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Month December 2012

The Web’s Final Frontier: Online Wine Sales? – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

The Wall Street Journal’s article “Web’s Final Frontier: Vintners Face Hurdles Governing Online Sales; Laws Vary by State, County”  A thought provoking title to begin with and a good citation for the wine and alcoholic beverage predicament we find ourselves in today in the United States.

The second paragraph politely in this article says the difficulty in shipping to consumer is a “patchwork of U.S. and state regulations governing alcohol sales…..directly to consumers’ doorsteps a mind-boggling proposition.”  There are an estimated 40,000 alcohol beverage control laws in the US and every state is so vastly different that a 50-state distribution is completely inconceivable and the current beverage control framework is strictly impossible to comprehend let alone work in. Market ideals stop at alcohol beverages door–it is unfortunate and the myriad of extremely outdated and non-sensical laws on the books need a deep scrubbing and better yet many need to be eliminated.  The state’s alcohol beverage control laws are least likely to reform themselves–legislators and a public dancing between enjoying wine and other alcoholic beverages and yet are afraid to demand reform.

On any given day in America someone or rather many people have broken a law didn’t know existed–better yet the alcohol beverage control authorities are at odds with themselves to understand their spun webs of confusion in code and laws.   Having the privilege of working with a few ABC (alcohol beverage control) authorities I had to point out a specific allowance for a permit–if I had not a permit would not have been granted.  The front line of all ABCs are not equipped to deal with the many on and off premise businesses, as well importers, distributors, events and god forbid the public.  The wine, beer and spirits categories are large and complex–regulators have a hard time understanding a lesser-known varietal, regions and many other aspects.

Here is a great illustrative point; it is a scene from a winery tasting room I visited this past year:

Customer:                                I want this shipped to my house in Kansas

Tasting room employee:          I am sorry sir–we can’t ship to Kansas–we are not allowed to do so.

Customer                                 I had wine shipped to my house before

Tasting room employee           I am sorry sir, we can’t

Customer                                 Okay; ship it to my office in Missouri

This article keenly points out that Wine.com pays $2 million in fees and licenses–this is absolutely key to why reform will never happen; those state, city, county, and special government entities are taking in a lot of sin tax.  Very few businesses can afford to pay this steep amount and hence a great recipe from keeping a vibrant wine retailing community from being online, lack of competition and smaller assortments can be insured.

It is one thing to have a licensing requirement–quite another to mandate every aspect of control on alcoholic beverages.  Everything from not allowing an advertised sale to be published but it is okay to have just as long as nobody knows it (Missouri).  Higher alcohol percentage wines above 15% in DC and shipped wines to Texas–never mind that spirits is at least double that…..   Some governmental bodies have also forbidden screw cap–the best explanation for this has been explained to me is that anyone can open this bottle.   Private label is illegal in Idaho and Georgia.  After the repeal of Prohibition states were allowed to make as many non-sense ABC laws as they saw fit–further all governmental bodies could create further regulation by either a special government body or a special zone.

And as this article points out that Wine.com could not ship a food and wine basket to New York–other problems just as ridiculous exist.  Alcohol in food (chocolate liqueurs), who can retail these foods? If a retailer sells both food and wine they have to be quarantined sections.  And also in New York separate entrance and stores are required –think Trader Joe’s in Manhattan–two separate but not necessarily equal stores.

Though prohibition was repealed five generations ago–the after effects lingers on like a bad mid-winter’s cold.  The quest to repeal Prohibition — a public excited to rid it, law enforcement no longer needing to enforce the absurd notion of this Act-everyone was too eager to not look closely at the fine print.  Again, a public will need to push for true reform otherwise it will never happen.  The most regulated good of all time does well here in the US but imagine if there was true competition.  The web’s final frontier, at least, in the US may always be a Mariana Trench of great depth and something that can’t be touched.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             

Robert Parker Sells Majority Interest – Wine Advocate; No Rocket Science Here – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Robert M. Parker Jr. selling his interest in his Wine Advocate to an Asian based group of investors—seemed to be filled with intrigue, relief, expectation and also a “bigger” meaning behind this act.  It is as if this one act is pivotal in understanding where we find ourselves in this era rich with armchair wine reviewers.   There are a lot of people weighing in on the exactness of this meaning.

Robert Parker exit was probably sooner than expected but there is no one reason but several reasons—

a)    He probably got an offer he couldn’t refuse

b)    He was decreasing his reviews for a period of time and was and will still review Bordeaux and Rhône wines

c)    He had probably been shopping for a buyer for a while

Eric Asimov says (10-December-2012) “The move recognizes a new reality, that the center of orbit for critics like Mr. Parker is now in Asia rather than North America.”  While I think this is a vast overstatement and the tilting of wine reviews is not going just to Asia.  Asia specifically China’s wine story is still unfolding and even with it’s promise—still does not approach the US in terms of market size for wine.  There are many unknowns in the Chinese market for wine—after all—might there be more limiting factors than many people suppose today.  What if after all the Chinese start to prefer their wine to a vast sea of imports?  What if the market does not grow as much as expected?

Internationalization of wine reviews is something that ‘everyone is trying to crack’ but it makes a lot of sense—and I mean that if I look at metrics from my site or YouTube channel I personally have an international audience—something not possible only a few short years ago.   Eric Asimov continues with his view that “…wine lovers matured…especially as the Internet gave platforms to many different view points.”  While the story on the Internetization of wine has little to do with Parkers decreased audience.  It wasn’t that –Parker never grew his audience and registered new generations.   Asimov also mentions and implies the 100-Point Score that Parker popularized no longer as relevant.  I do not agree necessarily with Asimov—there will be a market need to understand point scores as it relates to the very large array of wines that exist.  There are many Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc and so fourth and there are many people who want to bypass less than optimized wines—ultimately many and most people are seeking the highest quality wines possible at the best price points and need definers.

No matter the rating system and there are many—I have mine and purposely utilize a 10-Point system.  The desire to rank wine will always be here—now while Parkers may or may not be utilized I do hear many others being called out—even my own.

One blog posting I read today gave some results from Parker’s “exit”:

a) US Cult wineries in China will focus on China—yeah of course?!

b) Higher prices for high priced wines because of this purchase….?

That is a big throw at a small bat—the supposition is that the new ownership will help to increase competition for these wine hence a higher price—I couldn’t find logic in this thought.  And lastly another supposition is that Wine Spectator has a lot to gain.  I’m not sure how that will happen—might Wine Spectator be in the same shape in this Internetization of wine.  I don’t think the current readership is going to abandon the Wine Advocate.  Wine Spectator will have to work even harder with our without Parker to not only retain their audience but gain a new one.

I was fascinated by the near frenetic pace –again attribute this to a deeper need to understand the category in this period of time.  But ultimately understanding wine, metrics and demographics is as elusive as it has ever been.

Wine leadership of educators, reviewers and commentators is just as relevant today—There is a bit of a desire by some writers to complain that the wine writer is dead.  No one every said the travel writer is dead because of crowdsourced reviews…in fact view points in travel or any other category is more relevant and wine is no exception.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             

 

Top 100 Wines of 2012 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Top 100 Wines of 2012

I noticed some top 100 2012 wine choices being published in October–still two more months to go before 2013.  Seems like a rush to publish or like retailers skipping ahead of the line to asort their stores with holiday wares.  I try to hold back as much as I can because you never know what you might be tasting.  I’m glad I waiting.

This list is in no particular order–let the review score speak for itself as well in addition to inclusion into this top 100 list.  I certainly recall each of these wines and long to taste each once more.  But in the world of wine–great things are still to come and these produces hold promise for equally stunning vintages.

I am privileged to taste all that I do per year– easily north of several thousand wines.  I do expect a continued diversity and look forward to what 2013 will unveil for current release.

A best holiday season to you and yours and look forward to 2013.

Salud!

James Meléndez
James the Wine Guy

Top 100 wines of 2012

1. Domaine Pouillon McKinley Springs Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills Syrah – 2010 – 9.3 – James Meléndez – My Video about this wine:

2. Miloš Stagnum Pelješac Plavac Mali – 2005 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

3. Alexandria Nicole Destiny Ridge Vyd Horse Heaven Hills Grenache – 2010 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

4. Floreado Südtirol Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc – 2009 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

5. Feudo San Maurizio Saro Djablo Valle d’Aosta – 2009 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

6. Eventide Wellington Shiraz – 2005 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

7. Argiolas Costera – 2009 – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

8. Gigante Schioppettino – 2007 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

9. Archery Summit Arcus Estate Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.4 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

10. Murrieta’s Well Los Tesoros de Joaquín Livermore Valley Souzao – 2009 – 9.2 – James Meléndez

11. Hawk & Horse Red Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 2008 – 9.3 – James Meléndez

12. Domaine Gerovassilou Malagousia – 2010 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

13. Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

14. Masi Costasera Amarone Classico – 2007 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

15. Seufert Bishop Creek Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.5 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

16. DuMOL Russian River Valley Viognier – 2011 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

17. Smith Madrone Spring Mtn District Riesling – 2011 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

18. Smith Madrone Spring Mtn District Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

19. Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2008 – 9.4 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

20. Emina Ribera del Duero Prestigio 2006 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

21. Bodegas Imperiales Abadia de San Quirce Finca Helena – 2006 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

22. James Cole Mud’s Kitchen Clone #7 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

23. James Cole Napa Valley Petit Verdot – 2009 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

24. Archery Summit Vireton Willamette Valley Rosé – 2011 – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

25. Domaine Jean Vullien Roussette de Savoie – 9.1 – 2010 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

26. Miraflores El Dorado Zinfandel – 2003 – 9.4 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

27. Robert Biale Thomann Station Vineyard Napa Valley Petite Sirah – 2008 – 9.4 – James
Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

28. Boeschen Vineyards Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 2008 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

29. Salvestrin LeBlanc Crystal Springs Estate Sauvignon Blanc – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

30. Manincor SüdtirolRubstsch Lagrein – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

31.Manincor Südtirol Pinot Blanc – 2010 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

32. J. Hofstätter Pinot Nero Südtirol “Barthenau” Vigna S Urbano – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

33. Erste und Neue Südtirol Sauvignon – 2011 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

34. Mary Elke Donnelly Creek Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – 2011 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

35. Mounts Family Dry Creek Grenache – 2009 – 9.2  – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

36. Paloma Napa Valley Merlot 2008 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

37. Bethel Heights Castel Reserve Pinot Noir  – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

38. Domaine Serene Evenstad Pinot Noir –  2008 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

39. Beaux Frères Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.2  – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

40. Unti Benchland Dry Creek Valley Syrah – 2009 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

41. Moss Roxx Lodi Ancient Zinfandel 2007 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

42 Anam Cara Nicholas Estate Dry Riesling – 2011 – 9.1- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

43. Andrew Rich Coup d’Etat Red Blend – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

44. Cooper Mountain Mountain Terroir Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

45. Domaine Drouhin Laurene Dundee Hills Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

46. Eyrie Original Vines Reserve Dundee Hils Chardonnay – 2010 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

47 Rex Hill Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

48 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

49. Lusu El Dorado Das Pedras Zinfandel – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

50. Champagne Thienot Vintage – 2002 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

51. Iron Horse Chinese Cuvée – 2004 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

52. James Cole Okenagan Merlot Ice Wine – 2010 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

53. Crave Russian River Valley Chardonnay – 2011 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

54. Champagne Canard-Duchene Brut Rose – NV – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

55. Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Syrah – 2009 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

56. Alienor Lake County Petit Verdot – 2008 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

57. Clos Saron Old Vine Out of the Blue Cinsault Syrah – 2011 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

58 Uvaggio Lodi Vermentino – 2011 – 9.1- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

59. Ojai Vineyard Santa Barbara County Thompson Vineyard Grenache – 2007 – 9.1- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

60. Viña Arnaiz Ribera del Duero Crianza 2008 – 9.0- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

61. Viña Mayor Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 2003 – 9.3- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

62. Mater Matuta Lazio – 2006 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

63. Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvginon 2007 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

64. Lenné Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

65. Raptor Ridge Chehalem Mountain Gruner Veltliner – 2011 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

66. Iona Elgin South Africa South Africa – 2010 – 9.0- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

67. Tikveš Rep. of Macedonia Rkaciteli – 2011 – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

68. Tercero Watch Hill Santa Barbara County Grenache – 2008 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

69. Perrucci Family Vineyards Syrah – 2008 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

70. Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico – 2006 – 9.2- James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

71. Castelfeder Burgum Novum Pinot Nero – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

72. Mar de Frades Rias Baixas Albariño – 2011 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

73. Franz Keller Pinot Gris – 2011 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

74. Core Santa Barbara Grenache – 2007 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

75. Fenestra Lodi Alvarelahao – 2008 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

76. Tinto Pesquera 2009 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

77. Dr. F. Weins-Prum Estate Riesling – 2011 – 9.3 — James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

78. Johann-Wilhelm Schild Riesling – 2010 – 9.2 – – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

79. Weingut Ungerer Pinot Meunier- 2009 – 9.0 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

80. Juris Reserve St. Laurent – 2006 – 9.3 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy –

81. Villa Travignoli Tergolaia Riserva Chianti – 2008 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

82. Las Ninas Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

83. Tabali Reserva Lumari Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 2011 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

