Posts tagged ‘Tamarack Firehouse Red’

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2017 Vol 4

 

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – $45.45

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This 100% Chardonnay is only produced when the quality of the grapes is good enough.  It looks like that happened only 6 times since 1999.

 

The wine is a light straw yellow color with a very persistent, steady stream of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The very appealing nose has pears, lemon curd, yeasty bread, white peach, minerals, shaved almonds and orange blossoms.  This has light body with great effervescence and tart acidity.  On the palate tart pears, lemon curd and minerals quickly take control eventually allowing yeasty bread, white peach and shaved almonds to enter the picture on the back end.  The finish has great length with zippy lemon zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This tastes great now but I don’t plan on opening another bottle for a few years.  I think some cellar time will allow the acidity to integrate and additional nuances to develop.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

2007 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut

 

 

 

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon – $45.00

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This vintage is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that were harvested from September 28 to October 26.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months, 65% new.

 

The wine is a deep violet color.  The elegant nose has cassis, tobacco, baking spices, dusty minerals, violets, cedar, cherries and licorice.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, spicy oak, dusty minerals and baking spices jump out on the front end with tobacco and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with violets and licorice providing some depth.  This needs a bit of time in the cellar to add some weight and fill out on the palate.  This is very nice now but I think the best days are a couple years down the road.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10 – $14.90

Another Last Bottle purchase.  More info on the site and a link to join their e-mail list (with a nice credit) is below.

 

This Russian River Valley Red is a blend of 59% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane and 1% Alicante Bouschet.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, licorice, crushed stone minerals, dark chocolate, dry underbrush, black cherries, dried wild flowers, black peppercorns, baking spices and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate blackberries, baking spices, minerals and dark chocolate take control early with black cherries and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has good length with black peppercorns and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This is an easy drinking, much more civilized version of The Prisoner.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

2013 Hook & Ladder Station 10

 

 

 

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend – $16.50

This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.  I bought this as a pre-release from the winery, so the price I paid is no longer available.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The stunning nose has cassis, licorice, earthy underbrush, black cherries, dried herbs, cedar, stony minerals, tobacco, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has medium to full body, moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate, juicy berries and spicy oak jump out first with dried herbs, cherries and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a nice earthy element and chocolate coming into the picture adding some complexity.  Not a wine made to stash in the cellar but to open and enjoy over the next couple of years.  A great value for under $20.  This wine has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis – $25.00

This wine is a field blend consisting of about a dozen different varietals including Gewurtzraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, Chardonnay and a few others from a vineyard planted in 1954.  This is how wines used to be made before people wanted to see a specific grape on the label.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color.  The exotic nose has apples, lychee, white peach, pear, stony minerals, petrol, honeysuckle, orange blossoms and melon.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  This is rich and luxurious on the palate with nice white orchard fruit, orange blossoms, minerals and lychee nuts on the front end with honeysuckle and a touch of lime zest coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of melon and white peach providing great depth.  This was much smoother and richer as it warmed up a bit, don’t serve this one too cold, just a brief chill in the refrigerator will be perfect.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

 

 

 

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.77

This is a perennial house favorite and best buy.  The blend changes every vintage, but the quality is always in the bottle.  This is always a blend of several grapes that always seems to work.

 

This vintage is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Syrah, 12% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 4% Sangiovese, 2% Zinfandel, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere.

 

This is a fairly deep ruby to maroon color.  The pleasant nose has blackberries, dark chocolate, minerals, cherries, baking spices, dried herbs, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  Nice, juicy, spicy fruit hits the palate first with some dark chocolate and earthiness coming in on the back end.  This has decent length on the finish which is showing a touch of oak.  For under $15 this is a keeper.  The bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork, I could not see the alcohol percentage on the label.  Before you ask, I checked before I even had a sip of the wine.  I think this wine is reaching the end of the line, kill this one off in the next year.  (89 pts)

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2010 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2016 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – May 20, 2013 to May 23, 2013

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos – $11.39

 

This Spanish Garnacha (Grenache) is a perennial best buy that always over delivers.  If you are looking for a classically structured, old world style Grenache, this isn’t it.  If you want a wine loaded with fruit and spice, grab a bottle, you will love this one.  This could be slipped into a tasting of California wines that cost a lot more and not stick out as a weak link.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, smoke, vanilla, baking spices, cherries, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, and some dried herbs.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead off with white pepper, dried herbs, and the coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dark chocolate note joining the party.  This is a very nice wine and an incredible value.  (91 pts)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

 

Even though they are out of vogue, we still love a nice Australian Shiraz.  Those of us that still drink these wines are usually rewarded with great pricing.  I was able to stock up on this gem for about half the suggested price when the local wine store brought in a fair amount.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The open and satisfying nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, black pepper, licorice, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dried herbs, some earthiness, and a floral note.  This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries and dark chocolate take center stage with dried herbs, pepper, and some earthiness coming in on the sidelines.  The finish is very long with berries, dark chocolate, and dried herbs leading the way with a hit of cherries coming through in the background.  This is delicious today but can easily be cellared for several years.  (94 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $25.00

 

Turley was one of the original “cult” zinfandel producers.  Even though they may have been eclipsed by a few of the young guns like Carlisle and Bedrock, their Juvenile and Old Vines Zins are still very nice bottles of wine for the price.  I have actually dropped off the Turley mailing list since I have been able to buy most of the wines from my local wine store who actually has a very nice selection on their shelves.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The spicy nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, minerals, baking spices, smoke, and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  Brighter on the palate than the nose lead me to expect with the fruit more in the cherry and raspberry arena with a load of black pepper and spice poured on top.  The finish has decent length and adds a touch of earthiness.  This doesn’t offer much complexity but still very tasty.  Not your typical rich and velvety Turley zinfandel.  (91 pts)

2008 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.29

 

This is a kitchen sink blend that changes every vintage.  This vintage is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Verdot, and 1% Carmenere from the ColumbiaValley in Washington.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to maroon color. The enticing nose has blackberries, smoldering charcoal, vanilla, meat juices, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, and a bit of earthiness. This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity. The palate has a nice mix of fruity and savory elements that play well off of each other. The finish has decent length leaning a bit more on the savory elements. This is in a very nice drinking window and is a nice change of pace from the bigger, riper California wines.  (90 pts)

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

Mar 4, 2013 to Mar 7, 2013

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

2008 C.G. di Arie Primitivo Block 4 Estate Grown

2006 Powers Syrah Reserve Cougar Vineyard Wahluke Slope

2007 Mitolo Shiraz Jester

 

 

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red – $13.29

 

My comments

This is a perennial house favorite and best buy.  The blend changes every vintage, but the quality is always in the bottle.  This is always a blend of several grapes that always seems to work.

 

This vintage is a blend of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Verdot, and 1% Carmenere.

 

Winery history

Whether it’s our highly acclaimed Firehouse Red or one of our limited-production single vineyard reserve blends, Tamarack’s wines offer a delicious expression of Washington vineyards’ style and elegance.

 

When you visit the winery, you won’t find us in a fancy chateau.  Instead you’ll find yourself immersed in the everyday workings of a family-owned winery, racking, blending and bottling wine, in a renovated firehouse located in a World War II Army Air Base.

 

Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack’s first vintage consisted of 300 cases of Merlot.  The goal was to make elegant, balanced, delicious wines and offer them at a fair price.  Years later, and now up to 20,000 cases each year, the focus remains the same. Tamarack Cellars hand-crafts consistently outstanding wines for a great price.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby to maroon color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, smoldering charcoal, vanilla, meat juices, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has a nice mix of fruity and savory elements that play well off of each other.  The finish has decent length leaning a bit more on the savory elements.  This is in a very nice drinking window and is a nice change of pace from the bigger, riper California wines.  (90 pts)

2008 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red

 

 

 

2008 C.G. di Arie Primitivo Block 4 Estate Grown – $14.24

 

My comments

The local wine store brought this in as part of a sale promotion.  I grabbed several bottles of a few other C. G. di Arie wines, namely their Petite Sirah and red blend called Interlude.  I decided to grab a bottle of this one to fill the case.  This will be my first bottle of this specific wine, but a nice Primitivo for under $15 can take up some space in my cellar anytime.

 

Winery history

As an inventor and new food product developer, Chaim Gur-Arieh spent 35 years preparing himself for the role of winemaker at C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery.

 

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Chaim immigrated to Israel as a teenager.  After completing his military service as an officer in a tank division, Chaim studied at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering.  Soon after, Chaim moved to the United States to continue his education at the University of Illinois where he earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in Food Science with minors in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering.

