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Month August 2013

Bott Wine: Excellence of a Tokaj Hungary Wine Producer – James Meléndez

I wanted to release this article sooner but a large part of this year I was studying cultivars and since I couldn’t download a table of all wine grape cultivars I had to create my own.  This endeavor took a very long time and I can see how I decreased my output of material for a period of time.  I have always thought it is my duty as a wine writer to know all of the cultivars.   The cultivar estimate of 10,000 seemed to be too even and I wondered if it was correct.  So far and I am still analyzing the results is that number of cultivars is north of 10,300 and there are over 31,000 synonyms (the estimate I had seen previously was 25,000).  I feel a sense of relief and more than relief a sense of excitement of knowing some baseline information on cultivars.  I drilled down further in my data set found there are at least 282 Hungarian cultivars and this number could be revised based on further analysis of my data set.  I feel a more profound sense of the Hungarian wine experience–282 Hungarian cultivars is not published anywhere.  It felt so special to be close to this knowledge.  The Hungarian wine experience is a long tradition with probably many more varieties than most people might suspect.

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There are moments of tasting great food and wine where that experience is transcendental.  Judit & Jozef Bodó visited San Francisco (3-March-2013) sharing their wines with great Hungarian food.  The Bodó’s produce Furmint and Hárslevelű wines.  While Hungarian wines paired with Hungarian food is a fantastic experience-I urge you to think broadly with high quality and beautiful signatures of Tokaj wines that there are many cuisine styles that can be beautiful paired with Hungarian wines.  While this dinner was optimum world class Hungarian food in San Francisco—yes–world and California class.  Local products mainly, however, Hungarian paprika was required of course.  This dinner made a great impression upon me as it was one part great food (Bar Tartine), one part great wine (Botts) and the environment and timing made for a lock in time of me always recalling this meal.

Pair Bott’s wines with Bar Tartine’s Hungarian fare prepared by Nicolaus Balla was a match made in heaven.  The Bodó’s wines were expressive and superbly crafted; not stealing the show but in harmony with the cuisine.  Their vineyard site is a superb location for Furmint and Hárslevelű– traditional varities in Tokaj.  The Bott Furmint is a clear and exciting representation of acidity, floral-spice characteristics with a variety of essences of citrus notes; peeled, zested and sliced.  The Hárslevelű leaving an indelible impression; dry wine with essence of wild flower honey, freshly picked flowers, Cardamom and pear and green melon notes.  Each variety (Furmint and Hárslevelű) cannot be mistaken for any variety other than what it is.

Menu - Bar Tartine Bott Winery Dinner

Menu – Bar Tartine Bott Winery Dinner

Gombasaláta

Gombasaláta

I sat next to Judit and it was a great way to learn about her and her husband’s winery.  There was an absolute at-ease and yet excitement to talk about their little corner of central Europe.  Tired–yes, a long flight–which I always too get sleepier going west than east. I was completely amazed at Judit and Jozef’s energy level.   Judit and Jozef Bodó were excited to talk about their experience in Hungary and their new found experience and first time being in the US.  While San Francisco might be many kilometers away Bott’s wines exemplify high attention to detail, quality and artistic impression.  San Francisco’s love for great cuisine commands excellence in wines from all regions on the planet. I am so glad Bott wines are available here in San Francisco and equally importantly to hear from the winemaker of their great love of their art form.  Be sure to pick up both Bott wines and pair with you next meal (and these wines can be paired with a large array of cuisine styles).

Judit Bodó - Bott's Winery winemaker

Judit Bodó – Bott’s Winery winemaker

***

Blue Danube Wines – importer of Bott wines:

http://www.bluedanubewine.com/winery/bott/

¡Salud!

http://ww w.jamesthewineguy.com

***

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

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Jordan Winery…’Through the Trees, Vines, Gardens, and Lake’ Estate Tour – A Radiant Tour – James Meléndez

Jordan Winery in the heart of Alexander Valley known for bottling Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and known for it’s beautiful Chateau tasting room and winery–in fact that is what the majority of visitors experience here.  Beginning September 5, 2013 you can take a tour to take a visit beyond the brick wall differentiating between winery building and the rest of the estate.

Rows and Trees

Lake at Jordan Estate

Jordan Estate

I was fortunate to visit on a pre-launch tour to experience this large estate in great comfort in a wonderfully and perfectly air conditioned Mercedes van through the woods, vines, gardens and pond.  I have seen this estate before in Jordan videos but it was important to see up close.  Alexander Valley looks close to and yet so distinctive to it’s neighbours of Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and of course different than Napa.

The Jordan Estate is a site of about 1,200 acres and 112 acres of Bordeaux varieties from Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, to Merlot; there is 18 acres of olive groves producing olive oil from Arbequina, Frantoio, Pendolino and Leccino.  There is also an herb, vegetable and fruit garden of over an acre.

