Posts tagged ‘Loring’

Cliffs Wine Picks – July 29, 2013 to August 1, 2013

 

 

2010 Don Sebastiani & Sons Sauvignon Blanc Project Paso

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Don Sebastiani & Sons Sauvignon Blanc Project Paso – $7.59

Project Paso is a venture by Don Sebastiani & Sons in an attempt to highlight the wines coming out of the Paso Robles area.  In 1990 there were fewer than 20 wineries in Paso Robles, there are now over 200.  The area is now the fastest rowing AVA in California.  The Project Paso wines are meant to provide quality, distinctive, wallet friendly wines that can be enjoyed any time.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, pale straw yellow color.  The tropical smelling nose has citrus zest, apples, minerals, pineapple, lime, white pepper, and fresh cut grass.  Light body with tart acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  This shows crisp citrus on the palate with some grassy notes and apple.  There is decent length on the finish with a bit of white pepper coming in on the back end.  This is nothing too special but nice on a hot afternoon or with a light meal on the deck or patio.  What more could you want in a $8 wine?  (86 pts)

2010 Don Sebastiani & Sons Sauvignon Blanc Project Paso

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills – $24.00

In my opinion, the Loring appellation wines are some of the best bargains out there when it comes to quality California Pinot Noir.  The Loring appellation wines are, at least to me, dialed down a notch compared to their single vineyard siblings.  This and the lower prices, under $25 make them a nice way to kick up a week night dinner several notches without breaking the bank.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The very sexy and open nose has raspberries, black cherries, cola, baking spices, vanilla, smoke, wild flowers, white pepper, earthiness, and a faint herbal note.  This has a medium body, silky tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows juicy, spicy berries, and just a hint of an herbal element that adds to the taste in a positive way, with some building pepper and citrus zest coming in on the back end.  On the fairly long finish the juicy berries, spice and white pepper are joined by some earthiness.  This is an very good wine and a great value for under $25.   (91 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills

 

 

 

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard – $25.00

Anthill Farms likes to make a “one off” wine.  In 2005, they made a Syrah with grapes from the Windsor Oaks Vineyard that turned out so well, it was quickly made part of their line up.  This is a classic cool climate Syrah that shows tart acidity and good savory elements.  The vineyard is only 10 miles from the coast and the grapes struggle to ripen in this area, resulting in longer “hang times”.  This is not a fruit forward, fruit driven, fruit bomb.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The slightly shy nose eventually shows raspberries, blackberries, dark chocolate, black pepper, minerals, road tar, and some earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the bright berries and pepper dominate the front end with dark chocolate, more pepper, and some earthiness coming in on the back end along with a big blast of mouthwatering acidity.   The finish shows a touch of stems but otherwise is a continuation of the fruit and pepper.  The finish is a touch clipped when the acidity kicks in.  This could easily sit in the cellar for several more years and may improve if some of the acidity would integrate.  This wine needs food and shines in that role.  (90 pts)

2007 Anthill Farms Syrah Windsor Oaks Vineyard

 

 

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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.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Mar 18, 2013 to Mar 21, 2013

 

 

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

 

 

 

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard – $20.89

 

My comments

This is a very consistent, single vineyard Merlot that used to be a “house favorite”.  Unfortunately, over the years the price increases took enough of a toll, that I felt it no longer offered enough quality to merit the price.  When the local store was able to secure enough of the wine to offer via an “end of vintage” e-mail offer for a touch over $20, I had to jump in.

 

Winery history

Sterling Vineyards is proud to be a certified Napa County Green Winery, a distinction we achieved in 2009 as one of the first 12 wineries to be included.  This certification is a result of our diligent efforts in conserving water and energy, as well as preventing pollution and landfill waste.

 

In addition, Sterling is also certified as Napa County Green for our land and vineyard practices, which include sustainable vineyard management, water conservation, and fish-friendly farming across 100% of our estate vineyards.

 

Every year we recycle approximately 1,400 tons of waste, resulting in a waste diversion rate of 95%.  This has resulted in awards in the Waste Reduction Awards Program from the California Integrated Waste Management Board for the past three years.  (Proceeds from the award have been donated to local charities each year.)

