3/24/2016

Tempranillo Flight: Lee Family Farm, Irwin Family Vineyards, and Six Sigma Ranch

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. It is an area of interest that you never run out of new things to taste and learn.



The wines selected for this post are all California wines made from the Tempranillo grape variety. An important grape to Spain, particularly Rioja and Ribera del Duero; Tempranillo is the sixth most widely planted grape variety in the world. It is a versatile variety that is capable of producing a wide range of styles, from fresh and easy-drinking, to highly concentrated, dense, and well-structured. The three examples featured in this post are expressive, limited-production wines that are well worth seeking out. They are all wonderful food wines and great partners with grilled fare. For further information and where you can find these wines, see my tasting notes below.

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo (SRP $20): Lee Family Farm is a second label from Morgan Winery, created to explore alternative red & white varieties in an approachable, food-friendly fashion. The fruit for this bottling was sourced from Ventana Vineyard in Central Monterey County. Garnet-red in color, this medium-to-full bodied wine boasts aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit and black cherries mixed with barrel spice, anise, and dried herbs. It is expansive and slightly rich in the mouth, with adequate acidity and refined tannins that melt into a satisfying, medium-long textured finish. This enjoyable wine would be a nice addition to any dinner table. Only 99 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Arroyo Seco, Monterey Country, California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, 10 months aging in 27% new French oak, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo (SRP $34): Irwin Family Vineyards specializes in Spanish-inspired wines produced from California-grown fruit. Their specialty is Tempranillo and Verdejo. This wine is deep ruby in color with lifted aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit, black cherry, blueberry, and spices that give way to firm tannins and a long, fruit-driven finish. Overall, a deliciously robust wine that stays light on its feet thanks to a fine backbone of acidity. It begs for grilled meats, particularly a well-marbled rib-eye. Only 60 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sierra Foothills, California. Other info: ABV 13.8%, matured in large format oak barrels for 32 months – 95% FR & 5% AM, matured in bottle 2 years, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo (SRP $48): Located in Lake County, California, Six Sigma Winery is situated on a 4,300 acre historic cattle ranch and specializes in small-lot, high quality wines. Still young but with good potential, this wine is masculine and robust, with excellent density and grainy tannins framing a concentrated core of dark skinned and [dried] red berry fruit flavors that are held together on a backbone of firm acidity. Dusty earth notes linger on the long, chewy finish. If you are looking for a wine that begs to be paired with grilled red meats, then look no further than this Lake County Tempranillo. With that being said, this is a wine that will reward patient cellaring; so get a few bottles to enjoy now, and a few bottles to stash away in a cool, dark place. Approximately 284 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Lake County, California. Other info: ABV 14.1%, 100% estate-grown, 24 months maturation in new French oak, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

3/18/2016

Quick Sip: Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz

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Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the 2012 Barossa Valley Patchwork Shiraz from Yalumba Family Vignerons. Shiraz, which rhymes with pizzazz (for pronunciation purposes), is the name Aussies call wines produced from the Syrah grape. It is the most popular and widely planted red variety in Australia. Rich fruit, accessibility (i.e., easy-drinking), and affordability, are all hallmarks of numerous examples of Australian Shiraz. With warm weather on the horizon, many of you will be firing up the grill and enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. Shiraz in general, but particularly this richly-fruited, juicy pick from Yalumba – Australia’s oldest family-owned winery – is an ideal match for grilled meats like burgers, ribs, brisket, chops, links, etc. This wine also sips nicely on its own so stock up for spring and summertime backyard cookouts. You can find it for $16.99, well under the suggested retail price, at Cork Exclusive, and free shipping is included on any three or more bottles of wine or spirits. For further information, please see my tasting notes below.

Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz 

Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Shiraz (SRP $22): Aptly named, ‘Patchwork’ combines fruit from warm climate areas with cooler climate sites in Australia’s Barossa Valley. The resultant wine is deep purple in color with dark fruit tones on the nose and a plush core of purple stone fruit and dark skinned berries on the palate. The fruit flavors are joined by sweet oak notes and mocha spice. A faint wisp of mint and black pepper on the back-end adds some complexity. Medium-to-full bodied, the wine is round in the mouth with ripe tannins and adequate acidity, closing out with a medium-long, fruit-driven finish. It is quite enjoyable for the money and an ideal complement to veggies and meats cooked on the ‘barbie’. Try it! Region: Barossa Valley, Australia. Other info: ABV 14.5%, matured 15 months in a combo of American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels, screw cap enclosure.

Click here to find this wine. It has a suggested retail price of $22 and is available for as low as $16.99 on CorkExclusive with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!

