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)&&(

04 Oct

Metz Road Press Release

Winery Adopts Innovative Approach to Preserve Character of the Terroir

SALINAS, CA, October4, 2017 – Dave Nagengast, winemaker for Monterey County’s Metz Road Winery, wanted to make sure his 2017 Chardonnay was as true to the Riverview Vineyard as possible. “We knew we wanted to ferment the wine using native rather than commercial yeast. But we realized that if we brought the fruit back to the winery, there was a good chance the commercial yeast strains that live in the building would probably dominate the indigenous yeast strains. So we came up with the novel solution of crushing the grapes in the vineyard.”

Dave and his team brought a small press and refrigerated container to the vineyard to initiate a true Riverview Vineyard indigenous yeast fermentation before bringing the juice back to the winery to complete its barrel fermentation. “We crushed and filled 10 barrels each of the Wente clone and Dijon clone 96. We used 100% new French oak from a couple of our favorite coopers. If we’re happy with the results, we’ll isolate the yeast and send it to a lab to create a culture for future fermentations.”

Says Kurt Gollnick, COO of Scheid Family Wines, “Our Riverview property is a sustainably-farmed vineyard perched on a bench overlooking the Salinas River. It’s located on the east side of the valley just below the Pinnacles National Park. This is an exposed site with little protection from the strong winds that roll through the valley every afternoon. During the summertime, Riverview is typically cooler than comparable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco.”

“So far the quality looks great for Chard,” says Dave. “The flavors are ripe and concentrated and the acids are firm. The Pinot in 2017 also looks superb – great color, quite rich and very intense. This was one of the few sites in Monterey that was unaffected by the heat wave.”

Metz Road is owned by Scheid Family Vineyards. It is distributed nationally in all major markets.

About Metz Road
Metz Road produces single vineyard, estate-bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the cool-climate Riverview Vineyard, a 340-acre property set along the eastern benchlands of Monterey County’s Salinas Valley. This remarkable site features an assortment of varieties, clones and rootstocks specifically matched to the micro-climates, soils, exposures and aspects of the terrain. The wines of Metz Road are pure, structured and accessible. They offer firm acidity, low pH, moderate alcohol levels and the judicious use of new oak. The Chardonnay is translucent, direct and precise. The Pinot Noir is delicate, aromatic and silky.

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 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!”


29 Sep

Naked in Clos de Vougeot

Benny Bowman awoke in a pool of sweat. Luckily, he was in the shallow end.

“Are you okay?” his wife Peggy asked.

“I had a nightmare,” Benny answered.

She looked at the clock on her nightstand. It said 5:55. She would not be able to go back to sleep.

“Tell me about it,” she sighed.

“It’s this dream I sometimes have after I’ve returned from a wine buying trip to France. I’m standing in front of the Hotel des Grands Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin all dressed for dinner. A car picks me up and drives me to the Clos de Vougeot for a feast put on by the Chevaliers de Tastevin. I am seated at the head of this long table occupied by dozens of typical Burgundian vignerons wearing black berets and bib overalls. A thick smog of Gitanes and Galois hangs over the room like a mother sow over its suckling pig.”

“Your simile needs work,” she interrupted.

“Everyone is speaking French. I am speaking French.”

“You don’t speak French,” she said.

“I know…that’s the problem. I walk up to a podium, check my notes, clear my throat and begin talking to the audience. I’m speaking total gibberish with a heavy French accent. I’m waving my arms in the air to punctuate my points. Everyone stares in amazement. After a minute I become aware that no one can understand me. I feel the waves of panic approaching. Everyone begins to laugh. They point and they laugh. I realize I am not wearing any pants.

“This is really stupid. Do you want coffee?”


Peggy left the room and returned ten minutes later with two cups of coffee. Benny buried his face in the Arabica scented white steam. She picked up the notepad from her table. Recently, Peggy had gotten into the habit of writing down her thoughts in the middle of the night.

“What’s it say?” Benny asked.

She smiled and handed it to him.

Curly Howard is the John Lennon of the Three Stooges.

“What the hell does that mean?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but at 2:30 in the morning it seemed important.”

“And you thought my dream was stupid.”

25 Aug

Video Reviews from James The Wine Guy

James The Wine Guy just reviewed some new releases from our portfolio of wineries. Below are links.

Clos de la Tech SCM Pinot Noir ’09 – 9.3 (93) Episode #1707 – James Melendez

Sostener Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir – ’12 9.2 (92 Pts) – Episode #1702 – James Melendez

Force Majeure Col. Series III – 9.5 (95/100 Pts) – Episode #1698 – James Melendez

McIntyre SLH Estate Chardonnay – ’12 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts) – Episode #1694 – James Melendez

22 Aug

Great McIntyre Reviews from Restaurant Wine

Fleshy and richly flavored, this is an impressive wine. It is very long and
balanced on the palate, with complex character (peach, pineapple, lemon
peel, grapefruit, roasted nut, oak) and a persistent finish. Fermented
and aged for 8 months in new French oak barrels. 100 cases.

McIntyre’s Pinots tend to be full bodied and generously flavored, as are
these two excellent 2012s. The SLH is a ripely flavored, supple wine with
intense red fruit and floral character (cherry, plum, cranberry, violet),
firm acidity, and overtones of nutmeg, toast, and tobacco. Long finish.
Excellent value. 604 cases.

The Estate bottling is quite fleshyand full bodied; a fairly rich,
full flavored wine with evident complexity
(plum, blueberry jam, cherry, sage, toast, tobacco, spicy oak) and a
lightly tannic, long finish. 340 cases.

Rich and supple, this is full bodied, balance, moderately complex in
flavor, and very long on the finish. In aroma/flavor, it tastes of strawberry
jam, red currant, plum, sour cherry, toast, nutmeg, and cedar. Excellent.
50 cases.