Salentein Wine Tasting – James Melendez

I get a ton of Mendoza Malbec offers to taste constantly-in fact there is no other region–no other variety that I get as many offers.

Though much less common to taste high quality, well-made Malbec wines from Argentina.  And I was able to taste three different vineyard designate wines: another rarity for me.   I was on this tasting (this Fall) with a group of wine writers based here in the SF Bay Area.  Pepe Galante, Bodegas Salentein winemaker, lead the tasting.  This tasting was nicely done to pair the Bodegas fine wines with the food from Per Diem in San Francisco’s financial district.  A very nice charcuterie plate and the short ribs were the perfect foods for the Bodegas Salentein collection of rich and nicely developed red wines–the flagship varieties are Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salentein Chardonnay 2016

Notes of Granny Smith apple, white flowers, and almonds and palate of green apple, dried Turkish fig, almond and beeswax.

****

Salentein La Pampa Vineyard Mendoza Malbec 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concentrated fruit, rich Malbec; nose of blackberry confit, pepper, Thyme and violets/lavender and palate of Blue-black fruit, ground mace-Cardamom, and white pepper.

Salentein El Tomillo Vineyard Mendoza Malbec 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyrical and focused fruit; nose of wild blackberry, dried wood pile, suede and freshly crushed spices.  Palate of Loch Ness blackberry/blueberry confit, Thyme and pepper.

****

Salentein Los Basaltos Vineyard Mendoza Malbec 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nose of warmed blackberries, cassis, evergreen forest, and dried lavender

Palate of heirloom blackberries, white pepper, Tarragon and cocoa powder.

****

Salentein Numina Gran Corte Mendoza 2015

This wine is a composition of 68% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.  Notes of cassis confit, worn suede, cedar wood pile and dried Thyme; palate of Marionberry, white pepper, lavender and crushed Bay leaf.

****

Salentein Primum Mendoza Malbec 2014

Notes of Boysenberry, ground pepper, violets-roses; palate of red-black bramble berries, white pepper, and dried rose petals.

Salentein Primum Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

100% Cabernet Sauvignon; I rarely ever taste a pure form of Cabernet from Mendoza, Argentina.  Notes of fleshy black cherry, freshly cut wood, forest floor and herb garden.  Palate of red-black cherry, pepper, fresh Bay leaf and Tarragon.

****

Salentein Gran Vu Mendoza Red WineBlend 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the flagship wine of Salentein and is a blend of 62% Malbec and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Notes of Marionberry-cherry, violet garden, pepper, and leather; palate of Cassis-blackberry, lavender, Thyme and hint of sage.

****

A final and very nice touch was a dessert of chocolate mouse to enjoy with sips of Salentein.

****

A very nice set of wines to enjoy with beef and rich foods.   These wines are a nice match for a special dinner; I like to enjoy these wines for autumnal and winter dinners.

To enjoy these wines ask your wine merchant to bring some in.

Bodegas Salentein

Per Diem

43 Sutter Street

San Francisco, CA

****

¡Salud!

Salute,

James/James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Food, Food and Wine, Malbec | Leave a comment

Planeta Nero d’Avola Wines: A Visit to Sicilian Wine Regions in Your Glass – James Melendez

I always anticipate and enjoy all of the wines I get to taste from Planeta.

I was invited along with other wine writers in the Bay Area to pair stellar food from A16 in Oakland and Planeta’s Nero D’Avola’s from their Noto, Menfi, Vittoria and Capo Milazzo sites.  This was a very important tasting simply because Nero D’Avola is not given it’s credit the way it should be given.  Nerello Mascalese from Etna DOC steals the show–yes handsome wines no doubt but Nero D’Avola is a gorgeous wine that deserves considerable praise and attention.  I am not suggesting that Nero D’Avola is no longer a favourite variety but I would love to hear people talk more about this variety and more importantly drink them.  I distinctly remember the first Nero D’Avola I tasted (just in the 2000s) and it was a moment that lasted long after my first taste: it was haunting and something I still think about today.

