Posts tagged ‘Taittinger Champagne Brut Reserve’

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 30, 2014 to July 13, 2014

 

 

2006 Villa Creek Avenger

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

2008 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

2008 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

 

 

 

2006 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 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 50% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Grenache.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very enticing nose has blackberries, white pepper, smoked meat, dried herbs, underbrush, cherries, minerals, and dark chocolate.  This is a full bodied wine with sold, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  This provides a mouth full of fruit and peppery spice with some nice earthiness and minerality in the background.  This supplies a long, lingering finish with some nice dark chocolate cutting through the fruit and spice. Outstanding!  (93 pts)

2006 Villa Creek Avenger

2006 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section – $19.00

This is one of my wife’s all-time favorite wines.  How much does she like it?  Per Cellar Tracker I bought a total of 33 bottles, and his will be the 26th bottle we’ve opened since December 2009.

 

I should add I like this wine as well.  I still do not understand how it was such a slow mover at the local wine store.  This is part of my last case which only cost me $19.00, a bottle.  A steal based on the $35 release price.

 

This has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Stuart Miller is the winemaker and caretaker of the vineyard: this is truly a hands-on winery where every step of production from vineyard to bottling is overseen by Stuart himself.  His family are involved in all stages of the process, picking grapes, pruning vines, bottling, packaging and more.

 

Oliverhill was established in the early 1970s and the Miller family moved in during the early 1990s.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The very inviting nose is full of blackberries, black pepper, vanilla, smoldering charcoal, licorice, leather, wild flowers, and dark chocolate.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine gives a big blast of ripe, juicy berries with spicy oak and black pepper adding nice savory elements.  This is a big, bold, and ripe wine that pushes the ripeness but does not cross over into the sweet or syrupy level.  (93 pts)

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

2006 Oliverhill Winery Shiraz Jimmy Section

 

 

 

2008 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon – $51.75

Rudius is the personal winery for winemaker Jeff Ames, winemaker for several wineries including Tor.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color. The exciting and inviting nose has cassis, mint, warm baking spices, tobacco, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, dried herbs, and a touch of earthy underbrush. This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity. On the palate spices, cassis, cherries, and dark chocolate hit first followed by minerals and dried herbs on the back end. The finish is very long and seems to linger forever, with the minty note making a brief but appealing appearance. This is on the young side, but already drinking very nicely. I’m sure additional cellar time will be handsomely rewarded.  (94 pts)

2008 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve – $24.99

We had a bottle of this wine while at a friend’s home several months ago.  He told me Costco had the wine in a special box with 4 bottles of the Champagne and for glasses for under $100.  As soon as we could we made our way to the local Costco and a box found its way into my cellar.  This was a killer bottle of bubbles for $25 a bottle.  I’m thankful I have a few more bottles to savor over the warm months ahead.

 

This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a yellow to light straw color with an abundance of small, pinpoint sized bubbles.  The enticing nose has apples. pears, minerals, fresh baked yeasty bread, lemon zest and white flowers.  This has a light, delicate body with crisp acidity.  On the palate this has nice tart apples, pears and minerals up front with bread and citrus coming in on the back end.  This has good length on the dry, crisp finish.  (91 pts)

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

 

 

 

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch – $37.00

Papera, Montafi and the Carlisle Vineyards are my favorite sources of Carlisle Zinfandels.  This vineyard was planted in 1934 and is unusual for an old vineyard in that it is planted to over 95% Zinfandel.  Most old vineyards have a much higher percentage of other grapes planted.

 

This 100% Zinfandel has 15.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 779 cases of the wine produced.

 

There is no need to try and find the 2010 vintage of this wine.  After a few months of cool weather, a day of sweltering heat on August 24th wiped out the entire crop.

 

Mother Nature blessed Papera Ranch with both quality and quantity in 2009, providing us with a wine that rivals our much-lauded 2007.  If you are a fan of what we have done with this vineyard the last few years, I encourage you to take advantage of the quantity available.  The grapes were picked October 10th, fermented indigenously and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Papera Ranch® (Formerly Carlo’s Ranch) – Russian River Valley

Just a stone’s throw from Carlisle Vineyard, this “grand dame” of the Russian River Valley was planted in 1934 by Charley (Carlo) Papera.  Given its cool location, this vineyard is typically picked in late October.

 

If you would like to join the waiting list to get on the Carlisle mailing list, click here.