 

Finally, in December 2008 our iconic tram was converted to solar power.  The solar energy system produces more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year, which is equivalent to the energy required to power 5.5 homes for a full year.  This conversion also eliminates 65 tons of CO2 emitted into the environment annually.

 

From vineyard practices to winery operations to the daily activities at our world-famous tasting rooms, Sterling Vineyards is proud to act as a dedicated steward of our environmental riches.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very nice nose has cherry, cedar, melted licorice, plums, baking spices, tobacco, dried herbs, dark roast espresso, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate shows no excess weight with nice balance between the fruit and savory elements.  The finish is a touch short and a bit lean but other wise this is a very sound and appealing wine.  A steal at $20 but questionable value at $60.  (90 pts)

2006 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Three Palms Vineyard

 

 

 

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard – $18.21

 

My comments

This wine’s normal price is in the $45 to $49 range, which I feel is WAY too high.  The community average price in CellarTracker for this wine is over $28, which is again pushing the limit.  Luckily I was able to grab half a case for well under $20.  That makes it a good Napa Valley Cab at a price that won’t break the bank when consumed on a week night, especially for an aged Cabernet is in its’ prime drinking window.

 

I’ve had a couple bottles that I liked and rated 89-90 points.

 

Winery history

Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery was founded in 1881 by Henry Hagen.  One of their wines won a Silver Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1889.  At that time, Cedar Knoll was one of Napa’s premier wineries.  The winery was a victim of Prohibition and was closed for close to 80 years.  Cedar Knoll is now owned by the Palmaz family.  They have resurrected the vineyards and restored the original Hagen house.  The vineyards occupy 55 acres and are located just northeast of the city of Napa.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby red color, much lighter at the edge.  The very nice and appealing nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, cherry, smoke, tobacco, raspberry, baking spices, and a touch of well worn leather.  This has medium body, good acidity, and fairly integrated tannins.  On the palate the wine has silky smooth fruit up front with spices and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with some spicy oak adding an extra dimension.  Not a lot of complexity but this is in a nice place right now.  This probably should be consumed over the next year or two before the fruit starts to fade.  (89 pts)

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard – $45.00

 

My comments

Loring produces some of my favorite Pinot Noirs made in California and their wine from the Clos Pepe Vineyard is one of my favorite they produce.  To me, this wine always has the rich and lush fruit that is the “house style” for Loring wines and has plenty of acidity and tannins to support the body and depth usually in this wine.  For a wine of this quality, the price actually represents a nice value for a higher end, single vineyard, Pinot from California.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The very nice nose has cherries, baking spices, raspberries, underbrush, and a touch of smoke.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is rich and lush with juicy fruit but with plenty of savory elements adding considerable depth and complexity.  The finish is long and very flavorful with the fruit, spice, and subtle earthiness lingering seemingly forever.  This is outstanding today, but will last for at least a few years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace – $17.50

 

My comments

The Scherrer Winery futures program for their Zinfandels is one of the best mailing lists to join.  The wines are ordered and paid for before they are bottled, several months later the wine is bottled and shipped.  Generally the winery holds their zins in the bottle for a year before releasing them to the restaurants, distribution, or the normal mailing list.  What’s the advantage of paying for wine and waiting for shipment?  How about a big discount, 40% to 50% off regular release price?  This top notch Zin cost me well under $20.

 

The Scherrer Zinfndels are built to age. These are well balanced zins with restrained alcohol levels that age marvelously.  With enough bottle age, these take on the nuances of an aged Claret.

 

Winery history

In the mid-1970’s, due to a normal teenage interest in alcoholic beverages, my family allowed me to make some wine from the family vineyard and beer at home (under adult supervision, of course).  This led to a UC Davis degree as well as concurrent work at a local winery doing the dirtiest and most menial jobs imaginable.  In the mid-1980’s good friends at Duxoup Wine Works (think Marx Brothers for the pronunciation) inspired me to try my hand at my own label so I negotiated cellar space in lieu of a raise by my then-current employer, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Anderson Valley (I got a raise anyway).  Greenwood Ridge was supportive of my project and decided to have some Scherrer Zinfandel produced for their label as well.  Unfortunately, I had a poor business plan and during the first year I realized I was not yet ready for this project.  Greenwood Ridge continues to make a small amount of Scherrer Vineyard Zinfandel to this day.

 

Much more information on this outstanding winery and a link to join the highly recommended mailing list available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter than your normal zin, this actually looks like a Pinot Noir.  The very tempting nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, minerals, smoke, white pepper, wild flowers, and some earthiness.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate leans a bit more to the red fruit than black with cherries, spices, minerals, and nice earthiness.  The finish is fairly silky and smooth and lingers nicely.  This is still on the young side and improved with air.  Don’t be in a hurry on this one.  (93 pts)

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Mar 8, 2013 to Mar 10, 2013

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard – $45.00

 

My comments

My wife just returned from a 10 day business trip, so I wanted to open something really good.  Since Loring is one of both of our favorite wineries, this was an easy choice.  Brian’s Pinot from Garys’ Vineyard is also one of out two favorite vineyard sources he uses.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The open and inviting nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, black tea leaves, white pepper, raspberries, dried flowers, minerals, and some earthiness.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has a nice blend of tart cherries, sweet raspberries, spices, and subtle earthiness.  The finish is fairly long and again, very flavorful with nice closing acidity holding everything together.  Very tasty today, but no hurry on this one.  (92 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras – $16.62

 

My comments

The local wine store recently put this one on the shelf.  A friend who works there insisted I give this one a try.  Since I generally agree with his palate, I grabbed three bottles.  Even though I think it’s still a bit young, it’s a perfect night to try one in case I want to stock up before the store sells out.

 

Winery history

Domaine La Garrigue is set in the heart of the Vacqueyras appellation area (Southern Côtes du Rhône), in the Vaucluse department of France.  The estate buildings are just 2.5 km from the main village, on a plateau called Les Garrigues.

 

The estate was created in 1850, and has always been worked by the same family, spanning 6 generations.  The Bernard family has always worked in respect of tradition, crafting authentic natural wines that are typical of the terroirs they came from.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The warm and relaxing nose has black cherries, blackberries, red raspberries, dried herbs, brined green olives, licorice, minerals, earthy elements, and wild flowers.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has nice, spicy fruit and olives with a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch clipped when the tannins and acidity kick in.  Let this one sleep for at least a year, preferably two.  This has a lot of upside potential.  (90 pts)

2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras

 

 

 

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard – $30.00

 

My comments

In my opinion, this is perennially one of the best Napa Cabernets for the price.  This is a cabernet that generally needs a few years of bottle age to fully reach its potential and show its best.  If you get the opportunity to try this wine, jump on it, you can thank me later.

 

Winery history

Napa Valley’s Elyse Winery has two causes for celebration this harvest.  In addition to a stellar looking 2012 vintage in NapaValley, it is the 25th harvest for the winery.

 

It was back in 1987 that Ray and Nancy Coursen crushed 4.5 tons of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford to craft 286 cases of their first wine.  While the portfolio has grown over the last 25 years, the focus remains on creating vineyard driven wines that pair well with food.  Total production is currently 10,000 cases and the wines are nationally and internationally distributed.

 

Winemaking is cooking without a flame.  Our winemaking philosophy at Elyse in NapaValley is similar to the approach of a great chef who carefully prepares artisan grown ingredients to bring each layer of flavor to the table.  Long term alliances with our growers form the cornerstone to our portfolio of vineyard driven wines that possess an unfaltering affinity for pairing with food.

 

“A meal with wine is dining – it’s a conversation, an event.  It’s what wine is all about.” – Ray Coursen, Winemaker & Owner

 

“This excellent winery continues to carve out a well-deserved reputation for its interesting red wine portfolio.” – Robert M. Parker Jr.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color, with no signs of it being eleven years old.  The very elegant and powerful nose has cassis, dried herbs, tobacco, dusty minerals, melted licorice, warm baking spices, violets, black cherries, and lesser notes of cedar, vanilla, and earthiness.  This has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate is loaded with rich, juicy berries, dried herbs, and just the right amount of spicy oak.  The very flavorful finish is very long, seeming to linger forever.  The wine is perfectly balanced and in a wonderful place.  It is velvety with no rough edges or out of place or excessive elements.  (94 pts)

2002 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Grabbed a mixed case at the local wine store.

