Posts tagged ‘Wine Chat’

Cairdean Estate Winery from St Helena

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

 

 

logo_icon

Cairdean – Scottish Gaelic for friends

 

Overview

This #winechat was a little different than all the previous ones.  For this week’s version, I was allowed to select two wines from a list of 6 that I’d like to sample during the chat.  Even though the Unoaked Napa Valley Chardonnay and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon caught my eye and initial interest, I decided to slip “outside the box” for my choices.

 

Even though I have a reputation for not liking Merlot, I do like “good” Merlot.  Most of my negative comments on Merlot deal mainly with the once available for a Tuesday evening dinner at home, in the $12 to $20 range, Merlot wines leave me feeling like Miles from Sideways.  A good Merlot from Napa Valley fruit and a small, up and coming winery sounded perfect.  There, the first wine was selected.

 

The next wine that caught my eye was a Napa Valley Malbec.  I’ve had Napa Valley wines with some Malbec in the blend, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a Napa Valley wine starring the Malbec grape.  There, the hard part was over, I had made my choices.

 

For the record, here were the wines I had to choose from:

2011 Napa Valley Unoaked Chardonnay

2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Napa Valley Merlot

2010 Napa Valley Malbec

2012 Haley Margaret

 

 

Vineyard

 

 

The Winery – Their Story

Cairdean Estate is the vision of husband and wife Edwin and Stacia Williams.

 

While working in the software industry on the East Coast outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Stacia developed a strong appreciation and passion for wine.  She made her first vintage in harvest of 2000, shipping in winegrapes from California through a local beer and wine hobby shop.  She met Edwin, an aerospace engineer, shortly after her first vintage.  Edwin being from Fresno, California was immensely interested in her winemaking project and educated her about the world-renowned Enology and Viticulture program at Fresno State.  After years of planning, Edwin and Stacia moved to Fresno with their two children so that Stacia could go back to school and earn a degree in Enology & Viticulture from Fresno State.

 

During Stacia’s time at Fresno State, she and Edwin planned their future together and knew that they wanted to work together and build a family business managing vineyards and making wine.  They had travelled the world together with their children in search of where they would land, but their hearts always belonged to Napa Valley – the first wine country they ever visited as a couple back in the year 2001.

 

After much searching for their home in Napa Valley, it was their elder son Kyle that led them to the quaint town of St. Helena.  He was entering high school and very much wanted to attend the public high school there.  In their searches for land that would allow a quintessential wine country lifestyle, they settled on a beautiful 50 acre parcel right on highway 29 in Saint Helena just north of downtown.

 

After relocating from Fresno to St. Helena in 2010, Edwin and Stacia embraced their vision and created Cairdean Vineyards.  Cairdean is Scottish Gaelic for friends, which reflects their belief that wine is meant to be shared by those held close to your heart.  The Cairdean symbol is a representation of that belief with the four hearts always present and brought together in the center by friendship.

 

Much more information is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

 

Protocol

 

About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat session deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.

 

Mission

What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.

 

Description

How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!

 

Grab a glass and join in!

 

The #winechat schedule is available on their Facebook page by clicking here.

 

#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.

 

 

 

My line up for this event included these two wines like I mentioned earlier:

Cairdean Line Up

Cairdean Line Up

 

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot – SRP $42.00

This is a blend of 81% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Malbec and .5% Petite Verdot

 

Perfectly placed on a south facing slope in Carneros~Napa Valley from a family-run vineyard, this wine comes from a block that consistently produces stellar wines.  The naturally low pH and higher acid from this site makes for a winemaker’s dream in the cellar, and a wine that is both food-friendly and age-worthy.  After blending with some lower acid wines to balance the palate, this wine was bottled without filtration.

 

The wine was aged in 40% new French oak barrels.  There were 492 cases of this wine produced.  This has 14.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy and inviting nose has cherries, crushed stone minerals, crushed berries, dark bittersweet chocolate, licorice, mint and blueberry.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  Cherries, berries and minerals coat the palate, eventually allowing dark chocolate and mint to slip into the picture.  The finish is very long and nicely layered with fruit and savory notes taking turns grabbing the spotlight.  This has outstanding balance and will be even better down the road.  This one can easily rest in the cellar for a decade, maybe more.  This is easily one of the better Merlots that I have had in several years.  (94 pts)

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

2010 Cairdean Estate Merlot

 

 

 

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec – SRP $40.00

This wine is a blend of 87% Malbec and 13% Petite Sirah.

 

This Malbec comes from the Browns Valley area of the Napa Valley from a very small family-owned vineyard.  Only 6 barrels were produced from this site.  This wonderfully fruity varietal is so often overlooked as a single bottling, so it is always a pleasure when one is good enough to make the cut.  A light amount of new oak helps hang on to that fruit and really lets the fruit take center stage.  By blending in a little Petite Sirah we were able to bring more structure to the wine and balance the fruit with present, but not overpowering tannins.

 

The wine was aged in 20% new French oak barrels.  Production was only 173 cases.  The final alcohol is 14.2% by volume, the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has raspberries, blackberries, dusty minerals, mint, scorched earth, licorice and dried violets.  This has a medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the red fruits and mint jump out initially with minerals and some darker fruit coming in on the backend.  The finish has good length and isn’t quite as intense as the palate with the flavors leaning a bit more on the savory elements with the fruit providing nice back ground sweetness.  Probably not one to stash in the cellar for the long term, but this will provide a lot of enjoyment over the next 4 to 6 years.  (90 pts)

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec

 

 

 

Closing comments

Even though I only tried the two wines listed above, all of the wines were sampled by other participants.  For other’s descriptions it sounded like every wine in the lineup was outstanding.  I can state for a fact that I was very impressed by this young winery.  The Cairdean Merlot I tasted was truly a world-class wine.  I highly recommend checking out this winery.  If they keep up the quality, they will become a shining star of the Napa Valley.

 

 

 

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 2014 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!

 

Online Tasting of Wines from Cline Cellars

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate

 

 

Cline logo

 

Overview

Cline was the guest of honor for the Twitter based #winechat on April 30th.  I was lucky to be sent the three bottles we will be discussing during the event.  I’ve been a fan of the wines made by Cline for a number of years.  Their wines are generally very reasonably priced and they have great distribution around the country.

 

 

Oakley Vineyard

 

The Winery

In the latter part of the 1800s, Oakley, Contra Costa County was a booming farming community with thousands of acres of orchards and healthy vineyards.  Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi of pump and spa fame, called this place home.  On summer visits to his grandparents, Fred learned both the love of agricultural life and the mysteries of vinifying grapes into wine.  These lessons led Fred to obtain a degree in Agriculture Management from U.C. Davis.  In 1982, with an inheritance from his grandfather, Fred founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California.  Here, he preserved and restored many ancient vine sites to their rightful reign as premier California wine lands.

 

In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities.  While much of the cool Carneros region is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, Fred pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.

 

Much more information on the winery and their wines is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

Protocol

 

 

About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat session deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.

 

Mission

What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.

 

Description

How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!

 

Grab a glass and join in!

 

The #winechat schedule is available on their Facebook page by clicking here.

 

#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.

 

 

 

My line up for this event looked like this:

Cline line up

Cline line up

 

 

 

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne – SRP $22

This wine is a blend of 66% Marsanne and 34% Roussanne.  The Marsanne comes from Cline’s estate vineyard in Sonoma Carneros, the Roussanne comes from their Sonoma Coast vineyard.

 

The grapes were hand-picked and destemmed.  After pressing in a tank press the juice is pumped into a settling tank and chilled at 55 degrees.  The next day the juice is racked to another tank and fermented.  This wine does not receive any oak aging to preserve the fresh and lively fruit character.

 

This wine is not distributed.  It is only available at the winery or via their website.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw color.  The fresh smelling nose has ripe apples, peaches, orange zest, minerals, honey, lime zest and white flowers.  The wine has a medium body with decent acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  Rich and ripe fruit quickly coats the palate with a jolt of citrus, spice and minerals grabbing hold on the mid-palate.  The finish has good length with spice, minerals and citrus closing the show.  (88 pts)

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne

2012 Cline Cellars Marsanne Roussanne

 

 

 

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé – SRP $14

This wine is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes from the winery’s Oakley vineyard in Contra Costa County.  The vines in this vineyard are over a century old.

 

This wine is made as a Blanc de Noir or “white of a red grape” in style.  Just after fermentation begins, the wine is pressed to remove the skins.  A small amount of color, flavor and astringent tannins are retained in the juice.  The juice is fermented slowly at a cold temperature to preserve the bright fruit flavors.  Fermentation is halted just before the wine is fully dry to add a touch of sweetness.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and there is .81% residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a vivid pink to red color.  The lively nose has cherries, plums, underbrush, minerals and a touch of spice.  This has a medium body with good acidity and a bit of lingering sweetness.  On the palate sweet fruit and minerals pop out first with some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and earthiness closing the show.  This leaves a pleasant, lingering sweetness.  (87 pts)

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé

2013 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Rosé

 

 

 

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate – SRP $18

This 100% Pinot Noir uses grapes from the estate’s vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation.  This region is often covered by coastal fog which helps mitigate daytime heat during the growing season.

 

For this wine, the grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and pumped directly into stainless steel fermentation tanks.  The wine is pumped over the cap of grape solids three times a day to help extract additional flavor and color.  After fermentation completes, the wine is pressed off the solids and moved into settling tanks.  After settling, the wine is racked into 35% new French oak barrels for 9 months of aging.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, eucalyptus, vanilla bean, baking spices, earthy underbrush and a nice floral note.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the bright red fruit and spice lead off with eucalyptus and an earthy note coming in later.  The finish has good length with a floral note closing the show.  This is a very good value for under $20.  (90 pts)

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate

2012 Cline Cellars Pinot Noir Cool Climate

 

 

 

Closing comments

Cline always offers wines that are tasty and value priced.  Any time you grab a bottle with Cline on the label you are guaranteed to not be disappointed.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

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

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Snooth

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

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

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

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

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

%d bloggers like this: