Posts tagged ‘#LodiWine’

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2018 Vol 1

 

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2012 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

2012 Imprimata Grenache

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente

 

 

 

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé – $19

This vintage is a blend of over 60% Mataro (Mourvedre) from the Pagani Ranch and own-rooted fruit from Live Oak Vineyard in Contra Costa County.  The remainder of the grapes are Gibson Ranch Grenache and Cemetery Carignan.

 

The wine is an intense pink salmon color.  The fresh and spellbinding nose has cherries, strawberries, crushed stones, orange blossoms, watermelon, lime zest and a hint of dried herbs.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to have just a touch of lingering sweetness.  The front end is fruit driven until the minerals and orange blossoms kick in on the back end.  The juicy finish has nice length with a touch of lime zest providing nice closing acidity.  This was a tasty vintage for this wine.  This has 12.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

 

 

 

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 wine had a suggested price of $35 so the Last Bottle price was over 40% off.

 

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.

 

Each variety was harvested and fermented separately after being given a cold soak, destemmed and lightly crushed.  After a gentle pressing the wines were transferred to 60 gallon oak barrels for a 20 month aging process in 32% new oak (Saury American, Nadalie Virginia, Marchive Pennsylvania, Kadar Hungarian and Remond French)

 

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

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – $10

I’m a big fan of wines from Lodi.  If your past experiences of Lodi wines are limited to big red wines, especially Zinfandel, I highly recommend checking out their crisp white and rosé wines.  These wine will make you a fan.

 

This is 100% “Musqué Clone” Sauvignon Blanc from the winery’s Jahant Vineyard in Lodi.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a very slight green tint.  The crisp and fresh nose has tart apples, dusty minerals, lemongrass, lime zest, under ripe pineapple and a spritz of grapefruit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemongrass quickly grab your attention with lime zest and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with a touch of grapefruit joining the tart apples and minerals.  This would be perfect with a light meal on the deck or patio on a warm, sunny day.  The hint of sweetness would also make this a marvelous way to relax before dinner.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard – $25

Sandler Wine Company is the personal label of ever-present consulting winemaker, Ed Kurtzman.  Sandler Wine Company is devoted to small bottlings of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache, from some of Ed’s favorite vineyard and grower sources.  Production of most wines very seldom exceeds 100 cases and in some cases don’t even reach 25 cases.  This is a highly recommended mailing list to check out if you want very reasonably priced, small production wines.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The sensuous nose has black cherries, raspberries, baking spices, dry underbrush, white pepper, chalky minerals and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, raspberries, baking spices and minerals come through quickly on the front end with dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with white pepper and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This has great closing acidity.  This tastes great now with some air but I think some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

2012 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Imprimata Grenache – $15.70

100% Grenache grown in the tough Ironstone laden hillside. The vines appear to float above the valley and the sea below, braving the winds off of the Southern Ocean and keeping yields achingly low, thus producing a profound Grenache of delicate balance. Aged in neutral oak for 5 months.  The winemaker is Ben Glaetzer, a very highly regarded and world renowned figure in the Australian wine community.

 

This is a bright ruby color.  The seductive nose has black cherries, raspberries, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, white pepper, cola and a hint of dried leafy herbs.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the cherries and berries jump out on the front end with the savory elements rolling in later.  The finish has very good length with fruit, minerals and white pepper seeming to linger forever.  This is rich and ripe but not overblown like some Aussie wines.  This wouldn’t be mistaken for a Southern Rhone wine but who cares, this is very tasty stuff.  The longer the bottle was opened the more the savory notes came through on the back end and finish.  I’d sit on this one for a couple more years to see what happens.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2012 Imprimata Grenache

2012 Imprimata Grenache

 

 

 

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Albarino Abrente – $22

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.  The couple years in the cellar have been very kind to this wine but I’d advise consuming this one over the next year or two.  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

 

 

 

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 Sandler Pinot Noir with Pork Tenderloin medallions over egg noodles with a mustard sauce.

 

 

 

 

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 2018 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 – December 2017 Vol 3

 

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (barrel sample shiner)

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine) – $12.56

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 bottle was included in a “mystery case” offer.

 

This is an “orange” wine.  No, there were no oranges used to produce the wine.  An orange wine is a wine made with white grapes, in this case, Pinot Gris, that is fermented “on the skins” like a red wine.  The fermentation process gives the wine an orange tint, hence the name.

