Posts tagged ‘wine’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Albariño Wines from Lodi

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

This post is based on samples that were provided to me.

 

These wines were provided to me for International Albariño Day which was on August 1st.  Since Lodi always raises the bar a notch or two, they turned the day into a long weekend.  Six Lodi wineries, Bokisch Vineyards, Dancing Coyote Wines, Estate Crush, Klinker Brick Winery, Mettler Family Vineyards and Oak Farm Vineyards hosted festivities and special tastings from August 4th to the 6th.

 

Albariño [al-bah-ree-nyoh] is one of the major grape varietals grown in Spain.  The Rias Baixas region is the “home base” for the grape.  The grape occupies 90% of the 8,650 acres of vines planted in Rias Baixas by thousands of independent growers.  This is a thick skinned grape that creates fragrant and floral wines with crisp acidity.

 

Even though the Lodi region is a long way from Rias Baixas, the wines produced here retain the characteristics of their Spanish counterparts but with a touch more ripeness while at the same time maintaining the crisp acidity that allows the wines to be served with a wide range of dishes.  The wine shines when paired with fish and shellfish.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

Here is my line-up for this tasting:

Lodi Albariño Line-up

Lodi Albariño Line-up

 

 

 

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi – SRP $18

The grapes for this wine come from the epicenter of Albariño in Lodi, Bokisch Vineyards.  The vines are 12 years old and planted in volcanic, gravelly grey loom.  After fermentation, malolactic fermentation was blocked to retain the fresh, crisp acidity.  The wine was aged in 100% stainless steel.  The total production was a miniscule 84 cases.

 

Estate Crush is a custom winemaking operation in downtown Lodi that handles growers desires to make wines from their grapes.  They can process anything from one barrel of wine up to 20 ton lots.  The facility was founded in Spring 2009 and opened in December 2011 and is currently the “home” of 35 brands and 88 wines.

 

More information on the facility is available on their website by clicking here.

 

This is a light yellow color with a slight green tint.  The fresh and vibrant nose has green apples, white peach, unripe pineapple, orange blossoms, melon, fresh leafy herbs, lavender, lemon zest and a touch of sea breeze.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart green apples, pineapple and orange blossoms grab your attention on the front end with white peach and lavender coming in later.  The finish has great length with leafy herbs and mouthwatering lemon zest providing nice depth.  This is a really nice Albariño that would be perfect on a warm, sunny day.  This is very easy to kick back and sip.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

2016 Estate Crush Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi – SRP $15

The grapes for this 100% Albariño come from the Mokelumne River appellation in Lodi and were harvested on August 11, 2016.

 

Klinker Brick is owned by Steve and Lori Felten, fifth generation grape growers in the Lodi region.  In the early days, the grapes were picked and packed in boxes that were shipped to the east coast and Canada for home winemakers.  In the late 1980s the winery upgraded their processes and equipment to reduce yields but greatly increase the quality of their grapes.  A few years later the family added winemaking to their resume and released their first vintage of wine.

 

Much more information on Klinker Brick and the Felten family is available on their website by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale greenish yellow color.  The bright and lively nose has green apples, white peach, lemon peel with some pith, dusty minerals, melon, tangerine and a touch of leafy green herb.  This has light to medium body with great acidity.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and melon jump out quickly with lemon zest and minerals slipping in on the back end.  The mouthwatering finish has very good length with tangerine, lemon pith and a touch of leafy herb providing very nice depth.  The bright citrus makes this a delightful wine to sip alone or with a light meal on a sunny day.  I liked the slight bitter bite on the finish.  I’d love to kick back and sip this on the deck during the upcoming eclipse.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (92 pts)

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

2016 Klinker Brick Albariño Lodi

 

 

 

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown – SRP $20

The winery says this wine “pairs perfectly with a good time”, I have to wholeheartedly agree.

 

The Mettler family have been growing grapes in the region for six generations.  The family’s organically farmed vineyards have produced many great wines over the years and their sustainable practices mean continued quality in the coming years.  The Mettler family have roots in the wine industry dating back into the 1770s.  The family planted their first vineyard in Lodi in late 1800s.  As with most Lodi grape growers, for most of their history the grapes were sold to other producers but in 2001 the family produced and released their first estate wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

One of my stops in a visit to Lodi last year was at the winery.  These are top notch grape growers and winemakers but more importantly they are friendly and knowledgeable first class people.  Much more information on the winery, the Mettler family and their history is available by clicking here.

