Posts tagged ‘Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spatlese’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Nov 3, 2014 to Nov 9, 2014

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

 

 

Due to a fast approaching move from Wisconsin to South Carolina, some of the wines have minimal information other than my tasting note.

 

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville – $23.74

I always have a hard time choosing a favorite between the Ridge Lytton Springs and the Ridge Geyserville wines.  Both are zinfandel based blends but since Zinfandel generally constitutes less than 75% of the blend, they aren’t labeled as a Zinfandel.  This vintage is a blend of 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre).  This wine is disappearing from my cellar at a fairly fast rate of speed, of the 15 bottles I originally purchased; I now have less than half remaining.

 

The alcohol is listed at 14.4% and this uses a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge.  He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892.  This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility.  At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

 

In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s.  From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet.  That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era.  Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage.

 

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge.  This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel.  The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres.  Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity.  By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership.  A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile’s coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist.  His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward “hands off” approach pioneered at Ridge.  Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established.  Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage.  Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.

 

Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991.  A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground.  Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals.  Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology.  Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very enticing nose has brambly berries, cherry, black pepper, licorice, warm baking spices, charred meat, forest floor, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has nice up front fruit and spice with more spice, licorice, and meaty elements coming in on the back end.  The finish is long with spice laden fruit slowly giving way to more earthy elements that seem to linger forever.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for at least a few more years.  (92 pts)

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

 

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $12.99

In my ongoing quest to build up a stash of under $15 Pinot Noirs for week night dinners, this is my next candidate.  It looks like I got a great deal on a couple bottles since the average price on Cellar Tracker is almost $10 a bottle higher.  The more I drink Oregon Pinot Noir wines, the more I like them.  They are nice alternatives to the riper, rounder California versions that populate my wine cellar.

 

This has 13.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The mysterious nose has black cherries, smoke, minerals, earthy underbrush, warm baking spices, dried flowers and just a touch of nice funk.  This is barely medium body with silky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spices and cherries jump out first with minerals, smoke and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with cherries and spice carrying the load.  This isn’t the most complex Pinot out there but is a winner for under $15.  (89 pts)

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2011 Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese – $10.44

 

This wine has 8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a synthetic nomacorc.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very satisfying nose has apples, honey, petrol, orange blossoms, orange zest and crushed stone minerals.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and good residual sweetness.  On the palate honey dipped apples jump out immediately with orange zest and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish have good length and shows great balance between the acidity and sweetness.  There’s no hurry to drink this one, it can last in the cellar for a decade, maybe longer.  (91 pts)

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

 

 

 

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $24.92

 

This wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, raspberries, dusty minerals, baking spices, vanilla, wildflowers and subtle underbrush.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and good acidity.  Rich, spicy fruit engulfs the palate with minerals and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a bit of earthiness and vanilla joining the sweet fruit.  This is very easy to drink.  (89 pts)

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon – $40.00

This is a blend of 57% Santa Cruz County Syrah and 43% Monterey County Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 7 barrels of this wine produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, cassis, vanilla, dried herbs, stony minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, cracked black peppercorns and dried violets.  The wine has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  Big fruit and minerals jump out first on the palate with dried herbs and vanilla coming in later.  The full flavored finish adds some dark chocolate and black pepper.  This is a beast but the tannins and acidity keep it in check, at least for now.  (93 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

 

 

 

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard – $29.99

This was a very easy wine to buy in bulk, one of my favorite wineries, one of my favorite grapes and one of my favorite vineyards.

 

This wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

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.

