Exceptional Red

Tags

, , ,

Turley Napa Cab 2012

Turley 2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, Larry Turley of Turley Wine Cellars has spent the better part of his life on a farm. Being in the south, there were primarily tobacco and dairy farms; nevertheless, his respect for the land and its cultivation began at a young age. As an adult, Larry channeled this passion for preservation towards people, studying medicine and working as an emergency room physician.  Because Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like, Turley makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Often weak and decaying, these old vine vineyards require extra care and attention in order to restore them to their former glory. After twenty-five years in the emergency room, Larry can now focus his resuscitative skills on the various old vineyards that comprise the wines he loves.

I recently tried a Turley Cedarman Zinfandel and it was outstanding. I was able to get a bottle of their 2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, which was their inaugural vintage. Opening a bottle I noticed a vibrant deep Ruby red color with aromas of dark black fruit, not overripe, and complex spice. The palate shows smoothness, despite being a 2012 with vines planted in 1989, with blueberry and blackberry fruit, cinnamon, vanilla and herb spices with approachable tannins that should develop well for some time. This full-bodied wine was well balanced with good acidity. The finish was medium length and ended with a dry mineral taste.  Very nice for the inaugural vintage.

Cheers!

Exceptional White

Tags

, , ,

Newton 2012 Napa Chard Unfiltered

Newton 2012 Napa Chardonnay Unfiltered

Widely acclaimed as a California wine trailblazer, Newton Vineyard was one of the first wineries on Spring Mountain, a rugged yet serene appellation located west of St. Helena on the eastern flank of the Mayacamas range which separates Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Newton Vineyard was established in 1977, the vision of founders Dr. Su Hua and Peter Newton, who recognized the potential of Spring Mountain as a prime viticultural region. Newton’s approach to winemaking is meticulous, using techniques based on an old-world style including natural fermentation and bottling without filtration. The grapes are handled with care, hand-picked in small lots and transferred for gentle pressing to the Spring Mountain cellar. The winery is custom-designed to allow lots from 112 distinct parcels to ferment separately, affording the winemaker an abundance of options when constructing final blends. Barrel aging takes place in a cave built into the mountain directly underneath the winery.

Opening the 2012 unfiltered Chardonnay I noticed rich complex aromas of stone fruit with gentle floral scents.  The wine was aged for 15 months in French oak (30% new) and hand-stirred weekly give the wine an intense complexity.  The palate was full of rich ripe fruits, apricots, juicy peaches, pears and citrus with a touch of oak and spice.  The wine was extremely well balanced with the perfect amount of acidity.  The wine finished long and smooth.

Cheers!

Exceptional Red

Tags

, , ,

Turley 2012 Cedarman Zin

Turley 2012 Howell Mountain Cedarman Zinfandel

For the past 20 years, the strongest hand at the Zinfandel wheel has been Larry Turley of Turley Wine Cellars, which released its first wines with the 1993 vintage.  Turley pioneered a plush, richly fruity style of Zinfandel that helped establish the varietal as a world-class contender. Turley’s Zins appear on some of the wine lists of America’s best restaurants.  Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, Larry has spent the better part of his life on a farm. This being the south, they were primarily tobacco and dairy farms; nevertheless, his respect for the land and its cultivation began at a young age. As an adult, Larry channeled this passion for preservation towards people, studying medicine and working as an emergency room physician.

Because Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like, Turley makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Often weak and decaying, these old vine vineyards require extra care and attention in order to restore them to their former glory. After twenty-five years in the emergency room, Larry can now focus his resuscitative skills on the various old vineyards that comprise the wines he loves.

Opening a bottle I noticed a vibrant deep red color with aromas of very ripe black/red fruit, slightly spicy.  This Cedarman wine has a small amount of Petite Sirah mingling with the Zinfandel.  The palate showed great depth with big fruit flavors, cherries and sweet plums with a good bit of spicy flavors, cinnamon and vanilla, nice acidity and balance.  The finish, medium length, ends with toasty mineral notes and slight heat (15.8% alcohol).  Wonderful!  Small production, worth the hunt.

