Wine of the Week: 2007 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Cognito

My Wine Of The Week for September 20-October 5 is the 2007 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Cognito.

The Winery

Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines is an eponymous artisan winery producing small lots of  Rhone varietal wines, from their 30-acre vineyard in Paso Robles. Ed, who is an entrepreneur, sailor, and pilot, and his wife “discovered” Paso Robles in 2003, and instantly fell in love with the place.

I was introduced to Edward Sellers in 2010 when I attended the annual California Wine Festival in Santa Barbara.  Ed was pouring his wines at the Friday night “Sunset Rare And Reserve Wine Tasting”. I distinctly remember his wines standing head and shoulders above the rest that evening.  We made it a point to drop in his tasting room, which at the time was in downtown Paso, on our way back to the Bay Area.  That’s when I purchased a couple of bottles of this wine (and a few others).   Last year, after attending the same wine festival, again we made it a point to drop in at his tasting room off  West Highway 46.

Paso Robles has made a name for itself, especially for Rhône varietals.   According to edwardsellers.com:

It is Paso Robles’s climate, soils and vineyard diversity that makes Paso Robles ideally suited for growing the Rhône varieties of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc.

The Wine

This is wine a blend of

 

2007 Edward Sellers Cognito

 

My tasting note follow:

Nearly opaque violet color with aromatic briary, liquered mixed berry and white pepper aromas. On palate, it’s full-bodied, fruity, intense, with a smooth mouthfeel, good acidity and ripe mixed berry, black cherry, black currant flavors. Med long finish. 40% Mourvèdre/25% Zinfandel/19% Syrah/16% Grenache. 14.3% alcohol. Production 640 cases

 

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 14.6% alcohol.

Closure: Cork.

AVA: > CaliforniaCentral CoastPaso Robles

Varietal(s): 40% Mourvèdre, 25% Zinfandel, 20% Syrah, 15% Grenache

Cooperage: 18 months in 100% Neutral French Oak

Retail: $30

Cases produced: 640

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Wine Of The Week – 2008 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Estate Blanc

My wine of the week for April 14-April 20 is the 2008 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Estate Blanc.

The Winery

Edward Sellers is an eponymous artisan winery producing small lots of  Rhone varietal wines, from their 30-acre vineyard in Paso Robles. Ed, who is an entrepreneur, sailor, and pilot, and his wife “discovered” Paso Robles in 2003, and instantly fell in love with the place.

I was introduced to Edward Sellers in 2010 when I attended the annual California Wine Festival in Santa Barbara.  Ed was pouring his wines at the Friday night “Sunset Rare And Reserve Wine Tasting”. I distinctly remember his wines standing head and shoulders above the rest that evening.  We made it a point to drop in his tasting room, which at the time was in downtown Paso, on our way back to the Bay Area.  That’s when I purchased a couple of bottles of this wine (and a few others).   Last year, after attending the same wine festival, again we made it a point to drop in at his new tasting room off  West Highway 46.

I most recently saw Ed again when he was pouring his wines the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting in San Francisco (click here for my recap of the event).  I was only tasting red Rhone blends that day, so I missed the opportunity to taste 2009 version of this wine, Le Passage Estate.

Paso Robles has made a name for itself, especially for Rhône varietals.   According to edwardsellers.com:

It is Paso Robles’s climate, soils and vineyard diversity that makes Paso Robles ideally suited for growing the Rhône varieties of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc.

It’s no wonder the annual Hospice du Rhone is held in Paso Robles annually.

The Wine

This wine is classic white Rhône blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Marsanne.  What stand out for me about this wine is its outstanding balance.

2008 Edward Sellers Estate Blanc

My tasting notes follow:

Pale yellow color with pungent stone fruit aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, and well-balanced with white peach, melon, and spice flavors. Medium long finish. Blend of Grenache Blanc(56%), Roussanne(28%), and Marsanne (16%). 14.1% Alcohol. 146 cases produced.

Pairing with food

White Rhône blends such as this wine are pretty versatile food wines.  They make fine sippers in the summertime, and but a wine such as this is hearty enough to be a great match with picnic fair, spicy Indian, and North African dishes.  Hmmm…I just recalled the Lobster Pot Pie, I had a Michael Mina a couple of years ago.  This would have been fabulous with it!

