009 Balgownie Estate Shiraz

 

 

 

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – $48

This Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Livermore Valley also includes a few percent each of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  The grapes come from Ghielmetti Estate, Home Ranch and Smith Ranch vineyards.  After a 5 to 7 day cold soak the wine was fermented in individual fermenters with an extended 14 day maceration.  The wine was then aged for 22 months in French oak barrels with 60% being new.  There were 1047 cases produced.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The alluring wine has cassis, licorice, roasted herbs, warm baking spices, black cherries, tobacco, dusty minerals and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, minerals, baking spices and tobacco come through on the front end with black cherries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This is on the young side, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This just seemed to get better throughout the evening.  A solid California Cabernet that is very easy to like.  This has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard – $28.50

There are only one and a half acres of Grüner in Sonoma County, all of which is at Steiner Vineyard.  A very rare and special wine!  The production was ramped up this vintage from 92 cases in 2012 to 212 cases.  The production increased since a second block in the vineyard started producing.

 

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The exotic nose has pineapple, lemon zest, green pea pods, crushed stone minerals, lime zest, orange blossoms, white peach and vanilla bean.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, under ripe pineapple, minerals and lime zest quickly grab your attention with green pea pods and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and vanilla bean providing depth.  This has very nice balance and the touch of residual sweetness buffers the tart acidity.  This won’t get mistaken for an Austrian Gruner, but who cares, it’s delicious.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

2013 Carlisle Gruner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor – $19

This bottle was purchased 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 45% Zinfandel, 26% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 8% Grenache, 5% Carignane, 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Black Muscat and 1% Viognier from vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Paso Robles and Amador County.  The total production was 1,913 cases.

 

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of crushed berries, black pepper and scorched earth dominate the front end with baking spices and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish is again loaded with fruit and spice with a dried flower note joining the picture.  This is a big, ripe and rich wine that would be a crowd pleaser.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

2013 JC Cellars The Impostor

 

 

 

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate – Gift

This wine was a very special bottle.  It was a gift from a friend when he had dinner (and a lot of wine) at the house while he was on a business trip.  I was supposed to visit him in Nebraska one day so he could reciprocate, but he passed away before we could get together again.  This was the only time we ever met in person.  Cheers Fred!

 

There is 8% Viognier included with the Syrah.  This is from the Lytton West Vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, cherries, cedar, baking spices, crushed stone minerals, licorice, violets, white pepper, raspberries, dry underbrush, dark bittersweet chocolate and potpourri.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate there is great balance between the fruit and savory elements with nothing being too prominent.  The finish has very nice length and again it has no rough edges.  This has aged very nicely and is in a superb drinking window.  Drink this one over the next few years.  This just seemed to get smoother and richer as the bottle was drained.  I wish I had a couple more bottles to open over the next few years.  This is a great, restrained Syrah.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

2006 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the Mad Duck Zin with one of my favorite cooler weather dishes, a Stacked Enchilada Casserole with layers of spicy, meaty filling loaded with black beans and Monterrey Jack cheese and flour tortillas.  Think of it as a Mexican Lasagna.

 

 

Another cool weather favorite is Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya.  In this case I paired the dish with the Balgownie Shiraz.  Another perfect pairing, at least it was for me.

 

 

The cool spell lasted a few days, so we were able to pull out a true Southern meal, Fried Cubed Steak with rice and Cream Gravy with mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.  The Steven Kent Cabernet had the body, structure and flavor to pair nicely with this Southern cuisine.

 

 

 

 

 

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 – October 2017 Vol 2

 

2010 Buccella Remnant

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

 

 

 

2010 Buccella Remnant – $41.40

This wine is a blend of 67% Carignane, 17% Petite Sirah and 16% Grenache from Mendocino County.  I saw this on the shelf at a wine store in Pinehurst, NC during a business trip and had to grab a bottle to try out.  I can’t find much information on the wine on the internet, even the winery’s website.  This seems to be a one-off wine since this appears to be the only vintage that was produced.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The alluring nose has blackberries, black cherries, crushed stones, dry underbrush, black peppercorns, baking spices, plums, cocoa powder and dried flowers.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate clack cherries, berries, minerals and baking spices quickly grab your attention with black pepper, plums and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and dry underbrush providing good depth.  This is a bit of an unusual blend that works nicely.  This has nice balance and doesn’t push the ripeness or extraction.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2010 Buccella Remnant

2010 Buccella Remnant

 

 

 

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard – $28.17

This 100% Pinot Noir comes from a vineyard at the western base of Sonoma Mountain.  The coastal location provides cool ocean breezes and Petaluma Gap fog helps keep the heat in check.  The wine was aged in French oak, 50% new.  1,150 cases of this wine was produced.

