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Drxeno

Location: Napa, CA

About Me: Ward Kadel – @drXeNo is the West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for WineLog.net and Le Wine Buff for Bordeaux.com (CIVB), as featured in their documentary short film. He was named a “key influencer” and a “strong community manager” in the seminal white paper on wine + tech, VinTank’s “WE ARE HERE: The State of Wine Industry Social Media.” Raised in and residing in Napa, he is a proud Vintage High Crusher and has been around wine virtually all of his life.

He has published the long-running wine blog Vinopanion since May 2007. Ward has also composed content and media as Influencer for Crushpad and Brixr.com’s TinyBottles, as Community Manager for Northern California Wine on Lunch.com and has consulted for wineries, PR firms and wine organizations for web content and social channel strategy and monitoring.

His freelance articles have appeared in Palate Press and Mutineer Magazine and his content is syndicated on the mobile apps Wine By the Bar and Hello Vino, rated #1 by Mashable on “Apps for Wine Lovers.” Ward is also one of the founders of the “Wine Badge” movement with his WKBadges and is a member of the VinTank Tasting Panel. In 2011 he worked harvest at the iconic Stags Leap District estate Chimney Rock Winery, during which he posted in real-time for his Man Falls in the Vines - #MFITV media campaign.

In his varied, hectic past and present he has hosted and produced the long running radio show TeK-IndUced EuPHoriA, worked as an assistant for the internationally renown progressive house label Loöq Records and its decade+ long DJ weekly Qoöl, in San Francisco. Ever the avid investment addict, he was also a featured social investor for Covester.com and interviewed about the biotech business sector by The Wall Street Transcript.

Ward lives in the Napa Valley, very lucky in love with his wife, food and travel blogger Beth Fontaine of Rollerskating With Scissors. When not imbibing and/or tweeting, posting, filming, consulting or writing about wine, Ward can be found researching cancer, DJing at his monthly The Winchester, training for his next triathlon…or, just relaxing with friends and family with a tasty bottle of vino.

View Ward’s WineLog, follow him on Twitter or Like Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: “Ward at WineLog.net”.

Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

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Oct. 12, 2014 Carredueñas Cigales Tinto Roble 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from ARGOS Consulting, 05/17/14.
Drank on a warm summer evening in Napa at Zuzu Tapas Bar, 09/28/14.
BCC: "The Concejo family has been making wine for generations and tending its vineyards. However, it wasn’t until 1987
when the current owner formed Concejo Bodegas and began restructuring the property for commercial success.

In 1980s, many vines were pulled because the vineyards had undesirable vari- etals; however, 4 hectares of vines older than 100 years were kept. Between 1987 and 1997, 15 hectares were planted. Today, the estate is comprised of 25 hect- ares, 15 of which are trellis-planted with Tempranillo at a density of 2,550 vines per hectare. The vines are drip-irrigated.

Production
Concejo Bodegas produced its first vintage in 1998. It now produces five different wines and 150,000 bottles. It has modern winemaking equipment and 400 American and French oak barrels
for aging."

  x $14
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Darker garnet in the core here, with brighter ruby edges, violet highlights.

Nose: Great deep and ripe black and red fruit here, of plum and black cherry. The fruit is wrapped in good earthy flint, along with integrating oak.

Palate: Full and rounder, this shows off a lot of good mouthfeel and flavors at such a low price point. That same deep and ripe dark fruit is also found here, along with toasted and flinty earth. The tannins are firm and fine, with great food-based acidity to enliven all of these flavors into the long, toasted finish. Good value: QPRWK. - 10/12/2014


Oct. 8, 2014 Prince Michel Monticello Mount Juliette Vineyards Petit Manseng 2008

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Personal Notes

Tasted during dinner at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia 07/22/11.

  x $30
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Light greenish yellow

Nose: Huge bright tropical fruit here, hint of light florals on top.