(3) 2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras @ $16.62

(1) 2009 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon @ $25.36

(6) 2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard @ $19.94

(2) 2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico @ $18.59

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Feb 15, 2013 to Feb 17, 2013

 

 

2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49 – $10.00

 

My comments

This is a perfect example of the perceived power of the Wine Advocate.  In February 2007, Jay Miller bestowed the dreaded 89 points on a upper $30s Priorat.  Knowing it would be a hard sell, the 2004 Celler Joan Simó Priorat Les Sentius is labeled as 2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49.  I don’t know the exact selling price of the Cameron Hughes version, but I got a case for $10 a bottle.  Even though the label and capsule are all Cameron Hughes, the cork labeling holds the truth.

 

This is a blend of 48% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 10% Carignan.

 

My first Cameron Hughes wine was their 2003 Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir Lot 8 Arroyo Seco.

Winery history

Cameron Hughes Wine is an American négociant that makes, imports, and distributes ultra-premium wine under four wine brands; The Lot Series, Hughes Wellman, CH Collection, and Zin Your Face.  We are nationally distributed and carried in chains, grocery, broad market, on premise and online at our vertically integrated Web store, chwine.com.

 

Cameron Hughes Wine was founded by Cameron Hughes and partner Jessica Kogan who are dedicated to delivering truly exceptional wine at real world prices.  This has been their mission since starting their company in San Francisco more than 10 years ago.

 

Much more information and current wines available at their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The slightly rustic nose has cherries, raspberries, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  This is in a nice place today with some air, but additional cellar time will be rewarded.  89 pts

2004 Cameron Hughes Priorat Lot 49

 

 

 

2006 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard – $48.00

 

My comments

For some absurdly stupid reason, I only bought one bottle of this wine.  I know this will improve with more cellar time, but it’s calling my name.  Since I’m leaving on a business trip tomorrow, I might as well give into temptation.

 

Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The deep and dark nose has smoked meat, black berries, black cherries, licorice, black pepper, Asian spices, minerals, and some earthiness.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy, peppery, mineral laden berries on the palate with some meaty and earthy notes coming in on the back end.  The long finish seems to linger forever.  This is still on the young side but is drinking very nicely with a good amount of air.  (94 pts)

2006 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard – $66.33

 

My comments

This is another of the non Pinot Noir wines Brian Loring has produced.  Thus far, every one has been outstanding.  This wine is 75% Grenache and 25% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red, much lighter at the edge.  The very pleasing nose has blackberries, cherries, earthy underbrush, minerals, baking spices, and some dried herbs.  The wine has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate is loaded with spicy, juicy berries, but it’s not all about the fruit, there is also nice minerality, dried herbs, and earthiness coming in on the back end adding depth and complexity.  The fairly long finish is a nice continuation of the palate with some additional baking spices and dried herbs kicking into high gear.  This is on the young side, but absolutely delicious today.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Convergence Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

I picked up 2 bottles of 2009 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve yesterday.  These were from my local store’s weekly e-mail offer.  After getting their special price, my 5% discount, and using a couple of older $10 gift cards, my cost was just a touch over $50 a bottle.

