Posts tagged ‘Vigneti S. Francesco’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Aug 30, 2013 to Sep 1, 2013

 

 

2005 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

2012 Villa Creek Pink

2004 Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo Vigneti S. Francesco

2009 McPrice Myers Terre Blanche

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 NapaValley

 

 

 

2005 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley – $30.50

If you are on the Carlisle mailing list, congratulations, you are on one of the best lists out there.  If you are not on their mailing list, I highly recommend you upgrade your circle of friends to include someone on the list that shares their good stuff.

 

Now that Carlisle has their own winery and won’t be using outside crush facilities, I look forward to even greater things coming from them in the upcoming years.

 

Winery history

We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The deep and dark nose is full of smoldering charcoal, blackberries, roasted herbs, black pepper, dark bittersweet chocolate, well worn leather, charred meat, violets, blueberries, and some earthiness.  This has a full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate a load of peppery, smoky berries jump out first with roasted herbs and some building earthiness coming in on the backend.  The finish is fairly long and leans more on the savory elements with the fruit coming in late adding nice sweetness.  I think this is as good as it gets for this wine, I’d advise consuming over the next couple of years.  (92 pts)

2005 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

 

 

 

2012 Villa Creek Pink – $12.80

This wine as well as the one from Bedrock are our go-to Summer rosés.  I usually supplement my supply of rosés with other labels from the local wine store, but these two are our most consumed ones.  This vintage is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvèdre from Paso Robles.

 

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 bright salmon color. The fresh and inviting nose has strawberry, cherry, minerals, apples, a touch of orange zest, and a slight herbal note. This has light body, crisp acidity, and a touch of sweetness. The palate has tart red fruit, apples, and a distinct streak of minerality. The finish has nice length with a nice herbal element coming into the picture before some mouthwatering citrus closes the show.  (89 pts)

2012 Villa Creek Pink

 

 

 

2004 Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo Vigneti S. Francesco – $36.87

It has been several months since I opened a bottle of this wine, and that bottle was outstanding.  I’ve been eyeing this bottle for a few months and decided tonight’s the night to pull the cork.

 

Roberto Voerzio produces some of the best and subsequently, some of the most expensive wines in Italy’s Piedmont region.  Most of their Barolo wines are well over $100…well over, with some approaching $500 a bottle.  This wine is made up of declassified grapes or grapes from younger vineyards and offers a glimpse of their Barolo wines at a fraction of the cost of admission to the big boys club.

 

Winery history

Our winery was established in 1986 in La Morra, a town in the heart of the Langhe that has always been renowned for the greatness of its vineyards, some of which were mentioned in town records going back as far as 1250.

 

We began with 2 hectares, and over the years have managed to acquire the most prestigious, historic crus for the production of Barolo, such as La Serra, Brunate, Cerequio, Sarmassa, Rocche dell’Annunziata and Fossati, and excellent vineyards for Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Merlot.

 

We then decided to increase the number of vines in the new vineyards, and in some of the old ones, to 6000/8000 per hectare and reduce yield for the most prestigious wines to 500/700 grams per plant.  The clusters we leave on our vines are exclusively responsible for the quality of our wine.

 

We have always worked in the traditional way in the cellar, with total simplicity at every stage from vinification to bottling, with no interference, letting the diversity of each terroir emerge and giving each vineyard the chance to make its own wine.

 

Our production is limited: with just over 20 hectares we produce between 40,000 to 60,000 bottles, depending on the harvest.

 

More information is available at:  http://www.voerzioroberto.it/eng/cantina.asp

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby with some bricking at the edge.  The exotic nose is full of cherries, rose petals, licorice, baking spices, scorched earth, minerals, underbrush and tobacco.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, the cherries, roses, and spices pop out first with minerals and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The long finish is full of spicy, earthy, mineral laden cherries.  This is still on the young side but absolutely delicious today.  I wish I had several more bottles to follow over the remainder of the decade.  (92 pts)

2004 Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo Vigneti S Francesco

 

 

 

2009 McPrice Myers Terre Blanche – $20.80

This bottle of wine was sent to me as part of the semi-annual McPrice Myers wine club.  After reading a few less than stellar tasting notes on the wine not long after release, this was relegated to the back corner of the wine cellar.  A few weeks ago, I ran into this bottle while digging around looking for wines to take with me on a business trip and decided it was worth my time to form my own opinion.  We’ll just pair this with a cheese platter for a Sunday lunch on the deck.  This vintage is a blend of 62% Viognier and 38% Roussanne from the Denner Vineyard in Paso Robles.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The light and flowery nose has honeysuckle, peaches, apples, orange blossoms, lemon curd, and stony minerals.  This is dry with medium body and decent acidity.  Nice fruit and flowers on the palate with just a touch of citrus zest kicking in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and shows good minerality.  I would have liked a touch more acidity on the finish which seems to go a bit flat.  This was much better with a cheese platter then it was on its own afterwards.  (87 pts)

2009 McPrice Myers Terre Blanche

 

 

 

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley – $30.00

This is quickly turning into one of my favorite wines.  I bought a case and after this bottle, I will be down to a half case remaining.  This is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petit Verdot.  The number in the wine name indicates the percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend.

 

Winery history

As many of you know, when we started making our own wines in 1987, we named the tiny, 200 case operation after our daughter, Elyse.  Not wanting to leave our son, Jake, out of loop, we eventually named our Rhone blend after him – anyone remember “Jake’s Cuvee”?  It wasn’t enough, because at the ripe age of eight Jake asked, “When do I get my own label without her name on it?”  Good point!  And as parents not wanting to show favoritism, why not create a namesake label for him as well?

 

Jacob Franklin Cellars debut bottling was in 1998 and we fondly and literally refer to it as the brother label of Elyse Winery.  By this time, we had gained access to small quantities of extremely allocated fruit from some highly desirable vineyards in the valley and this label was the perfect place to showcase them along with our only estate wine, Hoffman Lane Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Jacob Franklin Cellars is focused on small production, low yield, vineyard designate wines from NapaValley.  Due to the extremely limited production, these wines are available exclusively through the winery, website, and wine club.

 

Oh Brother!

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby to maroon color. The outstanding nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, licorice, baking spices, smoke, tobacco, minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, and cherries. This had medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity. The palate has a wonderful blend of fruit and savory elements with everything in balance and harmonious. The long, lingering finish has nice spicy cassis and dried herbs with just the right amount of spicy oak adding to the profile without being too obtrusive. I love this wine.  (95 pts)

2007 Jacob Franklin Mon Chou #50 Napa Valley

 

 

 

Wine friendly and easy recipe

Looking for a nice appetizer or something for a party?  I ran across this recipe a while ago and decided we had to give it a shot.  We decided to have these for a light dinner with a salad and they were outstanding.

 

 

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

 

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. oregano or Italian seasoning

pinch of salt

pinch of red pepper flakes(optional)

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded 4 cheese Italian Blend cheese (mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and romano)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1 cup cubed pepperoni

Pizza or marinara sauce, warmed

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes;  whisk in the milk and egg.  Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups (about 1 heaping Tbsp.).  Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Makes 24 – recipe can be doubled.

 

My notes

After baking, I put the puffs on a platter and gave them a nice dusting of freshly grated Romano cheese and some chopped, fresh picked basil.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the platter, so I am using a picture from the website where I found the recipe.  If this recipe looks appealing, I encourage you to check out their site for a ton of other very good looking recipes at Comfy Cuisine.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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!

 

Jan 4, 2013 to Jan 6, 2013

 

 

2004 Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo Vigneti S. Francesco – $36.87

 

My comments

Today is my wife’s birthday, so I wanted to kick up the wine choice a couple of notches.  My last bottle of this wine was a little over a year and a half ago.  At that time, I felt it needed another year or two in the cellar.  It seems like a good time to try it again.  If it still needs some time, there’s still more in the cellar.

 

Winery history

Our winery was established in 1986 in La Morra, a town in the heart of the Langhe that has always been renowned for the greatness of its vineyards, some of which were mentioned in town records going back as far as 1250.

 

We began with 2 hectares, and over the years have managed to acquire the most prestigious, historic crus for the production of Barolo, such as La Serra, Brunate, Cerequio, Sarmassa, Rocche dell’Annunziata and Fossati, and excellent vineyards for Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Merlot.

 

We then decided to increase the number of vines in the new vineyards, and in some of the old ones, to 6000/8000 per hectare and reduce yield for the most prestigious wines to 500/700 grams per plant.  The clusters we leave on our vines are exclusively responsible for the quality of our wine.

 

We have always worked in the traditional way in the cellar, with total simplicity at every stage from vinification to bottling, with no interference, letting the diversity of each terroir emerge and giving each vineyard the chance to make its own wine.

 

Our production is limited: with just over 20 hectares we produce between 40,000 to 60,000 bottles, depending on the harvest.

 

More information is available at:  http://www.voerzioroberto.it/eng/cantina.asp

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color, with a touch of light brick at the edge.  The very enticing and exotic nose has cherries, dusty roses, melted licorice, earthy underbrush, smoke, baking spices, and tobacco.  The wine has medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  The palate has some nice red fruit but the savory notes and spices are in control.  The finish has nice length and like the palate is more tilted towards the savory elements with the red fruit adding a touch of sweetness and depth.  This is still on the young side but opened up nicely after a couple hours in the decanter.  (91 pts)

2004 Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo Vigneti S Francesco

 

 

 

2009 Big Basin Vineyards Homestead – $29.00

 

My comments

As I’ve said in the past, I think Big Basin is one big score from one of the big wine reviewing periodicals away from appearing everyone’s radar.  I’ve been a big fan of Big Basin’s Syrah wines and blends for a few years.  I would highly recommend checking them out.  This is a blend of 46% Grenache, 43% Syrah, and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.

 

Winery history

Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, with a new winery building completed in 2003.  Proprietor and wine maker Bradley Brown sources his wines from three Estate Vineyards – Rattlesnake Rock, Old Corral Block and Homestead Block.  All of the Estate vineyards are planted to Alban Selections on steep hillsides with mudstone and shale soils – 7 acres of Syrah, 2 acres of Grenache and 1 acre of Roussanne – and are farmed organically.  Additionally, Bradley works closely with Coastview Vineyard located at 2400 ft on a mountain top in the Gabilan Mountains overlooking the Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay (several miles due south of Mt. Harlan).  He has contracted with the vineyard to purchase Syrah planted in 1998 and to bud over certain sections of the vineyard to Pinot Noir and Grenache (in 2008) and plant a new block to an Alban selection of Syrah.  This vineyard is also farmed organically and managed according to Bradley’s direction.  Beginning in 2006, Big Basin started making Pinot Noir sourced from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  As of 2009, Big Basin is making three different single vineyard Pinots from the Santa Cruz Mountains (Alfaro Family, Lester Family and Woodruff Family Vineyards), plus the Pinot from Coastview Vineyard in the Gabilan Mountains.

 

Best known for Syrah, but also makes Pinot Noirs and blends.

 

Much more information is available at:  http://bigbasinvineyards.com/

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to violet color.  The open and inviting nose has cherries, black raspberries, roasted herbs, licorice, earthy underbrush, violets, white pepper, and a touch of wood smoke.  This has medium body, fairly solid, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  The wine has much lighter weight on the palate than I was expecting.  The palate shows nice spicy fruit with roasted herbs, pepper, and spicy oak adding depth and filling out the palate.  The finish is fairly long with smoky, roasted herbs and fruit slowly fading.  One of the more “civilized” wines I’ve had from Bradley Brown’s BigBasin.  I’m glad I have a few more to enjoy over the next few years.  (92 pts)

2009 Big Basin Vineyards Homestead

 

 

 

2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc Santa Rita Hills – $4.75

 

My comments

This was on a super blow out sale at the local store.  I don’t know why there were still available after having been released at least a few years ago.  I didn’t have high expectations in a six year old, appellation Pinot Blanc, but had to try it out.  We sampled a bottle right off the shelf at room temperature.  I was blown away!  It still tasted young and fresh.  I grabbed six bottles, now it’s time to try one at the proper serving temperature from a good stem, at home.  It’s a perfect time to open one since the dish we’re making for dinner requires a cup of a dry white wine.

 

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 bright yellow to straw color.  The light and refreshing nose has lemon curd, apples, stony/flinty minerals, orange blossoms, a touch of spice and a bit of pineapple.  This has light to medium body, is dry and has crisp, citrusy acidity.  This is very bright and lively on the palate with crisp apples, lemon zest, and flinty minerals, on the backend a touch of spice and orange zest add some depth.  The finish has nice length with the citrus, apples, and minerals holding on nicely.  This was an absolute steal on closeout for under $5.  (90 pts)

2006 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc Santa Rita Hills

 

 

 

2006 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvée – $35.00

 

My comments

I’ve been a fan of the wines coming out of Paso Robles’ Villa Creek for several years.  Most of the wines are very unique blends and all are of very high quality.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre from the Denner and James Berry Vineyards in Paso Robles.

 

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.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly saturated ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoke, earthy underbrush, meat juices, black pepper, licorice, cherries, dark chocolate, and dried wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins, and very good acidity.  Big, juicy, berries, black pepper, meat, and earthy elements grab the palate initially with some chocolate and cherries coming through on the backend.  The finish is fairly long and full of smoky, peppery berries.  Outstanding now, but will last in the cellar for another 4 to 6 years.  (93 pts)

 

Label modifications in the picture courtesy of my VinoTemp which doesn’t like the slightly larger bottles used by some wineries.

2006 Villa Creek Willow Creek Cuvee

 

 

We paired the Villa Creek wine with a quick and easy recipe we’ve enjoyed several times over the years.  The Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce over Egg Noodles is very wine friendly with minimal fuss and ingredients.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

 

 

The recipe can be found at:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pork-tenderloin-with-mustard-sauce-10000000521619/

 

 

***** 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

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

The season is starting to heat up, keep an eye on the old inbox.

 

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to get the dreaded Cayuse, “I’m sorry” e-mail last week.  I’ll live, there’s plenty of other great options out there.

 

Wines bought or received this week

 

It’s getting boring, I was good again this week.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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