Silver Wines Santa Barbara County – Review – James Melendez

I have rarely been wowed by California or even North America Sangiovese.  I think the struggle for Sangiovese is where to grow it and equally importantly how to vinify it.

I recall listening to a California wine maker who producing Italian varieties and I remember their comment was he said he “I cannot make Sangiovese in an Italian style…. my customers probably wouldn’t buy it.”  There is some expectation is for dark brooking fruit forward wine Sangiovese versus a Chianti-style Sangiovese.  An Italian style might be less fruit forward–perhaps like a tart early season cherry palate.

But I think there is another way to balance out Sangiovese–make them insofar as wines that reflect where the fruit is coming from and not make them into a Bordeaux style wine that often thought of as being the only great wines.

Who would want to do that anyway?

There are so many ways of making a Sangiovese but a compelling way is to let the grape express itself but not overly so.

I was fortunate to meet Ben Silver at Family Winemakers 2018 Grand Tasting in San Francisco.  I love talking to wine makers–I want their point of view and passion.  Ben Silver is a a winemakers winemaker.  I appreciate his viewpoint and his expression in a bottle.  While he does produce stellar Sangiovese he also produces fantastic Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.  While there is Sangiovese in California, Washington, New Mexico, Texas and other states.  Sangiovese in general has not had the applauds as say the Burgundian or Bordeaux varieties.

California has Sangiovese planted in Northern and Southern California as well as the Foothills.  Sangiovese in my opinion is hard to get right outside of Italy.  Ben Silver shows that a great Sangiovese wines can be made in California.

Benjamin Silver Saviezza Santa Barbara County Sangiovese 2010

95% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is not labelled a Sangiovese but has full right to labelled as such. Saviezza from the Italian means knowledge.

An homage to Chianti Classico–delicate and the age of 8 years in the bottle proves a harmonious wine–elegant and while an homage to Chianti Classico it is a sterling wine representing the fruit of Santa Barbara County.

*****

Benjamin Silver Oak Savanna Vineyard Santa Barbara County Sangiovese 2013

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Benjamin Silver Oak Savanna Vineyard Santa Barbara County Trentotto File 2010

This wine is 91% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre, 3% Grenache and 2% Viogonier

*****

Benjamin Silver Oak Savanna Vineyard Santa Barbara County 724 Reddick Street MV

This wine is 49% Sangiovese, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Mourvedre, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah and 3% Pinot Noir and is composed from vintages of 2010, 2011 and 2013

*****

Benjamin Silver Oak Savanna Vineyard Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2013

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Benjamin Silver Oak Savanna Vineyard Santa Barbara County Cabernet Franc

This Cabernet Franc is a composition of 77% Cabernet Franc, 14% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.

 

I like the common theme of Sangiovese to tie and bind together many of Ben’s wines – the Saviezza, the Cabernet Franc and 724 Reddick Street.  Each wine is superbly lifted in terms of variety characterization and blend.  Thoughtful and complex and sophisticated wines expressing county of origin.

All of Ben’s wines are well priced ranging from Viognier $16 to Pinot Noir Cuvee Leah Mae for $56.00

Website:  Silver Wines

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.

I do not own the Jackie Kennedy Onassis photograph.

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TEXSOM 2018 Edition – Very Important Wine Education Event (VIWE)- James Melendez

My first visit to TEXSOM 2018 was a resounding success.  Truly the best wine education experience in North America.

North America doesn’t have a Vinitaly, ProWein, or London Wine Fair which of course are about producers there is of course elements of education.  I don’t think the US can or will ever have a major trade wine event like ProWein as example.  But what is essential is that there is a TEXSOM.

TEXSOM is important to keeping up with a need for deep knowledge in wine.  While all that is grown is known is not true.  What producers showcase are often under appreciated as opposed to showcase regions who have a much easier time promoting their wines than lesser known regions or varieties.  Being a former off premise wine marketing manager at a 290 store chain there was always from the wine buyer perspective to buy wines that are “trending.”  Buying into trends is promoting a temporary bubble as opposed buying to create a wine authorship for the consumer and the store itself.  I do think many off premise buyers want to buy wines their consumer want to buy, however, many of these same buyers get a bit wrapped up in buying trend so as to not miss out.  That doesn’t mean don’t buy a trend wine–don’t invest so much that it outweighs the full spectrum of high quality wines–and an evergreen authorship of wines stocked.

