Posts tagged ‘#LodiWine’

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!

 

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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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Albariño Wines from Lodi

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.

 

These wines were provided to me for International Albariño Day which was on August 1st.  Since Lodi always raises the bar a notch or two, they turned the day into a long weekend.  Six Lodi wineries, Bokisch Vineyards, Dancing Coyote Wines, Estate Crush, Klinker Brick Winery, Mettler Family Vineyards and Oak Farm Vineyards hosted festivities and special tastings from August 4th to the 6th.

 

Albariño [al-bah-ree-nyoh] is one of the major grape varietals grown in Spain.  The Rias Baixas region is the “home base” for the grape.  The grape occupies 90% of the 8,650 acres of vines planted in Rias Baixas by thousands of independent growers.  This is a thick skinned grape that creates fragrant and floral wines with crisp acidity.

 

Even though the Lodi region is a long way from Rias Baixas, the wines produced here retain the characteristics of their Spanish counterparts but with a touch more ripeness while at the same time maintaining the crisp acidity that allows the wines to be served with a wide range of dishes.  The wine shines when paired with fish and shellfish.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

Here is my line-up for this tasting:

Lodi Albariño Line-up

Lodi Albariño Line-up

 

 

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi – SRP $18

The grapes for this wine come from the epicenter of Albariño in Lodi, Bokisch Vineyards.  The vines are 12 years old and planted in volcanic, gravelly grey loom.  After fermentation, malolactic fermentation was blocked to retain the fresh, crisp acidity.  The wine was aged in 100% stainless steel.  The total production was a miniscule 84 cases.

 

Estate Crush is a custom winemaking operation in downtown Lodi that handles growers desires to make wines from their grapes.  They can process anything from one barrel of wine up to 20 ton lots.  The facility was founded in Spring 2009 and opened in December 2011 and is currently the “home” of 35 brands and 88 wines.

 

More information on the facility is available on their website by clicking here.

 

This is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has green apples, white peach, unripe pineapple, orange blossoms, melon, fresh leafy herbs, lavender, lemon zest and a touch of sea breeze.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart green apples, pineapple and orange blossoms grab your attention on the front end with white peach and lavender coming in later.  The finish has great length with leafy herbs and mouthwatering lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is a really nice Albariño that would be perfect on a warm, sunny day.  This is very easy to kick back and sip.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi – SRP $15

The grapes for this 100% Albariño come from the Mokelumne River appellation in Lodi and were harvested on August 11, 2016.

 

Klinker Brick is owned by Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region.  In the early days, the grapes were picked and packed in boxes that were shipped to the east coast and Canada for home winemakers.  In the late 1980s the winery upgraded their processes and equipment to reduce yields but greatly increase the quality of their grapes.  A few years later the family added winemaking to their resume and released their first vintage of wine.

 

Much more information on Klinker Brick and the Felten family is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale greenish yellow color.  The bright and lively nose has green apples, white peach, lemon peel with some pith, dusty minerals, melon, tangerine and a touch of leafy green herb.  This has light to medium body with great acidity.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and melon jump out quickly with lemon zest and minerals slipping in on the back end.  The mouthwatering finish has very good length with tangerine, lemon pith and a touch of leafy herb providing very nice depth.  The bright citrus makes this a delightful wine to sip alone or with a light meal on a sunny day.  I liked the slight bitter bite on the finish.  I’d love to kick back and sip this on the deck during the upcoming eclipse.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown – SRP $20

The winery says this wine “pairs perfectly with a good time”, I have to wholeheartedly agree.

