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Posts from the ‘Red Blend’ Category

2007 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Saxum Vineyards is located in the Paso Robles AVA of Central California. Founded in the early 2000’s by Justin Smith, a young winemaker who had previously been part-owner of Linne Calodo, Saxum leapt into the limelight in late 2010 when its 2007 James Berry Vineyards wine was named the #1 Wine of 2010 by Wine Spectator. Smith owns the winery with his wife Heather, and produces up to 2,800 cases of wine a year.

Violet in color. 15.3% ABV. 65% Syrah, 21% Grenache and 14% Mourvedre. Showstopping nose of black fruits, bacon fat, graphite and flowers. Medium body with perfect acidity. Exceptionally well balanced. Rich and plush with tremendous mouth feel. Blackberries, grilled meats and cassis liqueur on the palate. The finish is incredibly long. Just a stunning wine. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 98 points.

Current wines from Saxum are available via the mailing list at $98 per bottle. There is a several year wait before you can expect to receive an offer.

I’ve written about Saxum previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2014 Jean Edwards Cellars Cooper’s Cuvee – Bottle Notes

Since 2004, Jean Edwards Cellars has produced wines from some of the Northern California’s most notable vineyards. Production is focused on Cabernet Sauvignon wines with limited offerings of Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Malbec.  Jean Edwards is owned by John and Karen Troisi.

Opaque purple in color. 14% ABV. Mostly Petite Sirah with a touch of Malbec and Petit Verdot. Savory nose of black fruits, smoke and herbs. Full bodied with medium acidity. Big, plush and rich. Boysenberry, black cherry and licorice on the palate. The finish is long and smooth. Super wine that goes down easy. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 91 points.

Named after the winery dog, Cooper, this wine is $42 at the winery .

Jean Edwards has a very loyal following. The wines are well made and fairly priced. Karen is very active in social media. This is an easy winery to like!

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2009 Dehlinger Petite Sirah/Zinfandel Guadagni Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Guadagni Bros. Vineyard is in the Dry Creek Valley and was planted over 100 years ago.

Violet in color. 15% ABV. 60% Petite Sirah and 40% Zinfandel. Huge nose of black fruits, dark chocolate, iron and baking spices. Medium body with light to medium acidity. Plush and unctuous with great texture and mouthfeel. Blackberry compote, raspberries and a touch of black pepper on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Not quite on par with the traditional Dehlinger wines but fun to drink nonetheless. Best over the next few years.

My rating: 90 points.

This particular bottling was a one off and has not been made again in recent years. I do hope to see more of these from Dehlinger in the years to come.

Dehlinger Winery has a great reputation among wine connoisseurs. Wine writers have consistently given strong reviews while praising the winery for its uniqueness, quality, consistency and value. About 75% of their wine is sold via the mailing list. Amazing wines that are well worth the search.

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2014 Betz Family Bésoleil – Bottle Notes

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

Bésoleil is the Southern Rhone inspired red blend from Betz Family.

Bright crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. 33% Grenache, 24% Counoise, 20% Syrah, 17% Cinsault and 6% Mourvedre. Savory nose or black fruits, road tar, olive brine and grilled meats. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Young and still coming together. Cherries, kirsch, plums and white pepper on the palate. Substantial tannins on a long finish. Lots of potential but some time in the cellar is warranted. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 Besoleil will be released to the mailing list this Fall and should be available at retail. I’m a buyer.

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2000 Argiano Solengo – Bottle Notes

The 2000 Argiano Solengo was the winning bottle in the July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. This bottle was opened and poured immediately.

Argiano dates back to the 16th century. The nearly 120 acres of vineyards are planted to Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. The wines, both Brunello di Montalcino and super Tuscans, have routinely received outstanding scores. In 1992 Argiano was acquired by the Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano.

Blood red in color with some bricking at the edge of the glass. 14% ABV. Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and a small amount of Petit Verdot. Sublime nose of red fruits, tar, anise and leather. Medium body with fantastic structure and perfect acidity. Dried cherries, currants, plums and graphite on the palate. The finish is long with resolved tannins. Gorgeous wine that belies the 16 years of bottle age. Well stored bottles will drink well for 2-3 more years. I’ll keep a final bottle to enjoy in 2020. Salud!

My rating: 94 points.

I brought several bottles ’99 vintage of this wine back from Italy after visiting the Cinque Terra in 2001 and it will always have a special place in my cellar. Current vintages can be found for around $75 and are well worth the hunt.

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2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Evangelho Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from many of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels, Morgan is clearly passionate about.

Evangelho Vineyard is in Contra Costa County, south of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta and east of Mount Diablo. The vineyard is planted with a number of different varieties and dates back to the early 1900’s.

Violet in color. 15.2% ABV. From 100 year old vines a blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Mourvedre and Mixed Whites. Absolutely fantastic nose of red fruits, citrus and cocoa. Fresh and luscious with acidity in spades. Strawberry, cranberry and peppered beef jerkey on the palate. The finish is tremendous. One of the best Bedrocks in recent memory. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The mailing at Bedrock is highly recommended. Exceptional wines, fair prices and great customer service. Put your name on the waiting list.

I blogged about Bedrock recently in The 2015 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2013 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Cuvee Prestige – Bottle Notes

Chateau Puech Haut is in Saint-Drezery, a small village northeast of Montpellier. In Provence, a ‘Puech’ means a small hill. A ‘Puech Haut’ is a hill higher than the others. This wine comes from 60-70 year old vines and is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Aged half in concrete and half in neutral barrel it is a special bottling made for Eric Solomon by Philippe Cambie for the US market.

This version of Puech-Haut is the new release of one of my value wines from last many years. The 2010 Puech-Haut was spectacular and I was excited to try this wine.

Opaque purple in color. 15% ABV. 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Brooding nose of black fruits, creosote and fresh herbs. Full bodied with juicy acidity. Rich and concentrated with ripe, sweet fruit that coats the palate. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry liqueur and cassis. Absolutely delicious. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 92 points.

This wine is a tremendous value and you should be able to find it for about $17. I bought a half case and will likely end up going back for more.

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2009 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from many of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels, Morgan is clearly passionate about.

Bedrock Vineyard, formerly known as Madrone Ranch, was first planted in 1854. Senator George Hearst purchased the property in 1888 and planted most of the vines that exist to this day. Located in the Sonoma Valley the vineyard is a fruit source for Ravenswood, Carlisle and Bedrock.

The wine is a blend of the 26 varieties interplanted from the 126 year old vines at the ranch. This particular blend is approximately 50% Zinfandel, 30% Carignane, with the balance being the other 24 varieties.

Bright purple in color. 14.5% ABV. Black fruits, citrus and spice on the nose. Fresh and vibrant with impeccable balance. Blackberries, black cherries, plums, black pepper, saline and minerals on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The mailing at Bedrock is highly recommended. Exceptional wines, fair prices and great customer service. Don’t delay.

I blogged about Bedrock recently in the Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2010 Efeste Emmy – Bottle Notes

Efeste, pronounced like the letters “F-S-T” strung together, was named after the last names of founders Helen & Dan Ferrelli, Patrick Smith, and Kevin & Angela Taylor. Efeste is located in the Warehouse District of Woodinville, Washington. Peter Devison took over full-time winemaking duties when Brennon Leighton left to work with Charles Smith in 2012.

Emmy is a Southern Rhone Blend of 71% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache and 13% Syrah sourced from the Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope.

Purple in color. 15.24% ABV. Dark fruits, stones, kirsch and crushed stone on the nose. Full in body and supremely elegant. Plums, black cherry, grilled meats and anise on the palate. Tons of structure. This wine needs a few more years in the cellar.

My rating: 91 points.

Efeste has one of the best white wine programs in the state of Washington and the red wines are also exceptional. The wines are readily available at retail, via the wine club and at the winery. The 2011 Emmy will set you back $45.

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2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Cuvee Prestige – Bottle Notes

Chateau Puech Haut is in Saint-Drezery, a small village northeast of Montpellier. In Provence, a ‘Puech’ means a small hill. A ‘Puech Haut’ is a hill higher than the others. This wine comes from 60-70 year old vines and is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Aged half in concrete and half in neutral barrel it is a special bottling made for Eric Solomon by Philippe Cambie for the US market.

This version of Puech-Haut is the new release of one of my value wines from last year. The 2010 Puech-Haut was spectacular and I was excited to try the new release.

Bright crimson red in color. 15% ABV. Red fruits, lavender, iodine and game on the nose. Great texture and mouthfeel. Still somewhat primary. Raspberry liqueur, licorice and cassis on the palate. Perfect balance and a long, lush finish. The wine should continue to evolve and improve with a few years in the cellar.

Simply a great wine for the price.

My rating: 91 points.

This wine is a tremendous value and you should be able to find it for about $17. I bought a half case and will likely end up going back for more.

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