Q4 2021 Wine Reviews

Another year has flown by and like last year there have been some wine events but most of them like last year did not happen. I know some people are not fans of wine tasting experiences for trade and media. But I did get to taste more this year than last year.

I had a nice comment from a viewer on YouTube who said he liked my style and that I should be getting more hits and have a larger subscriber base. His comment was spot on and I greatly appreciate it as I have felt validated without having to ask someone. All of the sudden – the past two years – there has been an explosion of wine videos when once there were few. So I do have that competition. But what I find needed is more support from producers from which I review wines. A lot of producers do support what I do and add to their websites, favorite and retweet and more. And by producers showing supports does show that it does help to increase video click rate but also helps the producers; a classic two way street. But there is a producer base where there is no comment, like or posting of videos that support their products on their site. And some producer prefer only written pieces?!?

What??? This isn’t 1999. But a person very close to me asked me if I enjoy making videos and I said yes and he said then keep doing and I have added incremental improvements. And there is more to come. I do find value in written pieces as well.

We do live in a world where people are seeking written, spoken and video content. It is a win-win strategy if content is support from producers. I will be doing a separate article for sparkling wine recommendations for end of year celebrations for the season and new year ahead.

A Supply & Demand Curve depicting a shift of more consumption and view of wine videos in 2021

Here are my last quarter of 2021 reviews:

OneHope Monterey County Pinot Noir 2020

Nose: strawberry, mineral, pepper, spices, and wood pile

Palate: tart cherry, spice, violets, and dried herbs

$40 PP

Chasing Rain Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Nose: red blackberry, cinnamon suede, cedar, and rose petal. Palate: red cherry and blackberry, clove, pepper, and rose petal. ABV: 14.5% – 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot. $25 Price Point.

Be Human Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Nose: Uplift of black fruit, cassis, spice, leaves on forest floor and red floral. Palate: cassis confit, clove, pepper, and dried herbs. 14.5% ABV – $17 Price Point.

Mas Llunes Emporion Empordà 2018 

This wine is 56% Garnatxa and 44% Cabernet. The nose presents violets red cherry, cedar, spices. Palate: bright red fruit notes, cherry pomegranate, pepper and cinnamon. 14.5% ABV

Aquilini Red Mountain Syrah 2019

Nose: blueberry, blackberry, underbrush wood, cinnamon; palate: bright cherry, white pepper, clove, espresso. ABV 15%

Virgen Organic Wines

It is rare to see the USDA Organic label on but say less than .1% of wine labels. The USDA Organic certification requires no added sulfites. But there is perhaps on the consumer side that wines with Organic grapes doesn’t consistite an organic wine as those wines have added sulfites. I am surprised that I have seen “Organic Grapes” on front and does that confuse the matter one what organic is? Does a wine consumer think an Organic wine begins and stops only with Organic grapes? Probably many consumers think they are getting an organic wine but by the USDA they get an organic wine when there have no added sulfites. I do give a caution on this wine in terms of sensory experience. This wine because there are no sulfites has a definitive nose and palate–some might term it savory or mushroomy. This will not taste like a Malbec or Red Blend with sulfites.

Virgen Organic Mendoza Malbec 2020 – $13 SRP

14.5% ABV; Vegan Friendly USDA Organic. Nose of Cherry, savory-mushroom, and graphite. Palate of Bing cherry, mushroom, pepper and spice.

Virgen Organic Mendoza Red Blend 2020 – $13 SRP

14.3% ABV; Vegan Friendly USDA Organic. Nose of Strawberry, mushroom, and mineral. Palate of red cherry, graphite and pepper.

Raeburn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2020

14% ABV; nose of crushed red candy, cherry, clove and stacked wood; palate of Crushed red candy, bing cherry, and ground spices.

Qupé Santa Barbara County Grenache 2018

14.8% ABV – Nose presents with notes of red floral, mountain strawberry, spice an, leather, leaves on a forest floor. Palate: red plum, pomegranate, mix of spices.

Anarchist Piquette 2020

This Piquette is superbly dry and nicely effervescent. A Piquette is made from a secondary fermentation and pressing of grape pomace which normally thrown away. This styles is a wine made in France typically for farm and vineyard workers. This is an US made Piquette. Nose; raspberry, moistened mineral and hint of herbs; Palate of rapsberry, mountain strawberry and citrus peel. The RS is .23% and low ABV of 7 %. The SRP is $19.00

Samuel Lindsay The Gandy Dancer Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

This wine is 97.75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.25% Merlot; Aged for 15 months in 100% French oak. Barrel fermentation 30%, Flash on skins 40% and traditional fermentation 30%. 14.82 ABV – fruit is mainly Lodi with additional fruit from Napa 12.75% and Mendocino 2.25%

Nose: rich nose of blackberry raspberry (think boysenberry) moist red clay earth, suede, lavender and spice Palate: blackberry, clove, pepper, and Bay leaf 

Monsaraz Reserva Alentejo DOC 2018 93 Points

This wine is Alicante Bouschet 60%; Trincadeira 20% and Touriga Nacional 20%. 15% ABV. SRP of $16.

Nose: black and red fruit, spice, herbs and violets. Palate: Rich black fruit notes, freshly ground spice, white pepper, and red floral. A lovely and inexpensive wine.

Russian River Brewing Robert Saison

Nose: bright citrus tones, pepper and spice

Palate: citrus peel, hint of autumnal-winter fruit (pears, apples) additional notes of cardamom and white tea.

More video reviews on my YouTube Channel



© 2021 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, my original art work and all designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

I love wine. I am passionate about the subject as well as art, music, lyric writing and poetry, history, 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 3,000 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! Santé, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2022, 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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