 

Chaim then joined the Quaker Oats company where he helped develop the breakfast Cereal Cap’n Crunch.  He moved to California to become Director of New Products at Del Monte Corporation where he created an array of new products including “Pudding Cups”, “Gel Cups”, “Yogurt Cups”, etc.  In 1974 Chaim married Elisheva and founded Food Development Corporation, where he developed numerous new products including Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Power Bars and Wine Coolers.   In 1980, Chaim merged Food Development Corporation with California Brands Flavors, his newly created flavor company.  Over the next 18 years Chaim transformed California Brands Flavors into a major West Coast flavor company.

 

In 1998, Chaim and Elisheva sold their flavor company to Mane & Fils, an international flavor company and went on to pursue their life-long dream of creating world class wines.   In his new role as Winemaker, Chaim developed his innovative “Dual Compartment Submerged Cap Fermentation Tank” (patent pending) which he uses to craft his delicious red wines.  Chaim’s wines are highly extracted, soft and elegant – a perfect match to fine cuisine.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch lighter than ruby red.  The comforting nose had brambly berries, baking spices, black pepper, cherries, dark chocolate, fresh wild flowers, and a bit of earthiness.  The wine has medium body, light tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has tart cherries, spicy, peppery, berries and some earthiness.  The finish is a touch short but shows nice red fruit and spice.  Not a big, bold, style of wine, but very enjoyable on a week night.  (87 pts)

2008 C G  di Arie Primitivo Block 4 Estate Grown

 

 

 

2006 Powers Syrah Reserve Cougar Vineyard Wahluke Slope – $14.24

 

My comments

This is another wine the local wine store brought in as part of an end-of-vintage sale.  My thought process to decide to buy this wine was something along the lines of, “Washington state, single vineyard, Syrah, for under $15”.  Into my case went a few bottles very quickly.

 

Winery history

Second generation winemaker Greg Powers has a deep affinity for the Columbia Valley and its viticulture.  He grew up in the region’s spectacular farm country and helped his father Bill plant and manage Badger Mountain Vineyard.  Today, Greg carries on the family traditions of sustainable farming and the passionate production of exceptional wines.  Under Greg’s leadership, Powers Winery has been recognized as a “rising star” by Wine Spectator, and as one of the “50 Great U.S. Cabernet Producers” by Wine Enthusiast.

 

Powers wines are creatively blended and crafted to showcase Washington state’s distinctive vineyards and robust and diverse microclimates.  Deeply rooted in long term relationships with premium Washington state growers, Powers sources a variety of the highest quality fruit to consistently produce compelling wines of uncommon depth, complexity and harmony.  Our Reserve Meritage is an excellent example of blending premiere vineyards, while our other Reserve selections spotlight wines from a single expressive vineyard.  All Powers wines reflect a devotion, experience and integrity that result in wines worthy to carry the family name.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep maroon color.  The slightly different nose has blackberries, smoke, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, minerals, roasted game, and licorice.  The earthy elements and roasted game push right up to barnyardy but stop before crossing the line, which isn’t a problem to me, but buyer beware.  This has medium body, mostly integrated tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit comes across more like raspberry to cherry instead of the blackberries that were on the nose.  The palate also has nice minerals, spice, and earthy elements.  The finish is a touch short with tart cherries, dried herbs, minerals, and earthy elements carrying the weight.  A nice change of pace, somewhere in the middle of a French Rhone wine and a cooler climate CA Syrah.  (89 pts)

2006 Powers Syrah Reserve Cougar Vineyard Wahluke Slope

 

 

 

2007 Mitolo Shiraz Jester – $12.74

 

My comments

I was in the mood for something easy drinking and tasty to sip on this evening.  This made the choice easy, an Australian Shiraz.  This Ben Glaetzer made wine is usually full of ripe, juicy fruit.

 

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 ruby red color.  The very open and easy going nose has blackberries, cherries, vanilla, black pepper, baking spices, brined olives, and wild flowers.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The spicy, peppery, sweet cherries and berries coat the palate with some vanilla and brined olives coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and mirrors the palate.  If you’re looking for a Northern Rhone Syrah, look elsewhere, if you want a mouthful of sweet, spicy, peppery cherries and berries, you found your wine.  It’s not very complex, but what do you expect for around $15?  (89 pts)

2007 Mitolo Shiraz Jester

 

 

 

 

***** 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

 

 

 

 

 

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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