 

This has 15.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, opaque purple color.  The nose is absolutely stunning on this wine; it’s full of brambly berries, warm baking spices, licorice, minerals, roasted herbs, dried wild flowers, plums, well worn leather and freshly cracked black peppercorns.  This has a full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is balanced, dense, rich and full of layers that slowly fade so the next one can take over.  The flavor profile is loaded on this wine with a very nice mixture of fruit and savory elements.  The finish is very long and again full of flavor.  There are absolutely no rough edges or over powering elements on this wine.  It is drinking wonderfully today and will continue to do so for a few more years.  Stunning!  (95 pts)

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

 

 

 

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets – $28.80

I was on the McPrice Myers mailing list for a couple years.  The winery produces full bodied, full throttle wines in a “take no prisoners” style.  Though these are nice once in a while, they aren’t every day wines.  I dropped the list because even though the wines are well made and enjoyable on occasion, I just don’t have the need for too many in my cellar.

 

Making a wine that is the best expression of the vineyard it comes from or a wine that is the most harmonious blend it can be, is a complex series of challenges that renew themselves with every vintage. It is my goal and my passion to produce the best for you that each unique harvest brings.

McPrice “Mac” Myers

 

This has 16.2% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a deep, dark purple color, almost black.  This wine has a massive nose full of blackberries, plums, charcoal, minerals, vanilla, charred meat, wildflowers, and spicy oak.  This is a full bodied wine with solid, chewy tannins and good acidity.  This has solid walls of fruit and spice on the palate with some nice earthiness and dark chocolate in the background.  There is a long lingering finish full of dark fruit, spice, and dark chocolate.  This is an outstanding wine that should last several years in the cellar, but I’d probably drink on the young side before the alcohol (16.2%) becomes too noticeable.  (93 pts)

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets

 

 

 

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein – $4.75

I grabbed a half case of this wine when the local store had it on the close-out rack for under $5.00.

 

My Tasting Note

This wine is a light golden-yellow color.  Apples, petrol, orange zest, and wet stone minerality are on the slightly reserved nose.  Light bodied with crisp, mouthwatering acidity and just enough sweetness to give nice balance.  This is rich and tart on the palate.  Initially a very short finish but it filled out and got longer with air and warming up a bit.  This was an absolute steal at $5 on close-out.  (87 pts)

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

2008 Friedrich Wilhelm Ritzman Riesling Qualitätswein

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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 – June 2, 2014 to June 8, 2014

 

 

2013 Villa Creek Pink

2012 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel Monga Zin Lopez Vineyard

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Annabella Special Selection Carneros

2009 Melville Syrah Estate Verna’s

2012 Verum Pinot Noir

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

 

 

 

2013 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

This wine, as well as the Bedrock Ode to Lulu Rosé are my main pink wines from California for the warm weather.  I supplement these two with purchases from Southern France and Spain so we have plenty of variety.

 

This wine has a suggested retail price of $16 is a steal for under $13 off their e-mail list.  It looks like they still have some available on their site, if you’re interested, check out their site to order, join their e-mail list or for more information by clicking here.

 

This wine is a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre,

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a gorgeous bright salmon color.  The fresh and crisp nose has cherries, minerals, spice, strawberries, orange zest and ripe peaches.  This wine is barely medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals quickly take over slowly allowing some orange zest to slip through.  The finish has good length with a touch of peach joining the orange zest.  The wine leaves a touch of lingering sweetness, minerals and mouthwatering orange zest.  This is a very nice rose and a steal at the mailing list price of under $13.  (88 pts)

2013 Villa Creek Pink

2013 Villa Creek Pink

 

 

 

2012 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel Monga Zin Lopez Vineyard – $20.51

Carol poured a tasting of her wines at the local wine store a month or two ago.  Even though I could not attend the tasting, I was able to get the signed bottle from the picture.  Up to this point, I had not had the opportunity to try any of the “Zin Master’s” wines from her label.

 

There is loads of great information available on her site by clicking here.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a shade lighter than ruby red.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, white pepper, cherries, baking spices, dusty minerals and vanilla.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  This is fairly bright and juicy on the palate with cherries and baking spices up front with minerals and a touch of peppery berries.  The finish has good length with a touch of vanilla coming into focus.  This leaves a very slight lingering sweetness.  This is an easy to drink wine without the excess weight and the high octane of most zinfandels.  (89 pts)

2012 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel Monga Zin Lopez Vineyard

2012 Carol Shelton Wines Zinfandel Monga Zin Lopez Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Annabella Special Selection Carneros – $12.82

I’m always on the look out for $15 Pinot Noirs for week nights.  This is a tough category but there are a few gems out there.  I grabbed this wine as well as the winery’s slightly higher cost Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Even though this wine cost a couple dollars less, I think I liked it a touch more.

