Posts tagged ‘Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah’

Cliffs Wine Picks – June 2017 Vol 3

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

Locations WA-4

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County – $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.

 

This is a blend of Syrah from assorted vineyards in Santa Barbara County that provide diverse microclimates.

 

I will preface this review by noting there was a touch of leakage visible on the end of the cork.  I was able to see a small groove in the cork that allowed a drop of wine to escape.  Generally if wine can seep out, a bit of air can seep in.  I have additional bottles of this in the cellar so this review may be replaced when I open the next bottle if the wine has discernible differences.  The bottle doesn’t seem to be damaged in any way.  The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sexy nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, road tar, black pepper, dark chocolate, violets and warm baking spices.  This has a full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  Juicy berries and blueberries coat the palate on the front end with black pepper and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark chocolate and violets providing nice depth.  This is really walking a fine line in regards to the ripeness, as is, it seems to have a bit of residual sweetness.  This isn’t for everyone, but for me, it was very enjoyable.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

2014 Tensley Syrah Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity – $20.27

Even though they are out of vogue, we still love a nice Australian Shiraz.  Those of us who still drink these wines are usually rewarded with great pricing.  I was able to stock up on this gem for about half the suggested price when the local wine store brought in a fair amount several years ago.

 

2007 was a very challenging vintage, the effects of the ongoing drought and frosty weather greatly reduced yields.  This vintage some fruit from the Eden Valley to help maintain the elegance and style of Entity.

 

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The open and satisfying nose has blackberries, warm baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, black pepper, licorice, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dried herbs, a touch of earthiness and a floral note.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries and dark chocolate take center stage with dried herbs, pepper and some earthiness coming in on the sidelines.  The finish is very long with berries, dark chocolate, and dried herbs leading the way with a hit of cherries coming through in the background.  This is at its peak and should be opened in the next couple of years.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity

 

 

 

Locations WA-4 – $20

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.

 

Even though this is a “non-vintage” wine, most, if not all the grapes, were from the 2014 vintage.  This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Petit Sirah that was barrel aged 10 months in French and American oak barrels.

 

The owner and winemaker for Locations is Dave Phinney, better known for his esteemed Orin Swift wines.  The idea behind this label was “what can we do if we break the rules and blend grapes from regions that are normally not blended together”?  Why not make a wine blending grapes from both Bordeaux and the Rhone and throw in some from Roussillon?  The original concept has expanded to now include unique blends from different states in the US.  Besides the normal states, I noticed a Texas blend is now being produced.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, blueberries, dry underbrush, white pepper, dark chocolate, dried wildflowers, warm baking spices and a hint of crushed stones.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, spice and underbrush quickly grab control with white pepper, dark chocolate and crushed stone minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This isn’t a wine to stash away in the cellar, open it over the next 4 to 5 years and enjoy the layers of fruit and spice the wine readily offers up.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

Locations WA-4

Locations WA-4

 

 

 

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard – $39.00

Only made four barrels of this wine was produced in 2009.  The wine is 92% Cabernet with 8% co-fermented Petit Verdot.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The impressive nose has cassis, pencil shavings, plums, charred meat, black cherries, scorched earth, violets, baking spices and crushed stone minerals.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, pencil shavings, minerals and a meaty note jump out on the front end with plums, scorched earth and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice violet note providing some depth.  This still seems to be on the young side, I’ll hold off opening another bottle for a couple years.  This just kept getting better in the glass with every sip.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard

 

 

 

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

This is from one of my long term favorite Petite Sirahs producers.  I have visited the winery a few times over the years and have been enjoying their wines since the 1999 vintage.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The nose is full of blackberries, crushed stone minerals, vanilla, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper and a touch of barnyard.  This has medium to full body with good acidity and moderate solid tannins.  On the palate blackberries, espresso beans, stony minerals and vanilla grab hold first with white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with some barnyard entering the picture.  This wine is in a nice drinking period and can be enjoyed over the couple of years.  This has 13.77% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi – $20.39