A tangible example I have is a wine retailer here in San Francisco has a sign that says “Eastern Europe” to highlight wines they have in stock from this region.  The assortment had gotten smaller overtime–from my recollection the assortment trimmed to 50% fewer SKUs.   Eastern European wines should not be a trend category but always present for the beautiful story they tell of place, variety and tradition.  And Eastern European wines is an evergreen category.

Back to TEXSOM – I signed up the first day and I start to sign up and thought I would get everything I wanted–each selection started to give a “sold out” notification.  But I have not a single disappointment with what I selected–my focus was white wines in my first year.  Here is a list of the courses I took:

  • Italian White Wines – Ian D’Agata (writer of Native Grapes of Italy) and Laura DePasquale MS
  • An Overview of Current Styles of White Wines of Portugal – Dirceu Vianna Junior MW
  • Stylistic Comparisons from the Commonwealth: Expressions Across South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia – David Wrigley DipWSET MW and Mary Margaret McCamic MW
  • Survey of Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages with Nicholas Paris MW
  • White Bordeaux Drew Hendricks MS and John Blazon MS
  • Iconic Retrospective Vertical Tasting: Dr. Loosen with Ernst Loosen

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Italian White Wines was a stunning display of wines and knowledge.  Ian D’Agata’s book on Native Wine Grapes of Italy presenting his years of research and Laura DePasquale, MS who both were equally valuable in the content presented.  I walked away in awe in terms of knowledge and how this continues to confirm my view of wine.  My view is that wine is that while an ancient beverage anchored in at least 8 millennia of history; so much of wine is new or recognized or understood.  What is new is that wine varieties like Timorasso or Schioppettino are being rescued and having more hectares planted then at the point where they could have gone extinct.  These varieties amongst many other examples were saved by either one person, small group or even a Nonna.  A Nonna (grandmother) would save a variety by saying her vineyard with sometimes an unknown variety or varieties on that site were off limit to replanting with a known variety.

Grazie Mille Nonne

This tasting was so helpful–when was the last time I tasted a Nascetta…. well far too long–a rare Piemontese white grape variety.  Ian and Laura were superb in terms of giving technical information but also what a variety tastes like.

This course truly was inspiring in thinking about Italian white wines and also how the wine journey continues to understand our viticultural heritage today.

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I have been to a “wine education” experience for years (I won’t name event) probably easy to guess as I have said cost me at least 3-4 Burberry Trench Coats (JPM Event Cost Index) did not approach one year at TEXSOM.  Some people say TEXSOM is expensive but I would say that I am getting knowledge that I could not get any other way–on subject matters are complex and well thought out. The other event that I had attended was more personality driven than driven by excellence in knowledge.  Personality centric events are driven by those close to the organizers versus a wide net that highlights talent and imparts knowledge.

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The White Bordeaux presentation by Drew Hendricks MS and John Blazon MS was a great walk through in fantastic wines at down superb wines at down-to-earth price points.  I recall a note was there was more Josh Wines sold than are imported of the entire White Bordeaux category into the US.

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Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages presentation by Nicholas Paris, MW was an eye opener as he periodically surveyed on and off premise representatives for the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages on their wine lists.  It was a rarity to find on lists and this was Nicholas’s thesis.  I do find on wine lists say in the Bay Area and then when I go to smaller markets–even wine retailers have so very few.

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Iconic Retrospective Vertical Tasting: Dr. Loosen presented by by Ernst “Ernie” Loosen was one of great humour and great seriousness about what he does as well as this family producing gorgeous riesling wines.  Appreciating the tradition of multi-generations from perspective of the Loosen family is great to hear.  I was floored when we tasted two “West German” wines one was the 1976 Beerenauslese and and 1988 Auslese Riesling wines.  First these wines are delicate, relevant and more importantly remarkable.   I am always amazed to taste a wine that is not just drinkable but stunning and all the while is from a different era of history ‘The Cold War’.

I always appreciate German Riesling–still even with global warming a challenging wine grape to grow and only in certain sun facing slopes to capture enough heat units to ripen.

****

Schioppettino and Refosco

A special event like TEXSOM invites special wines to be poured.  I was enthralled with  beauty of aged Schioppettino which is as rare as rubies to find a recent vintage and north of impossible to find library wines.  The producer Ronchi di Cialli was pivotal to resuscitate this variety.  The struggle to keep native grape varieties has been a race against time, government, and Phylloxera to keep it going.  This is a great example of native grape variety that if lost we would be poorer for it.  This wine grape especially the beautiful aged vintages show the delicacy of these wines over time.  A once in a life time tasting.