 

The Mettler family have been growing grapes in the region for six generations.  The family’s organically farmed vineyards have produced many great wines over the years and their sustainable practices mean continued quality in the coming years.  The Mettler family have roots in the wine industry dating back into the 1770s.  The family planted their first vineyard in Lodi in late 1800s.  As with most Lodi grape growers, for most of their history the grapes were sold to other producers but in 2001 the family produced and released their first estate wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

One of my stops in a visit to Lodi last year was at the winery.  These are top notch grape growers and winemakers but more importantly they are friendly and knowledgeable first class people.  Much more information on the winery, the Mettler family and their history is available by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light yellow color.  the outgoing and vibrant nose has green apples, pears, chalky minerals, lime zest, spring flowers, melon and a touch of fresh leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by minerals on the front end with melon and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish lingers nicely with a hint of leafy herbs and a nice jolt of mouthwatering lime zest.  This has enough body to stand up to a slightly heartier dish but with enough acidity to keep it bright and lively.  In my case, it paired wonderfully with pasta tossed with some garlic olive oil topped with a few slices of baked tomatoes that were topped with some fresh basil and oregano.  I really like this wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle (which is one of the nicer I’ve seen) is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

 

Pairing Suggestion

Here is a quick and easy meal that pairs nicely with any of these wines.

 

Slice a vine ripened tomato into 1/2″ slices.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with fresh basil, oregano and garlic.

Bake the slices in a 350 degree over for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle a touch of cheese over the slices and return to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.

Place the tomatoes over pasta that was tossed with some olive oil (and any juice from the baked tomatoes)

Serve with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a slice of garlic bread to soak up the juice and olive oil.

 

For added garlic flavor we prefer to use a garlic-olive oil.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

In my opinion, Albariño has found a new home in Lodi.  The perfect growing conditions allow the grapes to ripen at their pace allowing them to be harvested with great flavor and concentration but with the crisp acidity the wines need to be fresh and vibrant.  These are very easy to enjoy wines that pair very nicely with a wide array of lighter, warm weather meals.  These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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 – July 2017 Vol 3

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White – $28.50

This wine is a blend of:

54% Sonoma Valley Semillon, Monte Rosso Vineyard

30% Sonoma Valley Muscadelle, Pagani Ranch

16% Russian River Valley Palomino, Saitone Ranch

 

This was the third vintage of this versatile white wine.  The amount of new oak used for this wine has decreased to allow the fruit to shine.  The Muscadelle was fermented in stainless steel. The Palomino was fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% new oak.  The Semillon was fermented in all oak but only 22% was new.  The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation to allow the retention of the acidity and to retain the freshness.  There were 316 cases produced

 

The wine is a nice golden straw color.  The fresh nose has melons, beeswax, lemon zest, orange blossoms, pineapple, chalky minerals and just a hint of spicy oak.  This has a fairly full body and a creamy texture with good acidity.  On the palate melon, beeswax, minerals and orange blossom grab your attention on the front end with under ripe pineapple coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and a touch of spicy oak providing depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and it should continue to show well for at least a couple more years.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

 

 

 

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select – $20.83

I’ve been a big fan of the quality red wines being produced by Elyse for many years.  The winery was one of the first we visited on our first trip to wine country.  This is an outstanding winery with equally outstanding people selling their wines at very consumer friendly prices.

 

This wine includes 9% Zinfandel.  The grapes are from Oles, Souyoultzis, Massa, Wood and Chavez-Leeds vineyards.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 1/2 months in American oak with 40% being new.

 

The wine is a dark, inky maroon color, almost black.  The very expressive nose is full of crushed blackberries, minerals, blueberries, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, warm baking spices and vanilla.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the spicy blackberries and minerals hit first and slowly allow some coffee and chocolate to peak through.  The finish is long and full of berries and dark chocolate with nice spice and coffee adding depth.  This is now in its’ prime drinking window and should hold for several years.  This isn’t made in a massively ripe style, the alcohol is a manageable 14.7%.  This could last another decade.  This wine has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

 

 

 

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard – $24

The 2015 vintage of this wine was included in last week’s post.

 

This is the first white wine produced by Jean Edwards Cellars.  Dalla Gasperina Vineyard is on the northern end of the Rutherford Bench, down the road from Franciscan Winery.   This is a blend of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Semillon.  I highly recommend getting on the winery’s mailing list to get first shot at these limited production wines and to enjoy mailing list prices.  Check out the mailing list by clicking here.