Palate: Very crisp tropical fruit flows into zesty lemon and lime, with definite peach blossom in the finish. Good and tart. - 10/08/2014


Sep. 25, 2014 Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Estate Grown Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Tasted during our media FAM stay at the ranch, 04/28/14. Our stay was courtesy of ChatterboxPR.

  x $45
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Almost clear, viscous with 10% RS

Nose: Good bright lime here in the nose, with nectarine as well.

Palate: Fuller and very round, yet not weighty with sweetness. Good balanced acidity, marzipan, vanilla, dried pear or nectarine, subtle sweetened lime here underneath. - 09/25/2014


Sep. 25, 2014 Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Estate Grown Kelly's Press Pinot Noir 2012

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Personal Notes

Tasted during our media FAM stay at the ranch, 04/28/14. Our stay was courtesy of ChatterboxPR.

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Light to medium rose in core, light edges.

Nose: Smoky, meatier red fruit here, good and savory.

Palate: Round and cool on the palate, with good meaty red fruit and scorched earth. Juicy acidity for the dark red fruit and fine tannin. A good, more savory pinot! - 09/25/2014


Sep. 25, 2014 Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Estate Grown Blushing Bride Rosé of Pinot Noir 2012

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Personal Notes

Tasted during our media FAM stay at the ranch, 04/28/14. Our stay was courtesy of ChatterboxPR.

  x $20
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Gorgeous light coral.

Nose: Bright and crisp blood orange and strawberry notes here.

Palate: Very good acidity here with citrus, a little roundness as well, then a very juicy red fruit medley. Crisp and juicy, with light garrigue in finish. Very good. - 09/25/2014


Sep. 18, 2014 Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Estate Grown .5o Brix Pinot Gris 2013

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Personal Notes

Tasted during our media FAM stay at the ranch, 04/28/14. Our stay was courtesy of ChatterboxPR.

  x $16
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Light almost clear lemon yellow core.

Nose: A little closed right now, just released. But more floral here white florals pop out right now.

Palate: Rounder, with some marzipan and light sweetness with yellow and green apple as well, tingly acidity brightens up the pear fruit out to the round, fuller finish. - 09/18/2014


Sep. 18, 2014 Holman Ranch Carmel Valley Estate Grown Pinot Gris 2012

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Personal Notes

Tasted during our media FAM stay at the ranch, 04/28/14. Our stay was courtesy of ChatterboxPR.

  x $16
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very clear core and edges.

Nose: Great green apple, clean Meyer lemon here in the nose, with a bit of chalk.

Palate: Light and brighter here in the fore, then a nice light creamier roundness in the mid palate, with a very juicy apple chit medley and Meyer lemon again into the bright finish. Good. - 09/18/2014


Sep. 3, 2014 Schloss Johannisberg Rheingau Gelblack Qualitätswein Feinherb Riesling 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Creative Palate PR, 02/19/14.
Drank on a cool summer night, 09/03/14.
SJ: "Composed of hand-harvested grapes from the single Schloss Johannisberg vineyard, a highly aromatic Riesling with distinctive notes of white flowers, citrus and pear. Complex, exceptionally balanced and refined.
APPELLATION: Rheingau – Single vineyard Schloss Johannisberg

VARIETY: 100% Riesling

TERROIR: The totally south-facing vineyard is steep as 45° and climbs from 114 m to 181 m above sea level. The forest on top of the Taunus protects the vineyards from cold winds from the North and in the South the Rhine lays like a lake in front of the estate on the foothills. The 50° parallel runs directly through the vineyard and the unique soil formation with Taunusquarzit topped with loam and rich loss is perfect for mineralic Rieslings keeps water and temperature very well.

VINIFICATION: Hand harvest. Whole cluster pressure. Fermentation – 90% stainless tank, 10% wooden barrel – 1200 L. Rest on lees – 5 months.

COLOR: Brilliant pale lemon yellow

AROMA: The nose is young with white flowers, grinded lemon pale and pears.

