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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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Apr. 23, 2015 Salinas Alicante 1237

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Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Dark ruby core, with ruby edges.

Nose: Big dark toast here, still a long ways to integrate. Big deep and rich black and red fruit medley, earth underneath.

Palate: Very full and smooth mouthfeel here with great acidity to brighten that weight. Finest tannin, menthol and black berry fruit here, deep toast and earth, with air continues to open up and deepen in complexity. Quite good, needs time: KeeperWK. - 04/24/2015


Apr. 23, 2015 Mira Salinas Alicante

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Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium garnet core, ruby edges.

Nose: Very brambly red fruit here, quite bright, not as complex as 2010.

Palate: Salted chocolate here, bright red fruit that has some toasted black fruit underneath. Bigger tannin here, but wine is not as complex and elegant as 2010. - 04/24/2015


Apr. 23, 2015 Mira Salinas Alicante

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Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Dark garnet core, dark garnet edges.

Nose: Dark plummy fruit here, with toast, dark chocolate and hazelnut and a bit of flint.

Palate: Good dark red and black plum fruit here as well, savory flinty earth, coating fine tannin, saline finish into toasted and earthy finish with good acid. Good and needs a few years of age: KeeperWK. - 04/24/2015


Apr. 23, 2015 Puerto Salinas Alicante Tinto

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Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Deeper ruby here with bright highlights.

Nose: Much brighter red fruit here, with some garden herbs as well, light toast underneath.

Palate: Very juicy here, with cool dark chocolate toast and oak underneath, bright and dark black fruit dominates the finish and pairs with the very coating chalky tannin. - 04/24/2015


Apr. 22, 2015 Puerto Salinas Alicante Tinto

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Personal Notes

Wines tasted during private tastings at the bodegas, during our #OleWinos Wine Blogger media trip to MG Wines Group's portfolio of wineries across Spain in March 2015. The trip was courtesy of MG Wines Group and Kraynick Consulting.
BSS: ""

  x $13
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Bright ruby core here, with ruby edges.

Nose: Deep and ripe cherry here, with a kind of a flinty and earthy streak running through it.

Palate: Very savory and good intro here, almost salty, then cool and smooth deep cherry fruit comes in, fine coating tannin, into savory black fruited juicer finish with integrating toast. Good: QPRWK. - 04/22/2015


Apr. 22, 2015 Mo Alicante Monastrell

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Personal Notes

Wines tasted during private tastings at the bodegas, during our #OleWinos Wine Blogger media trip to MG Wines Group's portfolio of wineries across Spain in March 2015. The trip was courtesy of MG Wines Group and Kraynick Consulting.
BSS: "

  x $9
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Darker garnet and violet core, with dark garnet edges.

Nose: Violet floral notes with more herbal notes in nose, then darker cherry notes closer to the rim.

Palate: Good spicy and peppery cherry and anise here, with bright acidity and some toasted notes into the finish, with chewier coating tannin. - 04/22/2015


Apr. 21, 2015 Puerto Salinas Alicante Blanco

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Personal Notes

Wines tasted during private tastings at the bodegas, during our #OleWinos Wine Blogger media trip to MG Wines Group's portfolio of wineries across Spain in March 2015. The trip was courtesy of MG Wines Group and Kraynick Consulting.
BSS: "Oak aging on the 70% chardonnay, moscatel is medium berry size native to here from Romans."

  x $14
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Lighter canary core, clearer edges.

Nose: Very floral and pitted peach and pear fruit nose, light lemon notes as well.

Palate: Good juicy peach and pear here too, then some juicy lemon/lime acidity in the mid-palate out to the finish, with white floral notes. Good and refreshing. - 04/22/2015


Apr. 15, 2015 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Stepping Stone Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery, 03/22/15.
Drank during dinner with the Lady on Tax Day, 04/15/15.
CC: "VINTAGE2012
VARIETALBold Red Wine
APPELLATIONNapa Valley
ACID0.560 g/100mL
PH3.87
AGINGAging: 18 months in French Bordeaux oak barrels, 50% new
ALCOHOL %14.7
Black Label
A gentle and harmonious wine exhibiting a fresh, vibrant nose, generously laced with rich red and black berry fruit, subtle barrel spices with a touch of savory dried herbs to add further nuance and complexity.

Sourced from four outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard sites, each adding a unique personality, this Cabernet Sauvignon highlights the complexity and diversity of winegrowing in the Napa Valley which is the secret to its silky textures and rich balance. From the vibrant sophistication and refined clarity of South Napa and Yountville which seamlessly blend with the bold, earthy aromatics and tannic structure of Oakville, to the muscular, dense and concentrated fruit of Howell Mountain. All balanced harmoniously with precise additions of Carneros Merlot for added mid-palate richness and St. Helena Cabernet Franc for its lively inner-mouth e!nergy and aromatic lift.

A gentle and harmonious wine exhibiting a fresh, vibrant nose, generously laced with rich red and black berry fruit, subtle barrel spices with a touch of savory dried herbs to add further nuance and complexity. A youthful, energetic, high-toned palate reveals a deep core of layered berry fruits, broadening further to uncover depth and velvety tannins that flow seamlessly, growing in volume as the wine flows to a lingering finish with a vibrantly balanced acidity. Drinking beautifully now with all its elegance and finesse this enthusiastic wine will grow and evolve and become even more delicious.

Production Notes
92% Cabernet Sauvignon: Kairos Vineyard, Napa Valley. Oakville Station, Oakville. Ink Grade Vineyard, Howell Mountain. Williams Vineyard, Yountville. 5.5% Merlot: Stewart Ranch Vineyard, Carneros. 2.5% Cabernet Franc: Talcott Vineyard, St. Helena.
Production
1265 cases of 12 x 750 mL / 30 bottles of 1.5 L"

  x $45
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very dark garnet in the core with violet highlights, darker garnet edges.

Nose: Deeper cedar box toast starts things off, with a touch of butter, then deeper and ripe black cherry comes in to envelope the glass.

Palate: Full, with a smoothness that is still integrating even smoother at this young age, this wine features deep and dark black and red fruits of cherry, blackberry, and black currants. Dark chocolate, medium fine tannin and oak toast also abound, with a nice anise herbalness into the bigger and juicier finish, featuring just a little buttered popcorn. - 04/16/2015


Mar. 6, 2015 Paul Dolan Vineyards Potter Valley - Mendocino County Pinot Noir 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Balzac Communications, 09/08/14.
Drank with dinner at home, 03/04/15.
PDV: "2012 Pinot Noir
Mendocino County
Paul Dolan Vineyards is located in the heart of Mendocino
County, Northern California, a secluded land of rich
biological diversity and unique microclimates. Grapes
are sourced from meticulously tended vineyards, and our
balanced winemaking practices support each bottling’s
expression of terroir for wines of unforgettable character.
Harvested from Mendocino County’s famed Pinot Noir
regions, this wine exemplifies classic varietal expression
with bright strawberry-rhubarb flavors accented by
elegant aromas of leather and sweet cocoa dust.
Vineyards..........100% Potter Valley, Mendocino County
Cooperage .......Aged 16 months in new and seasoned
oak barrels
Alcohol ............13.5%
TA .........................0.53
pH.........................3.79
Bottled .............March 2014
Cases..................2000
Certification ...Made with organically grown grapes
Certified Organic by C.C.O.F."

  x $30
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium to darker garnet density and color in the core, with ruby edges.

Nose: Big earth, drier leather, red plum, and black cherry liqueur in the nose, seems more like syrah.

Palate: Fuller in the palate, this lower-acidity wine also comes off as syrah, in fact tasted blind, I would have been sure of it. All that earthy, leathery savory notes are big here on the palate too, with that same dark, very ripe, cherry liqueur fruit also present. Does not seem like a pinot. - 03/07/2015


Mar. 2, 2015 Scharffenberger Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2007

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Personal Notes

Tasted at the winery/tasting room, during our weekend media stay at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley, January of 2015. Stay courtesy of Chalkboard Communications.
SC: "The 2007 Pinot Noir is a blend of nine Clones from Perkins-Clark, Dach-Pinoli, Stollorz, Esther-Clark, Navarro Fairhills and Redwood Grove Vineyards.
Color: Ruby.
Aromas: Complex, spicy black fruit, balanced with French oak vanilla.
Mouth: Fleshy with balanced acidity, medium body and soft tannins.
100% de-stemmed fruit
Manual punching down
20% Cold maceration
100% Malolactic fermentation
Aged 11 months French oak (20% new)
Light filtration to bottle
Alcohol:"

  x $N/A
Tasting Notes
& Comments


Color: Medium garnet in the color, with light-orange edges and light to-medium in density.

