Posts tagged ‘Villa Creek Mas de Maha’

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 – July 2017 Vol 1

 

2006 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2012 Saddleback Cellars Barrel Select Posse Red

2009 Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

2013 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

 

 

 

2006 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $56

This was one of my favorite vintages of this wine.  I ordered 9 bottle upon release and killed them off within a few years.  A few months ago Villa Creek offered some of their “library wines” in an e-mail offer, so I had to grab a few bottles to fill up my case of their wine and rose.  This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.

 

Deep, dark ruby color with just a touch of bricking at the edge.  Cherries, plums, blackberries, licorice, fresh flowers, baking spices, cedar, minerals and some vanilla on the very nice and open nose.  Full bodied with fairly big, ripe tannins and nice acidity.  Big, ripe fruit on the palate but with very nice savory elements, not sweet, syrupy, or have any raisiny notes.  This is drinking very nicely now, but with the tannins and acidity, can cellar for a few more years.  Outstanding!  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2006 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2006 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

 

2012 Saddleback Cellars Barrel Select Posse Red – $18.89

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 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.

 

I couldn’t find much information on the wine so the exact blend is a mystery.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The invigorating nose has cassis, black cherry, baking spices, licorice, black peppercorns, crushed stone minerals, violets and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, cherries, spices and cedar dominate the front end with minerals, black peppercorns and a floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length.  This is a very nice week night bottle of wine that could work with a meat dish on the weekend.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Saddleback Cellars Barrel Select Posse Red

2012 Saddleback Cellars Barrel Select Posse Red

 

 

 

2009 Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne – $16.14

There’s nothing, in my opinion, better than a nice Côtes du Rhône when you want something interesting without dropping a load of money.  Any time I put a piece of pork on the grill, my first thought is something from France’s Southern Rhone region.  These wines generally have an abundance of spice and dried herbs (garrigue), as well as great acidity.  This specific wine is a step up from a basic Côtes du Rhône since the grapes come from a specific village in the region.  A wine labeled simply as Côtes du Rhône can be a blend of grapes from different parts of the region.  In California terms, compare this to a Cabernet from Rutherford instead of the generic Napa Valley.  This is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah that aged in mostly cement, with a small portion in older barrels.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to garnet color.  The interesting and inviting nose has cherries, dried herbs, minerals, meat juices, black pepper, raspberries, baking spices and some scorched earth.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate fruit, spice and minerals hit first with dried herbs and pepper on the back end with some slowly building earthiness coming into play.  The finish is fairly long with the savory notes of minerals and dried herbs leading the way with the fruit providing nice sweetness in the background.  Tastes wonderful today but I think the best days are in the past, drink up in the next year or two.  (90 pts)

2009 Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

2009 Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

 

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis – $25.00

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

 

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

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

 

 

 

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard – $42.00

This is a wine I tried due to Russell Bevan being the winemaker.  It absolutely blew me away.  I quickly ordered more and put the word out on Twitter.  I suggested to Jeb Dunnuck that he should track down a bottle to try, he then gave it 95+ on his The Rhone Report.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The intense nose has blackberries, smoked meat, black pepper, charcoal, dark bittersweet chocolate, dried herbs, minerals, melted licorice, baking spices, and a nice floral note.  This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins and very good acidity.  This is lush and ripe on the palate but not really pushing the ripeness to the edge.  The palate shows nice peppery berries, licorice, and some smoked meat with baking spices and dried herbs in the background.  The finish is very long and highlights the fruit initially but as the fruit slowly fades, the savory elements keep going.  For a 10 year old bottle of wine, this still tastes young and vibrant.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (95 pts)

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile – $20

To me, this is one of the biggest bargains out there.  Other than Lodi, where can you get a consistently top quality Zinfandel for $20?

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, baking spices and black cherries.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate waves of berries and black cherries with baking spices take over immediately with black pepper coming in later.  The finish has great length with some dark chocolate providing extra depth.  This is a big and rich style of zin with enough structure to hold everything together.  I wouldn’t sit on this one for more than a couple of years.  This is a QPR superstar for $20.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

2013 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile

 

 

 

 

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 – December 2016 Vol 4

 

2010 Treasure Hunter Caitlin’s Cuvee Paso Robles

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2008 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Franc Estate Grown Patzimaro Vineyard Napa Valley

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2015 Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

 

 

 

