23 Jul

Andy Blue’s Reviews of Clos de la Tech’s 2014s

Blue Lifestyle was founded more than 40 years ago by Anthony Dias Blue, the James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer and Editor-in-Chief of The Tasting Panel Magazine. Every year, Mr. Blue and his team taste and review more than 5,000 wine and 500 spirits. Many of these reviews appear in The Tasting Magazine and The SOMM Journal.

2014 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates                                                             93 Points

Deep ruby color; smooth and ripe nose with a pleasant hint of herbs; lush and round with lovely sweet oak, bright tannins and a long finish; with almost 1200 cases, this is the biggest production wine.

2014 Domaine Valeta “Sunny Slope”                                                          92 Points

Deep ruby color; smooth, deep and jammy with notes of ripe red fruit; racy, crisp acid structure; grown at 2300-feet on 3.5 acres.

2014 Domaine Lois Louise “Twisty Ridge”                                                  93 Points

From the highest vineyard; deep ruby color; lush red fruit nose; smooth, silky and elegant, pure fruit, soft tannins, rich and long.

2014 Domaine Lois Louise “Cote Sud”                                                         95 Points

Deep ruby color; smooth nose with a hint of clove and spice; silky texture with lovely acidity, medium body, lush, complex and long.

2014 Domaine du Docteur Rodgers                                                             98 Points

This is the jewel of the lot; deep ruby color; complex nose with a note of mint; lush, silky texture, deep, elegant and the most Burgundian; subtle, sweet oak and a long, rich finish.

2005 Domaine du Docteur Rodgers                                                             94 Points

Fourteen years old and still balanced and showing smooth texture, robust color and considerable depth; clearly mature, but quite a savory package. “loop”)||A)&&(

23 May

92 Points for Clos de la Tech “Cote Sud”

2012 Domaine Lois Louise “Cote Sud”                                                        92 Points
Full-bodied yet silky in texture, with a mix of juicy raspberry, plum and black cherry flavors, firming nicely on the finish, with touches of cedar and chalky, gravelly earth. Ends with a burst of fruit and a mouthful of pebbles.”

15 Mar

Mid-90s for Clos de la Tech’s 2012s

The Wine Enthusiast has just given the new Clos de la Tech Pinot Noir releases incredible reviews. 2012 was the first vintage made entirely at CDLT’s new, underground winery. Having complete control over every step of the winemaking process allowed TJ and Valeta to micro-manage the harvesting, sorting and vinification of the fruit. Consequently, the 2012s are some of the most concentrated wines CDLT has ever produced.

2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates Pinot Noir 94 Points Editors’ Choice
2012 Domaine Valeta “Sunny Slope” Pinot Noir 93 Points
2012 Domaine Lois Louise “Cote Sud” Pinot Noir 95 Points
2012 Domaine Lois Louise “Twisty Ridge” Pinot Noir 94 Points Cellar Selection
2012 Domaine Du Docteur Rodgers Pinot Noir 96 Points

10 May

Big Reviews for 2010 Clos de la Techs

The grapes for CLDT’s 2010s were hand harvested between mid-September and mid-October. After an extended cold soak, the fruit underwent traditional vinification methods including foot crushing, whole cluster fermentations with native yeast, malolactic fermentation on the lees and gravity transfer (no pumping). The wines were aged in Francois Frères barrels (Bertrange Forest) for 12 months and bottled unfiltered.  Below are recent scores from the Wine Enthusiast and the Critics Challenge.



2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates
                              93 Points Cellar Selection
Coming from one of the more tech-savvy yet Old World-practicing producers, this still-emerging wine smells of autumn. Crushed, dried-leaf aromas meld seamless with wet clay, black lava rocks and juniper. A lean line of black cherry-blackberry syrup drives the palate, which picks up black peppercorn, anise, dark chocolate and pine-sprinkled earth. Drink 2018–2030.
2010 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud                             95 Points
Black-cherry fruit shows on the nose of this bottling by Silicon Valley veterans T.J. and Valeta Rodgers, but it is deftly hidden behind layers of earth and herbs, from dark clay and black pepper to budding violets and rosemary. The acidity is slowly simmering on the palate, unleashing flavors of dark chocolate, cinnamon, more rosemary, blackberry and pencil-lead minerality.
2010 Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope                               95 Points
Aromas of plum, black cherry and mulberry are enhanced by crushed graphite, clove dust, scarlet rose petals and menthol on the nose of this bottling. The palate reveals a stunning amount of depth, with eucalyptus leaf, white sage, violet petals, rose hips and pine needles giving depth to the rich black-plum fruit.
2010 Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge                      95 Points Cellar Selection
Dark clay, vanilla bean, Vietnamese cinnamon, black gravel, kola nut, marjoram, smoked tobacco and black plum notes come into play on the nose of this stellar bottling from a 1,700-foot vineyard atop the appellation. It’s rich in lush tannic texture but not overripe in flavors, with black cherry fruit laying a base for black pepper, juniper, sage and crushed slate.



2010 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud                             92 Points (Gold Medal)
2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates                             93 Points (Gold Medal)


27 Jul

Wine Enthusiast – 2009 Clos de la Techs

Clos de la Tech 2009 Domaine Lois Louise Cote Sud Pinot Noir
91 Points Cellar Selection
From the estate vineyard of a winery founded in 1994 by Silicon Valley mogul TJ Rodgers of Cypress Semi- conductor, the grapes must be picked by a special tractor-on-wires because they are so steeply plant- ed. Like the other 2009s, this Pinot Noir is characterized by strong tannins, meaning that it will last. Unlike the others, this one boats a more mushroom- driven nose between shiitake and porcini, with a touch of mocha. The palate reveals caramelized raspberry, graphite and silty flavors.

Clos de la Tech 2009 Domaine du Docteur Rodgers Pinot Noir
93 Points
While impressive now for its weight and flavor profile, this should evolve well, thanks to its heavy tannins and ample concentration. Right now, there is wet earth and prominent mint on the nose. The palate also picks up spearmint, with sagebrush, licorice and tobacco as well. The tannins emerge at the end of the sip, and will continue to smooth out beyond 2020.

Clos de la Tech 2009 Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge Pinot Noir
93 Points Cellar Selection
Opaque in its deep purple color, this micro- chip-toting bottle fills the nose with the wet clay and menthol aromas. On the palate, graphite and black volcanic rock come with a touch of caramelized fruit and dark spices, such as black pepper, that take hold. Still rich with tannins, this will continue to emerge until 2024 if not longer.

Clos de la Tech 2009 Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope Pinot Noir
90 Points
This particular Valeta vineyard is 2,350-feet above the Bay Area in a site that deals with lots of wind, rain and sometimes snow. The aromas are menthol, wet clay and mocha, and the palate delivers dark chocolate and pasilla chile. The tannins are a constant from Clos de la Tech, so hang onto this one to 2018.

Clos de la Tech 2009 Domaine Lois Louise Pinot Noir
92 Points Cellar Selection
The most affordable offering in the Clos de la Tech portfolio, it offers cinnamon and other baking spices plus caramel on the nose. These are followed by a palate rich in cola nut, cranberry, tar and cherry flavors. Like its sister wines, this is loaded with tannins, so expect steady evolution and improvement through 2019.