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Review from the Cellar - 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard

News that majority interest in Qupé has been sold sent me to my cellar for a bottle of their wine to enjoy with dinner. First to hand was this 2010 Qupé Mourvedre which I purchased at their tasting room this time last year. The wine also promised to be a good choice for our dinner of braised pork and ratatouille.

Upon first opening, the 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young expresses aromas of tangy spice and berries with white pepper. With time and greater temperature, black cherry emerges and so, eventually, does garrigue. Sips reveal medium+ body and flavors of black cherry, five spice and leather. The moderate tannins of fine-powder are congenial, providing just the right amount structure. Even further air and warming add to both the body and length, making the wine quite enjoyable with or without food. The 2010 Qupé is a very good Central Coast Mourvedre, spice-driven yet well-fruited. Consider decanting it briefly. Drink now through 2016. Recommended+.

2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard Santa Ynez
2010-Qupe-Mourvedre
Rating: Recommended+

Drink: now through 2016
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: ~$25, sold out at the winery

Winemaker: Bob Lindquist
Origin: Ibarra-Young Vineyard, Santa Ynez
Alcohol: 13.5%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: optional

Temperature: 58º - 62º F

Food Pairings: braised pork shoulder, seared duck breast


Interpreting my wine ratings

 

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley

Last week I took a wine tour group to Tres Sabores in Rutherford. The weather was very warm but with a refreshing breeze. The sky was blue, the vista clear and gorgeous. First in our glasses was a wine perfect for the day. Tres Sabores' Ingrid and Julia rosé was cold and cotton candy pink. While low in alcohol and essentially bone-dry, the fruit was ripe and succulent. I couldn’t resist buying a couple of bottles for myself before leaving.

Wineries produce rosé from all types of red wine grapes: Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, etc. Individual wines vary in quality but there’s only one red grape whose rosé is dissed by discriminating drinkers without first being tasted—Zinfandel. Thanks to the mass-market popularity of simple and cloying White Zinfandel, blushing Zins are considered an embarrassment to fine wine. Now though, excellent producers of traditional Zinfandel, including Turley, are showing that pale Zinfandel can be dry and sophisticated.

Tres Sabores doesn’t make a big deal about the Zinfandel in Ingrid and Julia. They don’t even mention it on the bottle. You can’t blame them. I’ve let the cat out of the bag now, but don’t let that bias you against the wine.

Light pink in a frosty glass, Ingrid and Julia smells of fresh strawberry and peach with peppery spice and an undertone of dry herb. It’s medium-bodied, viscous and juicy in the mouth with flavors of tart red berries, creamy peach and spice. At just 12.4% alcohol, the 2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” is a guilt-free refresher served well-chilled on the patio or with a light summer lunch. Drink now through 2014. Recommended.

2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley
tres-sabores-ingrid-and-julia
Rating: Recommended

Drink: now through 2014
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $22.00

Winemaker: Julie Johnson
Blend: Zinfandel and perhaps a bit of Petite Sirah

Origin: Tres Sabores estate vineyard, Rutherford and a vineyard in Calistoga
Alcohol: 12.4%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not recommended

Temperature: 40º - 50º F

Food Pairings: Picnic fare

Interpreting my wine ratings

 

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Yesterday I highlighted a Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir from 2009, a fairly ripe year. Today I’m offering a look at the same venue from a much cooler year. 2011 challenged grape growers up and down California. The Santa Lucia Highlands came through pretty well—that area seems almost immune to bad weather. However, today’s Pinot Noir exhibits red fruit rather than black due in large part to the cold growing season.

Testarossa makes wine—primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—from nearly 20 different California vineyards. The winery is located in the old Novitiate Winery building, long owned and operated by Jesuits to fund their seminary, on a hilltop in Los Gatos. Testarossa moved to the site in 1997. It’s open for tasting visits daily from 11am to 5pm. There’s also a wine bar there, Wine Bar 107, which stays open later (Wednesday through Sunday only).