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Jan 14, 2013 to Jan 17, 2013

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $25.00

 

My comments

I am a big fan of the Loring appellation wines.  These wines are blends of grapes from different vineyards in the region.  These wines may lack some of the uniqueness of the single vineyard wines, but to me they seem to highlight the best features from each vineyard.  The best part is these wines are about half the price of the single vineyard wines so they can be enjoyed without too much guilt any day of the week.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from CottonwoodCanyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

I’d made about 3 trips around the booths at the tasting without finding a single good Pinot Noir.  So, being the open minded person that I am (remember I passed him up 3 times), I stopped at the Cottonwood booth.  I was BLOWN away by Norm’s 1990 Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  After a few years of attending every Cottonwood event and asking Norm 10,000 questions about winemaking, he offered to let come learn the process during the ’97 crush.  I checked sugar levels, picked, crushed, punched down, pressed, filled barrels, and generally moved a bunch of stuff around with fork lifts and pallet jacks!  It was the time of my life… I was totally hooked.  And even though I hadn’t planned it, I ended up making two barrels of Pinot Noir.  That was the start of the Loring Wine Company.  What had started out as a dream 15 years earlier was now a reality – I was a winemaker!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The rich and inviting nose has black raspberries, Asian spices, cola, black cherry, wild flowers, white pepper, and a touch of earthy underbrush.  This has a medium body, moderate, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine has rich, velvety fruit and spice up front with some subtle earthiness and white pepper coming in late.  The finish is fairly long and full of spicy, earthy fruit.  May not be the most complex Pinot out there, but it is delicious and a steal at the mailing list price of $25.  (91 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2009 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel – $15.19

 

My comments

I’ve been a fan of the Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for many years.  It had been a few years since I tried one of their zinfandels.  The local store brought this one in and had it at a great price, so I grabbed a couple bottles.  I sat on my bottles for a few months figuring I could try one and stock up if it was good.  That theory blew up when the wine ended up at #68 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list.  As usually happens, the wine disappeared for store’s shelves.

 

Winery history

Buehler Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery located in the mountains east of St. Helena in NapaValley.  Situated north of Pritchard Hill and Conn Valley, near the base of Howell Mountain, our hillside vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller blocks of old-vine Zinfandel.

 

Our family has been farming this beautiful estate for thirty-six years.  We combine that experience and the unique terroir of our hillside vineyards with low yields, meticulous vineyard management, and minimalist winemaking techniques to create wines of uncommon complexity and depth, and to present these wines to wine lovers at reasonable prices.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The refined and elegant nose has brambly berries, dried sage, vanilla, black cherries, dried wild flowers, underbrush, and a touch of black pepper.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate has peppery, berries with spicy oak, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness.  The finish is a touch short and the tannins turn a bit chalky.  This has very nice balance but it may be going through a slight bump in its development.  If the slight chalkiness on the finish resolves with a touch of cellar time, which I think they will, this will be very good for a few more years.  (89 pts)

2009 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

 

My comments

It may not be “cool” to admit, but I am still a fan of Australian Shiraz.  Once you get beyond the sea of over ripe, syrupy, raisiny Shiraz, there are some true, bargain priced gems out there.

 

Winery history

Welcome to John Duval Wines.  After 29 years as a winemaker with Penfolds, one of Australia’s most famous wineries, I started my own wine label in 2003.  I have had a fortunate career, graduating in agriculture and winemaking in 1973 at AdelaideUniversity and then following in the footsteps of some of the greats of Australian winemaking such as Max Schubert, the creator of Penfolds Grange and Don Ditter, another famous Penfolds winemaker of the 1970s and early ’80s.

 

I guess there was a family precedent to all of this – the Duval family had for many years run a world famous sheep stud and quality vineyards south of Adelaide, coincidentally supplying Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to Penfolds.  So I wasn’t exactly a newcomer to wine.

 

I was appointed Chief Winemaker at Penfolds in 1986 and was lucky enough to oversee one of the most dynamic periods of change in the Australian wine industry.  With the support of my team in the Barossa I secured a number of awards for the company – Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1989; Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London in 1991 and again in 2000; and seeing the 1990 Penfolds Grange named the Wine of the Year by the prestigious US magazine Wine Spectator in 1995.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky, purple color.  The deep, dark, and inviting nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, smoked meat, baking spices, black pepper, licorice, dried herbs, and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body with big, ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there are cocoa powder dusted berries, black pepper, and meaty elements up front with dried herbs, spice, and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The long, lingering finish has the fruit giving way to the dark chocolate and dried herbs.  This is a fairly big wine but it does not push the ripeness to anything extreme.  This tastes wonderful today, but it can easily be cellared through the end of the decade.  (93 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $14.24

 

My comments

This was recently on my list of the Top Value Wines of 2012.  This is still a favorite with week night Italian fare, like tonight’s Veal Parmesan.  I like the extra body imparted by the drying of the grapes but the wine generally retains enough acidity to stand up to the tomato based sauces.  This is also a personal favorite with a nice, meaty pizza.

