Posts tagged ‘Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard’

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 2017 Vol 4

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview”

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard – $9.91

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is 100% Pinot Noir from the Mission Ranch Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco Valley.  The wine was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a bright garnet red color.  The outgoing nose has black cherries, scorched earth, plums, minerals, white pepper, and vanilla bean.  This has a medium body with soft tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly grab your attention on the front end with scorched earth and spices coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with plums and vanilla bean providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but for $10 this is a great week night Pinot Noir.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (89 pts)

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz “Bremerview” – $15

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, freshly ground espresso beans, baking spices, white pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate and crushed stones.  This has a full body with moderate very ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate the front end is full of crushed blackberries and blueberries, later espresso beans and spices break through the wall of fruit.  The finish is long and rich with pepper, chocolate and minerals providing great depth.  This is pretty much a fruit bomb but with enough savory notes to keep it from getting boring.  This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (88 pts)

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

2013 Bleasdale Shiraz Bremerview

 

 

 

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne – $17.99

This sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color with a very persistent stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exuberant nose has apples, freshly baked yeasty bread, minerals, lemon zest, orange blossoms and a spritz of lime.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and very nice effervescence.   On the palate apples, minerals and yeasty bread grab control on the front end with orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with lemon zest and a touch of lime providing great depth that leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  This offers great QPR!  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

Domaine Roger Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne

 

 

 

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $24.69

There were 700 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir produced.  This is a blend of the 777 and Wädenswil clones.

 

The wine is an intense ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, black cherries, Asian spice, candied violets, stony minerals and dried wildflowers with just a hint of smoke and forest floor.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this kicks it up a notch with intense dark fruit and spice up front with minerals and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is very long with some earthiness and a touch of dark chocolate adding even more depth and complexity.  This is in a prime drinking window and should drink very nicely through at least the end of the decade, probably longer.  The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat – $39.39

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  In this case, a quick search on Wine Searcher showed most stores are charging around $60 for this wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc from the Saint Emilion region in Bordeaux.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sophisticated and inviting nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, plums, roasted leafy herbs, dry underbrush, charred wood and violets. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, minerals and dried leafy herbs jump out quickly on the front end with charred wood and underbrush coming in later.  The finish has great length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is rich and silky and a pleasure to have with a nice meal.  This is drinking nicely now and will last for another decade or more.  Great job!  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

2008 Vieux Château Mazerat

 

 

 

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard – $18.00

Just about every year Anthill Farms produces a “one-off” wine.  This is a wine that usually doesn’t become part of their wines produced every year.  I say usually because several years ago their one-off wine was a Syrah from Windsor Oaks Vineyard that was so popular it was added to their annual offerings.  This is a one-off wine from a couple years ago from the volcanic soils of the Sonoma Valley.

 

The wine is a very light ruby red color, just a touch darker than some Rosé wines.  The inviting nose has cherries, baking spice, crushed stones, white pepper, wild flowers and a touch of dried herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy, tart cherries, minerals and white pepper quickly take hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs to slip through.  The finish has nice length with cherries, white pepper and minerals seeming to linger forever.  This is very young so patience will be rewarded.  This has outstanding balance and is very food friendly.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

2013 Anthill Farms Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

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.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

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 2017 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 always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  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 – September 2016 – Vol 1

 

2002 Weingut Eduard Hauth Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Lot 282

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2008 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard

2008 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

2009 Jaffe Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Metamorphosis

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel

2014 Caleo Nero d’Avola

2010 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley

 

 

 

2002 Weingut Eduard Hauth Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett – $14.75

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, we both get a credit to our accounts after your first purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This has 8.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  My cork was a nasty, disgusting black on the exposed end but the important part was perfect.  Remember to clean the bottle well when opening these older bottles.

 

The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, orange blossoms, lemon zest, petrol, honey, minerals, white pepper and juicy peaches.  This has medium body with tart acidity and nice sweetness.  Apples, peaches, stony minerals and honey take control of the palate on the front end with orange blossoms and lemon zest coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a hint of white pepper coming into the picture.  This is drinking very nicely right now but there is no hurry.  (91 pts)

2002 Weingut Eduard Hauth Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

2002 Weingut Eduard Hauth Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

 

 

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Lot 282 – $24.00

This wine was purchased in bulk from the winery when the economy was at a very low point.  As the economy started to rebound, the winery actually bought some back.