And I think over time Nero D’Avola will be top of mind once again–it is a hauntingly beautiful wine that has the capacity to linger pleasantly so.  This tasting was so nice to taste of different styles and sites and to taste older vintages (I never get to experience this ever).

There are two A16 restaurants one in San Francisco and the other in Rockridge (Oakland)–I always hope to not cross a bridge to get a restaurant but A16 Rockridge is such a nice setting–nicely appointed and comfortable restaurant (San Francisco is a mainly a left-right restaurant town–meaning there is a left side and there is a right side to the restaurant’s floor plan).  The Rockridge restaurant is not a typical San Francisco left/right restaurant… I digress.  It was a perfecting setting for this experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Alessio Planeta and Shelley Lindgren, A16 Wine Director

Alessio Planeta gave the MasterGlass (great name to talk about the wines and the specific Nero d’Avola glasses) and it was nice to see him again and hear talk about his families vineyards and wines.

Riedel Nero d’Avola wine glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifications of the Riedel Nero d’Avola Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

****

Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2015 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is 60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Frappato; 13% ABV

Nose of cherry, rose petal, leather and cardamom; palate of sour cherry/mountain strawberry, and Cardamom.

****

Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria Dorilli 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is 70% Nero d’Avola, 30% Frappato; 13% ABV

Nose: cherry, crushed dried roses, cedar and anise.

Palate: red cherry, pomegranate, anise, cinnamon/spice finish.

****

Planeta Mamertino 2015

This is such a beauty with a composition of 60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Nocera; 13% ABV – Nocera, a rare variety and adds such a loveliness to this wine.

Nose of red roses, fleshy red-black cherry, deciduous forrest and spice box.

Palate of pomegranate, first of season red cherry, pepper and allspice.

****

Planeta Noto Santa Cecilia 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100% Nero d’Avola; 13.5% ABV

Nose: red cherry, pomegranate, leather and underbrush

Palate: early season cherry, mountain strawberry, allspice, and hint of clove.

****

Planeta Noto Santa Cecilia 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100% Nero d’Avola; 14% ABV

Nose: Rose petal, sour cherry, plum, and freshly ground spices.

Palate of mountain strawberry, violets, pepper and Bay leaf.

****

Planeta Noto Santa Cecilia 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100% Nero d’Avola; 14% ABV

Yes, Nero d’Avola ages remarkably, beautifully.  I love so many aged wines–and I wonder what older Nero d’Avolas might taste like.  In 2005, I began my journey to being an off-premise wine marketing manager at a larger US wine retailer–so wonderful to pair parts of one’s life with a wine.

Nose on this wine is of Italian black cherry, suede, red pepper, and allspice.

Palate is sour cherry, dried red rose petals, Bay leaf and Hoisin.

****

A16 produces stellar food and this special lunch truly honed in on Sicilian fare.  Such a spectacular lunch–rarely do I ever have a nice lunch like this in the US (certainly do in Europe).

Glorious pizza with clams and tomatoes

Quentessential Sicilian dish – Polpette

Potato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

Squid Ink pasta

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penne Pasta

Cannoli – the best this side of Sicily

Pignoli Cookie and other Sicilian sweets (I have not been able to replicate baking the Pignoli cookies but I keep trying)

I have calendared Nero d’Avola so that I taste this remarkable wine more often.  I love this remarkable grape and the dazzling wines with such a wonderful variation.

I recommend this wine to add to your wine tasting plans and seek out Planeta Nero d’Avola’s–ask your wine merchant to bring some in if you can’t find any right away in your marketplace.  Start your Nero d’Avola memories soon.

Planeta Wines

A-16

5356 College Ave

Oakland, CA 94618

Salute,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 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.

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Posted in Food, Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Sicilia, Sicily | Leave a comment

Hi-Times Cost Mesa, California – A Very Nice Wine Retailer – James Melendez

I have never written about a specific wine retailer and I should start to do this.

I rarely get to visit wine retailers as much as I use to–time or lack of time is the chief reason.  Also, I felt for so long I had to write about my local retailers first but I felt not a single reason to do so.  I have never really found any store in San Francisco with a deep SKU or category assortments.  I use to review wines and say where I purchased them and gave that up quickly (San Francisco retailers).  I gave up mentioning when I purchased a bottle as the retailer never gave a like, an RT, a thumbs up or a ‘Thank you.’  I do get samples and I do buy wines myself.  I am still a customer and thank yous today are ever more important.

San Francisco’s retail space for wine is small square footage and hence a wide or deep SKU offerings are limited.  But I do look at overall assortments and some retailers in San Francisco just have a funky or non-sensical assortment.  One particular wine retailer I visit which is close to me and has food under one roof and every time I ask for a region or variety–they never have it (and I’m not asking for anything obscure).

I do feel compelled to write a short article about Hi-Time Wine Cellar in Costa Mesa.  Founded in 1957 and has 24,000 square feet of retail space for wine, beer, spirits and allied products.   I love the expansiveness of assortment.  On my last visit I walk into the Champagne-sparkling wine room.   I found plenty of RM (Récoltant Manipulant) wines, larger format and a thoughtful of sparkling wines from around the world.   I am holding a bottle of lovely Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs NV jeroboam — which I wanted to buy immediately.  I need to celebrate something. Large format bottles make me weak in the knees–not because they are too heavy–they are just a remarkable statement of Champagne and the respectivce peroducer about large format bottles.

Selfie: Me and a Jeroboam of Pierre Peters

Hi-Times is candy store for adults–the vastness even from a visual perspective make’s one heart beat a little quicker.  I want local wines and I want wines from far away.  The wine availability was thoughtful and even unexpected as an example I found not one but two different Sinegal wines from Napa Valley–I have never seen that in a store in Northern California.  There was a very nice selection of French and Italian wines–lovely Port and Madeira selections.   I like the diagonal displays of wine – the design is perfect for viewing and a point of difference in terms of visual merchandising.

I found a dedicated wall of Eastern European wines–not just haphazardly stocked but nicely stocked and with nice details of the wines.  I found Cremisan from the West Bank which is nice to see in addition from wines from the region Turkey, Israel and Lebanon.

There are also plenty of coveted beyond the glass wines like Krug, Mouton Rotschild, Petrus and many more.  Of course retailers have Burgundy but may have a small share of Grand Cru.  I found everything all of the Grand Cru that I adore: Grands Échezeaux, Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot and so fourth

****

If you find yourself in Orange County pay a visit to Hi Time Wine Cellar–I always carry a Wine Mummy (padded travel wine sleeve) or other padding for transporting wine back. I did find a bottle of Turkish wines which I could not find here in SF Bay Area.  Finding help is easy as the staff is visiting all sections frequently.  The staff is very knowledgeable not just about the wine in stock but wine in general.   A very nice visit!

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 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.

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Posted in Off-premise, Wine Retailing | Leave a comment

Book Review – Native Wine Grapes of Italy – Ian D’Agata

When was the last time you tasted these Native wines of Italy: Cjanorie, Doux d’Henry, Vitovska or Galioppo (no, not that Gaglioppo)?  While this isn’t a new book–books should be reviewed in terms of the evergreen possibility they present.  Evergreen meaning it is not just a book of limited use or limited time to read but a long time to read.  I looked at numerous book reviews of this book and I wasn’t satisfied as this book deserved a NY Review of Books style book review.  I wanted to give a fuller view of this book.

