Posts tagged ‘Riesling’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Finger Lakes Riesling Tasting

 

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

 

 

New York’s Finger Lakes

North America’s premier cool-climate winegrowing region

 

 

2012 Knapp Vineyards Riesling Dry Finger Lakes

2012 Lakewood Vineyards Riesling Dry Riesling Seneca Lake

2012 Lucas Vineyards Riesling Semi-Dry Cayuga Lake

2012 Fulkerson Riesling Ice Wine Finger Lakes

 

 

It was my good fortune to be able to participate in an online tasting of wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  The event was the final online event celebrating the release of the 2012 Rieslings from the area.  The event was dubbed “Riesling Hour”, even though the event lasted for hours.

 

To follow ongoing conversations on the wines from the Finger Lakes region, check out the hashtag #FLXWine or follow @FLXwine on Twitter or give a “Like” to Finger Lakes Wine on Facebook.

 

 

I want to thank the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and the wineries for providing these wines for me to sample.

 

 

 

About the region

The Finger Lakes became an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1982 but its history goes back much further.  The first vineyard in the region was planted by Reverend William Bostwick in his rectory garden in Hammondsport, NY in 1829.

 

The region is now home to over 115 wineries with about 9,200 acres of vineyards.  The region produces about 220,000 cases of Riesling wine from the 848 acres of Riesling grapes.

 

In 1998 the region was brought to the forefront in the wine world when Semi-Dry Rieslings from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s and Fox Run Vineyards each won a Gold medal in Strasbourg’s Rieslings of the World Competition in Alsace.

 

The major varieties of grapes planted in the region are Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.  Each of these has over 100 acres of vines in the AVA.

 

 

Much more information about the region is available on the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance website.

 

 

 

My Line Up

There were a lot of different wines opened for the event; my line up included everything from dry wines through a very sweet Iced wine.

Finger Lakes Riesling Line Up

 

 

 

2012 Knapp Vineyards Riesling Dry Finger Lakes – SRP $15.95

 

The Winery

Knapp Winery’s 40 acre estate is about a mile west of the shores of Cayuga Lake.  Besides Riesling, the winery also grows Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Lemberger, and Vignoles.

 

The winery was started in 1984 and sold to the current owners Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver in 2000.

 

The winery was the first one in the Finger Lakes to plant and vinify Cabernet Franc.

 

For more information on Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant, visit their website by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This 100% Riesling is classified as Dry but does have a touch of residual sugar, 1.1%.  There were 401 cases produced.  The final alcohol is 12% and this is closed with a synthetic cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, pale straw color.  The crisp and clean nose has apples, lemon zest, minerals, white peaches and lime.  This has light body, crisp acidity, and just a touch of sweetness.  There is nice fruit on the front end on the palate with minerals and a slight saline element coming in on the back end and medium length finish.  This is a solid and very food friendly Riesling.  (Rated B+)

2012 Knapp Vineyards Riesling Dry Finger Lakes

 

 

 

2012 Lakewood Vineyards Riesling Dry Riesling Seneca Lake – SRP $12.99

 

The Winery

Lakewood Vineyards is on the west side of Seneca Lake.  The winery has 75 acres of grapes planted, which includes 10 acres of Riesling.  Besides Riesling, the winery has 13 other varieties of grapes planted.

 

The Stamp family has owned Lakewood Farm since 1952 when Frank Stamp bought the run down peach and apple orchard.  Over time, the family planted some grapes before opening the winery in 1989.

 

For more information on the winery, visit their website by clicking here.

 

The Wine

This wine is 100% estate grown Riesling.  The wine is dry, with just a hint of sweetness from the .78% residual sugar.  There were 810 cases produced and the wine has a final alcohol level of 11.7%.  The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, citrus, minerals and lemongrass.  This has a light body and is dry with mouth watering, citrusy acidity.  This is bright and lively on the palate with nice citrus and minerality.  The finish has decent length shows nice key limes and minerals.  This is a nice wine that is very tasty but lacks a bit in the complexity department.  (Rated B+)

2012 Lakewood Vineyards Riesling Dry Riesling Seneca Lake

 

 

 

2012 Lucas Vineyards Riesling Semi-Dry Cayuga Lake – SRP $13.99

 

The Winery

The Lucas Vineyards history began in 1974 when Ruth Lucas and her family made the move out of the Bronx to a 60 acre farm in Interlaken, New York.  After selling their grapes to another winery for a few years, the family decided to start making their own wine.  Their first vintage was 1980 and consisted of under 500 cases of Cayuga White and Estate Red.