2010 Treasure Hunter Caitlin’s Cuvee Paso Robles – $18.59

There isn’t much information available on this wine.  I do know it is a Bordeaux blend but I don’t know the exact blend.  I do know the winemaker is Mark Adams from One Time Spaceman and his own winery, Ledge.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The exotic nose has cassis, blackberries, roasted herbs, baking spices, cherries, dry underbrush, wild flowers and a hint of cedar.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, blackberries, roasted herbs and baking spices grab your attention quickly with cherries and underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a floral note and a touch of cedar providing extra depth.  This isn’t one to stash away, I’d drink this one in the next year or two and enjoy the upfront fruit.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2010 Treasure Hunter Caitlin's Cuvee Paso Robles

2010 Treasure Hunter Caitlin’s Cuvee Paso Robles

 

 

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux – $15.40

This wine was purchased from the “flash sell” site, Last Bottle.  More information and a credit for signing up is lower in this post.

 

This wine is a Grenache based blend with some Syrah and Mourvedre included in the blend.

 

The wine is garnet red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, scorched earth, dusty minerals, roasted leafy herbs and wildflowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate black cherries, baking spices and minerals jump out first with raspberries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with scorched earth and a floral note entering the picture.  This is an easy drinking and tasty wine.  I wouldn’t stash this away for an extended time, open this one in the next couple of years.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

2011 Mark Herold Wines Flux

 

 

2008 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Franc Estate Grown Patzimaro Vineyard Napa Valley – $38.75

This wine was purchased from the “flash sell” site, Last Bottle.  More information and a credit for signing up is lower in this post.

 

This wine is a blend of 84% Cabernet Franc and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine was aged in 100% new French oak Chateau-style 60 gallon barrels.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The enjoyable nose has cassis, cedar, dusty minerals, roasted herbs, baking spices, cherries, white pepper and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cassis, cedar, minerals and baking spices jump out quickly with roasted herbs and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length with cedar and dark chocolate providing depth.  The only negative is the herbs turn a touch green on the finish.  All in all, a very good wine with a piece of juicy meat hot off the grill.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2008 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Franc Estate Grown Patzimaro Vineyard Napa Valley

2008 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Franc Estate Grown Patzimaro Vineyard Napa Valley

 

 

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – $38.50

This wine is a blend of 87% Zinfandel and 13% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Grand Noir, Peloursin, Trousseau noir, Tempranillo, Muscadelle, Malvasia, Muscat, and over 30 other varieties).  The vineyard was planted in 1927.  The winery has undertaken the time consuming job of identifying the variety of every one of the 6000 vines in the vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, licorice, warm baking spices, pencil shavings, stony minerals, black cherries, scorched earth and violets.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate waves of dark fruit, minerals, baking spices and pencil shavings immediately grab your attention with black pepper and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with licorice and violets providing great depth.  This is a rich, lush and powerful Zinfandel that has great balance.  There is no hurry with this wine, it will drink very nicely through at least the end of the decade, probably even longer.  This has 15.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $29.75

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Carignan from Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The spellbinding nose has raspberries, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, dried herbs, vanilla, wildflowers, baking spices, plums and dry earth.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate red and black fruit, minerals and baking spices immediately grab your attention with vanilla, dried herbs and plums coming in later.  The lingering finish adds a nice floral note and some subtle earthiness.  This is at a great stage in its’ evolution, it is big and powerful with no rough edges and displays great balance.  I really enjoyed this wine and the cellar time has been rewarded.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (94 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

2015 Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious – $24.99

This wine is a blend of grapes from both Lodi and Amador County, so it carries the “California” appellation on the label.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The luxurious nose is full of blackberries, wood embers, black pepper, vanilla, blueberries, scorched earth, wildflowers and crushed stone minerals.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, wood embers, black pepper and vanilla quickly take control with blueberries, minerals and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a big floral note joining the fruit to provide nice richness.  This probably won’t be one to stash away for some extended cellar time, open this one in the next few years and enjoy the upfront fruit.  This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

2015 Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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 2016 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 8, 2015 to June 14, 2015

 

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2012 Bella Grace Petite Sirah Reserve

Noël Bougrier Vouvray Pétillant Blanc de Blanc Brut

 

 

 

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey – $24.99

This 100% Pinot Noir is from the village of Mercurey in the Côte Chalonnaise region.  The vines are an average of 25 years old.  After a traditional fermentation, the wine is aged 10 to 12 months in stainless steel vats.  The wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light red to ruby color.  The appealing nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, chalky minerals, orange zest, dry earth and dried wildflowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals jump out first with white pepper and dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with white pepper and a hint of orange zest adding nice depth.  Not the most complex wine out there, but this is very tasty and offers great QPR for around $25.  (90 pts)

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

 

 

2007 Ridge Geyserville – $23.74

I always have a hard time choosing a favorite between the Ridge Lytton Springs and the Ridge Geyserville wines.  Both are zinfandel based blends but since Zinfandel generally constitutes less than 75% of the blend, they aren’t labeled as a Zinfandel.  This vintage is a blend of 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre).  This wine is disappearing from my cellar at a fairly fast rate of speed, of the 15 bottles I originally purchased; I now have less than half remaining.

 

The alcohol is listed at 14.4% and this uses a natural cork closure.

 

Winery history

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge.  He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892.  This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility.  At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

 

In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s.  From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet.  That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era.  Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage.

 

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge.  This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel.  The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres.  Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity.  By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership.  A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile’s coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist.  His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward “hands off” approach pioneered at Ridge.  Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established.  Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage.  Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.

 

Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991.  A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground.  Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals.  Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology.  Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very enticing nose has brambly berries, cherry, black pepper, licorice, warm baking spices, charred meat, forest floor, and a touch of vanilla.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The palate has nice up front fruit and spice with more spice, licorice, and meaty elements coming in on the back end.  The finish is long with spice laden fruit slowly giving way to more earthy elements that seem to linger forever.  This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold for at least a few more years.  (92 pts)

2007 Ridge Geyserville

2007 Ridge Geyserville

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $29.75

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache and 10% each Mourvedre and Carignan from Paso Robles.  There were only 375 cases of this wine produced.

 

This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep dark ruby to maroon color.  The invigorating nose is full of raspberries, crushed stones, cherries, potpourri, incense, vanilla, scorched earth, licorice and cocoa powder.  This full bodied gem has moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate layers of fruit and savory elements take turns grabbing the show, first raspberries then crushed stones then scorched earth then cherries then… the show continues.  The finish has very nice length again with the fruit and savory elements taking turns trying to steal the show.  This is drinking at its peak and should hold for a few more years.  I’ve been a fan of this wine for several vintages and this is one of the best bottles I’ve opened.  Superb!  (94 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

2012 Bella Grace Petite Sirah Reserve – $20.00

The winery was named for the owner’s two grandmother’s, Bella and Grace.  This wine uses grapes from the estate’s BellaGrace Vineyard in Amador County.  The wine has 13.8% alcohol.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The exuberant nose has blackberries, dusty minerals, cocoa powder, iron shavings, black pepper, scorched earth, dried leafy herbs, road tar, warm baking spices and dried violets.  This has medium body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, dusty minerals, cocoa powder and black pepper grab hold on the front end, slowly allowing scorched earth and dried herbs to slip through.  The finish has good length with iron shavings and baking spices entering the picture adding nice complexity and depth.  This is young, I’ll hold off a few years before opening another bottle.  The additional cellar time will be rewarded.  (91 pts)

2012 Bella Grace Petite Sirah Reserve

2012 Bella Grace Petite Sirah Reserve

 

 

Noël Bougrier Vouvray Pétillant Blanc de Blanc Brut – $18.99

The wine is a bright golden straw color.  The refreshing nose has apples, orange zest, yeasty bread, chalky minerals, white flowers and a touch of nuttiness.  This has light to medium body with pinpoint bubbles and crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, orange zest and minerals dominate the front end with white flowers and a yeasty note coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a lime note popping out and seeming to linger forever.  Not a great deal of complexity here, but that doesn’t stop it from being delicious.  (91 pts)

Noël Bougrier Vouvray Pétillant Blanc de Blanc Brut

Noël Bougrier Vouvray Pétillant Blanc de Blanc Brut

 

 

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 – Feb 16, 2015 to Mar 1, 2015

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

2011 Newton Claret

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch – $35.00

There were 8 barrels of this wine produced.  This has 15.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The masculine nose is full of blackberries, cassis, stone minerals, roasted herbs, white pepper, vanilla, spice and dried flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Spicy, peppery berries and minerals coat the palate on the front end with roasted herbs and vanilla coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a dried floral note adding nice depth.  This is rich and luxurious with enough tannins and acidity to keep everything in check and to provide nice balance for such a big wine.  This can be opened now or through the end of the decade.  (93 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Fairview Ranch

 

 

 

2011 Newton Claret – $17.99

This vintage is a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 4% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec.  The wine has 14.0% alcohol.  The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cassis, cherries, cedar, dried herbs, dusty minerals, tobacco and dry earth.  This has a medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit shares the stage with dusty minerals, cedar and dried herbs on the front end with dry earth and tobacco coming in later.  The finish has decent length but loses some of the early richness.  A perfectly acceptable week night cab blend.  (88 pts)

2011 Newton Claret

2011 Newton Claret

 

 

 

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace – $17.50

This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  The wine is a medium ruby color, much lighter than a typical zinfandel, this actually looks like a Pinot Noir.  The very tempting nose has brambly berries, cherries, baking spices, minerals, smoke, white pepper, wild flowers, and some earthiness.  The wine has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  The palate leans a bit more to the red fruit than black with cherries, spices, minerals, and nice earthiness.  The finish is fairly silky and smooth and lingers nicely. This is drinking very nicely but with great balance will last in the cellar for a few more years.   (93 pts)

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

2007 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Scherrer Shale Terrace

 

 

 

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

A few years ago the local wine store ran this wine as an e-mail special.  It was a pretty easy decision to grab a case for well under $10 a bottle.  How often can you find a single vineyard Petite at that price?  I don’t know the specifics but according to the winery’s website this was the last vintage for the wine.  I know for a fact they made some in the 2008 vintage, since I have a case in my cellar.  At least I bought a case but I have opened a few bottles.

 

This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

 

The wine is a deep, dark, inky purple color.  The very masculine nose is loaded with blackberries, fresh ground black pepper, smoke, vanilla, eucalyptus, cherries, and wild flowers.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate the peppery berries kick off the show with some smoke and vanilla coming in on the back end. A faint herbal note peaks out on the fairly long finish as well as some earthiness.  This tastes marvelous today and should hold for at least a couple more years.  (90 pts)

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

2007 Wild Hog Vineyard Petite Sirah Cache Creek

 

 

 

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

This wine was a free upgrade from Underground Cellars when I bought a few bottles of a lower end Australian Shiraz.  This 100% Italian Syrah has 14% alcohol.  The wine is a medium ruby color with a touch of brick at the edge.  The enticing nose has cherries, chalky minerals, baking spices, roasted herbs, anise, smoke, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This is barely medium body with soft integrated tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the chalky minerals and baking spices jump out first with nice fruit in the background on the front end, scorched earth and dried flowers come in later.  The finish has decent length with the minerals and spices pushing the fruit into the background.  This probably needs to be opened over the next year or two but it will be a great companion to dinner.  (88 pts)

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

2007 Bisceglia Syrah Armille Basilicata

 

 

 

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

This wine is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache and 25% Carignan.  A total of 220 cases were produced.  The wine is a deep, dark garnet color.  The intoxicating nose has black cherries, vanilla bean, crushed stones, raspberries, warm baking spices, well worn leather, dark chocolate, earthy underbrush and violets.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Crushed stones, spices and black cherries dominate the front end on the palate with nice earthiness and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries, spice and minerals seeming to linger forever.  An outstanding effort.  (93 pts)

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2010 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

 

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $29.99

This wine I generally pick up in bulk when I see it at a good price on a store’s shelf.  The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The sensuous nose has tart cherries, baking spices, wild flowers, white pepper, crushed stones and dry underbrush.  This silky wine has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart cherries, white pepper and baking spices coat the palate on the front end with stony minerals and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a bit of earthiness adding some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity at this early point in its development but is still very tasty.  (90 pts)

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2013 Siduri Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

 

I was in the mood for a very late Thanksgiving dinner.  We pretty much missed Thanksgiving this year since we were packing and loading the truck for our move from Wisconsin to South Carolina.  We saw a TV show where they made “waffles” from the dressing and served them with sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy.  My wife mixed up some cornbread dressing, I put it in the waffle iron, heated up some sliced turkey breast and we had a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner in late February.

IMG_7648

 

 

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano – $30.39

A local wine store had a few bottles of this wine on their close-out rack at a great price, it is generally in the $45 neighborhood, so I had to grab a few bottles.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese.  The wine is a deep violet color.  The enticing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, raspberries, licorice, mint, baking spices, violets and scorched earth.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and berries jump out first with spices, mint and dusty minerals coming in quickly.  The finish has very good length with scorched earth entering the picture.  This is a very nice Chianti Classico Riserva, especially for the price I was able to find.  This is usually about 50% more than my price.  (92 pts)

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

2008 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano

 

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire – $36.00

This wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre from Denner and Booker Vineyards in Paso Robles.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very appealing nose has blackberries, smoked meat, crushed stone minerals, cherries, warm baking spices, black tea leaves, damp underbrush, dried flowers and dark chocolate.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  Juicy berries, crushed stones and baking spices coat the palate on the front end with cherries, black tea leaves and nice underbrush coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries, minerals and spice carrying the bulk of the load.  This is tasting very nice right now, but should hold for a few more years.  Impressive!  (93 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

2008 Villa Creek Bête Noire

 

 

 

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 – Jan 13, 2014 to Jan 19, 2014

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Gold Mine Ranch

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

2011 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2005 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio

 

 

 

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Gold Mine Ranch – $31.00

There were only 180 cases of this wine produced.  There is a touch of Carignane blended in with the Zinfandel.