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I understood this year had more MS and MW presenters than past TEXSOMs and the conference is getting sharper year over year.  I felt at home at TEXSOM and I did see many friends and enjoyed the camaraderie versus an event with only a competitive mind-set.

Me, Marcy Gordon – Come for the Wine; Melanie Ofenlach – Dallas Wine Chick

Michelle Williams – Rockin Red Blog; Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would highly recommend TEXSOM and it’s promise of being a great fixture for continuous wine education in the North America landscape.  I will attend the 15th edition next year.  And of course TEXSOM doesn’t happen on it’s own but a fleet of volunteers and the hard work of TEXSOM founders and principals James Tidwell, Drew Hendricks, Donaji Lira and Kyle Miller.

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 TEXSOM, Wine Education, wine trade | 2 Comments

Wine and Life: Both Serving up Challenges and The Quest for The Great Vintage

Wine grapes are delicate and precious….no matter the variety, and style.  Wine and wine grapes are precious and difficult to grow, to cultivate and to vinify. 

Wine grapes unlike any other alcoholic beverage are 100% dependent on good or at least slightly cooperative weather to come to fruition.  While our environment is very challenged today—it has always been a challenge.

Hail, snow, early frost, rain, too much moisture….too much sun, humidity and other upheavals have always been present and and will be with us in the future.  And increased global temperature will certainly impact some wine regions more than others.  It doesn’t mean that Zinfandel will necessarily be growing in Scandinavian countries in the near future.  Wine grapes and where they are grown is complex now, has been and will continue to be that way.

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The grain based or non-fruit dependent alcoholic beverages have it easier; once made they are good to go—transport, hang out on a shelf, not terrible afraid of brightly oppressive neon lights.   But they will not transform or further develop in bottle like wine has the potentiality to do.

And it is one story for wine grapes to just come into the world and make it to the press and another for its vinification and even in its cellaring.  Another equation is how do wines age—in general terms some better than others.  The journey is to see what evolves and develops.  Wine in a bottle is like people.  We are different in every stages in our lives.  When we might be presented as nearly perfect the flaws can develop.  And the converse is true — I have had many a wine that seemed to be anything special but “time is the great physician” as Benjamin Disraeli once said.  Time can make people better… the same is true for some and many wines.  I have heard many people discount a wine and I alway point out maybe time lying down in the cellar can make for a treasure.   Or what is your taste expectation–maybe thinking about aged wines not being like a youthful one.

James Halliday, the Australian wine writer, once said and I paraphrase from one of my first wine books I purchased years ago “when fruit becomes wine” as it relates to aged wines.  Fruit is a delight and the aging of a wine can come unknown pleasures of enjoyment that all about sipping complexity.  

 A wine that tastes aged but also has evolved in ways of complexity and delight.  There are a few very aged wines 25+ years that survive.  It is fun when you are fortunate enough to have either held it yourself—-tasted from the library of a cellar or someone close to you that wants to share that wine.

I tasted many that have aged in 10-20 year range and I find great value when I taste several verticals—each vintage still shows through in terms of polish and pleasure; nuance and distinctiveness.

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My question and belief is that the discounted wines are like discounted people: discarded without care or feedback.  Do we set up our wines for failure without setting them up for success.  Do we give an older wine a chance?  Do we treat are wines with fear…or being willing to take a chance what you have (if a great wine) can be replicated by collecting more.  Vintage does matter.

The bittersweet of a great bottle is that when it is finished that special moment is gone even if you have another bottle it may not be the same wine.  Wine is individual— which is alluring as it is humbling even disappointing.  Wine is like people and people like wine.

When was the last time you were wondering about that “-aged” Gin, vodka and beer?

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Life is too delicate and precious; difficult and filled with adversity to not take a pause and even take a time out to appreciate….  

I have been taught in my life with being around many loving friends and family members.  Many challenges makes us who we are today.  The challenges make us sharper, distinct and a person that is wildly resilient—when we look at aging we never use positive terms.  A positive term—”vintaging” or “vintage” to each other supports a positive view of ourselves—there is value in learning… value in accumulating knowledge. 