PALATE: Firm and fresh on the palate, well balanced with crisp acidity.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Enjoy with salads, roasted chicken

ALCOHOL: 12%"

  x $35
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium to deeper canary yellow here, with still clear edges.

Nose: Good, clean yellow apple, pear, white florals, and nectarine here.

Palate: While not completely dry, with the brilliant nectarine and almost ripe pear acidity, it comes off as dry. Great crisp, knife-edged fruit and minerality takes this out to the very clean finish, with a bit of juiciness. - 09/03/2014


Aug. 17, 2014 Prinz von Hessen Rheingau Royal Kabinett Riesling 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Folio Wines and Five.comm PR, 07/09/14.
Drank on a hot summer evening, 08/15/14.
PvHW: "A truly “royal” Kabinett with “royal” characteristics.
This “royal” “Kabinett“ is a true interpretation of its origin and
quality classification, as defined by the PRINZ VON HESSEN Estate. Under the careful
guidance of ambitious Winery Director Dr Clemens Kiefer and the young winemaker
Sascha Huber, this vibrant Kabinett is a new addition to the wine range that successfully
unites the house style of the Wine Estate and epitomises Riesling, lifting the Kabinett
category. Above all however, it exceeds the expectations of the consumer."

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very light greenish/yellow here, with clear edges.

Nose: Good nectarine and citrus aromas here, followed by some kerosene and white floral notes.

Palate: Very light in body as anticipated in this Kabinett German riesling, and almost completely dry in RS. Good citrus and tarter pitted fruit abound, with the same light notes of white flowers and kerosene from the nose, out into the refreshing finish. - 08/17/2014


Jun. 10, 2014 Santa Carolina Valle de Leyda Leyda Estate Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Thomas Collective, 09/05/13.
Drank with a beautiful catfish dinner by the Lady, 06/10/14.

VSC: "Appellation This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from our vineyards in the Leyda Valley. Cool sea breezes from the Pacific Ocean blow through this newly discovered wine region to counter-balance its otherwise dry climate. Its rolling hillsides are as close as 5 km (3 mi.) from the salty waters, and it is separated by the Coastal Range in the west, which leaves it isolated and makes it a unique place for viticulture. The cool conditions and long ripening periods make it an ideal place for Sauvignon Blanc, yielding wines with crisp and lean acidity. Winemaking
•Hand-harvested grapes.
•Harvest moment is decided by tasting (balance of aromas / acidity / concentration).
•Each lot in the vineyard is vinified separately.
•Blend of different lots and clones.
•Fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
•Natural settling. Tasting Note Color: yellow pale. Aromas: floral, mineral and fruity notes like grapefruit and peach. Palate: round with balanced acidity and persistent finish. Food Serving Suggestions Ideal to pair with seafood, ceviches and fresh salads with goat cheese. Serve at a temperature of 12°C / 54°F. Ageing Potential Drink now through the end of next year. Winemaker: Alejandro Wedeles"

  x $12
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Almost clear yellow, with clear edges.

Nose: Light lime and lemon citrus fruit here, slight hoppy aromas, then a bit of flint near the rim.

Palate: Extremely light-bodied, this shows off zesty citrus acidity, with a nice bit of flint and slight florals, but the rest of the wine is rather unconcentrated, leading to flashes of interest alongside imbalance. - 06/10/2014


Jun. 1, 2014 Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with a nice and light pasta dinner made by the Lady, 06/01/14.
RSV: "our story
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
History
Rod Strong was among the first modern wine pioneers with a vision to
plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. In 1968 he planted our heritage
River East Vineyard in the alluvial clay-loam soils adjacent to the winery in
Healdsburg. Today the Russian River Valley is well established as one of
the premier Pinot Noir growing regions in the world, and we continue to
rely on the original River East Vineyard as a core contributor to our estate
vineyard bottling.
The Vineyard
The 2012 vintage started off warm and dry, with little to no frost. By midsummer
people were beginning to whisper about how perfect the growing
season was going. Rain-free, warm days and cool nights were the rule,
with no storms or heat spikes. The real cheering started when the Pinot
Noir harvest began on September 12th and we picked the last of it on
September 29th.
tasting notes
Soft and silky, with intriguing rose petal and crushed pomegranate aromas,
this medium bodied wine was aged for 10 months in small French oak barrels,
which added a hint of toasty vanilla and spice complexity. Ideal for current
enjoyment, this Pinot Noir will age nicely over the next two to four years.
2012 PINOT NOIR
estate vineyards
Winemaker Rick Sayre
Alcohol 14.5%
TA 0.54 g/100 mL
pH 3.69
Appellation Russian River Valley
Sonoma County
Cellar &
Fermentation
10 months in 100%
French oak barrels"

