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Month February 2016

Terre del Principe Pallagrello Nero Casavecchia ’12 93 Pts – James Melendez

Full name of wine: Full name of wine:  Terre del Principe Castello del Femmine Pallagrello Nero Casavecchia

Producer: Terre del PrincipeJust when I don’t think I can no longer get excited about wine I know that I am about to be surprised.

I have known about the Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia grapes I had never found an opportunity to taste wines made from these grapes.  This is an IGT wine which in my opinion is the way to find a great quality wine that is not a DOC or DOCG and recognizes regions and variety.

This is a point of difference wine–a unique signature of varieties that express Campania. This wine can be enjoyed alone or with food but in my opinion this wine is optimized if served with food.

Scent characterization: red plum, pepper, black cherry and cinnamon

Flavour characteristics: black plum, game, cherry, pepper, graphite and Thyme.

I was glad to find this wine in San Francisco and under 20 USD.  I wonder when I will try my next Pallagrello Nero and Casavecchia wine–I hope soon.

**

¡Salud!

James

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2016 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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Tre Bicchieri San Francisco 2016 Taste – James Melendez

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I wish I could have tasted all of the wines at this year’s edition of Tre Bicchieri San Francisco.   I arrived towards the beginning but it is hard to taste everything–sometimes getting time to taste even a few I count myself lucky.   Tre Biccheri is important for me to seek out all Italian wine regions and often I get to taste from regions I rarely taste from.   I was able to taste a Syrah from Valle d’Aosta by Rosset which was so unexpectedly dynamic and I will seek this wine out.  When I look at Italy often I don’t want an international variety but if I overlooked this wine I would have missed a spectacular wine.  I also looked at Italian whites I rarely taste Vernacchia and Pecorino and it is a reminder to me to seek them.

I did taste the following wines where I have listed vintage and point score that I assigned to all that I tasted:

  1. Leonildo Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2013 – 92 Pts (9.1)
  2. Re Manfriedi Terri Gegli Svevi Aglianico del Vulture Serpara 2010 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  3. Cavicchioli U & Figli Lambrusco di Sorbara V. del Cristo 2015 – 91 Pts (9.1)
  4. Nino Negri Valetelilina Sfursat 5 Stelle 2011 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  5. Felline Primitivo di Manduria 2013 – 90 Pts (9.1)
  6. La Marchesine Franciacorta Dosage Zero Secolo Novo Ris 2008 – 94 Pts (9.4)
  7. La Marchesine Franciacorta Brut Rose – 2010 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  8. La Marchesine Franciacorta Saten – 2011 – 92 Pts) (9.2)
  9. Cantina Mesa Carignano del Sulcis Bulo Buio Ris 93 Pts (9.3)
  10. Cantina Mesa Vermentino di Sardegna Opale 2010 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  11. Cantina Mesa Carignano del Suli Buio 2014 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  12. Ferrari Treno Extra Bruit Lunelli Ris 2007 – 94 Pts (9.4)
  13. Ferrari Brut Perle 2008 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  14. Rosset Terroir Valle d’Aosta Syrah 2013 – 95 Pts (9.5)
  15. San Michele Appiano Alto Adige Pinot Bianco St. Valentin 2013 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  16. Villa Raiano Fiano di Avellino 22 – 2013 – 93 Pts – 9.3
  17. Casale del Giglio Antium Bellone – 2014 – 92 Pts – 9.2
  18. Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Vign. di Campolungo Gran Selezione 2010 – 94 Pts (9.4)
  19. Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva 2011 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  20. Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala 2013 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  21. Castello della Sala Novile di Montepulciano Santa Pia 2010 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  22. Cusumano Sicilia Noa 2013 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  23. Cusamano Bianco Alta Mora 2014 – 91 Pts (9.1)
  24. Bellavista Franciacorta Extra Brut Vittorio Moretti Ris. 2008 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  25. Cantina Convento Muri-Gries Alto Adige Largein Muri Riserva 2012 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  26. Rocca di Frassinello Maremma Toscana Baffo Nero 2013 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  27. Cascina Ca’Rossa Roero Mompisssano Ris. 2012 – 94 Pts (9.4)
  28. Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Brut Prior 2014 – 91 Pts (9.1)
  29. Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Brut Ius Naturae 2014 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  30. Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Banda rossa 2015 – 93 Pts – (9.3)
  31. Libandi Gravello 2012 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  32. Il Colombaio di Santa Chiana Vernacchia di San Gimginano l’Alberta Ris 2012 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  33. Tenuta i Fauri Abruzzo Pecorino 2014 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  34. Noelia Ricci Romagna Sangiovese Sup Il Sangiovese 2014 – 92 Pts (9.2)
  35. Noelia Ricci Sangiovese Sup Godenza 2012 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  36. Primosci Collio Ribolla Gialla di Solavia Ris 2011 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  37. Zorzettig Pinot Bianco 2014 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  38. Zorzettig Pinot Grigio 2014 – 93 Pts (9.3)
  39. Zorzettig Friuliano 2014 93 Pts (9.3)

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Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour

***

¡Salud!