 

The wine is a light peach color.  The very fragrant nose has cherry skin, white peach, orange blossoms, honeysuckle, pears, chalky minerals and pears.  This has medium to full body with decent acidity and a touch of residual sweetness.  On the palate cherry skins, pears and minerals grab hold on the front end with a big floral note coming in later.  This has nice length with cherry skins, minerals and the lingering floral notes.  This is an oddity but in this case, it works nicely.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

2016 Raidis Estate Pinot Gris Cheeky Goat (Orange Wine)

 

 

 

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (unlabeled barrel sample)

This bottle of wine was a sample from a barrel that was aging at the winery.  This may not be representative of the final product since the released wines is produced by blending multiple barrels together.  Technically every barrel is slightly different so my sample may have been slightly better or worse than the released wine depending on the barrel that was used for my sample.  The released wine also would have spent additional time aging in the barrel, so that is another variable.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very open and outgoing nose is full of blackberry, black peppercorns, scorched earth, blueberries, cedar, baking spices, licorice and vanilla bean.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the front end is a warm berry pie full of blackberries, baking spices and blueberries.  The back end brings in black pepper and scorched earth notes.  The finish has nice length with cedar and vanilla bean providing depth.  This is a very easy to drink, fruit forward, Petite Sirah.  Some time in the cellar may allow some complexity to show through but why wait, enjoy this now for the great fruit and spice.  Since my bottle was an unlabeled sample, I don’t know the alcohol level or the closure used.  My bottle was closed with a manmade, spongy type closure.  No score since this wasn’t the released wine, but I did enjoy the wine.

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (shiner)

2015 Ironstone Vineyards Petite Sirah (shiner)

 

 

 

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux – $16.48

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 release price was $32, so the Last Bottle price was almost 50% off.

 

This is a blend of 84% Grenache, 9% Syrah and 7% Mourvedre mostly from Lodi.

 

This is a deep ruby color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, raspberries, scorched earth, baking spices, blueberries and underbrush.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the front end is wall to wall fruit, thankfully some baking spices, underbrush and scorched earth come in on the backend.  The finish has good length and is again very fruit driven.  This is big, rich and lush and loaded with ripe fruit that pushes the sweetness a bit too far.  This may not be a wine for everyone but I bet it would be a smash hit at a holiday party.  I very much preferred the 2011 vintage of this wine.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (86 pts)

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2012 Mark Herold Wines Flux

 

 

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White – $28.50

This wine is a blend of 54% Semillon from Monte Rosso Vineyard, 30% Muscadelle from Monte Rosso Vineyard and 16% Palomino from Saitone Ranch in the Russian River Valley.   All the vines were planted between 1886 and 1920.  The Muscadelle was fermented in all stainless steel.  The Palomino was fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% new oak.  The Semillon was fermented in all oak but only 22% new.  Malolactic fermentation was prevented to preserve acidity and freshness.  There were 316 cases produced.

 

This is a light golden yellow color.  The exuberant nose has tart apples, beeswax, lemon zest, unripe pineapple, crushed stone minerals and white peach.  This has a fairly full body with crisp acidity.  On the palate nice orchard fruit comes through on the front end with minerals, beeswax and pineapple coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest.  This is a contradictory wine, if it big and rich on the front end but when the lemony acidity kicks in on the finish it becomes lighter and more nuanced.  This is drinking very nicely today and should hold for at least a couple more years.  I liked this wine from the start but grew to appreciate it even more as the time rolled on.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

 

 

 

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT – $24.69

This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A “Super Tuscan” wine is a wine that includes grapes not traditionally associated with Italian wine like Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

The wine is a fairly dark ruby color with some lightening at the edge.  The deep and exotic nose has blackberries, cherries, cocoa powder, licorice, underbrush, dried herbs, minerals and some well worn leather.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has loads of spicy, earthy fruit with dried herbs and cocoa powder adding considerable depth.  The finish has nice length, but a bit of oak pops out and gets a touch intrusive.  I don’t think there is a lot of upside by keeping this in the cellar but it should drink very nicely for the next five years, maybe even longer.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

2007 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense – $12.99

This wine is mostly Syrah with a touch of Petite Sirah.  The winery likes to add a bit of Petite Sirah to most of their wines.  I was jokingly told they would add it to their Chardonnay if they could.  This wine was aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

 

The winery is one of the “big boys” in Lodi.  The family has been growing fruit and vegetable in the region since the 1850s and have been growing grapes for nearly 100 years.  With an eye to the future the winery has adopted some of the most progressive sustainable farming practices in the state.  All of the 750 acres of family vineyards are third party certified as being sustainably farmed.  Since the 2011 vintage, 100% of the Lodi grown fruit crushed at the winery has been certified as sustainably farmed.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website.

