Posts tagged ‘Stile Blocks’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Feb 24, 2014 to Mar 2, 2014

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Thompson Vineyard

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Lorenzo’s Heirloom

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

2007 Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard

 

 

 

2006 Copain Syrah Thompson Vineyard – $40.00

It would be hard for me to pick a favorite vineyard source for Copain Syrahs, but Thompson would be in my top three.

 

This has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep dark purple color.  The very open and giving nose has blackberries, dying wood embers, smoked meat, vanilla, dried herbs, black olives and earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine is a bit brighter than the nose lead me to expect with cherries and dark chocolate joining the blackberries, meat and vanilla.  The finish has good length with some dried herbs and earthiness coming into the picture.  This still has years of life ahead of it.  (92 pts)

2006 Copain Syrah Thompson Vineyard

2006 Copain Syrah Thompson Vineyard

 

 

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard – $15.04

Like a lot of people, Rosenblum was my favorite Zinfandel producer for several years.  After the sale of the winery, the wines have suffered.  I don’t know if this was due to loss of the main people in the operation, bad luck, or more likely the desire of the purchases to cash in on the name quickly and recoup the cost of their investment.

 

I’ve really enjoyed wines produced from the Rockpile area for a few years and actively hunted them down.  The local wine store brought this wine in and offered it at a great price via their weekly e-mail offers.  I grabbed a case.  Unfortunately, the wine has been a disappointment the few times I’ve tried it.  One last chance to see if another years in the cellar has helped.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The fairly straight forward nose has brambly berries, vanilla, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, camphor, and spicy oak.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine seems a touch thin and driven by the oak related elements with sweet berries coming in from the sides providing needed sweetness.  The finish is a touch short and again highlights the spicy oak and sweet berries.  For a Rosenblum wine, especially one from Rockpile, this could use a bit more extraction and depth.  A decent week night Zin to be consumed over the next couple of years.  (87 pts)

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

2008 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard

 

 

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R – $11.39

Riesling is our favorite white wine, by a wide margin.  When the local wine store brought this one in and had it on the shelf for a touch over $11, I had to grab a few bottles.  This is a Kabinett from the Rheingau region in Germany.

 

This has 10.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, juicy peaches, minerals, orange blossoms, lemon zest and a touch of petrol.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity and just a bit of residual sweetness.  On the palate the apples and peaches jump out first with minerals coming into the picture followed by some nice tart citrus zest.  The finish is very tasty but a touch short.  This does not offer a lot of complexity but is still very tasty.  A nice German Riesling for just a touch over $10.  (88 pts)

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

 

 

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Lorenzo’s Heirloom – $35.00

Bedrock is becoming best known for their “field blends” from some of the oldest vineyards in California.  This wine is a blend of 50% Zinfandel 25% Carignane, 20% Petite Sirah, and 5% Alicante Bouschet, Cinsault, and Valdigue.  This Dry Creek vineyard is over 100 years old.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The deep and powerful nose has brambly berries, cherries, black pepper, earthy underbrush, minerals, warm baking spices, dried herbs and violets.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate berries, spice and minerals jump out first with cherries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried herbs and black pepper coming into the picture.  This seems to still be on the young side.  I’d let this one sleep for a couple more years so we can see what is hidden behind the cloak of tannins and acidity.  (92 pts)

2009 Bedrock Wine Co Lorenzo’s Heirloom

2009 Bedrock Wine Co Lorenzo’s Heirloom

 

 

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks – $39.99

I bought a few bottles of this wine hoping it was going to be a nice Cabernet for weekend dinners.  My first bottle was a bit disappointing since the wine lacked everything that makes a Howell Mountain Cab distinctive and interesting.  I’m hoping the first bottle was a bit off but based on a couple other notes, I’m afraid my initial opinion was right.  I guess I’ll see this evening.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The big and fully open nose is full of cassis, licorice, warm baking spices, black pepper, leather, dried herbs, and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with soft, ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  On the palate this is soft and jammy for a Howell Mountain wine.  Big, ripe, juicy, berries and spice hit the front end of the palate coating it in flavor with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the backend.  The finish has good length and shows jammy fruit and spice with an oaky overlay but could use some additional complexity.  This is an easier drinking wine than I expected, this isn’t one to stash in the cellar for an extended time.  (89 pts)

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

 

 

2007 Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard – $17.10

This is a 375ml half bottle.

 

I needed a cup of wine for a recipe and decided to use my last half bottle of this wine.  This will leave me a bit for the cook to sample.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a golden straw color.  The very inviting nose has apples, pears, flinty minerality, baking spices, citrus zest, and buttered popcorn.  This has medium body and crisp acidity.  On the palate the apples, spice, and lemon zest grab the thunder with nice minerality slowly building on the back end.  The fairly long finish leans more on the spice and minerals with just a touch of oak coming into the picture.  This is a very nice Chardonnay in its prime.  This was from a 375ml bottle.  (92 pts)

2007 Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard

2007 Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Helfer 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 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 – Aug 23, 2013 to Aug 25, 2013

 

 

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar

2011 Calera Pinot Noir

2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

 

 

 

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar – $29.99

Mitolo is one of the premiere wineries in Australia.  The wine maker, Ben Glaetzer, is one of the Australia superstars in the wine business.  I’m a big fan of their lower priced Reiver Shiraz but jumped on an opportunity to take a few bottles of this wine off a friend’s hands after they bought a case at a very special price.  This wine had a release price of $65 but I was able to grab a few at less than half that price.  That’s only a win if you like the wine.  Based on a bottle I had several months ago, this is a win!

