August 2008
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Month August 2008

The Eyrie Vineyards Dundee Hills Pinot Gris Estate Estate – 2006 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

The quintessential Pinot Gris from Oregon; this is a sophisticated, luxuriant and delicate Pinot Gris; formidable in character and yet boldly confident.   The wine exhibits white rose, Passion fruit, gold Kiwi and Marcona almond.  A completely competent, solid and amazing wine.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Slow Food Nation Wine Pavilion – Ft. Mason, San Francisco – August 30, 2008 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Slow Food Nation reached out to the wine and spirits world for the tasting at Ft. Mason.  I went to the Sustainable wine bar upon doors open.  I was curious what was being presented and how it was being presented.

The wine bar had two section; the first section had guided wine tastings from regions like Mendocino and specific producers.

The aim and goal is to present wines that are biodynamic and organic and have a relationship to the slow food movement and to give color and experience to the event participant.

Given the space at Ft. Mason – one of the exhibition piers was filled to brim with educational exhibits so for the this tasting was a brave concept.  Reds were numbered 1 through 259, and the Rosé and whites 260 through 427; and sparkling and meads 428 through 454.

Everyone queued up to to each line; I would have suggested sparkling, white and rose and then red wines.  So one would have to go in the middle back to the beginning if you wanted to sequence your tasting properly.  There are no water pitcher or dump buckets so I you wanted to rinse you could end up with an un-intentional rose; and with no dump buckets in sight one could fill up quickly.  I was talking to people in line and listening carefully to people next to me or in front.  I wanted to hear how they were ordering and what they were ordering; a lot of event participants were overwhelmed with what to try.  I heard a lot of “I want to try a wine that has…..”  Some of the wine pourers had been in the trade and some it appears had little wine knowledge.

When I was in the 1 through 259 line I asked for #58 (MacPhail Anderson Valley Pinot Noir); and I was informed that he was pouing 1-50 but would make an exception; I said that I didn’t see the queues subdivided further.

It was exceptionally difficult to try more than half a dozen because the queues were very long; (and I know that I am not the usual wine attendee when in any given event I will taste a hundred or more wines) unfortunate for me because I could not taste all of the wines I wanted to try from New York, Arizona, Montana, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia.  This category is large and certainly could use a different format to get the full wine expression conveyed to the wine participant; I do hope for next years Slow Food Nation will have a larger pavilion for this special tasting and I could envision many more wines from California, Oregon, and Washington being presented.  A good first attempt and I think some adjustments could give a fuller expression and experience.

And maybe someday Slow Food Nation will be Slow Food & Wine Nation!

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Lan Rioja Crianza – 2004 – 8.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This wine gives a strong baked red apple profile intertwined with rich and bold black and red peppers with intermittent cinnamon and nutmeg.  A delicate tannic structure and abundant acid.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Oxford Landing Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz South Australia – 2005 – 7.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This wine is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Shiraz; the Shiraz unfortunately overwhelms and over powers the Cabernet Sauvignon paving the way for a overly dark red fruited wine; there is almost no complexity and the tannic structure weak and disappointing.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Castoro Cellars Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon – 2005 – 8.8 – James Meléndez /James the Wine Guy

Paso Robles for me is a geographical marker for the center of Central Coast wines.  I am excited by many wines from Central Coast; may not have the polished Napa Valley feel but the quality of wines are getting better vintage over vintage.  This Cabernet Sauvignon is layered with gorgeous and silky tannins; well structured; abundant and balanced notes of black and red fruit Coulis, Pioppini mushroom, Turkish fig, and underbrush.  A very nice Cabernet that would gives superb quality.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Portugal: The Undiscovered Wine Country – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Portugal strength in it’s namesake wine Port has made all of it’s other wines less than sought after—a second class citizen. That is very unfortunate because Portuguese non-fortified wines need to be discovered. There are so many Portuguese beauties out there. The appellations are apt for some wondrous reds. The Iberian Peninsula is a great place for growing hearty reds.

Do not fear an appellation like Alentejo, Dao, Douro, Bairrada; actually seek them. Do not fear what may sound like un-recognizable grapes like Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Aragonês, Trincadeira, Castelão, Touriga Nacional, Arinto, Alvarinho, Fernão Pires, Baga, Sousão, Alfrocheiro, Antão Vaz, Arinto, Moreto, Alicante Bouschet, Seara Nova, Rabigato, Viozinho, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinto Cao, Jaen, Loureiro, Azal, Trajadura, Maria Gomes, Verdelho, Codega do Larinho, Viosinho, Roupeiro, Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Camarata, Tinta Miúda, Preto Martinho, Cerceal, Tinta Amarela, Trajadura, Pedernã, Rabo-de-Ovelha, —instead embrace them. The Tinta Roriz and Aragonêz is what is known as Tempranillo in Spain.

If you seek food friendly white wines with generous acid—you have come to the right country. Think Alvarinho and Arinto these wines are hauntingly gorgeous; delicate, light, crisp and their acid will encapsulate memories of these wonderful wines with seafood and poultry.

Many Portuguese reds are bold; not only do the Portuguese use native grapes they have been growing wines everyone knows – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, etc. While these wines are delicious I am a fan of the Trincadeira Preta, Tinta Roriz / Aragonês, and Castelão. These wines are evocative of exotic spice and wood, bramble, herbs, mushrooms, Fall leaves, and red and black fruit confit.

These wines are hard to find—despite Portugal being a very large producer; it is hard to find in almost any U.S. wine retailer; but don’t let that discourage you. Keep searching…..start asking at your favorite restaurants and wine retailer. Many of these wines are tremendous values that need discovery and need attention. Portugal the soon-to-be-discovered wine country

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

Skylark Mendocino Pinot Blanc – 2006 – 8.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

One doesn’t think of Pinot Blanc and Mendocino; I saw this on a wine list and had to try this with the seafood I ordered. This wine gives lime, orange zest, slivered almond, and green apple on finish.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

W.H. Smith Maritime Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 2006 – 9.4 – James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez

An equal rating to the Marimar Estate wine from W.H. Smith; though this one I detected exotic mushroom in addition to it’s floral, smoke and herbaceous notes. Another splendid wine from W.H. Smith.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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

W.H. Smith Marimar Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 2006 – 9.4 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A wine whose sophistication upon first inspection is good not great; the nose tells you something the taste brings this wine to full circle. This wine gives delicate rose petal, herbaceous notes like Eucalyptus, humidor, earth, smoke; this wine is a delight.

¡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

W.H. Smith Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 2006 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A vibrant and complex Pinot Noir; offering subtlety and position; a position of a wine with finesse and strength; a savoir faire; this wine gives rich and vibrant ground clove, allspice, dark baked red cherry, seared Plout, fragrant cedar and Oaxacan chiles.  A blissful wine.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions from around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2008 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