 

Here is part of the e-mail pitch from Cameron Hughes:

 

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.

 

As a side note, based on a few clues, this appears to be the wine also labeled and sold as the 2009 Pine Ridge Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.  As soon as I figured this out, I was in for a case at only $24 a bottle.

 

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

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cedar, licorice, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, cherries, tobacco and wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, baking spices, dusty minerals and cedar immediately take control with cherries coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with tobacco and a nice floral note adding depth.  This has very nice balance and will last in the cellar for several more years.  This was a steal for the price.  (93 pts)

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Lot 282

2009 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Lot 282

 

 

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard – $14.85

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, we both get a credit to our accounts after your first purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a bright red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, dried violets and dry underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries and white pepper come through on the front end with dried flowers and minerals coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cherries and dry underbrush carrying the load.  Not a wine to stash away for extended aging, open this one and enjoy an easy drinking glass of wine.  (89 pts)

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

 

 

2008 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard – $28.00

I haven’t had one of these for a couple of years so it’s time to check in again.  I felt it needed another year or two back then, let’s see how my guess held up.

 

This wine has 13.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, raspberries, smoke, crushed stones, black pepper, smoked meat, licorice, roasted herbs, scorched earth and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, crushed stones and black pepper grab your attention immediately with smoked meat and licorice coming in later.  The finish has great length with smoked meat and roasted herbs adding great depth.  This has outstanding balance and still has several years of life ahead of it.  (91 pts)

2008 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard

2008 Anthill Farms Syrah Peters Vineyard

 

 

2008 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch – $35.00

This has 16.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sexy nose is full of black cherries, crushed stones, white pepper, licorice, brambly berries, warm baking spices, underbrush, dried wild flowers and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, baking spices, crushed stones and dark chocolate immediately tack control with white pepper and brambly berries coming in later.  The finish has great length with subtle underbrush and dried flowers entering the picture.  For a wine with over 16% alcohol the acidity keeps it lively on your palate.  This will easily last in your cellar through the end of the decade, perhaps longer.  A great job!  (94 pts)

2008 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

2008 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

 

 

2009 Jaffe Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Metamorphosis – $32.85

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has cassis, cedar, dusty minerals, baking spices, licorice,  plums, cocoa powder and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Cassis, cocoa powder, dusty minerals and cedar coat the palate on the front end with plums and licorice coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a dried floral note and plums joining the cassis, cedar and minerals.  This has very nice balance and is very easy to enjoy.  This will drink well through at least the end of the decade.  (93 pts)

2009 Jaffe Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Metamorphosis

2009 Jaffe Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Metamorphosis

 

 

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel – $14.00

The winery was named for the owner’s two grandmother’s, Bella and Grace.  This wine has 14.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, plums, stony minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, white pepper, cherries and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals coat the palate on the front end with white pepper and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note and a touch of dark chocolate adding nice depth.  This is on the young side but very tasty and easy to enjoy.  This is a winery that deserves some attention.  (90 pts)

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel

2013 Bella Grace Zinfandel

 

 

2014 Caleo Nero d’Avola – $8.99

This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial plastic stopper.

 

The wine is a violet red color.  The slightly subdued nose has cherries, stony minerals, raspberries, dark roasted coffee beans, roasted herbs and wild flowers.  This is barely medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries and minerals jump out first with raspberries and dark roasted coffee coming in later.  The finish is a bit short with roasted herbs coming in.  Not a great example of a Nero d”Avola.  This could use a bit more oomph and depth.  (85 pts)

2014 Caleo Nero d'Avola

2014 Caleo Nero d’Avola

 

 

2010 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard – $20.00

This has 11.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a garnet red color.  The slightly shy nose has cherries, black raspberries, baking spices, crushed stones, dried wild flowers, licorice, smoked meat and roasted herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and crisp acidity.  On the palate red and black fruit, baking spices and crushed stone take control on the front end with smoked meat and licorice coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dried flowers adding depth.  This is a nice, low alcohol Syrah that could a bit more stuffing, as is, this is a food friendly wine that will accompany a meal without wowing anyone or over shadowing the food.  (88 pts)

2010 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

2010 Sandler Wine Company Syrah Connell Vineyard

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $18.16

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One Napa Valley – $60

I’ve been a fan and customer of the winery for a few years and love opening bottles of their wines for friends to sample.  These are extremely high quality wines sourced from some of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley.  The fact the wines are also sold at very consumer friendly prices is a great bonus.  This is one of the winery’s higher end offerings.

