Posts tagged ‘Trentadue’

Top 10 QPR Wines of 2012

 

 

top10

 

 

 

QPR Stands for Quality to Price Ratio.  These are the wines that represented the highest quality and lowest prices.

 

Here are the top QPR wines I had in 2012.  I selected only bottles of wine that I purchased in 2012.  Will all (or any) of these wines be available in your area?  Good question.  The short answer is, all won’t be available, but one or two may be sitting on a shelf, especially the ones I bought towards the end of the year.

 

Instead of using the price I paid, which may have been a close out price, I am using the “Community Average value” from Cellar Tracker.  This means, you may actually find the wine for a lower price.  I just needed a good way to show an actual price.  It would be stupid for me to show a wine with a suggested price of $50, just because I bought one bottle at a blowout for $19.99.

 

The Cellar Tracker “Community average value” can be skewed if there were a lot of bottles bought at a sale price.  That means, I’m sorry if you can find the wine but it is considerably higher than the price I have listed.  There are a lot of factors that could cause the average price to drop below the current cost, volume discounts, special offers, sales, etc.

 

To be in the Top 10, a wine’s “Community Average Value” had to be under $20.  As an added bonus, I included five wines with an average value of $20.00 to $25.00.  Like I mentioned earlier, since the price listed is the “average” price, you may be able to find some of these for under $20.

 

Unfortunately, the average price of a couple wines in my list had their average price creep over $20 in the last week.  Instead of removing them, I left them on the list since with low “ownership” wines, one person paying suggested price can skew the average.

 

QPR

 

 

10 – 2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $13.56

 

My comments

This was a new one for me in 2012.  I bought one bottle, tried it, and had to load up.  I think this one will improve a bit with some cellar time and drink well for a couple of years.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted about 2 hours.  The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  Blackberries, Asian spices, licorice, cracked black peppercorns, plums, cherries, eucalyptus, underbrush, cherry, and a hint of smoked meat on the very nice and open nose.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  Loads of spicy fruit on the palate that is not raisiny or syrupy.  Ripe but not overly so, walking the fine line.  Nice length on the finish which does show a bit of spicy oak.  Tasty now, but a bit more cellar time may be rewarded.  (90 pts)

Brassfield Eruption

 

 

 

9 – 2011 Villa Creek Pink – $15.10

 

My comments

This is one of my perennial summer Rosé wines.  This one is generally good with a light dinner on a warm day, or just a cool beverage to tame some Summer heat.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very nice looking pinkish salmon color.  The very crisp and clean nose has strawberries, white peaches, cherries, Asian spices, citrus zest, and a touch of earthiness.  Light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness makes for a very nice palate on a warm evening.  The palate has nice crisp, sweet fruit and spices with some earthiness lurking in the background.  The finish shows nice length with the fruit and spice slowly giving way to a touch of mouthwatering, citrusy acidity.  This is a very nice Rose with or without food.  (91 pts)

VC Pink

 

 

 

8 – 2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico – $22.45

 

My comments

This was suggested to me by a friend at my local wine store as one to try.  I did, and as usual, he was right.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, ruby red color.  The very nice and pleasing nose has plums, black cherries, baking spices, underbrush, dried herbs, and fresh flowers.  This is barely medium body with ripe tannins and very good acidity.  The wine is rich and lush on the palate with plenty of acidity holding everything together very nicely.  The finish has very nice length with red fruit, spice, and nice earthiness.  A very nice Chianti Classico, I need to pick up some more.  (91 pts)

2010 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico

 

 

 

7 – 2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – $16.43

 

My comments

A top notch winery, a high quality region, and one of my favorite grapes, how could I not love it?