 

From the winery:

The Phillips brothers planted one of the first Syrah vineyards in California in 1982. With Michael’s son Kevin continuing the Phillips grape growing tradition into the 6th generation, this Syrah vineyard was one of the first he tended to as our Vineyard Manager. If you turn the bottle around you will see Kevin’s eye looking out from the inside of the bottle, making sure the wine is being enjoyed!

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, blueberries, asphalt, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso beans, dry underbrush, licorice, violets and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This has massive berries and ground espresso beans on the front end with underbrush, dark chocolate and a big floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and lingering with black pepper coming into play.  Not a lot of subtlety here but the big fruit and nice structure makes for a worthy companion for something hot off the grill.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This is a steal for the price.  (89 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense

 

 

 

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 Ironstone Petite Sirah with a burger made from ground New York Strip steak.  The burger was topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese.

 

 

The Michael-David Syrah went very nicely with grilled beef and chicken fajitas.

 

 

A rib-eye steak was marinated several hours with Italian herbs and cooked to medium rare with the Sous Vide then finished in a smoking hot cast iron pan.  This paired very nicely with the Terrabianca Campaccio.

 

 

 

 

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 – December 2017 Vol 1

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch – $11.72

This was a purchase 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 bottle was included in a blind, mixed case purchase.  I never buy wine without knowing exactly what I am getting but make an exception for Last Bottle.  This wine had a release price of $28.

 

This Sonoma County wine is a blend of 50% Syrah from the winery’s Kivelstadt Vineyard, with 25% Carignane, and 25% Grenache from the Venturi Vineyard.  The lots were fermented separately and blended together after 4 months.  The wine was then aged for an additional 12 months in French oak with 10% being new.  There were 1,600 cases produced.

 

This is a deep garnet color.  The slightly shy nose has blackberries, dry underbrush, black cherries, roasted herbs and espresso beans.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate shows much more than the nose lead you to expect.  This has nice tart fruit but this is not a fruit driven wine with loads of savory notes dancing across your palate.  This still seems pretty tight even with a couple hours of air.  I’d stash this in the back of your cellar for a couple years, I think it will need a while to open.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father's Watch

2014 KivelStadt Cellars Father’s Watch

 

 

 

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

McGinley Vineyard was formerly known as Westerly Vineyard is located in the newest Santa Barbara County AVA, Happy Canyon.

 

This is a light yellow color with a green tint.  The exhilarating nose has green apples, crushed stone minerals, lemongrass, honeysuckle and lime zest.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  After a quick shot of green apples on the palate, crushed stones, lemongrass and honeysuckle take control.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lime zest joining the green apples and minerals.  I liked this more and more as the evening work on.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

2014 Big Tar Sauvignon Blanc McGinley Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $18.99

This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir uses grapes from the Foley Family Estate in the Dundee Hills and the winery’s Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 100% French oak with 15% being new.

 

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has black cherry, plum, violets, underbrush, warm baking spices and black tea leaves.  This has medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate nice dark fruit and spice lead the way with underbrush and black tea coming in later.  The finish is a touch tight and linear right now but a nice violet note provides some depth.  I’d recommend sitting on this for a while or give it a fair amount of air.  This will be better in 6 months to a year and drink nicely for another 5 years after that time.  This is well worth the tariff at my local Costco.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2014 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $25

Helioterra produces Pinot Noir, Mourvédre, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Arneis, Melon de Bourgogne, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Riesling. Their wines are distributed to several states and they have a very nice wine club.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light, bright ruby color.  The enjoyable nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stones, dry underbrush and wildflowers.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Cherries, crushed stones and white pepper jump out immediately on the palate with some dried earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with more minerals and a floral note providing nice depth.  This is a keeper.  This wine has 12.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2011 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo – $18.40

This wine includes a touch of Graciano.

 

Bokisch Vineyards is one of my favorite Lodi wineries.  The winery specializes in Spanish varietals.  If you ever find yourself in Lodi, I highly recommend a stop at Bokisch.  Besides their top notch red wines, they make some of the best white wines anywhere.  Much more information is available on the Bokisch website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The exotic nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, blackberries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, wildflowers, white pepper and a touch of dark roast coffee beans.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart black cherries, baking spices, underbrush and wildflowers immediately grab your attention on the palate with minerals, tart berries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dark roasted coffee beans and white pepper providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is very easy to enjoy.  Who says Lodi only makes big, bold red wines?  This is full of subtle nuances with no rough edges.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

 

 

 

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard – $30

This note is based on a bottle that was a “leaker”.  The cork had a small slit that allowed about a tablespoon of wine to leak out.  The wine seemed fine but a perfect bottle may show a little differently.