 

This 100% Cabernet is a blend of grapes from a few vineyards in the Napa Valley.  Even though the vineyard names cannot be used for contractual reasons, they can disclose some geographical information.  The major component of this wine is from a Howell Mountain vineyard.  This is combined with grapes from a vineyard in Rutherford and one in Coombsville.

 

The wine was aged 24 months in French oak, 50% new and 50% one year old.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red to maroon color.  The enticing nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, tobacco, mint, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, licorice and dried flowers.  This has medium body to full body with  moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the cassis, mint and dusty minerals quickly take control, with baking spices, dried herbs and licorice coming in later.  On the back end some spicy oak shines through in the background.  The finish has very good length with a nice mix of fruit and savory elements.  This seems to have settled into a nice drinking window and it should hold for several years.  (93 pts)

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four - Forty One Napa Valley

2008 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four – Forty One 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 2016 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 always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  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 – Apr 20, 2015 to Apr 26, 2015

 

2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2011 Waters Interlude

2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown

2005 L’Aventure Optimus

 

 

2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend – $28.49

The local store brought in a couple cases of this wine and put it on the shelf at a blow out price.  I was happy to relieve them of several bottles.  I know this is on the extremely young side, but I wanted to open one to set a baseline on the wine.

 

This is a blend of 100% Syrah, from the Greywacke Vineyard (Russian River Valley) and the Ray Teldeschi Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley), that spent 17 months in 40% new French oak.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The deep and dark nose is full of smoke, blackberries, charcoal, minerals, melted licorice, black peppercorns, black olives, tobacco, and roasted herbs.  This has full body, solid tannins, and nice acidity.  On the palate a boat load of peppery berries, smoke and minerals grab hold and slowly relents enough for some roasted herbs to slip through.  The finish has very nice length with charcoal and minerals kicking it up a couple notches.  This wine will reward another year or two in the cellar.  The wine has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen's Big Boy Blend

2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend

 

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $18.16

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Waters Interlude – $16.98

The grapes for this wine come from Stone Tree, Seven Hills, Cold Creek and Old Stones vineyards.  The wine was aged in 20% new French oak and 80% neutral French oak.  There were 1,550 cases of wine produced.  I should note, I bought the wine at a great price from Garagiste Wine, the suggested price for the wine is $28.

 

This is a blend of 61% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot from Washington.  The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very expressive nose has cherries, cassis, stony minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, freshly ground espresso beans, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder and dried earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries and berries hit first with minerals and espresso beans quickly joining in.  The finish has nice length with dried herbs, cocoa powder, dried earth and a hint of eucalyptus entering the picture.  This may be on the young side but it tastes delicious.  I wouldn’t want to stash this in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next couple of years.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2011 Waters Interlude

2011 Waters Interlude

 

 

 

2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown – $27.00

This winery was a long time favorite.  We met the owner, Richard Graeser, when he came to the condo we were staying at to conduct a tasting.  We visited the winery the next day and stopped every time we made it to wine country.  Unfortunately a few years ago they ran into some financial difficulties and he lost the winery.  That also caused me a big problem since I had bought and paid for a case of their 2007 Cabernet Franc but it had not been shipped.  It took me a few years to finally convince the proper people the wine was mine and not part of the estate that was sold.  Thankfully that last vintage is resting in my cellar.

