Posts tagged ‘Turley Zinfandel Old Vines’

Cliffs Wine Picks – December 2017 Vol 2

 

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.69

This is a very popular white wine in my house.  This is usually a very easy to drink wine that works with a wide array of meals or on its own on a sunny day.

 

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The vibrant nose has apples, honeysuckle, minerals, orange blossoms, white peach and lime zest.  This has medium body with nice acidity.  This has great front end fruit with minerals, honeysuckle and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has good length with a touch of mouthwatering lime zest.  This is very easy to sip on its own or with a light meal.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

2013 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $45

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre from Paso Robles.

 

This wine is a deep maroon color.  The intoxicating nose is full of black raspberries, blueberries, violets, crushed stones, dry underbrush, licorice, Asian spices and white pepper.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  This is full of rich and velvety fruit on the front end of the palate with minerals, spices, white pepper and underbrush coming in on the backend.  The finish has very nice length with the fruit and minerals lingering nicely.  This still tastes great and is holding up nicely but I wouldn’t hold onto it for too much longer.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2005 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

 

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast – $16

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This 100% Pinot Noir uses grapes mainly from a western Russian River Valley vineyard with additional grapes from the Carneros region and others from the western edge of the Petaluma gap.  After fermentation the wine was aged for 10 months sur lies in French oak with 20% being new.

 

This wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, earthy underbrush, crushed stone minerals, strawberries, wildflowers, baking spices, white pepper and vanilla bean.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, baking spices and minerals come through on the front end with white pepper, earthy underbrush and vanilla bean coming in later.  The finish has good length with strawberry and a nice floral note providing depth.  For such a young wine, this is delicious with some air.  I wouldn’t stash this away in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next few years.  This has great balance and the bright flavors make this a perfect dinner companion to a wide array of meals.  I can’t believe I bought this for only $16, I really should have loaded up.  If Last Bottle offers this again, I’ll be all in.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

2016 Roessler Pinot Noir Black Pine Sonoma Coast

 

 

 

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range – $9.74

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a blend of 52% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot, 5% Mourvedre and 2% Cabernet Franc.

 

This was a house favorite when we wanted “something different”.  Unfortunately the winery closed so there won’t be more down the road.  Luckily, Last Bottle bought everything the winery had available and sold the wine at an incredible price.  Last Bottle didn’t just buy the winery’s finished wines but also bought barrels the winery had aging in their cellar.  When those wines were ready, they were bottled and released by Last Bottle.  I’ll have reviews of those wines down the road since I stocked up on those offers.

 

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has crushed berries, licorice, black peppercorns, dried wild flowers, dusty minerals, fresh ground espresso beans and dry earth.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and minerals pop out first with dry earth and a nice dried floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with espresso beans providing depth.  This is a nice, easy drinking everyday wine, especially at the price.  I’d enjoy this one over the next few years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (89 pts)

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

2012 Casey Flat Ranch Open Range

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve – $19.48

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

This is a deep ruby red color.  The captivating nose has black cherries, charred wood, plums, crushed stone minerals, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla bean and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cocoa powder, minerals and plums quickly jump out on the front end with charred wood and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and violets providing additional depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for three to five more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 World's End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

 

 

 

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $25

This is a perennial best buy.  This is a blend of grapes from vineyards to small to have a vineyard designated wine or vineyards that are “new” sources for Turley.  The vines for this wine are 45 to over 130 years old.

 

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The comforting nose has briary berries, dry earth, baking spices, black pepper, black cherries, licorice and plums.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, pepper and dry earth power the front end with plums, black cherries and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has nice length with licorice and dry earth joining the berries.  This still seems to be on the young side so there is no hurry with one.  This is rich and lush with good fruit and plenty of structure.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

 

I paired the Villa Creek Mas de Maha with a Rack of Pork, my favorite potatoes and mixed peas from this Summer’s garden.

 

 

 

I made up a large batch of spicy Mexican Meatballs and served them with Chipotle Refried Beans with the Turley Old Vine Zinfandel.

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Beef Cubed Steak and mashed red skin potatoes covered in a thick, rich gravy was paired with the World’s End Merlot.

 

 

 

 

 

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/

 

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 2017 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:

 

 

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 25, 2015 to May 31, 2015

 

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch

2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard

 

 

 

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $28.00

I’ve been on the Rhys mailing list for a few years.  A lot of people knock the wines because they don’t taste great upon release.  Rhys wines require a few years in the cellar to smoothen out and open up.  That said, their Alesia wines, which are made from purchased grapes, though also needing some time in the cellar, seem to be ready to drink a couple years earlier.  I grabbed several bottles of this wine when it was offered on their e-mail release.  I’ve had a couple bottles and every bottle has been better than the previous bottle…always a good sign.  I’m glad I still have a few bottles to follow over the next few years.

 

This has 13.9% alcohol and is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The sexy nose has strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices, underbrush, minerals, cherries, dried flowers, and a slight herbal note.  The wine has medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  The very complex palate has layers of fruit, spice, and earthy elements that slowly reveal themselves with each sip, with the nice cleansing acidity evident at all times.  The finish is fairly long and the mouthwatering acidity is ever present.  This is very food friendly and civilized.  There is no excess weight or overly extracted notes evident on the wine.  This is still on the young side and can be enjoyed over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $23.71

To me, one of the better values out there is the Turley Old Vines Zinfandel.  Along with the appellation wines from Carlisle and Bedrock, these prove you can get a great bottle of California Zinfandel for $25 or less.

 

This is a blend of Zinfandel grapes from some of the older vineyards in California that don’t produce enough wine to allow for a single vineyard bottling.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.

 

Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.

 

As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.

 

In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.

 

By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars is annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby red color.  The very nice and inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, incense, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the well behaved palate the spicy berries and black pepper take charge with some dark chocolate, vanilla, and earthy elements coming in later.  The finish has nice length and again highlights the spicy berries and earthiness.  If you think Turley zins are all overblown, you should give this one a try, it will change your opinion.  (92 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – $14.24

I had this wine on my list of the Top Value Wines of 2012.  This is still a favorite with week night Italian fare, like tonight’s Veal Parmesan.  I like the extra body and richness imparted by the drying of the grapes but the wine generally retains enough acidity to stand up to the tomato based sauces.  This is also a personal favorite with a nice, meaty pizza.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

Allegrini is the leading producer in the Valpolicella Classico area and one of the most highly acclaimed wineries in Italy and throughout the world.  The family’s roots in Valpolicella date back to the 16th century.  Today the winery consists of more than 100 hectares (247 acres) set amongst the rolling hills of the “Classico” appellation.  All wines made under the Allegrini label are produced exclusively from these estate vineyards.  Through research and experimentation over the years, Allegrini has introduced radical innovations in the vineyards, in the grape drying process and in the cellar, with the objective of enhancing the intrinsic quality of Valpolicella.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, plums, warm baking spices, minerals, vanilla, and dried flowers.  The wine has a medium body with soft, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and plush on the palate with the spicy berries and dried herbs up front and some earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with the spicy berries and dried herbs carrying the load.  If you can find this for $15 or less, load up, I did.  (92 pts)

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

2008 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch – $21.75

Novy is another long time favorite winery.  I realize I have several “favorite wineries” and they represent a high percentage of the wines I review, but there is a reason for that…I review wines from my cellar that I have bought and I generally buy a lot of wine from certain wineries, because I like them.  Generally, I will buy multiples bottles of wine from these wineries because I know they will make the best wine possible with the grapes.  This wine falls into that category.  I like Novy well enough that I loaded up on this wine with no reviews or tasting notes available because it was from Novy, it was a Zinfandel and it was from Papera Ranch.  By the time there are reviews available of wines like this, they are sold out.

 

Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.

 

In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.

 

Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:

 

  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby color.  The very interesting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, minerals, smoke, vanilla bean, warm baking spices, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate shows tart, spicy, peppery berries with minerals and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is kicked up a couple notches with the crisp acidity accentuating the fruit and spices leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  Not a big, bruising style of zin.  Very food friendly and one that should last for years in the cellar.  (91 pts)

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch

2009 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Papera Ranch

 

 

2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard – $34.50

Everything Elyse produces is a winner in my house.  A top notch cab from them with well over a decade in the cellar should be a wow wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The magical nose is full of cassis, baking spices, cedar, dusty minerals, dried herbs, melted licorice and subtle dried earth.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate rich cassis, spice and cedar jump out first followed by dusty minerals and dried herbs.  The finish has very nice length cherries entering the picture to join the cassis and spice.  This is drinking very nicely but has tons of life remaining.  (93 pts)

2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen Vineyard

2001 Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon Tietjen 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 2015 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 – Apr 14, 2014 to Apr 20, 2014

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée

2012 Planet Oregon Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek – $9.50

Perennially a value priced favorite.  In this vintage, it seems to have a bit more oomph than most vintages.  Perhaps there was a surplus of very good grapes from some of the better vineyards or some grapes headed for single vineyard wines were declassified.  Either way, we’re the winners.  This is a jammy, fruity blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Syrah and Nebbiolo.

 

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.

 

In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.

 

Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:

 

  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby with a slight brick tint.  The enjoyable nose has blackberries, cherries, vanilla, baking spices, dark chocolate, dried flowers and a touch of scorched earth.  This has medium body,  soft tannins and good acidity.  This has nice up front jammy fruit with spices and a touch of eathiness.  On the back end the fruit thins out a touch allowing the savory notes to take over.  The finish has decent length with the spicy oak and earthiness in control with the fruit in the background providing a bit of sweetness.  I’d advise drinking this one up over the next year or two before the fruit fades more on the back end and finish.  Even showing some age, this is still a nice bottle of wine for $10.  (88 pts)

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek

2009 Novy Family Wines Four Mile Creek

 

 

 

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT – $19.99

This is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot.

 

Modus was first produced in 1997 from grapes selected in the vineyards of the Tuscan Estates of Ruffino.  It was not, though, a new wine in the real sense of the term.  Ruffino had, in fact, been experimenting with the coltivation of non-traditional grape varieties on Tuscan soil since the eighties.  Some of the most encouraging results had been obtained with Cabernet and Merlot.

 

This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The mesmerizing nose has black cherries, blackberries, dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, warm baking spices, tobacco, smoke, subtle earthiness and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate features up front fruit and spice with dark chocolate and toasty oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with the dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and some earthiness.  This is on the young side but already very tasty.  (92 pts)

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

2010 Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

More information is available on the winery’s website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color, lighter at the edge.  The appealing nose has cherries, warm baking spices, blackberries, white pepper, earthy underbrush, dried herbs, and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Tart, spicy, earthy fruit dominate the palate with dried herbs and some chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and is an extension of the palate with just a touch of spicy oak creeping into the picture.  For a very young wine, this is drinking very nicely today.  This should improve with another year in the cellar and drink well for a few additional years.  (91 pts)

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

2009 Borgo Scopeto (Tenuta Caparzo) Borgonero Toscana IGT

 

 

 

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – $23.71

To me, one of the better values out there is the Turley Old Vines Zinfandel.  Along with the appellation wines from Carlisle and Bedrock, these prove you can get a great bottle of California Zinfandel for $25 or less.

 

This is a blend of Zinfandel grapes from some of the older vineyards in California that don’t produce enough wine to allow for a single vineyard bottling.

 

This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

Winery history

In 1993, Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley, brother of the well-known consulting winemaker Helen Turley.  Turley, had entered the wine business in 1981 as co-founder of the multi-varietal Frog’s Leap Winery, but soon realized that his interest lay in wines made from the Zinfandel grape.

 

Starting out with just one location in St. Helena, Turley Wine Cellars soon expanded to Templeton with the purchase of the historic Pesenti winery, where Zinfandel had been planted since 1923.

 

As of 2000, Turley Wine Cellars has had a two-year waiting list for new wine club customers.

 

In 2007, Turley Wine Cellars was producing approximately 14,000 cases a year of both single-vineyard and regional Zinfandel wines.

 

By 2011, Turley Wine Cellars is annually producing approximately 16,000 cases of award winning Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines using multiple “small” vineyards located in Napa and Sonoma counties, and other Paso Robles locations.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby red color.  The very nice and inviting nose has brambly berries, black pepper, vanilla, warm baking spices, dark chocolate, incense, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  On the well behaved palate the spicy berries and black pepper take charge with some dark chocolate, vanilla, and earthy elements coming in later.  The finish has nice length and again highlights the spicy berries and earthiness.  If you think Turley zins are all overblown, you should give this one a try, it will change your opinion.  (92 pts)

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

2009 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines

 

 

 

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée – $33.60

If you check out this blog very often or follow me on Twitter, you already know I’m a big fan of Paso Robles based Villa Creek.  Vintage after vintage produce outstanding blends revolving around the grapes from France’s Rhone Valley.  The Willow Creek Cuvée as well as their Avenger are two of my favorite VC wines.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah sourced from the Denner and James Berry vineyards.

 

This has 15.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and was dipped in wax.

 

Winery history

In the spirit of the great wine producers of the southern Rhone and the bodegas of Rioja and Priorat, blending is what Villa Creek does best.  The area’s finest Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Tempranillo Vineyards are just a stone’s throw from the west Paso Robles winery where these blends are lovingly produced by winemaker Cris Cherry and his wife JoAnn.

 

The grapes of the area’s most progressive vineyards, James Berry, Denner, Ohana and Booker, currently grace the wines of Villa Creek Cellars.  Per acre contracts insure that the fruit comes off the same blocks each vintage.  The Cherry’s own 70 acre estate on the west side of Paso Robles boasts elevations of 1400-1800 feet, calcareous soils, south facing slopes and ample water.  In the spring of 2012, the Cherry’s finished planting their first grape vines, 3.5 acres of Grenache.  They look forward to planting Mourvèdre and Carignan in the months to come.

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The big and bold nose has raspberries, blackberries, minerals, licorice, dried herbs, warm baking spices, cherries, wood smoke, and a bit of earthiness.  This full bodied gem has moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the spicy fruit kicks off the show with minerals and some earthiness waiting in the wings.  The finish is long and

layered with nice fruit and savory elements taking turns stealing the show.  This is a touch young but still drinking very nicely with some air.  (92 pts)

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée

2009 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée

 

 

 

2012 Planet Oregon Pinot Noir – $16.14

I had to grab a bottle of this when I saw it on the local wine store’s shelf.  I’m a fan of Tony Soter’s much more expensive Pinot Noir wines, so I wanted to see how this much more affordable offering would compare.

 

This is from a VERY environmentally friendly project from Tony Soter.  “We work with growers that are Organic, Biodynamic, LIVE and Food Alliance certified — all of whom meet the Salmon Safe criteria in the process.”

 

This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

Behind this label is Tony Soter, an Oregon-born winegrower who is best known for making precious quantities of exquisite and often expensive wines of world-class status.

 

Tony is a passionate winegrower who has long been committed to sustainable farming.  He first began organic grape growing back in 1985.  Soter continues leadership today with his role in guiding the Oregon wine industry’s pursuit of verifiable carbon accounting and the labeling of certified sustainable Oregon wines.

 

Planet Oregon is his chance to make wines for a broader audience and make a bigger positive impact on the planet.  He wants Planet Oregon Wines to embody the conscious choice we all have to endorse and support sustainably produced wines.

 

Much more information on this project is available on their site by clicking here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sexy nose has black cherries, crushed berries, white pepper, baking spices, violets and subtle earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, soft silky tannins and good acidity.  Cherries and spice initially grab hold on the palate, slowly allowing a floral note and white pepper to join the show.  The finish has good length with a touch of earthiness coming into focus.  The warmer vintage is obvious with the rich, ripe fruit.  This may not pack a lot of complexity in your glass, but it is mighty tasty.  (89 pts)

2012 Planet Oregon Pinot Noir

2012 Planet Oregon Pinot Noir

 

 

 

Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation

 

https://www.undergroundcellar.com/c/6/226099/grand_sonoma_winecation

 

 

Underground Cellar is offering you a chance to win an all-inclusive VIP weekend in Sonoma wine country.

 

The winner will get the following with a value of $6,500:

  • Weekend getaway for 4 to California’s exclusive Sonoma wine country
  • Stay at the luxurious 5,500 sq. ft. Villa Terra Nova Retreat
  • Behind-the-scenes private tour of Iron Horse Vineyards, by winemaker David Munskgard
  • VIP chef’s dinner at award-winning “the girl and the fig” restaurant
  • Rountrip airfare, luxury transportation, and many other surprises!

Click here to enter.   If you win, you can even include me as one of your friends.

Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is over $3,000 of gift cards with a value of up to $200 to be given away.

 

While you’re there, check out Underground Cellar unique wine selling model.  You can “buy” a lower cost wine and get upgraded to a much more expensive bottle for free.  For example, one of their current offers is $42 for a 2008 Balboa Brioso.  If you buy this wine, you could get “upgraded” to 2007 Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet ($60 value), 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet ($85 value), 2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet ($130 value), 1994 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon ($150 value), or even a 1985 BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill (Helen Turley) with a value of $220.

 

The shipping is also incredible, at 6 bottles, shipping cost $5! Buy 6 more bottles and ship for FREE.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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:

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN MARCH 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks – White wines for spring.

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014-5296/?viewall=1#ixzz2z411esZO

 

Snooth

WINES WE’VE LOVED!  Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-we-yve-loved/?viewall=1#ixzz2yOsinkhN

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

http://www.snooth.com/articles/our-favorite-reds-for-spring/?viewall=1#ixzz2xkH0dfSj

 

Snooth

WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-ys-a-great-grenache-5209/

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

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 – 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!

 

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