 

Much more information on Novy and the wines they produce is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color.  The very enticing nose has blackberries, licorice, smoked meat, pepper, baking spices, blueberry, dried herbs, minerals and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  Spicy fruit with a nice meaty presence grabs hold of your palate with pepper and some earthiness coming in later.  This has a nice lingering finish which again highlights the meaty elements with chocolate and fruit in the background providing nice sweetness.  This is very nice with impressive balance.  (93 pts)

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys' Vineyard

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard – $34.00

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The alluring nose has brambly berries, black cherries, crushed stones, vanilla, dried herbs, black pepper, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries, spice and dark chocolate jump out first with pepper and vanilla coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs and a dried floral note entering the picture.  This is drinking very nicely today but should hold for a couple more years.  (91 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

2009 Turley Zinfandel Tofanelli Vineyard

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – My Top 10 Value Wines of 2013

 

top10

 

QPR Stands for Quality to Price Ratio.  These are the wines that represented the highest quality and lowest prices.

 

Here are the top QPR wines I had in 2013.  I selected only bottles of wine that I purchased in 2013.  Will all (or any) of these wines be available in your area?  Good question.  The short answer is, all won’t be available, but one or two may be sitting on a shelf, especially the ones I bought towards the end of the year.  A good source for finding wines not available in your area is the winery’s website and wine-searcher.com.

 

Instead of using the price I paid, which may have been a close out price, I am using the “Community Average value” from Cellar Tracker.  This means, you may actually find the wine for a lower price.  I just needed a good way to show an actual price.  It would be stupid for me to show a wine with a suggested price of $50, just because I bought one bottle at a blowout for $19.99.

 

The Cellar Tracker “Community average value” can be skewed if there were a lot of bottles bought at a sale price.  That means, I’m sorry if you can find the wine but it is considerably higher than the price I have listed.  There are a lot of factors that could cause the average price to drop below the current cost, volume discounts, special offers, sales, etc.

 

To be in the Top 10, a wine’s “Community Average Value” had to be under $20.

 

QPR

 

 10 – 2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese – $10.66

This wine was offered by the local wine store via a weekly e-mail offer.  It’s hard for me to pass on a German Riesling, especially one I can get for under $8.00.  As expected, I grabbed a case without even trying it.  I worked at the store for a few hours yesterday, and there was still about a half bottle sitting under the wine bar that had been opened for over 24 hours.  The wine was room temperature so I wasn’t expecting too much when I tried a taste.  I was very pleasantly surprised the wine was outstanding.  I took the bottle home so I could sample it at a better serving temperature.  I also happily took my case home and stashed it in my wine cellar.  My cost for this wine was only $7.92 a bottle.

 

My Tasting Note

This note is from a bottle that had been opened for over a day and left over night on the counter with the cork stuck back in the bottle.  The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very appealing and inviting nose has apples, honey, orange zest, Spring flowers, and a touch of petrol.  This has medium body, a fair amount of residual sugar and very nice, crisp acidity that keeps the sweetness in line.  On the palate the honeyed apples and citrus zest coat the palate but is kept from getting cloying by the citrusy acidity.  The finish is long and again full of apples, honey, and citrus.  If you like an off dry Riesling, this is top notch.  This has marvelous balance that will allow it to easily cellar for several years.  (90 pts)

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spatlese

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spatlese

 

 

9 – 2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc – $16.42

This was a new wine for me.  This was one of several wines the local wine store brought in just for a blow out sale.  I’ve been a big fan of Italian Barbera wines for a number of years.  These wines generally have nice, bright, red fruit with some spicy earthiness and a boat load of acidity.  These are generally one of the most food friendly wines around.  I only paid $14.24 for this wine making it an even better value.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch darker than ruby red.  The elegant nose has black raspberries, melted licorice, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, a touch of mint, minerals, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, soft, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The palate has rich, spicy berries up front with more spice, mint and earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with the fruit turning a bit more tart and a faint herbal note coming into the picture.  This is a bit fuller body and darker fruit than your usual Barbera.  This would be good with a big, meaty pasta sauce, but may be too big and have too little acidity for a lighter marinara sauce.  This is different, but enjoyable.  (90 pts)

2008 Tre Donne Barbera d'Alba d'Arc

2008 Tre Donne Barbera d’Alba d’Arc

 

 