I have long been fond of Italian wines and this nation’s wine grapes have captured my imagination along with one of my favourite cuisines.  When I was creating a taxonomy of wine grapes I realised there was a need to have more information on wine grapes of Italy in one taxonomy.  The wine grapes of Italy is a consequence of history, culture and trade.  When I compared say other well-known wine countries nothing quite matched the same number of wine grapes that Italy has.  France has at least 3,200 wine grapes and keep in mind that many of these are human created.  Italy was in the opposite camp where many of the wine grapes nature created.  Italy has at least 2,000 native grapes of which 400 are commercially produced wines.

I was in the White Wines of Italy session led by Italian wine expert Ian D’Agata and Laura DePasquale MS at TEXSOM at Las Colinas, Texas in August (2018).  I had downloaded Ian’s book Native Wine Grapes of Italy and began to read just prior to arriving in Texas.  I was very excited to attend this session.  I had never really had a master class in Italian white wines and so it was fitting into the classes I ordered prior to arriving at TEXSOM (and was glad this masterclass was still available).  Even if I could not get this masterclass I would have been missing so much.

Ian and Laura were perfectly paired and gave an excellent class in this subject matter.  Ian’s humour was evident; he was candid about his thoughts on the many wine native wine grapes of Italy and he sounded like his book.  The book is a treasury of knowledge and truly a great canon on Italian native wine grapes—the complexity is astonishing and he handles the subject expertly.  He leans both on genetic identification, as well as ampelography.  Ian D’Agata who family originates from Sicily is Canadian Italian and is fluent, of course, in English and Italian.He holds several wine positions: Director, Indigena Festival; Director, Italian International Indigena Center for Wine & Food Studies. Creative Director, Collisioni Wine & Food Project and Senior Editor, Vinous.  

I have read many books on wine and this is wholly satisfying; a thicket of exquisite detail and Ian does his best to steer to clarity and to shine on the virtues about wine.  He leans on scientific data to understand what is truly an identified variety.  He works tirelessly in this book to clarify and he pushes back on scientific data if there is a conflict in information. While Ian clarifies his subject matter he steers clear of the undecided and will not under any uncertain terms decide on that which cannot be decided right now (i.e. grape parentage, etc.). 

What is an exceptional call out is how native Italian wine grapes have survived the many interventions where governments have decided what was right for Italy (as native wine grapes were not always the selected wine grapes).  The EU while promoting European wines has also meddled in what can be planted or continued to be grown.  The meddling has probably included ceasing cultivars based on low productivity or other market criteria.   While there is a tension point–that many wine grapes have survived in spite of EU or Italian requirements of permissible wine grapes.  D’Agata points out in his book and in his master class that Italy’s Nonne (grandmothers) have been extremely important in preserving native grapes that we have today.  We also have to thank the vineyard owners who kept that unknown 1/2 hectare of wine grapes going–not knowing exactly what it is but for the sheer sake of liking it.  Estate owners who are very important to highlighting great grapes like Schioppettino or Timorasso or other wine grapes who felt compelled to keep farming grapes they felt special and in need of continuation.  

Highlighting Schioppettino with only thirty producers of this storied and very old wine grape (dating to 1282) was nearly lost and yet for one family the Rappuzi family and their Ronchi di Ciallo estate they began saving this variety mid last century.  I luckily happened on a Ronchi di Ciallo tasting at TEXSOM – I tasted ’83, ’93, ’00 and ’11 – it is ‘rare as rubies’ to just find a current release Schioppettino in San Francisco let alone to taste nicely aged Schioppettino.  The tasting showcased how this variety can age so beautifully and hauntingly.  And it was my moment of truly appreciation of this wine grape surviving because of one’s family belief in this grape.

Native Grapes of Italy is like a gorgeous meal at Per Se,  Osteria Francescana, El Celler de Can Roca or other fine restaurants; it is not to be just food to be consumed but to be savored, pondered and marveled   This book gives a thrilling ride into the many native grapes of Italy that no other text can do.  It takes a lot for me to be dazzled by a read–I was hooked from beginning to end.  Very, very few wines book I have ever read have had enough meat, enough information or a mastery of subject matter to feel satisfied by a reading.  I can think of a book of my beloved Champagne that starts off well and ends… well… rushed and uncertain.  This books from beginning to end is well balanced.

Native wine grapes is composed of the subject in the following manner:

First section he covers:

  1. Ampelology: The Art and Science of Grape Variety Identification
  2. The Origin of Viticulture and a Brief History of Italy’s Grape Varieties

He’ll talk about clones, biotypes and a general and up-to-date history and state of  native Italian wine grapes.  Ampelology is the science of vine description and classification and should not be confused with Ampelography a focus of wine grape shape, clustering and vine leafs.  The Ampelography’s focus is via biochemical methods e.g. Isoenzymatic analysis and biomolecular methodologies such as DNA sequencing.  

There are so many aspects that I could nearly write this review as a book as large on Ian’s subject matter because of it’s density and comprehensiveness/exhaustiveness.

The current Italian native wine grapes would not be as rich today if it were based on what government officials would have wanted.   D’Agata is not afraid to point out fault in policy or policymakers.  His tone is of honesty and telling his story with a full spirit of veritas.

We are richer because wine grapes and those people growing the grapes nodded slightly to requirement but continued to grow the wine grapes they believe in regardless interventions.  We need grapes that thrive in specific regions as there is not a universal grape that does well everywhere.

Ian paints a picture of how important it is to identify grapes and identify them correctly.  If a wine grape goes through a DNA analysis but the core data is not correct the cycle of mis-identifcation starts and confounds things later.  Ian describes that there is a whole history of mis-identification and perhaps it can be a nursery doesn’t keep good records or even test what it has and perpetuates mis-identification.

Synonyms

The other very painful nature of wine grapes is not just the names of the grapes but the synonyms of grapes.  The difficulty comes from synonyms and you can just imagine that in historical trading times would be potential for trading the wrong wine vine.

Synonyms for me are a testament of age.  While not universal–the older and the more successful wine grape varieties have more synonyms.  While a wine grape can be an old grape but it is rather un-compelling or unsuccessful and most likely such a grape would have fewer.

Clones & Biotypes

There is a genetic drift via cuttings when vines are transported and over time are seemingly have a genetic identity that seems to be exacting but has differences.  However, as Ian points out there are changes that happen – as example Favorita and Pigato is a biotype of Vermentino.  While these wine grapes are identical there is something unique in terms of the biotype should taste identical to Vermentino but they do not.  If a wine grape is an old grape a genetic drift can be larger and more pronounced.

Grape Groups

Not all Trebbiano’s are the same wine grape.  Trebbiano Abruzzese is not Trebbiano Giallo and is not Trebbiano Modenese.  And yet Trebbiano Abruzzese probably does have a familial link with Trebbiano Spoletino.  Why the same name of Trebbiano?  We are not certain.  Perhaps it was a supposed relationship of wine grapes where there were none except colour and perhaps nose and palate characterization.  For a casual drinker looking at a variety of wines each labeled with a different Trebbiano locality might someone assume they are the same grape but reared in a different place?

Standard native wine grapes and rare wine grapes

D’Agata talks about native wine grapes and delineates which are native and which is the core of this book; he doesn’t cover traditional wine grapes like Gewurztraminer, Carignano, Pinot Gris, or Grenache.  He doesn’t cover international varieties and he doesn’t need to as we know what they are.  In each entry of native or rare wine grapes he gives us a background and history of wine grape as well as wines he suggest to taste.

Ian D’Agata’s book is a foundational work on the native wine grapes of Italy that needed to be done for so long. Prior to this book there was only primary coverage of only the well-known grapes of Italy as opposed to all native wine grapes of Italy.

I walked away thinking of Italian wines as something that we all know about but there is a sense of newness or perhaps a rediscovery.  While the rediscovery of wine grapes like Tazzelenghe, Schioppettino, Timorasso or Pallagrello Nero is exciting and I can only guess there is a Pallagrello Bianco of tomorrow (wine grapes that we know about but have a larger number of producers so we can taste those wines).