 

Today the winery produces 25 different wines with a total production of 26,000 cases a year from the 14 grapes varieties they grow.

 

For more information on the winery, please click here.

 

The Wine

This 100% Riesling has 2.2% residual sugar which earns it the classification of Semi-Dry.

 

This wine has 11.4% alcohol and is closed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a yellow to straw color.  The rich and juicy smelling nose is full of apples, peaches, flinty minerals, citrus, and some spice.  This has light to medium body, good acidity, and nice lingering sweetness.  Apples, minerals, juicy peaches and citrus zest coat the palate with some slow building spice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean with lingering citrus and ripe apple sweetness.  I’d love to try this with a few years in the cellar.  (Rated B)

2012 Lucas Vineyards Riesling Semi-Dry Cayuga Lake

 

 

 

2012 Fulkerson Riesling Ice Wine Finger Lakes – SRP $29.99

 

The Winery

The Fulkerson family has been farming this land, on the west side of Seneca Lake, since 1805.  Caleb Fulkerson, a veteran of the Revolutionary War settled in the area.  The land has stayed in the family’s hands by being passed down through the generations.

 

Some grapes were planted in the 1830s but in the 1970s the family greatly expanded the vineyards.  The winery currently has over 100 acres cultivated with Riesling occupying 22 acres.  The winery has grown from 1,000 cases produced in 1989 to 30,000 cases a year.

 

For much more information on the winery, please visit their website by clicking here.

 

The Wine

Due to forecasted heavy rain, the winery decided to harvest the optimally ripened grapes and freeze them prior to pressing.  After fermentation the wine was aged 6 months in new oak barrels.

 

There were 127 cases of this 375ml bottle produced.  The final alcohol is 11% with 19.7% residual sugar.  The bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a golden yellow color.  The extremely rich smelling nose is full of honey, apples, petrol, ripe peaches, spice and orange zest.  This has a full body, good acidity, and a “boat load” of residual sweetness.  This is very rich and luscious on the palate.  The long and lingering finish is loaded with juicy peaches, honey, and citrus.  Even though this could be paired with something for dessert, I think it would be best to simply savor this on its’ own instead of dessert.  (Rated A-)

2012 Fulkerson Riesling Ice Wine Finger Lakes

 

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Sep 23, 2013 to Sep 26, 2013

 

 

1988 Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spätlese

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2004 Bodegas Castaño Yecla Casa Cisca

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

 

1988 Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spätlese – $34.81

We’re real big fans of off-dry German Riesling wines with some age on them.  The overt sweetness and tingly acidity mellow and integrate over time leaving a delicious, food friendly elixir.  These wines are better defined as rich instead of sweet.  Try an aged Riesling with a spicy dish and you will become a fan.

 

The alcohol in the wine is 9.5% and the bottle has a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

Schloss Schönborn – famous wines with a long tradition.  Located in the heart of the Rheingau valley, the Domänenweingut Schloss Schönborn has long stood for premium wine culture.

 

Many of the vineyards along the slopes bordering the RhineRiver have been part of the Schönborn family estate since 1349, which has been added to continuously since then.  Several top sites were acquired in the 17th and 18th centuries, giving the estate a real boost.  The estate now covers 50 ha, of which 90% are planted with Riesling.  The remaining vineyards feature Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc.  The Schloss Schönborn wine estate is one of the founder members of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP) and has for many years been managing its valuable vineyards in tune with nature.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, golden yellow color. The very pleasing nose has petrol, apples, white peaches, honey, minerals, citrus zest, lime, and some white pepper. This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and nice sweetness. Very rich and smooth on the palate with most of the overt sugar having been incorporated into the magical elixir. The wine has a long, lingering finish full of peach, apples, honey, minerals, and lime. This may last a few more years in the cellar, but it tastes marvelous right now.  (93 pts)

1988 Schloss Schonborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spatlese

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

2004 Bodegas Castaño Yecla Casa Cisca – $18.99

I’d been waiting for a good reason to open the sealed wooden 6 pack case of this wine.  The Twitter #winechat theme for the week, Spanish Monastrell served as the perfect reason to dig out a screwdriver and pliers.

 

The 2004 Casa Cisca, the estate’s flagship wine, is 100% old-vine Monastrell (70+ years of age) aged for 14 months in American oak.  This wine is several steps up from most of the winery’s offerings.

 

This is bottle number 8793 out of 13,420.  Per the label, this has 15% alcohol and has a natural cork closure.  The bottle used is one of the VERY heavy types used for winery’s highest end wines, 1.9 kg (4.25 lbs).  I think this massive bottle would crack concrete if accidently dropped in the driveway (only a mild exaggeration).

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby color.  The exotic nose is full of warm berry pie, cherries, Asian spices, cedar, tobacco, earthy underbrush, minerals, dark chocolate, wild flowers, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is lighter and brighter on the palate than I was expecting based on the slightly brooding nose.  Asian spice and tart cherries lead off the show with minerals and cedar making an appearance on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with minerals, spicy oak and some earthiness adding to the complexity.  This is still on the younger side and some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  That said, with some air this vibrant and bright wine is immensely enjoyable today.  (92 pts)

2004 Bodegas Castano Yecla Casa Cisca

 

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville – $23.74

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

 

The alcohol is listed at 14.4% and the bottle uses a natural cork.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

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

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – The Seeker and a Photo Contest

 

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

 

 

2012 The Seeker Pinot Grigio

2012 The Seeker Riesling

2012 The Seeker Rosé

2012 The Seeker Red Blend

 

All wines have a suggested retail price of $10 to $15.

 

 

 

I was given the opportunity to sample some new wines from The Seeker.  Earlier I had the opportunity to sample some other wines from them.  My write up on those wines is available here.

 

 

This group of wines is perfect to enjoy during the warmer weather this Summer with lighter meals on the deck or patio or to share with friends on a warm evening over good conversation.

 

 

 

Winery Information (winery supplied)

Do you have a taste for risk, a curious nature, and a daring spirit?  Then come, join The Seeker on a singular wine adventure!  The Seeker is a lively line of wines from all over the world.  Our wanderings yielded distinct wines from disparate lands, delighting the senses on a global taste journey.  It is a carefully curated collection of the best wines from where they grow best, each wine lovingly crafted by a different family winery.

 

For The Seeker, it’s all about the journey.  Simply glance at the labels and you’ll see; the mid-19th century flying machines embody an era of wonder and mystery, of explorers out to conquer the known world… and beyond.  The Seeker speaks to the unknown, the unknowable, and the thrill of discovery. Cheers!

 

The Seeker Wines were created by a family company that called on its 65+ years of experience to source from the best family-owned wineries in the world at an affordable price.  With a dedication to reducing our carbon footprint, The Seeker Wines extends our eco-friendly philosophy from our immediate family to our global family.  So whether by land, sea, or air, take flight with us and seek more information at http://theseekerwines.com

 

The line up for this tasting:

The Seeker lineup

 

2012 The Seeker Pinot Grigio (Italy, Veneto)

This is 100% Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region in Italy.  The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks on light lees.  This unoaked wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation to retain the fresh acidity and to maintain the varietal character.

 

The final alcohol in the wine is 12.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The crisp and refreshing nose has apples, lemon zest, pears, minerals, orange blossoms, and a touch of spice.  This has light to medium body, citrusy acidity, and has just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate the bright, juicy fruit is joined by a touch of almond before the mouthwatering citrus kicks in.  The finish has nice length and closes on a slightly sweet pear/citrus note.  (87 pts)

 

This easy drinking Pinot Grigio would be a fine partner with just about any lighter, warm weather dish.  I think this would shine if served with some grilled shrimp.  This has more body and depth than your typical Italian Pinot Grigio.

Seeker Pinot Grigio

 

 

 

2012 The Seeker Riesling (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)

This is 100% hand harvested Riesling is from the Trittenheim and Piesport Vineyards in the Mosel region in Germany.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel and oak casks.  The wine was aged 3 to 8 months in a mix of stainless steel and oak casks.

 

The final alcohol in the wine is 8.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow color with a slight green tint.  The slightly shy nose eventually shows honey dipped apples, pineapple, white pepper, minerals, and a very faint petrol note.  This has medium body, crisp acidity, and nice residual sweetness.  On the palate this has tart apples, honey, and crisp citrus with nice sweetness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length and closes with a sweet note.  The sweetness and acidity are very nicely balanced.  (91 pts)

 

This would excel if paired with a spicy Asian dish.  I love an off dry Riesling with spicy Cajun food and this would be outstanding with seafood gumbo.  This would also be a nice glass of wine to sip on a warm evening over good conversation with friends.

Seeker Riesling

 

 

 

2012 The Seeker Rosé (France, Provence)

This is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault from vineyards in the AOC Côtes de Provence.  The grape varieties were vinified separately before blending.  The wine was aged in tanks (no oak).

 

The final alcohol in the wine is 12.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very nice pink salmon color.  The inviting nose has watermelon, white peach, minerals, red raspberries, orange zest, a touch of spice, and a slightly salty sea breeze element.  This has light to medium body, with good acidity, and is dry.  On the palate the fruit steps to the forefront with spice and building minerality supporting the back end.  The finish has nice length and closes on a distinct mineral note with just a touch of sweetness from the red fruit.  (89 pts)

 

This dry Rosé would pair very nicely with a mixed greens salad with a light berry infused vinaigrette dressing.  This would also drink very nicely on its own on a warm Summer day.

Seeker Rose

 

 

 

2012 The Seeker Red Blend (Chile, Central Valley)

This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 25% Syrah from vineyards in the Maipo and Colchagua Valleys in Chile.  Half of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks; the remaining 50% was aged for 6 months in a mix of 60% American and 40% French oak barrels with 25% being new.

 

The final alcohol in the wine is 13.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The nose has blackberries, plums, vanilla, dill, black pepper, cherry, and some earthiness.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins, and slightly soft acidity.  On the palate the dark fruit and earthiness take center stage with vanilla and the dill coming in late.  The finish has decent length but gets a touch muddled and earthy as it warms up.  I would recommend giving this a slight chill.  (85 pts)

 

This needs some juicy meat hot off the grill or some fairly hearty appetizers.

Seeker Chilean Red Blend

 

 

 

Closing thoughts

On the whole, I think these are all very drinkable, reasonably priced wines that would work with warm weather food or stand on their own as a cocktail wine.  The Seeker is unique in that they source their wines from the part of the world where that varietal calls home.

 

Photo Contest

start

Want to win a great new camera to help you capture memories when you SEEK out new adventures?

 

The seeker is giving away a new La Sardina Camera and Flash Belle Star with 35mm film.  All you have to do to enter is submit your most disappointing picture and if your entry is selected, The Seeker will help you avoid future disappointments.

 

Click here for more information.

 

Good Luck, I hope one of my readers wins the contest.

seeker_marquee_image1

Connect with The Seeker Wines

You can connect with The Seeker on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Foodspotting by clicking on the social media channel of your choice.

 

 

 

Connect with me

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Wines of Alsace – Rieslings

 

This is based on samples supplied by the winery or another organization on their behalf.

 

2010 Trimbach Riesling

2011 Meyer-Fonné Riesling Reserve

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée Théo

 

 

wine_1__large

 

 

The Region of Alsace

Tucked into France’s northeastern corner, Alsace follows the Rhine River through its long, thin strip.  The Vosges Mountains protect and provide Alsace with a backdrop for some of France’s most stunning scenery.

 

Central to this landscape of rolling hills and charming timber villages is the renowned Alsace Wine Route (Route des Vins d’Alsace), a 106 mile journey winding through more than 100 wine villages, 19 of which host 26 Michelin-starred restaurants.  Incomparable weather and scenery, delicious eating and drinking, and generous hospitality make Alsace a feast for all the senses.

 

Loads of information on Alsace is available here.