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Lighter ruby core here, with very light ruby edges.

Nose: A beautiful nose here, elegant, with great rose petal floral notes and a light toast, followed by bright and beautiful cranberry, raspberry, and rhubarb fruit notes.

Palate: The elegance of this wine also continues here, with a light body, great bright acidity and very silky tannin and mouthfeel. The fruit is also very good, a bright and juicy raspberry and cranberry medley, finishing with a light toast, earth, and those floral notes from the nose. Good. - 06/01/2014


May. 30, 2014 Rodney Strong Northern Sonoma Knotty Vines Estate Zinfandel 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with an easy dinner made by the Lady, 05/30/14.
RSV: "OUR STORY
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
HISTORY
When Rod Strong first acquired benchland acreage on Westside Road just
behind the winery, he wisely chose to leave untouched the 15 acres of old,
gnarled Zinfandel vines that had been thriving there since 1904. Today we
still harvest Zinfandel from those same old vines, along with a handful of
vineyards we farm to the north in the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.
THE VINEYARD
The 2012 vintage started off warm and dry, with little to no frost. By midsummer
people were beginning to whisper about how perfect the growing
season was going. Rain-free warm days and cool nights were the rule, with
no storms or heat spikes. The real cheering began when we finally started
picking the fruit, beginning on August 27th; a full sixteen days earlier than
the year before. We harvested this Zinfandel in September under ideal,
rain free conditions.
TASTING NOTES
Fresh, bright berry fruit from our heritage Russian River vineyard
combined with the ripe peppery jamminess from our Alexander Valley and
Dry Creek vineyards make for a wonderful diversity of flavor showcasing
the best that Zinfandel can offer in one wine. Aging for 16 months in French
and American oak enhances the Zinfandel’s inherent spicy qualities, while
the ebullient fruit of this medium rich wine suggests enjoyment over the
next two to four years.
2012 ZINFANDEL
KNOTTY VINES ESTATE VINEYARDS
WINEMAKER Rick Sayre
ALCOHOL 15.0%
TA 0.58 g /100 mL
PH 3.85
APPELLATION Northern Sonoma
CELLAR &
FERMENTATION
16 months in French
and American
Oak barrels"

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Darker violet and ruby in the core, with violet edges.

Nose: Tarter cherry fruit here, with a touch of rhubarb and toast, then more deeper black and blue fruit near the rim.

Palate: A full-bodied wine here, but not over the top huge, by any means. Toasty blue and black fruit begins the fore-palate, then violet florals dominate the mid-. Bigger sweet toast follows into the chewy-tannin finish, with medium acidity to round things out a bit. Still young, with a little heat. - 05/30/2014


