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.

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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, Spain, Yatkin Valley. Bookmark the permalink.

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