James

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2016 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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The Real Thing and Point of Difference for Wine Branding – James Melendez

 

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The McCann Erickson campaign dubbed Hilltop also known as “I’d like to Buy the World a Coke.” Set in an Italian hillside featuring a worldly population of young people each holding a glass bottle of Coca-Cola from their respective Country.

I was reminded of this ad when I saw the last episode of Mad Men (hopefully I am not spoiling anything–I won’t give any comment that lead up to the final scene–don’t continue if you think this might be a spoiler) – how about that disclosure?  We see Don Draper at a spiritual retreat in Big Sur and he utters an “omm” eyes closed and the iconic coke ad appears.  My interpretation and I love this ambiguous ending is that while Don was seeking a spiritual retreat he was a quintessential Madison Avenue ad man and this retreat provided the inspiration for him to in the future create this ad.  Few series endings are not satisfying but the totality of the this final scene felt as satisfying as possible.

I don’t really ever recall the moving image of this ad only the music and the tag line of “The Real Thing”  I went back to see if this coke ad had been re-imagined by Mad Men or it was a re-mastered image.   I was pleasantly surprised to see it was re-mastered.  The old ad from whatever source was grainy but the remastered image seemed new.  Just as Mad Men reimagined the storied past of Madison Avenue and heavy leaning on mid-Century culture and history it was the Real Commercial.  Seeing the Hilltop ad in 2016 eyes is to see an ad that inspires, is relevant and still can deliver goosebumps to be a testament to ads at their finest.

The longer message is this propelled Coca-Cola for a long time–hard to match an ad like this and after billions of dollars spent by Coca-Cola none have truly surpassed the evocation of emotion that this ad still leaves with us today.  Brand and authenticity is a hard thing to convey and cannot always be bought–it has to be nurtured backed by vision and balanced with creativity.

Wine and branding is no different and that today more than ever is a ‘need to have’ a brand position and for very logical and pragmatic reasons.  As of 2014, there are over 10,400 bonded wineries in the United States.  That is a lot of wineries–a lot of labels and that is not including from what is being sourced from abroad.  Wine as I have always said is easily one of the most compelling consumer products and it is also the most complex – large of number of varieties, vintage, vineyard selection, reserve/non-reserve, old vine, cuvee selection etc.  Though label and brand identities have been developed by some producers solidly in the consumer’s mind there is a vast landscape of complexity.  What wine consumers want is selection, excellence and good price points the number of SKUs is still ever increasing.  Wine consumers fall in love with good wine and fall out of love quickly if there is a substantial price increase and lack of availability.  Lack of availability is key — wine unlike beer or spirits is limited at least in the sense of thoughtfully produced wines is both highly unique and limited.  I often go into a wine retailer with a wine I want to buy and out I come with a different brand altogether–why?  Simply the retailer doesn’t have what I am seeking.  With a vast array of complexities and layering more producers I think is a recipe for commoditization.  

I have walked into many wine retailers and grocery stores and have scratched my head at the number of non-branded wine labels–virtual brand–something that doesn’t exist but only for packaging.  These non-brands help to commoditse wine in a way that takes away from the branding position of the wine category.  

Wine brands and advertising in general has not been especially good – there is no wine equivalent for the Coca-Cola hilltop ad.  Some wine ads are depicting people who really don’t exist – Bartles and Jaymes – these are not the people who owned the brand or Carlo Rossi (Charles Rossi) who was a salesman for Gallo Wines married into the Gallo Family but did not start the winery with his somewhat namesake.  Many campaigns are so superficial and shallow such as “Ruinite on Ice/That’s Nice” or the Orson Welles Paul Masson ads were Masson was attributed as saying “We will sell no wine before it’s time.”  Did Paul Masson actually say that?  I cannot point to any broadcast ad where when a brand was presented about wine it was actually the subject not object–most are superficial and endlessly shallow.  The Blue Nun wine ads are cringe worthy call out.

Coca-Cola ventured into the wine world in the mid-70s and exited it as well owning Sterling in Napa Valley.  But ownership doesn’t execute to brand identification let alone great brand positioning or advertising.

Wine branding is vital and important and for consumers to grasp those brands who have a raison d’etre than a raison d’argent.  And to avoid what maybe an overall brand erosion is through thoughtful producers who choose to offer a strong brand identity can help to mark position.  Few brands can do broadcast advertising and I think it is not necessary for most. But there is always an opportunity to create a video on such platforms as Vimeo or YouTube.    Brands need to work towards continuous improvement, thoughtful and methodical about it’s communication and to be on point.  Branding is the only way to not become a commodity.  My comments here are not to say that all wine labels are headed towards commoditization and I do think some brands do an excellent job of holding their brand authority.

There will be plenty of producers who either can’t execute a distinct brand or even care about it will succumb to either a decreased interest or eventual demise of brand and business.

***

¡Salud!

James

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

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2016 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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