Posts tagged ‘Protocol Wine’

A tasting of Le Marche wines from ZGR Imports

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Pecorino

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Rosso di Forca

2012 Rio Maggio Offida Pecorino Colle Monteverde

2010 Rio Maggio Rosso Piceno Vigneto Contrada Vallone

 

 

 

ZGR Imports logo

 

Culture You Can Feel, Quality You Can Taste

 

 

 

Opening comments

I had the good fortune to be part of a Twitter based #WineStudio, multi-week chat with Jonathan Zeigler of ZGR Imports.  Even though I did not know the company or the specific labels they imported, I’m always game for some quality Italian wines.  These are usually very informative (and tasty) events.  We generally spend the first week simply chatting and learning about the company, winery or region.  The following weeks are generally reserved to a more detailed conversation on the specific wines we are tasting.  I highly encourage everyone to check out the Protocol Wine Studio link a little later in this post.

 

 

ZGR Pic

 

 

About ZGR Imports

ZGR Imports is an importing and distribution company based in Dana Point, California.  We are here to bring the culture of Le Marche [mar-kay], Italy, to the United States.  Marche is a region rich in culture and production.  It’s people craft everything from fine wine and foods to leather goods and beauty products.  Here you will find a slew of beach towns, mountain and hilltop villages, medieval cities, ancient monuments and thousands of family farms and factories all in between.  Our goal is to connect consumers with quality products that reflect the people and the place they are sourced from.

 

The story starts in 2011, when owner Jonathan Zeiger traveled to the Marche for the first time to work at Lavanda Blu, a lavender farm and agriturismo, earning his keep in exchange for farm work.  Not knowing a soul and unable to speak the language, this was quite an adventure for a young graduate to embark on.  “I knew I wanted to work in the wine industry, and something about this place was just calling to me”, recalls Jonathan.

 

It was soon thereafter that, while out restocking wine for the farm, Jonathan was introduced to Giacomo Centanni, the young winemaker of Centanni Vini di Famiglia [chen-tawny].  They chatted for a while, and eventually Giacomo offered Jonathan the opportunity to become the U.S. importer for Centanni.  Thus were the roots of ZGR planted and the company’s journey across the region began.

 

Try our boutique wines that are enjoyed by both local families and traveling excursionists! Connect with the culture of beautiful Marche, this distillation of Italy, through ZGR.  To learn more about the region, sign up for our monthly newsletter!

 

Interested in visiting Marche? Contact us for information about traveling to the region.  Our suppliers have wonderful Bed & Breakfast accommodations that we’d be happy to arrange for you.  Imagine yourself sleeping amongst the vines of Centanni or the lavender fields of Lavanda Blu.  If it fancies you, we can help you find winery and gastronomic tours, truffle hunting, hiking, or just a place for relaxing in the sun, plus a multitude of other activities! Pristine beaches, rolling hills, cascading mountains – Marche has it all! We guarantee you will fall in love, as our founder did on his first journey.  Contact us at info@zgrimports.com for more information.

 

Much more information about ZGR Imports, the region, wineries and the wines is available by clicking here.

More information about the importing side of ZGR Imports is available by clicking here.

 

 

Protocol

 

About WineStudio

#WineStudio PROTOCOL wine studio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and wine tasting, with discussions on producers, grapes, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to us as wine drinkers.

 

Wine Studio events generally last multiple weeks and can border on “information overload” at times.  These events provide a complete picture of all elements involved in the event’s theme.

 

Description

How do you join #winestudio? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winestudio stream. Be sure to include #winestudio at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!

 

You don’t have to have the wines that are being discussed to become much more knowledgeable in the subject matter but having them will make the event a lot tastier.  Check out the Protocol Wine Studio site for information on upcoming events and information on purchasing the packages that will be discussed.

 

Grab a glass and join in!

 

If you are in San Diego, Protocol Wine Studio hosts a lot of events onsite.  Again, check out their site for information.

 

 

 

The line up for the three week long #WineStudio series.

ZGR Wine Line up

ZGR Wine Line up

 

 

 

The first week of Wine Studio did not include imbibing in specific wines.  This week was an introduction into the world of ZGR Wines.

 

 

 

The second week of WineStudio included these two wines from Centanni, a white Pecorino and a red Montepulciano-Sangiovese blend.