 

The wine is a light yellow color.  the outgoing and vibrant nose has green apples, pears, chalky minerals, lime zest, spring flowers, melon and a touch of fresh leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart apples and pears are joined by minerals on the front end with melon and a nice floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish lingers nicely with a hint of leafy herbs and a nice jolt of mouthwatering lime zest.  This has enough body to stand up to a slightly heartier dish but with enough acidity to keep it bright and lively.  In my case, it paired wonderfully with pasta tossed with some garlic olive oil topped with a few slices of baked tomatoes that were topped with some fresh basil and oregano.  I really like this wine.  This has 13.8% alcohol and the bottle (which is one of the nicer I’ve seen) is sealed with a twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

2016 Mettler Family Vineyards Albariño Estate Grown

 

 

 

Pairing Suggestion

Here is a quick and easy meal that pairs nicely with any of these wines.

 

Slice a vine ripened tomato into 1/2″ slices.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with fresh basil, oregano and garlic.

Bake the slices in a 350 degree over for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle a touch of cheese over the slices and return to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.

Place the tomatoes over pasta that was tossed with some olive oil (and any juice from the baked tomatoes)

Serve with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a slice of garlic bread to soak up the juice and olive oil.

 

For added garlic flavor we prefer to use a garlic-olive oil.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

In my opinion, Albariño has found a new home in Lodi.  The perfect growing conditions allow the grapes to ripen at their pace allowing them to be harvested with great flavor and concentration but with the crisp acidity the wines need to be fresh and vibrant.  These are very easy to enjoy wines that pair very nicely with a wide array of lighter, warm weather meals.  These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.  The wines in this post are generally not available at you local wine store.  They are available via the winery’s websites or from the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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 – Parducci True Grit

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

(This is based on samples provided by the winery or an entity acting on their behalf)

 

 

 

About Parducci and Mendocino Wine Company

 

This years marks Parducci Wine Cellar’s 85th anniversary, the longest running winery in Mendocino County.  The Thornhill family own and operate the winery, as with any family owned business, dedication to the land and people associated with the operation is the number one priority.  For example, the head winemaker, Bob Swain, is celebrating his 20th year in the position.

 

The Thornhill family continues the tradition of sustainable wine growing and land use practices.  They have created an example for how to leave the world a little better than they found it.  In recognition of their leadership, the State of California three times (2007, 2009 & 2014) awarded Parducci Wine Cellars with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest environmental honor.

 

 

 

“Boldly expressive of rich character, True Grit RESERVE wines are the product of very selective fruit sourcing and hands-on winemaking.  Each vintage gives the full range of expression for a fearlessly distinct wine.”

 

The True Grit line of reserve wines use only the best fruit from the finest vineyards in Mendocino County.  This is the 10th vintage for the True Grit Reserve line of wines.

 

 

Here is my line up for this tasting:

True Grit Lineup

True Grit Lineup

 

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay – SRP $17.99

This wine is 100% Mendocino County grown Chardonnay.  The wine was aged in 93% new French oak and 7% stainless steel tanks.

 

The wine is a straw yellow color.  The sexy nose has apples, pears, dead wood embers, lemon zest, spring flowers and a touch of spicy oak.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and a slightly creamy mouth feel.  This has nice upfront white fruit and spicy oak with spring flowers and a bit of charred wood coming in later.  The crisp and lingering finish is highlighted with mouthwatering lemon zest.  This has the body and acidity to be a very nice accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.  I’m not a big fam of oaky Chardonnay wines but in this case the spicy oak provides nice depth and spice without stealing the spotlight from the bright fruit.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Parducci Chardonnay True Grit Reserve

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Chardonnay

 

 

 

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red – SRP $19.99

This is a red blend that uses some decidedly “outside the box” varietals.  This is a blend of 29% Carignan, 28% Zinfandel, 16% Grenache,  10% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 4% Souzão, 2% Tinto Cão and 2% Touriga Nacional.  The grapes are 100% from Mendocino County.  The wine was aged for 12 months in 40% seasoned oak barrels and 60% neutral tanks.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The mysterious nose has plums, black cherries, tobacco, crushed stone minerals, dark chocolate, blueberries, baking spices, coconut and dry underbrush.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, tobacco, baking spices and tobacco jump out on the front end with dark chocolate, blueberries and dry underbrush coming in later.  The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and a touch of coconut providing depth.  This is a fairly big and bold wine that would go nicely with something hot off the grill.  I wouldn’t stash this in the cellar, open this over the next few years and enjoy the dark fruit and spice.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

