See that little logo to the right?  Notice the CLIF name and image?  That’s right, those crazy people that essentially created the energy bar are back and they are in bottle!  I was so excited when I recieved these wines, because several blogger friends had already had the opportunity to sample them and were raving.

First, a little back story.  The Clif Bar Company began in 1992 for the passion of Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford, who were striving to create nutritious, organic foods & drinks.  I personally love Luna Bars, and spent many a breakfast in my car with a very large coffee and a bar as I battled traffic down to Silly Cone Valley in years past.  From this passion for food, a natural progression was made to a passion for wine in 1997 when Gary & Kit bought a farmstead in Napa where they could raise animals, and maybe plant a few vines.  Fast forward to 2010 (or 2009 if I were more effective at timely drinking) and we have Clif Family Winery & Farm.

I love the message that the Clif Familyprojects, one of balance and joie de vivre, as we are reminded to slow it down and enjoy life.  Their goal, and one very close to my heart, is to create unique, regionally specific wine and foods that use careful management of the land, including organic growing techniques.  on the farm, locally gorwn foods and the support of family farms raises turkey and chickens as well as fruits and vegetables.  There are some historic 85 year old olive trees on the farm, and recently more were planted.  Soon, we will have delicious extra virgin olive oil to pair with theh wines!  The farm runs 100% on bio-diesel, and all of the produce is 100% organic, with a CCOF certification.

While the wine is currently not made from estate fruit, the future plan is to be 100% organically sourced fruit from the Farm.  Meanwhile, the wine is made from sourced fruit by Sarah Gott, who rose to fame at Joseph Phelps and Quintessa, before starting her own label with her husband, Joel Gott.  Being  a rockstar winemaker has its perks, and she is now a consulting winemaker at several NapaValley wineries.

The first wine i am trying from Clif Family is the 2006 Gary’s Improv Syrah.  On the nose I found black pepper, blue and black berries.  In the mouth, the rich aromas are followed by a juicy mouthful of ripe plums, dark red fruit, and currants followed by bittersweet chocolate and espresso.  It’s medium body is a refreshing style of syrah, in the French tradition, as it is not a big meat grinder, but rather a juicy, nicely balanced, food friendly wine.  On the finish, there is a touch of black licorice, and just a hint of smoked meat.  This is a great syrah for dinner and at $35 I suggest you go find some.  that is a BUY in my book.  Like now.

These wines were graciously provided by Clif Family Winery.  Clif Bars were not included, but how does one pair energy bars with wine anyway?  Although there’s a thought.

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