8 – 2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farráh – $17.87

I grabbed a bottle of this after trying the winery’s Bricks & Mortar blend at an online tasting of Lodi wines.  If your opinion of wines from Lodi is based on some of the big, industrial, high volume wineries, take my advice and seek out something from one of the smaller, family owned producers.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, raspberries, minerals, cocoa powder, white pepper, smoke, dried herbs, and a nice floral note.  This has medium body, moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Lush berries and dried herbs coat the palate with cocoa and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with nice layers of fruit and savory elements.  Drinking nicely now, but not one to stash in the cellar.  The acidity is adequate for now but I’d be afraid of the wine losing its balance as the acidity drops in the aging process.  Drink over the next few years and be happy.  (90 pts)

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farrah

2011 Klinker Brick Syrah Farrah

 

 

7 – 2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard – $15.38

This is another wine I found on the shelf at the local wine store.  In my opinion, even after several fantastic vintages, the wines from the Southern Rhone represent fantastic values.  One of these days enough people are going to recognize these marvelous wines and cause price increases, until that time, I will be stocking up.  This is a blend of 50% Grenache and the rest Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan.  My purchase price of $9.49 made this a steal.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, minerals, cherries, smoke, dried herbs, road tar, vanilla, wild flowers, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  Nice red and black fruit and a load of minerals coat the palate with some dried herbs, chocolate, and a bit of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length again highlighting the mineral laden fruit and subtle earthiness.  This is drinking very nicely today and should provide a lot of good drinking over the next four to six years.  (90 pts)

2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard

2009 Domaine de Fondrèche Côtes du Ventoux Cuvée Fayard

 

 

6 – 2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes – $14.25

Generally I am not a point chaser, but when the local wine store puts a new wine of the shelf with a “talker” noting a 93 point score from Robert Parker and the wine is under $15, I had to grab a bottle.  This is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that was aged in concrete.  This will be my first exposure to this wine and if it approaches the level of the Wine Advocate review, I’ll be stocking up.  My purchase price for this wine was a little better than the Cellar Tracker average price, I only paid $13.29.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  The clean and refreshing nose has cherries, baking spices, eucalyptus, forest floor, tobacco, blackberries, and wild flowers.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has spicy fruit, a touch of eucalyptus, and some earthiness.  The finish has nice length and closes with a touch of dark chocolate.  Not a lot of complexity but a very tasty glass of wine to enjoy over the next few years.  (90 pts)

2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes

2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes

 

 

5 – 2011 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta – $9.75

I don’t remember the circumstances surrounding buying this wine, but it was probably based on a recommendation from a friend at the local wine store.  After doing a little digging, I’m thankful for the rec since it seems like it should be a good bottle of wine.

 

This has 14.0% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The exotic nose has blackberries, raspberries, minerals, Asian spices, dried herbs, licorice, and violets.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there is a load of berries up front but with enough savory elements on the midpalate and back end to keep this from being all about the fruit.  The finish ratchets up the minerality and dried herbs with the fruit being pushed into the background.  This is in a real nice place but there is no reason to think it won’t hold for at least a couple years.  (90 pts)

2011 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta

2011 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta

 

 

4 – 2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine – $14.73

The local store brought some of this in when the distributor was looking to clear out some wines.  I was able to get several bottles of this gem for under $10 a bottle.  Now it’s time to sample a bottle to see how long to save the remaining bottles.  My purchase price of only $9.49 a bottle made this an even bigger QPR Superstar.

 

This is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep violet color.  The dark and meaty nose has black cherries, minerals, charred meat, blackberries, licorice, potpourri, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the minerals, earth, and fruit flavors slowly give way to meaty elements.  The finish has nice length but gets a touch thin.  This is still very young and will reward another year or two in the cellar.  The time in the cellar should add some complexity and help fill out the finish.  (90 pts)

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine

 

  

 

3 – 2012 Onesta Cinsault Rosé – $18.00

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

 

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

 

To read more about Onesta, visit this link here.

 

My Tasting Note

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

2012 Onesta Cinsault Rose

2012 Onesta Cinsault Rose

 

 

2 – 2010 Claiborne and Churchill Pinot Gris – $17.87

This wine was supplied to me by the SIP Certified organization for me to comment on during an online, Twitter based WineChat.  For more information on the outstanding efforts of SIP (Sustainability in Practice) please visit them at:  SIP Certified

 

This bottle was my introduction to Claiborne & Churchill Vintners.  We are big fans of the dry, Oregon Pinot Gris based wines as well as the ones from the Alsace region in France.  I’m looking forward to trying this one from California’s CentralCoast.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale yellow with a golden tint.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, spices, melon, citrus zest, fresh Spring flowers, and a healthy dollop of minerals.  The wine is dry with a light to medium body and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine is dry but shows nice ripe and rich fruit with good citrusy acidity.  The long finish is full of nice fruit and spice.  This is a very nicely balanced wine.  Don’t serve this one too cold, cool room temperature is best.  One of the better Pinot Gris wines I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.  This is a SIP Certified wine, which stands for “Sustainability in Practice”.  (92 pts)

2010 Claiborne and Churchill Pinot Gris

2010 Claiborne and Churchill Pinot Gris

 

 

1 – 2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio – $19.34

Every once in a while you have to grab a bottle based on a score.  Robert Parker gave this wine 95 points and the local store had a couple bottles for just a touch over $16.  Like I said, the local store “had” a few bottles.  They were rescued and placed in a new adoptive home, my wine cellar.  This is probably pretty young, but I have to check in to get an early read on where it may go in the future.  Another steal for me since I only paid $16.06 a bottle.

 

This has 15% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very enticing nose has blackberry liqueur, blueberries, minerals, dying wood embers, scorched earth, baking spices, violets, and a touch of vanilla.  This has a fairly full body, moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the dark berries and spice coat the palate slowly allowing some earthiness, minerals, and a floral note to break through.  The finish is long and nicely layered.  This is on the young side but it opened nicely after about 45 minutes.  (93 pts)

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio

 

  

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

Cliffs Wine Picks – July 12, 2013 to July 14, 2013

 

 

2011 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese

2010 Sandler Wine Company Grenache Boer Vineyard

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée

 

 

2011 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $18.99

We had a couple glasses of this wine a few weeks ago at a local restaurant.  When I saw it on the shelf at the local wines store, I had to grab a couple bottles.  I didn’t take notes on the wine at the restaurant, but I remembered it having nice red fruit and some subtle earthiness.  It will be nice spending a bit of time with a bottle to see how it performs over the course of an evening.  This is a nice, middle of the road, California Pinot Noir.  It’s not a big, overly ripe style of Pinot, but it’s also not a delicate, nuanced version either. 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red to ruby color. The very enjoyable nose has cherries, baking spices, strawberry, lilac flowers, and a touch of earthy underbrush. This has medium body, moderate ripe tannins, and very good acidity. Spicy red fruit kicks off the palate with more spice and some earthiness coming in afterwards adding depth. The bright fruit carries no excess weight or overly ripe notes. The finish has decent length and again highlights the spice laden red fruit. This very nice week night Pinot Noir offers great QPR if you can find it for under $20.  (89 pts)

2011 La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 

 

 

 

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese – $7.92

This wine was offered by the local wine store via a weekly e-mail offer.  It’s hard for me to pass on a German Riesling, especially one I can get for under $8.00.  As expected, I grabbed a case without even trying it.  I worked at the store for a few hours yesterday, and there was still about a half bottle sitting under the wine bar that had been opened for over 24 hours.  The wine was room temperature so I wasn’t expecting too much when I tried a taste.  I was very pleasantly surprised the wine was outstanding.  I took the bottle home so I could sample it at a better serving temperature.  I also happily took my case home and stashed it in my wine cellar.

 

My Tasting Note

This note is from a bottle that had been opened for over a day and left over night on the counter with the cork stuck back in the bottle.  The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very appealing and inviting nose has apples, honey, orange zest, Spring flowers, and a touch of petrol.  This has medium body, a fair amount of residual sugar and very nice, crisp acidity that keeps the sweetness in line.  On the palate the honeyed apples and citrus zest coat the palate but is kept from getting cloying by the citrusy acidity.  The finish is long and again full of apples, honey, and citrus.  If you like an off dry Riesling, this is top notch.  This has marvelous balance that will allow it to easily cellar for several years.  (90 pts)

2010 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Spatlese 

 

 

 

2010 Sandler Wine Company Grenache Boer Vineyard – $25.00

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

 

For more information, checkout their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, bright ruby red color.  The civilized and refined nose has raspberries, minerals, warm baking spices, mint, cherries, wild flowers, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice grab hold initially, eventually allowing a touch of mint, earthiness, and a floral note to come through.  The finish has nice length but gets a touch thin.  This needs some cellar time which should allow the back end to flesh out.  This is very good now, but will be much better in another year or two.  (90 pts)

2010 Sandler Wine Company Grenache Boer Vineyard 

 

 

 

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT – $16.62

I grabbed a six pack of this wine from an e-mail offer by the local wine store based on a very positive recommendation by an Italian wine loving friend.  This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah. 

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color, lighter at the edge. The appealing nose has cherries, warm baking spices, blackberries, white pepper, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate. This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity. Tart, spicy, earthy fruit dominate the palate with dried herbs and some chocolate coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length and is an extension of the palate with just a touch of spicy oak creeping into the picture. For a very young wine, this is drinking very nicely today. This should improve with another year in the cellar and drink well for a few additional years.  (91 pts)

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT 

 

 

We made up a platter of assorted breaded and fried ravioli with fresh basil and grated parmigiana with some marinara sauce for dipping to go with the  Borgo Scopeto Borgonero.  A salad completed the dinner.  The food and wine pairing was perfect.  The wine has enough acidity to cut through the fried ravioli especially the ones that were stuffed with cheese.  The wine also had enough oomph to stand up to the ones that were stuffed with beef and sausage. 

Fried Ravioli 

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé – $19.00

This rosé from Bedrock as well as Villa Creek’s offering, form the nucleus of my warm weather  rosé wines.  I mix in a few others I buy at the local store, but these two make up well over 50% of the rosés we drink during the year.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light pink to salmon color. The fresh and clean nose has strawberries, minerals, white peaches, cherries, and some subtle earthiness. This has light body with crisp acidity and maybe just a touch of residual sugar. Crisp, juicy fruit and minerals dominate the palate with a touch of earthiness in the background. The finish has nice length and leaves a very slightly sweet and crisp final impression. The perfect wine to enjoy on a warm Summer afternoon with or without food.  (90 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rose 

 

 

 

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée – $33.60

If you check out this blog very often or follow me on Twitter, you already know I’m a big fan of Paso Robles based Villa Creek.  Vintage after vintage produce outstanding blends revolving around the grapes from France’s RhoneValley.  The Willow Creek Cuvée as well as their Avenger are two of my favorite VC wines.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah sourced from the Denner and James Berry vineyards.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The big and bold nose has raspberries, blackberries, minerals, licorice, dried herbs, warm baking spices, cherries, wood smoke, and a bit of earthiness.  This full bodied gem has moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy fruit kicks off the show with minerals and some earthiness waiting in the wings.  The finish is long and layered with nice fruit and savory elements taking turns stealing the show.  This is a touch young but still drinking very nicely with some air.  (92 pts)

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee 

  

 

I grilled up some beef and chicken fajitas to pair with the Willow Creek.  The wine was able to stand up to the big, bold flavors from the meat.  The only problem was that the mixed peppers had one pepper that was quite hot that clashed with the wine.  Luckily that particular pepper was fairly small and did not appear in too many bites of the fajitas.

Beef and Chicken Fajitas 

 

 

  

***** 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:

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Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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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