 

The wine is a ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, Asian spice, plums, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, strawberries, licorice, dry underbrush and dried wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, Asian spice and stony minerals take control quickly with white pepper, strawberries and plums coming in later.  The finish has very good length with underbrush and a dried floral note adding great depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now but there is absolutely no hurry on this one, it will easily last through the end of the decade.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

 

 

 

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé – $10.35

This is a blend of 73% Grenache and 27% Syrah.  I grabbed a few bottles of this at the local Total Wine in Columbia, SC on a visit to stock up on Rosé wines for the warm South Carolina weather.

 

The wine is a deep salmon pink color.  The riveting nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, white pepper, orange blossoms and a hint of dry earth.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate red fruit, minerals and white pepper immediately grab your attention with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a touch of dry earth providing depth.  This is a little fuller body than most Rosés from the region but it has the bolder flavors and nice acidity to support the extra weight.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (91 pts)

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

2016 Château de Fabrègues Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi – $10.19

I grabbed a bottle of this wine on my latest stop at Total Wine.  If you check out this blog very often, you’ll notice I drink a fair amount of wines from Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very open and giving nose is full of crushed berries, baking spices, white pepper, scorched earth, licorice and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, baking spices and white pepper come through on the front end with scorched earth and licorice coming in later.  The finish has decent length with wildflowers providing depth.  This finishes with a touch of lingering sweetness and gets a bit soft.  The soft tannins and touch of sweetness makes this a perfect companion to some spicy barbecue.  This is an easy drinking wine to open with friends over the next year.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

2015 Owl Ridge Wines Zinfandel Hunted Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee – $11.54

This bottle was purchased 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.

 

Rubino is a Blend of Alexander Valley Cabernet, Dry Creek Valley Merlot, Russian River Valley Syrah and Napa Valley Petite Sirah. Aged in French Oak for 20 months.

Aged in French Oak for 24 months.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The alluring nose has cassis, baking spices, raspberries, dry underbrush, plums, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate nice front end fruit is buffered by spices and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with plums and dark chocolate providing depth.  This isn’t a power house wine, but it has nice balance and a smooth texture.  I wouldn’t hold this one for more than a year or two.  For under $12 (my cost from last bottle) this is a QPR star.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

2012 Sapphire Hill Rubino Cuvee

 

 

 

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn – $29.12

This bottle was purchased 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 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s Diamond Mountain vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, roasted leafy herbs, baking spices, tobacco, licorice, cedar, crushed stone minerals, white pepper and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis, baking spices and minerals jump out on the front end with roasted herbs and tobacco coming in later.  The lingering finish adds cedar, white pepper and a nice dried floral note.  This isn’t a powerhouse, but it has great balance and is a big success for the vintage.  This has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

2011 Mueller Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stars & Goats Diamond Mtn

 

 

 

Here are a few meals that featured some of the wines reviewed above.

 

A piece of Slow-cooked Chuck Roast with Gravy over Egg Noodles with the Stars & Goats Cabernet

 

 

BBQ Chicken Wings with my dry rub, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and the Hunted Zinfandel

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 St. Amant Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

St Amant Logo

 

Overview

In the past, I have been lucky enough to be included in a few online tastings featuring wines from some of the small, family owned wineries of Lodi.  During a couple of the events, wines from St. Amant were included in the groups.  The wines caught my attention as wines worthy of being “hunted down”.  A couple weeks ago, I saw this wine on the shelf at a local wine store and immediately grabbed a couple bottles.

 

If your knowledge of wines from Lodi is based on a taste of a large production wine from a giant winery, you owe it to yourself to check out the outstanding wines being produced in a much smaller quantity by the smaller artisan wineries in the region.

 

 

The Winery

St. Amant was founded in 1981 by Tim Spencer and his wife, Barbara St. Amant Spencer.  The couple started out by grafting over two acres of Zinfandel vines to the Portuguese varieties, Avarelhao, BastardoSouzao, Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional.  Eventually other European grapes were added like Tempranillo and Barbera.

 

In 1992 the winery began working with the Lodi Winegrape Commission to produce single-vineyard, small production wines for them to market the region.  At that point, virtually no Lodi labeled wines were being made and the Commission wanted to showcase the quality of Lodi vineyards by demonstrating their potential with small artisan winemaking.