Vineyard management is pristine and embraces sustainability principles.  I have seen and walked many vineyard sites and here I enjoyed seeing the immaculate touches of keeping magnificent trees amongst the vine row.  Not often a common feature in any vineyard site–a tree may “take up too much” room but it is essential for hawks and other wildlife to find a home–a beautiful site to see.

I could not have been here any better time of the year.  Warm but not hot, glorious sunshine and each vine completely stored with perfectly growing Vitis vinifera.  But there is no wine country visit where I have picked the “wrong” time of year to visit.

On my tour I saw the miniature donkeys–very affectionate animals.  Across from the barn is a chef’s delight of vegetable, herbs, and fruit trees; I tasted the Kadota figs and cherry tomatoes.  Any garden visit is made complete when I find rosemary, marjoram, and thyme.

Jordan Estate

Beautiful sunflowers

20130824_104837

Flowers for Jordan’s tasting room and events

20130824_104824

A bountiful garden to supply the wondrous events at Jordan.

With Our first food and wine pairing–we started with 2010 and 2011 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay served with just picked carrots, fennel, figs and yellow peaches in estate olive oil.  Each Russian River Valley Chardonnay were evident in their minimal intervention and each wine superbly elegant and differentiated from one another.  A rare treat to enjoy sculpted Russian River Valley fruit and in the background was the estate’s beautiful lake.

Jordan Estate

2010 Jordan Chardonnay

2010 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay

IMG_0793

2011 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Our next voyage was to stop in rows of Malbec first; tasting is encouraged–and a great way of tasting the fruit before it becomes wine; and between we passed a few bay leaf trees–a gorgeous and intense scent from each fallen tiny leaf.  The senses experience continued to tasting gorgeous Petit Verdot.  We finally ascended to the highest point of the estate which has a panoramic view of the entire Alexander Valley and no better place to enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon.  We tasted 2002 and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.  We enjoyed a Bento box filled with three cheese; a Brie with black truffle, an aged Gouda and a sheep’s cheese with estate olive oil.  We were also served a small Cassoule dish with local beef.  A perfect way to have generous and delicious proteins to match the fine Cabernet Sauvignons.   The 2002 was vivid an in focus and could easily go on for another 10 years. The 2009 Cabernet was definitive and remarkably different in characterization than it’s older brother.

Jordan Estate

Jordan Estate

At the highpoint of tour–the best tasting high above the Alexander Valley floor–breathtaking views, Cabernet Sauvignon and food.

*****

The Jordan Estate Tour and Tasting is a rare glimpse of a fine and vibrant vineyard, gardens, groves, pastures in any wine country.  A high recommendation for the estate tour.  And I look forward to a return visit and in the meantime time there is always a bottle of Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon nearby.

Jordan Winery tastings and tours:

http://www.jordanwinery.com/visit/tours_and_tastings

***

¡Salud!

http://ww w.jamesthewineguy.com

***

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Thomas Fogarty Lexington Santa Cruz Mountains Meritage – 2007 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts)

9.2

A lovely wine:

Scent characteristics: Sanded cedar, well seasoned leather, pine forest floor, and plum orchard.  Flavour notes: Blackberry, Acai, Tayberry, violets, rose petals, sage, white mushroom and chile Poblano.

¡Salud!

http://ww w.jamesthewineguy.com

***

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Red 7 North Coast Proprietary Red Wine – 9.0 (90/100 Pts) – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

9.0

This is a fun wine – a blend that is known only to the wine maker.   I did take 7 guesses as to each of the seven varieties in this wine: 1. Merlot 2. Grenache 3 Syraj 4 Cabernet Sauvignon 5 Zinfandel 6. Petite Sirah and 7 Mourvèdre.  I could be partially correct or completely wrong but I don’t think I am 100% correct either.  Again a fun wine to enjoy on it’s own or with pasta, pizza, burger and other foods.

This wine is layered and balanced with a great canvas of acid and alcohol to encapsulate wondrous scent and flavour characteristics:

Scent of Juniper forest floor, stone fruit orchard, freshly sliced black Krim tomatoes, cedar and leather.

Flavour profile of red cherry, Marionberry, red tea, tamarind, cardamom, allspice, Marjoram, violets and pepper.

¡Salud!

http://ww w.jamesthewineguy.com

***

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

Read more of my wine reviews:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Wine & Social Media…It’s What We Have Been Waiting For – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

Social Media & Wine

http://www.slideshare.net/jamesthewineguy/wine-social-media

I recently posted this presentation I gave in Rioja, Spain a couple of years ago.  And with the advent of Slideshare.com it is easier to share presentations.  Better to have a second life that just a one and only run.  An active voice to accompany this presentation would be helpful to give context.