 

Winery history

Palazzo della Torre comes from the plot of land that encircles Villa della Torre, a veritable jewel of the Italian Renaissance.  The wine is made using an innovative take on the ‘ripasso’ technique.  Most of the grapes are vinified at harvest time, while the rest are set aside to partially dry.  In January, the wine blended with the juice from the raisined grapes undergoes a second fermentation.

 

Allegrini is the leading producer in the Valpolicella Classico area and one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in Italy and throughout the world.  The family’s roots in Valpolicella date back to the 16th century.  Today the winery consists of more than 100 hectares (247 acres) set amongst the rolling hills of the “Classico” appellation.  All wines made under the Allegrini label are produced exclusively from these estate vineyards.  Through research and experimentation over the years, Allegrini has introduced radical innovations in the vineyards, in the grape drying process and in the cellar, with the objective of enhancing the intrinsic quality of Valpolicella.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, plums, warm baking spices, minerals, vanilla, and dried flowers.  The wine has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and plush on the palate with the spicy berries and dried herbs up front and some earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the spicy berries and dried herbs carrying the load.  If you can find this for $15 or less, load up, I did.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

 

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

Music Corner – A new addition

Some favorite songs/videos (known to pair with good wine)

 

Gimme Shelter – U2, Mick Jagger, Fergie

 

Stairway to Heaven – Heart (Kennedy Center Honors)

 

Comfortably Numb Live – Pink Floyd

 

That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

ZZ Top – La Grange

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Loring Wine Company

This offer included the following wines:

Russell Family Vineyard Pinot Noir

Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir

Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir

Parmelee-Hill Vineyard Chardonnay

Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay

 

 

Carlisle

The current offer includes:

2011 SonomaMountain “Steiner Vineyard” Grüner Veltliner

2011 RussianRiverValley “Papa’s Block” Syrah

2011 SantaLuciaHighlands “Sierra Mar Vineyard” Syrah

2011 Sonoma County “Three Birds” Red Wine

2011 SonomaValley “Compagni Portis” White Wine

2011 DryCreekValley Zinfandel

2011 Mendocino Ridge “DuPratt Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 NapaValley “Hayne Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 RussianRiverValley “Montafi Ranch” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaCounty Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Bedrock Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Monte Rosso Vineyard” Zinfandel

2011 SonomaValley “Rossi Ranch” Zinfandel

 

Wines bought or received this week

Nothing to report now, but I will be picking up some wine this weekend.

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Jan 7, 2013 to Jan 10, 2013

 

 

2011 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard – $39.67

 

My comments

This was a no-brainer buy for me.  I love Brian Loring’s wines and Grenache is one of my favorite grapes.  The price of admission was a touch steep for a total unknown, but I had to grab some.

 

Winery history

My philosophy on making wine is that the fruit is EVERYTHING.  What happens in the vineyard determines the quality of the wine – I can’t make it better – I can only screw it up!  That’s why I’m extremely picky when choosing vineyards to buy grapes from.  Not only am I looking for the right soil, micro-climate, and clones, I’m also looking for a grower with the same passion and dedication to producing great wine that I have.  In other words, a total Pinot Freak!  My part in the vineyard equation is to throw heaping piles of money at the vineyard owners (so that they can limit yields and still make a profit) and then stay out of the way!  Since most, if not all of the growers keep some fruit to make their own wine, I tell them to farm my acre(s) the same way they do theirs – since they’ll obviously be doing whatever is necessary to get the best possible fruit.  One of the most important decisions made in the vineyard is when to pick.  Some people go by the numbers (brix, pH, TA, etc) and some go by taste.  Once again, I trust the decision to the vineyard people.  The day they pick the fruit for their wine is the day I’m there with a truck to pick mine.  Given this approach, the wine that I produce is as much a reflection of the vineyard owner as it is of my winemaking skills.  I figure that I’m extending the concept of terroir a bit to include the vineyard owner/manager… but it seems to make sense to me.  The added benefit is that I’ll be producing a wide variety of Pinots.  It’d be boring if everything I made tasted the same.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep violet color, quite a bit lighter at the edge.  The very interesting nose has black cherries, black raspberries, minerals, dried herbs, white pepper, eucalyptus, underbrush, and Asian spices.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate is full of juicy cherries and berries with solid minerals, on the midpalate dried herbs, spices, and pepper kick in filling out the palate and adding tons of depth.  The finish has decent length but gets a bit youthfully muddled.  This is absolutely delicious today, but will improve immensely with some cellar time.  The palate carries no excess weight or extraction and the wine is in perfect balance.  This should last several years in the cellar, but give it another 6 months or some time in a decanter if you want to sample one soon.  If this was a “test” wine from Loring, I consider it a success.  (93 pts)