 

In 1996 after a legal battle with their landlord, the family had to quickly move the winery to a new location.  They found a place in Lodi, and setup shop at the old Guild Winery.  This was a post prohibition era winery, built in the late 1930’s.  It was anything but picturesque, but it was functional, and allowed the family to continue making wines.

 

The winery released their first Lodi “branded” Zinfandel wine in 1997, as they say, the rest is history.

 

It was also at this time the family vineyard was dying of phyloxera.  When the vineyard dies in a winery that makes wine from the grapes they grow, it could be a problem if not a catastrophe.  At that point Tim Spencer worked out a deal with the Lodi Winegrape Commission – if a grower brought them 2 tons of grapes, they would make the wine, give them 25 cases, and keep the balance for themselves.  They had numerous growers take them up on the offer.  One day Jerry Fry showed up with 7 tons of beautiful Old Vine Zinfandel grapes.  Tim didn’t know what to do, he didn’t have the money to pay for the grapes, and they had no idea how the wine would turn out.  Jerry told him not to worry about it, that they would work it out later.  The winery ended up bottling 450 cases of that first vintage.  It won a bunch of awards, sold out quickly, and has since grown to be their most popular wine.

 

Much more information about the winery, family and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

 

From the winery, in their words

Upon entering our winery a visitor once remarked, “Oh! This doesn’t look like a winery.” My dad quickly replied, “There are tanks, barrels, picking bins, and cases of wine. What is a winery supposed to look like?” She replied, “You know, picnic tables, t-shirts, gift items!” He retorted, “Lady! I think you will be much happier visiting somewhere else, and I know I will!”

 

While my father may not have attended the Disney school of customer service, his point was that our winery was built to make wine, not entertain guests with “non-wine” experiences. Our winery was built with the express intent of making the best wines possible. Although we’re housed in an old industrial winery, where the drain tends to be the highest point in the room, we’ve built our winery to produce exceptional quality hand-crafted wines.

 

We make all our wines on site. From crushing to bottling, the wines never leave our control. We do everything by hand, in small lots, and by a few people. This gives us an intimate understanding of each vineyard, each vintage, and each lot of wine so that we can consistently produce original hand-crafted wines.

 

 

The Vineyard (from the winery)

Mohr-Fry Ranch is farmed by our good friends Jerry and Bruce Fry. The father and son team is responsible for managing the family’s diversified farming operation that includes winegrapes and heirloom beans. The family has been farming in California for over 150 years, and their vineyards are the source of our most popular wine – Mohr-Fry Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel.

 

Their home ranch sits directly south of the city of Lodi, on a beautiful 225 acre ranch comprised of 9 separate blocks of own-rooted Old Vine Zinfandel dating back to 1901. We source grapes from multiple vineyard blocks planted between 1901 and 1945. All of them are head-trained and planted on their own roots in very sandy soils. In our opinion, these vineyards produce some of California’s best Zinfandel wines, consistently ripening beautiful grapes.

 

 

This vineyard was one of the first “certified” vineyards under the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to address the overall health of the vineyard and ecosystem.  The farming standards go beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, soil and water health, and employee safety.  For more information, please click here.

 

 

mohr-frye-vineyard Jerry and Bruce Fry at the Mohr-Fry Wineyard

  

About Lodi

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $19.99

 

(Even though I paid a bit more at the local store, the suggested retail price for the wine is only $18.  It is available to purchase for $18 on the winery’s website by clicking here.

 

This wine is a blend of 100% Zinfandel that comes from two vineyards planted on Mohr-Fry Ranch.  One vineyard was planted in 1901, the other in 1944.  The head-pruned vines are own-rooted and are situated in the sandy soils just southwest of the city of Lodi.  The vines benefit from the distinctive delta breezes that cool the appellation in the late afternoon and early evening creating an ideal climate for high-quality Zinfandel.

 

The grapes were harvested from September 25th through October 2nd.  The grapes were hand sorted and fermented for 7 days at cool temperature with gentle pumpovers.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 60 gallon American oak barrels, with 25% being new.  A total of 3.068 cases were bottled on July 13, 2013.

 

The wine has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a ruby to garnet color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean, dried flowers and a touch of subtle earthiness.  This has a fairly full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  The spicy, brambly berries coat the palate on the front end with dusty minerals, black pepper and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a nice floral note and subtle earthiness joining the berries and spice.  This is a very easy wine to enjoy now and over the next couple of years.  (91 pts)

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2012 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2015 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Lodi Native Zinfandel Tasting

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard – (Maley Brothers)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard – (m2)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard – (McCay Cellars)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard – (St.Amant)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Century Block Vineyard – (Fields Family)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch – (Macchia)

 

(The wine name is the “official” Lodi Native name; I have listed the producing winery in parenthesis.