I love that the Total Wine in Columbia, SC carries a nice selection of wines from Lodi.  I loved my visit to Macchia last September and highly recommend trying any you may see on a shelf.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, dry earthy underbrush, violets, dusty minerals and a touch of licorice.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate this wine is full of rich fruit, spices and earthiness on the front end with minerals and a nice floral note on the back end.  The long, lingering finish closes with a hint of orange zest.  This is nothing like an Italian Sangiovese but the wine world would be a boring place if every wine made from a specific grape tasted the same no matter where it was grown.  This demands a hearty meal, think pasta with a meat sauce or a pizza with plenty of pepperoni and sausage.  This has 16.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

 

 

 

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select – $23.11

From the winery – The Vintner’s Select is just that.  The best barrel was selected from each vineyard site, and then blended to create a very special wine.  The flavors and aromatics are much richer and more mysterious than the Willamette Valley.  It demonstrates great depth and elegance with a touch more toast and a greater potential for aging.  The wine was aged for ten and a half months in French oak barrels and has 36% new oak influence.  The grapes were from Apolloni Vineyard (42%), Veeman Vineyard (42%) and Lia’s Vineyard (16%).

 

Just 49 cases were produced.  Wholesale $25.00 Magnums $53

 

The wine is a very light ruby red color.  The very enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, baking spices, dry underbrush, wildflowers and a nice herbal note.  This has medium body, great acidity and subtle tannins.  On the palate there is a very nice balance between the fruit and spice with the herbal note coming in late.  The finish has nice length and again shows very nice balance.  This isn’t a big, ultra ripe, highly extracted Pinot, this is much more feminine and nuanced.  This is tasting very nice today and should hold for a few years.  This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (92 pts)

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

 

 

 

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py – $15

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.  This specific bottle was included in a “mystery case” I bought from Last Bottle during one of their Marathons.

 

Vignerons de Bel Air was established in 1929 by a small group of local produces.  It was these passionate producers goal to create the best Beaujolais possible from their vineyards.

 

The wine is a medium ruby color.  The slightly subdued nose has black raspberries, cherries, underbrush and stony minerals.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  This is much more open on the palate with nice up front fruit and spice with a vein of underbrush coming in later.  The finish has good length with spices and fruit again taking center stage.  This is a tasty Beaujolais that is currently a little light on complexity, I’d give it another year in the cellar.  This has 13% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

2014 Vignerons de Bel Air Morgon Le Py

 

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $17.31

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.

 

This wine is a blend of 87% Zinfandel, 13% combination of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Durif, Grand Noir, Muscat Hamburg, Négrette, Syrah, and Valdiguié.  Elyse has been making Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard since 1986 and have been the only producer using these grapes since 1988.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The captivating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, dusty minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, dark chocolate, cherries, violets and just a hint of roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and dusty minerals immediately jump out with spicy oak, black pepper and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some subtle earthiness joining a floral note and dark chocolate to add solid depth.  This is a well balanced, food friendly Zinfandel to enjoy over the remainder of the decade.  This wine has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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Cliffs Wine Picks – March 2017 Vol 5

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard – $17.31

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.

 

This wine is a blend of 87% Zinfandel, 13% combination of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Durif, Grand Noir, Muscat Hamburg, Négrette, Syrah, and Valdiguié.  Elyse has been making Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard since 1986 and have been the only producer using these grapes since 1988.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The captivating nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, dusty minerals, scorched earth, baking spices, dark chocolate, cherries, violets and just a hint of roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and dusty minerals immediately jump out with spicy oak, black pepper and cherries coming in later.  The finish has nice length with some subtle earthiness joining a floral note and dark chocolate to add solid depth.  This is a well balanced, food friendly Zinfandel to enjoy over the remainder of the decade.  This wine has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard

 

 

 

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses – $11.49

This is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.

 

The three grape varietals are harvested separately when they reach the desired level of ripeness, not all at the same time.  The grapes are machine harvested and contains a built-in sorting system.

 

The wine is a bright pink salmon color.  The tantalizing nose has raspberry, white peach, white pepper, cherries, minerals, orange zest and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with a creamy texture and nice acidity.  On the palate bright fruit and minerals take control on the front end with white pepper and leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a bit of orange zest providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but tasty.  This would be perfect for a light lunch on the deck or patio on a sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a glass stopper.  (88 pts)

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

2015 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses

 

 

 

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne – SRP $50

This was a sample provided by the winery or a company working on their behalf.

