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Month November 2010

Winery Visit: Paraduxx – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A sister winery to Duckhorn Vineyards; a unique winery even amongst other wineries in Napa.  This is a sit down winery; i.e. there is no tasting bar per se but a place to come with friends or family members to sit down, taste and relax.  It’s beautiful experience inside or out.  I tend to visit in cooler months so generally stay inside.  A polite and knowledgeable staff.

Paraduxx specializes in white and red blends.  Their red blends are almost overwhelmingly Zinfandel based blends; their wine white blend is primarily Viognier.

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Paraduxx

7257 Silverado Trail

Napa, CA   94558

(707) 945-0890

http://www.paraduxx.com/

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A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world.

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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.

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Winery Visit: Hartford Family Winery – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This winery feels like you are entering someone’s Russian River Valley house (and where there is a winery out back).  This is a beautiful enclave in the Russian River Valley tucked away—not seen from a distance.  This wine house specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel—I was fortunate enough to get two bottles of their Arrendell Vineyard Pinot Noir for my birthday.  And I enjoyed one bottle while I was in London—I probably had the only Arrendell Pinot Noir in the City.  I look forward to each visit Hartford Family and enjoying their Pinot Noirs—when you visit ask for the Arrendell Vineyard Pinot Noir.  A very nice experience in all aspects.

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Hartford Family Winery

8075 Martinelli Road

Forestville, CA  95436

(707) 887-8010

www.hartfordwines.com

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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

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Winery Visit: Benizger Family Winery – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A very interesting winery and the many buildings you find along the way to the tasting room.  A beautiful landscape—you descend past several building and landmarks and are surrounded by either vineyard or other landscape.  I like autumn or winter to visit—the light quality and angle of sun against the trees make for an evocative sense.

Benziger makes their mark in the vineyard ground by biodynamic and organic practices.  They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah.  Spendid tasting room staff—next time I need to visit the reserve tasting bar.  A great experience and if you have time visit their sister winery—Imagery Estate.

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Benziger Winery

1883 London Ranch Road

Glen Ellen, CA  95442

(707) 935-3000

www.benziger.com

***

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

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Winery Visit: Domaine Chandon – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I have been to Domaine Chandon many times.  It is a magnate winery that many people visit; it can be crowded almost year round.  But this was one of the first wineries I visited in Napa Valley and I do have fond memories of early days of exploration and discovery.  And each visit here takes me back.  There are many wines that Domaine Chandon produces many sparkling and a few still wines.  And just thinking of it—how exciting it is to have a winery that produces mainly sparkling and anticipating the taste of each.

I like the tasting bar as the back of the bar opens up on a sliding glass door that you can only see a hill and the mountains behind it—never mind that highway 29 is there and cannot be viewed.  It certainly feels like you are miles away.

There are 11 sparkling wines; including a curious sparkling red composed of Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.  Be sure to try their reserve and étoile line up and if you try a still wine be sure to ask for their Pinot Meunier (which is usually a component in Champagne wines) and I do know of another US producers that has a100% Pinot Meunier wine.

And on a perfect visit is to have dinner here as well.

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Domaine Chandon

1 California

Yountville, CA  94599

(888) 242-6366

www.chandon.com

***

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

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Winery Visit: Becker Vineyard – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This is the only Texas winery that I have had the opportunity to visit.  In Texas Hill country near the charming Fredericksberg.  Becker Vineyards winery and tasting room is a beautiful stone structure; so authentic to the hill country.  I was there in winter and found it to be delightful—the temperature—a slightly winterish cool, gorgeous skies and dimmed December sunlight.  There is a small and no nonsense winery tour.  Becker producers: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Riesling, Roussanne, Chenin Blanc and Gewürztraminer.  And during warner months be sure to enjoy their lavender fields.

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Becker Vineyard

464 Becker Farms Road

Stonewall, Texas 78671

830-644-2681

www.beckervineyards.com

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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

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Tasting Room: Silenus Vintners Tasting Room – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A wonderful tasting room (near Laird Family Estate winery—just north); a very nice tasting room where you might not think there would be one.  This tasting room features very small producers that I have not seen poured anywhere else.   The tasting room is beautiful and it’s adjacency to a vineyard doesn’t make you think it is just a tasting room but you get the full “winery” feel.  Here are the labels poured here:

  • B Cellars
  • Due Vigne di Famiglia
  • Gridley Family Cellars
  • Ideology Cellars
  • Ilsley Vineyards
  • Maple Lane
  • Mario Bazan Cellars
  • Matthiasson Family Vineyards
  • Poem Cellars
  • Ramian Estate
  • Venge Vineyards

A nice place to try other varietals beyond Napa Valley’s familiar Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  A very friendly and inviting staff.

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Silenus Vintners

5225 Solano Ave.
Napa, CA 94558

(707) 299-3930

www.silenusvintners.com

***

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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

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Winery Visit: Rosenblum Cellars – 8.7 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Part of the urban wine making experience.  A veteran winery based in Alameda, California producing a variety of wines.  Thought it is just across the bay from San Francisco on the island of Alameda—it has a few series of roadway milestone: Bay Bridge, freeway, a tunnel or another bridge and coursing through to this winery.  I would suggest to go from one urban winery to another or even to the nearby St. George Distellery.  Rosenblum produces: Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache and Mourvedre.

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Rosenblum Cellars

2900 Main Street

Alameda, CA  94501

(510) 865-7007

***

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:

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Winery Visit: Van der Heyden Winery – 8.7 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A rustic winery on the west side of Silverado Trail coming up from the town of Napa.  Driving up to winery through the vineyard is quite beautiful.  You may be greeted by a dog or two.   The tasting room is furthest out and may not be obvious.  This winery says they are the only producer of late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon.   Van der Heyden also produces non-late harvest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.

The tasting room is quite small and has a sundry of paper items on the walls—you will find your eye darting from one item to the next—the principal’s owner is Dutch so you will se A very laid back and back in a different era.  This winery may not be for everyone but it is fun to see the casual and no nonsense tasting room. The tasting room staff are quite nice and helpful and proud of their wines.

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Van der Heyden Winery

4057 Silverado Trail

Napa, CA 94558

(707) 257-0130

www.vanderheydenvineyards.com

***

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:

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

Other blogs:

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Tasting Room: Elizabeth Spencer Wines – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Elizabeth Spencer is wine tasting room in Rutherford in Napa Valley; just right off of Highway 29 near Rutherford Grill.  I knew it was a tasting room (as opposed to a tasting room at a winery) and it is smaller than pictures that I have seen online.  But don’t let the quaint size fool you about what you are going to taste.  There is a cute sign pointing the direction to sites near and far (wineries to distant cities).

The charming tasting room has a display of their large bottle format offering.  Elizabeth Spencer has 7 different Cabernet Sauvignons, 4 Merlots, 1 Cabernet Franc,  Grenache, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, 3 Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.  Obviously only a representative of those wines are available on each visit.

A nice and approachable staff make for a enjoyable visit.

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Elizabeth Spencer Tasting Room

1165 Rutherford Rd

Napa, CA 94573(707) 963-6067

www.elizabethspencerwines.com

**

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:

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

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Whitehall Lane Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Blackberry-Boysenberry Confit, molten chocolate, grilled herb mix, brown mushroom; and scent of Chervil, sandlewood, and suede.

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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