 

 

Lodi Native Logo

 

Overview

I was invited to participate in a wine tasting of 2012 Zinfandels from Lodi.  These were not going to be your ordinary, everyday Zins, these were going to be special.  Each 2012 bottling benefitted from native yeast fermentation, zero new oak, and minimal interference in the vineyards and cellar, allowing the terroir-driven fruit to speak for itself.  It’s a project that any Zinfandel (or wine!) purist can and should get behind.  It’s going to be a great tasting, giving prelude to Earth Day 2014!

 

Lodi Native™ is a collaborative project by six winegrowers of like mind, living and working in the historic Lodi American Viticultural Area.  Their mission: To turn the spotlight on the region’s heritage plantings – many of them dating back to the late 1800s – through sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices, beginning with native yeast fermentation and use of no new oak.  The focus is on Zinfandel, but on the taste of vineyards rather than varietal character or brand.

 

 

 

The Lodi Native Mission

To demonstrate to more sophisticated consumers, media (print and blogosphere) and gatekeepers (such as specialty retailers and sommeliers/restaurateurs) that distinguished, distinctly identifiable vineyards exist in Lodi, similar to other great wine regions of the world.

To encourage preservation and appreciation of old vine plantings – well as of Lodi’s long tradition of grower/custodians – by focusing more attention on vineyard sites, vis-à-vis real and tangible sensory expressions in each bottling.

To build professional camaraderie, a culture of information sharing, and new challenges for Lodi’s Zinfandel specialists.

 

 

Commitments

That anything worth doing should entail fairly strict protocols in order to be meaningful.

That no protocol should run contrary to the project’s primary purpose, which is to highlight terroir, and Lodi’s heritage Zinfandel plantings and growers.

That each participating producer faithfully applies “best efforts,” while being willing to sacrifice personal or brand style in order to achieve the project’s mission.

 

 

Winemaking Protocols

100% Zinfandel bottlings from a single contiguous vineyard (exception:  old vine plantings with long established field mixes) located within the Lodi AVA.

Preference for established “old vine” plantings (i.e. pre-1962), with exceptions made for distinctive younger plantings.

Native yeast (non-inoculated) fermentations only.

No use of oak chips, dust or similar amendments.

No acidification or de-acidification.

No new oak or use of innerstaves in aging process.

No water addition or de-alcoholizing measures.

No tannin additions.

No inoculation for malolactic fermentation.

No use of Mega-Purple or other concentrate products.

No filtering or fining.

No must concentration, Flash Détente or similar extraction measures

Proposed cuvées are to be submitted by each producer for sensory evaluation and subsequent approval of entire group.

Preference for vineyards certified by Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing and/or CCOF.

 

 

For more information or to purchase the wines, visit the Lodi Native site by clicking here.

 

 

LoCA_Logo-Enclosure_CMYK

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

CCA Logo

 

 

About Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands.  Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods.  We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

 

For more information, visit the CCA website.

 

 

 

Lodi-Native-winemakers-819x1024

Lodi Native Winemakers (Clockwise from left): Layne Montgomery (M2); Stuart Spencer (St. Amant); Ryan Sherman (Fields Family); Michael McCay (McCay Cellars); Tim Holdener (Macchia); Chad Joseph (Maley Brothers)

 

 

If you would like to see the recorded video of the tasting with the wineries, please visit the Brandlive site by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out the video for the wealth of information and insight that was provided.

 

You can order the wines by clicking here.

The six-packs ($180 each) are only being sold at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center and come packaged in a commemorative wooden box. You may also call the Visitor Center directly at (209) 365-0621.

 

 

 

Here was the line up for this tasting. Tasting order was from west to east based on the location of vineyard.

Lodi Native Lineup

Lodi Native Lineup

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard (Maley Brothers)

The Wegat Vineyard is a 21-acre planting of head trained vines, field budded on St. George rootstock by the Maley family in 1958.  It is a quintessential “west side” Lodi vineyard:  planted in fine sandy loam, yielding less than 3 tons/acre, from a  unique clonal selection characterized by consistently loose clusters – all contributing to the round, lush, boysenberry/blueberry qualities long associated with Wegat.

 

The wine has 14.9% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Maley Brothers, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus, roasted herbs, dried flowers and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the brambly berries jump out with minerals and eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with minerals and roasted herbs hanging on.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard (m2)

m2′s Lodi Native Zinfandel is sourced from the oldest block of Soucie Vineyard; planted in 1916 and farmed by fifth generation Lodi native Kevin Soucie.  The vines are own-rooted and head trained, and the soil – an extremely fine silt with the consistency of talcum powder – is a variation of the series found in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA’s far western edge, identified as Devries sandy loam.  The site is also the closest to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s cooling breezes in Lodi, resulting in distinctively lush, pungently earthy, terroir driven styles of Zinfandel.

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on m2 Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is bright red to ruby color.  The very inviting nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy crushed berries and pepper hit first with a touch of eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some earthiness coming in.  This is a nice middle of the road style of Zinfandel.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel TruLux Vineyard (McCay Cellars)

TruLux is a west side Lodi – Mokelumne River AVA vineyard, originally planted in the 1940s on St. George rootstock.  It is distinguished by unusually tall head trained vines (topping 6 feet) and a clonal selection producing atypically loose, elongated clusters.  This, and loamy sand, yields dark, meaty fruit qualities with a perceptible earthy, loamy complexity.

 

The 2012 was picked earlier in the season (September 17) at moderate sugar (24.4° Brix).

 

The wine has 14.6% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on McCay Cellars, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with an amber tint.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, white pepper, minerals, roasted herbs and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries and pepper jump out first with minerals and subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some roasted herbs and a floral note coming in.  (90 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard (St.Amant)

Marian’s Vineyard is a revered 8.3-acre own-rooted Mokelumne River AVA growth, located south of the town of Lodi.  It was originally planted in 1901 by a branch of the Mettler family on present-day Mohr-Fry Ranch; and today it is farmed by father-and-son Jerry and Bruce Fry.  It is named for Marian Mohr Fry Zimmerman, the Fry family matriarch who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94.  Marian’s deep sandy loam is extremely well drained (in many years, yielding less than 2 tons/acre); but in 2012 the vineyard produced over 30 tons of bold, concentrated fruit – a testament to how well it is farmed today, in accordance with Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  The entirety of Marian’s goes to St. Amant Winery, founded by the late Tim Spencer (a Lodi icon).

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on St.Amant Winery, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, minerals, dried herbs and lavender.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate mineral laden, peppery berries coat your palate with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a big dried herb note lingering seemingly forever.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian's Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard (Fields Family)

The Century Block Vineyard is a 3-acre patch of own-rooted Zinfandel (typical of old vines in Lodi) planted in 1905; standing defiantly in a sea of more recently planted trellised vineyards, on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 is the first vineyard designate on record for this growth, and shows what maximum attention in the field and minimal intervention in the cellar can do.

 

The wine has 14.0% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Fields Family Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red to ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, brambly berries, white pepper, stony minerals, underbrush and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and pepper jump out first, slowly allowing minerals and some earthiness to come into focus.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note adding to the complexity.  This is a nice example of a restrained, civilized Zinfandel that could use some time in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Vineyard (Macchia)

Noma Ranch, farmed by second generation Lodi grower Leland Noma, is a 15-acre vineyard of small, stunted, own-rooted, head trained vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  It is 100% dry farmed; typically yielding close to 1 ton per acre.  These tiny clusters of high skin to juice ratio grapes produces a unique Zinfandel:  of all of Lodi’s heritage plantings, Noma is consistently among the most concentrated and highest in natural acidity.

 

Noma Ranch, farmed by Leland Noma is a 15-acre vineyard with vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 Lodi Native Noma Ranch Zinfandel was produced and bottled by Macchia Wines; by owner/winemaker Tim Holdener

 

This wine has 15.8% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Macchia Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch lighter than ruby red.  The big and bold nose has brambly berries, dark chocolate, black pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and violets.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate spicy, jammy berries and pepper coat the palate with subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with the peppery, jammy fruit lingering nicely.  This is a big and bold style of Zin.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

 

 

 

Closing comments

These wines made for a very enjoyable evening (actually a few evenings).  The wines were not slathered in new oak and only one of the six had an alcohol level over 15%.  This was an eye opening project not only for us lucky enough to taste the wines, but also for the wineries.  Several of the wineries said they would be looking to incorporate some aspects of the Lodi Native project in their normal winery operations.

 

If you ever make it to the region, I highly recommend visiting these wineries and other small, family owned ones in the region.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

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:

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN MARCH 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks – White wines for spring.

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014-5296/?viewall=1#ixzz2z411esZO

 

Snooth

WINES WE’VE LOVED!  Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-we-yve-loved/?viewall=1#ixzz2yOsinkhN

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

http://www.snooth.com/articles/our-favorite-reds-for-spring/?viewall=1#ixzz2xkH0dfSj

 

Snooth

WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-ys-a-great-grenache-5209/

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Lodi Summer Whites Online Tasting

 

 

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

 

 

LoCA_Logo-Enclosure_CMYK

 

2012 Acquiesce Belle Blanc

2012 Watts Winery “Upstream” Chardonnay

2012 Borra Intuition White

2011 St. Jorge Winery Verdelho Seco Silvaspoons Vineyard

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  Today, there are approximately 80 wineries and tasting rooms, but more than 750 growers and over 100,000 acres planted to vineyards!

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive, including unique white varieties like Albariño, Kerner, Roussane, Vermentino, Symphony, Verdelho and Viognier.  Over the past decade, creative, new vintners have begun to experiment with Lodi’s many white varieties, resulting in today’s production of exceptional varietal wines and intriguing blends.

 

 

Lodi Links

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.

 

 

Lodi Road Trip Passport

September is the month long celebration of California wine in Lodi.  This is the second annual Lodi Road Tip Passport.  Your purchase of a Passport gets you exclusive discounts toward activities, wine tastings and bottle or case purchases from over 45 Lodi wineries. Get your passport stamped at each winery and be entered to win a Lodi Wine Weekend Getaway!

 

More information is available by clicking here.

 

 

My observations

This was my second opportunity to sample some of the wines coming out of Lodi.  In an earlier post I reviewed four rosé wines from the region.  To check out that post click here.

 

These two tastings were a revelation to me.  Most of the Lodi red wines I’ve had over the years were big, ripe and bold red wines.  I didn’t know how the region would do producing lighter, crisp white and rosé wines.  Based on these two events, you can now count me in as a fan in these two categories.  For the most part, these wines were crisp wines with nice fruit and minerality.  These are exactly the wines we open from late Spring through early Fall in my house and probably yours.  I would proudly open these wines to pour for even the most discriminating wine lovers.

 

As an added bonus, these wines offer tremendous value of your money.  If these wines were produced in other parts of the state, the prices would two to three times higher.

 

If you are not a fan of the big red wines of Lodi, don’t let that stop you from sampling the very impressive whites and rosé wines being produced in the region.

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting event:

Lodi Summer Whites

 

 

 

2012 Acquiesce Belle Blanc – SRP $24

 

About the winery

Acquiesce Winery is Lodi’s only winery that is dedicated to white wines, though they do produce an occasional rosé.  If you visit their website and check out the wines they produce, the first thing you’ll notice is that all their wines are made with the traditional Rhone grapes.  No chardonnay or sauvignon blanc wines here.  Instead, you will find Roussanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc, Grenache Blanc, and this wine, a blend of a few of the varietals.  The second thing you’ll notice is their bottles.  Again, they are different and distinctive.

 

There is nothing wrong about being predictable other than being predictable and boring.  I love wineries that think outside the box and are distinctive.  Being different and distinctive is only a good thing if you are good at it, and Acquiesce excels at what they do.

 

Much more information is available on the winery’s website.  Click here to visit.

 

About this wine

The Belle Blanc is a blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, and 10% Viognier from estate vineyards.  The grapes for this wine were harvested in the Mokelumne River AVA of the Lodi Appellation.  The clones used are from Tablas Creek cuttings from the famous French winery, Chateau de Beaucastel.  All grapes were hand harvested in the morning to preserve acidity and whole cluster pressed to capture the fresh, flavorful character.  The wine was cool fermented in stainless steel tanks.  There were 150 cases produced of this 13.5% alcohol wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light straw color.  The sensuous nose is full of honeysuckle, pear, spice, orange blossom, honey, apricot, pineapple, and stony minerals.  This has light to medium body, is dry, and has crisp acidity.  On the palate spicy pears, honey and minerals can be found up front with pineapples and citrus on back end.  This has nice length on the finish with a nice floral note closing the show.  (90 pts)

2012 Acquiesce Belle Blanc

 

 

 

2012 Watts Winery “Upstream” Chardonnay – SRP $15

 

About the winery

Watts Winery is a small “mom and pop” winery in Lodi.  If you visit their tasting room, you will be dealing with the owners, Craig and Sherri Watts.  For four generations the Watts family sold their grapes to the larger, well known, bulk wineries.  Those grapes were used to produce some of the inexpensive, non-distinct wines a lot of us consumed to start us on our vinous journey.  Eventually the family decided it was time to take the next step and produce their own wine.  Their first wine was a 1999 Old Vine Zinfandel.

