Posts tagged ‘Palmaz’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Dec 16, 2013 to Dec 19, 2013

 

 

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co.

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282 – $24.00

As is usually the case with Cameron Hughes wines, they don’t disclose the source of the wines they sell.

 

That said, when this wine was offered for sell, their information included the following:

Lot 282 2009 Rutherford Cabernet is perfectly suited for the task with impeccable provenance from one of Napa Valley’s flagship Cabernet producers.  Sourced from the well-drained alluvial soils of the west side of Rutherford appellation, this wine explodes with rich and ripe, yet elegant, fruit.  Classically proportioned one would say.  The source winery approached us last fall and we contracted quite a few different 2009 Cabernet’s that they then barreled down for us until we removed them last summer for bottling.  The best of them is this 2009 Rutherford Cabernet (their $80 Rutherford appellation Cabernet being their consistently best rated wine with the 2008 scoring 93+ from Parker).  Lot 282 is the exact same wine they bottled for the 2009 vintage under their own label.  How do I know this?  Not only because they told us as much but because they sold us the entire production at first and then asked very nicely last spring with the economy looking better if they couldn’t have some back.

 

This was enough information to do some digging.  The fact that the 2008 vintage of this $80, Rutherford Cab was given a score of 93+ by the Wine Advocate was enough to determine this wine is actually the 2009 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford.  It was the only wine that met those very specific criteria.  Since this was a wine I had and very much enjoyed in the past, this was an absolute no-brainer.  Don’t bother looking for this deal now, I bought a case back in 2011 and this wine is long gone from the Cameron Hughes store.

 

I will note, this is my first bottle from that purchase but I did sell a few bottles to friends at cost.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The inviting nose has cassis, dusty minerals, baking spices, toasty oak, tobacco, licorice and violets.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead the charge with minerals and toasty oak coming in on the back end.   The finish has very nice length with a nice mix of fruit and the savory elements.  This is drinking very nicely today but will hold and maybe improve for a few years in the cellar.  This was an absolute steal at $24.  (92 pts)

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 282

 

 

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante – $23.81

This wine is a blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc and 33% Alicante.

 

This was a Garagiste offering back in November 2008.  The wine sounded good, as is usually the case when Jon Rimmerman preaches about a wine’s virtues.  The wine arrived and was placed in the cellar for a bit of bottle aging.  Here it is, 5 years later and I haven’t opened a bottle.  Tonight’s the night to see how I did with this blind leap of faith.

 

This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The Winery

The Azienda Agricolo Forestale RIGOLOCCIO is located in the Gavorrano district in the heart of the Maremma of Grosseto, an area rich in history and tradition.  Due to the mild climate and the rich soil, the Etruscans chose to settle here giving rise to famous settlements such as Vetulonia, Populonia as well as those at LakeAccesa and Poggio Castiglione, visible from Rigoloccio.

 

This area is in the Metallifere Hills, so called because of the wealth of minerals in the subsoil.  Mining became the main employment of the local inhabitants, able to cope with the dangerous and arduous labor thereby developing a civilization which drew its wealth from metalworking and was vital to the development of a district rich in art.  In addition to the mines, the area is characterized by beautiful countryside with its carefully tended gardens, framed by rows of vines and olive groves that bring to mind the unforgettable landscapes of the Impressionists.

 

Olive trees and vines have always been a vital resource for the survival of the inhabitants of the Maremma.  Vines were grown here before anywhere else in Italy!  It was the Etruscans who first imported the vitis vinifera from the ancient Greek islands, thereby beginning the production of wine which has been uninterrupted to this day.

 

In recent years interest in “good wine” has been increasing, consequently the techniques of cultivation and wine making have moved on.  Well known wine specialists and bold new entrepreneurs in this field are developing important new vineyards.  All this is helping to make the Maremma the new Eldorado of good, new wines.  So it is with the Azienda Agricolo Forestale RIGOLOCCIO, a vineyard of 23 hectares in the foothills of the Maremma.  It overlooks the Gulf of Follonica and the island of Elba from where the soft sea breezes emanate.  Rigoloccio (named after one of the mines) is sheltered from the northern winds and gently touched by the sun from dawn to dusk.  This is a paradise, like many others in Maremma, with a soil rich in minerals and microelements that make the land unique and ideal for the cultivation of vines and the production of good wine.  The whole is crowned by olive groves and an oak wood.

 

In 2002 the dream of a new vineyard at Rigoloccio started to take shape under the guidance of the renowned wine maker Fabrizio Moltard.  The choice of vines was bold: Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Alicante produce the red wines and Chardonnay and Fiano combine giving birth to a new and intriguing white wine.  The aim was the production of good wines of the order of the Supertuscans and this has been achieved through inspiration and international experience.

 

Much more information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet to purple color.  The stunning nose has cassis, minerals, dried herbs, licorice, charcoal, leather, plums, dried wild flowers and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart fruit and minerals dominate the front end with dried herbs, charcoal and cedar coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a subtle herbal note creeping into the picture as the tannins turn just a touch chalky.  A very nice wine with food but, as with most Italian wines, not one to sip on its own.  This will drink very nicely over the next couple of years.  (90 pts)

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

2005 Azienda Agricola Forestale Rigoloccio Il Sorvegliante

 

 

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co. – $18.21

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.

 

The wine has 13.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle has a natural cork.

 

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 Co.

2004 Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co.

 

 

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

I bought 6 bottles of this wine from a local wine store e-mail offer based on a solid recommendation from a fellow wine lover.  This “Super Tuscan” is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah.

 

This is listed at 13% alcohol and has a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

The wine cellar of Borgo Scopeto renewed and enlarged over the last few years, is equipped with the most modern technology for vinification.

 

The cellar is composed of 50 stainless steel tanks with capacities that range from 11 to 260 hectolitres, for a total of 7000 hectolitres.

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

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

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

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:

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!

 

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