 

This wine has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby red color.  The classic nose has cassis, dried herbs, violets, minerals, tobacco, licorice, a touch of cedar and a faint jalapeno pepper note.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the wine has berries with a real nice overlay of dried herbs up front with a touch of spicy oak coming in on the backend.  This has a fairly long finish with the berries, dried herbs and some minerality.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold nicely for a couple more years.  (93 pts)

2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown

2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown

 

 

 

2005 L’Aventure Optimus – $46.00

This is a blend of 51% Syrah, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot.  The wine has 15.32% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  I bought this bottle through WineBid and it was apparently originally sold in France since it has a French importer label on the back.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has cassis, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee, crushed stones, blackberries, cedar, roasted herbs and dried wild flowers.  This mad a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This is rich and plush on the palate with coffee and chocolate laced cassis and blackberries up front.  On the back end crushed stones and roasted herbs come in.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note entering the picture.  A touch of alcohol pokes through at time on the finish but not enough to detract from the overall wine.  This tastes great now and should hold for another couple of years.  (94 pts)

2005 L'Aventure Optimus

2005 L’Aventure Optimus

 

 

 

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 2015 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 always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  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!

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Purple Hands logo

 

Overview

A little over a year ago the local wine store brought in the 2010 vintage of this wine and offered it as an e-mail special.  I grabbed a six pack even though I had never had the wine.  After opening and enjoying a bottle, I had to grab six more bottles.  When the store offered the newest vintage a couple weeks ago, grabbing a six pack was a no-brainer.

 

 

The Winery

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well-known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

It was all but inevitable that we’d make our living from the earth.  Cody Wright, our founder and winemaker, was raised by esteemed pioneers of the Oregon wine industry.  He spent childhood days wandering between vineyard rows and moving fermenters with forklifts.  And his wife, Marque Wright, who assists in managing winery business, grew up in southern Oregon amidst timber operations and cattle farms.  Together, they are the soul of Purple Hands.

 

Cody’s official foray into winemaking took off after he completed a degree in environmental science at the University of Oregon.  He worked in various vineyard management and winemaking roles at Argyle, Ken Wright Cellars, and ROCO.  Abroad, he further honed his craft at Knappstein Winery in Claire Valley, South Australia and Ata Rangi in Martinborough, New Zealand.  In 2005, Cody established Purple Hands as a small boutique winery.  And in ten years’ time—with no small help from Marque—the winery transformed into a cult favorite that produces several thousand cases a year of critically acclaimed wine.

Our winery’s name speaks to a juxtaposition we love: the earthen processes and exquisite products of winemaking.  The toils and stains of working vineyards and crushing grapes lead to the shining bottle on your living room table.  We hope you’ll share our wines with friends and family—and be uplifted by the power of place!

 

 

The Vineyard

Stoller Vineyard is situated on the southern flank of the Dundee Hills, with an optimal winegrowing aspect.  The vines are planted on a narrow elevation band—from 300 to 650 feet—on ancient Jory soils, the fertile and well-drained red soils that define the Dundee Hills.  The vineyard is surrounded by protective mountain ranges that provide a slightly warmer microclimate, which ensures consistent ripening from vintage to vintage.

 

Bill and Cathy Stoller, owners of Stoller Vineyard, bought the former turkey farmland from a cousin in 1993.  In 1995, they planted their first acres in the rocky soil: 10 acres each of pinot noir and chardonnay.  Today, the vineyard is the largest vineyard site in the Dundee Hills—with nearly 200 acres planted to many different varietals and clones.

 

 

Purple Hands Vineyard

 

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $24.69

There were 700 cases of this 100% Pinot Noir produced.  This is a blend of the 777 and Wädenswil clones.

 

The wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is an intense ruby color.  The spellbinding nose has blackberries, black cherries, Asian spice, candied violets, stony minerals and dried wildflowers with just a hint of smoke and forest floor.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate this kicks it up a notch with intense dark fruit and spice up front with minerals and dried flowers coming in later.  The finish is very long with some earthiness and a touch of dark chocolate adding even more depth and complexity.  This is very young but already is a showstopper.  This will improve with some additional time in the cellar.  Load up if you can find this at a good price and savor it over the next decade and a half.  (93 pts)

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2012 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

Closing thoughts

If you have not tried a Pinot Noir from Oregon, I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles to try.  Purple Hands is a great winery to start your journey but if you can’t find one of their wines, ask for suggestions or just grab a bottle or two.  Oregon Pinot Noirs generally are less expensive than their California counterparts.  Grab a bottle and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Aug 18, 2014 to Aug 24, 2014

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2007 Core Ground Around

N.V. Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $19.94

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $18.00

This vintage uses Zinfandel grapes from Russian River Valley 44%, Sonoma Valley 24% Dry Creek Valley 17%.  15% Petite Sirah was blended in for structure and complexity.  There were 390 cases produced.