 

The winery now produces several award winning wines and recently added this label, Upstream.

 

For more information on the winery, including the story behind their Butterfly wines, please click here to visit their site.

 

About this wine

After harvesting the grapes are pressed into stainless steel vats and cold fermented.  The wine is slowly fermented and cold filtered over the winter.  This unoaked Chardonnay is from the Delta, about 60 miles from San Francisco Bay.  The warm to hot days are offset by the cool nightly delta breezes to ensure the grapes ripen and maintain their natural acidity.  The final alcohol is 13.6%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly bright yellow color with some straw.  The clean and fresh nose has green apple, pear, lemon zest, spice, stony minerality, white peach, and a touch of tropical pineapple.  This has medium body, is dry, and has nice citrusy acidity.  On the palate, nice up front apples, pears and minerals hit first with lemon zest kicking in on the back end.  This has decent length on the finish with apples, minerals, and closing tart lemon zest with just a hint of pineapple.  This could use a touch more complexity, which may develop over time.  (89 pts)

2012 Upstream Winery Chardonnay

 

 

2012 Borra Intuition White – SRP $22

 

And now for something totally different.

 

About the winery

After making wine for his family for almost a decade, Steve Borra stepped out on his own to start Borra Vineyards.  The winery was started in 1975 and Steve produced Barbera and Carignane wines from his vineyards in Lodi.  In 1992 the family purchased 200 acres of land along the north bank of the Mokelumne River.  The property is now called the Gill Creek Ranch.  The vineyard is now home to Viognier, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

 

Much more information on Borra Vineyards and its history is available on their website.  Click here to visit.

 

About this wine

This wine is different and is nothing like any wine you’ve had in the past.  Winemaker Markus Niggli, from Switzerland, set out to do something different by breaking all the rules.  He took cool climate German grapes, heavily reduced yields to one ton an acre and allowed them to fully ripen in the warm Lodi climate.  Next Markus barrel fermented the grapes with no added acidity until it was dry and aged the wine 9 months in 50% new American oak and 50% once used French oak.  To most people this is a recipe for disaster or at least a wine oddity.  In the end, this blend of 60% Kerner, 20% Riesling, and 20% Gewürztraminer is a racy success.  Did you notice the predominant grape in the blend?  Kerner was a new one for me too.

 

There are 200 cases of this wine and it has an alcohol level of 13.3%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw to yellow color.  The exotic nose has butterscotch, coconut, apples, white peaches, white pepper, minerals, white flowers, mint, spice, pineapple, and citrus zest.  This has a medium body, is dry, and has good acidity.  This is luscious on the palate with apples and white peaches sprinkled with coconut and a few drops of butterscotch on the front end.  The back end introduces minerals, spice, and a floral note.  This has nice length on the finish with the addition of a minty note.  (91 pts)

2012 Borra Intuition White

 

 

 

2011 St. Jorge Winery Verdelho Seco Silvaspoons Vineyard – SRP $18

 

About the winery

This will be a little sketchy; there isn’t a lot of information on the winery’s website.

 

St. Jorge Winery is owned by a Portuguese family that has been growing food and making wine for hundreds of years.  The family tree has its roots on the Azores Island of St. Jorge.  The growing winery planted five additional acres of grapes in 2012.

 

Some additional information on the winery is available on their website.  Click here to visit.

 

About this wine

The Verdelho Seco (dry) joins the off dry Verdehlo in the winery’s portfolio.  Verdehlo is a white grape native to Portugal.  The grapes come from the Silverspoons Vineyard in the Alta Mesa region of the Lodi Appellation.

 

The wine was supposedly aged for 6 months in “neutral” oak barrels but I picked up considerable oak influences in the wine.  The final alcohol is 14.8%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw to yellow color.  The nose has apples, vanilla, spicy oak, white peaches, citrus zest, and some minerality.  This has medium to full body and decent acidity.  On the palate there is some nice up front fruit and minerals then some oak kicks in adding layers of spice and vanilla that slightly obscures the bright fruit.  There is nice length on the finish where a touch of citrus zest breaks through the oak influences.  This is very well made, just not my preferred style.  If you prefer a creamy, oak influenced, fuller body white wine, this will exceed your expectations.  (86 pts)

2011 St Jorge Winery Verdelho Seco Silvaspoons Vineyard

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Tasting of 4 Lodi Roses

 

This is based on samples supplied by the winery or another organization on their behalf.