 

This wine is a blend of 55% Roussanne, 26% Grenache Blanc and 19% Picpoul Blanc and is the winery’s homage to the complex blended wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

 

The wine is a very light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The intriguing nose has apple, honeysuckle, lemon zest, pears, chalky minerals, beeswax, orange blossoms and a hint of leafy herbs.  This is creamy and medium bodied on the palate with enough acidity to keep it lively.  On the palate apples, pears and chalky minerals quickly grab control on the front end with orange blossoms and lemon zest slipping in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a leafy herb note providing depth.  This is in a very nice drinking window right now and it should hold for another few years.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.   (92 pts)

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Reserve En Bonbonne

 

 

 

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

This has been a favorite Petite Sirah since I first visited the winery well over a decade ago.  I always encourage friends to visit the winery since a visit usually includes barrel tasting at least a few of their wines.  On one visit, we must have tasted wines from a dozen different barrels.

 

This is the winery’s “signature” wine.  It is a blend of several different blocks that surround the winery.  I’ve always felt a winery’s best looking vineyard was the one around the winery and tasting room, this is, in most cases, a person’s first impression of the winery.  Great looking and well maintained vineyards will greatly improve a potential buyer’s impression of the winery.  Conversely, if the vineyard and grapes don’t look appealing, a person’s first impression may be a negative one.

 

The wine is a dark purple to black color with no signs that it’s 13 years old.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, black pepper, warm baking spices, cedar, well worn leather and just a hint of adhesive tape.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  The palate is dominated by spicy, peppery berries on the front end with a touch of cedar coming in late.  The finish has very good length with a hint of adhesive tape.  The wine does seem to have a touch of brett but only in a good way, like a lot of the Rhone wines.  This still seems to have years of life left if stored in a decent cellar.  This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé – $19.00

This rosé comes from vines planted before 1940.  The grapes were picked specifically for rosé and was not created to “beef up” a red wine, a practice at some wineries.  The majority of this wine is old vine Mourvedre with small amounts of Cemetary Vineyard Carignane and fruit from Evangelho Vineyard.  This is one of my Go-To rosé wines every year.

 

The wine is a deep pink salmon color.  The very inviting nose has strawberry, cherry, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, orange blossoms and just a hint of dry earth.  This is barely medium body with very nice acidity.  On the palate nice red fruit and minerals  quickly grab your attention with white pepper and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has good length with just a hint of earthiness providing depth.  This is one of my go-to Summer sippers.  This has 12.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (91 pts)

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Old Vine Rosé

 

 

 

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir – $22.40

This 100% Pinot Noir is a blend of 56% Carneros and 44% Russian River Valley.  The wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak, 30% new.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The slightly shy nose has cherries, baking spices, white pepper, tobacco and dry underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  This is much more open on the palate with cherries, white pepper and minerals on the front end with tobacco and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has decent length with cranberries and dry underbrush entering the picture.  This wine has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

2013 Cosa Obra Pinot Noir

 

 

 

 

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 – Mar 2, 2015 to Mar 8, 2015

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch – $37.00

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sensuous nose has juicy blackberries, licorice, dusty minerals, cedar, worn leather, scorched earth, tobacco, cracked black peppercorns, dark chocolate and dried flowers.  This has a full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate blackberries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out first with cedar and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has great length with a dried floral note and dark chocolate entering the picture.  This is a very easy to drink and love wine with a velvety texture and enough acidity to hold everything together.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

 

 

 

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

The wine is a dark, inky ruby color.  The captivating nose has blackberries, dead wood embers, black peppercorns, warm baking spices, adhesive tape, damp underbrush, black cherries, roasted herbs and a touch of mint.  This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate a quick hit of crushed berries are quickly joined by spice, wood embers, underbrush and roasted herbs.  The finish has nice length with some mint and a hint of adhesive tape.  Some vintages from this winery seem to show a bit more bret than others, this one is somewhere in the middle, it’s there but not too bad.  The wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2006 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell – $37.99

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The exhilarating nose is full of crushed blackberries, licorice, crushed stones, black pepper, baking spices, roasted herbs, tobacco, violets and vanilla bean.  This has a fairly full body with moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  The palate is immediately coated with juicy berries, spice, minerals and black pepper with a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The long finish is loaded with rich berries and spice and seems to linger forever.  This doesn’t offer a lot of subtlety but is, none the less, stunningly delicious.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.   (93 pts)

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

2005 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell

 