I really enjoyed this wine. I’m sorry I waited damn near 2 years to drink it though. Fortunately I’ve got another bottle.  It’ll be lucky to see summer;-)

2012 Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting Recap

As a media guest, I attended the 15th annual “Celebration of American Rhone Wines” in San Francisco last weekend.  It was my first Rhone Rangers tasting.  Rhone Rangers is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Rhone varietal wines produced in the U.S.  It was a huge, but well-organized two-day event.  Saturday featured educational seminars (including one called “Wine & Swine, A Pairing of American Rhone Wines And Bacon”  complete with a “Baconologist”!) and a fund raising winemaker dinner/auction. And Sunday, which I attended, featured more seminars and the Grand Tasting.

By my count, there were 114 wineries and 500 or so wines available for tasting!  With that many  wineries/wines I knew I needed a plan to maximize the 3 hours I set aside for the event.  I decided to only taste “GSM” (predominately composed of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blends, with 30 minutes at the end for what I call “taster’s choice” (more on that later).  When I attend an event like this, in addition to focusing on a single varietal or style of wine,  I try to further narrow my focus by tasting wines from wineries that are new to me.  That meant I was going to have to skip favorites like Bonny Doon, Core, Frick, Quivira, and Tercero.  That’s always a challenge for me because my vinous conscious seems to constantly whisper in my ear… “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.  Thus the “tasters choice” where I allow myself to a.) taste wines from some of my favorite wineries, and b.) the option of not writing tasting notes.

That was the plan.  But as Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf  once said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy”.  Well at least mine didn’t!  Not for this year anyway.  I quickly realized that “Red Blend” per the program, didn’t necessarily translate into GSMs. That’s not a bad thing, I love the diversity of style here in California as opposed to the more constrained Rhône models.  But, as a result, I vastly underestimated how many “Red Blend” wines were available.  I got through the A-L wineries (the wineries were organized in alphabetical order) when I realized I only had 30 or so minutes left for my “taster’s choice”.  Oh well, I did taste about four dozen very good to excellent wines. That’s a great day in my book…and there’s always next year!

On to the wines I sniffed, sipped and  (mostly) spit!

My favorite wines (rated 90 points or higher) were:

  • 2008 Calcareous Trés Violet
  • 2007 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Vertigo
  • 2008 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Le Thief
  • 2007 Hearthstone Vineyards and Winery Lodestone
  • 2009 Inspiration Vineyards Syrah
  • 2009 Jada Vineyard Hell’s Kitchen
  • 2009 JC Cellars Misc. Stuff
  • 2009 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem
  • 2009 Justin Vineyards & Winery Savant
  • 2011 Lagier Meredith Syrah Rosé
  • 2009 Lagier Meredith Syrah
  • 2010 Ridge Carignane Buchignani Ranch
  • 2009 Stage Left Cellars The Globetrotter
  • 2009 Stage Left Cellars The ExPat
  • 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc
  • 2010 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas
  • 2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel

My complete tasting notes  and ratings follow:

  • 2010 Adelaida Version White - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Tropical fruit, peach, and floral aromas. Medium-bodied with tropical fruit, peach, and slight mineral flavors. Medium finish (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Adelaida Version Red - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Berry, and floral aromas. Medium-bodied smooth with dark cherry, raspberry flavors. Medium finish (88 pts.)

Maggie Tillman - Alta Colina

  • 2009 Alta Colina GSM - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Red fruit and oak aromas with ripe raspberry and cherry flavors. Smooth with a medium long finish (89 pts.)
  • 2009 AmByth Estate Adamo - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Spicy,floral red berry aromas. On the palate, light-bodied with tart raspberry, cherry flavors. Blend of Grenache (59%), Mourvèdre (17%), Syrah (13%), and Counoise (11% (87 pts.)
  • 2009 AmByth Estate ReVera - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red fruit, garrigue aromas. Light-bodied with tart dark cherry, and spice flavors. Blend of Mourvedre (57%), Grenache (22%), Syrah (11%), and Counoise (10%) (87 pts.)
  • 2009 AmByth Estate Maiestas - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark fruit, and slight floral aromas. Light-bodied with tart dark cherry blackberry flavors. Blend of Syrah (45%), Mourvedre (20%), Counoise (20%), and Grenache  (15%) (86 pts.)
  • 2011 Anglim Rosé - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Red fruit, and citrus aromas. Light-bodied, dry and well balanced with raspberry citrus flavors.  100% Syrah. (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Beckmen Vineyards Cuvée Le Bec - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark red fruit and herbs de provence aromas. Light-bodied with fruity slightly tart raspberry, dark cherry, and spice flavors (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Calcareous Trés Violet - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Pretty dark red fruit, violet, and baking spice aromas. Medium-bodied with black cherry, raspberry flavors. Blend of Syrah (42%), Mourvedre (29%), and Grenache (29%) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Caliza Winery Cohort - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Fresh blackberry, plum with a hint of musky aromas. Medium bodied with slightly tart blackberry, raspberry and hint of mocha flavors. Blend of Syrah (55%), Petite Sirah, (20%), Primitivo (20%) and Grenache (5%) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Caliza Winery Azimuth - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark fruit, cinnamon/clove and oak aromas. Medium bodied, young with blackberry, cocoa, and cinnamon/clove flavors. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Clos Saron Out of the Blue - USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Red fruit, raisiny plum, and slight floral aromas. Light-bodied with good acidity, and tart cherry, plum flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre and Syrah. (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Clos Saron Holy Moly - USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Smoky, raisiny cherry aromas. Raisiny tart baked cherry flavors. Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (87 pts.)
  • 2006 Clos Saron Syrah La Cuvée Mysterieuse - USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Baked red fruits and slight oak aroma. Light-medium bodied with tart cherry flavors. Blend of Syrah and Merlot (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Black currant, earthy, spicy aromas . Medium-bodied with blackberry and spice flavors. (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Tight dark fruit and spice aromas. Medium-bodied and a bit tannic with blackberry, black cherry and spice flavors. Needs some time. (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Crystal Basin Cellars Victorie – Grand Reserve - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado
    Dark red fruit with slight floral aromas. Light-bodied with black cherry, blackberry flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre (33%), Syrah (34%) and Grenache (33%). (86 pts.)
  • 2007 Curtis Reserve - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Smokey dark red fruit, clove and floral aromas. Medium-bodied with red currant, black cherry and spice flavors. A blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (25%) and Mourvèdre (25%) (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Curtis Heritage Cuvée - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Dark red fruit and slight resinous aromas. Light-bodied with tart cherry, raspberry flavors. Blend of Grenache (39%), Mourvèdre (26%), Cinsault (19%) and Syrah (16%) (87 pts.)
  • 2008 Domaine de la Terre Rouge Tête-à-Tête - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Spicy red and black fruits, and oak aromas. Light-bodied with cherry, raspberry, and spice flavors. Blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre & Grenache Very good value at $18 (87 pts.)
  • 2008 Domaine de la Terre Rouge L’Autre - USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Cherry, raspberry, and vanillin oak aromas. Approaching medium-bodied with black cherry, and vanilla flavors (88 pts.)

Edward Sellers of the eponymous winery

  • 2007 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Vertigo - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Smokey, baking spice, dark red fruit aromas. Medium-bodied, velvety with silky tannins, and dark cherry, raspberry, and vanilla spice flavors. Blend of Grenache (71%), Mourvèdre (16%), and Syrah(13%) (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Le Thief - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Spicy cinnamon black fruits, and slightly musky aromas. Medium-bodied with black cherry, blackberry, and vanilla spice flavors. Blend of Syrah (56%), Mourvèdre (26%),Grenache (12%),and Cinsault (6%) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Folin Cellars Misceo - USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley
    Low-key red currant, cherry, and cedarwood aromas. Medium-bodied, and smooth with cherry, and red currant flavors. Blend of Syrah (50%), Mourvèdre (37%), and Grenache (13%) (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Hahn Winery GSM - USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County
    Berry and spice aromas. Light-bodied, and smooth with blackberry, and raspberry flavors. Blend of Grenache (62%), Syrah (34%), and Mourvèdre (4%) (87 pts.)
  • 2007 Hearthstone Vineyards and Winery Slipstone Rhone - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Fruity cherry ,and spice aromas. Approaching medium-bodied with fruit-forward cherry, and raspberry flavors. Blend of Grenache (65%), and Syrah(35%) (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Hearthstone Vineyards and Winery Lodestone - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Plum, cherry and dried herb aromas. Medium-bodied with dark cherry, plum, blackberry flavors. Blend of Syrah (50%), Grenache (33%), Mourvèdre (17%) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Holly’s Hill Patriarche - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County
    Red fruit, with a touch of garrigue aromas. Medium-bodied with cherry, plum and vanilla flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre (60%), Syrah (23%), Grenache (14%), and Counoise (3%) (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Inspiration Vineyards Syrah - USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
    Fragrant red fruit, and floral aromas. Medium-full bodied with dark cherry, mocha, and vanilla spice flavors. Blend of Syrah (93%), Viognier (7%) (90 pts.)