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , ,

Sagrado 2007 Reserva

Quinta do Sagrado 2007 Reserva Douro Tinto

One of the most representative Quintas in the Douro, located near the mouth of the Pinhão River, has belonged to the Calem family (now in its 5th and 6th generations) for about 150 years, and before that was owned by the A.A. Calem & Filho, Lda. company.  When it started, there were neither trains nor tanker-trucks, so it was designed to receive the wines produced at the Quinta and at the Region’s other landholdings, and from there transport them via barge (known as Barco Rebelo), to the main warehouses on Diogo Leite Avenue in Vila Nova de Gaia.

The Quinta do Sagrado, located on the right bank of the Douro River, 500m from Pinhão, has 20 hectares of vines planted on terraces, reconverted in 1986. On the Terraces, the varieties are planted in 14 blocks and since the varieties planted during the 1980s were chiefly chosen with Port wine in mind, a system of grafting by budding has been used in order to adapt the vineyard to the production of quality Red wine.

Opening a bottle I noticed a deep dark purple color with aromas of rich black and red fruit, sweet spice and earthy tones.  The wine is a blend of 33% Vinhas Velhas, 26% Touriga Nacional, 22% Touriga Franca, 14% Tinta Amarela and 5% Tinta Roriz (Note: Vinhas Velhas means “old vines” and the exact grapes are not known, but probably have their roots from Touriga Nacional).  The palate showed jammy fruits, cherries, raspberries and blackberries with complex spicy flavors both sweet and tangy, good balance with round and subtle tannins.  This full bodied wine displayed a finish with mineral and earthy notes and a port-like ending.  Absolutely a delight to drink.  This wine was a gift from my colleague, Amandio, a native of Portugal, who brought back this gem from one of his trips back home.  Obrigado!

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , , ,

RobertMondavi 2010 Oakville Cab

Robert Mondavi 2010 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Mondavi winery, located in Oakville, CA, makes a number of outstanding and consistent quality wines and established his winery in 1966 with a vision to have his Napa Valley wines to be among the world’s finest.  Robert Mondavi also believed his wines should reflect its “roots” and be a signature creation from a combination of the soil, climate and production techniques, both new and old, which transforms the grapes into a fine wine.

Opening a bottle of 2010 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, I noticed a dark purple, almost inky color with blue and black fruit aromas.  The wine is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot & 1% Malbec and aged in French oak for almost 2 years.  The taste reveals complex blackberry and blueberry flavors with sweet spice, not quite jammy, but heading that way.  The wine was well balanced with good acidity and developed tannins.  This full-bodied wine finishes with an almost velvety ending.  Delightful!  This wine went great with a Fillet Mignon, topped with a light mushroom sauce.  Stay tuned for future notes on tastings of other Robert Mondavi’s many winery offerings.

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , , ,

chateau-st-jean-2010 cinq-cepages

Chateau St. Jean 2010 Cinq Cépages

The estate of Chateau St. Jean is located at the foot of Sugarloaf Ridge in the Sonoma Valley near Kenwood, California.  The estate was founded in 1973 and recognized as a true leader in “Vineyard Designated” wines.  The winemaker, Margo Van Staaveren, brings with her 30 years of experience and draws out the best that Chateau St. Jean vineyards has to offer.

I opened a bottle of Cinq Cépages, which is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, and noticed a deep ruby color with aromas of complex dark black fruit, cacao and spice with oaky notes.  The attack on the palate was full of fruit, blackberries, black cherries and hints of plum.  This full-bodies wine was very well balanced with pleasant tannins, showing a soft bottle development.  The finish lingers nicely, ending with some mineral notes.  This is their leading wine, which is magnificent, and you should set down a bottle for a few years, if you don’t get tempted first.  Wonderful!

Cheers!

Weekend Selection

Tags

, , ,

Gemola 2007

Gemola 2007 Colli Euganei Rosso Merlot Cabernet Franc

Vignalta was founded by Lucio Gomiero in 1980 who proclaimed that he could produce wines as good as anything in Bordeaux.  Colli Euganei is located in the Northwest region of Italy and shares the same lines of latitude with Bordeaux.  The estate is spread over 123 acres on the south facing slopes of Colli Euganei, an area with unique soil and varietal combinations.  Colli is Italian for “hills” and Vignalta translates to “high vines”.  The Colli Euganei, with their volcanic origin, has terrains rich in minerals, a mild climate and good thermals producing extraordinary grapes.  Their wine cellar is completely dug into the rock, which is not only impressive, but very functional in aging wines at a constant temperature and humidity.  Lucio states; “that he is sure of the goodness of his wines, however he is not asking for acts of faith, rather invites you to cocktails”.