 

 

2012 McCay Cellars Rosé

2012 Heritage Oak Grenache Rosé

2012 Onesta Cinsault Rosé

2012 Sorelle Winery Bella e Rosa

 

The lineup:

Lodi Rose Lineup

 

 

I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and diversity of these wines.  Every one of them would be a welcome addition to my dinner table with some lighter warm weather food.  These were all well made and unique wines.  Even the wine I liked the least was still very enjoyable.  Don’t do as I have done in the past and discount Lodi wines as being big, ripe, and fairly one dimensional.  These rosés were a revelation.  I highly recommend grabbing one and enjoying it on your deck or patio on a warm afternoon or evening.

 

 

2012 McCay Cellars Rosé – SRP $18.00

This is Carignane from 102 year old vines blended with some Grenache.  There were 211 cases of this dry Rosé produced by Winemaker Michael J. McCay.  The final alcohol level is 12.4%.

 

To learn more about McCay Cellars, visit this link here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light salmon to pink color.  The fresh smelling nose had strawberries, white peach, spice, minerals, ruby red grapefruit, and lemon zest.  This has a fairly light body, nice richness, and crisp acidity.  To me this seemed to have spent at least a short amount of time in oak since there was a slight smoky element and a touch of extra spice to it.  On the palate the fruit and spice grabbed center stage but minerals and a touch of ruby red grapefruit came in on the back end.  The finish had nice length.  This would pair nicely with some lighter Summer fare on a warm evening.  (89 pts)

2012 McCay Cellars Rose

 

 

 

2012 Heritage Oak Grenache Rosé – SRP $16.00

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 12.5% Chardonnay, and 12.5% Sauvignon Blanc from the Silvaspoons Vineyard.  Total production was a meager 80 cases and the final alcohol level is 13.12%.

 

To read more about Heritage Oak Winery, visit this link here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light salmon color.  The unusual nose has fresh cut grass, lemon zest, cherries, strawberries, minerals, spice, white pepper, and some tart apples.  This has medium body, a touch of sweetness, and crisp acidity.  Even though it only makes up 12.5% of the blend the grassy/herbal notes from the Sauvignon Blanc takes center stage with the red fruit, spice, minerals, and a touch of citrus coming in from the sides.  The finish has decent length and again seems to be dominated by the Sauvignon Blanc component.  This is something very different and unusual.  Not my favorite, but distinct enough to be enjoyable.  (87 pts)

2012 Heritage Oak Grenache Rose

 

 

 

2012 Onesta Cinsault Rosé

This Cinsault based Rosé is a blend of 50% saignée and 50% from grapes picked specifically for the Rosé.  Saignée is simply the process of draining some of the juice out of the tank after limited skin contact.  This method is utilized to increase the body and concentration of the remaining red wine in the tank.

 

There were 300 cases produced of this wine and the alcohol is 13.5%.

 

To read more about Onesta, visit this link here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pink to salmon color.  The outstanding nose has cherries, strawberries, candied ginger, minerals, spice, and a slight herbal note as well as a slight hint of toast.  This has medium body, nice richness, and crisp acidity.  On the palate the fresh, crisp fruit shares the spotlight with nice minerals, ginger, and a nice herbal note.  The finish is long and lingering with some nice spice and the herbal note hanging around.  It seems like at least some whole clusters were utilized to add the nice herbal note which didn’t come from under ripe fruit.  This was my favorite wine from the tasting by a fairly wide margin.  (91 pts)

2012 Onesta Cinsault Rose

 

 

 

2012 Sorelle Winery Bella e Rosa

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Barbera from the Sorelle Vineyard that was aged 6 months in neutral oak barrels.  There were 200 cases of the wine produced and its final alcohol level is 14%.

 

This was the wine I was most looking forward to sampling.

 

To learn more about Sorelle Winery, visit this link here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pinkish salmon color.  The very fresh and inviting nose was full of strawberries, cherries, minerals, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, a touch of richness, and decent acidity.  On the palate this is full of cherries and strawberries with some minerals sprinkled on top.  The finish has very nice length with some subtle earthiness adding complexity.  The fairly big fruit, richness, and slightly softer acidity makes his a very easy sipper on a hot afternoon.  This would be a first class “patio pounder”.  (89 pts)

2012 Sorelle Winery Bella e Rosa

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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