14 Feb

New Reviews: CDLT, Cambiata & Wrath

Clos de la Tech is appropriately named, as it is owned by Silicon Valley heavyweight T.J. Rodgers, the founder and former CEO of Santa Cruz Mountains–based Cypress Semiconductor. He has elevated his passion for wine from advanced hobbyist to full-on vintner, releasing a brilliant 2012 that stands out for its elegance and Burgundian traits. Rodgers places one of his silicon chips on each bottle, a wink to the tech industry.

Cambiata shows that quality Pinot Noir can also be affordable.

2012 CLOS DE LA TECH Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountains Estates
Score: 91
Starts out juicy and lively, featuring black cherry and raspberry notes at the core. This is defined by fine-grained tannins that give the flavors traction. Ends long and clean, with anise and fresh earth scents. Drink now through 2023. 1,483 cases made.—J.L.

2015 CAMBIATA Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands
Score: 89
Deftly balanced, with juicy, zesty cherry, wild berry and raspberry flavors sharing center stage, framed by firm, well-integrated tannins and a long, clean aftertaste. Drink now through 2022. 525 cases made.—J.L.

2014 WRATH Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Tondré Grapefield
Score: 90
A savory style, offering a mix of dried herb, leafy, underbrush and dried berry flavors, with hints of anise, red candy and red licorice, backed by mild tannins. Most impressive for the length on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 283 cases made.—J.L.

2014 Cambiata Aero Bos
Score: 91 points Editors Choice


01 Feb

Why You Should Buy the 2014 McIntyre Wines

Before we recap the reviews for the 2014 McIntyre wines, let’s start with a quote from Anthony Dias Blue of The Tasting Panel Magazine: “Steve McIntyre is a Central Coast viticulture guru.” Okay, now on to the reviews:

L’Homme Qui Ris 93 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 SLH Chardonnay  91 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 Estate Chardonnay  93 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 Estate Chardonnay  90 Points  Wine Advocate
2014 Estate Chardonnay  90 Points  Vinous Media
2014 Estate Chardonnay Block K1  92 Points  Tasting Panel
2014 Estate Chardonnay Block K1  93 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 Estate Chardonnay Block K1 91 Points  Wine Advocate
2014 Estate Chardonnay Block K1  91 Points  Vinous Media
2014 SLH Pinot Noir 92 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 Estate Pinot Noir 92 Points  Wine Enthusiast
2014 Estate Pinot Noir  91 Points  Wine Advocate
2014 Estate Pinot Noir  91 Points  Vinous Media
2014 Old Vine Pinot Noir  91 Points  Wine Advocate
2013 Estate Merlot 92 Points  Wine Enthusiast
01 Feb

Tasting Panel Magazine Reviews 2010 Clos de la Tech Pinot Noirs

Andy Blue loved the 2010s from Clos de la Tech. Here are his reviews:

91 Clos de la Tech 2010 Pinot Noir, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountain Estates ($42)
Earthy and tannic, juicy black cherry with balance and depth.

94 Clos de la Tech 2010 Pinot Noir, Domaine Valeta, Santa Cruz Mountains ($62)
From a 2.5-acre vineyard located at 2200-feet above sea level; earthy, lightly herbal and spicy; high acidity and low tannins; juicy and extremely Burgundian.

94 Clos de la Tech 2010 Pinot Noir, Domaine Lois Louise Côte Sud, Santa Cruz Mountains ($62)
Juicy and balanced; dense with great structure and a charming astringency on the finish; clean and rich; balanced with elegance and style.

92 Clos de la Tech 2010 Pinot Noir, Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge, Santa Cruz Mountains ($82) Lovely, warm black cherry nose; lush, dense and meaty; full-bodied, rich, smooth and long.

96 Clos de la Tech 2010 Pinot Noir, Domaine du Docteur Rodgers, San Francisco Bay ($102)
Lush, earthy, spiced; silky smooth, medium-bodied; perfumed, elegant and complex; deep, Burgundian and rich without being heavy.


01 Feb

Clos de la Tech Releases 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Estates Pinot Noir

Our favorite Clos de la Tech release to date, the 2012 SCME is a monumental wine that combines power, elegance, exoticism and age-ability. Here is what the winery has to say about this great new Pinot:

“2012 was the first vintage produced entirely at our new, underground winery. Having complete control over every step of the winemaking process allowed us to micro-manage the harvesting, sorting and vinification of our fruit. Couple that with another year of vine maturity and we were able to produce some of our finest wines ever. The dark color is an indicator of this wine’s amazing concentration. The aromatics are powerful and ripe with cherries, blueberries, blackberries, slate and leather. The palate is rich, round and moderately tannic. Our 2012 SCME is one big, serious, age-worthy bottle of Pinot Noir.”

01 Feb

Cambiata Debuts Aero Bos – A Chewy Cool-Climate Red Blend

Eric Laumann rarely takes the path of least resistance. What’s the challenge or reward in that? His newest release — the 2014 Aero Bos — is a perfect example. While most red blends self identify as Bordeaux or Rhone based, Aero Bos is an international conglomerate that incorporates the following strange bedfellows:

  • 40% Dornfelder (Santa Lucia Highlands) for purple/blue hues and vibrant, sweet fruit notes from start to finish.
  • 35% Tannat (Monterey) for rustic flavors, balanced acidity and structure for longevity.
  • 15% Cabernet Sauvignon (West Paso Robles) for cherries and dried herb, a strong mid palate and long finish.
  • 10% Syrah (Monterey) for spicy notes, viscosity and richness.

Here’s a quote form Eric:
“Flying Cow. That’s what Aero Bos means – Flying Cow. It all started with dinner. While contemplating the glories of a well-marbled Rib Eye, I decided it was time to create my version of the perfect steak wine. Ignoring borders, languages, customs and conventional wisdom, I chose four of the boldest grape varieties found in Europe. The final mélange of Dornfelder, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is one of the most exciting and dramatic wines I have ever produced. Blurring the line between art and science, it is intended to stimulate both sides of your brain.”

In our biased opinion the 2014 Aero Bos is among the greatest “power reds” ever produced in Monterey. Big, dark, aromatic, chewy and exotic, it is an outlier among cold-climate reds.