Behrens Family Winery is based in St. Helena in the Napa Valley section of California. The boutique winery produces limited quantities of blended red wines and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The owners of the winery are Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward. The name Erna Schein is a dedication to Les’ mother.
The 2007 Erna Schein Jersey Boy was red blend, comprised of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine’s labeled ABV was 14.5%. There were 384 cases of this vintage produced. The back label of the wine declared it “California Red Wine”.
Last month, we joined our neighbors (yes, the neighbors) for dinner at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro. Drew is one of the finest chefs in the Northeast and his restaurant is a BYOB. I arrived at Drew’s with some Robert Biale Zins in tow. They are always a great match for Drew’s Cajun style. My neighbor popped out a bottle of 2007 Jersey Boy. I had never heard nor tasted the wine before and it turned out to be quite good. Unfortunately, there were no notes taken that evening.
I inquired where he procured the said Jersey Boy, and promptly set about obtaining a bottle to review in greater detail.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is located in the town of Montalcino in the Tuscany section of Italy. The winery produces red wine, grappa, and olive oil. While they are best known for the Brunello di Montalcino (two non-Riservas and one Riserva), they produce five other red wines as well, using a number of different varietals.
The 2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Rosso Toscana was “mostly Sangiovese” (that is a quote from the winery’s website and they did not respond to a request for further information). The restaurant I sourced the wine at listed the breakdown as 50% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 10% Syrah. The wine was aged in Slavonian oak barrels and barriques (aging time unavailable). As a result of the varietal blend, the designation was IGT.
I had previously tasted the Ciacci Piccolomini Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso and greatly enjoyed the wine. As I was dining at Basil T’s, in Red Bank, NJ, I came across the Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso Toscana IGT on their seasonal wine list. Their seasonal list is designed to move vintages that are at or nearing their peak. The list also offers a discount of 50% on the price. So, instead of the typical restaurant markup, you are paying close to retail for a bottle of wine. It’s a nice deal.
I decided to give this IGT a taste.
Oakville, in Napa Valley, California, is home to Turnbull Wine Cellars. Turnbull produces two white wines and a number of red wines. The reds are primarily blends, utilizing many of the seven different varietals grown in their vineyards.
The 2008 Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon was 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Petite Sirah, and 1% Malbec. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 20 months. The ABV was 14.5%. There were 6600 cases of this vintage produced.
I found this wine on the list at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, New Jersey. The restaurant’s wine list is predominantly California offerings (at one point it was exclusively California) with a very wide range of prices.
As I had not previously tasted Turnbull, I decided to give it a try.
Shafer Vineyards, based in Napa, California, produces four red wines and one Chardonnay. The reds include two Cabernet Sauvignons, a Merlot, and a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend.
The 2008 Shafer Relentless was 75% Syrah and 25% Petite Sirah. The wine was aged for 30 months in new French oak barrels. The label was listed ABV was 15.6%.
As I had become more acquainted with Syrah and Petite Sirah, a friend mentioned Relentless to me. He asked if I had sampled the wine as
it had received a 96 rating from Wine Spectator he had heard it was good and he wanted to taste it was interested in my astute opinion on the vintage.
I managed to acquire several bottles of the aforementioned wine. After tasting the wine, I can say with certainty I should have bought more.
Domaine de Nizas is located in the village of Caux in the Languedoc area of Southern France.
The winery produces several red wines, one white wine, and one rose wine.
The 2010 Nizas Rose was a blend made up of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 20% Mourvedre. The wine was aged for 3 months in stainless steel tanks. It carried an ABV of 13.5% and an AOC classification.
In honor of Languedoc Day on the 3rd of May 2012 (expertly pointed out to us by a fellow blogger. Thank you, Ernest!), I set out in search of a wine from that region. This rose was the only wine I could locate nearby.
In general, I am not a very, big fan of rose wines.
That said, this bottle was a pleasant surprise.
Argiano is located in the city of Montalcino in the Tuscany section of Italy.
The winery’s product line includes a Brunello di Montalcino, several red blends, a Rosso di Montalcino, a rosato wine, and grappa.
The 2006 Argiano Solengo was a red blend, utilizing 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Petit Verdot, 15% Merlot, and 15% Syrah. The wine spent 15 to 17 months aging in new French oak barrels. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. Its classification was IGT.
Solengo is a Tuscan word meaning “lone wild boar” (trivia fact o’ the day). The name was also used by Brian Hunter for his hedge fund after he blew up the multi-billion dollar Amaranth hedge fund (bonus trivia fact o’ the day).
I first enjoyed this wine at a restaurant during the summer of 2011. I was pleased to find it at our local Wine Sellers and promptly procured several bottles.
Robert Biale Vineyards, based in Napa, California, produces Petite Sirahs, Petite and Syrah blends, superb Zinfandels, and blends of all these varietals.
Like Father Like Son is a blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah with roughly 7% Zinfandel added to the mix.
The end result is a very, nice bottle of wine.