 

Kirschenmann Vineyard is an “own rooted” vineyard in Lodi that was planted in 1915.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The energetic nose has blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, dark chocolate, wildflowers and dry earth.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit on the front end sets up baking spices and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries and a nice floral note providing depth.  This is a lighter bodied, nuanced and lively zinfandel that carries no excess weight.  This has great balance and is very food friendly.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard

 

 

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 had Chicken Kiev and my version of Rice-A-Roni with the Bokisch Tempranillo.

 

 

Pork Piccata with Gnocchi, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes paired very nicely with the Helioterra Pinot Noir.

 

 

The Four Graces Pinot Noir went very nicely with Corned Beef with Cabbage, Red Potatoes and Carrots.

 

 

 

 

 

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 – 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – November 2017 Vol 1

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Head High Wines

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2012 Nobelle Grenache Syrah Paso Robles

 

 

 

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc – $15.59

This wine is part of the winery’s “Coastal Collection.”  The winery add a touch of Semillon to give the wine a little extra acidity and a touch of lemon zest.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw color with a very light green tint, this is actually not too much more colorful than water.  The crisp and clean nose has fresh cut grass, grapefruit zest, tart green apples and lemongrass.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, citrus zest and lemongrass jump out on the front end with a touch of grass coming in later.  The crisp finish has nice length with mouthwatering citrusy acidity buffered slightly with a touch of residual sweetness.  This is a nice Sauvignon Blanc to sip on a sunny day with a light meal.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2016 William Hill Winery Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2014 Head High Wines – $14

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 has a suggested price of $36 but Last Bottle sold it for an amazing $14.

 

This is a kitchen sink blend of 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Grenache, 16% Malbec, 15% Tempranillo, 10% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah, 7% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Cabernet Franc.  60% of the grapes are from Sonoma County, 32% from Lake County and 8% from Napa County.

 

This is a deep maroon color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, fresh ground espresso beans, dark chocolate, black cherries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, violets, baking spices and licorice.  This has a medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This has big fruit on the front end with nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the savory elements taking center stage with the fruit providing nice background sweetness.  This is a nice, easy drinking wine that was a steal for Last Bottle Wines’ price.  This would be a hit at a party or gathering with friends.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Head High Wines

2014 Head High Wines

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – $10

I’m a big fan of wines from Lodi.  If your past experiences of Lodi wines are limited to big red wines, especially Zinfandel, I highly recommend checking out their crisp white and rosé wines.  These wine will make you a fan.

 

This is 100% “Musqué Clone” Sauvignon Blanc from the winery’s Jahant Vineyard in Lodi.

 

The wine is a pale yellow color with a very slight green tint.  The crisp and fresh nose has tart apples, dusty minerals, lemongrass, lime zest, under ripe pineapple and a spritz of grapefruit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of residual sweetness.  On the palate tart apples, minerals and lemongrass quickly grab your attention with lime zest and a hint of pineapple coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish has good length with a touch of grapefruit joining the tart apples and minerals.  This would be perfect with a light meal on the deck or patio on a warm, sunny day.  The hint of sweetness would also make this a marvelous way to relax before dinner.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

2015 LangeTwins Sauvignon Blanc Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

Diano d’Alba is a tiny commune between Barolo and Barbaresco that only produces Dolcetto wines.  The small, family run Brangero winery is situated on a hilltop with views of the Langhe hills and the medival town of Diano d’Alba.

 

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The alluring nose has black cherries, dry forest floor, dusty minerals, dried wildflowers, black raspberries and white pepper.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit and white pepper lead off with nice dry earth and minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing some depth.  This is very tasty but doesn’t offer much in the complexity department.  This has enough savory notes on the back end and finish to keep it interesting.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Brangero Diano d'Alba Sorabino Soprano

2012 Brangero Diano d’Alba Sorabino Soprano

 

 

 

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share – $22.99

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

 

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

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

2014 Two Hands Shiraz Angels Share

 

 

 

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 50% Staar Ranch Grenache and 50% 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

 

 

 

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 Brangero Dolcetto with a Stromboli stuffed with pepperoni, salami and mozzarella cheese served with a meat sauce.

 

 

The Two Hands Shiraz paired very nicely with a Stacked Enchilada Caserole.

 

 

 

 

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 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!

 

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