Posts tagged ‘Mineral Springs Ranch’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Dec 20, 2013 to Dec 22, 2013

 

 

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

2011 Shatter Grenache

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts – $33.60

A friend of mine belongs to the Herman Story mailing list and I’m thankful he shares his allocation with me.  I love these wine made by Russell P. From.

 

This wine is 100% Syrah and comes from Les Galets, Shadow Canyon, Luna Matta, Terra Bella, White Hawk and Larner Vineyards.

 

This has 16.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is closed with a natural cork and a wax seal.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark, inky purple color.  The nose is stunning and full of blackberries, black currant, smoke, meat juices, warm baking spices, blueberries, earthy underbrush and cedar.  This full bodied wine has moderate to solid ripe tannins and good acidity.  This is thick and luscious on the palate with a mouthful of berries and spice grudgingly allowing some spicy oak, earthiness and dark chocolate to enter the picture.  The finish has very nice length with the spicy oak and berries carrying the load.  Not a lot of subtlety but the 16.1% alcohol is kept under wraps.  (93 pts)

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

2010 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts

 

 

2011 Shatter Grenache – $19.99

This wine is from Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars from Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes in the Roussillon of France.  I grabbed a bottle when I saw it on the shelf at the local Costco for a very reasonably price.  Even though it could probably use some time in the cellar, I wanted to give it a try to see if I should grab a few more bottles.

 

This has a very high alcohol level of 15.9%, so I don’t know what to expect.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine was a bright red to ruby color.  The intriguing nose had cherries, dark chocolate, raspberries, baking spices, and some earthiness.  This has a full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate there is a mouthful of red fruit and spice up front with dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish had very good length with some earthiness entering the picture.  This would be a hard wine to guess in a blind tasting.  I really don’t think anyone would nail this one as a French Grenache.  This is drinking nicely now with some air but should be even better with some cellar time.  (91 pts)

2011 Shatter Grenache

2011 Shatter Grenache

 

 

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch – $37.00

This bottle was from my friend’s cellar.  I had two bottle of this, but they were consumed a couple years ago.  I’m interested to see how this one aged.  This was unfortunately the last vintage for this wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache)

 

The Vineyard

Our third Pietro’s Ranch and sadly, the last.  In April 2007, this Grande Dame of the Russian River Valley, this vineyard planted in 1905 by brothers Italo and Pietro Barbieri, immigrants from Agnino, Tuscany, was torn up in preparation for replanting to more “fashionable” varieties.  Producing what is potentially our finest zinfandel to date, the loss of this vineyard will forever break my heart.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The compelling nose has brambly berries, black cherries, licorice, warm baking spices, black peppercorns and vanilla.  This had medium to full body, integrated tannins and good acidity.  This was rich and lush on the palate.  The cellar time has helped the wine to shed some “baby fat” and some of its youthful intensity.  This is now a much more laid back and nuanced wine.  On the palate the black cherries and spice slowly allowed berries, black pepper and licorice to make brief appearances.  The long finish featured nice fruit and spice.  I wouldn’t hold onto this one for too much longer, open it and enjoy.  (91 pts)

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro's Ranch

2006 Carlisle Zinfandel Pietro’s Ranch

 

 

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero – $29.99

This one is also from my friend’s cellar.  We both bought this wine from the local wine store.  I have enjoyed a few bottles over the last couple of years and it has been consistently impressive.  I bought 7 bottles and unfortunately, I am down to only one bottle remaining.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is ruby red color.  The spellbinding nose has cherries, minerals, raspberries, eucalyptus, smoke, earthy underbrush and dark chocolate.  This had medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, spice and minerals steal the show up front with some earthiness and the eucalyptus note coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the red fruit, minerals and the eucalyptus note slowly fading away.  (93 pts)

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

2004 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero

 

 

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates – $17.09

This wine is a blend of 80% Shiraz, 10% Mataro (Mourvedre) and 10% Grenache from Australia’s Barossa Valley.