2013 Parducci True Grit Reserve Red

 

 

 

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP $19.99

This 100% Mendocino wine includes 1% Petit Verdot.  The wine was aged for 6 months in French oak, 35% new.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The expressive nose has cassis, scorched earth, cherry, eucalyptus, freshly ground espresso beans, chalky minerals, dark chocolate and a touch of licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis, chalky minerals, espresso beans and scorched earth quickly jump out on the front end with cherry and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with scorched earth and chalky minerals moving into the foreground with the fruit in the background providing nice supporting sweetness.  This could use a bit of time in the cellar or some air and a nice piece of grilled meat.  This is a very nice bottle of Cabernet for around $20.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2015 Parducci Cabernet Sauvignon True Grit Reserve

2015 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

Conclusion

These are all very nice, well balanced wines that are reasonably priced.  Any would be a welcome addition to your dinner table.

 

 

 

 

About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.

 

The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.

 

The results speak for themselves.

 

The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.

 

For more information on Balzac, please click here.

 

 

 

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 – August 2017 Vol 1

 

2014 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

2012 Kessler-Haak Pinot Noir Ohana

2012 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux

2006 Rudius Syrah Spirit Rock Alder Springs

 

 

 

2014 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – $11.04

This wine is made from a blend of grapes from 60 vineyards spread across the length and breadth of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley.  This vintage also has a small selection of fruit from the more southern Awatere Valley.

 

The wine is a pale yellow with a green tint.  The invigorating and refreshing nose has tart green apples, lemongrass, lime zest and a hint of green pea.  This has light body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart apples, lemongrass and a touch of green pea come through on the front end with lime zest coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemongrass and crisp lime zest leaving your mouth watering for another sip.  This may not be loaded with complexity but the bright flavors and crisp acidity make it a winner on a sunny day.  This is very easy to sip.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (89 pts)

2014 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

2014 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

 

 

 

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label – $75

First some info for the wine geeks from the winery:

This wine spent 57 months in barrel, 55% was new French oak.  The final selection process yielded only a 20 barrel-lot, which is composed of 100% Alder Springs fruit.  Eleven of the selected barrels were new in 2007, from coopers Darnajou, Ermitage, François Frère & Meyrieux, the remaining barrels were of varying ages, but all were essentially neutral when the wine went into them.  Four of the barrels were co-fermented with Viognier and they were clearly loaded with a succulent lift in their aromas.  Only two of the barrels came from fruit that was de-stemmed.  The freshest and most concentrated barrels included 100% whole-clusters, with some of the more open knit and exotic barrels having received some partial de-stemming, giving them some more evolved and exotic characteristics, that worked well in the final blend.

This is 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier.  85% were whole-cluster.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, blueberries, charcoal, dark bittersweet chocolate, road tar, plums, violets, licorice and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  A barrage of berries, charcoal, dark chocolate and road tar quickly engulf your palate on the front end with plums, charcoal and black pepper coming in later.  The long finish adds licorice and a nice floral note.  This is a loaded wine but with the structure and savory notes that keep it out of the “fruit bomb” category.  This isn’t for you if you are looking for a lighter style of nuanced wine.  This will last in the cellar for several more years but I wouldn’t plan on cellaring it for an extended length of time, this needs opened before the acidity and tannin levels decrease to the point they can’t support the body and flavor, figure 5 to 7 more years.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

 

 

 

2016 Villa Creek Rosé – $19.20

Villa Creek (as well as Bedrock) are the two wineries that always receive an order from me for their Rosé wine.  Villa Creek is a personal favorite winery of mine.  They are located in Paso Robles and utilize some of the “big name” vineyards in the region as well as their own vineyards.  To me, they make some of the best, reasonably priced red wines coming out of Paso Robles.

 

This vintage is a blend of 75% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 5% Carignan from Luna Matta and Denner Vineyards in Paso Robles.

