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Month December 2010

Wine: Bottled Complexities – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Bottled Complexities 4 (click to open PDF version)

Wine is an amazingly complex subject.   And in it’s complexity is both a good thing and yet unfortunately makes for confusion as well.  I have been wanting to create, for some time, a diagram depicting the major categories: fundamental wine distinction, producer, regulation, off-premise, on-premise, etc.  and fine points.   When applying this to a diagram I tried several configurations and found that this very large subject is a hard one to depict and further categorization wouldn’t simplified this diagram or if was simplified it would not be helpful.

Wine is complex for many reasons; those that are obvious like varietal, appellation to the less known such as regulation and business of wine.

A common question I get is “why isn’t wine X available at my local wine merchant”   And this diagram does go to explain why in one year the wine you enjoy is plentiful and well-priced; then the next year it is available but at a much higher price point.  Unlike beer or spirits wine has so many circumstances and variables that makes each year different.

I hope this is helpful to view at some level for those interesting in know what makes wine complex.

***

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

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Winery Visit: Winery Visit: Schug Carneros Estate Winery – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy 9.0

An idyllic setting on a gentle slope of a Carneros hill-slight tilt to have a great perspective of the beautiful Carneros district.  The facility is simple but quite fitting.  This winery specializes in one sparkling wine (Rouge de Noirs Sparkling Pinot), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and a late harvest Riesling.  A wonderful experience and you know when you are here that this is the experience you wanted.

Schug Carneros Winery

602 Bonneau Road

Sonoma, CA  95476

707-939-9363

www.schugwinery.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: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I have passed by Jacuzzi Family Vineyards on my way to Napa many times.  But I had finally stopped by when I did not have enough time to get to Napa.  It was a great way to discover the warmth of this Italian inspired winery.  This environs are not as scenic as other wineries in Napa / Sonoma and it is quite close to the highway; but that should not stop you from visiting this beautiful winery.  The design is solid and a great homage to an Italian structure in Tuscany.

This wine house specializes in Tocai Friulano, Arneis, Pinot Grigio, Aglianico, Lagrein, Sagrantino, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Nebbiolo. A very nice experience, beautiful winery and a warm and friendly staff.

¡Salud!

***

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

24724 Arnold Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476

***

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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Top 100 Wines 2010 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Below are the wines that rose to the top of my wine tasting experience.  This list is in alpha order and not in a hierarchy i.e. one is better than two etc.  The scores speak for themselves.

Tasting many wines this year I wish I could have tried every wine that was released from all wine growing regions.  But the wines that I did enjoy were many and this list captures uniqueness, quality, artistry, and a quality that we are fortunate to enjoy from the earth.

This list contains white wines, red, fortified and sparkling wines and from many but not all wine growing regions on the planet.  I raise my glass to you and hope you too can enjoy some of these wines.