I still believe in the title: Wine & Social Media: It’s What We Have Been Waiting For.  We live in remarkable times–no better time for the best quality, great artistic impression, and the best choices in wine ever.  Top this with a way to talk about great wine we have social media.  Without social media there was no way to talk about wine without paying for it.  Social media allows for immediacy and instant connection with a consuming base and for consumer to have immediacy with their favourite labels and to make discovery of new ones too.

When I gave this talk at Rioja Forum I asked for a show of hands to see how many people had a Facebook account (the audience was the wine trade) almost everyone raised their hand.  I then asked the same about Twitter and only a small number of hands went up.  My research into the subject matter helped to uncover a compelling story about Twitter.  Twitter then and now has considerable stickiness–that is Twitter and wine is a particularly active community of wine interested people.  Twitter unlike Facebook is open–you don’t need an account to view activity.  But if you don’t have a Facebook account you won’t be able to see any of the Like pages.

From a vantage point of time–who really has time to go and see even a small number of wine brand pages?   Twitter on the other hand is simple to use, view and see a lot of things.  Developing one’s presence on Twitter is a great way to have a dialogue with not just people you know but also people whom you don’t know.  Twitter is the truest of social media’s virtual hand shake that is always on.

I do advocate for a Twitter presence for all brands.  The presence also needs to be backed by being active in your Twitter handle.  Twitter allows for an easy way to link websites, full articles, video and pictures.

I am also a big believer in video–another way of adding colour to your social media presence.   I do believe that the YouTube, Vimeo and other video platforms have not been fully engaged by wine consumer or wine interested public.  I have spoken in my wine videos that many people don’t expect to find their favourite wine labels has wine video content they are seeking.  The wine category unlike almost any other category is quite large in terms number of producers, vintages, and wines produced.

The richness of Twitter is to give colour to where people are located,  how active they are, how many followers as well as how many people followed them and you can also find other data points.  I did find it very interesting in my research that the top Twitter wine cities in the world were:

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York
  3. Napa
  4. Sonoma
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Seattle
  7. Chicago
  8. London
  9. Vancouver
  10. Toronto

I would expect this list would perhaps have a few change outs but would remain very similar today.

I hope at some point I can update some of the metrics I captured and think a few cities would fall out and other fall right in.

¡Salud!

http://ww w.jamesthewineguy.com

***

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

Read more of my wine reviews:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco – 9.2 (92/100 Pts) – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

9.2

A gorgeous sparkling wine;  definitiveness in structure – notes of d’Anjou pear, blood orange citrus zest, green fig, sesame, hint of fennel and pine nut

¡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:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2008 – 9.2 (92/100 Pts) – James Melendez

9.2

I have not had a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in some time.  A welcome relief to taste this beautiful wine.

This wine is integrated, luxuriant texture, and complex.  Scent notes of bramble patch in summer’s afternoon heat, softened leather, freshly stacked and split juniper wood, fresh herb garden.   Flavour characteristics of  blueberry, Tayberry, sage, chocolate, white mushroom, fennel, pepper. lavender and cinnamon

¡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:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

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Hawks View Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir – 2010 – 9.4 (94/100 Pts) – James Melendez

9.4

This is all estate fruit.  This wine spends 12 months in 33% new french oak, 40% once filled french oak and 27% neutral french oak. A signature of Hanzel, Wadensvil, and Dijon Clones.

Scent of a Douglas fir forest, stone fruit orchard in autumn, pine cone, fallen leaves, and freshly stacked cedar wood.

This wine presents with balance, elegance and lyrical touch;  capture of bright acidity and luxuriant texture.  exhibiting notes of Tayberry, raspberry, definitive red rose petal lavender, hint of Ethiopian coffee, graphite and finishing off with delicate nots of thyme and cardamom.

¡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:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Wine and The Power of Brand – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

Wine is a great way of understanding the concept and practice of brand. Modern producers of wine have had to differentiate themselves by firstly label or more precisely total packaging programme.

This video shows the power of brand and how Kosta Browne developed their wine label to have such a following.  Brand building is essential in creating a following and customer base.  In the wine world it is essential to highlight not just for a short term following but for the long-term.  If you don’t think design and the all encompassing brand touch is important –look at this video for that demonstration:

¡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:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Morlanda Criança Priorat – 2009 – 9.3 (93/100 Pts) – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

9.3

Rare for me to taste Priorat wines–always a pleasure.  This wine is 50% Garnacha and 50% Cariñena

Scent notes of Marionberry confit, cedar wood pile, stone fruit orchard in autumn

Flavour characteristics of black cherry, pomegranate, Marionberry, cinnamon stick, freshly ground cardamom and truffle.

¡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:  

© 2013 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

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