 

Much more information on the winery and the four labels of wine produced is available by clicking here.

 

This wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is barely a medium ruby color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, minerals, subtle earthiness and wildflowers.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries and spice lead off with minerals and some earthiness coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a touch of vanilla coming into the picture.  This is a very nice week night Pinot Noir that was a steal for under $13.  (89 pts)

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Annabella Special Selection Carneros

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Annabella Special Selection Carneros

 

 

 

2009 Melville Syrah Estate Verna’s – $20.46

I’m a big fan of Melville’s Pinot Noirs, but when I saw this at the local store, I had to grab a several bottles.  I had a bottle not long after purchase and it left me a bit underwhelmed.  I decided to give it a year in the cellar to see how it would come around.  I waited about a year and a half and it was better but still seemed to need more time.  It’s now been another year and a half, so it’s time to check in again.

 

This has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

Winery history

In 1989, Melville Vineyards, a family owned and operated enterprise was founded in Sonoma County’s Knights Valley, where Ron Melville grew high quality, much sought after Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 1996, Ron’s desire to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought Melville Vineyards to Lompoc’s Sta. Rita Hills, located in the western Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California.  The Sta. Rita Hills appellation is where Ron Melville and his sons Brent and Chad Melville decided to develop their estate vineyards and winery.  Since then, they have also developed an interest in Rhone varietals, particularly Northern Rhone Syrah and Viognier.  The Melville estate achieves quality through the integrity of its farming practice and its respect to the microclimate.

 

Additional information available at http://www.melvillevineyards.com/index2.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very nice nose features black raspberries, cherries, Asian spices, smoke, white pepper, spicy oak, dark chocolate, violets and a touch of earthiness.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  The palate has nice spicy red and black fruit with a bit of oak and some earthiness.  The finish has nice length but does show a touch of excess oak.  This is a nice, slightly restrained style of California Syrah that will probably show a bit of oak on the back end and finish.  This is drinking nicely now but will hold for at least a few years.  (91 pts)

2009 Melville Syrah Estate Verna's

2009 Melville Syrah Estate Verna’s

 

 

 

2012 Verum Pinot Noir – $17.09

I participated in an online tasting of Argentine Pinot Noir wines a while ago and was impressed enough that I had to grab a few bottles.  My post on that event is available by clicking here.

 

Verum (Bodega Del Rio Elorza) is a boutique, family winery with 45 acres of high-density vineyards in the Alto Valle del Rio Negro, Patagonia.

 

The grapes for this 100% Pinot Noir are grown in 100% sustainably farmed vineyards.  The grapes are hand picked and double sorted by hand to ensure only the best grapes make it into the bottle.  The wine is fermentated using indigenous yeasts.  The wine is aged 6-12 months in 50% 1st and 50% 2nd use French oak barrels.

 

The wine has 13.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, semi-transparent ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, white pepper, minerals, baking spices, earthy underbrush and candied violets.  Cherries, minerals and spices coat your palate, eventually allowing white pepper and a touch of spicy oak to join the party.  The finish has nice length with some subtle earthiness joining coming into focus to join the fruit and oak.  This is a nice Pinot Noir that is well mannered but does show a touch of oak at times.  Enjoy over the next couple of years.  (89 pts)

2012 Verum Pinot Noir

2012 Verum Pinot Noir

 

 

 

N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve – $24.99

We had a bottle of this wine while at a friend’s home several months ago.  He told me Costco had the wine in a special box with 4 bottles of the Champagne and for glasses for under $100.  As soon as we could we made our way to the local Costco and a box found its way into my cellar.  This was a killer bottle of bubbles for $25 a bottle.  I’m thankful I have a few more bottles to savor over the warm months ahead.

 

This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a yellow to light straw color with an abundance of small, pinpoint sized bubbles.  The enticing nose has apples. pears, minerals, fresh baked yeasty bread, lemon zest and white flowers.  This has a light, delicate body with crisp acidity.  On the palate this has nice tart apples, pears and minerals up front with bread and citrus coming in on the back end.  This has good length on the dry, crisp finish.  (91 pts)

NV Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

NV Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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