 

 

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label – $40.00

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cassis, tobacco, dried herbs, baking spices, cedar and a hint of leafy herbs.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis and baking spices jump out first with cedar and dried herbs following in their footsteps.  The finish has nice length with a slight leafy herb note coming into the picture.  This is a nice, refined style of cabernet, not trying to get into a competition with the big, voluptuous versions common from Napa Valley.  A very enjoyable bottle of wine.  This wine has 13.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

2011 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon The Label

 

 

 

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 – Dec 29, 2014 to Jan 11, 2015

 

2005 Copain Syrah Harrison Clarke

2009 Foncalieu Côtes du Rhône Villages St. Gervais La Réserve du Crouzau

2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2008 Villa Creek Avenger

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

Due to ongoing unpacking and organizing from our move and the holiday season, most of these wines only have a tasting note without any other text.  These posts should return to normal next week.

 

 

 

2005 Copain Syrah Harrison Clarke – $40.00

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, olive tapenade, minerals, wood smoke, black pepper, vanilla bean, blueberries and damp earth.  The wine has medium body with fairly resolved tannins and good acidity.  On the palate olives and berries pop out first with black pepper and damp earth coming in on the back end.  The olives and earthy elements linger on the decently long finish.  I’d advise consuming this wine over the next year, maybe two.  (88 pts)

2005 Copain Syrah Harrison Clarke

2005 Copain Syrah Harrison Clarke

 

 

 

2009 Foncalieu Côtes du Rhône Villages St. Gervais La Réserve du Crouzau – $8.95

I bought several bottles of this wine at the local store at a fantastic price.  I’ve held off opening a bottle for six months, but I really want to open one.  These could probably use another 6 months to a year in the cellar, but it’s time to check in and get a read on how long before these hit their stride.

 

Winery history

Les Vignobles Foncalieu are like no other cooperative.  Their technical teams include international talents who revel in this mosaic of huge terroirs.  So it comes as no surprise to learn that Michel Bataille and the 1,200 winegrowing estate owners made the choice to produce upmarket wines.  In order to achieve excellence in terms of quality, they have invested in cutting-edge facilities.

 

IN THE VINES

Very strict vine management specifications: pruning, green harvesting, picking dates, convocation to the vine plot…

GIS (geographic information system) cartography.

Computerized plot monitoring.

High-tech ripeness tracking.

Grape analysis, segmentation and control over the harvest adapted to the product profile with Dyostem©.

 

IN THE WINERY

Creation of a vinification plan for all the vineyards, taking account of client needs and brand profiles.

Precise definition of aromatic profiles.

Full traceability process guaranteeing regularity in the quality of wines.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark ruby color.  The outstanding nose has black cherries, blackberries, minerals, dried herbs, charred meat, earthy underbrush, and violets.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very good acidity.  The palate has very nice fruit and dried herbs with some spice and earthy elements in the background.  The finish shows considerable promise until the tannins and acidity kick in clipping it a bit.  Give this one another year in the cellar or give it some air.  (90 pts)

2009 Foncalieu Côtes du Rhône Villages St. Gervais La Réserve du Crouzau

2009 Foncalieu Côtes du Rhône Villages St. Gervais La Réserve du Crouzau

 

 

 

2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles – $19.79

I grabbed several bottles of this wine, since a social media friend, Mark Adams, was the wine maker.  I’m glad I loaded up since the past few bottles have all been very good.  It’s always nice to get a good Cabernet for around $20.  Mark Adams is also the owner/wine maker of Ledge Vineyards and the Assistant Wine Maker for Saxum.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark ruby to maroon color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, cassis, cedar, dried herbs, minerals, smoke, licorice, baking spices, and violets.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and good acidity.  The wine is rich and velvety on the palate with spicy fruit, dried herbs, and minerals leading the way.  The finish is fairly long with nice spicy fruit, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness.  A nice, rich, but not over the top Cabernet from Paso Robles.  (92 pts)

2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles

2010 Treasure Hunter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Panjanatan Paso Robles

 

 

 

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon – $40.00

For the last few years I’ve felt Big Basin was one of the wineries to keep an eye on.  I think they are one big score away from popping onto most wine drinker’s radar.  Could they become the next Saxum?  In my opinion, the sky is the limit for this winery.