This review is sponsored by: 

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Get the Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz for just $16.99 with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!"

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned -- more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

3/15/2016

Quick Sip: Emeritus Vineyards 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Emeritus Vineyards. Emeritus Vineyards was established in 1999 by Brice Jones, original founder of well-known Sonoma-Cutrer. A former Vietnam fighter pilot and thoughtful story-teller, Mr. Jones also has a passion for fine wine that goes back to his days serving our great country in the Air Force. Where Sonoma-Cutrer specialized in Chardonnay, Emeritus Vineyards focuses on growing high-quality, single-vineyard Pinot Noir from estate fruit. The fruit for this bottling comes from Pinot Hill, which is situated in the Sebastopol Hills area of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Pinot Hill is a dry-farmed, steep slope site with very cool temperatures and moderate diurnal swings. The climatic factor extends the growing season, allowing the berries to fully mature while retaining very good levels of natural acidity and freshness. Pinot Hill was planted in 2008 and the first vintage bottled was 2013. Though young, stylistically, this wine embodies all of the qualities I’ve come to expect from Emeritus Pinot Noirs: balance, purity of fruit, elegance, charm, and great acidity. If you have a penchant for Pinot Noirs that show restraint and finesse, then this is a winery to put on your radar. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.


Emeritus Vineyards 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (SRP $55) This elegant and expressive Pinot Noir starts with a lovely medium ruby color, followed by enticing aromas and flavors of macerated cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, joined by a charming wisp of perfume and allspice like qualities. It is impeccably balanced with fresh fruit, refined tannins, and a vivid underpinning of acidity that lifts the texture and carries through the lingering finish. This Pinot Noir is drinking beautifully in its youth and will develop soundly in the cellar. I enjoyed a glass with seared duck breast, but it will also complement a wide variety of foods at your dinner table. Approximately 500 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sonoma Coast, California. Other info: ABV 12.9%, dry farmed, matured in French oak – 25% new & aged 10 months, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

3/02/2016

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia & 2013 Kessler-Haak Theron Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip features two wines from LaMontagne Winery. I was introduced to this winery through a virtual tasting put on by Protocol Wine Studio. The tasting highlighted small-production Santa Barbara producers for the entire month of February. You can join Protocol Wine Studio’s wine themed conversation every Tuesday at 9PM EST by following #winestudio on Twitter.


LaMontagne Winery was founded by foodie and wine lover, Kimberly Smith. Over the years, Kimberly had become quite fond of Pinot Noir, charmingly referred to as “the heartbreak grape,” for its temperament, fickleness, and delicacy. In 2006, that devotion led to college courses, hands-on-work at the highly-regarded Close Pepe Vineyard, and aspirants to become a winemaker. Her first vintage, which she says was an excellent growing season, would go into barrel in 2010.

"May each sip bring you joy!” ~ Kimberly Smith

Today, along with her son Alec, the winery produces small lots of single-vineyard, single varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills; Syrah from Ballard Canyon; and Tempranillo, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and Primitivo from Paso Robles. Their Malvasia comes from Kern County (Bakersfield). Wine production is low; therefore, Kimberly sells directly to the consumer. With a passion for crafting wines of exceptional quality, there is no wonder why her motto is, “May each sip bring you joy!” I recommend visiting the winery’s website and joining their mailing list. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia (SRP $30): This is a lovely example of Malvasia. The aromas are simply intoxicating; suggesting hibiscus, chamomile, honey, bruised pear, and citrus peel, along with a delicate mineral underpinning. The aromas extend to the palate with a pleasing, rounded texture that’s lifted by a zesty beam of balancing acidity. This wine has good depth and length and becomes more charming as it warms in the glass; 60°F is ideal. Only 100 cases of this wine were produced so get it while the getting is good! Region: Kern County, California. Other info: ABV 12.9%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

La Montagne 2013 Kessler-Haak Sta. Rita Hills Theron Pinot Noir

La Montagne 2013 Kessler-Haak Sta. Rita Hills Theron Pinot Noir (SRP: $65) This expressive Pinot Noir opens with an inviting burst of raspberry, kirsch, warm brown spices, and a very pretty floral perfume. It is beautifully ripe and fruit forward, with waves of fresh red berry fruit flavors that are supported by a firm acid spine and refined tannins. The mid-palate has a nice, streamlined texture that continues into a medium-long, fruit-driven finish. This is a delicious wine that will hold your interest until the very last sip. Only 75 case of this wine were produced. Region: Sta. Rita Hills, California. Other info: ABV 13.5%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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