Posts tagged ‘Zinfandel’

Wine of the Week – 2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Zinfandel Back Barn – Oakville Cuvee

 

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

 

Pozzan Logo

 

Overview

I’m always on the lookout for value priced quality wines.  When I saw an Oakville Zinfandel on the local wine store’s shelf for under $20, I had to grab a bottle.  How often do you see a wine from a specific AVA in the Napa Valley that can be opened on a week night without blowing the budget.  This must be a brand new release since the winery’s website is still featuring their 2011 vintage in their current releases.

 

I’ve had a couple of Pinot Noir wines produced by the winery and they all delivered superior quality for their selling price.

 

Here’s what the winery says about their “Gold Series” wines:

Our Gold Series wines are the best of the best wines we produce, wines to sip and savor.  Produced in very limited quantities from grapes hand-selected from premier vineyards in California’s Napa Valley, Michael Pozzan Gold Series Wines may vary from year to year.  We currently only produce Gold Series in Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.  We will soon be releasing our latest vintage of Back Barn Zinfandel, a single-vineyard Oakville appellation, and the sole Gold Series varietal to be released in 2010.

 

The Winery – in their words

The pleasure of good wine is not just about balanced flavors, a fragrant nose, or lush colors.  It’s also about the moment when that first sip is taken, with family or friends, over favorite foods or during special occasions.

 

Michael Pozzan creates wines for moments like those, wines that capture the best of the varietals he blends, vintage after vintage.  His long-time experience with growers from premier Napa and Sonoma vineyards allows him to seek out and then hand-select exceptional fruit each growing season.  Michael then works closely with winemaker Richard Bruno to craft those grapes into stylish wines you can enjoy every day, or serve with great pride at those events in your life that deserve something special.  These are wines of high quality and exceptional value — wines you’ll want to share with those you love, and with those who love wine.  Michael Pozzan Winery currently produces 125,000 cases per year and distributes wine under four labels — Michael Pozzan, Annabella, Dante and Marianna — in select markets throughout the United States.

 

 

The winery’s website has a map that shows the states where the wine is distributed that is available by clicking here.  The map is out of date since it does not show the wine is distributed in Wisconsin, but it most certainly is in at least one store in the state.  The link also has the winery’s contact phone number and e-mail address.  This is a value priced wine that is definitely worth a bit of effort to track down.  Did you miss the part about this being a single vineyard Zinfandel from Oakville?

 

Much more information on the winery and their different labels is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Zinfandel Back Barn – Oakville Cuvee – $16.19

This is a 100% Zinfandel from a single unnamed vineyard in the Oakville AVA.  I couldn’t find any of the technical specs for this vintage but the previous vintage was aged 14 months in French oak.

 

The wine has a very manageable 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark ruby to purple color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, stony minerals, dead wood embers, candied violets, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of bittersweet chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate peppery berries and charred wood come through first with minerals and spice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a candied floral note popping out.  This is a keeper for well under $20.  (92 pts)

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Zinfandel Back Barn - Oakvile Cuvee

2012 Michael Pozzan Winery Zinfandel Back Barn – Oakville Cuvee

 

 

 

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!

 

Lodi Native Zinfandel Tasting

 

 

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

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard – (Maley Brothers)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard – (m2)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard – (McCay Cellars)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard – (St.Amant)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Century Block Vineyard – (Fields Family)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch – (Macchia)

 

(The wine name is the “official” Lodi Native name; I have listed the producing winery in parenthesis.

 

 

Lodi Native Logo

 

Overview

I was invited to participate in a wine tasting of 2012 Zinfandels from Lodi.  These were not going to be your ordinary, everyday Zins, these were going to be special.  Each 2012 bottling benefitted from native yeast fermentation, zero new oak, and minimal interference in the vineyards and cellar, allowing the terroir-driven fruit to speak for itself.  It’s a project that any Zinfandel (or wine!) purist can and should get behind.  It’s going to be a great tasting, giving prelude to Earth Day 2014!

 

Lodi Native™ is a collaborative project by six winegrowers of like mind, living and working in the historic Lodi American Viticultural Area.  Their mission: To turn the spotlight on the region’s heritage plantings – many of them dating back to the late 1800s – through sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices, beginning with native yeast fermentation and use of no new oak.  The focus is on Zinfandel, but on the taste of vineyards rather than varietal character or brand.

 

 

 

The Lodi Native Mission

To demonstrate to more sophisticated consumers, media (print and blogosphere) and gatekeepers (such as specialty retailers and sommeliers/restaurateurs) that distinguished, distinctly identifiable vineyards exist in Lodi, similar to other great wine regions of the world.

To encourage preservation and appreciation of old vine plantings – well as of Lodi’s long tradition of grower/custodians – by focusing more attention on vineyard sites, vis-à-vis real and tangible sensory expressions in each bottling.

To build professional camaraderie, a culture of information sharing, and new challenges for Lodi’s Zinfandel specialists.

 

 

Commitments

That anything worth doing should entail fairly strict protocols in order to be meaningful.

That no protocol should run contrary to the project’s primary purpose, which is to highlight terroir, and Lodi’s heritage Zinfandel plantings and growers.