 

This is a blend of 57% Santa Cruz County Syrah and 43% Monterrey County Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

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

 

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.

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The stunning nose has cassis, charred meat, vanilla, dark chocolate, minerals, blueberries, and a touch of cedar.  This has a full body, moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is very big, rich and plush.  Though it pushes the ripeness to the top, it does not go over.  This is loaded with fruit and savory elements on the palate with a nice tannic backbone and just enough acidity to hold it all together.  The finish is impressively long and decadent.  I don’t think I’d want to stash this in the cellar for too long, but this will offer a lot of pleasure over the next few years.  (94 pts)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

2008 Big Basin Vineyards Odeon

 

 

 

2008 Villa Creek Avenger – $29.75

The Avenger is my favorite wine from the Paso Robles based Villa Creek.  This is generally a full bodied, big boned, and brawny Rhone Ranger blend.  This vintage is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Grenache from the Booker Vineyard in Paso Robles.  I have been and probably will always be a big fan of this winery.  This is the last winery that I get an automatic shipment at every release and usually add on extra bottles.  In my house, there is no such thing as having too much Villa Creek in the cellar.

 

Winery history

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

 

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

 

Much more information is available on their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, ruby red color.  The sexy and inviting nose has black raspberries, graphite, incense, cherries, plums, fresh wild flowers, melted licorice, vanilla, dark chocolate, and some subtle earthiness.  This has a full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the palate, besides a load of nice fruit, there are abundant amounts of dark chocolate, pepper, vanilla, and a floral element.  The finish is very long and highlighted by juicy, crushed berries, dark chocolate, and a some earthiness.  This is still on the young side and improved greatly with some air.  No hurry on this one, enjoy it over the rest of the decade.  (94 pts)

2008 Villa Creek Avenger

2008 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

 

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

 

This wine has 13.77% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The nose is full of blackberries, crushed stone minerals, vanilla, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper and a touch of barnyard.  This has medium to full body with good acidity and moderate to solid tannins.  On the palate blackberries, espresso beans, stony minerals and vanilla grab hold first with white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with some barnyard entering the picture.  This wine is entering a nice drinking period and can be enjoyed over the next several years.  (92 pts)

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2007 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Mar 31, 2014 to Apr 6, 2014

 

 

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

2006 Shane Syrah Valenti Ranch

2000 Vino Bambino Pinot Noir (Bedrock)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2003 Domaine de Chevalier

 

 

 

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage – $18.71

The Crozes-Hermitage is my go to region for value priced wines from the Northern Rhone.

 

This has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, cherries, dried herbs, minerals, smoked meat, black pepper, and some forest floor.  This has medium body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  On the nicely layered palate spicy fruit is joined by minerals and smoked meat with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length and leans on the savory elements with the fruit providing a touch of sweetness in the background.  This is drinking very nicely today but there is absolutely no need to drink these soon.  (91 pts)

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

2010 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage

 

 

 

2006 Shane Syrah Valenti Ranch – $38.00

The Shane for this wine is Shane Finley.  Shane has worked for Torbreck in Australia, Domaine Pierre Gaillard in the Northern Rhone, Copain Custom Crush, Kosta Browne, and Lynmar Estate before starting his winery.

 

This has 14.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark purple to black color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, cherries, warm baking spices, creosote, black pepper, underbrush, licorice and violets.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the baking spices and cherries jump out first with blackberries, black pepper and charred oak coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some dark chocolate and violets coming into the picture.  The charred oak element at times pops out a little too hard but other wise this has good balance and is very tasty.  (89 pts)

2006 Shane Syrah Valenti Ranch

2006 Shane Syrah Valenti Ranch

 

 

 

2000 Vino Bambino Pinot Noir (Bedrock) – $20.00

This wine was made my Morgan Twain-Peterson, currently of Bedrock, when he was 19 years old.  This was stashed away in their cellar and forgotten about for many years.  Upon finding it and trying it, this was released as part of a Bedrock offer.

 

The bottle does not seem to have the alcohol listed.  This was closed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

I should note, my wine was just delivered last week.  It looks like all the sediment and “gunk” that had settled was mixed back into the wine during shipping.  I’m sure that is the reason for my color note.