 

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

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very open and opulent nose has raspberries, licorice, dried flowers, cherries, black pepper, dried herbs, warm baking spices and a touch of scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Sweet, warm berry pie greets the palate and almost immediately is joined by cherries, black pepper and herbs with some building earthiness coming in late.  The finish has very nice length but a bit of alcohol is peeking through the seams.  This isn’t as bit and rich as some Carlisle zinfandels, this is more Pinot like and elegant.  I’d recommend drinking this one sooner rather than later before the alcohol gets too out of control on the back end and finish.  (91 pts)

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Gold Mine Ranch

2008 Carlisle Zinfandel Gold Mine Ranch

 

 

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue – $8.54

This is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from 40 year old vineyards.

 

This has 14.0% alcohol by volume and is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is garnet red color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, black olives, scorched earth, cherries, dried herbs, and wood smoke.  This has medium body, moderate chalky tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and savory elements co-exist peacefully with neither trying to steal the show.  The finish has nice length and leans on the savory side of the spectrum.  This isn’t one to stash away, open this one over the next few years and enjoy.  Offers great QPR if you can find it for under $10.  (89 pts)

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue

 

 

2011 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – $15.38

I’m always on the look out for $15 Pinot Noirs for week nights.  This is a tough category but there are a few gems out there.

 

This has 13.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright, semi-transparent red color.  The soft and relaxing nose has cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, strawberries and a touch of licorice.  This wine is barely medium bodied with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and spice pop out first with strawberries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length but gets a touch thin and shows a bit of scratchy oak.  A nice under $20 Russian River Pinot.  (88 pts)

2011 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2011 Michael Pozzan Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha – $29.75

This is a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache and 10% each Mourvedre and Carignan from Paso Robles.  There were only 375 cases of this wine produced.

 

This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color, much lighter at the edge.  An outstanding nose with raspberries, black cherries, minerals, vanilla, dark chocolate, dried flowers, baking spices, dried herbs and some earthiness.  Fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  Nice spicy fruit on the palate with savory elements kicking in on the back end.  The long finish highlighted by the spicy fruit and just a bit oak and dried herbs.  Just entering a prime drinking window, enjoy this one over the next 3 to 4 years.  The best vintage yet for this perennial favorite.  (93 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

2008 Villa Creek Mas de Maha

 

 

2005 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $14.99

This winery produces some of my favorite Petite Sirah wines out there.  This was purchased for about half price from Wines Till Sold Out (WTSO.com).

 

This wine has 12.84% alcohol and the bottle was sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The appealing nose has blackberries, baking spices, black pepper, minerals, underbrush, and a hint of band aid or adhesive tape (bret).  The wine is barely medium body with fairly solid tannins and very good acidity.  Nice spicy, peppery fruit on the palate with some earthiness and minerals in the background.  Once again, there is just a slight hint of band aid on the palate, but it actually adds to the palate instead of coming across as a flaw.  The finish is a touch short but nice earthy berries are good while they last.  If you are overly sensitive to the band aid influences of bret, you will hate this wine, if you think a touch of bret isn’t necessarily bad, you’ll like it.  I’m in the like it but not love it camp.  With the nice balance, solid tannins and acidity, this should last in the cellar for several more years.  (90 pts)

2005 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2005 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

It was a cold, snowy day here in the upper Midwest.  We decided to enjoy a comfort food favorite from our years in Texas.  We made up some Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and covered everything with some cream gravy.  This was a perfect accompaniment with the Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah.

Chicken Fried Steak

 

 

 

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio – $16.06

This is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 30% Grenache that was aged in concrete tanks for 8 months.

 

This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The is a deep ruby to purple color.  The very enticing nose has blackberry liqueur, blueberries, minerals, dying wood embers, scorched earth, baking spices, violets, and a touch of vanilla.  This has a fairly full body, moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the dark berries and spice coat the palate slowly allowing some earthiness, minerals, and a floral note to break through. The finish is long and nicely layered.  This is on the young side but it opened nicely after about 45 minutes.  (93 pts)

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio

2011 Château Saint-Roch Maury Sec Kerbuccio

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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

 

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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