Centanni Line up

 

 

 

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Pecorino – SRP $28.99

This wine was 100% Pecorino from Offida.  Offida is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Ascoli Piceno in the Italian region Marche.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume, the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The stunning nose has ripe pears, honey, lemon zest, orange blossoms, stony minerals, anise and a hint of spice.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate the ripe pears and hint of honey are quickly balanced and offset by tart citrusy acidity with minerals and a touch of spice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a touch of anise joining the party.  This is a very nice bottle of wine to enjoy on a warm evening with a light dinner on the deck or patio.  (92 pts)

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Pecorino

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Pecorino

 

 

 

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Rosso di Forca – SRP $17

This wine is a blend of 50% Montepulciano and 50% Sangiovese.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The intoxicating nose has crushed berries, vanilla, chalky minerals, black cherries, dark bittersweet chocolate, baking spices, licorice and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spices and berries pop out first quickly followed by minerals and dark chocolate.  The finish has very nice length with cherries and a touch of earthiness coming into focus.  This is a well balanced wine that is full of flavor but that carries no excess weight or overly ripe notes.  Great job.  (91 pts)

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Rosso de Forca

2012 Azienda Agricola Centanni Giacomo Offida Rosso de Forca

 

 

 

The third week line up included another Pecorino and Montepulciano-Sangiovese blend.

Rio Maggio Line up

 

 

2012 Rio Maggio Offida Pecorino Colle Monteverde – SRP $24

This wine is 100% Pecorino and is from Offida.

 

This wine has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color.  The captivating nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, stony minerals, baking spices, smoke, lemon zest and melon.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate apples, pears and minerals lead off with spice and toasty notes coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a healthy dose of citrus kicking in.  (88 pts)

2012 Rio Maggio Offida Pecorino Colle Monteverde

2012 Rio Maggio Offida Pecorino Colle Monteverde

 

 

 

2010 Rio Maggio Rosso Piceno Vigneto Contrada Vallone – SRP $24

This wine is a blend of 70% Montepuciano and 30% Sangiovese.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter at the edge.  The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, dusty minerals, licorice, vanilla bean, baking spices and violets.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The mineral laden red fruit and spice coat the palate with a bit of spicy oak coming in late.  The finish has decent length with a bit of earthiness joining the spicy oak with a touch of fruit in the background providing some sweetness.   (89 pts)

2010 Rio Maggio Rosso Piceno Vigneto Contrada Vallone

 

 

Conclusion

The first two wines from Centanni are more “new world” styled where as the Rio Maggio are more “old world”.  The Centanni wines were a little riper, more fruit forward.  The Rio Maggio have lower alcohol and show their mineral/savory sides.  Both styles have their own devoted followers.

 

For the record, I was more of a fan of the New world styled Centanni wines.

 

I recommend grabbing a bottle of each and conducting your own “taste test” comparison.

 

 

 

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:

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!

 

 

Cairdean Estate Winery from St Helena

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

 

 

logo_icon

Cairdean – Scottish Gaelic for friends

 

Overview

This #winechat was a little different than all the previous ones.  For this week’s version, I was allowed to select two wines from a list of 6 that I’d like to sample during the chat.  Even though the Unoaked Napa Valley Chardonnay and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon caught my eye and initial interest, I decided to slip “outside the box” for my choices.

 

Even though I have a reputation for not liking Merlot, I do like “good” Merlot.  Most of my negative comments on Merlot deal mainly with the once available for a Tuesday evening dinner at home, in the $12 to $20 range, Merlot wines leave me feeling like Miles from Sideways.  A good Merlot from Napa Valley fruit and a small, up and coming winery sounded perfect.  There, the first wine was selected.

 

The next wine that caught my eye was a Napa Valley Malbec.  I’ve had Napa Valley wines with some Malbec in the blend, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a Napa Valley wine starring the Malbec grape.  There, the hard part was over, I had made my choices.

 

For the record, here were the wines I had to choose from:

2011 Napa Valley Unoaked Chardonnay

2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Napa Valley Merlot

2010 Napa Valley Malbec

2012 Haley Margaret

 

 

Vineyard

 

 

The Winery – Their Story

Cairdean Estate is the vision of husband and wife Edwin and Stacia Williams.