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a garnet red color.  The very intriguing nose has cherries, Asian spices, plums, dried leafy herbs, meat juices, leather, white pepper, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  This has solid fruit and spice on the plush and velvety palate.  The palate leans heavily on the tart cherries and Asian spices, but the pepper, plums, and pepper spread out to totally envelope the palate in flavor.  The long, lingering finish echoes the palate with the spicy, cherries and a touch of earthiness seeming to never totally fade.  This is a fantastic value that should find a place in your cellar.  This can be enjoyed over the next 4 to 5 years.  (91 pts)

2008 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

6 – 2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau – $14.47

 

My comments

I used to drink a ton of this wine, but for some reason, probably price, I moved on to other wines.  My local wine store had this at a great price so I had to grab a few bottles, I’m glad I did since it is as good as ever.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very tempting nose features plums, cherries, wood smoke, baking spices, wild flowers, and some dried herbs and cedar.  This has a medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and dried herbs grab the initial spotlight with some spicy oak and baking spices adding nice depth in the background.  The finish has nice length and highlights the savory elements with the fruit in the background.  A very nice, value priced “baby Priorat”.   (91 pts)

2009 Cellers Can Blau Montsant Can Blau

 

 

 

5 – 2008 Treasure Hunter Cabernet Franc Catch 22 – $19.33

 

My comments

This is a Negociant that buys excess juice from wineries, sometimes does some blending, bottles it and sells it for a fraction of the price the original winery would have charged.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very interesting and inviting nose has blackberries, dried herbs, licorice, black cherry, baking spices, cigar tobacco, dark chocolate, cedar, and some violets.  This has medium body with fairly solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a fair amount of upfront berries and black cherry with dried herbs and spices, slowly a nice hit of dark chocolate creeps in on the backend.  The finish has decent length and leans more toward the dried herbs and dark chocolate with the fruit playing more of a supporting role in the background.  This is a fantastic, young wine for under $20.  I’m going to try and hold off opening another for a few months, but it will be tough.  (92 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Franc Catch 22

 

 

 

4 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé – $18.46

 

My comments

This is another of the Rosé wines I load up on before Summer rolls around.  This one usually has a bit more acidity than the Villa Creek Pink (#9 above).

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice, light, pinkish salmon color.  Minerals, strawberry, white pepper, melons, orange zest, and a bit of dusty earthiness on the very appealing nose.  This has light body with crisp acidity.  This is a very dry rose with nice minerality and fruit with the white pepper and citrus making an appearance on the back end.  Nice, lingering, mouthwatering finish. The real deal. Even those who like a crisp French Rose will find pleasure in this wine.  (92 pts)

Bedrock Rose

 

 

 

3 – 2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $18.02

 

My comments

This is another wine I used to buy in large volumes but avoided when the price crept up.  The local store featured this for an outstanding price and I ended up getting well over a case to enjoy over the next few years.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The elegant nose has blackberries, plums, smoke, dried herbs, vanilla, black cherries, wild flowers and minerals.  This is medium body with silky, ripe tannins and decent acidity.  There is nice layered fruit, spice, and dried herbs on the palate with just a touch of earthiness in the background.  This has nice length on the finish which shows spicy berries.  Very nice.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

 

 

 

2 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Casa Santinamaria – $17.89

 

My comments

I joined the Bedrock mailing list to get their red wines, but thus far I have preferred their Rosé and whites.  The Bedrock red wines need some cellar time, but their whites, like this one are outstanding and offer fantastic value.  This is composed of Muscadelle, Chasselas, Zinfandel, Semillon, and even a little bit of Chardonnay.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow/straw color.  This ha a very intriguing nose with apples, pears, peach, minerals, white pepper, citrus zest, a very nice floral note and just a bit of an herbal note.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  This has luscious, juicy fruit on the palate with citrus, herbal notes and a bit of white pepper in the background.  This very unusual blend is very unique and delicious.  This is another winning white wine from Bedrock.  (92 pts)

Casa Santinamaria

 

 

 

1 – 2007 Core Hard Core – $20.16

 

My comments

This is a blend of 37% Mourvèdre, 33% Cabernet, 26% Syrah and 4% Grenache, and that add up to 100% delicious!  I’m not sure if Dave Corey still has any of this and what his current price is, I was able to load up during a sale on Invino.  This wine is just entering a nice drinking window.  Thankfully I still have some in the cellar to enjoy over the next few years.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby color.  The captivating nose has black cherry, smoked meat, black pepper, cassis, vanilla, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness and cedar.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  The wine is rich and spicy on the palate with layers of flavors popping in, including nice dark chocolate and espresso grounds elements.  This has a fairly long finish full of fruit and dark chocolate with some nice, spicy oak and earthiness adding to the enjoyment.  This is an outstanding effort that will reward additional cellar time.  (93 pts)

Hard Core

 

 

 

Bonus – Five wines from $20.00 to $25.00

 

 

 

11 – 2007 Core Tempranillo C3 Reserve – $21.40

 

My comments

I’m a big fan of Spanish Tempranillo wines, but other than Villa Creek’s Mas de Maha, which is a blend with a fair amount of Tempranillo, most from California haven’t been noteworthy.  Finally, an outstanding California Tempranillo wine!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a slightly hazy deep ruby color.  The wine has an exotic and exciting nose full of cherries, black raspberries, well worn leather, earthy underbrush, baking spices, licorice, and dried herbs.  This has a medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is loaded with tart cherries, raspberries, and baking spices up front with some earthiness and dried herbs in the background adding nice depth and complexity.   The finish is fairly long and full of juicy fruit and spice that slowly gives way to dried herbs and a touch of earthiness.  This is still very young and with the abundance of fruit, acidity, and tannins, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  One of the better California Tempranillo wines I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.  (93 pts)

2007 Core Tempranillo C3 Reserve

 

 

 

12 – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch – $22.17

 

My comments

How about that the third Bedrock wine to make my QPR list, and like the two previous entries, it is not a red.  This is the second vintage in a row that this wine was a killer value.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw color with glints of green and gold.  This has a fresh and refreshing nose full of apples, white peaches, stony minerals, citrus zest, eucalyptus, fresh cut grass, with a nice floral note.  This is light to medium body with crisp, citrusy, acidity.  This is bright and very lively with the fruit, citrus, and herbal notes taking turns enticing the palate.  The finish is fairly long with the eucalyptus making an appearance to lend a savory element to the fruit and citrus.  No hurry on this one, it should easily last a few years in the cellar, but as soon as you finish a bottle you will be drawn to open another.  (92 pts)

Bedrock SB

 

 

 

13 – 2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – $22.89

 

My comments

This was another new find for me in 2012.  I bought a few bottles of Helioterra wine based on a recommendation during a “Berserkers Day” event.  If you don’t know what a “Berserker Day” is, visit Wine Berserkers.

 

My Tasting Note

From a bottle that had been opened but not decanted for about 4 hours.  The wine is a very light, transparent ruby color.  This has cherry, wet earth, underbrush, baking spices, and a hint of a soft, herbal note on the soft, delicate, but very inviting nose.  The wine has light to medium body with soft, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice spicy, earthy cherries on the palate with a very pleasing faint herbal note in the background.  There is decent length on the finish which may fill out with some additional cellar time.  My first exposure to Helioterra, but this will not be my last.  (92 pts)

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

 

 

 

14 – 2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvee 32” – $21.81

 

My comments

This is one of my favorite “Super Tuscan” wines coming out of California.  A “Super Tuscan” is generally a wine from Tuscany that had a non Italian grape blended with the native Sangiovese.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  On very enticing nose there are cherries, raspberries, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, blackberries, black pepper, and violets.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is full of tart, spicy, fruit with nice earthy elements and some pepper adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long and features tart, juicy cherries, licorice, and some earthiness.  This is a very nice “Super Tuscan” from California.  Tastes fantastic today, but this will last in the cellar for up to five years.  (91 pts)

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia Cuvee 32

 

 

 

15 – 2009 Girard Petite Sirah – $24.00

 

My comments

This is another favorite in just about every vintage.  Girard is just about as consistent with this grape as any winery in the world.  They always seem to put out an exceptional Petite Sirah at a great price.

 

My Tasting Note

This was decanted for about an hour. The wine is a deep, dark purple color. There are blackberries, black pepper, smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, dried herbs, underbrush, and some earthiness on the dark and pleasing nose.  This is medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  There is a lot of fruit and spice on the palate with just a bit of earthiness coming in on the back end with dark chocolate and black pepper.  Nice length on the finish where the dark chocolate really kicks into high gear.  This is very young but already very nice.  (91 pts)

Girard

 

 

 

 

***** 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!

 

 

 

 

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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 22, 2012 to Oct 25, 2012

 

 

 

2007 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard – $14.99

 

My comments

I grabbed a few bottles of this wine at a blow out price of $15, based on the wine’s reputation.  We opened a bottle in January 2011, but it was WAY too oaky for our tastes.  I decided to leave it in the cellar for another year or two to see if the oak would integrate, at least a little.

 

Winery history

Richard Sanford came to the Santa Ynez Valley 40 years ago with the desire to create wines that would rival the best of France.  First to recognize the potential of the Santa Rita Hills (now an officially accredited American Viticultural Area as Sta. Rita Hills), and first to plant Pinot Noir vines there, Richard is a pioneer with a well established reputation for excellence in winemaking.

 

Working in partnership for more than 30 years, Thekla and Richard Sanford founded multiple, successful winegrowing enterprises.  Their latest venture, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, represents the culmination of a lifetime’s experience – an enterprise dedicated to creating high quality wines and setting a benchmark for organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and environment-friendly commerce.

 

The winery, owned by Richard Sanford, dubbed the father of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir and the first to plant the vine there, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 27.

 

After nearly a half-century of ups and downs in the wine business, Sanford admitted that he’d rather be riding off into the sunset than trying to save the family farm.  “It is true that I have been doing this for 44 years, and Thekla and I were looking forward to having some quiet time,” said Sanford.  “But that’s just not possible yet.”

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby color.  The big and bold nose has cherries, black raspberries, baking spices, cedar, wild flowers, smoke, and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and tart acidity.  Tart cherries hit the palate first, followed by some spices and earthiness before the oak takes over, which it does in a big way.  The finish is fairly long but just about totally oak driven.  If you like oak dominated wine, you’ll like this a lot more than I do.  (86 pts)

 

 

 

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvée 32” – $17.04

 

My comments

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

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep garnet color, much lighter at the edge.  On very enticing nose there are cherries, raspberries, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, baking spices, licorice, blackberries, black pepper, and violets.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine is full of tart, spicy, fruit with nice earthy elements and some pepper adding depth and complexity.  The finish is fairly long and features tart, juicy cherries, licorice, and some earthiness.  This is a very nice “Super Tuscan” from California.  Tastes fantastic today, but this will last in the cellar for up to five years.  (91 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County – $17.50

 

My comments

This is one of my all time favorite QPR values.  This is a Zinfandel that is every bit as good as ones that are on shelves at $30 or more, and it cost me well under $20.

 

Winery history

Carlisle is a winery that started as a classic “garage winery” for Owner/Winemaker Mike Officer.  His first foray into wine making was making 5 gallons of Zinfandel in his kitchen.  Over the next several years, with the help of his wife Kendall (Carlisle), and some friends, he produced a barrel of wine each vintage.  During this period, he also has a “real job” as a software developer.  To make a long story short, eventually the software developer title was left in the rear view mirror and Owner/Winemaker became his new title.  I highly recommend checking out the complete story at http://www.carlislewinery.com/about.html

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  On the big but civilized nose there are brambly berries, black pepper, dark chocolate, vanilla, licorice, dried herbs, smoke, wild flowers, and a touch of earthiness.  This is medium to full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine shows a load of peppery berries with licorice, dried herbs and a bit of earthiness adding depth and complexity.  The finish is long and features the peppery berries.  An incredible wine and an absolute steal for under $20.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

2007 Novy Family Wines Grenache Judge Family Vineyard – $19.00

 

My comments

I really like wines from California made with grapes native to France’s RhoneValley.  The thing I most like is what frustrates a lot of people, the variety.  There are soft and fruity wines, full bodied and bold wines, and medium bodied versions full of black pepper and spice.  I like the wines made by Novy because they are usually in the third category, medium bodied and full of spice.  This style is the closest to the styles made in France and also the most food friendly.

 

Winery history

We met Dianna Lee at an in store wine tasting here in the Milwaukee area a couple years ago.  While we talked she mentioned going to college in East Texas.  After talking a bit more, it turned out she was in college about a mile from our house while we were living in Nacogdoches, TX.  We were able to talk about having Margaritas in a local Mexican Restaurant.  There’s a good chance we were all enjoying happy hour together, a few tables apart.  Who knows, maybe La Hacienda closed down because they lost all our business when we moved to Milwaukee and Dianna met Adam and moved to wine country.  Truly a small world.

 

For us, the beauty of making our own wine is the total freedom to do it our way, without compromise. Although it is necessary to be able to adapt to new circumstances with each and every vintage, we have found that these principles hold true year after year.

 

We believe that great wine is made in the vineyard. Only with great grapes can we produce great wines. To this end, we purchase the majority of our fruit by the acre rather than by the ton.

We believe in minimal intervention winemaking that promotes, rather than overshadows the work we do in the vineyard.

Most importantly, we believe that wine should be a pleasure to drink. If you don’t like the way a wine tastes, what’s the point? Novy Family wines are made to be enjoyed with good friends and good food.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color, much lighter at the edge.  The very interesting and unique nose has raspberries, earthy underbrush, black pepper, dried herbs, baking spices, smoke, licorice, cherries, and a touch of eucalyptus.  This has medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate a nice hit of cherry and raspberry precedes a blast of savory elements including black pepper, dried herbs, and nice earthy notes.   The finish is fairly long and leans towards the savory spectrum with nice cherry and raspberry in the background adding subtle sweetness.  Not a fruit forward, fruit bomb, very food friendly.  I like this a lot and feel it should last in the cellar for another year, maybe two.  (92 pts)

 

 

 

Nice delivery of samples from Elyse for me to review arrived today.  I look forward to sampling them in the next couple of weeks.  The reviews will be in a special edition of Cliff’s Wine Picks.  Selections include 2008 Morisoli Zinfandel, 2010 Barrel SelectNapa Valley Petite Sirah, and the 2007 Morisoli Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

 

 

Mailing Lists

The Loring e-mail with their non Pinot Noir wine hit and I immediately grabbed several bottles.  My main buys were the Grenache and the Convergence wines.

 

 

 

Wines bought or received this week

I received the samples noted above from Elyse, but that is all, so far.  If everything gets delivered tomorrow that is due, I’ll receive wine from Core (WineWoot), Garagiste Wine, and from a new favorite, Ledge.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

If you want me to review your wines, see my Sample Policy or e-mail me at Cliff@CliffsWinePicks.com

 

 

 

Cheers!

August 17, 2012 to August 19, 2012

 

2008 McPrice Myers Syrah Les Galets – $28.80

I’ve wanted to try this one since it arrived at my door last April.  This is, as with most McPrice Myers wines, a big boy, weighing in at over 16% alcohol.  The professional and Cellar Tracker reviews sound promising.  As I state every time I have one of these wines, they may not be for daily consumption, but every few weeks I can get into one.  This should be a good match for a Wisconsin dietary staple, some spicy brats.

I’m generally a fan of Mc Price Myers, but some of their wines are too big and ripe even for me.  Wines with this much body and alcohol, to me, absolutely must have solid tannins and more importantly enough acidity to avoid becoming syrupy.  There has to be something to support and give a backbone to a massive wine.

From a bottle that had been opened for 2 hours but not decanted.  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.  (94 pts)

 

Dinner was some fresh, store made “Spicy Packer Brats” from Karl’s Country Market close to my office.  These were a perfect pairing with the McPrice Myers Syrah, in my opinion.  Both were big and bold but complimented each other.