 

I highly recommend checking out the winery’s website and their descriptions of the wines by clicking here.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The big and in your face nose has blackberries, smoke, dark chocolate, cherries, vanilla, earthy underbrush, plums, dried herbs, and a faint eucalyptus note.  This is fairly full bodied with moderate to solid ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a load of juicy, spice, peppery berries with some plums, dark chocolate, and dried herbs in the background.  The finish has nice length and again highlights the spicy fruit, dried herbs, and dark chocolate.  This is fairly straight forward but nice, especially as a “cocktail wine”.  (88 pts)

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

2008 Fetish Wines Playmates

 

 

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch – $45.00

This is another wine I was able to purchase through a friend’s generosity in sharing his mailing list allocation.  In this case, I was able to get three bottles of this wine as well as the winery’s lower end North Valley Pinot Noir.  My North Valley Pinots are unfortunately all gone now and it’s time to dig into the Estate Pinot.

 

This has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Tony Soter

Tony Soter founded Etude Wines in 1982 and its name, “study,” describes his reverence for the ongoing learning process that is winegrowing.  Early in his career, Soter realized that there were innumerable variables that guided a wine towards excellence.  He learned to distinguish between winemaking techniques fundamental to quality, and those that imparted a winemaker’s signature.  He sought to understand the voice of each individual vineyard, to maximize its expression in the glass.

 

In the mid-1980s, Soter began working as a consulting winemaker in the Napa Valley, assisting luminaries such as Araujo, Niebaum-Coppola, Shafer, Spottswoode, Viader and Dalle Valle.  After years of mentoring and encouraging some of NapaValley’s most respected growers and winemakers, he ended his consulting roles to focus exclusively on Soter Vineyards and his family.

 

Apart from being a culmination, Soter Vineyards is also a beginning.  Soter Vineyards is a family enterprise; with the eventual help of their children, Oregon natives Tony and Michelle Soter hope to establish a legacy of august, estate-bottled wines, in the fashion of the great family domaines of Burgundy.  The wines will consistently express this exotic flare, be sappy and fruit-driven, with lovely acid balance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The elegant nose has cherries, Asian spices, minerals, cola, dried flowers, smoke and a touch of white pepper.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  This is intense on the palate with bright, focused cherries and spice up front, slowly giving way to minerals, cola and white pepper.  The finish has nice length but seems to lose just a touch of its zip and focus.  This is very nice now but will be better in another year of two.  (93 pts)

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

2009 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

 

 

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.

 

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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:

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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!

 

Nov 30, 2012 to Dec 2, 2012

 

 

2008 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch – $48.00

 

My comments

I’ve been eyeing this wine for quite a while but have been able to successfully resist the temptation…until tonight.  I love the Pinot Noirs coming out of Soter, even their lower end NorthValley.  Generally their Minerals Springs Ranch wines are a definite step up.  Tonight I’ll see how they did with the 2008 vintage.

 

Winery history (from the winery)

Mineral Springs Ranch is a 240-acre savanna-like oak woodland and grazing land.  It is the home of our Estate vineyard, planted to 15 acres of Pinot Noir in 2002 and 2003 as well as an additional 15 acres in 2006.  Two acres of Chardonnay were included in the 2006 plantings and are devoted entirely to our sparkling wine production.  Located just east of the town of Carlton, the ranch is perched on a mesa with gentle slopes and commanding views of the surrounding Yamhill-Carlton District.  Our production facilities and hospitality buildings are here as well, allowing us complete control of all operations.

 

As a vineyard site, Mineral Springs has an extremely compelling confluence of prime exposure, and uniform, well-drained, pale sedimentary soils.  The primary slope faces due south.  It is here that the vines absorb the sun from an ideal aspect, from morning through twilight.  Unlike many vineyards with small depressions and moist swales, this is a gentle, highly uniform slope.  Mineral Springs Vineyard is planted between 380 and 440 feet in elevation.  Exposure ranges from southeast to west, with most acreage facing south and southwest.  Our soils are crumbly, loamy, pale marine Keasey series sediments (such as sandstone and fractured siltstone) mixed with clay.  The topsoil layer is rather shallow in many places, and drainage is excellent.

 

The clonal selections Tony has made for this vineyard are dwarfed by the inherent suitability of this land for viticulture.  It is a very special vineyard site; not only does its prime exposure and drainage enable our grapes to ripen reliably in advance of the fall rains, these very old marine sediments imbue the wines with a subtle exoticism and spiciness that announces itself before the new wine comes near a barrel.  The 2005 vintage represented the inaugural release from this vineyard and featured notes of blackberry, black cherries, white pepper, floral notes that recall freesias and roses, and a distinctively exotic personality.  Subsequent bottlings have consistently expressed this exotic flare with a solid core of pure, supple fruit and lovely acid balance.

 

More information available at http://www.sotervineyards.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bit lighter than a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose features mineral laden cherries, raspberries, and plums, with some dried herbs, smoke, baking spices, and earthy underbrush.  This is barely medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the sweet, juicy fruit is counter balanced with a nice savory streak of dried herbs, spices, and earthy elements.  The finish is fairly long with a nice mix of the fruit and savory notes.  This is still a bit on the young side, but drinking very nicely.  (93 pts)

2008 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch

 

 

 

2006 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia – $28.49

 

My comments

This is a long time favorite from Italy.  This wine generally takes your usual Chianti Classico Riserva and kicks it up a few notches.  These “extra notches” do come at a price, the release price of this wine was around $50, which is very high for a wine in this category.  Is it worth the extra cost?  Well that one is up to the purchaser, I bought all of mine when they were marked down to where it blew away everything else at the price point.

 

Winery history

It was 1966 when Dominic Poggiali Fèlsina took the courageous leap and bought the estate at a time when Italian viticulture was struggling.  He chose to invest in the quality of the wine and the expertise of a young team.

 

Their passion for wine united with the skills of businessmen, and under their guidance, they injected modernity into their business plan, without however, abandoning the spirit of tradition.  In the space of a few years, the vineyards grew to more than forty hectares, and the soul and organization of the company changed, as well.

 

My Tasting Note

Opened for an hour and then decanted for an hour.  The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The tempting nose has cherries, minerals, earthy underbrush, baking spices, licorice, road tar, dried herbs, fresh ground espresso, and violets.  This has a medium body with solid, ripe tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate, tart cherries are quickly joined by nice savory notes of dried herbs and earthy elements.  The finish has nice length but is clipped a bit when the tannins and acidity kick in.  Give this one another year in the cellar.  Outstanding now, better down the road.  (93 pts)

2006 Fattoria di Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

 

 

 

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau – $12.34

 

My comments

This is consistently a very nice, affordably priced blend from the Montsant region of Spain.  This is a blend of  40% Mazuelo(Carignan), 40% Syrah, and 20% Garnacha.

 

Winery history

Cellers Can Blau was founded in 2003.  The winery produces about 300 barrels of wine a year from their 34 hectares of vineyards.  70% of the wine they produce is exported.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very tempting nose features plums, cherries, wood smoke, baking spices, wild flowers, and some dried herbs and cedar.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and dried herbs grab the initial spotlight with some spicy oak and baking spices adding nice depth in the background.  The finish has nice length and highlights the savory elements with the fruit in the background.  A very nice, value priced “baby Priorat”.  (91 pts)

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

 

 

 

2006 Turley Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard – $34.99

 

My comments

Turley Winery, in my opinion, was one of the first, “cult wineries” in California.  Their wines were impossible to get, unless you were one of the lucky few on their mailing list.  Some of the luster has faded a bit due to competition from the likes of Carlisle and Bedrock, but the name Turley still commands attention from a LOT of people.

 

Dogtown, generally isn’t one of my favorite Turley sources.  In the past some of the wines were too big and ripe and at times showed raisin notes and lacked enough depth to successfully conceal their high alcohol levels.  That said, when my local wine store source was able to get this wine in, with a couple years of age at a good price, I had to grab a couple bottles.

 

Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.

 

Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.

 

As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.

 

In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.

 

By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars is annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very comforting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, earthy elements, tobacco, dried herbs, cherries, spice box, and a bit of alcohol.  This is medium to full bodied with integrated, velvety tannins and good acidity.  The palate is highlighted by the spicy, peppery berries but some nice earthiness and dried herbs add some depth.  The finish has nice length but shows some alcohol and a touch of raisin.  Overall, a very nice zinfandel in a good drinking window.  (90 pts)

2006 Turley Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard

 

 

Mailing Lists

Bedrock

I placed my order for Bedrock today.  This is always a hard decision since all the wines are outstanding but there is no way I can afford to go “all in”.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

Nothing new to report in this area, but next week could be busy if I get expected deliveries from Loring, Turley, and Saxum.

 

 

 

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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