Even today we do live in a very different wine world that say 25-50 years ago.  While wine grape cultivation has been happening for several millenia we are in a wine world where things are new or newer (appellations, regions, or revival of wine grape cultivars).

Ian’s work is a thicket of wine grape knowledge and history.  It is full of clones and a very good coverage of DNA analysis and microsatellites and other identifying characteristics.  The read is dense and yet there is plenty of humour and modesty that comes through.  This material makes it a read for anyone who wants a more comprehensive view of Italian wine grapes.  Certainly to un-cross the many wires that is the complexity of the native wine grape of Italy.

I give this book a high recommendation to read.

Salute,

James/James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted 
Posted in Book, Book Review, Italian Wine | Leave a comment

James the Wine Guy Value Creation, Marketing and Business Proposition 2018-2019

I wrote my first article on value proposition in 2016.  In doing so I thought it was a one-time article, however, I see it as way to talk about my experience and role as wine influencer, journalist, videographer, presenter, educator and wine business expert.  But I see this as a yearly statement.

I have worn quite a number of hats in the wine world and I certainly look to my experience as a national wine marketing manager at an off-premise wine retailer.  The wine retail operation had 290 stores in 25+ US state and several hundred million dollars in yearly sales. The role was a rich one offering insight and experience with the myriad of business, regulatory and compliance categories and complexities.

So I was not just a wine marketing manager it was that plus half a dozen more roles.  I utilized tools of business intelligence, viewed specific operational and sales metrics to clarify and position the retailer in the complex quilt of competitors.  

My role was to steward the wine retailer position in the authorship of wine and not just a retailer of wine.  Many off and on premise wine businesses throw the dice and see where our business will head OR even worse be a business that is a trend chaser.  Creating trends is a trap unto itself and is a vicious cycle trying to do better than the year better without creating a way of getting there.

Value creation is not just one thing but many things working in conjunction at one time.  Value is the end game but it is also the road map for any business or brand to work towards, creating KPI and always knowing where you are as a business.

My value proposition is a reminder and reinforce my scope, mission and vision.  I need to story what I do but also document what I do, can do and what the investment in me means.

There are other wine influences and I do seek to not be the same as everyone else–not a just because proposition but done without even thinking of my offering as being different.  I am passionate to show the difference or highlight the uniqueness of a producer or product.

When I get a wine sample and if I do decide to write it up or create a video – I do try to get as much mileage.  I don’t always write up or do a video of every sample I get.  But I do review many, many wines per year.

Snapshot of my social media presence:

Twitter 35,475 Followers – JamesTheWineGuy (I have other Twitter channels)
YouTube 1,512 Subscribers
Pinterest 915 Followers
Instagram 2,040 Followers
Facebook 500 Likes
LinkedIn 2,805
Blog 234 Blog Followers

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James the Wine Guy’s Value Proposition 2016

Value and social media is a rare topic and I cannot recall seeing such an article before (though it probably exists somewhere).  Being a wine writer, journalist, videographer, and judge it makes me wonder why this isn’t a bigger topic. When I look at the traditional wine “bloggers” and other personalities I don’t see any of material on what each brand offers both reader and producer.  What do I give in response to my exposure to wine. I do receipt samples and I also purchase a fair number myself.

I do think producers who sample their product with writers/bloggers may expect a best return on their marketing dollar (or other currency).  I don’t think when I receipt a sample that it is to kick back, open up and pour away and just enjoy.  I do think there is an expectation of a review or at least a very minimum of a comment.  I like many wine writers or publications don’t always agree that every bottle receipted will culminate in a wine review either.  But I do believe that not all wine samples distributed are treated in the same manner and this gets back to value.  Do wine reviewers optimize the samples given?