Nose: Great earthy, ripe, drier red fruit here with tarter rhubarb and some dried cola notes.

Palate: Light-bodied, this is pretty silky in the mouth with smoke, some chalky notes, and tart cranberry fruit. The finish goes juicier, with more smoke finishing it off. Good, more time left: OldWorldWK. - 03/03/2015


Mar. 2, 2015 Scharffenberger Mendocino County Excellence Brut Rosé NV

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Personal Notes

Tasted at the winery/tasting room, during our weekend media stay at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley, January of 2015. Stay courtesy of Chalkboard Communications.
SC: "Scharffenberger Cellars was founded in 1981 with the commitment to the making of ultra premium sparkling wines, which are today established among America’s finest.
WINEMAKING
Scharffenberger Rosé is made by the traditional méthode champenoise process – the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. Most of the base wines underwent malolactic fermentation which softens and rounds out the blend. The grapes are sourced from our vineyards in the Anderson Valley as well as other premium quality vineyards in Mendocino County with whom we have long term contracts. This type of vineyard selection allows us to choose from the best vineyards in the area which enables us to produce our trademark cuvée.
WINEMAKER NOTES
Pale salmon hue with integrated aromas of fresh raspberry jam and wild strawberries on a cream- covered pastry base. The flavors are layered, round, fresh, fruity and long.
Blend: 50% Pinot noir (4.5% red wine) / 50% Chardonnay
En Tirage: Two years on the yeast.
Titratable Acidity: 0.75
pH: 3.26
Residual Sugar: 1%
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 2900 cases
The Mytik Diamant closure is an agglomerated sparkling wine closure made from cork particles that are of smaller size than that of traditional sparkling wine closures. These smaller particles allow for a better cleaning and removal of potential organoleptic contaminants, using carbon dioxide in its “supercritical form”. That is the state is which the CO2 is in between its liquid and gaseous phases. This transitory state gives the CO2 both the extraction powers of the liquid phase and the penetration powers of the gaseous phase. Supercritical CO2 is widely used for applications such as the extraction of caffeine from coffee and the; extraction of aromas from plant material for perfume; extraction of bitterness from hop in beer making; dry cleaning; etc.
The other difference is that the Mytik closure is made without the 2 natural cork disks of the traditional closure, thus eliminating another risk of quality/sensory variation.
We have been conducting trials with this new closure since 2004 and have been consistently happy with the results. We chose this closure for the Rosé because we feel it will help protect the delicate fruity aromas of the wine and prevent variations in bouquet from one bottle to the next."

  x $23
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Beautiful light coral in color, with a tighter bead.

Nose: Beautiful bright cherry fruit here, with blood orange citrus notes and light fruit blossom florals.

Palate: Great blood orange acidity here, with tarter cherry as well, alongside a rounder mouthfeel and finishing with vibrant acidity. Good. - 03/03/2015