84. Tablas Creek  Patelin de Tablas Blanc – 2011 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

85. Piquentum Blanc Malvasia Croatia Istria 2010 – 9.1 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

86. Anam Cara Nicholas Estate Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

87. Waits-Mast La Encantada Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

88. Joseph Swan Trenton View Vineyard Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.3 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

89 Kenneth Volk Albariño River Bench Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Albariño – 2011 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

90. Bell Clone No. 6 Cabernet Sauvignon – 2003 – 9.3 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

91. Lanciola Terricci Chianti Classico – 2006 – 9.3 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

92. J. Heinrich Goldberg Blaufränkisch – 2009 – 9.2 –  James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

93. Elena Walch Castel Ringberg Lagrein Riserva – 2008 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

94. Castel Sallegg Südtirol Pinot Grigio – 2011 – 9.1 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

95.  Fields Family Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

96. Klinker Brick Farrah Mokelumne River Lodi Syrah – 2010 – 9.1 – James Meléndez

97. Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

98. Domaine Pouillon Columbia Valley Rosé – 2011 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

99. Ivasari Old Vines Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – 2008 – 9.2 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

100. Domaine Pouillon Horse Heaven Hills Pierre Red Wine – 2009 – 9.2 – 2012 – James Meléndez /  James the Wine Guy

***

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             

Are Cabernet Sauvignon Drinkers Actually Seeking Syrah? – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Are Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers actually seeking Syrah?

A provocative question – right?

I came to this question when I was talking with some wine drinkers who were disappointed with the Cabernet Sauvignons either tasted recently or over time.  I asked what was disappointing and the answers varied from “not intense as I would like it to be” “too much green pepper.”  Cabernet Sauvignon a king of red wines has a notation of having a green bell pepper component and other green herbaceous notations and is this the quality some people aren’t seeking.  Perhaps a Syrah, which in my tasting has not tasted with bell pepper notes–but more opulent–black, red fruit, intense spice or even floral and earthy components.

Maybe the weight?  Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, a middle red colour doesn’t match the intense non-vitreous red / black colours of Syrah.  From a weight perspective Cabernet Sauvignon can feel non-weighty when compared to Syrah.  The mouth feel experience is different and with Syrah an amalgam of intensity and high spiritedness.   And I might add there is nothing wrong or less noble about Cabernet Sauvignon.   I may not be completely right about the question I am posing but I also may not be totally incorrect either.

Wine lists are powerful.  They convey an edited view of a restaurant or bars wine offering.  There may not be any specific callouts that Cabernet Sauvignon is better but the implication by price or offering is mighty large when compared with other varieties.  My quest has always been to demystify wines only to bring the magic back in (sounds contradictory but without bringing wine to it’s simplest form–the magic and delight around wine can go amiss).  There is still fear about wine selection.

  • “What if I select the wrong wine, variety or vintage”
  • “What if I select a less-than-prime wine and the whole table remembers my selection.”
  • “What if I select a Merlot but the expectation was for Cabernet Sauvignon”
  • “The higher price wine must be superior”
  • My wine selection for other people dictates that I must only select the best or perceived best.  If I select a wine less-than-optimum everyone around me will remember.

And I have to say that I too love Cabernet Sauvignon as much as I love Syrah–so this is not a call or to pit one variety over another.  This posting is to call out might there be some confusion in wine attributes as it relates to Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

No one really knows the decline in Syrah sales, at least, (in the past 10 years) in the US but I think a re-understanding and defining the characters between Cabernet Sauvignon can be a great entry point to approach and re-engage Syrah.

Some decline attributes suggested:

  • Mendoza Malbec hit US market with a large supply at very low retail price points and the wine a Bordeaux variety takes no acclimating –for many it is an instant hit.
  • Syrah has a great variation and is too site friendly i.e. Syrah picks up characteristics too easily and is not definitive enough
  • Mass produced Syrah with a berry bomb flavour profile – this could leave a taste in one’s mouth where the assumption is that all Syrah taste this way

Producers are still clinging on to produces Syrah for reduced price points in the US—let that reduced price not be a reflection of reduced quality.  Quality Syrah is available here and now.  Syrah / Shiraz is a great opportunity for wine producing nations like Australia to bring their offering forward and to show their wines as a proving ground for this amazing variety.  Great quality, artistry, food or non-food pairing flexibility can be the once and future varietal to come.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             

Derek Rohlffs and Bravium Wines – Wines from Passion – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

In my vocation I meet a lot of people; wine producers, fans and everyone in between.  And I am privileged to meet so many exceptionally talented and friendly winemakers.  This year (2012), I met Derek Rohlffs founder and proprietor of Bravium wines.  Bravium a Latin word meaning prize / reward.   Derek produces wines from a variety of regions seeking quality and finishing with his winemaker inputs for both an optimum and well priced set of wines.