 

This has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The deep and dark nose has brambly berries, black pepper, melted licorice, dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, earthy underbrush, dried flowers and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with solid tannins and good acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries coat the palate with dried herbs and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with more black pepper and berries seeming to linger forever.  This does show a touch of alcohol on the nose and on the finish but it is barely noticeable and does not detract from the overall experience.  (90 pts)

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County

 

 

 

2007 Villa Creek Avenger – $35.00

As anyone who has followed me on Twitter or read this blog for very long knows, Villa Creek is one on my top 5 favorite wineries.  Of all the wines offered by the winery, vintage after vintage, The Avenger is my favorite wine they produce.  This is a blend of 75% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The absolutely stunning nose has blackberries, cherries, minerals, eucalyptus, violets, Asian spices, licorice, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins, and good acidity.  This delivers a mouthful of juicy berries and spice up front with minerals, eucalyptus, and some earthiness kicking in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with nice lingering sweet fruit, spice, and minerals.  (92 pts)

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

2007 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

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

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, minerals, licorice and a touch of smoke.  This has medium to full body, moderate, 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 at least a few more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

2009 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Core Ground Around – $20.59

Core is quickly becoming one of my “go to” wineries when I want something a little different.  Dave Corey is making several straight varietal wines that are outstanding, but he shines with his blends, like this one.  Most of these blends are along the standard lines like Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, but they also make unique and distinctive blends.  This wine is a blend of predominantly Tempranillo with Grenache and Syrah.  Even the Tempranillo isn’t from one single vineyard; it comes from two separate vineyards, Santa Barbara Highlands and Laetitia Vineyards.

 

This is a blend of 41% Tempranillo from Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, 23% Tempranillo from Laetitia Vineyard, 18% Grenache from Alta Mesa Vineyard and 18% Syrah from Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard.

 

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

 

The Winery

Dave Corey’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in Entomology and Plant Physiology from Kansas State University, which was completed in 1995. Prior to entering the wine industry in 1996 , Dave worked in Salinas and the Central Valley in agricultural fields including cole crops, cotton, almonds, citrus, walnuts, kiwi, table grapes, apples and stone fruit. His first position in the wine industry was as a Pest Control Advisor with Cambria Winery and Vineyards and later at Kendall-Jackson Vineyards of Santa Barbara County.

 

Dave left Kendall Jackson Vineyards in 1999 to begin Vital Vines, a viticultural company providing technical support for vineyard property owners, vineyard managers and winemaking personnel in the promotion of sustainable agriculture. He has worked with clients that include Laetitia, Barnwood, Beckman, Melville, Stolpman, Gainey, Zaca Mesa, Sea Smoke, Le Bon Climat, Sine Qua Non, Rideau, Carhartt, Rusack, Westerly, Fiddlestix, Vogelzang, Andrew Murray, Evergreen, Arita Hills and Royal Oaks.

 

With a major commitment and a second mortgage, Dave gradually decreased his vineyard consulting work to focus on vineyard sourcing, winemaking duties and winery direct sales for CORE wine company which he started in 2001 with his wife, Becky. Dave passionately continues working in the same capacity today in addition to several new wine projects with family members. He can also be found pouring wine for customers at the CORE wine company tasting room in Old Orcutt, California.

 

Much more information about Dave, the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dried cherries, dusty minerals, warm baking spices, licorice, dried herbs, fresh ground espresso, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate nice blackberry and cherry supply good sweetness up front with the minerals, spice, licorice and coffee coming in later, adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long with the fruit and spice carrying the load with the eucalyptus making a nice closing appearance.  This still tastes young and may improve down the road.  (91 pts)

2007 Core Ground Around

2007 Core Ground Around

 

 

 

N.V. Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut – $29.99

Over the last year we’ve gone from not really being big bubbly fans to actively building a nice collection in the cellar.  This wine is a total unknown, I grabbed a couple bottles from a Garagiste Wine offer but there are no Cellar Tracker notes on the wine.