Feb. 25, 2015 Scharffenberger Mendocino County Blanc de Blancs 2007

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Personal Notes

Tasted at the winery/tasting room, during our weekend media stay at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley, January of 2015. Stay courtesy of Chalkboard Communications.
SC: "SCHARFFENBERGER CELLARS
2007 BLANC DE BLANCS
Scharffenberger Cellars was founded in 1981 with the commitment to the making of ultra premium sparkling wines, which are today established among America’s finest.
WINEMAKING
Scharffenberger 2007 Blanc de Blancs is made by the traditional méthode champenoise process – whereby the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. The blend is 100% Chardonnay, 100% cuvée juice. Half the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, which softens and rounds out the blend. The grapes are sourced from our vineyards in the Anderson Valley as well as other premium quality vineyards in Mendocino County with whom we have long term contracts. This type of vineyard selection allows us to choose from the best vineyards in the area which enables us to produce our trademark cuvée.
WINEMAKER NOTES
Appearance: Pale straw, fine bead
Nose: Toasty, vanilla cream, fresh peach/lemon citrus
Palate: Creamy, peach pastry, long and round
En Tirage: 5+ years on the yeast.
Titratable Acidity: 0.9
pH: 3.15
Residual Sugar: 0.8%
Alcohol: 12%
Production: 513 cases"

  x $N/A
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very pale yellow in color, with a robust mousse and bead that is medium in size.

Nose: Great, light citrus here of lemon, with lemon floral notes.

Palate: Very clean palate here, with more lemon alongside good minerality. They are balanced by lighter toasty notes and lime citrus out to the juicy nectarine and toasted finish. - 02/26/2015


Feb. 25, 2015 Domaine Anderson Anderson Valley Rosé of Pinot 2013

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Personal Notes

Tasted at the winery/tasting room, during our weekend media stay at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley, January of 2015. Stay courtesy of Chalkboard Communications.
RE: "297 cases"

  x $20
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very pale coral.

Nose: Very bright, almost candied cherry and strawberry aromas here.

Palate: Very light-bodied palate, with candied cherry here as well, but not sweet, and balanced by the light citrus acidity in the clean finish. - 02/26/2015


Feb. 24, 2015 Elizabeth Chambers Cellar Willamette Valley Winemaker's Cuvée Pinot Noir 2011

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Gregory White PR 02/12/14. Drank with a winter dinner, 02/24/15.
ECC: "92 Points & Editors Choice, Wine Enthusiast, 2014

Tasting Notes

This cuvée epitomizes the winery’s Pinot Noir style – a preference for balanced oak, softer tannins, and fully ripened, but delicate fruit flavors. 2011 was characterized by even ripeness, with fruit selected from Freedom Hill Vineyard and Lazy River Vineyard. A beautiful wine characterized by darker fruit, notably red cherries, as well as sweeter notes of black licorice and sassafras.
Vineyard Notes

Freedom Hill Vineyard & Lazy River Vineyard
Pairings

Grilled salmon
Ratings

92 Points, Wine Enthusiast, August 2014
Awards

Wine Enthusiast Editors Choice, August 2014
Wine Information

Vintage 2011
Varietal 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation Willamette Valley
Acid 5.1 g/L
PH 3.79
Aging 18 months in barrel
Ageability Now through 2020
Alcohol % 13.3"

  x $32
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium in density, clear, slightly burnished garnet with its four years of age.

Nose: Smoky and earthy red fruit of cherry, cranberry, and tart raspberry make up this very inviting nose, complete with integrating toasted oak.

Palate: Very good here as well, with great balanced acidity, to accompany the earthy, floral red fruit of drier cranberry, red cherry fruit, along with dried red currants. Silky mouthfeel and tannin out to the toasted, tea leaf, finish: NewWorldWK. - 02/25/2015


Feb. 20, 2015 Roederer Estate Anderson Valley L'Ermitage 2005

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Personal Notes

Tasted at the winery/tasting room, during our weekend media stay at Lula Cellars in Anderson Valley, January of 2015. Stay courtesy of Chalkboard Communications.
RE: "52% Ch, 48% PN, 789 cases"

  x $98
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very big mousse here, with a light canary color and extremely fine bead.

Nose: Brighter white pitted fruit and dried citrus right of the bat, then some light toastiness near the rim.

Palate: Big mousse here as well, with that bouncing tight bead on the tongue. Fruit is a mix of fresh and dried green apple and citrus, alongside white raisin, bready toast, and nice florals out into the refreshing finish. Good: OldWorldWK. - 02/20/2015


Statistics for Drxeno

Total wines logged: 2674

Varieties: 338

Number of wines in cellar: 108 (112 bottles)

Number of Notes: 2513

Number of Comments: 2532

Average rating: 3.5

Favorites: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay

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