 

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The lineup for the tasting was:

Wines of Alsace

 

 

 

2010 Trimbach Riesling – SRP $20

To me, Trimbach is the torch bearer for Alsace wines.  You can find their wines in just about every decent wine store in the country.

 

The Trimbach family has been producing wine since 1626 and the 13th generation of the family, Anne, has recently joined the “family business”.  Trimbach usually harvests their grapes in late October.  The grapes are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and concrete vats.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh and Spring like nose has lemon zest, minerals, apples, candied ginger, steamy slate, orange blossoms, white peach, and a touch of pineapple.  This has fairly light body, very crisp acidity, and is dry.  On the palate mouthwatering lemon and minerals kick off the show with candied ginger and a floral note kicking in on the back end.  The finish is very long with a bit of pineapple adding to the lemon and minerals.  This was better as it warmed and got some air.  This is good now, but will reward a few years in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2010 Trimbach Riesling

 

 

 

2011 Meyer-Fonné Riesling Reserve – SPR $22

This is another old world winery that has been around for a LONG time.  In this case, the winery was founded in 1732.

 

The winery is increasingly getting into organic farming and does not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.  All grapes are hand picked and are fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks or oak barrels using native yeasts.  The wines are aged on their fine lees

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light straw color.  The very open and easy going nose has lemon zest, apples, white peaches, minerals, and honeysuckle.  This has light to medium body, good acidity, and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate this is very fruit driven with apples and citrus up front with minerals and white peach coming in later.  The finish has nice length and again is fruit driven.  This is a touch softer that most dry Rieslings making it seem a touch sweeter.  This fruit driven wine could easily stand alone on a hot afternoon or evening of pair with a spicy dish.  (87 pts)

2011 Meyer-Fonne Riesling Reserve

 

 

 

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E – SRP $24

This is a relatively new winery that was founded in 1966.

 

This wine is a blend of grapes from 15 different plots in and around the village of Epfig.  This wine is made in a style that showcases the fruit with little regard for terroir.  The grapes are whole cluster pressed via a pneumatic press and fermented using wild yeasts and aged in stainless steel tanks for a year.

 

This wine is Certified Organic.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light, pale straw color.  The very nice nose has lemon zest, toast, apples, white flowers, spice, grapefruit, apricots, and minerals.  This has light to medium body, good acidity, and has just a hint of sweetness.  The creamy palate features nice citrus and apples up front with a nice floral note, pices, and minerals coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length and again highlights the citrus, apple, and minerals, with a slight saline element coming into play.  This would be a very nice wine to serve to a new comer as an introduction to dry Rieslings.  (89 pts)

2011 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d'E

 

 

 

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvée Théo – SRP $30

Talk about a winery with some history!  The winery was established in 1612 and the land has been home to vines since at least the year 890.

 

All Domaine Weinbach wines are estate-grown and bottled.  The vineyards have been cultivated organically for 20 years.

 

After gentle pressing the wines are vinified in ancient 1500 to 6000 liter casks using only native yeasts.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The very appealing nose has lemon zest, minerals, anise, white pepper, white peaches, apples, pineapple, lime zest, yeasty bread, and orange blossoms.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity, and is dry.  Even though this is dry it has nice richness on the palate with a nice mix of fruit and minerals with a very appealing herbal note in the background and a spritz of lime kicking in on the lengthy finish.  Even at the young age, this is already showing nice complexity.  This is one to enjoy now or a few years down the road.  Impressive.  (91 pts)

2011 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

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

 

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

 

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

Cheers!

Oct 5, 2012 to Oct 7, 2012

 

 

 

2004 Elyse Petite Sirah Rutherford – $26.99

 

My comments

Elyse is one of my favorite wineries when it comes to reasonably priced, larger framed, red wines.  Elyse is usually our first stop when we visit wine Napa, and we have been known to stop again before we head home.  We love all their red wines and their Petite Sirahs have always been top notch.  I highly recommend stopping by if you ever find yourself in Napa and want to avoid the usual high traffic areas.  The winery is not far off of Highway 29 just north of the city of Napa before you get to Yountville.   You’ll thank me later.