 

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

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc – $9.49

Ironstone Vineyards is a family owned winery that we visited during our Lodi excursion.  The Kautz family were gracious hosts during the visit.  I enjoyed their entire line-up of value priced wines.  The quality of the wines far exceeded the “low price of admission”.  To me, their Petite Sirah and this Cabernet Franc were the standouts.  I like the wine enough to include a few bottles in the case I bought soon after returning home.  Visit the Ironstone Vineyards website for a ton more information on the winery, family and the wines.

 

This wine is 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alta Mesa and Sloughhouse AVAs in Lodi.  The wine gets a brief two month aging in new French oak.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very approachable nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, dried leafy herbs, vanilla, cedar and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, vanilla and dried herbs dominate the front end with toasty cedar coming in on the back end.  The fruit laden finish has nice length.  This isn’t a wine to lay down, I’d drink this one on the younger side while the fruit is crisp and fresh.  Open this one with a juicy burger hot off the grill or even better with a platter of cheeses and meats with a few friends.  This wine is a steal if you can find it for around $10.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé – $14.40

I couldn’t find much information on the winery online.  I assume I’m just looking in the wrong places.

 

The wine is a light pink salmon color.  The soft and laid back nose has cherries, strawberries, stony minerals, orange blossoms, white peach and lemongrass.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate bright red fruit, minerals and white peach jump out on the front end with lemongrass and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mineral and red fruit.  The is a very flavorful and balanced rosé that pairs nicely with a light meal but also excels sipping on its’ own on a sunny day.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a'Campo Old Vine Rosé Lodi

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé Lodi

 

 

 

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard – $25.60

Michael McCay and his family moved to Lodi in the mid 1980s.  He started making wine in 1994 and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.

 

This is 100% Grenache that utilized a “native yeast” fermentation and that was aged in neutral oak.  A total of 178 cases were produced.

 

Much more information is on the winery’s website.

 

The wine is a light, translucent ruby red color.  The entrancing nose has raspberries, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, plums, white pepper, dry underbrush, fresh flowers and charred wood.  This has medium to full body with medium tannins and great acidity.  On the palate tart berries, white pepper, minerals and under ripe plums quickly grab your attention with baking spices and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries and charred wood providing nice depth.  This is on the young side but already tastes great.  This has good balance and is not on the highly extracted/over ripe side of the line.  An outstanding effort!  This tastes more like a Rhone wine than one from the new world.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Lodi Summer Wines – Vol 2

 

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

2016 d’Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.  I am showing the suggested retail price for the wines.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.  I highly recommend reading ” The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing” to learn more about the region’s commitment to the environment and leaving the area better for future generations.  This is very important for a region built around family owned businesses.

 

 

 

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane – SRP $18

This wine is made from 100% Carignane grapes grown from the Mule Plane Vineyard that was planted “sometime” around 1920.  The vineyard’s name, “Mule Plane”, is in respect of the mules that pulled cast-iron blades to cultivate the ground and vines in the early days.

 

This is made in a traditional French style; the grapes were harvested, then crushed, and the skins were allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time to gain color and flavor.  After the must is pressed, the juice is fermented as if it was a white wine at a very low temperature.  The total production was only 180 cases.

 

Much more information on the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light peach color.  The bright and vibrant nose has cherries, chalky minerals, strawberries, white peach, melon, orange blossoms, subtle underbrush and a hint of leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with nice acidity and just a subtle hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart cherries, white peach, strawberries and minerals grab your attention immediately with melon and a touch of underbrush coming in later.  The juicy finish has good length with orange blossoms and a touch of leafy herb providing nice depth.  The nice upfront fruit makes this easy to sip and the savory notes coming in on the back end and finish keep it interesting.  Nice job!  This has 12.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

2016 M2 Vintners Carignane Rosé of Carignane

 

 

 

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño – SRP $20

Jeremy Wine Co is owned by Jeremy & Choral Trettevik.  The winery has grown from 5 tons of grapes in their first harvest to now harvesting well over 100 tons.