 

This wine is a blend of only the best barrels of Shiraz and will provide serious enjoyment for anyone that is a fan of big, rich, Aussie Shiraz.

 

Winery history

For such a young winery, Mitolo’s history is rich.  It’s one studded with success, wide acclaim, and – most importantly – truly memorable wines.  But that’s only to be expected from a winery which, since the very first day, has been motivated by three potent words:

 

Purity. Elegance. Power.

 

Those were the guiding principles Frank Mitolo wrote down when he created the winery in 1999.  With his Italian heritage and a family history of working the land, Frank was only interested in pursuing excellence.  And the results were there immediately in the release of the first Mitolo wine – the 2000 G.A.M. – named after Frank’s children Gemma, Alexander and Marco.

 

Attracted by this commitment to only create wines of outstanding quality, acclaimed winemaker Ben Glaetzer joined Mitolo as a partner in 2001.  With grapes sourced from two of Australia’s premier wine regions, McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley, Frank and Ben now work tirelessly to surpass their already impressive achievements.  Mitolo Wines, praised by some of the world’s toughest critics, are now enjoyed in more than 20 countries around the world.

 

And that is just the start.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color. The rich and luxurious nose has blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, vanilla, smoked meat, dried herbs, warm baking spices and some earthiness. This has a full body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity. This is a massive wine on the palate with loads of spicy, peppery berries with a nice smoked meat element followed by spicy oak and dried herbs. The finish is very long and like the palate, packed with flavor. No subtlety and not the most complex wine out there, but very balanced and tasty. Not a wine for everyone nor an everyday wine, but on occasion, this one will rock.  This is still on the young side, it should improve with additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

2006 Mitolo Shiraz Savitar

 

 

 

2011 Calera Pinot Noir – $24.69

I’m a big fan of the single vineyard offerings of Calera Pinot Noir wines.  Unfortunately, most of these single vineyard offerings are a bit pricey to open on a week night.  That’s where their appellation wines come into play.  These are generally very nice, varietally correct Pinots, that can be found for south of $25.

 

This wine is made of fruit purchased from over a dozen vineyard sources in California’s Central Coast region.  In this vintage, grapes from seven different vineyards were blended for the final product.

 

Winery history

Calera is a vision, and Calera’s wines truly express the sense of place.  Rather than follow the recommended path, Josh Jensen became a pioneer in search of the perfect spot on the globe to grow grapes.  Taking his cue from the great domaines of Burgundy which have grown grapes in limestone soil for centuries, he set out in search of the perfect spot in California to create wines unique to the world but in the style of the greatest wines of France.  Site selection was vital as he ventured off the grid to plant on the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains of California.  Today Calera wines still express that pioneer spirit and are revered the world over.  We are proud to report that even Robert Parker is convinced: “Calera is one of the most compelling Pinot Noir specialists of not only the New World, but of Planet Earth.”

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color, much lighter at the rim. The fresh smelling nose has cherries, flowers, baking spice, eucalyptus, crushed stone minerals, and a touch of forest floor. This has medium body, soft tannins, and nice acidity. Nice red fruit on the palate with spice and just a touch of earthiness. The finish has nice length with the eucalyptus and minerals making an appearance to go with the sweet fruit. A very nice, easy drinking, under $25 Pinot Noir.  (90 pts)

2011 Calera Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc – $15.19

Cloudy Bay has been my favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for several years.  Obviously that opinion is shared by a lot of wine drinkers.  This is not the lowest priced Sauvignon Blanc in the marketplace, at times it is a challenge to find it for under $25.  A couple years ago, when my local store had it on sale for under $16, I loaded up.  Unfortunately, this is my last bottle from that buy.

 

If you are a fan of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and want to find a lower priced alternative, try to source some Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc.  The owner/winemaker for Greywacke is Kevin Judd, the founding winemaker for Cloudy Bay.  After 25 vintages at Cloudy Bay, Kevin set out on his own.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, pale yellow to straw color.  The fresh and tropical nose has lime, grapefruit, minerals, fresh cut grass, and orange blossoms.  This has light body with tart, citrusy acidity.  On the palate the crisp fruit and minerals steal the show with the grapefruit notes giving way to lime with a nice herbal edge.  The finish has very good length with the lime and grapefruit allowing minerals and herbal elements to poke through.  As usual, another outstanding offering from Cloudy Bay.  (91 pts)

2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

 

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks – $39.99

I’ve had and loved the Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet for a number of years.  This is the first vintage of this specific wine.  This wine was actually created mainly for restaurants to have on their wine list as an earlier drinking, Howell Mountain cab, that could be listed for under $100.  Since this is a new wine and I bought it without tasting it, I didn’t know if it needed a bit of cellar time.  Luckily, the local store had a big wine tasting yesterday and this was one of the wines being poured.  I was lucky enough to grab a taste and decided it was good to go now.

 

This is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot from Napa Valley’s Howell Mountain.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The big and fully open nose is full of cassis, licorice, warm baking spices, black pepper, leather, dried herbs, and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with soft, ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  On the palate this is soft and jammy for a Howell Mountain wine.  Big, ripe, juicy, berries and spice hit the front end of the palate coating it in flavor with dried herbs and spicy oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length and shows jammy fruit and spice with an oaky over lay but could use some additional complexity.  This is an easier drinking wine than I expected, this isn’t one to stash in the cellar for an extended time.  (89 pts)

2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks

 

 

 

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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