 

While working in the software industry on the East Coast outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Stacia developed a strong appreciation and passion for wine.  She made her first vintage in harvest of 2000, shipping in winegrapes from California through a local beer and wine hobby shop.  She met Edwin, an aerospace engineer, shortly after her first vintage.  Edwin being from Fresno, California was immensely interested in her winemaking project and educated her about the world-renowned Enology and Viticulture program at Fresno State.  After years of planning, Edwin and Stacia moved to Fresno with their two children so that Stacia could go back to school and earn a degree in Enology & Viticulture from Fresno State.

 

During Stacia’s time at Fresno State, she and Edwin planned their future together and knew that they wanted to work together and build a family business managing vineyards and making wine.  They had travelled the world together with their children in search of where they would land, but their hearts always belonged to Napa Valley – the first wine country they ever visited as a couple back in the year 2001.

 

After much searching for their home in Napa Valley, it was their elder son Kyle that led them to the quaint town of St. Helena.  He was entering high school and very much wanted to attend the public high school there.  In their searches for land that would allow a quintessential wine country lifestyle, they settled on a beautiful 50 acre parcel right on highway 29 in Saint Helena just north of downtown.

 

After relocating from Fresno to St. Helena in 2010, Edwin and Stacia embraced their vision and created Cairdean Vineyards.  Cairdean is Scottish Gaelic for friends, which reflects their belief that wine is meant to be shared by those held close to your heart.  The Cairdean symbol is a representation of that belief with the four hearts always present and brought together in the center by friendship.

 

Much more information is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

 

Protocol

 

About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat session deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.

 

Mission

What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.

 

Description

How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!

 

Grab a glass and join in!

 

The #winechat schedule is available on their Facebook page by clicking here.

 

#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.

 

 

 

My line up for this event included these two wines like I mentioned earlier:

Cairdean Line Up

Cairdean Line Up

 

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot – SRP $42.00

This is a blend of 81% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Malbec and .5% Petite Verdot

 

Perfectly placed on a south facing slope in Carneros~Napa Valley from a family-run vineyard, this wine comes from a block that consistently produces stellar wines.  The naturally low pH and higher acid from this site makes for a winemaker’s dream in the cellar, and a wine that is both food-friendly and age-worthy.  After blending with some lower acid wines to balance the palate, this wine was bottled without filtration.

 

The wine was aged in 40% new French oak barrels.  There were 492 cases of this wine produced.  This has 14.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy and inviting nose has cherries, crushed stone minerals, crushed berries, dark bittersweet chocolate, licorice, mint and blueberry.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, berries and minerals coat the palate, eventually allowing dark chocolate and mint to slip into the picture.  The finish is very long and nicely layered with fruit and savory notes taking turns grabbing the spotlight.  This has outstanding balance and will be even better down the road.  This one can easily rest in the cellar for a decade, maybe more.  This is easily one of the better Merlots that I have had in several years.  (94 pts)

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

 

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec – SRP $40.00

This wine is a blend of 87% Malbec and 13% Petite Sirah.

 

This Malbec comes from the Browns Valley area of the Napa Valley from a very small family-owned vineyard.  Only 6 barrels were produced from this site.  This wonderfully fruity varietal is so often overlooked as a single bottling, so it is always a pleasure when one is good enough to make the cut.  A light amount of new oak helps hang on to that fruit and really lets the fruit take center stage.  By blending in a little Petite Sirah we were able to bring more structure to the wine and balance the fruit with present, but not overpowering tannins.

 

The wine was aged in 20% new French oak barrels.  Production was only 173 cases.  The final alcohol is 14.2% by volume, the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has raspberries, blackberries, dusty minerals, mint, scorched earth, licorice and dried violets.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the red fruits and mint jump out initially with minerals and some darker fruit coming in on the backend.  The finish has good length and isn’t quite as intense as the palate with the flavors leaning a bit more on the savory elements with the fruit providing nice back ground sweetness.  Probably not one to stash in the cellar for the long term, but this will provide a lot of enjoyment over the next 4 to 6 years.  (90 pts)

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

 

 

 

Closing comments

Even though I only tried the two wines listed above, all of the wines were sampled by other participants.  For other’s descriptions it sounded like every wine in the lineup was outstanding.  I can state for a fact that I was very impressed by this young winery.  The Cairdean Merlot I tasted was truly a world-class wine.  I highly recommend checking out this winery.  If they keep up the quality, they will become a shining star of the Napa Valley.

 

 

 

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:

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!

 

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