2011 Loring Grenache Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch – $35.00

 

My comments

I’ve been a fan of Copain’s Syrah wine for several years.  The Eaglepoint Ranch wines have always been a personal favorite.  The area gets warm enough the grapes get ripe but cool enough the wines show very good acidity and nice minerality.  I was disappointed when the winery stopped making this wine after the 2007 vintage.  I’m thankful I still have a nice stash of this wine in the cellar going back to the 2005 vintage.

 

Winery history

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s RhôneValley in particular.  So much so, he picked up and moved with his new bride to the region to learn from the best.  For two years, Wells apprenticed for esteemed winemaker and living legend Michel Chapoutier in France’s RhoneValley.  During that time, Wells was deeply inspired by the traditions and practices of French winemaking, not to mention the European attitude that wine is an essential part of life. At Copain, he creates wines that are firmly rooted in California, yet with the sensibilities of the European wines that so moved him.  He is as committed to crafting these elegant, nuanced wines as he is to building a legacy that will be passed down to his daughters in the great tradition of European winemakers whose estates have been in the same family for generations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, dried herbs, minerals, violets, brined olives, and some earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a big hit of peppery, meaty, berries with some dried herbs and earthiness filling in the backend.  The finish is fairly long and a continuation of the palate.  This is in a very nice place right now, but there is absolutely no hurry on this wine.  I’ll probably drink my remaining bottles over the next 3 to 4 years.  (93 pts)

2006 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch

 

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch – $21.75

 

My comments

Novy is another long time favorite winery.  I realize I have several “favorite wineries” and they represent a high percentage of the wines I review, but there is a reason for that…I review wines from my cellar that I have bought and I generally buy a lot of wine from certain wineries, because I like them.  Generally, I will buy multiples bottles of wine from these wineries because I know they will make the best wine possible with the grapes.  This wine falls into that category.  I like Novy well enough that I loaded up on this wine with no reviews or tasting notes available because it was from Novy, it was a Zinfandel, and it was from Papera Ranch.  By the time there are reviews available of wines like this, they are sold out.

 

Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.

 

In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.

 

Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:

 

  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby color.  The very interesting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, minerals, smoke, vanilla bean, warm baking spices, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate shows tart, spicy, peppery berries with minerals and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is kicked up a couple notches with the crisp acidity accentuating the fruit and spices leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  Not a big, bruising style of zin.  Very food friendly and one that should last for years in the cellar.  (91 pts)

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch

 

 

 

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Pinot Noir Carneros – $18.89

 

My comments

Another wine from my current value oriented favorite, Treasure Hunter.  The label was the result of a glut of wine and grapes due to the economic downturn.  Unfortunately, it seems like the winery’s access to good quality grapes is running out now that the economy is finally turning around.  Their latest group of wines just didn’t do it for me, and I surprisingly passed on everything at a tasting.  Oh well, I’ll enjoy the sizable stash I built up over the last couple of years.

 

Winery history

Treasure Hunter is a label under the 3 Finger Wine Company family of wines.

 

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.