May. 30, 2014 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with an easy dinner made by the Lady, 05/30/14.
RSV: "our story
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
History
Rod Strong recognized the alexander Valley as an ideal place to grow
Cabernet Sauvignon as far back as 1971, when he planted our first Cabernet
vineyard on a hill known as alexander’s Crown. today we proudly farm
three different estate vineyards on the benches and hillsides above the
valley floor, where Cabernet displays the finest expression of the alexander
Valley terroir.
tHe Vineyard
the 2011 vintage started off cool and damp, but with little to no frost.
late rains continued until July, with almost two inches of rain in the month
of June. the end of the rainy season led to a cool weather pattern for most
of the summer, with average high temperatures around 80 degrees for both
July and august. the heat finally returned in September, with one six day
stretch of temperatures in the 90s, exactly what the vintage needed.
We harvested the last of our estate Cabernet Sauvignon on october
26th under ideal conditions.
tasting notes
the alexander Valley signature style is evident in this delicious Cabernet:
bold fruit aromas and flavors centered on red plum, boysenberry, and
a rich, mouth filling texture with soft tannins; all of which we’ve framed
in the finest oak barrels for just over 17 months. enjoy over the next three
to six years.
2011 cabernet sauVignon
eState VineyaRdS
Winemaker Rick Sayre
alcohol 14.5%
Ta 0.57 g/100 ml
ph 3.69
appellaTion alexander Valley
cellar &
FermenTaTion
17 mmonths in
predominantly french
oak barrels "

  x $28
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Dark garnet core, garnet edges.

Nose: Good, dusty black cherry here, with toast and good ripeness, overall.

Palate: Full and smooth, this wine has finer, dusty tannin and medium acid to go with the dark cherry fruit and toast, that remains full out into the flinty and pencil lead finish. Good. - 05/30/2014


May. 29, 2014 Rodney Strong Northern Sonoma Charlotte's Home Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with a nice light seafood dinner made by the Lady, 05/29/14.
RSV: "History: Rod Strong established our heritage Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in 1971, naming it Charlotte’s home in honor of his wife. today that vineyard remains the core of our Charlotte’s home Sauvignon Blanc, along with
other select estate vineyards in alexander valley as well as russian river valley."

  x $17
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: lighter yellow green in the core, with clear edges.

Nose: A touch of toast comes in at first, then good and very bright grapefruit, pineapple, and light vanilla come nicely into the fore.

Palate: Zesty acidity starts everything off very fresh and clean here, filled with grapefruit, lime, happily brightening up this light-bodied, yet still round wine. Tart green apple has a small appearance in the mid-palate, then it finishes with a hint of vanilla and very juicy citrus fruit, with a small zing of saline minerality. Good. - 05/29/2014


May. 13, 2014 Wente Vineyards Arroyo Seco Reliz Creek Heritage Block Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2010

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Balzac 02/12/14.
Drank with a mildly spicy Asian meal by the Lady, 05/13/14.
WV: "Appellation: Arroyo Seco, Monterey
Winemaker: Karl D. Wente
Alcohol: 14.50%
Vineyard:
Since the early 1960’s, Wente Vineyards has been growing Pinot Noir in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey. This wine was named after the creek that runs through the Estate vineyards. Arroyo Seco is the ideal region to grow this Burgundian varietal because of the long, cool growing season, which allows the grapes to fully ripen and develop deep fruit flavors. The gravelly-loam soils found here, rich with shale and limestone deposits, impart desirable earthy and mineral qualities to the wine. There are several blocks dating back to 1963, which are planted with the old Pommard and Martini clones. Neighboring these are much more recent, high-density plantings that include a variety of new clones. All of the fruit is hand picked and sorted.

Fermentaion:
This wine was fermented in upright stainless steel tanks and gently pumped over twice daily.

Aging:
This wine was aged for 20 months in a combination of French, Eastern European and neutral oak barrels."

  x $28
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Darker ruby core, with medium ruby edges.

Nose: A little bit of black olive in the beginning here, leads into a darker, riper pinot nose of dried rhubarb and deep black cherry.

Palate: Medium to fuller here in the palate, then that same deep blacker fruit flows over the mid-palate with some slight dust of fine tannin and good balanced acidity. This is a plusher, silky pinot that still has plenty of life despite the bit of age that is now on this wine. - 05/13/2014


Statistics for Drxeno

Total wines logged: 2646

Varieties: 337

Number of wines in cellar: 108 (112 bottles)

Number of Notes: 2489

Number of Comments: 2504

Average rating: 3.5

Favorites: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay

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