 

This wine is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with the usual sparkling wine natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color with abundant persistent pinpoint bubbles.  The very enticing nose has green apples, freshly baked biscuits, minerals, lemon zest and orange blossoms.  Tart apples, minerals and lemon zest grab hold initially, slowly allowing yeasty notes and a floral element to slip into the picture.  The finish has good length and leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  (90 pts)

Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

Nicolas Maillart Champagne Marie-Hanze Eaux Belle Brut

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $39.00

Morgan sources the grapes for this wine from the same block his father used for his sought after Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zin.  This famous vineyard on the Sonoma side of Mt Veeder was planted in 1886.

 

This wine was fermented via native yeasts and was aged in 35% new French oak from four Burgundian coopers.

 

This wine has 14.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has brambly berries, plums, dark chocolate, dusty minerals, black pepper, dried herbs, dried wildflowers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has full body, moderate to solid tannins, a creamy texture and good acidity.  Berries, plums and minerals thoroughly coat your palate slowly allowing black pepper and dried herbs to enter the picture.  The long, lingering finish adds a dried floral note as well as a touch of eucalyptus.  For such a young wine, this is drinking marvelously right now.  This one can be opened now or left in the cellar for a decade.  (94 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard

 

 

 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.00

I joined the Bedrock mailing list a few years ago to get access to the red wines they were producing.  Even though I really like those reds, I love their white wines.  In my opinion, Morgan Twain-Peterson is currently producing some of the best white wines coming out of California and selling them at killer prices.

 

The wine has 13.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  The nose is a fresh and refreshing, full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  This is in a real nice place right now, but should hold for another year, maybe longer.  (92 pts)

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick 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.

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 26, 2014 to June 1, 2014

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

2010 Domaine la Rocalière Lirac ikebana

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2011 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino

2010 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Portrait

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch – $32.29

For some reason, this wine always slipped through the crack when I was placing my order with Turley.  I grabbed one bottle of the 2008 vintage, but that was the only bottle of this wine I ever bought.  In May 2011, the local wine store received a stash of this wine and put it on the shelf at a great price, so I had to grab a few bottles.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The typically Turley nose is full of brambly berries, warm baking spices, vanilla, stony minerals, black pepper, wild flowers and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a fairly full body, solid tannins and good acidity.  The palate is immediately flooded with spicy, peppery, berries and minerals with vanilla and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and full of peppery berries.  This is still on the young side but still delicious.  (94 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

2009 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

 

 

 

2010 Domaine la Rocalière Lirac ikebana – $11.69

This is a blend of 47.5% Mourvedre, 47.5% Carignan and 5% Grenache.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The appealing nose has blackberries, raspberries, licorice, minerals, baking spices, dried herbs and a touch of mint.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy fruit, minerals and dried herbs jump out up front with some earthy underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length.  This is a great value to enjoy over the next few years.  (91 pts)

2010 Domaine la Rocalière Lirac ikebana

2010 Domaine la Rocalière Lirac ikebana

 

 

 

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

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

 

 

 

2011 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino – $20.69

I grabbed a bottle of this based purely on a recommendation from a friend.  I’m usually a pretty easy sell when it comes to a quality made Italian wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The enticing nose has earthy cherries, dusty minerals, mint, raspberries, rose petals, plums and new leather.  This has medium to full body with moderate chewy tannins and good acidity.  On the palate tart berries, minerals and earthy elements jump out first with cherries and a minty note coming in on the back end.  This has very good length with the savory elements carrying the load.  Give this one another year in the cellar or give it plenty of air, it seemed to start opening up after about 3 hours.  (92 pts)

2011 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino

2011 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino

 

 

 