 

Winery history

NapaValley’s Elyse Winery has two causes for celebration this harvest. In addition to a stellar looking 2012 vintage in NapaValley, it is the 25th harvest for the winery.

 

It was back in 1987 that Ray and Nancy Coursen crushed 4.5 tons of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford to craft 286 cases of their first wine. While the portfolio has grown over the last 25 years, the focus remains on creating vineyard driven wines that pair well with food. Total production is currently 10,000 cases and the wines are nationally and internationally distributed.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour.  The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, dying embers, licorice, dark chocolate, violets, and a touch of vanilla.  This is full bodied with solid, slightly rustic, mouth coating tannins and good acidity.  The berries, dark chocolate, and pepper grab the palate almost immediately and then the slightly drying tannins kick in, clipping the finish fairly severely.  This still needs some time in the cellar for the tannins to integrate.  If you open a bottle now, give it plenty of air, probably a few hours.  My remaining bottles will sleep for at least another two years, probably longer.  (90 pts, this wine is hard to rate at this point, but I feel it will be 92-94 pts in a couple years)

 

 

 

A quick stop at the local UPS Depot netted me a couple wine samples from Mondavi, a book, salami, recipes and other swag.  These bottles will be featured in a future blog posting, but I don’t think the salami will make it through the weekend, it looks good!

 

 

 

1996 Klein aux Vieux Remparts Riesling Burgreben Alsace – $18.93

 

My comments

Another bottle from my stash of aged Rieslings.  This one is from the Alsace region in France.  I had a bottle several months ago and with a touch of air and warming up a bit, it was outstanding.  I may give it a quick decant to help it shake off the cobwebs and warm it up a touch since that helped last bottle.  We love older Rieslings, but I have far more experience with ones from Germany.

 

Winery history

I couldn’t find too much information on the winery to do with their history.

 

For your reading pleasure, here is a write up from Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste on this wine:

 

When we get a chance to acquire a wine with this age and this level of provenance we jump in head first.

 

It’s not often you get the opportunity to acquire cellar stock from a decade ago, nearing its peak drinking window – especially from Alsace. This wine is going to blow people out of their socks (well, not literally but you know what I mean)…

 

I originally inquired about this wine after tasting it at a dinner last winter in Strasbourg where a local collector was trying to showcase the best unknown producers in Alsace. I couldn’t find any at the winery but I found a few bottles at a local retailer and was told he had access to three more cases that were lying in the winery cellar as a library release. I inquired again at the winery and due to persistence was told there were “a few cases” but no more. I visited, tasted the wine again and walked through the cellar where I found a stash of this, unlabeled and full of the typical dust and mold one finds in decade-old bottles resting in a cave. I asked if indeed there were more than “a few” cases available and indeed there were (remember, this started as “nothing available”, “a few” and now “more than a few” – such is the nature of my job, gentle prodding that can seem determined to many Europeans but the results are in your cellar).

 

Hand-picked and hand made, this is an esoteric bottle of wine that contains a mystery of flavor and stony but honeyed Riesling fruit that is strong but medium in weight and beautifully balanced. It is just starting to mature and open and its best days are well ahead of it. Klein is known to have some of the longest-lived examples in Alsace (even the Trimbachs are fans) and 1980s examples are still going strong (even an early 1990s Muscat tasted was magical). The Klein Burgreben reminds me of a junior version of Boxler’s Riesling “Brand” from the 1996 vintage (or even Tempe’s 1998 Burgreben which is quite close) and I liken this offer to one of the Schloss Schonborn deals we had over the winter – cellar stock that is in absolutely pristine condition.

 

While we have the opportunity, I urge you to partake of this shimmering, lightly golden elixir – it’s just a great bottle of terroir-focussed Riesling (this time dry), directly from the winery cellar and never moved since bottling. The wine was just labeled on your behalf a week ago and sent on its way to us. For this price it makes a mockery of many of the world’s current Riesling release offers.