The 2011 Testarossa Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir befriends with inviting aromas of caramel, brown and dark spices, red cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Those flavors, particularly the cherry, raspberry and brown spice, carry through on the palate where they’re joined by tart strawberry. The wine starts soft in the mouth but gains backbone steadily for a lengthy, flavorful finish with medium, talc-like tannins. Medium-plus body (as opposed to full) and marked freshness underscore the vintage. Drink now through 2019. Highly Recommended.

2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
full 22-11PinNoirGarysFr 1Rating: Highly Recommended

Drink: now through 2019
Release Date: June 29, 2013

Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $60.00

Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Origin: Garys’ Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
Aging: 11 months French oak, 34% new
Alcohol: 14.2%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not recommended

Temperature: 54º - 58º F

Food Pairings: Roast chicken with buttery spaetzle


Interpreting my wine ratings

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

2009 was a good year for Santa Lucia Highlands AVA Pinot Noir. Achieving ripeness was not a challenge. At the same time, the area’s generally moderate temperatures allowed producers to offer balancing acidity and structure. The best of the wines will age for quite some time. The challenge is exercising the discipline to let them do so.

I failed in that respect a couple of days ago. In the mood for a succulent and satisfying Pinot Noir that wouldn’t require food alongside, I reached into my personal cellar and pulled out a 2009 Lucia Pinot Noir from Garys’ Vineyard. That vineyard is one of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA’s most coveted sites, producing concentrated wines of dark fruit and spice virtually every year.

Lucia is the brand the Pisoni family uses for their non-estate wines. The winemaking is handled by Jeff Pisoni who, coincidentally, celebrates his birthday today. [Happy Birthday, Jeff!] The wines are made at the Pisoni family’s winery in Santa Rosa.

In my glass the '09 Lucia was medium-plus ruby in color. Aromas of tangy black berry, black cherry and spice rise eagerly above the rim, accented by notes of oak. In the mouth, body is a generous medium-plus with mocha-flavored, medium-plus chalky tannins and off-setting acidity. The 2009 Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir is rich on the palate with flavors of delicious black fruit, spice and a long finish. Enjoy it now through at least 2019. Very Highly Recommended.

2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
lucia-garys-2009
Rating: Very Highly Recommended

Drink: Now through 2019+
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $50.00

Winemaker: Jeff Pisoni
Blend: Pinot Noir

Origin: Garys’ Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County
Alcohol: 14.2%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not required

Temperature: 54º - 58º F

Food Pairings: This wine’s just fine on it’s own, but will be great with Chinese roast duck.

Interpreting my wine ratings

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

 

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Review: 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Buccella is a small-production, luxury wine label founded by Bill and Alicia Deem in 2002. They offer two Cabernet Sauvignon varietal wines and one Merlot, all from vineyards in Napa Valley. “Buccella” is Latin for “mouthful,” which reflects the style of wines the Deem’s say they strive for: “big, bold, concentrated.”

Buccella’s first winemaker was Mark Herold. Assistant winemaker Chris Justin took over in 2007, followed by Celia Welch in 2008. She continues there along with winemaker Rebekah Wineburg who joined in 2009.

The '09 Cabernet is dark purple in my glass. The nose is outgoing, but focused, with a core of blackberry and black cherry fruit accented by oak and mocha. It’s nearly full-bodied in the mouth with medium-plus tannins of light chalk and fine powder. Flavors include black cherry, chocolate, blackberry and spice.

The 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful wine, ripe but not overly so. At first sip, and second and third, it’s very primary and the tannins are prominent. But those tannins moderate sensuously when I sip the wine after a bite of steak. After two hours in a decanter, the forward fruit recedes and savory notes of meat and spice dominate with a background of mocha. Big, bold, concentrated. Drink now through 2020+. Highly Recommended+.

09 Buccella Cab

2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Rating: Highly Recommended+

Drink: now through 2020+
Closure: Cork
Production: 1,238 cases
Retail Price: $145.00

Winemakers: Rebekah Wineburg and Celia Welch
Blend: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc

Origin: Rutherford, Oakville, Stag’s Leap, Yountville and Coombsville AVAs
Fermentation: Whole berry fermentation
Aging: 22 months in French oak, 100% new
Alcohol: 14.7%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Optional

Temperature: 60º - 64º F

Food Pairings: steak, braised short ribs or lamb shanks


Interpreting my wine ratings

 

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.