 

 

2003 Domaine du Banneret Châteauneuf-du-Pape – $28.73

I bought a few of these from Garagiste Wine out of Washington a little over five years ago.  So far we’ve only had one bottle and I liked it, so it’s time to check in again to see how it is doing.

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color with a fair amount of bricking.  Worn leather, minerals, dried herbs, cherries, plums, baking spices, earthy underbrush, white pepper, and meat juices are on the very open and inviting nose.  This is medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  More savory than fruity on the palate with the dried herbs and earthy elements in the front and the fruit in the background.  This has a fairly long finish which is again more savory than fruity but seems a touch clipped by the tannins and acidity.  This has very nice balance and could use a bit more cellar time, which will be rewarded.  (93 pts)

 

 

2009 Trentadue Winery La Storia “Cuvée 32” – $17.04

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

This was decanted about an hour.  The wine is a fairly deep maroon color, but much lighter at the edge.  There are earthy cherries, blackberries, dried herbs, black pepper, and hints of licorice and wildflowers on the enticing nose.  Medium body with fairly solid but ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine has tart cherries, baking spices, earthy elements, and a slight, satisfying herbal note.  Fairly long finish with spicy, tart cherries out front with some earthiness in the background.  A very nice California version of an Italian “Super Tuscan”.  A few years in the cellar won’t hurt the wine, but probably won’t help too much, drink this young for the tart fruit.  (91 pts)

 

 

2008 Grooner Grüner Veltliner – $9.46

This bottle fell through the cracks.  I had it on my list to drink a year or two ago but never got around to opening it.  Grüner Veltliner, like Riesling, are higher acidity whites that can age pretty well, even the ones from low price points.  I guess today will be a good day to see how this under $10 Austrian white progressed or even survived with three years in the cellar.

This is a very nice pale yellow/green color.  A soft and inviting nose with juicy melons, lemon zest, white pepper, fresh green peas, vanilla, and green herbs.  The wine is light to medium body with tart acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate the wine has tart citrus, solid herbaceous notes, and some spicy white pepper.  There is a nice lingering finish with the citrus and herbal notes and some spice in the background and just a touch of sweetness adding depth.  This is a very nice Summer sipper, especially for an under $10 wine that sat in the cellar for over three years.  (88 pts)

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Jean Edwards Cellars

This is the home of some fantastic NapaValley cabernets at unbelievable prices.  Their latest offer includes their 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet and the 2009 Seventy Four – Forty One Howell Mountain Cab came out of Friday.  If you can bribe your way onto their pre-release mailing list, these are only $48 each.  As a bonus, they also have a Library Release of their first commercial offering, the 2004 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet.  Visit https://jeanedwardscellars.com/ and tell Karen I sent you.

If you’re interested, we’re having a pre-release 2009 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard with dinner tonight.  Check out my blog tomorrow for my review.

 

Epoch Estate Wines

Epoch’s next release will be hitting the inbox in mid September.  They are moving from the dreaded free-for-all to a guaranteed allocation with a wish list option.  This usually method usually cuts back your maximum bottle quantity but allows you some time to get in your order.  I greatly prefer smaller but guaranteed allocations.  I’ve completely missed some offers due to business travel and how many people can actually spend all day constantly monitoring their e-mail when an offer is due to hit?

 

Rudius Wines

No definite date for the next release but the interesting news is there will be a white wine offering in the future.  There will be a 2011 Rudius Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay in the Spring offering.  The upcoming fall release looks to be Cabernets and Grenache.  I highly recommend getting on Jeff Ames’ mailing list for Rudius.  I also recommend checking out the really nice, updated website which includes new “retrospective” tasting notes on the wines.  The site is http://www.rudiuswines.com/

 

 

#CabernetDay

Save the Date: August 30, 2012 will be the third annual global celebration of Cabernet.  You have a couple weeks to pick out a bottle to open.  Let us know which wine you choose.  #Cabernet Day

 

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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!

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