 

My Tasting Note

This is much better at a slightly warmer temperature.  This is a light golden yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, lime zest, pears, petrol, minerals, and orange blossoms.  This is dry with light body and tart, citrusy acidity.  The wine’s finish has very good length with loads of minerals and citrus zest.  Drinking very nicely today, but no real hurry on this one, it should hold a few more years in the cellar.  (89 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Keplinger Grenache Red Slope Knights Valley – $50.00

 

My comments

This is another mailing list only wine that I was fortunate to join before they started getting high scores from the wine publications.  The “rock star” winemaker, Helen Keplinger is now the winemaker for the “cult” winery, Bryant Family, which appeared to be a bit outside of her normal “comfort zone” since she made her name and honed her talents working mainly with the Rhone varietals.  I bought several bottles of this wine, but have been patient long enough, one gets popped tonight.

 

Winery history (actually Winemaker background)

I always had an intense curiosity for science, a huge appreciation of art, and a gravitation toward and revitalization in nature – all which dynamically come together in winemaking. In 1998, I moved to California to attend the MS program in Enology at UCDavis.

 

After Davis, I worked with Heidi Barrett, Kathy Joseph, consultant Claude Gros, and David Abreu. Since 2004, I have been the winemaker for some exciting projects, including Cellers Melis (Priorat), Kenzo Estate, FortRoss, Sarocka, Scully, and Arrow & Branch. I am currently focused solely on Keplinger Wines and Bryant Family Vineyards.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a medium to dark violet color.  The wine has an enticing nose with raspberry, strawberry, olives, minerals, wild flowers, roasted meat, fresh brewed tea, dried herbs and spices.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, slightly drying tannins and very nice acidity.  The palate features nice, savory tinged fruit in the front with dried herbs and a touch of spicy oak in the background.  Very nice length on the finish which leans very heavily on the dried herbs and spices.  Don’t open this looking for an easy drinking, fruit forward wine.  This is very serious and in need of a couple more years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

 

About a half bottle was recorked and left on the counter.  The next day the tannins had integrated and lost the dryness.  The fruit has also come to the forefront and has pushed the still present savory notes into the background.  The wine is now much smoother and polished.  Leave these in the cellar of give them a ton of air.

 

 

 

2003 Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet – $29.99

 

My comments

I’m in the mood for a nice Bordeaux.  I saw my stack of 2003 Pontet-Canet but decided it was WAY too early to open one of them.  Then I remembered I grabbed a few of this, their second wine.  This should be at least getting close to a nice drinking window, so one get opened later today.  I’ll probably open the bottle later and decide if it needs decanted or if it’s ready to rock.

 

Winery history

Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc, combined several vineyard plots in Pauillac in the early 18th century. Years later, his descendants added neighbouring vines in a place named Canet. This was the beginning of one of the largest estates in the Médoc, which quite naturally added the name of its founder to that of the land registry reference.

 

A century later, Pontet-Canet was included in the famous 1855 classification, thereby confirming its membership among the elite of the Médoc. This privileged position did not go unnoticed by one of the most important Bordeaux shippers of the time, Herman Cruse, who bought the estate in 1865. He built new cellars, modernised the winemaking facilities, and established the wine’s reputation around the world. The Cruse family owned Pontet-Canet for 110 years, until another shipper (from Cognac this time), Guy Tesseron, acquired it in 1975.

 

Over two centuries Pontet-Canet has been owned by three different families. Today it is run by Alfred Tesseron with his niece Melanie (daughter of Gerard Tesseron) who is the descendant of Guy Tesseron. Thirty years after their arrival in Pauillac the Tesseron have the satisfaction of knowing that they have gradually replanted some of the vineyard and renovated the buildings and the wine making facilities.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour and a half.  The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter at the edge.  The very nice nose has cassis, spice box, minerals, dried herbs, graphite, leather, some earthy underbrush, and a touch of cherry.  This is medium bodied with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice length on the finish which features the dried herbs, and spices, with the fruit leaning more towards cherry than cassis.  Still a bit young, but outstanding for a second label.  (91 pts)

 

 

 Mailing Lists

 

The mailing list season is just about over.  There may be a few stragglers or lists that are looking to move a few less popular bottles, but for most of us, it’s “Shipping Season”.  Shipping Season is that glorious time of the year where generic cardboard boxes arrive, and like kids at Christmas, we rip into the boxes.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

 

 

 

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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