Josh Messina pouring Jada wines

  • 2009 Jada Vineyard Hell’s Kitchen - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Fragrant red fruits, and floral aromas. Medium-bodied, fruit-forward, and smooth with raspberry, cherry, mocha and vanilla flavors. Blend of Syrah (32%), Grenache (31%), Mourvèdre (23%), and Tannat (14%) (92 pts.)
  • 2009 JC Cellars Misc. Stuff - USA, California
    Black and red berry, and spice aromas. Medium-bodied, and supple with vibrant black cherry, raspberry, vanilla spice flavors. Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Red fruit, white pepper, and cedarwood aromas. Medium-bodied with nicely balanced dark cherry, and black currant flavors. Blend of Syrah (65%), and Merlot (35%) (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Justin Vineyards & Winery Savant - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Spicy black and red fruit aromas hint of licorice aromas. Medium-bodied, and smooth with spicy black cherry, and cassis flavors. Blend of Syrah (65%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Kukkula Sisu - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Fruity red fruity, mocha, and a hint of musky/meaty aromas. Medium-full bodied with mixed black and red berry espresso flavors. Blend of Syrah(51%),Grenache (27%), and Mourvèdre (22%)(89 pts.)
  • 2011 Lagier Meredith Syrah Rosé - USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Pretty berry and melon aromas. Approaching medium-bodied, well-balanced and dry with cherry, raspberry flavors.100% Syrah (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Lagier Meredith Syrah - USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Dark red fruit, and pepper aromas. Medium-bodied with intense black cherry, raspberry, espresso flavors. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Ridge Carignane Buchignani Ranch - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Black cherry, raspberry and slight floral smoky aromas. Full-bodied, robust, round with well-integrated tannins and black cherry, raspberry, and vanilla flavors. (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Stage Left Cellars Syrah Alder Springs - USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino
    Dark red fruit, sweet spice, and floral aromas. Medium bodied and nicely balanced with raspberry, strawberry, and a touch of mineral flavors. 100% Syrah. 13.7 % Alcohol (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Stage Left Cellars The Globetrotter - USA, California
    Red fruit, dried herbs, and slight earthy aromas. Medium-bodied, fruit, but balanced with ripe cherry and black raspberry flavors. Blend of Grenache (48%), Syrah (40%), and Mourvèdre (12%)(90 pts.)
  • 2009 Stage Left Cellars The ExPat - USA, California, Central Coast
    Dark red fruit, spice, and cedarwood aromas. Medium-bodied, balanced with vibrant dark cherry, raspberry, and spice flavors. Blend of Syrah(50%), Petite Sirah (33%), and Grenache (17%)(90 pts.)
  • 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Tropical fruit, white peach, and floral aromas. Medium-bodied, and creamy with good acidity and peach and hint of mineral flavors. Blend of Grenache Blanc (45%), Viognier (34%), Roussanne (18%), and Marsanne (3%) 13.5% Alcohol (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Blanc - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Pretty floral and stone fruit aromas. Medium-bodied, and balance with white peach, and vanilla flavors. Blend of Viognier (54%), Grenache Blanc (30%), Marsanne (8%), and Roussanne (8%) 13.5% Alcohol (89 pts.)
  • 2011 Tablas Creek Rosé - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Watermelon and red fruit aromas. Approaching medium-bodied, and dry with cherry, strawberry and citrus on the back palate flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre (58%), Grenache (30%), and Counoise (12%) 14.5% Alcohol (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Sweet dark fruits, tobacco, and spice. Medium bodied and supple with black cherry, plum and spice flavors. Blend of 39% Syrah/36% Grenache/22% (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Intense dark red fruit, violet and spice aromas. Medium-full bodied, and well-balanced with vibrant dark red cherry, spice, and mineral flavors. Blend of Mourvèdre (40%), Syrah(28%),Grenache (27%), and Counoise (5%) (92 pts.)

My takeaways from the event?

  • Paso Robles, as a region is still kickin’ ass and taking names when it comes to Rhone!
  • There’s definitely a trend toward lower alcohol wines
  • Um…I’ll need a better plan (and more time) next year!
  • The state of Rhones in California? – Fantastic and seemingly getting better!

All in all, it was a great event!  It’s circled in red on my calendar for next year!