A dear person to me was diagnosed with cancer last year and I had to take a different frame—the challenge as developing a wine is for people to survive a disease —getting to remission is the goal.  Life needs to be celebrated unto itself and the role modeling the positiveness of wine to our lives is to acknowledge the challenges, take account of our current hardships and trust that there are new and many vintages ahead.

I remind myself when feeling down or discouraged and too know challenge is all around and all the time.  Life like wine is important.  There are too people who produce wine… they are not all millionaires or lead glamorous lives—wine producers are challenged like any other agriculture professional.  Life is complex; wine is complex.

Resiliency and steadfast belief in the future is both what wine is about and absolutely what life is about. 

When you feel challenged or stressed there are symbols or emblems to look to at as reminders of not just surviving but to thrive.  Wine is not made to just be made but an intertwining of our lives and history.  Where wine first evolved in the Republic of Georgia eight millennia ago and every old world country especially westward and becoming a story of wine and a symbol to two prominent monotheistic religions.  Even behind the religious symbolism is a symbolism based in life—about living. 

I see wine as hope and promise in life and living ….. of what has been, is today and will be.  And to keep me grounded and to keep me looking up in both hard and good times. 

What does wine mean to you?

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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My Wine Tasting Wish List 2018 – James Melendez

Hello–I am still seeking most of what I have listed here. If you are an importer/distributor please let me know if you have any of these wines?

James the Wine Guy

In the past few years I have been writing about wines on my wish list for this year.

Each year, I start out with nearly a blank slate but I do have some wines left over on my tasting table from the previous year.  But I do attempt EVERY single year to taste wines from all wine regions large, small and the lesser known.

My wine ‘racetrack” motto is to taste wines from all regions and varieties each year.

Here is my list:

Oregon

  • Willamette Valley – All sub-AVAs of course
  • Rogue Valley
  • Columbia Valley
  • Umpqua
  • Applegate Valley

Washington

More than overdue for a ‘foot on ground tour’ – visited the Taste Washington which is fantastic – a must visit if you want a sampling of all wine regions from Washington State.

  • Puget Sound – last year (’17) was my first time to taste wines from this AVA
  • Columbia Gorge

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Rare Wine Varieties: Taste Them – James Melendez

When one thinks of rare varieties there might be an automatic assumption:

“They are rare for a reason”

Or rare varieties are assigned to the un-alluring “Esoteric” category.

But the history of wine grapes is complex and a story we do not fully know.

We know some relationships of the non-hybrid grapes but don’t have a full map of the relationship to one another.  If we had more knowledge and tagging where grapes descend from we might be understanding trade routes in Europe and even a greater historical perspective.

Wine grapes have been cultivated in spite of kingdom or government type or war–they moved on.  The reason is apparent.  Food and wine are needed even in spite of government type or political current or current affairs–somehow just somehow they survive–some more successful than others.

Some succeeded because of scent and flavour profiles and some just because they could withstand harsh or short growing cycles.  Pinot Noir succeeds in spite of the difficulty of cultivation and it’s very finickieness.  But if it wasn’t for it’s stellar and identifiable scent and flavour profile it might not have survived.

But I would also says some varieties became rarer because of geography or even that some wine grape varieties were not identified as such.   The Italian variety of Timorasso saved by Walter Massa in the 1980s from extinction.  For me it is an outstanding, distinct and superbly apt for food.  This is an elegant white wine from Piemonte specifically Colli Tortonesi.  This wine variety comes from a land known for it’s reds before it’s white wines–thicker skin with a longer time spent in maceration. A thick skin wine bold and yet fulfilling palate with elegance, nuance and beauty.

*****

Malagouzia is a rare Greek white wine variety that too was saved from extinction in the 1970s.  Vassilis Logothetis, a professor of enology identified this grape and one of his students Vangelis Gerovassiliou and his eponymous winery Ktima Gerovassiliou has brought this to the world stage.  Malagouzia for me is an experience of spice, heirloom apple–a dance of the palate in the aromatic plane.

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Embracing rare varieties ultimately means preserving them by finding engagement with people to find a new favourite red or white wine.  In doing so represents and opportunity to not just preserve but increase hectarage for wine grape cultivation of the rarer set.

I would like the variety to speak for itself versus a narrow set of varieties available to consumers.   I believe that all varieties have a place as there is a palate that has a desire to enjoy them.

I certainly recommend tasting a new or rarer variety; live outside of your comfort zone and try something new.

As much as I advocate for them–the power is in you tasting them.  Taste them–you’ll be excited to try something new.

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.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

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July 2018 Wine Reviews – James Melendez

Here are the wines I tasted this July and the notes and scores for each.

I tasted wines from Oregon, Washington, Argentina, and California in this review cycle.

Here are a collections of wines I tasted during July.

Cathedral Ridge Echo Vineyard Columbia Valley Petit Verdot 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

A stellar and successful Petit Verdot.  It is hard to get varietally label Petit Verdot right.  It is easier to get it wrong than something that is not jut adequate but expresses this noble grape with elegance and beauty.

200 case production; 13.1% ABV

Scent: Blackberry, black cherry, Thyme, Bay leaf, and baking spices

Palate: Bramble berry confit, violets, pepper and Tarragon.

Cathedral Ridge website

*****

Cathedral Ridge Dampier Vineyard Columbia Valley Pinot Noir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Oregon’s alluring Columbia Valley this comes from Hood River Oregon–pristinely beautiful region in Oregon.  The vineyard is on the Washington side of the Columbia Valley–a region that Pinot Noir can comfortably call home and with successful for such appealing Pinot Noir.

Small case production:  400; vineyard is 1,000 feet above sea level in Underwood, Washington.  14.1% ABV

Nose: Loch Ness Blackberry, crushed red candy, violets, graphite and hint of pepper

Palate: mountain strawberry, blackberry, hint of white pepper, rose petal and Thyme.

Cathedral Ridge website

*****

Cathedral Ridge Columbia Gorge Necessity White Wine 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is a composition of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay.

Nose of green and yellow citrus zest and pulp, white flowers, almonds, and moist stones.

Palate of green apple, green pear and Adriatic fig, almond and flowers.

Next month in August I will be reviewing Cathedral Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon

Cathedral Ridge website

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Nieto Senetiner Blend Collection Mendoza Red Wine 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is 55% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Franc and 15% Petit Verdot; 14% ABV

Scent: cassis, blackberry, moist red earth, leaves, suede and spice box.

Palate: Cassis, boysenberry, white pepper, Thyme and violets.

Nieto Senetiner website

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Concha y Toro Terrunyo Peumo Cachapoal Carménère 2016

Nose: tart red cherry, violets, dried herb and wood pile

Palate: early season cherry, mountain strawberry, pepper bay leaf, and Hoisin

Concha y Toro website

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Hess Select North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine is low in ABV 13.5%; 35% new French and American oak for 18 months.  100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Scent: Blackberry confit, juniper forest, moist leaves on forest floor, and freshly ground spices

Palate: Blackberry, cassis, white pepper, Bay leaf and Cardamom.

Hess Collection/Select website

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Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley Whole Grape Ferment Riesling 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dazzling Orange wine–in fact the first orange Riesling wine I have ever tasted.  15 year old vines, low ABV (11.5%) and skin contact makes for such a successful wine with plenty of vibrance and yet subtly so.  Vibrant and exhilarating that can be served as an aperitif wine.  This wine is available at $20.00 from the producer –an absolutely reasonable price point.

Nose: Yellow peach, dried fig, flowers, moist granite and beeswax

Palate: awash with vibrant and zippy acidity; mountain strawberry, Meyer Lemon, white flowers and moist stones.

Troon Vineyard website

*****

Julia’s Dazzle Columbia Valley Pinot Gris Rosé 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

An alluring wine with evocative nose and palate experience.  This wine is 14.1% ABV.

Scent profile: mountain strawberry, lemon preserve, freshly cut flowers and hint of sweet spice

Palate: mountain strawberry, cherry, lemon peel, almond and crushed sea shell.

Long Shadows Website

*****

Nine Hats Columbia Valley Riesling 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scent: heirloom apples, fruit orchard in autumn, Cinnamon and Cardamom.

Palate: seared Granny Smith apple, peaked Comice pear, Cinnamon and beeswax.

Nine Hats Wines

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All of the above wines are courtesy of the producer.