 

The wine is a murky/cloudy ruby to brick color.  The very inviting and sensual nose has cherries, baking spices, raspberries, earthy underbrush, and a touch of “Pinot funk”.  This has medium body, fully integrated tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and baking spice hit first, slowly allowing nice earthiness to slip into focus.  The finish has very good length with the tart fruit, spice and earthiness to take turns leading the show.  This is a stunning, aged California Pinot Noir.  (92 pts)

2000 Vino Bambino Pinot Noir

2000 Vino Bambino Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos – $11.39

Vintage after vintage, this is a favorite week night wine in my house.  This may not have the most complexity out there, but it is generally loaded with flavor.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has raspberries, smoke, vanilla, baking spices, cherries, fresh ground espresso beans, white pepper, and some dried herbs.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the fruit and spice lead off with white pepper, dried herbs, and the coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dark chocolate note joining the party.  A very nice wine and an incredible value.  (91 pts)

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

2009 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos

 

 

 

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $28.80

This has been a favorite Petite Sirah since I first visited the winery well over a decade ago.  I always encourage friends to visit the winery since a visit usually includes barrel tasting at least a few of their wines.  On one visit, we must have tasted wines for a dozen different barrels.

 

This has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark purple to black color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, black pepper, warm baking spices, cedar, well worn leather and just a hint of adhesive tape.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  The palate is dominated by spicy, peppery berries on the front end with a touch of cedar coming in late.  The finish has very good length and is a continuation of the palate.  The wine does seem to have a touch of brett but only in a good way.  (93 pts)

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2004 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

2003 Domaine de Chevalier – $49.99

Many years ago, my wife accompanied my sister on a trip to France.  One day they visited the Domaine for a wine tasting, which quickly made the winery #1 on my wife’s Bordeaux list.  Any time I see this wine on a store’s shelf, I have to grab a bottle.

 

The wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The calming and inviting nose has cassis, baking spices, tobacco, cedar, dried herbs, scorched earth, minerals and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the spicy cassis and dried herbs coat the mouth, slowly allowing tobacco, cedar, minerals and a bit of earthiness to slip into the picture.  The finish has nice length with the savory notes taking control and the fruit pushed into the background providing nice sweetness.  This seems to be in a prime drinking window with just a touch of air.  (92 pts)

2003 Domaine de Chevalier

2003 Domaine de Chevalier

 

 

 

Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

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

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – 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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Sep 16, 2013 to Sep 19, 2013

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County

2010 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah – $27.00

I’ve been on the Vincent Arroyo mailing list since the 2000 vintage.  I was hooked after our first visit to the winery.  I was fortunate enough to get in on a sale of their library wines so I have had the wines from as far back as the 1995 vintage.  If you ever make it to the Calistoga area, I highly recommend a stop at Vincent Arroyo.  They generally have a couple bottles open but the highlight is the barrel tasting.  You have the opportunity to buy the exact wines you sample from the barrel when they are released in the fall.

 

Petite Sirah is the “signature” wine from Vincent Arroyo.  This is their standard Napa Valley bottling but they also produce a couple of single vineyard Petites.

 

Winery history

Walking into the Vincent Arroyo Winery, one gets the sense that it has been here forever.  Is it just the comfortable atmosphere of a big barn full of oak wine barrels that lends to the sense of permanence?  Vincent Arroyo, himself, may feel like he has been here forever, as well.  He left behind a career as a mechanical engineer in the Silicon Valley during the early 70’s and headed to Calistoga, at the northern tip of the Napa Valley.  He felt much more at home close to the land, being able to see and taste the fruits of his labors.

 

The purchase of the 23 acres of the Greenwood Ranch property in 1974 began the evolution of what is seen today, 85 acres cultivating 9 different wine grape varietals.  Vince has always been a farmer at heart, taking care of the land to produce the best that it can.  He began to transform the Greenwood Ranch by ripping out existing prune trees and unhealthy vines and planting new vineyards.  For many years, he did it all alone, the tractor work, cellar work and a one-man sales force.  Originally he made just a few hundred cases of his favorites, Petite Sirah and Cabernet, selling the majority of the grape tonnage to other Napa wineries.  Today, he produces over 8,000 cases of seven different varietals.