First, I’ll begin why I may not review every single wine I get.  Some reasons: I have receipted a wine where the wine closure failed (rare but it does happen) and I of course notify sender.  Another reason is that I have a wine that is a mass market wine which I may review but most likely will not–the reason–simply there are plenty of reviews of well known brands.  I also might receipt a low quality wine that is not in my brand’s scope and I will not review. And I will not accept a private label brand for a wine retailer or supermarket. I do hope a wine can be much more available than at one retailer.

I hear from other wine writers where they are constantly asked by producers or PR people where are the reviews.  I do get this occasionally and often I have complete review and refer those individuals back to the media where the review is posted.  

Here is my value proposition:

  • Either a written or video review (possibly both – hard time find time to do both)
  • Post videos on my JamesTheWineGuy channel
    1. Classify in the specific categories (example for an Chianti Classico wine – place in Playlist: a) Italian wines b) Chianti c) Sangiovese
  • Utilise best practices for my YouTube channel
    1. These can and often change due to emphasis or de-emphasis of algorithm
  • Post videos on my Facebook like page
  • Share on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn and other social medias
  • Asking my community to give a like and share the videos they see
  • Also engaging community about their thoughts on the wines I have reviewed
  • I also give fair and balanced reviews of all wines
  • Also, try to point consumer when they ask about the wine or point back to producer or retailer

I think it is important to give a “At a Glance” view of my value proposition as it is about demonstrating my brands contributions.   Any comments and questions, please post them or share on social media.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 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:

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Indian Paradox – A Very Nice San Francisco Indian Tapas Bar

When I think I have eaten at every San Francisco restaurant I clearly have not.  That was my reminder when I visited Indian Paradox.  I was there in October–the location is on the busy thoroughfare of Divisadero and seats a dozen possibly a few more.  Indian Paradox bills itself as wine bar and street food–I always insert Tapas bar Indian style.  The place maybe small it pack a punch of delightful food and wine selections.

The wine list is tiny but well thought out and a wine that is paired nicely for the food being served. I enjoyed tasting a wide range of wines on their list.  I must always starts with sparkling – they have Lucien Albrect Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace NV, I also ordered the Svelato Sannio Falanghina 2016, Ciu Ciu Marche Sangiovese 2014, and Harrington Siletto Vineyard Cienega Valley Trousseau 2017.

I was there with a friend to taste a large part of the menu. First we started with the Masala peanuts nicely prepared with Ghee, lemon juice and Garam Masala.  I loved the Dahi Sev Puri – Semolina puffs with yogurt and Cilantro.  The Dabeli is a completely satisfying potato burger with peanuts and pomegranates–great texture, brightly flavoured.  I like ordering small plates and sharing so I can taste a wide array of the menu.

We sat at the bar which I love sitting at the bar of every restaurant I visit to compare with a next visit of seating away from the bar.  Bar seating is always the make it or break it for a restaurant.  Bars are interesting spaces–can often have more casual service OR have stunning service.  I have also experienced where I struggle to get service.  Regardless of where you sit –it is a small space–superbly nice and knowledge service if you need help pairing the right wine with the dish you order and from what I observed service seemed to be evenly distributed.

A very nice space and fitting for the neighhourhood is a casual place for great Chaat, wine and friendly service.

Indian Paradox
258 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone number 1-415-593-5386
WWW: indianparadoxsf.com

Tuesday and Wednesday  5pm–10pm
Thursday through Saturday 5pm–11pm

Brunch: Saturday 11am-2pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

****

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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Posted in Indian Cuisine, Resturant, San Francisco | Leave a comment

November 2018 Wine Review – James Melendez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McPherson Texas Les Copains Red Wine 2015

A Rhône blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah,

An outstanding Rhône blend–integrated and balanced; one of the best Rhône blends I have tasted from Texas.

Nose: rich black-red bramble notes, red rose petal, pepper and Thyme-Tarragon

Palate: blackberry confit, black cherry evened out with Cardamom and an Allspice.

****

Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Uco Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nose: of Loch Ness blackberry, red cherry, boot polish, and juniper forest.

Palate: cassis, black cherry, black pepper, and clove.

****

Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Uco Valley Chardonnay 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Nose of Green apple, pear, dried fig, and spice.

Palate of citrus, apple slice, nutmeg, and flowers.

****

Susana Balbo Brioso Argelo Red Wine 2016

 

 

 

 

 

$45 SRP / 13.5% ABV

Cabernet Sauvignon 53%, Cabernet Franc 24%, Malbec 16%, and Petit Verdot 7%

Nose: blackberry thicket, sanded cedar, violets, and herb bunch

Palate: rich blackberry, white pepper, hint of lavender and Bay leaf

****

BenMarco Valle de Uco Expresivo Red Wine 2016

 

 

 

 

 

$35 SRP/ 13.5% ABV 91 Points

75% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Franc.

Nose of rose petal, blackberry, autumnal leaves on ground, suede.

Palate – blue-blackberry, black pepper, Tarragon and clove

****

Toccat Santa Barbara County Classico Red Wine 2015

 

 

 

 

 

50% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 5%, and 5% other varieties including Freisa

Nose of autumnal plum orchard, suede, dried roses and spice box.

Palate of tart red cherry, blackberry, hint of bread crumb for savory quality, pepper and flowers

****

Château Gaudiet Loupiac 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

90% Sémillion, 10% Sauvignon

Noise: fresh citrus, dried pear, and honeycomb
Pal: blood orange, ginger, lavender, and dried apples,

****

Baileyana Firepeak Edna Valley Chardonnay 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clones: 17, 76 utilised; Fermented in 29% new French oak; 14.7% ABV; $28 SRP.

Nose: Apple, concise pear, nutmeg, and flowers

Palate: Hierloom apple, Adriatic fig, spice and beeswax

This is a SIPCertified wine.

****

Finca Las Cabras Rioja Crianza 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

Nose of blackberry confit, suede, stacked cedar wood, and Bay leafs on forest floor

Palate of red bramble notes, uplift of dried herbs, white pepper and ever so subtle violet notes

****

BenMarco Uco Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Nose: mix of red and black bramble, moist forest floor, leather-suede and violet garen

Palate: black cherry, pomegranate, pepper, and Thyme

****

Paniza Cariñena Syrah 2017 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nose of blackberry, seared cherry, evergreen forest in autumn, and lavendar

Palate: blackberry confit, pepper, Thyme and violets

****

3C Cariñena Cariñena 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Nose:  Cherry confit, suede, forest in autumn, and violets

Palate: red cherry, pomegranate, pepper, and toffee

****

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Côtes du Roussillon:

Grenache Gris and Rolle

Nose of lemon peel, flowers, almond

Palate: white peach, red apple, sesame, moist stones

****

Mas Amiel Altair Côtes du Roussillon Blanc 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Maccabeu.

A lovely expression of the Côtes du Roussillon–elegance and beauty.  Ideal for seafood and white pasta dishes.

Nose: Green-yellow citrus, white peach, flowers and moist stones

Palate of oyster shell, Meyer lemon pulp, flowers and beeswax.

****

Aridus American Sauvignon Blanc 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this is a great wine to taste a difference in where Sauvignon Blanc is grown–in this bottling contains grapes from Southern Arizona and Mimbres Valley in New Mexico.

Nose of citrus, yellow peach, floral, and tea.

Palate of yellow citrus zest, hint of stone fruit and slightly savory finish

****

 

 

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*****

 

 

*****

 

 

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****

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****

****

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted 
Posted in Alto Adige, Arizona, Cariñena, Côtes du Rhône, Chablis, Edna Valley, France, Mendoza, Rioja, Santa Barbara, Texas, West Bank, Wine Rating, Wine Review | Leave a comment