December 2006
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Month December 2006

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 1997 Vintage Champagne – 9.6 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 1997 Vintage Champagne is a bliss in delight. Delamotte is very hard to find in the US and less known in the US  but is a venerated label and house in France.  This Champagne, a vintage, is a Blanc de Blancs and quite simply is a gift of the planet to those fortunate to have their lips purse this wondrous nectar.  This Blanc de Blancs is a dream like experience of subtle almond, bread baking, a hint of passion fruit, green apple and minerals in a stream.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

A Note on Wine Prices & Retailer – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A note on wine prices and sources; I will denote wine prices and / or sources where possible.  Sometimes I do not track the purchase price or I simply forgot where I made the purchase. Also, I attend a lot of wine tastings and do not make a purchase. If I cite a wine retailer I would contact them directly for availability and latest prices (price can and do change).

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Mas Malbec Mendoza – 2005 – 7.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

When Mas is less–Mas Malbec that is–I was delighted to taste Mas but I found an immediate disappointment. The disappointment was a synthetic cork I knew my experience was not going to be what I had expected. I can taste the synth cork and its interaction with wine. The notes were muted and lessened what could have been a good bottle of wine. The wine exhibited cherry, boysenberry and slight toffee notes.

Price: $11.00 – Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Margarett’s Vineyard California Chardonnay – 2005 – 8.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This is a very nice bottle of California Chardonnay.  Perfectly oaked–this has some spirited notes pineapple, Fuji apple, and hint of nutmeg and Allspice.

Price at Tasting: $6.99 – Purchased from: K&L Wine Merchants

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Valentin Bianchi Famiglia Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon – Argentina – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This is a bold and well balanced wine;  from initial to final taste this wine never looses its intense energy.  Notes: Eucalyptus, bramble, anisette, and plum.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Los Vascos Colchagua Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 2004 – 8.7 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This Cabernet Sauvignon is inky but lacked a boldness and character can be expect from this varietal; lots of vanilla not much in terms in spice or other deep red fruit or other specific notes.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Bodega Catena Alta Mendoza Chardonnay – 2005 – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A very dependable Chardonnay and a lovely oak but not overly oaked Chardonnay. There are notes of rich apple, luxuriant nutmeg, Comice pear: a pleasing wine.

¡

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Bodegas Caro Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec – 2002 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Malbec is a wonderfully versatile wine to enjoy with food or as a stand-alone wine. The qualities of each varietal show through well and did not obstruct the strong flavour profile of the other: this is a very difficult balancing act to do. This bottle of wine has scented and dusted pepper; lush late fall blackberries and ample wood and earth notes.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Champagne & Sparkling; Tis the Season and Each Season is the Right Time – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Champagne and Sparkling is thought of as only a very special occasion wine–maybe a once possibly twice a year wine to celebrate.  But you should think of Champagne or sparkling once a week wine to imbibe.  It is a wine that deserves your attention and for good reason: it is a celebratory wine but also a wine that marks your milestone: the milestone of living each and every day.  Our challenges in life are often great and exhausting. And it is something we owe to ourselves a reward that is un-paralleled.

I don’t think most people understand what Champagne and sparkling wine truly represent–it is something more than a fizzy wine.  Instead there are many great traditions and styles and experiences to partake.  There is no such thing as one kind of Champagne.  Sometimes Champagne is called Champagne when in fact it is wine from outside of the Champagne region. All sparkling wines pay homage to Champagne.  Some people think that Champagne is a grape or anything that fizzes.  Champagne and sparkling wines have improved greatly in the past one hundred years.  If someone were to transport to the future from France… someone who was a Champagne drinker would find our styles quite dry.  I would like to think that they would find our styles vastly improved; more dynamic and quality improved. I am not a big white wine fan but I always find the possibility of a glass of Blanc de Blanc Champagne sheer delight.
Champagne and sparkling are one of the two most difficult wines to make (the other–Sherry or vino de Jerez or Xeres). Most people know and enjoy Brut – a prototypical sparkling wine that is often associated with Champagne but others have adopted that name as well – Cavas and California sparkling wines. Brut is composed of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier and all vintners’ style their wines to what they believe will optimize the wine that will be consumed.  Brut is dry but not the driest. The driest style is Extra Brut which should not be confused with Extra Dry; Extra Dry is a bit sweeter than Brut. Then there is a Demi-sec style which is sometimes called Cremant which should not be confused with other sparkling wines in France outside of Champagne called Cramant. Then there is Rose Champagnes easily the most difficult of all Champagnes to produce and one of the most highly regarded. The sparkling wines in Spain are referred to Cava but utilize different grapes; and sparkling wines in Italy are referred to Prosecco. California has a number of French wine houses that have taken on a California wine persona: Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, Iron Horse, Piper Sonoma, Roeder Estates, Mumm Napa. There are a few homespun sparkling wineries in California of note: Schramsberg is one of the standouts.
Australia produces a few white sparklers but is more famous for their red sparkling wines: sparklng Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir (not to be confused with a Rose); Australians produce a large number of cases of which a few come to the US. It is an impressive wine that pairs so well with fall and winter foods but also year round when you want an extra special wine experience.
For the more adventurous try a sparkling Riesling or Pinot Meunier – they are good wines in their own right.
And for those truly milestone occasions be sure to have a vintage Champagne ready to celebrate; a vintage Champagne is a true nectar of the Gods; more on Champagne and sparkling wines later.

¡Salud!

***

Now, more than 700 wine reviews. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2009 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved

Majella Coonawara Sparkling Shiraz – 8.7 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Sparkling Shiraz is always an exciting wine for Fall and holiday dinners. There is nothing like serving a sparkling red wine; minor in fizz but high in uniqueness and flavour and presentation; I am a fan of sparkling red wines and no one has created such a vast array of lovely red sparkling wines like the Australians.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy