The North American Report

The North American Report


The new vintage of Harper Voit Pinot Blanc is here. For the fans of the 2012 the new vintage will not disappoint. Drew Voit is the former winemaker and vineyard manager of Shea Cellars. Drew is now focusing on his own wines, making small amounts of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are only 300 cases of the new Pinot Blanc. With a little over 200 acres of Pinot Blanc planted in the Willamette Valley there is not a lot of Pinot Blanc around. Drew sources fruit from two vineyards: Amity Vineyard in Eola Amity Hills and Meredith Mitchell in McMinnville. The wine is barrel fermented in used French oak and aged surlie. Pinot Blanc will not blow you away with a powerful nose (like a Chardonnay or Viognier), but they can be exceptionally aromatic and very interesting.  Reflecting the beautiful vintage, the fruit quality of the wine is bright, accompanied by laser-like acidity, honeyed aromatics, a savory, complex mid-palate showing good stone fruit, and a lengthy, saline, crisp and clean finish.

$17.98 750ml [228510] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



While the Twomey wines were started by the owners of Silver Oak, Twomey was fast-tracked to create its own identity.  Well, judging by the fact that we have sold out of their wines each and every year, we think it’s a success!  In our opinion, the Pinot Noirs have been the highlight of each year’s release, and with 2012 being a vintage of amazing quality, we don’t expect this to be around for long!  The fruit comes from Twomey’s own Momument Tree Vineyard, as well as Ferrington Vineyard.  Both vineyards have naturally low yields and are sustainably farmed!  Aged in 50% new French oak for 12 months, this is a complex wine that combines the bright acidity of western Anderson Valley with the riper fruit characteristics of Boonville, showing a dark cherry-red color and a nose of rose petals, very ripe strawberries, cut hay and toffee.  It has a juicy entry followed by a creamy texture and a hint of minerality on the finish.  With proper cellaring, this wine will give drinking pleasure through 2023.

$42.98 750ml [275022] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Each and every year, Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon is regarded as one of the finest red wines to come out of Napa Valley.  Their wines are held in high esteem and are sought after by many collectors, connoisseurs and sommeliers-- and last year’s released earned a perfect 100-point score!  Organically farmed for more than a quarter century, Spottswoode’s Estate Vineyard lies on the western side of St. Helena, in the northern part of the Napa Valley.  The soils are alluvial clay loam, and provide good water drainage, which makes the berries smaller and concentrates flavors.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Spottswoode’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is beautiful, immediate and impeccable in its balance. The 2011 doesn’t have the layered, explosive personality of some of the iconic vintages, but it isn’t too far off that level. Spottswoode fans should drink the 2011 relatively early, while some of the more powerful, structured vintages age. I will not be surprised if the 2011 turns out to be one of the jewels of this vintage. The medium-bodied structure argues for early drinking, but there is more than enough energy and acidity to suggest the 2011 will age gracefully for a number of years. Incidentally, the 2011 is the first Spottswoode Cabernet under 14% in a decade. Once again, the winemaking team led by Aron Weinkauf has done a fabulous job. The 2011 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petite Verdot. Drinking window: 2015 - 2026.”

$150.00 750ml [277490] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
$315.00 1500ml [262615] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Last year, Prisoner Wine Company released two new wines, one of which was a Cabernet Sauvignon-based red named Cuttings.  That 2011 was absolutely a tremendous success, and we are pleased to announce that the 2012 has just landed!  Made from the same vineyard sources as last year, this year they added fruit from Stagecoach Vineyard, one of the more sought-after properties in the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley!  Aged in 40% new oak for 14 months, the wine has an intense and alluring aroma of ripe plum reduction layered with baking spices, hints of cocoa powder and cigar box.  The palate is velvety and dense with flavors of black cherry, cola and freshly roasted coffee beans.  Soft tannins evolve into a plush and lengthy finish.

$54.95 750ml [245010] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Back in 1978, Ric Forman made the decision; that decision was to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in amounts small enough so that he could personally be as meticulous as he felt necessary, without anybody getting in his way.  Pretty much since his first vintage, his wines have been hard to get, with the majority of his wines being sold directly off his mailing list.  We have typically received a small allocation, and this typically sells out within a few months, but before it does, we felt the need to let you know about this gem, even if it will be gone in a short amount of time!  A passion for a more austere Chablis style from this noble grape has been Ric’s goal for more than 36 years.  This Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed and exclusively fermented in Burgundy barrels.  Left sur lie for 7 months (aged on the dead yeast cells, common in Burgundy), the wine is only racked once during its 9 months of barrel aging, with the secondary fermentation intentionally inhibited.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Ric Forman’s 2012 Chardonnay jumps from the glass with bright lemon, mint, crushed rocks, citrus and slate. As always, the Forman style is all about cut, focus and energy. At times, the Chardonnay is Meursault inflected, with tons of white stone fruits, pears, crushed rocks and pure energy. Readers who enjoy bright, chiseled Chardonnays will adore the 2012. The 2012 spent seven months on its lees, and the malo was blocked, in classic Forman style.”

$41.98 750ml [262605] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Linne Calodo & Slacker

Back in the mid-1990s, there were a few young bucks that were about to do their part to put Paso Robles into the limelight that this region so justly deserved.  One of these people was the forward-thinking Mat Trevisan.  He grows grapes, makes wines and fosters an environment that shies away from traditional rigidity that can be the norm for other wineries.  All his wines are blends, and while there is a certain preference for each wine’s individual style, he is not afraid to change the blend when he feels it will make the wine better.  In any given year, Matt crafts seven to ten blends using a myriad of varietals: Rhône, Zinfandel as well as other esoteric varietals from around the world.

The winery’s name of Linne Calodo comes from the specific type of soil on the property, which defines the percentage of limestone and chalk in the soil.  The Linne Calodo wines are driven by four factors: vineyard location, uncompromising viticultural practices, minimalist winemaking and the desire to learn from experience. The vineyards are farmed sustainably and the crop loads reflect the natural balance of the vine.  Linne Calodo believes in harvesting at the peak of ripeness to produce wines that are rich and concentrated in both flavor and texture.

In addition, they have now introduced a new lineup of wines called Slacker!  In 2003, Linne Calodo’s first vintage of Slacker was born and through 2010 continued to be a portfolio staple until they totally slacked and forgot to make it again.  The ethos of Slacker was always described by winemaker Matt Trevisan as, “wine representing not only the winemaker, but the idea that wines should be fun and relaxed.”  Forever akin to the Slacker lifestyle, they decided to bring back the Slacker name in a much more appropriate way.  Now its own label, Trevisan crafted two fun blends that showcase his ability to constantly keep creating and pioneering the exciting possibilities of the Paso Robles wine region.  These are small production wines that sell out quickly each and every year, so get on it fast! 



A blend of 47% Syrah, 38% Grenache, and 15% Mourvedre, the 2012 Professional Slacker is a Hero wine.  Delicate notes of cinnamon, allspice, and West Paso sage lead to a flavor explosion of bright plum encased in slightly toasted pie crust.  The subtle acidity of this wine makes it refreshing and enjoyable in a variety of situations.  Pull a cork at the end of a hard day; pull a cork to cheer up your SLACKER friends.  This wine is anything but a SLACKER!

$47.95 750ml [265800] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



A blend of 38% Tempranillo, 28% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre, and 12% Tannat, the 2012 Slacker Stereotype is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  The first Tempranillo-driven wine that Linne Calodo has produced, this wine is rich and lush.  This wine has a velvety palate with hints of boysenberry jam, a deep ruby color, and a charismatic presence.  While the blend is an homage to the magnificent Spanish blends, this wine is entire Californian in style!  Enjoy with your friends and see if they can pick the varietals; there is nothing STEREOTYPICAL here!

$47.95 750ml [265810] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



A blend of 77% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 11% Grenache, this is a gorgeous wine that tells the story of pursuit. A 100% estate wine that starts its life in concrete, whole cluster Syrah is co-fermented with Grenache and Mourvèdre. Left on the skins for 35 days, the wine exhibits dark complexities of fig, licorice, cassis, raspberry, boysenberry, cure meats, and dried sage.  Rich, juicy, full-bodied, and definitely full-throttle, this is only the second vintage of this wine, and Matt believes it’s a wine with this structure will last for a decade or more!

$67.95 750ml [277950] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Red wines are the primary focus for Linne Calodo, but contrary to popular belief, Linne Calodo does produce an amazing white wine.  There’s just so little of it that it usually sells out before it hits the shelf!  Here, Matt sticks with white Rhône varietals, blending together 57% Grenache Blanc, 20% Picpoul Blanc, 14% Viognier and 9% Roussanne.  The first two varietals bring fresh, lively, and zippy notes, while the Viognier brings aromatics, and the Roussanne weight.  You end up with a wine that’s got more body than a Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s not quite as heavy as a Chardonnay.  This wine is extremely aromatic, with a bouquet and flavors of honeysuckle, acacia flowers, pears, flint apple, and citrus.  Medium- to full-bodied, yet fresh, clean and amazing, this might be one of the best white wines to come out of Paso Robles!

$47.95 750ml [277930] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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