The 2007 Gemola is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc produced on the volcanic soils in the Colli Euganei area of Baone.  The Merlot and Cabernet grapes grown in these soils are extremely concentrated in fruit flavor.  The wine is aged for 2 years on French oak and another 12 months in the bottle before release.  The wine has a deep cranberry red color with black fruit aromas that make the blend of the Merlot and Cabernet Franc a memorable wine.  The palate offers black cherry, cacao and spicy oak flavor.  This full body wine shows great balance, with soft tannins holding tight, completing with a mineral finish.

Cheers!

Weekend Selection

Tags

, , ,

Ferrari Carano 2009 Reserve Cab

Ferrari-Carano 2009 Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The Ferrari-Carano Winery was founded in 1981 by Don and Rhonda Carano and is located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley.  If you enjoy pairing food with wine, be sure to visit the Ferrari-Carano website where Rhonda has a number of recipes.  So if you are adventurous and have a passion for good food and wine, then try some of her recipes.

I opened the 2009 Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and noticed a deep Ruby color with subtle aromas of black fruits.  The palate shows dark berries and cherries, somewhat complex with the presence of firm tannins.  The wine is aged in French oak (50% new) for 16 months.  The finish shows a little spice and tobacco notes ending with alcohol present.  This full bodied wine needs a little more time to soften the tannins, so I put another bottle down and will report in a future update post.

Cheers!

Exceptional Red

Tags

, , , ,

Taken 2012 Napa Valley red

Taken 2012 Napa Valley Red Wine

Taken Wine Company was founded in 2009 when next generation winemakers, Carlo Trinchero and Josh Phelps realized their mutual dream to start their own wine label. Josh and Carlo grew up together in the winegrowing town of St. Helena, in the Napa Valley; wine is in their DNA. The wines are crafted to appeal to the millennial generation in terms of both what’s inside and outside the bottle. The names (Taken, Complicated, and Available) all tie into social media and are relevant to their generation.  The two friends launched their Taken line of wines in 2010, with the tagline, “great wine made by great friends.”

Opening a bottle of the 2012 Taken Napa Valley Red, which is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, I noticed a dark Ruby color with big bold dark fruit aromas. The palate shows ripe fruits, blackberries and black cherries with a touch of sweet spice. The finish shows soft tannins with earthy toasty oak on a medium plus finish.  Nice offering! The Merlot makes it good to drink now, but should develop some, only time will tell so I put down a few bottles. Check back in the future for an update. Only 2500 cases made so grab a bottle if you can find one!

Cheers!

Exceptional Red

Tags

, , ,

Establo 2011 Cab

Establo 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Humanity Marketing & Branding is a Social Impact Investing Company: “Doing Well by Doing Good” The founder, Michael Gilerman, discovered a huge unmet need in our society and made it his mission to figure out a way he could make a difference.  Michael took his knowledge and experience of the wine industry, teamed up with his friend the renowned Winemaster, Cesar Baeza to create two lines of high quality / affordable wines.  Part of the proceeds is to be donated through their unique “GIVE BACK” program to support nonprofit organizations dedicated to enrich the lives of people with special needs.  Establo introduced two distinct lines of wine: NICOLE & FRIENDS and ESTABLO Vineyard Select.  Both are crafted from grapes grown in the great valleys of Chile and created by Winemaker Cesar Baeza.  These wines provide the consumer with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of special needs people.  I recently met Michael and Cesar at a wine tasting and tried some of their outstanding offerings.  I will review the Cabernet today.  They also makes a late harvest Riesling, which is outstanding and I will comment on details after I get a few bottles to enjoy.  Michael is pictured below.

Michael - Establo 1

Opening the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon I noticed a very deep Ruby red color with concentrated aromas of black fruit and subtle spice with floral notes.  The palate is focused on dark ripe fruit, mostly blackberry and black cherry, with a light touch of oak, leather and cacao.  The wine had a taste reminiscent of dried grapes similar to a ripasso, with a rich full flavor.  This is an elegant wine with a lingering finish.  Very Nice!

Cheers!