2010 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Portrait – $13.49

I wanted something for us to sip in the hotel on our way home from vacation.  Since my wife loves Aussie Shiraz, I figured this would be a nice wine to sip while sitting back and relaxing.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, eucalyptus, dead wood embers, licorice, baking spices, minerals, dark chocolate and potpourri.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Much more lively and bright on the palate than the nose lead me to expect with tart berries, cherries and spice up front with dark chocolate coming in on the backend.  The finish has nice length that closes with a touch of mouthwatering acidity and minerals.  A pretty nice Aussie Shiraz that avoids the over bearing ripeness of some similarly priced offerings.  (90 pts)

2010 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Portrait

2010 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Portrait

 

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $19.94

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller 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:

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 – Oct 21, 2013 to Oct 24, 2013

 

 

2010 Marcarini Dolcetto d’Alba Fontanazza

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2009 Trentadue Winery Cuvée 32 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 Marcarini Dolcetto d’Alba Fontanazza – $14.24

Over the years I’ve enjoyed many bottles of Italian Dolcetto wines.  These are generally nice, every day wines that are available at wallet friendly prices.  The Italian word “dolcetto” means “little sweet one”.  Don’t take that literally since these wines are usually bone dry.  Most are light to medium body, fairly fruity with a touch of spice.  The moderate acidity makes it a wonderful partner to a wide range of food.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol and is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

The wine, in the winery’s words

This Dolcetto d’Alba is a creation of the Langhe hills, La Morra Fontanazza in particular.  A delicious, easy-drinking wine, it is a product of the terroir and the distinctive regional microclimate.  An “honest” red wine, the “Fontanazza” is made in traditional manner, without the intervention of new technology.  It has always been considered the everyday drinking wine of native Langhe people.  The “Fontanazza” selection is not aged in oak in order to offer a fresh, fruity, inviting and easy-to-drink wine.  “Fontanazza” presents a magnificent ruby-red color with lovely violet reflections.  The intense and persistent nose offers floral and fruity sensations with evident signs of sweet spices.  The palate is characterized by the same sensations, exalted by a pleasant acidity and a delicate, slightly bitter aftertaste.  With these characteristics, the Dolcetto “Fontanazza” is an excellent companion to every dish of the Italian and international cooking tradition.  The ideal wine glass has a medium-sized bowl and a long stem.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep garnet color.  The sensuous nose has cherries, plums, baking spices, white pepper, minerals, and violets.  This is barely medium body with soft tannins and great acidity.  On the palate the spicy fruit takes center stage with minerals and pepper coming in from the sidelines.  Nice length on the mineral driven finish.  Not one to keep in the cellar but easy to enjoy over the next year, maybe two.  (89 pts)

2010 Marcarini Dolcetto d'Alba Fontanazza

2010 Marcarini Dolcetto d’Alba Fontanazza

 

 

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek – $9.97

The 2007 vintage of this wine was a show stopper for under $10.  When the local received a small cache of the 2008 vintage and made it available for $10 via an e-mail offer, I had to grab a case.  My first bottle wasn’t up to the level of the 2007, but it showed considerable promise.

 

According to the Wild Hog website, this wine does not exist.  For some reason there is no mention of this vintage.  As a final word on the subject, this is included in the comments about the 2007 vintage, “Dark fruit and violets on the nose. Black berries, round feel and good tannins. It is big, firm and supple. And pretty smooth to boot. This is the last vintage of this wine.”  Oh well, they may need to update the web site.

 

The wine has 15.0% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

At Wild Hog Vineyard it is difficult to separate the wine from the winemaker.  Daniel Schoenfeld began making wine as a home winemaker in 1977.  He loved good food and wine and wanted to share his enjoyment with friends.  He and Marion, his wife and co-owner, are both gardeners with a passionate belief in sustainable living.  Marion tends a three acre organic garden which produces the vegetables and fruits that the family consumes.  Daniel farms the five acre vineyard above the house.  Together with their two children, Iris and Ariel, they harvest the bounty from the land.  They take from the land only what they give in return.