 

Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a couple shades lighter than ruby red.  The delicate and sensual nose has cherries, smoke, baking spices, vanilla, a touch of earthiness, and a faint herbal note.  This has light to medium body, soft, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate is bright and zippy with tart cherries and spices.  On the back end some earthiness and an herbal note add depth.  The finish has decent length with the tart cherries slowly giving way to the herbal note.  Not very Californian in style.  The herbal note pokes through even more as the wine gets air.  If this green element is not to your liking, my score is accurate, if an herbal note doesn’t bother you, add a couple points.  (86 pts)

2007 Treasure Hunter Wines Pinot Noir Carneros2

 

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Nothing landed yet, but getting a lot of “save the date” notices from Saxum, Villa Creek, Loring and others.

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

Still being good so nothing new to report.  The being good will end this weekend, I have a couple mixed cases waiting for me to pick up at the local wine store.

 

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Dinner Party October 27, 2012

 

We had some of our best friends over for dinner on Saturday, October 27th.  Since they are into good wine as much as we are and it’s been quite a while since we’ve “broken bread” together, I decided to pull out a few special bottles.

 

They were calling for a cold day, so we decided to go with a good, nothing fancy, comfort food, style of dinner, with the wine playing the starring role.

 

I tried to pick wines that were all different but that would fit into the more laid back, easy living dinner we had planned.

 

For me, the hardest part of a dinner party is selecting the wines.  I select every one for a specific reason, even if the reason is that I just want to drink one.

 

 

 

On a sad note, after a lot of good food and wine, we ended up not opening the 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard.  My review of the Saxum is in my blog from Oct 26-28.

 

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Cuvée Karatas – $28.00

 

My comments

I joined the Bedrock mailing list to get my hands on their red wines, but I am increasing impressed by their white.  I think the Bedrock white wines are some of the best being produced in California.  Across the board they have been outstanding.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale, golden yellow color.  The fresh and vibrant nose has melon, white peach, apples, slate, beeswax, flint jasmine, citrus zest, grapefruit, and some white pepper.  This is light to medium bodied with tart, citrusy acidity.  On the palate there is a load of spicy, mineral laden fruit with lemon zest and a healthy splash of grapefruit.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with nice tart grapefruit, lemon zest, and a touch of white pepper.  This is stunning today but will last in the cellar for at least a few years.  (93 pts)

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir “The Three” – $33.00

 

My comments

This was a special, limited production, bottling of the best of the best from Loring.  I was able to get a three pack of this wine.  It’s not for a Red Burgundy enthusiast, but a more over the top California version of Pinot Noir.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a deep, dark ruby color.  The very inviting nose is full of rich and smoky black cherries, earthy blackberries, minerals, baking spices, white pepper, underbrush, and vanilla.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is full of rich, spicy fruit with some subtle earthiness in the background.  The finish is fairly long with nice, ripe fruit and lingering spiciness.  This is nothing like a Red Burgundy, but that is not the winery’s goal so it succeeds, in my opinion.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2006 Glaetzer Shiraz Amon-Ra Barossa Valley – $68.74

 

My comments

Year after year, this is one of the bench mark wines from Australia.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  The deep and alluring nose has blackberry, minerals, eucalyptus, baking spices, black cherries, earth, vanilla, licorice, and a nice floral note.  This is medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  A bit brighter on the palate than the nose lead me to expect, very ripe but not syrupy or off dry and the acidity and tannins hold everything together.  Very rich and velvety on the palate with layers of flavors that get revealed layer by layer.  The finish is extremely long with the fruit and savory notes seeming to constantly change highlighting a different sensation every couple of seconds.  On of the best wines I’ve ever had, absolutely stunning.  (96 pts)

 

 

 

2008 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford – $48.00

 

My comments

Mike Smith is one of the up and coming wine makers in California.  I’m glad I was able to get in on the ground flood of the operation.  The winery also produces a very good Syrah to go with their numerous cabernets.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  On the outstanding nose the wine shows cassis, black cherry, Rutherford dust, minerals, licorice, baking spices, dried herbs, and dark chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with solid tannins and very good acidity.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with spicy fruit and the dried herbs leading the way.  This is extremely young and will improve with a few more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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