 

The wine is a salmon pink color.  The intoxicating nose has cherries, strawberries, crushed stone minerals, wildflowers, peaches, subtle dry earth and orange zest.  On the palate red fruit and minerals quickly grab your attention with peaches and wildflowers coming in later.  The juicy finish has very good length with nice depth being provided by orange zest and a hint of dry earthiness.  The is crisp, clean and dry, perfect for a warm afternoon lunch or lighter dinner on the deck or patio.  This has 13.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

2016 Villa Creek Rosé

 

 

 

2012 Kessler-Haak Pinot Noir Ohana – $25

This is a new winery for me.  I would take the review below with a grain of salt, even though the bottle didn’t show serious leakage, there was a distinct “red line” extending the length of the cork it may have been subjected to some heat.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The deep and mysterious nose has black cherries, blackberries, earthy underbrush, dark chocolate, white pepper, baking spices, dead wood embers and dried flowers.  This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices and earthy underbrush quickly jump out on the front end with dark chocolate and wood embers coming in later.  The finish has nice length with white pepper and a dried floral note providing some depth.  This would be hard, if not impossible, to guess it was a Pinot Noir.  This could use a bit more acidity to help keep the big body and flavors in check.  This has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (86 pts)

2012 Kessler-Haak Pinot Noir Ohana

2012 Kessler-Haak Pinot Noir Ohana

 

 

 

2012 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux – $12.74

This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah, 27% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Viognier, 2% Malbec and 3% Other Varietals.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The open and giving nose has blackberries, black cherries, plums, baking spices, scorched earth and roasted leafy herbs.  This has medium to full body with soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate dark fruit and baking spices come through on the front end with scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a roasted herb note providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot in the complexity department but the big flavors and the low price point make this a winner to serve to a gathering of friends or a leisurely weeknight meal.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (87 pts)

2012 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux

2012 Columbia Crest H3 Les Chevaux

 

 

 

2006 Rudius Syrah Spirit Rock Alder Springs – $45

This is one of the first wines I bought from Jeff Ames’ mailing list for Rudius.  I highly recommend checking out the winery and joining their mailing list.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The deep and dark nose firmly places this wine on the dark and wild side of the Syrah spectrum with roasted game, blackberry liqueur, black pepper, olive tapenade, plums, soy sauce, cocoa powder and damp underbrush.  This full bodied gem has moderate to solid tannins and nice acidity.  The wild game and berries dominate the front end on the palate with black olives, pepper and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The long finish adds some building earthiness and soy.  This is drinking very nicely right now but a touch of alcohol pokes through at times so I’d advise opening this one in the next couple of years before it becomes more prominent.  This has 15.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2006 Rudius Syrah Spirit Rock Alder Springs

2006 Rudius Syrah Spirit Rock Alder Springs

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – July 2017 Vol 4

 

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

2012 Robert Hunter Vin Rouge of Field Four

2014 Angeline Winery Pinot Noir Reserve

2013 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

1992 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #8

 

 

 

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R – $11.39

Riesling is my favorite white wine, by a wide margin.  This versatile grape can produce wines that range from crisp dry wines with steely acidity to rich and luscious sweet wines.  The natural acidity and sweetness mean these wine will age elegantly in your cellar for decades.

 

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, juicy peaches, minerals, orange blossoms, lemon zest and a touch of petrol.  This has light to medium body, crisp acidity and just a bit of residual sweetness.  On the palate the apples and peaches jump out first with minerals coming into the picture followed by some nice tart citrus zest.  The finish is very tasty but a touch short.  This does not offer a lot of complexity but is still very tasty.  A nice German Riesling for just a bit over $10.  This has 10.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (88 pts)

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

2009 August Kesseler Riesling R

 

 

 

2012 Robert Hunter Vin Rouge of Field Four – $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.

In this case, this was a Last Bottle $15 mystery bottle from one of their Marathons.

 

This is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot that was 18 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The deep and dark nose has blackberries, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, roasted herbs and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a full body with soft tannins and low acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices and minerals grab you on the front end with dark chocolate and roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length but gets soft.  This really could use a serious jolt of acidity to help hold the big flavors in check.  This would be a hit at a party to sip over conversation with friends that don’t like big tannins or acidity.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (85 pts)

2012 Robert Hunter Vin Rouge of Field Four

2012 Robert Hunter Vin Rouge of Field Four

 

 

 

2014 Angeline Winery Pinot Noir Reserve – $12.85

Angeline is owned by Courtney Benham and is a “sister” winery to Martin Ray and Courtney Benham.  The winery was founded in 1990.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir with 40% of the grapes from Mendocino County, 35% from Sonoma County and 25% from Monterey County.