That each participating producer faithfully applies “best efforts,” while being willing to sacrifice personal or brand style in order to achieve the project’s mission.

 

 

Winemaking Protocols

100% Zinfandel bottlings from a single contiguous vineyard (exception:  old vine plantings with long established field mixes) located within the Lodi AVA.

Preference for established “old vine” plantings (i.e. pre-1962), with exceptions made for distinctive younger plantings.

Native yeast (non-inoculated) fermentations only.

No use of oak chips, dust or similar amendments.

No acidification or de-acidification.

No new oak or use of innerstaves in aging process.

No water addition or de-alcoholizing measures.

No tannin additions.

No inoculation for malolactic fermentation.

No use of Mega-Purple or other concentrate products.

No filtering or fining.

No must concentration, Flash Détente or similar extraction measures

Proposed cuvées are to be submitted by each producer for sensory evaluation and subsequent approval of entire group.

Preference for vineyards certified by Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing and/or CCOF.

 

 

For more information or to purchase the wines, visit the Lodi Native site by clicking here.

 

 

LoCA_Logo-Enclosure_CMYK

 

 

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.

 

 

CCA Logo

 

 

About Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands.  Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods.  We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

 

For more information, visit the CCA website.

 

 

 

Lodi-Native-winemakers-819x1024

Lodi Native Winemakers (Clockwise from left): Layne Montgomery (M2); Stuart Spencer (St. Amant); Ryan Sherman (Fields Family); Michael McCay (McCay Cellars); Tim Holdener (Macchia); Chad Joseph (Maley Brothers)

 

 

If you would like to see the recorded video of the tasting with the wineries, please visit the Brandlive site by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out the video for the wealth of information and insight that was provided.

 

You can order the wines by clicking here.

The six-packs ($180 each) are only being sold at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center and come packaged in a commemorative wooden box. You may also call the Visitor Center directly at (209) 365-0621.

 

 

 

Here was the line up for this tasting. Tasting order was from west to east based on the location of vineyard.

Lodi Native Lineup

Lodi Native Lineup

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard (Maley Brothers)

The Wegat Vineyard is a 21-acre planting of head trained vines, field budded on St. George rootstock by the Maley family in 1958.  It is a quintessential “west side” Lodi vineyard:  planted in fine sandy loam, yielding less than 3 tons/acre, from a  unique clonal selection characterized by consistently loose clusters – all contributing to the round, lush, boysenberry/blueberry qualities long associated with Wegat.

 

The wine has 14.9% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Maley Brothers, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus, roasted herbs, dried flowers and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the brambly berries jump out with minerals and eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with minerals and roasted herbs hanging on.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard (m2)

m2′s Lodi Native Zinfandel is sourced from the oldest block of Soucie Vineyard; planted in 1916 and farmed by fifth generation Lodi native Kevin Soucie.  The vines are own-rooted and head trained, and the soil – an extremely fine silt with the consistency of talcum powder – is a variation of the series found in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA’s far western edge, identified as Devries sandy loam.  The site is also the closest to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s cooling breezes in Lodi, resulting in distinctively lush, pungently earthy, terroir driven styles of Zinfandel.

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on m2 Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is bright red to ruby color.  The very inviting nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy crushed berries and pepper hit first with a touch of eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some earthiness coming in.  This is a nice middle of the road style of Zinfandel.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel TruLux Vineyard (McCay Cellars)

TruLux is a west side Lodi – Mokelumne River AVA vineyard, originally planted in the 1940s on St. George rootstock.  It is distinguished by unusually tall head trained vines (topping 6 feet) and a clonal selection producing atypically loose, elongated clusters.  This, and loamy sand, yields dark, meaty fruit qualities with a perceptible earthy, loamy complexity.

 

The 2012 was picked earlier in the season (September 17) at moderate sugar (24.4° Brix).

 

The wine has 14.6% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on McCay Cellars, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with an amber tint.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, white pepper, minerals, roasted herbs and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries and pepper jump out first with minerals and subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some roasted herbs and a floral note coming in.  (90 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard (St.Amant)

Marian’s Vineyard is a revered 8.3-acre own-rooted Mokelumne River AVA growth, located south of the town of Lodi.  It was originally planted in 1901 by a branch of the Mettler family on present-day Mohr-Fry Ranch; and today it is farmed by father-and-son Jerry and Bruce Fry.  It is named for Marian Mohr Fry Zimmerman, the Fry family matriarch who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94.  Marian’s deep sandy loam is extremely well drained (in many years, yielding less than 2 tons/acre); but in 2012 the vineyard produced over 30 tons of bold, concentrated fruit – a testament to how well it is farmed today, in accordance with Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  The entirety of Marian’s goes to St. Amant Winery, founded by the late Tim Spencer (a Lodi icon).

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on St.Amant Winery, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, minerals, dried herbs and lavender.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate mineral laden, peppery berries coat your palate with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a big dried herb note lingering seemingly forever.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian's Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard (Fields Family)

The Century Block Vineyard is a 3-acre patch of own-rooted Zinfandel (typical of old vines in Lodi) planted in 1905; standing defiantly in a sea of more recently planted trellised vineyards, on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 is the first vineyard designate on record for this growth, and shows what maximum attention in the field and minimal intervention in the cellar can do.

 

The wine has 14.0% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Fields Family Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red to ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, brambly berries, white pepper, stony minerals, underbrush and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and pepper jump out first, slowly allowing minerals and some earthiness to come into focus.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note adding to the complexity.  This is a nice example of a restrained, civilized Zinfandel that could use some time in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Vineyard (Macchia)

Noma Ranch, farmed by second generation Lodi grower Leland Noma, is a 15-acre vineyard of small, stunted, own-rooted, head trained vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  It is 100% dry farmed; typically yielding close to 1 ton per acre.  These tiny clusters of high skin to juice ratio grapes produces a unique Zinfandel:  of all of Lodi’s heritage plantings, Noma is consistently among the most concentrated and highest in natural acidity.

 

Noma Ranch, farmed by Leland Noma is a 15-acre vineyard with vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 Lodi Native Noma Ranch Zinfandel was produced and bottled by Macchia Wines; by owner/winemaker Tim Holdener

 

This wine has 15.8% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Macchia Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch lighter than ruby red.  The big and bold nose has brambly berries, dark chocolate, black pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and violets.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate spicy, jammy berries and pepper coat the palate with subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with the peppery, jammy fruit lingering nicely.  This is a big and bold style of Zin.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

 

 

 

Closing comments

These wines made for a very enjoyable evening (actually a few evenings).  The wines were not slathered in new oak and only one of the six had an alcohol level over 15%.  This was an eye opening project not only for us lucky enough to taste the wines, but also for the wineries.  Several of the wineries said they would be looking to incorporate some aspects of the Lodi Native project in their normal winery operations.

 

If you ever make it to the region, I highly recommend visiting these wineries and other small, family owned ones in the region.

 

 

 

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!

 

Wine of the week – 2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

 

 

Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.

 

carlisle_title

 

 

The Winery

In the winery’s words – We are a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, and petite sirah).  While we like our wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, we also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

 

Rich.  Lusty.  Hedonistic.  These are some of the descriptors we often hear applied to our wines.  However, we also hear the words elegant, balanced, complex.  Yes, through hard work in the vineyard and winery, we believe you can have it all, the best of both worlds.  Our approach to winemaking is simple, yet difficult.  We prefer to intervene in nature’s process as little as possible but we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to maximize the quality of each wine we produce.

 

In my words – This is the one mailing list you have to join.  Mike Officer makes some of the best wines coming out of California and sells them at incredibly reasonable prices.  I was lucky to be an early fan of the winery and was able to join the mailing list immediately.  For the unlucky people who were not able to jump on early, the mailing list is full.  The winery actually has a waiting list to get on the mailing list.  No one can accurately say how long it will actually take to move from the waiting list to the mailing list for one very good reason…no one, or probably more accurately, very few people drop off the list.  These are usually outstanding wines and with their pricing, these are some of the best QPR wines out there.

 

 

The Wine

Mother Nature blessed Papera Ranch with both quality and quantity in 2009, providing us with a wine that rivals our much-lauded 2007.  If you are a fan of what we have done with this vineyard the last few years, I encourage you to take advantage of the quantity available.  The grapes were picked October 10th, fermented indigenously and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

 

Papera Ranch® (Formerly Carlo’s Ranch) – RussianRiverValley

Just a stone’s throw from Carlisle Vineyard, this “grand dame” of the Russian River Valley was planted in 1934 by Charley (Carlo) Papera.  Given its cool location, this vineyard is typically picked in late October.

 

If you would like to join the waiting list to get on the Carlisle mailing list, click here.

 

 

Here is what an “old vine” Zinfandel looks like:

papera old vine

 

 

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch – $37.00

Papera, Montafi and the Carlisle Vineyards are my favorite sources of Carlisle Zinfandels.  This vineyard was planted in 1934 and is unusual for an old vineyard in that it is planted to over 95% Zinfandel.  Most old vineyards have a much higher percentage of other grapes planted.

 

This 100% Zinfandel has 15.4% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There were 779 cases of the wine produced.

 

There is no need to try and find the 2010 vintage of this wine.  After a few months of cool weather, a day of sweltering heat on August 24th wiped out the entire crop.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, opaque purple color.  The nose is absolutely stunning on this wine, it’s full of brambly berries, warm baking spices, licorice, minerals, roasted herbs, dried wild flowers, plums, well worn leather and freshly cracked black peppercorns.  This has a full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is balanced, dense, rich and full of layers that slowly fade so the next one can take over.  The flavor profile is loaded on this wine with a very nice mixture of fruit and savory elements.  The finish is very long and again full of flavor.  There are absolutely no rough edges or over powering elements on this wine.  It is drinking wonderfully today and will continue to do so for a few more years.  Stunning!  (95 pts)

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

2009 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

 

 

We paired the Carlisle Zin with a fairly simple meal, grilled barbecue chicken, potato salad and at my insistence, deviled eggs.

BBQ Chicken

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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:

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Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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 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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