Derek has been making for over a decade and the great depth and experience making wines from Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah to his white and red blends.  I have tasted through many of wines and found them to not just be high on the quality setting but a great homage to the region he sources from.  Derek is based in San Francisco’s Treasure Island and in many ways–a great symbol of assembly and centeredness.  Being front and center of the many wine countries San Francisco is at the crossroads of Northern California wine countries: North, East and South.  The urban winemaking experience is both new and old–and a great roots back to what San Francisco was doing before, during and now.  While Prohibition was terribly destructive in San Francisco and certain areas of California wine grape production continued via familial and sacramental allowances.  The urban winemaking phenomenon is important as it bring that wine country experience to the City.  Urban winemaking allows for a quicker access to have that experience without having to travel far.

I am including my wine reviews in this story for you to see and hear about the Bravium wines I tasted this year.  I also am including an interview with Derek–actually my first interview of a winemaker or anyone.  Derek’s brand is sterling and comes through as a great representation of his heart and soul in winemaking and philanthropy.  Though a small producer Derek is also about giving back and created “Sip and Give.”  His philanthropy is an open book on his website and asks visitors to vote for a few selected charities–take a look and a vote–you can see a large number of people voting.

I hope you like the videos in addition to this very brief posting.  To seek out Bravium wines go to http://bravium.com/.  And I look forward to tasting Bravium wines now and for a long time to come.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:             

Australian Wines in the US – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I attend every year dozens of wine events– I, of course, live in the West Coast capital for wine–San Francisco.  I saw many events from major to smaller wine regions pay a visit to the City by the Bay; many perennial events and those who occasionally visit.  It is especially nice for me as I cannot visit the many wine regions around the world as often as I would like; and, at least, taste the latest releases.

But one major wine country has been noticeably absent in San Francisco and for a greater part of the US is Australia with respect to wine events.  Individual brands do make it here but the strength in tasting is vital in this hyper competitive market.  I do think there are extraordinary Australian wines that both make it here and are well known or those that have either limited, retrenched  or non-existing importer relationships.  Australia has declined, at least, in the US over a period of time.  But that is profound–right? The largest wine market have less impressions on Australian wines over the past decade is an amazing statement.  It seems prime for picking for Australia to make a more concerted effort because after all ‘tasting is believing’.  Australia is known for it’s Shiraz, and sometimes and oftentimes, not fully and accurately characterized.  Syrah and Shiraz is still in opportunity phase for increase in sales.  There are many theories for the decline in Syrah/Shiraz and that is perhaps due to many reasons including: Malbec from Argentina taking over the mind’s foot print on impression over Shiraz, Cabernet as always king for epic events and dinners, and Shiraz/Syrah having some great variations in characteristic and impression.  And yet Shiraz can be a captivating variety making for just as exciting food-wine pairing as Cabernet Sauvignon.

So a great part of the mind’s imagination centres on Shiraz for Australia–Australians have grown many other wine grapes and have done so with excellence: Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, etc.  

Australians are adventurous and committed — just look at the other varietals beyond mainline international varieties; Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Rkatsiteli, Shalistin and so fourth.

I am way over due for a ‘Foot on Ground’ tour of the many Australian wine countries.

Until I get there–I just need to continue opening bottles of Australian wines whenever I find them–tasting fewer than I do of other wine regions–but it is still important to do this myself.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

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Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

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© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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More Comments on my 10-Point Wine Scale – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

I recently saw someone turn one of my reviews based on my 10-Point scale and moved the point to the right–hence going to a 100-Point scale.  I am fine totally fine with that and I understand why this was done.  I think many people reading reviews are use to the 100-Point scale.

I have kept to my 10-Point scale as a point of difference.  I do contend that my scale is logarithmic and that each progressive tenth of a point is more difficult to achieve then the next.   I keep all of my wine scores tabulated and know the average score and would be interested in those using a numbered system and to know their average–Parker is one wine reviewer that comes to mind.   I do not know of anyone who has weighted the average of many well known wine reviewers.  It would be interested to see the total average as well as by region, producer and vintage and that over time.

¡Salud!

http://www.jamesthewineguy.com

***

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:

© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse: