James the Wine Guy
"Demystifying Wine—One Bottle at a Time"
- Screw cap wine illegal in some wine areas of the country
- Wine over a certain alcohol percentage—never mind that spirits are also sold in the same state
- A wine retailer can have a “sale” in Missouri but not advertise it.”
- You need a permit to get a glass of wine poured in certain areas of Dallas metroplex. I was at Hillstone’s in University Park and across the street on Preston I could go to another restaurant and not need a permit or club membership
- State run stores?
- Separate wine stores from food stores in New York
- Private label or exclusive labels not legal in some states
- And there are many, many, many more examples
- So many acres would not have been torn up and by that extension more old vines
- Greater varietal exposure and experience
- Many states would have had more experience in terms of winemaking
- More competitive prices for larger production wines; smaller production would probably be exactly where they are today
- Greater movement across state lines
- A larger wine market
- Breadth and depth of experience of winemaking in all states
- More imports flowing into the United States
- More exports to other nations
- Esoterica wouldn’t be so esoterica i.e. what is viewed today as esoteric wouldn’t be such a stark contrast
- More varietals planted today
- The world “international varietal” would include varietals from Italy or Spain or elsewhere
© 2012 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez — All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
2011 Top 100 Wines
Here is my 2011 Top 100 wine list and as I have in my past top list the number 1 to 100 do not signfy that wine number 1 is not the highest ranking wine—rather this list is an alpha ordered list. If you looked at all of my wine reviews there might be different wines if this was based only on highest to lower points.Now, this list might have looked differently if I would have had more experience with French, German, Austrian, Australian and to a certain extent could have tasted more Italian wines. There were very few opportunities this year. I am a perennial attendee at many wine events here in San Francisco and elsewhere. I do look forward to an even greater diversity in 2012.
- Adega da Covilha Beira Interior Conde Julião White – 2009 – 8.9
- Alma Rosa La Encantada Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.2
- Amphora Heringer Vineyard Clarksburg Teroldego 2008 – 9.2
- Ancient Peaks Oyster Ridge Paso Robles Red Wine – 2008 – 9.1
- Ahnfeldt Quid Pro Quo Napa Valley Proprietary Blend – 2008 – 9.1
- Attila Gere Villany Olaszrizling – 2009 – 9.1
- Auteur Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.2
- Bacio Divino Napa Valley Pazzo – 2007 – 9.0
- Ballentine Block 9 Reserve Napa Valley Zinfandel – 2007 – 9.2
- Black Sears Howell Mountain Caberbet Franc – 2008 – 9.1
- Cantina Valle Isarco EKK Alto Adige Südtirol Lagrein – 2009 – 9.2
- Carmichael Sa Vini Monterey County Sangiovese – 2008 – 9.2
- Château Flotis Fronton 2007 – 9.1
- Colección Vivanco 4 Varietales – 2007 – 9.4
- Cortes de Cima Alentejo Touriga Nacional – 2007 – 9.1
- Delamotte Blanc de Blancs – 1999 – 9.4
- Delectus Cuvee Julia – 2008 – 9.2
- Diamond Creek Diamond Mountain Red Rock Terrace – 2007 – 9.3
- Domaine de la Collone Saint Jean Gigonda Vacqueyas – 2007 – 9.1
- Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – 9.2
- Domaniul Coroanei Segarcea Merlot – 2008 – 9.2
- Dominus Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2006 – 9.5
- Duarte-Georgetown Mountain Estate El Dorado Petit Verdot – 2007 – 9.2
- El Maestro Sierra Vina Viejo Amontillado – 9.1
- Elena Walch Kastelaz Gewürztraminer – 2008 – 9.2
- Emilio Lustau Oloroso Very Rare Emperatriz Eugenia 9.2
- Eszterbauer Nagyapám Szekszárdi Kadarka – 2009 – 9.0
- Eszterbauer Tüke Szekszárdi Bikavér – 2008 – 9.3 -
- Fenestra Livermore Valley Port 2004 – 9.1
- Field Stone Staten Family Reserve Alexander Valley Petite Sirah – 2009 – 9.1
- Fischer Unity Red Wine – 2009 – 9.0
- Flora Wild Boar Pope Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2008 – 9.4
- Fog Crest Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2009 – 9.1
- Gramercy Walla Walla Valley Syrah – 2008 – 9.2
- Gramona Cava Brut Imperial Gran Reserva – 2006 – 9.3
- Greg Graham Crimson Hill Vineyard Lake County Grenache – 2007 – 9.1
- Guerri Rizzard Amarone della Valpolicella Villa Rizzardi – 2005 – 9.2
- Hawk & Horse Red Hills Lake County Latigo – 2006 – 9.5 –
- Hogl Engelburg Grüner Veltliner Federspiel – 2009 – 9.2
- J&J Eger Eged-Hegy Dulo Kékfrankos – 2006 – 9.2
- Jean Claude Beaune Beaune 1er Cru “Les Bressandes” – 2006 – 9.4
- JF Lurton Quinta do Malho Douro Red – 2007 – 9.2
- Kabaj Goriška Brda Amfora – 2007 – 9.3
- Kenneth Volk Enz Valley Lime Kiln Valley Mourvèdre – 2007 – 9.1
- Kenneth Volk Nevarez Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Roussanne – 2008 – 9.1
- Lambert Bridge Rock Pile Zinfandel 9.2
- Lancaster Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 2007 – 9.2
- Luis Ochoa Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - 2005 – 9.2
- Luis Pato Casta Baga – 2007 – 9.0
- Maroon Napa Valley Shiraz – 2007 – 9.2
- Martian Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc – 2009 – 9.0.
- Masperie Les Escures Cahors Malbec – 2009 – 9.2
- Mercy Arroyo Zavala Vineyard Arroyo Seco Syrah – 2009 – 9.1
- Merry Edwards Flax Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.1
- Monşer Dobrogea Fetească Neagră – 2009 – 9.0
- Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling Clare Valley – 2006 – 9.0
- Muscardini Ukiah Valley Barbera – 2009 – 9.1 -
- Nals Margreid Alto Adige Südtirol Lagrein – 2009 – 9.1
- Navarro Anderson Valley Edelzwicker– 2010 – 9.0
- Novy Family Rosella Vineyard Santa Lucia Highland Syrah – 2008 – 9.2
- Ontañon Reserva – 2004 – 9.1
- Ortman Family Turner Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.1
- Paloma Napa Valley Merlot – 2009 – 9.2
- Patland Stage Coach Syrah – 2008 – 9.1
- Patricius Tokaji Furmint – 2008 – 9.2
- Pazo San Mauro Rias Baixas Albariño 2009 – 9.2
- Pheasant’s Tears Kakheti Rkatsiteli – 2009 – 9.2
- Pedro Romero Oloroso Viejisimo 50 – 9.2
- Pelerin Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir – 2007 – 9.1
- Piper-Heidsieck Rare – 2002 – 9.5
- Pisoni Santa Lucia Highlands Gary’s Vineyard Pinor Noir- 2009 – 9.1
- Prahiva Valley Feteasca Neagra 2009 9.1
- Prince Michel of Virginia Mount Juliet Vineyard Petit Manseng – 2008 – 9.0
- Quinta da Cabriz Dão Reserva – 2008 – 9.1
- Quinta do Pôpa Douro Preffáccio – 2007 – 9.1
- Quivera Fig Tree Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 2009 – 9.0
- Quixote Napa Valley Petite Sirah – 2005 – 9.3 –Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva – 2001 – 9.3
- Robert Biale Aldo’s Vineyard Oak Knoll Zinfandel – 2009 – 9.4
- Ruinart Brut Rosé – NV – 9.3
- Sergio Mottura Brut 2005 – 9.1
- Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.1
- Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque – 2008 – 9.4
- Sierra Madre Santa Maria Valley Block 216 Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.2
- Singularis Red Blend – 2008 – 9.2
- Talley Arroyo Grande Rosemary Vineyard Pinot Noir – 2000 – 9.3
- Tentimenti Ruffino Brunello di Montalcino Grappone Mazzi – 2005 – 9.1
- Terra Savia Mendocino County Petit Verdot – 2008 – 9.1
- Terracruda Ortaia Marche Pergola Rosso – 2008 – 9.3
- The Cornerstone Napa Valley Red Wine – 2009 – 9.3
- Törley Grand Cuvee – NV – 9.1
- Tyler Dierberg Block 5 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir – 2009 – 9.2
- Umathum Zweigelt Classic – 2008 – 9.0
- Vazart-Coquart et Fils – 2004 – 9.3
- Velonisi Rossi Piceno Sup Roggio de Filare – 2007 – 9.1
- Villa Mongalli Sagrantino Della Cima – 2006 – 9.2
- Viña Bosconia Reserva – 2002 – 9.3
- Viña Ijalba Graciano – 2007 – 9.2
- Von Holt Suacci Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – 2008 – 9.2
- Widmann Alto Adige Vernatsch – 2010 – 9.2
- Zenaida Paso Robles Petite Sirah – 2008 – 9.2
Romania has numerous large wine areas:
1) Maramures & Crisana – West and North
2) Banat – Southwest
3) Transylvania – Central Romania
4) Oltenia & Muntenia – South
5) Dobrogrea – East and on the Black Sea
6) Moldova – North east
And encompassing smaller wine districts inside each larger wine region. Romania’s lineage is certainly ancient and new. But few have 4 thousand years of history but Romania like most other wine producing nations has newness as well. A sense of finding it’s consumer base, refining it’s wines, training native Romanians to go abroad and bring back knowledge to produce high quality and impressionable wines.
Romania has had an uninterrupted wine history despite many historical interruptions. I think many people are relying too heavily on the past communist era as significant and interfering with wine production–and despite these years of collective farming –wine was still being produced. A larger picture is the framework and heritage that is Romanian wines–that is a significant picture. And we are more than a generation away from the communist regime–the Romanian wine industry is geared to have many glasses to fill. Romanian wine production is far too large to not have a larger distribution trajectory. And the world is awaiting to taste Romania’s wines.
© 2011 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez — All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
If Zinfandel had a French provenance it would be an international grape; Cabernet Sauvignon is thought in the collective as the most noble of all red wines or the first “amongst equals” of all Bordeaux varietals. And looking at most well known French varietals have a head start and many plantings begin in other wine regions for a variety of reasons and amongst them is because these are “known” wine varietals. And thinking about Cabernet Sauvignon it is truly the new kid on the block which rose to prominence–comparing Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel is to look at lineage and how long they have existed
Zinfandel and those that produce it have had to work superbly hard to make it a prominent red grape–and not just a California phenomenon. While Zinfandel almost had an Arnold signature and would have been California’s state grape that loss of that signature was a disappointment; however, maybe that was not a bad thing. Zinfandel has had to also work hard to distance itself from White Zinfandel… and the Bordeaux reds have such equivalent concern.
Zinfandel is an international wine… yes, lot of Zinfandel is produced in California but is also found in other U.S. states as well as South Africa, Austrlalia and it’s birth place Croatia and is known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Sometimes Zinfandel is thought of sometimes all tasting like raisins. But that is an incorrect assumption. Zinfandel like any other red varietal can also have that taste profile if indeed a large portion of the berries turned to raisin. I like to highlight Clay Mauritson and he mentioned a visiting French wine maker said something to this effect: “Raisin from Cabernet, Merlot or even Zinfandel is a raisin, is a raisin and a raisin” That this affected grape state does profoundly influence the wine at hand and it is through careful sorting that these berries are plucked out and the raising influence is removed.
Zinfandel is a great wine that is often thought of as an entrant red wine and no more. Yet there is a whole spectrum just like in Pinot Noir, Merlot, etc. that are great freeway on-ramps and the freeways themselves. That they can board someone new to red wine and keep them there. Zinfandel quality and artistry has grown significantly in a short period of time–in the past 10-14 years.
Zinfandel is an ancient grape, and in modernity experiencing world class artistry. Zinfandel specialist wine houses are sourcing world class fruit; having a relationship with their partner vineyard; walk the vineyard to see progress and to air on the side of quality or concerns but more importantly involved partners. Zinfandel sterling notes and vibrancy is the essential nature and with a good growing practices and thoroughly modern techniques let this varietal blossom.
Zinfandel can and will get recognition by being added to more wine lists; consumers have an opportunity to taste these wines and equally importantly start asking for them at their retailer and on-premise establishments they like to frequent. Zinfandel is making the outreach and speaking less about a California phenomenon but more so a red wine grape that makes compelling and easily recognized wines.© 2011 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez — All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
In this era, many wine consumers not only have a desire for organic wines and may have additional requirements—not just sustainable or biodynamic farming but also on aspects of reducing carbon foot print in production and reduced bottle weight. Some consumers are asking for vegan wines. These discussions are important and show how the consumer is weighing in on what they want from their wines and how many consumers are educating themselves on the wine they are drinking. I recommend going to your source –the winery where you are buying your wines or perspective wineries and many have excellent websites with a plethora of information. Don’t expect the organic label issue to go away or be resolved anytime soon. And thinking about the issues and connected with your wine brands and other news resources can help make your purchase an optimum one.¡Salud!
Here is the poster for VI Foro Vino in Logroño, Spain.
A great experience for discovering and re-discovering dazzling Rioja wines. The artistry is still alive and there is great innovation, style and personality in each wine. Tasting wines of Tempranillo, Graziano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. A grand place for a tour of great food and wine.
Top QR is my QR code (James the Wine Guy)
Second bottle is Tarara from Virginia. The first wine bottle I have seen with a QR.
I tweeted a picture of a bottle of wine that I found with a QR code on the back panel label at Rhone Rangers in San Francisco. The bottle was Tarara from Virginia. I tested it out using my Android phone and the QR correctly identified the bottle and brand at hand. I received a negative response about QR and how it didn’t work.
I used Google Goggles on every QR I found and there have been no issues yet. But like anything else there can be a fail rate– so far and from my experience QR is a great tool.
The question of whether QR usage will depend on wine brands who may or may not use for a variety of reasons. A QR might not be used on a back label because it may not fit with the aesthetics of the overall design and the wine brand. Perhaps wine brand management feels it is not needed for their suite of wines as their brand is highly recognized. I would suggest that while a brand is recognized today it may be less so in the future.
QR could be very useful in particular at wine events where many brands are pouring their wines. In this situation many wine consumers don’t write down or note all that they are enjoying. The QR is a way to quickly capture on a smart phone and recall later. I do think QR is valuable for wine brands for their wine consumers to recall later. I am a fan.
A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world.
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jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2011 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez — All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
W.W.W. World Wide Wine Day - July 1, 2011
Mark your calendars and make your plans and get your no-fee ticket
This day will be to promote the many worlds of wine; all wine regions and varietals. One day out of the year to talk about wine; enjoy wine and make discovery. This day can be celebrated by restaurants, cafes, wine retailers, wineries, events, and individuals who can all raise a glass to the gift of wine.