Fall Wine Reviews September-October 2019 Wine Reviews – James Melendez

A very busy time of the year for me is always Fall – I had to combine my monthly wine reviews into one (September-October 2019).  I had a large number of trips–and a bit busier than usual in general.

My highlight for this period was going to Calabria–I had been trying to get there for the past three years and I finally made it!  I am currently writing that experience up and will be publishing shortly — so please be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!




Penfolds Grange Bin 95 2014 – Bottle #AR142








It is only once in a decade that I get to taste this wine–and I am right on schedule–not everyday I get to enjoy an $850.00 wine.  I have always admired Penfolds not just for Grange but for overall approachability from inexpensive to quite pricey.

This wine exemplified a nose of heirloom blackberry, dried rose petals, spice rack and forest floor; palate of Cassis, white pepper and long and elongated spices and dried herbs.  A lovely complex wine that wears its white tie quite nicely.  It was worth the wait.


Penfolds Bin 389 South Australia 2016








Nose of red-black bramble, spice, wood and earth. Palate of blackberry, pepper, dried red flowers and Thyme.


Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2015






I have not been tasting wines from Rioja or Ribera del Duero in general for the past half decade.  I miss not tasting more wines from both of these Spanish regions. This wine is a solid value–nice to have some age in the bottle.  Nose of cherry, moisten earth, cedar and freshly ground spices.  Palate of tart cherry, white pepper, earth and cardamom.


Alara Cellars Mission Ranch Vyd Arroyo Seco Albariño 2018






I am not a fan of many North American Albariño not because they don’t compare against Rias Baixas wines but simple because they do not have much character.

This wine takes the Albariño and doesn’t characterize this wine to speak Californian but to speak many languages–code for a wine that is balanced and a very harmonious treatment of this variety.  Nose of citrus zest, golden stone fruit, and moist stones.  Palate of stone fruit, citrus pulp and oyster shell.


Diamond Creek Napa Valley Volcanic Hill 2016







Another wine I taste once a decade–Volcanic Hill from Diamond Creek.  Nose of Cassis-Blackberry, suede, dried Thyme; palate of Loch Ness blackberry, Tarragon and red rose petal.


Diamond Creek Napa Valley Red Rock Terrace 2015







Nose of Cassis, violets, earth and spices; palate of Cassis-black cherry, white pepper, Thyme and Tarragon.


Lopez De Heredia Rioja Viña Tondonia Reserva 2007








Nose of tart red fruit, earth, violets; palate of red cherry, delicate layering of Ethiopian coffee, red tea, and fennel.


Lopez De Heredia Rioja Viña Tondonia Cubilla 2010








Nose of red cherry, currants, underbrush, dried fennel and violets; palate of early season cherry, tea, cacao powder and white pepper.


Dr.. Konstantin Frank Old Vines Pinot Noir 2016








A very nice Pinot Noir from New York’s Finger Lakes – nose of cherry, sanded wood, violets and dried herbs; palate of tart cherry, tea, pepper, and dried Thyme.


Dr.. Konstantin Frank Old Vines Pinot Noir 2016







This wine is a composition of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier.  Vibrant notes of passionfruit, dried citrus and mineral.  Palate of exotic citrus peel, white peach, and oyster shell.




James the Wine Guy

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

© 2019 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:


About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 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, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Arroyo Seco, Australia, Finger Lakes, Grenache, Grillo, Insolia/Ansonica, Italian Wine, Monterey, Monthly Reviews, Napa Valley, New York, North Carolina, Pinot Noir, Rioja, Santa Rita Hills, Sicilia, Spain, Yatkin Valley. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.