 

I’ve been very impressed by the Albariño wines being produced in Lodi.  These are world-class wines that rival the wines being produced anywhere in the world.  The grapes for this 100% Albariño come from the Felten Vineyard.  The grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel.  There were only 210 cases of this wine produced in this vintage.

 

For more information on the winery and their wines or to make a purchase, visit their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light straw golden color.  The alluring nose has apples, white peach, lemon grass, orange blossoms, lime zest and dusty minerals.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate apples, white peach and lemon grass jump out on the front end with minerals and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering lime zest providing depth and compelling you to grab another sip.  This is great as an aperitif or with a light meal, preferably one with seafood.  This is very easy to like.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

2016 Jeremy Wine Company Albariño

 

 

 

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé – SRP $15

St. Amant is a family owned and run winery that was founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer.  Their son, Stuart is currently the  knowledgeable and very friendly winemaker.  I highly encourage you to read about the wonderful history and growth of this winery by clicking here.  While you are visiting the site, you can purchase their wines.

 

My first exposure to this specific wine was at a “welcome” reception and dinner in Lodi in September.  I love this crisp and flavorful wine.  I’m glad I was able to try the latest vintage.

 

The wine is a bright cherry color.  The fresh and lively nose has strawberries, cherries, dusty minerals, orange blossoms and a touch of leafy herb.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity.  On the palate tart strawberries and cherries jump out on the front end with minerals and a hint of leafy herb coming in later.  The finish has nice length with orange blossom and a touch of citrus zest providing depth.  This is extremely easy to sip on a warm and sunny day alone or with a light meal.  This may not be the most complex bottle of wine out there but it is extremely tasty.  I like this one a lot.  This has 12.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

2016 St. Amant Winery Barbera Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $16

The Michael and David are brother Michael and David Philips, the fifth generation of grape growers in the Philips family storied history.

 

Sustainable farming practices are just slogans and buzzwords for the Michael David Winery.  They have adopted some of the most progressive sustainable farming practices in state.  All 750 acres of the family’s vineyards are third party certified.  The winery goes as far as offering a per ton bonus to follow in the family’s foot steps.  Starting with the 2011 vintage, 100% of the Lodi grown fruit crushed at Michael David winery have been certified sustainable.

 

Much more info on the family, the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a very light straw yellow with a slight green tint.  The enticing nose has green apples, flinty minerals, lemon grass, apricot and grapefruit zest.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, apricot and minerals pop out on the front end with lemon zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering grapefruit zest providing depth.  This would be very nice by itself or with a light meal on a warm day in a sunny location.  This is very appealing and refreshing.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (90 pts)

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Michael-David Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé – SRP $24

The proprietor/winemaker for Uvaggio is Jim Moore.  Jim has a long history in the California wine business.  It was his vision and development that lead to the creation of La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi.  This was my first introduction to the other wines coming out of California beyond Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot, etc.  Their Barbera was our “house wine” for several years.  I’m glad I now know and can enjoy the newest iteration of these wonderful wines.

 

Much more information on Jim, the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.

 

This 100% Lodi sourced wine is a blend of 80% Cinsaut from the Bechthold Vineyard, 11% Vermentino from Gayla’s Vineyard and 9% Grenache from the Mettler Vineyard.  For this wine, the winery co-fermented the Vermentino with the Cinsault and a week later added the Grenache to prolong the fermentation to add additional complexity.

 

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The expressive nose has strawberries, cherries, orange blossoms, lime zest, white peach and a hint of white pepper.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  On the palate bright strawberries and cherries are joined with orange blossoms on the front end with white peaches coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with white pepper and tart lime zest providing nice depth.  This is very easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Uvaggio (L'Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

2016 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Cinsault Rosé

 

 

 

2016 d’Art Wines White Barbera – SRP $22

“What does a Spanish dancer have to do with a winery that has a French name?”  so begins the history of d’Art Wines.

 

d’Art Wines is owned by Helen and Dave Dart, and this is truly a family business.  Dave and their daughter Jessica handle the winemaking end of the business while Helen greets visitors in the tasting room and shares the winery’s history and some of her wine friendly recipes to pair with the wines.  Some of these recipes are available on their website.  I know I’m looking forward to trying here recipe for Pappa Al Pomodoro, especially with a few of the serving suggestions.

 

Much more information on the Darts, their winery, the wines and Helen’s recipes is available by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale orange color.  The fresh and exotic nose has cherries, orange blossoms, leafy herbs, strawberries, white pepper and dusty earth.  This is barely medium body with nice acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart cherries, strawberries and orange zest come through on the front end with white pepper and leafy herbs coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of dusty earth providing some depth.  This is a lighter bodied wine that will stand up to a lighter meal or even better with a small platter of cheese.  This is easy to sip on a hot sunny day.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2016 d'Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

2016 d’Art Wines Barbera White Barbera

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

How can’t you talk about these food friendly wines and not show a few of the dishes that were paired with them.

 

Seafood Boil with Jeremy Albarino

Seafood Boil with Jeremy Albarino

 

 

Shrimp Stir-fry with Michael-David Sauvignon Blanc

Shrimp Stir-fry with Michael-David Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

Steak Bruschetta with Uvaggio Cinsault Rose

Steak Bruschetta with Uvaggio Cinsault Rose

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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 – Lodi Summer Wines – Vol 1

 

2016 Markus Wine Co. Zeal

2015 Heritage Oak Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Harney Lane Albariño

2016 Peltier Rouge Rosé

2016 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.  I have the samples clearly marked and supply the suggested retail price for the wines.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

 

2016 Markus Wine Co. Zeal – SRP $22

Markus Wine Co. started in 2014 as a sub-venture of Borra Vineyards.  Markus is Markus Niggli, the Swiss born winemaker for Borra.  Borra Vineyards produces fuller bodied red wines from the winery’s vineyards in Lodi and Clements Hills.  For Markus Wine Company’s wine, they went the opposite direction.  These are generally lighter bodied, lower alcohol white wines containing the tasty but lesser known varietals, at least in Lodi, such as Torrontes, Traminette, Kerner, Riesling, Bacchus and Gewürztraminer.  Everyone who thinks Lodi only produces big red wines should check out Markus, they will be in for a BIG surprise.

 

Much more information and the ability to order Markus (and Borra Vineyards) wines are available on their website by clicking here.

 

This is a blend of 64% Borra Gill Creek Ranch Syrah and 36% Borra Church Block Carignane.  This wine was fermented in 100% Stainless Steel using only native yeast.  The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation to retain the crisp acidity.  Only 55 cases were produced and bottled on January 13, 2017.

 

The wine is a bright pink color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, strawberries, dusty minerals, orange blossoms, lime zest and white pepper.  This is dry with a  medium body and very nice acidity.  On the palate strawberries, cherries and dusty minerals quickly grab your attention with orange blossoms and white pepper slipping in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with mouthwatering lime zest providing depth and leading you to grab another sip.  This is another wine that proves Lodi does a lot more than just produce big bodied red wines.  I really like this one!  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2016 Markus Wine Co. Zeal

2016 Markus Wine Co. Zeal

 

 

 

2015 Heritage Oak Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $18

Heritage Oak Winery is located on an isolated stretch of Woodbridge Road six miles east of Lodi on 106 acres that nestles up against the north bank of the Mokelumne River.  The winery was built beneath a towering blue oak tree that dominates the landscape for miles around.  The winery produces crisp whites and fruit driven red wines and is owned by Tom and Carmela Hoffman.  The land has been in Tom’s family for five generations.

 

More information on the winery and their wines, as well as the ability to order wine, is available on their website.

 

The wine is a very light, pale straw color.  The refreshing nose has tart green apples, lemon zest, orange blossoms and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and lemon zest jump out on the front end with under ripe pineapple and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest and a touch of leafy herbs providing nice depth.  This is crisp with nice fruit making it very easy to sip on a sunny day.  This one is hard to resist.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Heritage Oak Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Heritage Oak Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2015 Harney Lane Albariño – SRP $20

Harney Lane Winery is a family owned winery that has been in existence sine 2006.  For the previous 100 years the Mettler family farmed the area and vineyards in the area.  I love the following quote from their website – “Meet our most valuable ingredients in our bottles-our family.”  In Lodi family and friends mean everything.

 

Much more information on the winery, family and their wine is available on their website.

 

The wine is a pale yellow with a slight green tint.  The fresh and invigorating nose has green apples, lemongrass, melon, white peach, pineapple, lime zest, dusty minerals and a touch of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, melon, white peach and lemongrass quickly jump out on the front end with pineapple and lime zest coming in later.  The mouthwatering finish lingers very nicely with an herbal note and minerals providing good depth.  After trying a few different Lodi Albariño wines, this region is turning out some of the best ones from California and they can compete with versions from anywhere in the world.  This is top notch!  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2015 Harney Lane Albariño

2015 Harney Lane Albariño

 

 

 

2016 Peltier Rouge Rosé – SRP $18

Peltier Winery is an innovative, cutting edge winery and custom crush facility. Their mission is to produce and create outstanding wines from our sustainably farmed, certified green, estate grown vineyards.  The owners are Rodney and Gayla Schatz, third generation grape growers.  The couple purchased the 40 acres that would become their first vineyard and home to the winery in 1985, shortly after graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  Even though the couple are relatively new to growing grapes it is not a strange venture for them.  Rodney’s family farms 1,200 acres of vineyards in the region.

 

In 2001, Rod and Gayla built a custom crush facility to allow numerous other growers in the area to produce their own wines.

 

Much more information on Rod and Gayla, their winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a beautiful bright cherry red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, dry loamy soil, orange zest, wild flowers and white pepper.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate bright cherries, dry earth, minerals and wild flowers quickly grab your attention with white pepper coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mouthwatering orange zest and raspberries providing good depth.  I like this wine and absolutely love the bright red color.  This is very easy to sip on the deck on a sunny day.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Peltier Rouge Rosé

2016 Peltier Rouge Rosé

 

 

 

2016 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc – SRP $25

Acquiesce Winery was originally considered to be a long-shot to survive.  In the middle of a region that relied on full bodied Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines, Susan Tipton started a winery based on the white grapes from France’s Rhone region.  The winery produces crisp and nuances wines from Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier as well as a Grenache Rosé.  The vines for the vineyards were sourced from the famous Château de Beaucastel of Châteauneuf du Pape in France.  The winery is so popular that there is a waiting list to join their “wine club”.

 

As usual more information on the winery and the ability to purchase these marvelous wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a very light pale straw with a slight green tint.  The impressive nose has green apple, melon, white peach, chalky minerals, leafy herbs and lime zest.  This is barely medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate tart apples, melon, white peach and minerals quickly grab your attention on the front end with a nice herbal note coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with more minerals and a healthy dose of tart lime zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This is a crisp and lighter bodied wine perfect for a light meal on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

2016 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

 

 

 

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé – SRP $18

We met Michael MaCay and his Syrah/Grenache grower Phil Abba and had a “side of the road” tasting at Phil’s Abba Vineyard.  Just like every grower we met you could “feel” Phil’s dedication and pride in the grapes that come out of his vineyard.  I bought this wine as well as McCay Cellars’ Syrah and Grenache wines made from the fruit from Abba Vineyard.  This was fantastic on the side of the hot, dry and dusty road and I could not wait to open a bottle to sip at home.

 

McCay Cellars is owned by Michael McCay.  McCay moved to Lodi in the mid 1980s and started to grow grapes.  He started making wine in 1994 and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.  Much more information is available on the winery, history and most importantly their wines by visiting the McCay Cellars webpage.

 

This wine is mainly Carignane (from 102 year old vines) with Grenache.  The wine was produced with a “native fermentation” in stainless steel.  The wine is a bright salmon color.  The fresh smelling nose has strawberries, peaches, dusty minerals and lime zest.  This has a medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and minerals immediately grab your attention with peaches in the background.  The finish has nice length with a hint of lime zest leading you to grab another sip.  This has just a hint of sweetness making it an easy to enjoy companion to a warm day in the sun.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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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