  1. Anton Bauer Wagram Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.2
  2. Beltrame Friuli Cabernet Franc – 2005 – 9.2
  3. Bianchi San Juan Vineyards Paso Robles Refosco – 2006 – 9.2
  4. Bodegas Paso Robles Paso Robles Graciano 2006 – 9.1
  5. Boekenhoutskloof Franschoek Syrah – 2007 – 9.2
  6. Bouchaine Vineyard Estate Carneros Pinot Noir– 2007 – 9.2
  7. Breaux Vineyards Lafayette Virginia Cabernet Franc – 2003 – 9.2
  8. C. Donatiello Russian River Valley Hervey Vineyard Pinot Noir – 2007 – 9.3
  9. Carmim Syrah Alentejano – 2007 – 9.1
  10. Cartuxa Reserva Alentejo – 2006 – 9.3
  11. Cederberg Cellars Cederberg Shiraz – 2005 – 9.2
  12. Charnu Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.3
  13. Chono Maipo Valley San Lorenzo Estate Red Blend – 2007 – 9.2
  14. Clovis Point North Fork Artifact – 2005 – 9.1
  15. Collier Falls Dry Creek Valley Primitivo – 2006 – 9.0
  16. Comtesse Thérèse North Fork Hungarian Oak Merlot – 2005 – 9.2
  17. Curtis Santa Barbara Heritage Cuvee Red Blend – 2009 – 9.1
  18. Cusumano Sicily Sagana – 2007 – 9.2
  19. De Martino Single Vineyard Alto de Piedras Carménère – 2006 – 9.1
  20. Diemersfontein Reserve Wellington Pinotage – 2006 – 9.1
  21. Domaine Carneros Le Rêve Rosé – 2004 – 9.2
  22. Domaine Serene Del Rio Rouge Valley Syrah – 2005 – 9.1
  23. Don Reca Cuvee Cachapoal Valley Cuvee – 2007 – 9.1
  24. Dono dal Cielo Sierra Foothills Zinfandel – 2007 – 9.2
  25. Due Vigne de Famiglia El Dorado County Dolcetto – 2006 – 9.2
  26. Elena Walch Beyond the Clouds Alto Adige – 2007 – 9.2
  27. Elizabeth Spencer Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc – 2009 – 9.1
  28. Falernia Elqui Valley Reserva Carménère – 2007 – 9.1
  29. Feudi della Medusa Vermentino – 2006 – 9.2
  30. Forlorn Hope Suspiro del Moro Amador County Alvarelhão– 2008 – 9.2
  31. Frick Dry Creek Valley Cinsault – 2006 – 8.8
  32. Frick Owl Hill Dry Creek Valley Counoise – 2007 – 9.3
  33. Furthermore La Encantada Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.2
  34. Goosecross Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon – 2004 – 9.3
  35. Grands Amis Great Friends Barbera – 2008 – 9.1
  36. Groenland Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc – 2009 – 9.0
  37. Guerri Rizzard Amarone della Valpolicella Villa Rizzardi – 2005 – 9.2
  38. H. Lun Alto Adige Lagrein – 2008 – 9.2
  39. Hans u Chrstine Nitthaus Neusiedlersee Blaufränkisch Eiswein – 9.3
  40. Hawley Ponzo Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2008 – 9.1
  41. Hestan Hestan Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2005 – 9.2
  42. Hillinger Neusiedlersee St. Laurent – 2006 – 9.2
  43. Hillinger Neusiedlersee Terroir Blaufränkisch – 2006 – 9.3
  44. Imagery Estate Dry Creek Valley Sangiovese – 2008 – 9.0
  45. Imagery Estate Pallas Estate Sonoma Valley Red Blend 2006 – 9.1
  46. J Vineyard Russian River Valley Late Disgorged Brut – 1998 – 9.3
  47. Justino Henriques Madeira Reserve Fine Rich 10 Years Old – NV
  48. Keenan Spring Mountain District Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.3
  49. Kent Rasmussen Esoterica Late Harvest North Coast Viognier – 2006 – 9.3
  50. Koyle Colchagua Valley Royale Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.2
  51. Lapostelle Clos Apalta Colchagua Valley Red Blend – 9.2
  52. Lone Madrone Paso Robles Tannat – 2005 – 9.2
  53. Majors Hill Robertson Pinotage – 2007 – 9.2
  54. Manincor Alto Adige Castel Campan Merlot – 2005 – 9.3
  55. Maroon Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.3
  56. Martin Arndorfer Kamptal Reserve Strasser Weinberge Riesling – 2009 – 9.1
  57. Martorana Dry Creek Valley Merlot – 2006 – 9.1
  58. Merry Edwards Flax Vineyard Russian River Valley Flax Pinot Noir – 2007 – 9.3
  59. Miner Family La Diligence Napa Valley Marsanne – 2008 – 9.1
  60. Mosby Santa Barbara Sagrantino -2006 – 9.2
  61. Nasiakos Arcadia Moschofilero – 9.1 – 2007
  62. Niels Verberg Western Cape Shiraz – 2004 – 9.2
  63. Noe Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry Gonzalez Byass – 9.5
  64. Palmina Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Arneis – 2009 – 9.2
  65. Património Torres Vedras – 2008 – 9.2
  66. Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Chardonnay – 2008 – 9.2
  67. Peltier Station Lodi Reserve Teroldego – 2006 – 9.0
  68. Plantaže ProCorde Lake Skadar Valley Vranac – 2007 – 9.2
  69. Post Scriptum Douro – 2007 – 9.2
  70. QdoE Bairrada – 2007 – 9.1
  71. Quinta da Gaivosa Vinha De Lordelo – 2007 – 9.3
  72. Raka Klein River Quinary – 2005 – 9.1
  73. Reguengos Reserva Alentejo – 2007 – 9.1
  74. Requinagua Toro de Piedra Curicó Valley Red Blend – 2008 – 9.1
  75. Ricominicare Valle de Uco Mendoza Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy
  76. Ripken Lodi Malbec – 2007 – 9.1
  77. Rosa de Oro Lake County Dolcetto – 2007 – 9.2
  78. Rosenhof Burgenland Trockenbeerenauslese Chardonnay – 2007 – 9.1
  79. Rued Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel – 2007 – 9.1
  80. Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir 2007 – 9.3
  81. Santiago Ruiz Rias Baixas Albariño – 2008 – 9.2
  82. Schneider Le Bouchet North Fork Cabernet Franc – 2006 – 9.2
  83. Sequum Four Soil Melange Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.2
  84. Shafer One Point Five Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.3
  85. Siduri Abre Vert Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.1
  86. Silver Horse Paso Robles Tempranillo – 2007 – 9.1
  87. Slanghoek Private Selection Slanghoek Valley Chenin Blanc – 2009 – 9.0 –
  88. Stefano Accordini Amarone Classico della Valpolicella – 2005 – 9.2
  89. Szõke Mátyás and Zoltan Matra Királyleányka – 2007 – 9.4
  90. Tercero Camp 4 Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc – 2006 – 9.0
  91. Tolosa Edna Ranch Vineyard Edna Valley Salaal – 2007 – 9.2
  92. Toreta Korcula Pošip – 2007 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy
  93. Twisted Oak River of Skulls Calaveras County Monastrell – 2007 – 9.1
  94. Volker Eisele Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.2
  95. Vidigal Douro V.Q.R.P.D. Douro – 2005 – 9.1
  96. Waits-Mast Hein Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.1
  97. Weinrieder Niederosterreich Grüner Veltliner – 2008 – 9.3
  98. Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Belforte – 2006 – 9.2
  99. Witch Creek Valle de Guadalupe Aglianico – 2007 – 9.0
  100. Zerba Walla Walla Valley Malbec – 2007 – 9.2

Please go to my blog site to read reviews on each of these wines.

jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com

2010 was a great wine year and 2011 I expect another year of both discovery and seeking those wines that I have sought previously.  Being a wine enthusiast is to share in my discovery with many others—to enjoy for oneself solely is never fun.  After all wine is a social beverage.

¡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.

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

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Winery Visit: Artesa Vineyards and Winery – 8.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Probably the best and most evocative view in the Carneros wine district;  the semi-subterranean architecture; green roof, and plenty of water foundations make for one of the most stunning and compelling experiences in this wine country.

Artesa is owned by the Cava producer Codorníu; and specializes in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon; this winery does not produce any sparkling wine.  This is a popular destination and in the warm season can be quite busy.  I prefer and recommend people visit in the Fall and Winter seasons

***

Artesa Vineyards and Winery

1345 Henry Drive

Napa, CA  94559

www.artesawinery.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: Miner Family Vineyards – 8.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This Silverado Trail winery is right off the trail.  This winery is a easy to access—I have picnicked on the tables right on the entry way.  When you visit be sure to try the Chardonnay Wild Yeast, Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vinedyards, and The Oracle (Bordeaux blend).  A welcoming and knowledgeable staff.

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Miner Family

7850 Silverado Trail

Oakville, CA  94562

(800) 366-9463

www.minerwines.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: Pellegrini Vineyard – 8.9 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

This Pellegrini Vineyard and not to be confused to the west coast Pellegrini in the Russian River Valley (and to the best of my knowledge they are not related).   Pellegrini in Cutchoque was the first winery in the North Fork that I visited.  This winery produces a rather large array of wines:  Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and a red and white blend.  Nice tasting room staff and overall experience.  Be sure to try their Merlot and Cabernet Franc—very well constructed and both are well known by the producer and the North Fork wine region.

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Pellegrini Vineyard

23005 Main Street

Cutchogue, NY 11935

(631) 734-4111

www.pellegrinivineyards.com/site/

***

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: Mumm Cuvee Napa – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Napa is home to very well known Champagne Houses with ties to Napa – Domaine Chandon to Moët & Chandon; Domaine Carneros to Taittinger and Mumm to G.H. Mumm.  Mumm Napa has a beautiful perspective of the Valley both a vantage point that is part of and slightly elevated for a great perspective and line of the vineyard and natural landscape.  The fine art photography gallery is something that should not be missed—while many wineries set themselves apart with a unique experience signature this is a nice and natural addition that makes you wonder why there isn’t more of this in Napa or other wine countries.  Be sure to try one of the their DVX wines and Renouveau and their Blanc de Blanc for optimum enjoyment.

***

Mumm Napa

8445 Silverado Trail

Rutherford, CA  94558

(707) 967-7700

www.mummnapa.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: Groth Vineyards and Winery – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Groth is a beautiful winery between Highway 29 and Silverado Trail.  While Highway 29 is busy and Silverado Trail a little less so—the perpendicular roads between each north south roadway are much less busier.  The architecture of the winery is somewhere between California mission style and a something looks like an M.C. Escher drawing.

I have fond memories of Groth—not a large selection of wines but well crafted wines:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.  On my first visit I met some great people visiting from the East Coast.  Great thing was that we became instant friends and have remained friends ever since—and those are the things great things that can happen at a winery.   This winery requires a reservations.

***

Groth Vineyards and Winery

750 Oakville Cross Road

Oakville, CA  94562

(707) 754-4254

www.grothwines.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

See James the Wine Guy channel for videos on YouTube:

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Winery Visit: Hagafen Cellars – 8.8 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

If you are looking for Kosher wine you have come to the right place.  And there is no better name for this winery and the Shabbat observation, Hagafen is on the Silverado Trail; be ready to taste some of these wines:   Sparkling wine, Riesling, Roussane, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

***

Hagafen Cellars

4160 Silverado Trail

Napa, CA  94558

(707) 252-0781

www.hagafen.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:

www.youtube.com/user/jamesthewineguy

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

Other blogs:

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