 

This wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black cherries, white pepper, blackberries, dry underbrush, crushed stones and dried violets.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate black cherries and dry earthy underbrush jump out on the front end with white pepper and cranberries coming in later.  The finish has decent length with crushed stones and a floral note providing some depth.  This doesn’t offer a lot in the complexity department but for the money this will work nicely with a weeknight meal. This has 13.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (86 pts)

2014 Angeline Winery Pinot Noir Reserve

2014 Angeline Winery Pinot Noir Reserve

 

 

 

2013 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer – SRP $27.99

Zind-Humbrecht is one of the major produces in the region.  The family has been growing grapes since the 17th century.  This wine comes from a gravelly vineyard on the valley floor.  The vines average 44 years old.

 

The wine is a bright yellow color with a slight green tint.  The stunning nose has peaches, lychee, honey, leafy green herbs, pink grapefruit, orange blossoms, lemon zest and crushed stone minerals.  This has medium body with a bit of residual sweetness and nice acidity.  Lychee, peach, pink grapefruit and orange blossoms greet the palate on the front end with honey, minerals and leafy herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with zippy lemon zest balancing out the lingering sweetness.  This is a rich and luxurious wine that is drinking very nicely today but will last in the cellar until at least the end of the decade, probably longer.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer

2013 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer

 

 

 

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard – $28.71

The vineyard where the grapes are grown are comprised of a blend of old vines and new that are farmed organically & biodynamically in rocky, shallow soil.  The grapes were hand-picked, hand-sorted, de-stemmed and began to ferment naturally after a 4-5 day cold soak in our open top oak and concrete fermenters. There were twice-daily gentle punch-downs throughout the fermentation to help the soft extraction of the tannins.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 16 months.   This wine was then bottled unfined on April 15, 2013.

 

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, baking spices, earthy underbrush, white pepper, wild flowers, wet stone minerals, black raspberries and roasted leafy herbs.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate silky tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate tart cherries, baking spices and wet stones quickly take hold on the front end with white pepper and earthy underbrush coming in later.  The finish has very good length with roasted herbs and black raspberries entering the picture.  This tastes great now with some air but will be better in a year or two.  This has outstanding balance and is built to age.  The wine has 12.9% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard

 

 

 

1992 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #8 – $38.61

As is usual for a lot of the smaller, European wineries, not a lot of information seems to be available on the internet.  It’s not everyday you can sip a 25 year old white wine, especially one as pristine as this bottle.

 

The wine is a medium golden yellow color.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, pears, honey, petrol, minerals, Spring flowers, pineapple, lemon zest and a touch of spice.  This has light to medium body with very nice acidity and a ton of richness.  The sugar and acidity have melded into a very nice, rich, silky wine.  On the palate the rich, honey dipped apples and pineapple are joined with minerals and a touch of spice with a bit of citrusy acidity coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length and ends with a touch of flinty minerality and citrus zest.  Very nice and at a peak drinking window.  (94 pts)

1992 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #8

1992 Theo Schmitz-Schwaab Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Fuder #8

 

 

 

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 – Spanish Whites from vintae

 

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

 

 

These wines were provided by vintae, a Spanish wine company that represents wineries throughout Spain and 401 West Communications.

 

 

Vintae was created to reflect the current Spanish wine landscape – Spanish wines with diverse terroirs fall under the Vintae portfolio, varying in style, flavor and even price point. The Arambarri family has a long history in wine and agriculture and they want people to have fun with wine and not take it so seriously. Their goal is to revolutionize Spanish winemaking and show the vast array of style and flavors that Spain is capable of creating.

 

At Vintae, our dream is to revolutionize the wine world. Only by taking risks will we accomplish our dream. Vintae is not just a wine company; it is a new way of experiencing wine.

 

Our vineyards span fourteen regions of Spain, and while our roots began in Rioja, we were inspired and captivated by the diverse wine growers and terroir that dominate our country. These regions and landscapes each have their own story and it’s our dream to share them with the rest of the world in ways that have not been done or tasted before.

 

Our vineyards and wineries are unique, just like the people who work tirelessly to create top quality products. We are a family who come from around the world, united by the same idea to share our story and our dream to revolutionize wine.

 

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

 

 

Here are the wines for this post:

Tasting Line Up

Tasting Line Up

 

 

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas – SRP $15.99

This is 100% Albariño from vineyards located in Condado de Tea, on the right bank of River Miño.  The vineyard is on rolling slopes in sandy soils with a granite subsoil at altitudes between 100 and 250 m above sea level.  The overhead vineyard uses a trellis system, reaching a height of up to 2.80 m.  The grapes are manually harvested into plastic boxes.  After sorting the grapes are pressed.  The alcoholic fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless-steel vats at a 18ºC.   After fermentation the wine is racked to separate the lees and it undergoes a cold stabilization.  After being filtered the wine is finally bottled.

 

The wine is a very light straw yellow color.  The refreshing nose has green apples, kiwi, lemon zest and just a hint of ripe banana.  This is just barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples and kiwi grab your attention on the front end with tart, mouthwatering lemon zest coming in on the back end and lingering nicely on the long finish.  This is Spring in a bottle, ready to be your companion on a warm, sunny day.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

2016 Atlantis by Maetierra Albarino Rías Baixas

 

 

 

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco – SRP $9.99

This wine is Viura with lesser amounts of other varietals.  The Viura is from an old vineyard in the area of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja).  The grapes were hand harvested during the entire month of October.   After fermentation, the wine was aged between 3 and 4 months in French oak barrels.

 

The wine is a very light and pale straw yellow color.  The delicate and enticing nose has tart apples, white peach, chalky minerals, citrus zest and a hint of spicy oak.  This is barely medium body with crisp acidity.  On the palate tart apples, peaches and chalky minerals jump out quickly on the front end with lime zest slipping in later.  The finish has very nice length with lemon zest providing great depth and a touch of spicy oak comes in at the end.  This could use a bit of cellar time for the oak notes to better integrate.  This is a delicious white Rioja that will go with a wide variety of lighter meals.  This is very easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerate cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

2016 Bodega Classica Rioja Hacienda López de Haro Blanco

 

 

Conclusion

These are both nicely nuanced, lighter bodied wines that would be a welcome addition to a meal any time of the year but especially on a warm, sunny day.

 

 

 

 

Rebekah Polster formed 401 West Communications in the winter 2016 after working in public relations and marketing for over 15 years. She has worked with a variety of brands, including: Wines from Rioja, Drink Ribera. Drink Spain, Wines from Spain, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, Yarden Wines of Israel, Grupo Codorníu, Francis Ford Coppola Wineries; Grey Goose Vodka, Bacardi Rum, Van Gogh Vodka, TAP Whisky, Grand Marnier; Valor Chocolates from Spain, Prosciutto di Parma; Joto Sake, illy caffe, Riedel and Spiegelau Crystal, Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Resorts.

 

Rebekah’s diverse background in public relations, marketing, event planning and account management has been tapped for overseeing major press, trade and consumer events, including day-of events and guerrilla marketing, small intimate tastings and press meetings. Rebekah has accumulated key contacts in the food and beverage industry, including sommeliers, mixologists, retailers and educators. She has cultivated a large rolodex of journalist contacts in food, beverage and lifestyle media, adding to the key placements generated for her clients.

 

Rebekah Polster

401 West Communications

President

917.583.5958

http://www.401westcomm.com/

 

 

 

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!

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

 

Overview:

Faust is owned by Agustin Huneeus, the person who created Quintessa.  When I was offered a sample of the latest Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a quick and easy answer…YES!

 

Faust Vineyard

Faust Vineyard

 

 

About the company:

Faust, the wine, celebrates a legend which has inspired many great minds, among them the German poet Goethe, from whose masterpiece we draw our inspiration.  In Goethe’s most famous work, the aging scholar Dr. Faust barters his soul in the afterlife in exchange for another chance at youth.  He gets his chance, yet ultimately his soul is saved by love.

 

Faust is indeed the fruit of renewed passion for Agustin Huneeus, though Mephistopheles has not yet appeared to claim his soul.  The underlying premise for all of the wines he has ever produced has been that great wines must be a reflection of a great vineyard.  Faust is not.  Instead, Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley’s noblest grape – full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

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

 

 

About Agustin Huneeus:

Behind every great wine stands a passionate vintner.  Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the creation of Agustin Huneeus and it continues to satisfy his long held desire to produce a wine that embodies the most seductive characteristics of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin is one of the few vintners who has dedicated his entire professional life to wine.  With a career spanning 50 years, he has produced wine in more than 15 countries.  Perhaps best known today for creating Quintessa, the stunning biodynamic vineyard and winery estate he and his wife Valeria own in Rutherford, Napa Valley, Agustin is recognized as a driving force in how fine wine is produced, recognized, sold and marketed in the United States.  The philosophy that great vineyards make great wine is his guiding principle.

 

Agustin Huneeus has been discovering great vineyards of the world throughout a career spanning five decades and 15 countries.  In addition to owning the Quintessa estate in the renowned Rutherford District of Napa Valley, his current vineyard and winery projects include Illumination Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Veramonte winery in Chile’s Casablanca and Colchagua Valley’s, Neyen winery in Chile’s Apalta Valley and Washington’s Longshadows Vintners where he is a partner.  In 2009, the Huneeus family forged a partnership with Joan and Walt Flowers of Flowers Vineyards & Winery, pioneering vintners who in 1989, established two extraordinary vineyards dedicated to world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the extreme Sonoma Coast.  In 2010, the Huneeus family purchased two edgy wines, The Prisoner, a Napa Valley red blend, and Saldo, a Zinfandel from some of California’s most revered vineyards.

 

 

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP $55

The wine is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.  Most of the grapes come from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville with small lots from vineyards in Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Rutherford.  These purchased grapes from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs are used to round out the wine.   After fermentation, the wine was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak with 30% being new.

 

According to the winery, 2014 is another dream vintage with quality along the lines of 2012 and 2013.  2014 was a dry year but spring rains during February and March gave the vines a much needed drink of water in time for bud break.  The moderate drought conditions also led to berry sizes that were smaller and had more concentrated flavor.  Despite rumblings from the South Napa Earthquake in August, harvest was early and even with ample ripeness, and depth of flavor.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The sexy nose has cassis, plum, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, tobacco, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of cedar.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate rich cassis and plums are joined by minerals and spices on the front end with dark chocolate and tobacco coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with vanilla and a touch of spicy oak providing nice depth.  This could use a bit of time in the cellar for the oak to integrate on the finish but I wouldn’t stash this in the back of the cellar.  This will probably be at its best from 2018 through the early 2020s.  As is, this is a rich and luxurious Napa Cab for a very fair price.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Closing Thoughts

If you are looking for a rich, full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, Faust would be a wonderful choice.  This wine has very good balance and complexity to appeal to wine lovers and the rich, velvety fruit to appeal to people who just want something good to drink.  At $55 a bottle, I would tend to steer guests in the second category to another selection, unless they are very good friends, and keep this one only for true wine lovers.  This is more of a wine to enjoy over its first several years and not one to stash in the cellar for a decade.  Enjoy it while the fruit is young and vibrant.

 

 

 

 

This sample was provided by the winery and Fineman PR.

 

Fineman PR unites large-agency talent, small-agency responsiveness and internationally recognized strategic direction. We are a full-service agency specializing in Brand PR and crisis communications, creating and executing award-winning public relations programs.

 

For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

 

 

 

Connect with me

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

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

 

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

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – July 2017 Vol 3

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White – $28.50

This wine is a blend of:

54% Sonoma Valley Semillon, Monte Rosso Vineyard

30% Sonoma Valley Muscadelle, Pagani Ranch

16% Russian River Valley Palomino, Saitone Ranch

 

This was the third vintage of this versatile white wine.  The amount of new oak used for this wine has decreased to allow the fruit to shine.  The Muscadelle was fermented in stainless steel. The Palomino was fermented in 75% stainless steel and 25% new oak.  The Semillon was fermented in all oak but only 22% was new.  The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation to allow the retention of the acidity and to retain the freshness.  There were 316 cases produced

 

The wine is a nice golden straw color.  The fresh nose has melons, beeswax, lemon zest, orange blossoms, pineapple, chalky minerals and just a hint of spicy oak.  This has a fairly full body and a creamy texture with good acidity.  On the palate melon, beeswax, minerals and orange blossom grab your attention on the front end with under ripe pineapple coming in later.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and a touch of spicy oak providing depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and it should continue to show well for at least a couple more years.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

2012 Carlisle The Derivative White

 

 

 

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select – $20.83

I’ve been a big fan of the quality red wines being produced by Elyse for many years.  The winery was one of the first we visited on our first trip to wine country.  This is an outstanding winery with equally outstanding people selling their wines at very consumer friendly prices.

 

This wine includes 9% Zinfandel.  The grapes are from Oles, Souyoultzis, Massa, Wood and Chavez-Leeds vineyards.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 1/2 months in American oak with 40% being new.

 

The wine is a dark, inky maroon color, almost black.  The very expressive nose is full of crushed blackberries, minerals, blueberries, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, warm baking spices and vanilla.  This has medium to full body, moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the spicy blackberries and minerals hit first and slowly allow some coffee and chocolate to peak through.  The finish is long and full of berries and dark chocolate with nice spice and coffee adding depth.  This is now in its’ prime drinking window and should hold for several years.  This isn’t made in a massively ripe style, the alcohol is a manageable 14.7%.  This could last another decade.  This wine has 14.7% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

2007 Elyse Petite Sirah Barrel Select

 

 

 

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard – $24

The 2015 vintage of this wine was included in last week’s post.

 

This is the first white wine produced by Jean Edwards Cellars.  Dalla Gasperina Vineyard is on the northern end of the Rutherford Bench, down the road from Franciscan Winery.   This is a blend of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Semillon.  I highly recommend getting on the winery’s mailing list to get first shot at these limited production wines and to enjoy mailing list prices.  Check out the mailing list by clicking here.

 

The wine is a pale straw yellow color.  The enticing nose has apples, lemon zest, white pepper, leafy herbs, pineapple, dusty minerals, apricot, orange blossoms and anise.  This has medium body with mouthwatering acidity.  On the palate tart apples, white pepper, lemon zest and an herbal streak immediately take control on the front end with apricot and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with anise and dusty minerals joining the tropical fruit and white pepper.  The crisp acidity will leave your mouthwatering for another sip.  A great initial white wine effort from this formerly red wine only winery.  This is very drinkable now but will last for at least two or three years, maybe longer.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dalla Gasperina Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc – $9.49

Ironstone Vineyards is a family owned winery that we visited during our Lodi excursion.  The Kautz family were gracious hosts during the visit.  I enjoyed their entire line-up of value priced wines.  The quality of the wines far exceeded the “low price of admission”.  To me, their Petite Sirah and this Cabernet Franc were the standouts.  I like the wine enough to include a few bottles in the case I bought soon after returning home.  Visit the Ironstone Vineyards website for a ton more information on the winery, family and the wines.

 

This wine is 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alta Mesa and Sloughhouse AVAs in Lodi.  The wine gets a brief two month aging in new French oak.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very approachable nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, dried leafy herbs, vanilla, cedar and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, vanilla and dried herbs dominate the front end with toasty cedar coming in on the back end.  The fruit laden finish has nice length.  This isn’t a wine to lay down, I’d drink this one on the younger side while the fruit is crisp and fresh.  Open this one with a juicy burger hot off the grill or even better with a platter of cheeses and meats with a few friends.  This wine is a steal if you can find it for around $10.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé – $14.40

I couldn’t find much information on the winery online.  I assume I’m just looking in the wrong places.

 

The wine is a light pink salmon color.  The soft and laid back nose has cherries, strawberries, stony minerals, orange blossoms, white peach and lemongrass.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and seems to be totally dry.  On the palate bright red fruit, minerals and white peach jump out on the front end with lemongrass and orange blossoms coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with mineral and red fruit.  The is a very flavorful and balanced rosé that pairs nicely with a light meal but also excels sipping on its’ own on a sunny day.  This has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a'Campo Old Vine Rosé Lodi

2015 Azienda Bologna Cinsault a’Campo Old Vine Rosé Lodi

 

 

 

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard – $25.60

Michael McCay and his family moved to Lodi in the mid 1980s.  He started making wine in 1994 and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.

 

This is 100% Grenache that utilized a “native yeast” fermentation and that was aged in neutral oak.  A total of 178 cases were produced.

 

Much more information is on the winery’s website.

 

The wine is a light, translucent ruby red color.  The entrancing nose has raspberries, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, plums, white pepper, dry underbrush, fresh flowers and charred wood.  This has medium to full body with medium tannins and great acidity.  On the palate tart berries, white pepper, minerals and under ripe plums quickly grab your attention with baking spices and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has very good length with tart cherries and charred wood providing nice depth.  This is on the young side but already tastes great.  This has good balance and is not on the highly extracted/over ripe side of the line.  An outstanding effort!  This tastes more like a Rhone wine than one from the new world.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba Vineyard

2013 McCay Cellars Grenache Abba 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.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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