December 2009
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Month December 2009

Sparkling Wines and Champagne Picks for the 2009 Winter Holiday Season – James Meléndez /James the Wine Guy

This year and as in years past I do look for the non-usual suspects for sparkling wines and Champagnes.  There are plenty of good choices and there is no need to rely on Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and Moët & Chandon or other Grand Houses for good quality wine and encapsulating and effervescent memories.

There are many choices for exhilarating sparkling wines and Champagnes and few people venture to seek out great wines.  It is a fear of not having a wine that we are going to share with one another and it is the inducement to present a wine that everyone knows and likes.  But life is too short to repeat year-after-year with the same Champagne patterns.

There is great value to also have and enjoy.  The most expensive wine on this list is the Bollinger Brut Rosé Grand Année  Champagne 2002—while this wine is one that marks a grand occasion or the mark of a new decade it is a blissful wine that will be remembered.

Beyond the Bollinger, the other wines are a good value for the experience and delight quotient delivered.

– Agrapart & Fils Les Sept Crus Brut Blanc de Blanc– N.V.

– Comte Audoin de Dampierre Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne N.V.

– Chartogne-Taillet Brut Champagne N.V.

– Schramsberg Brut  Blanc de Blanc 2006

– J Brut Rosé NV

– Roederer Estate Brut NV

– Bollinger Brut Rosé Grand Année  Champagne 2002

– Jean Lallemont Brut Champagne  NV

– A.R. LeNoble Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne N.V.

This is the end of this decade and a glass full of high quality bubbles is the only way to mark this important and shared milestone in our lives.  To life—raise your glass and celebrate!

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved..  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé – N.V. – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This wine has delicate notes of violet and earthly truffle; and nicely balanced brambled fruit and honeysuckle.  This wine is a bit expensive; I do think there are other Rosé that are equally nice for a lower price point.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

James the Wine Guy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JamesTheWineGuy

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve – NV – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Very dry with an evocation of Lilies and honeysuckle; this wine has notes of dried tropical fruit, fresh Brioche, and almonds.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.d.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

James the Wine Guy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JamesTheWineGuy

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Jacquesson Cuvee 733 Brut – NV – 8.7 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This wine is 52% Chardonnay, 24% Pinot Meunier, and 24% Pinot Noir and is a classic Brut with blissful touches of tropical fruit (papaya and passionfruit), citrus peel, crushed almonds and bread and evocation of white flowers.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 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:

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

James the Wine Guy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JamesTheWineGuy

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Larmandier-Bernier Terre Vertus – N.V. – 8.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Natural yeast, zero dosage–aptly dry; easily approachable.  This wine has an abundant balance of green apple, mixed citrus zest, and freshly baked bread.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

James the Wine Guy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JamesTheWineGuy

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Alfred Gratien Cuvee Brut Classique – N.V. – 9.0 – James Meléndez /James the Wine Guy

A unique Brut mainly with Chardonnay and a significant quantity of Pinot Meunier which gives a considerable brightness and lightness to the wine; also pleasant notes of Brioche, Meyer lemon zest, and toasted Marcona almond.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

James the Wine Guy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JamesTheWineGuy

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

Also available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Agrapart & Fils Les Sept Crus – N.V. – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A very earthy Champagne; a yeast that balances out the earthy qualities of the wine; notes of hibiscus, Abalone mushroom, and cashew nut.

¡Salud!

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 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:

Also available on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Cantele Salice Salentino Negroamaro Riserva – 2006 – 8.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I am a big fan of Negroamaro–unique different from New World reds; deep and satisfying, relatively low alcohol levels, high acid and blissfully pact with delightful notes ranging from mid-summer fruit, to deeply basted dark red fruit, spice, wood, mushroom.  And on top of a very nice wine are some great values.

This wine imparts notes of dark cherry, moist cedar, black pepper, and ground nutmeg.