 

As a winemaker, Daniel has a very simple view-allow the fruit to speak for itself.  All Wild Hog wines are unfiltered allowing the full flavor to be extracted.  The grapes are picked ripe and crushed (or de-stemmed) into open top fermentors-1 to 4 ton size.  Yeast is added and the must will ferment 10 to 21 days, until dry.  The must is then pressed and the juice held in American oak barrels.  After 12 months in the barrel for Pinot Noir and 18 months for Zinfandel, the wine is bottled at the winery, using our own equipment.  Since we do no filtering, the wine is racked two or three times during its time in the barrel.  The winery produces between 3000 to 4000 cases per year, depending on harvest and availability of good fruit.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The intriguing nose has blackberries, black pepper, minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, violets, dried herbs, and some earthy underbrush. This is barely medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate the wine shows peppery, crushed berries, some earthiness and minerality, with the eucalyptus note coming in on the back end. The finish has very nice fruit and savory elements, and has decent length. I really like the mint/eucalyptus note that carries through from the nose to the finish.  This shows absolutely no trace of the 15% alcohol.  (90 pts)

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

 

 

2009 Trentadue Winery Cuvée 32 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition – $16.90

We have visited the Alexander Valley based Trentadue Winery a few times in the past and always had a good time and an even better tasting.  This is a long time favorite wine in my house.  The blend varies each vintage, this one is 49% Sangiovese, 27% Merlot, 8% Montepulciano, 8% Malbec, 7% Petite Sirah, and 1% Syrah.  This wine has enough acidity from the Sangiovese to stand up to dishes with tomatoes but the other grapes lend enough body and oomph to stand up to meat.  We like this wine with everything from pasta with meat sauce to Veal Parmesan and baked ziti.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and is sealed via a natural cork.

 

Winery history

The Trentadue family arrived in Sonoma County long before their region gained a reputation as the Wine Country.  Life-long, hands-on agriculturists, Evelyn and Leo Trentadue contributed significantly to the advancement of their region over the years.  In 1959, the Trentadues decided to flee the developers encroaching on their apricot and cherry orchards in Sunnyvale, the area known today around the world as Silicon Valley.  To preserve their way of life, these hard-working Italian ranchers purchased 208 acres of land in Sonoma County’s then remote Alexander Valley.

 

See more at:  http://www.trentadue.com/winery/heritage.asp

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark garnet color. The very inviting nose has cherries, warm baking spices, dried herbs, raspberries, black pepper, wild flowers, some licorice, and a bit of earthiness. This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity. On the palate the spicy, peppery fruit jumps out first with dried herbs and earthiness coming in later. The finish has very nice length with good balance between the fruity and savory elements. This California version of a “Super Tuscan” is one of the better ones currently being produced. Enjoy this now or stash it away for a few years.  (92 pts)

2009 Trentadue Winery Cuvée 32 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition

2009 Trentadue Winery Cuvée 32 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

 

 

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $19.94

 

My comments

The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright.  This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine.  In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape.  We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.

 

Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint.  The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness.  This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins.  The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish.  This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit.  This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots.  (90 pts)

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard

 

 

Napa Valley Film Festival

Are you interested in attending the Napa Valley Film Festival?  The festival runs from November 13 through 17.

 

Oh, almost forgot, how does attending the event for free sound?  To celebrate being a sponsor of the event, Benchmark Wine Group is giving away a very nice package to one lucky person.  Enter by October 31st for your chance to win.

 

The Napa-based company is offering one lucky winner two Festival Passes to the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF), worth a $500 value; two private invitations to the Benchmark Opening Night VIP kick-off party; and exclusive access to the sneak preview screening of ‘August: Osage County’, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

 

Benchmark Wine Group will be hosting an exclusive Opening Night VIP kick-off party on Wednesday, November 13 and a winemaker tasting with Todd Alexander of Bryant and Bettina on Friday, November 15.  NVFF Patrons and special guests will be invited to join Benchmark Wine Group at the Michael Holmes Gallery at Riverfront, 606 Main Street, from 8 pm to 10 pm Wednesday to launch the week’s festivities.  Every guest Wednesday will be entered into a raffle for a chance to buy a bottle of 2001 Château Haut-Brion for $1; taste magnums of 1983 Pétrus, 1966 Château Margaux, and 2003 Diamond Creek; and enjoy food catered by Morimoto Napa.

 

For more information, click here.

 

To view the official rules and to enter, click here.

 

A video about the event from my bud, Amy Payne, is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

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!

 

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