 

More information is available at: http://www.vincentarroyo.com/

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red with some brick at the edge.  The comforting nose has tobacco, cedar, baking spices, blackberries, wet earth, and some minerals.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the savory notes dominate with the berries adding nice sweetness.  The finish has good length and again leans on the savory and earthy notes with the fruit present but playing a supporting role.  This is drinking nicely but I wouldn’t hold for more than another year or two before the fruit totally disappears.  (91 pts)

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah

 

 

 

Barrel Tasting at Vincent Arroyo Winery several years ago.

VA Barrel Tasting

 

 

 

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emma’s Crush Santa Barbara County – $16.90

This was about as easy of a purchase that I ever made.  I love the Grenache grape, the wines coming out of Santa Barbara County, and the value the Treasure Hunter label provides.  I grabbed a few bottles but this will be the first one I open.

 

Winery history

Each Treasure Hunter wine goes through a pain-staking process of examination from our panel of nine called The De-Vine Nine.  Made up of top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs, they are the best of the best and they pour through hundreds of wines before they are deemed worthy.

 

Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink seminal wines of great importance.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, raspberries, dried herbs, baking spices, black pepper, minerals and earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate spicy, peppery cherries and raspberries grab hold, slowly allowing some dried herbs and earthiness slip into focus.  The finish had decent length with a nice mix of the fruit and savory elements.  This could pass for a higher end French Cotes du Rhone.  (91 pts)

2008 Treasure Hunter Wines Grenache Emmas Crush Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

2010 Loring Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard – $39.67

For several years, Brian Loring specialized in fuller body, ripe, California Pinot Noirs.  A few years ago, Brian added Chardonnay to his line up.  In the last couple of years they have further expanded their offerings by including Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cabernet Sauvignon to their stable of wines.

 

This is the first vintage of a Cabernet Sauvignon labeled wine from the winery.  I bought a few bottles from their mailing list when it was released.  This will be my first bottle opened from that purchase.

 

Winery history

My name is Brian Loring and my obsession is Pinot Noir.  OK, I’m also pretty crazy about Champagne, but that’s another story.  While in college, I worked at a wine shop in Hollywood (Victor’s), where one of the owners was a Burgundy fanatic.  So, my very first experiences with Pinot Noir were from producers like Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC.  Needless to say, I found subsequent tasting safaris into the domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying.  It wasn’t until I literally stumbled into Calera (I tripped over a case of their wine in the store room) that I found a California Pinot Noir that I could love.  But it would be quite a while before I found someone else that lived up to the standard that Josh Jensen had established.  I eventually came to understand and enjoy Pinots from Williams Selyem, Chalone, and Sanford, but I really got excited about California Pinot Noir when I met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting.

 

For more information, to buy wine, or to join the mailing list, visit their website.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color to maroon color.  The very open and inviting nose has cassis, cedar, dried herbs, tobacco, dark bittersweet chocolate, and minerals.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate cassis and cedar dominate the front end with dried herbs and cherry coming through later.  The finish has nice length with sweet fruit and spicy oak carrying the load.  This could use a bit more complexity and it may come out with some time in the cellar.  That said, it is still a delicious bottle of wine.  (89 pts)

2010 Loring Cabernet Sauvignon Russell Family Vineyard

 

 

 

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection – $12.82

The King Estate Pinot Gris is a warm weather favorite in our house.  This wine usually has enough richness to sip on its own on a warm day but also has enough acidity to easily stand up to some of the lighter fare we eat on a warm Summer evening.  With production in the neighborhood of 100,000 cases, this wine can be found just about everywhere.  If you’ve never tried this wine, give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.

 

Winery History

King Estate, celebrating 20 years of Oregon winemaking in 2011, is located southwest of Eugene, Oregon and produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and limited amounts of Chardonnay. Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is committed to producing Oregon wines of exceptional quality using organic & sustainable farming methods, meticulous fruit selection, impeccable winemaking practices and judicious blending.

 

The beautiful estate of 1,033 acres is certified organic and includes 470 acres of organic vineyards, as well as 30 acres of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The Estate is crowned by the charming, European-style winery, where the winemaking process is also certified organic.

 

More information available on their website.

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, golden straw color. The fresh and inviting nose has apples, minerals, citrus zest, pears, white peaches, and orange blossoms. This has light to medium body and crisp acidity. On the palate this is like apples and pears tossed with citrus zest with some minerals sprinkled on top. The mouthwatering finish has good length and closes with a nice spritz of lime and minerals.  (89 pts)

2010 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection

 

 

 

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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