**

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 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:

Also available on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Winter is for Wine Exploration; Beyond Beaujolais Nouveau – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Winter is for wine; actually wine is for the four seasons.  But in winter, wine is more captivating and thrilling.  It enhances the meals and the moments and is camera for the memories and wondrous times with family and friends.

There are many thoughts of what wines are appropriate.  There are no limits but there are wines that I either don’t consider or decrease in the colder months.

But the wine that I never anticipate or look forward to in any way is Beaujolais Nouveau (Gamay).  Some retailers ‘unveil’ this wine with great enthusiasm as an ideal Thanksgiving wine.   But it is this wine that is wholly un-interesting wine that is made into a marketing spectacle.  Beaujolais Gamay is not a showcase wine for Thanksgiving and the holidays—perhaps the marketing angle is that it is a soft, and in my opinion nearly devoid of any significant flavor characteristics, and ‘easy’ red wine to enjoy.  But because this wine has nothing interesting to offer the best way to sell this wine is through “unveiling” and brightly colored labels.  Introducing a novice to this wine would be a way to stop them on a journey to wine.  One might think that all other wines are this un-interesting.  But truthfully there are many varietals that are enticing and that many novices would enjoy consuming.  After all tasting is believing.

The wines for winter are wines that have body, complexity, style and an ability to be evocative; evocative to transport to not just feeling good but a feeling of sterling and starlit evenings.  This year, and as in years passed the winter is about enjoying wines that are complex and evocative.  It is obvious that we do not want to consume wines that are only calorie building.  If I am going to gain some calories each sip will count.

I am enjoy Pinot Noirs from Sonoma Coast and Willamette Valley; Malbecs from Argentina and America; rich and bold southern Italian wines like Negroamaro, lighter and depthful wines like Aglianco, Dolcetto’s from Italy and the US have commonalities and wide ranging differences but are arresting in the per ounce enjoyment they give.

I am looking at Riesling to start an evenings worth of eating; starting by enjoying of zest and bold acids; a highly differentiated from Chardonnay and the old world styles of Alsace bring together the original notion of what these spectacular wines offers and even a vision of what are palettes are seeking.  Alsatian whites are subtle, spicy, high acid, low alcohol and pack a lot of nuances for complete enjoyment.

A rich and bold Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot can be satisfying and the thicker the tannin the longer time to enjoy the festivities and to slow down and enjoy the wine you have before you.  I have also been enjoying a highly fruited (not to be confused with a berry bomb) like Charbono can bring a meal together or even as a standalone wine can bring great enjoyment.

And lastly tis the season for Champagne and sparkling wine.  There is a vast menu of Champagnes available and I am seeking smaller production wines; not just the obvious marquee label that many gravitate to.  I think many gravitate to a marquee label so those being served this wine have a sense of comfort and enjoy—a social pizza slice that you have had before.  But the artistry is with the smaller producer who for any lack is that the market has not properly understood their wines.  I do like a Brut or Rose this time of year.  I do think the balance of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay help to codify the festivity at hand and bring together the taste of understanding and captures the memories of the season.

I will be blogging on specific wines for the season–more to come.  Happy Holidays!

**

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 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:

Also available on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com

Oberon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 8.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Dark garnet, luxuriant tannins, roasted plum, toasted Marcona almonds, Chile Guajillo, and dusting of winter spices.

***

A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2010 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

Also available on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=42231382951

Other blogs:

jamesthefoodguy.wordpress.com
jamesthespiritsguy.wordpress.com
jamestherestaurantguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetravelguy.wordpress.com
jamesthedesignguy.wordpress.com
jamesandthecity.wordpress.com
jamesthemusicguy.wordpress.com
jamesthetechguy.wordpress.com
jamesthecustomerexperienceguy.wordpress.com
northamericanfoodproject.wordpress.com
jamesthemarketingguy.wordpress.com
jamesthebeerguy.wordpress.com