2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

2012 Louis Latour Mercurey

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi – $19.79

Macchia makes the big, full bore Zinfandels that originally put Lodi on wine lover’s radar.  Like most other wineries in the region Zinfandel is still the mainstay of their offerings but other grape varieties are also produced masterfully.

 

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The big and bold nose has blackberries, toasty oak, black cherries, vanilla bean, black peppercorns, charcoal, dark chocolate and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  This is rich and velvety on the palate with big upfront fruit and barrel nuances coming in later.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but it makes up for that deficiency with a load of fruit on the palate.  This isn’t a wine to sit back and ponder over, pop the cork and just enjoy.  This has 15.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

2015 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru – $28.02

This was a purchase from Last Bottle Wines, please see below for more information on them and the opportunity to receive a credit on your account by signing up for their e-mail list.

 

My previous bottle seemed a bit tired and perhaps past its prime but that was clearly an off bottle.

 

This is a light straw color with several persistent streams of pinpoint sized bubbles.  The exhilarating nose has tart apples, lemon zest, yeasty bread, crushed stone minerals, orange blossoms and roasted nuts.  This has light body with great inner mouth effervescence and crisp acidity.  This has nice fruit on the front end with the savory notes quickly entering the picture.  The finish has nice length with yeasty bread and minerals providing a nice counterpoint to the fruit.  This has 12% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (90 pts)

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

Guy Brunot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru

 

 

 

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.

 

The wine is a light ruby red 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 good 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 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard – $49

Rhys makes world class wines that usually need a few years in the cellar to develop and open up before they show their best.

 

This vineyard used to be a Christmas tree farm.  In 2002 the Sletten, Martin, Sullivan and Harvey families formed a partnership and decided to convert the farm into a vineyard due to its loamy clay soil and eastern aspect.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The exotic and sexy nose features cherries, black raspberries, crushed stones, white pepper, Asian spices, fresh cut flowers and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and outstanding acidity.  On the palate spicy red and black fruit dominate on the front end with the savory elements coming in later.  The wine has a long, lingering finish with tart, spicy cherries, minerals and some earthiness lingering seemingly forever.  This still seems young and there is absolutely no hurry to open this one.  Even at 10 years old, some additional cellar time will be rewarded.  This has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch – $40.50

Vincent Arroyo holds a special place in my heart.  This was one of the first wineries I visited on my first trip to Napa many years ago.  For me, a trip to Napa isn’t complete without a stop at the winery which usually includes trying just about everything they have aging in barrels.  If you ever visit the winery, Greenwood Ranch is the home vineyard around the winery.  The winery owns 85 acres and cultivate 9 different wine grape varieties.  The winery produces about 8,000 cases of wine a year.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has blackberries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, melted licorice, blueberries, dry underbrush and a touch of adhesive tape.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate nice fruit comes through on the front end with minerals, spices and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice balance between the fruit and savory elements.  This is in a very good drinking window with the tannins integrated and very good acidity.  Caution with this one, my cork pretty much disintegrated and there was a LOT of sediment.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah Greenwood Ranch

 

 

 

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine – SRP $45

This wine was supplied to me by Lodi Wine to help celebrate Zinfandel Day.

 

There are always heated arguments over what should be considered to be an “old vine”.  In this case, there should be no disagreement that this wine comes from “ancient vines” since the vineyard was planted in the 1800’s.  To me, a wine produced from vines over 100 years old deserves to be called Ancient Vines.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has plums, brambly berries, white pepper, dry earth, baking spices and vanilla bean.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  This has bright fruit on the front end and nice savory notes coming in later.  The finish has good length with nice sweet fruit and spice.  This is a nicely structured zinfandel that shows good balance with no over ripe notes.  This tastes very good now but a year in the cellar will be rewarded.  This has a surprising 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)

2013 Jessie's Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

2013 Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel Royal Tee Ancient Vine

 

 

 

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.

 

 

The Louis Latour Mercurey paired wonderfully with ham, macaroni & cheese and mixed peas from this year’s garden.

 

 

I paired the Jessie’s Grove Zinfandel with a cooler weather staple, Red Beans & Rice.

 

 

I opted to open the Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah with prime rib instead of my normal Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

The Macchia Zinfandel was my choice to open with a large serving of Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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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 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!

 

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