Fawnridge Old Vine Zinfandel 2012

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This bottle of Fawnridge Old Vine Zinfandel 2012 was sourced at the Wines of Lincoln event.  This event turned old town Lincoln, California into a walking tour and we went from store to store, tasting the local wines.  It is a little strange that I am writing this review, as I have not been posting a lot, and drinking this wine again.  Sandra and I split another bottle of this wine tonight with some ribs.  It paired really well.  We visited the winery last week and picked up some more of this wine.

To the wine:

The nose:  The nose on this wine was very light, but it was present.  The nose had some sweet berry notes and a light spice.  All and all, the nose was nice.

Tasting Phase: During the tasting phase, there was a light spice and sweet berry taste,  Yes it is a Zin, but it was not a jammy and overly sweet Zin.

Finish:  The finish on this old vine zinfandel was light sweet and had a nice spice notes that fades quickly.  The finish is warm on the tongue.

Ok, since I already told you that I went to the winery, after having this wine to buy more.  The winery is in a no cell area in the middle of no where.  It is local to my home area and its 104 degrees out right now.  It is amazing that grapes grow with all this heat.

Elyse 2008 Le Corbeau Los Carneros

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This bottle of Elyse 2008 Le Corbeau Hudson Vineyard Los Carneros, was sourced at the winery and it was a very interesting tasting visit.  Napa has some pretty screwy wine tasting laws and they have tasting laws that punish the new guys.  The big wineries have the ability to do tastings at any time.  The new wineries don’t.  They have to do tastings by appointment only.  We were wine tasting free styling (driving down side roads, not sure what you are going to find).  We saw Elyse and put on the brakes.  When we walked into the tasting room, we were told that we could not taste, because we did not have an appointment.  I asked the server when the next appointment was.  He stated that the current appointment had canceled, so I walked outside and called the winery, to make an appointment.  It worked and we sampled some great wine.

To the wine:

First off, the wine is called Le Corbeau, which translates to “The Raven.”  The wine is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah.  This is not a normal blend that we run into.  I am pretty sure we purchased this wine because of its uniqueness.

Nose:  The nose on this Grenache and Syrah blend was full of berry notes.  The nose was medium in strength and was pleasant.

Taste:  During the tasting phase, I received berry and spice notes.  These notes were not particular strong, but strong enough to make a statement.

Finish:  The finish of this blend pulls from all over the tongue.  This was different, but interesting at the same time.  The finish had light berry notes and was of medium in strength.

Conclusion:  I have never had a Grenache, Syrah blend, so I do not have a way of comparing this wine, but I would buy this wine again.  This wine can pair with almost anything.  I also suggest stopping by the winery.  It is a small tasting room and call and make an appointment.

Grgich Hills Estate Merlot 2007

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Sandra and I picked up this bottle of Grgich Hills Estate, Napa Valley Merlot 2007 on one of our wine tasting trips.  We were not sure “when” we bought it, but it had a good amount of dust on it and it is a 2007.  I am guessing it was our first major tasting tour where we came home with 30+ bottles from Napa.

To the wine:

The nose on this Estate grown Merlot was full of berry and tons of spice notes.  The nose was of medium strength and added to the tasting experience.

The tasting phase was a little different for a Merlot.  The tasting notes were strawberry, cherry and a strong spice note.  What made it different was the amount of spice during the tasting phase.  This was not a distraction, it added to the tasting experience.

The finish was pretty complex.  The finish gave me tobacco, spice, and cherry notes.  On the finish, I also received a medium warmth to my tongue, from the wine and it stayed with me for a long time.

Conclusion:  We would buy this wine again.

Domaine Chandon 2011 Carneros Clone 667 Pinot Noir

IMG_0964I have posted before about having a gift certificate to the restaurant at the winery at Chandon.  The restaurant closed and we were left with a gift certificate that had no value.  That is until we called the winery.  Chandon honored the gift certificate with wine.  What a great deal and we joined the wine club and doubled our value.

Sandra and I have had a few different bottles of Chandon’s wines.  I normally associate Chandon with sparkling wines.  They do some really nice sparkling wines.  The Pinot clones (They have several) are very good examples of what can be produced on the Napa valley floor.  We have enjoyed Pinot Nior’s clones 667 and 777.

To the wine:

The nose on this Pinot Noir was strong with dark cherry and muted plum notes.  I found the nose to be very nice and a good start to a good glass of wine.

The tasting phase.  During the tasting phase I received tobacco, and smoke.  I found this to be very different from the Pinot Noir’s from the Carneros area.  The tasting notes faded slowly.

The finish to this Chandon Carneros Pinot Noir had a small warmth to it.  There was a pull on he front of the tongue.  The finish stays with you for a while.  All and all, this was a nice finish to this wine.

Conclusion:  I like this wine and since we are in their wine club, I am sure we will be seeing more of this.

Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 4 2009

IMG_0962Sandra and I stopped by Beaulieu Vineyards tasting room (George de Latour) back around a year ago and were surprised to walk into a library vertical tasting of George de Latour.  We sampled George de Latour from the early 80’s to present.  This was a very interesting experience and we have never been able to sample vintages like that.  Both of us loved the experience, but vintage wines is not something we are going to invest in.  Since we were able to do the library tasting for no cost, it was an easy sale to join their wine club.  They just asked us to get a minimum of two wine shipments.  This bottle was part of one of those wine club shipments.

This bottle of Beaulieu Vineyards, Rutherford, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 4, stood out to us, when we tasted it at the winery.  Sorry for the choppy sentence.  What Clone 4 is, is a clone taken from Argentina and then grown in Rutherford AVA (Valley floor) in the Napa Valley.  Spoiler alert….this is a great bottle of wine.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Cabernet Sauvignon was full of plum and cherry notes.  I would rate the nose to be medium in intensity.  There was a hint of spice notes here.

Taste:  During the tasting phase I received plum and cherry notes with a very tangy spice notes.

Finish:  The finish of this Cabernet Sauvignon was full of fruit notes.  There was also a medium warmth to the finish that stayed with you.    The finish had a nice spice note and the finish was quality.

Alph Omega Malbec 2013

IMG_0954I am a huge fan of Alpha Omega winery.  I think that they are producing some of the best wine in the Napa valley.  Since Sandra and I are members of their wine club, this wine was picked up as part of a wine shipment.  We also both enjoy the grounds of Alpha Omega and if you get a chance, you should stop by.  This Malbec is a new varietal for Alpha Omega as per my understanding.  We sampled this wine at the winery and looked forward to enjoying it at home.

To the wine:

Noes.  The nose on this Malbec was light with berry and fruit notes.  This is not normal for a Alpha Omega wine.  Normally, Alpha produces “Statement” wines, with strong nose.  I would have liked a little more nose on this wine.

Taste:  During the tasting phase I experienced a berry and spice notes, that pull from the middle of the tongue.  The spice notes were very distinctive and welcomed.

Finish:  The finish on this Malbec left me with spice and fruit notes.  I also could sense the tannis in this wine.

Conclusion:  This may surprise you, since I am such a big fan of Alpha Omega, but I do not think this wine is up to the standards of Alpha Omega.  Now the bar is set very high for anything they produce, so I am not saying this is a bad bottle of wine.  I am saying just the opposite.  This is a pretty good bottle of wine, it just is not at the same level as the rest of the Alpha Omega wines.  Yes I am being picky here, but I am also being honest.

I look forward to going back to the winery and talking to them about this wine.  Maybe sample some more.

Stepping Stone By Corner Stone Cellars Syrah 2010

IMG_0944Corner Stone Cellars is a tasting room that Sandra and I have visited several times.  The other night we were looking for something good and dusted this bottle of 2010 Syrah.  The bottle was sourced at the tasting room and this trip was a really nice trip, as everything was available to taste.  They have a walk in cellar that is walled in with glass.  I noticed some wine that I have never seen before.  I made the simple statement of “if you let me taste it, I might just buy it.”  I did and everyone was happy that their expensive wines were open for sampling.  Good times.

To the wine:

Nose:  This Syrah had some very nice spice notes and nothing else.  Yep, all spice.  There was no detraction from the wine and I did not miss the fruit or strawberry notes.

Tasting Phase:  During the tasting phase I was pretty surprised.  I tasted this wine at the tasting room, but I never thought I would get spice, cherry and plum notes.  This was unique.

Finish:  the finish continued with the spice notes that stayed with me for a long time.  There was a strong warmth that I thought was a little aggressive, to the finish.  I did receive a slight plum note on the finish, but it was very lite.