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 #WorldWineDay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cachaopoal Valley, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé, Wine Review | Leave a comment

Thoughts Champagne/Sparkling Wine Glass – James Melendez

A tulip (Crate & Barrel), a coupe (Stölzle) and two tulip sparkling wine glasses (Reidel, Schott Zwiesel)

Of all wine glasses for either variety, region or style there is no more passion about design than that for sparkling wine.  Most people that I talk to about stemware for their preferences (not in the wine trade or media) prefer the flute.  But talking to people in the wine trade the tulip is king and secondarily if there are only flutes a Burgundy glass is next.

I am passionate about wine glass design.  I feel there are so few wine glasses that are the optimum glass.  There are so many technical problems out there as it relates to design and function or even price point right now in 2018.  There are many opportunities for improvement.  Price is a consideration and while not a technical flaw if too expensive most people don’t action and purchase the more expensive glass and in that thought end up buying a less-than-optimum sparkling wine glass.

The first purpose driven glass for sparkling wine glass is the Coupe.  Invented in 1663 in England way before Madame de Pompadour or Queen Marie Antoinette folkloric attribution to the design of the Coupe.  While modern day quality improvements in Champagne didn’t happen until Madame Clicquot in the 19th century the Coupe was invented and being utilised way before this time.  The recognition of sparkling wine glass and the need to see the effervescent was important; a point of difference and point of purpose glass.

The sparkling wine glass flute was also invented in the 17th century yet I cannot find anything more definitive about it’s birth.  The resulting design was to again highlight bubble action.  The missing quality of both wine glasses was for visual appreciation versus visual and smelling capability.

In either the flute or coupe viewing of bubbling is appreciable and yet the palate experience is depressed.  After all you cannot swirl or have a focused capture on scent characterization of wine in a Coupe; any slight swirl and the content’s spill out of the glass.  The Coupe is beautiful and in my early wine education days founded it evocative and absolutely beautiful.  It was refined elegance and I though this was the best way to taste.  The Coupe is popularised in the US post-prohibition.  I certainly associate it with the mid-century modern set.  I think of Camelot.  I thought there would be a lot of pictures of Jackie Kennedy Onassis with a Coupe glass in hand (see below).  Instead there is only one picture that is the only one that I believe exists.  One picture of Jackie with not just a Coupe but any wine glass in hand.  This picture was most likely when she was Jackie O.  I cannot find a citation or attribute who took photo (I found it on Pinterest).  But the reason for few photos is that she was probably rarely imbibing anything while being photographed–it just wasn’t a standard for photography then but in some ways of today.  Today unless you are in the wine trade I think people are rarely photographed this way even though billions more photos are being taken weekly if not daily.  You do see people with glass of wine in hand – Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama and countless state dinners and other famous people probably much more abundantly today.

I do find this image of Jackie Kennedy Onassis amazing and symbolic of this era and the mid-century and I am glad it exists.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis – Unknown Photographer or Date/Place when this Photo was Taken

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I was recently in Dallas and was at a restaurant in Highland Park Village.   I was served in a coupe my glass of Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé –I could have asked for another glass but instead went with it.  While I knew it was not the optimum experience it was fun–it felt like a fancy way to enjoy my wine.  I noticed I had to be extra delicate so the wine would not spill.  It was fun to taste Champagne this way.  I indeed slowed way down in my enjoyment of this Champagne.

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The beauty of online wine writing is that I will update this when survey closes in 6 days.

I am fascinating there is not one specific wine glass that is the overwhelming choice.  Though not a huge sample it does give insight.  I am sure at will look a bit differently after survey closes.  But I don’t think it will be radically different than this first initial capture in just a few days.

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At least in the wine trade/media the choice is the tulip but looking around at many on-premise establishments the flute is still in large numbers out there.

I found this great title about the flute on Decanter’s site:

Should Champagne flutes be outlawed?

I love the title–there is a point of view somewhere in this article–right?

After reading this I am still not convinced in the merits of the flute.  I do think so people are missing the journey of Champagne/sparkling wine as wine.  I do think some people equate Champagne/sparkling wine in a league and origin of it’s own versus it is wine.

The base wines of any sparkling wine are fascinating and yet I do think a tulip yields the optimum in terms of taste, viewing and overall technical tasting of sparkling wine.

I do think that a tulip glass is as beautiful as a coupe or flute.  Flutes have been popular because they deliver an abundance of bubbles and in the mass easy to dish wash –certainly easier than dish washing a Coupe.

I do think it would be great to see many more tulips when I dine out in the US–truly they are as rare as rubies.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

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

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Posted in Champagne, Prosecco, Wine Glasses | 2 Comments