27 Aug

Nevada’s Sapphire Wines to Carry BBW Portfolio

“We are pleased to announce Sapphire Wines in Nevada will be carrying the entire Big Bang Wine portfolio throughout the state including: McIntyre, Cambiata, Rail2Rail, Clos de la Tech and Longoria. Under the direction of Larry Sapperstein and his family, Sapphire has become one of the premier distributors for both northern and southern Nevada. They have a strong book of high-quality producers and a sales force that is educated, aggressive and well-connected. Welcome aboard Sapphire!”


25 Aug

How to Sell Clos de la Tech

Clos de la Tech is one of California’s iconic producers of Pinot Noir. Below is a single sheet we created to help distributors present the wines to their top retail and restaurant accounts.

18 Aug

McIntyre Wines: Vinous Media Likes

2014 Rose of Pinot Noir     89 Points
Light, bright pink. Lively and sharply focused on the nose and palate, showing a zesty red berry and orange pith character and a touch of white pepper. Dry and nervy in style, finishing with firm grip and lingering spiciness.

2012 Estate Chardonnay     90 Points
Pale gold. Sexy, oak-tinged aromas of ripe pear and white peach, with a hint of vanilla emerging with air. Fleshy but energetic, offering sappy orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a touch of bitter peach pit. Finishes buttery and smooth, with repeating smokiness and a suggestion of tarragon.

2012 Estate Pinot Noir     91 Points
Brilliant red. A lively, perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red fruits and potpourri, lifted by a bright mineral topnote. Tangy and linear on entry, then fleshy and sweet in the mid-palate, offering sappy black raspberry and dark cherry flavors with a note of rose pastille. The mineral quality repeats on the lucid, persistent finish.

2013 Estate Pinot Noir Block 3     92 Points
Vivid red. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet evokes lively red and blue fruits, incense and Asian spices. Silky, sweet and expansive on the palate, offering nervy boysenberry and black raspberry flavors that deepen with aeration. Supple tannins shape the long, fruit-driven finish, with a note of spicecake adding interest.

18 Aug

5 Stars for Cambiata

Elegantly flavored, crisp, and well balanced, this is an excellent version of the varietal. It is full bodied and very long on the palate, with a finish tasting of pear, peach, lime, and orange blossom. Unwooded. 350 cases.

Wonderful wine: very deeply colored, ripely flavored (black licorice, blueberry jam, red currant), concentrated, lightly oaky, and long on the finish. Remarkable quality. Can be aged. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. 99 cases.

Great value: supple and medium rich, this is ripe, balanced Chardonnay with a medium long finish, tasting of apple, lemon, toast, and grapefruit. Aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. 754 cases.

Maximum Score: 5 stars




18 Aug

“Impressive Zin” Rail2Rail

RAIL 2 RAIL, 2013 OLD VINE, LODI, ★★★★+ (out of 5 stars)
Rich, supple, and very ripely flavored, this is an impressive Zin. It is jammy, spicy, and lightly toasty in aroma/flavor, and smooth and long on the finish. Fine value. 5% Tannat. Aged 11 months in oak barrels. 849 cases. 14.5%

18 Aug

Longoria Shines in Restaurant Wine

The Fe Ciega is a first release. It is subtle and fine in character (pear, pineapple, apple, lime, honey), full bodied, and crisp and very long on the finish; warrants modest aging. Crisp and elegant in style. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 18% new. 66 cases.

Cuvee Diana is excellent, in a full, elegant style. It is subtle but rich in flavor (pineapple, grapefruit, guava, oak), crisp and long on the palate, and very persistent on the finish. Warrants modest aging. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, partially new. 188 cases.

Screw cap. Excellent: a crisp, medium full bodied Albariño with elegant character (lime, honeysuckle, apricot), firm acidity, and a long finish. Warrants a few months of aging. Unwooded. 254 cases.

A firm, youthful Pinot Noir that has intense fruitiness (cherry, herbs, pepper), light oakiness, and good balance. It is long and lightly tannic on the finish; warrants modest aging. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 16% new. 480 cases.

Longoria produces excellent, structured Pinot Noirs. The La Encantada is an elegantly flavored, full bodied wine that is crisp, long, and lightly oaked on the palate, with a firm, persistent finish. In aroma/flavor, it tastes of cherry, strawberry, red currant, rosehips, toast, and oak. 100 cases.

The 2011 Fe Ciega is a fuller wine; a fairly rich Pinot Noir with good depth of fruit, light tannin, and evident oak. It is firm and long on the finish, and tastes of cherry, plum, red currant, rosehips, herbs, clove, toast, and spicy oak. 3 day cold soak. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. 360 cases.

Very distinctive Tempranillo, especially with its American oak character. It is full bodied and complex in flavor; a wine with plum, dried fruit, tobacco, coconut, and oak aromas/flavors. Long finish. Can be aged a bit. 5% Merlot, 5% Syrah. Aged 20 months in American oak barrels, 40% new. 232 cases.


18 Aug

McIntyre Interview – The Somm Journal

Somm Journal McIntyre Interview

Steve McIntyre

Steve McIntyre’s 80-acre McIntyre Vineyards estate sits in one of the “sweet spots” of Santa Lucia Highlands—gentle slopes of sandy loam towards the AVA’s center, not far from Garys’ Vineyard.

McIntyre helped frame the significance of wind on Santa Lucia Highlands viticulture: “We used to think it was insane to live in a place as windy as this. High wind is a constant part of the terroir—you can count on it like clockwork. That’s why our highest daytime temperatures are usually around 12 noon, whereas on most of the coast it’s closer to 4 p.m.”

Explaining the impact on the vines, McIntyre tells us, “Earlier in the season, the wind shuts down stomata, the leaf pores that transpire water. Photosynthesis requires water, and so high wind limits photosynthesis. This contributes to the length of our growing season.

”In respect to the consistency of the region’s vintages, McIntyre explains: “The biggest physical factor is the rain shadow formed by the steep orographic lift of the Santa Lucia Range. On the other side of the mountain is the Big Sur. They don’t call it that for nothing—it is the second highest coastal mountain in the Western Hemisphere, between Patagonia and Alaska. When clouds are forced upwards on the ocean side they can’t hold their moisture, so all the rain gets dumped on Big Sur. By the time storms get here, they’re usually puttered out.”

“When we do get rain, we have winds to dry it out. We’ll get the occasional botrytis, but mildew pressure is minimal, very controllable. In September/October we have more dynamic offshore flows, which gives us Indian summers. That’s when fog disappears and there’s less wind, which allows our grapes to finish their ripening. Esters and glucasides in Chardonnay; anthocyanins, turpines and flavonoids in Pinot Noir—all the things that contribute to flavor, steadily increased.”