Tuesday, May 19, 2015

J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut

J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut

Healdsburg, California

Do you ever just want to treat yourself to a nice bottle of bubbles on a Tuesday for no particular reason? Can't go wrong with some good California sparking for a special occasion -- or just because.

The J Vineyards line of sparklers are made in the Champagne method in Sonoma, California. The Cuvée 20 Brut is a beautiful, well rounded non-vintage wine.

Review: This wine is a soft gold color with a delicate, creamy mousse of bubbles. The aromas of quite pronounced, full of ripe green apple, lemon curd, and a hint of toasty brioche. The notes from the nose repeat on the palate, with a hint of sugar, adding even more softness and creaminess to the wine. Add in some flavors of almond and slate, and you have yourself a delicious glass of sparkling.

Food Pairing: I paired this with the contents of my TiVo and some much needed mid-week downtime. But if you wanted food, some nice spicy Thai takeout would do the trick.

Bottom Line: Positively delicious. And just what I needed.


 Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: Non Vintage
  • PLACE: Sonoma, California
  • GRAPE: 54% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Noir, 2% Pinot Meunier
  • BOOZE: 12.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now
  • www.jwine.com
Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? High Priced

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Domaine de Bonne Neige Brouilly

Domaine de Bonne Neige Brouilly 2013
Brouilly, Beaujolais, France


For many people, Beaujolais means Beaujolais Nouveau -- that light and fruity stuff we get in late November. Well, there's a lot more to Beaujolais than just Novueau! Thankfully.

Beaujolais is the southmost part of Burgundy and home to 12 Appellations: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Village, and 10 "Crus" of higher quality. Brouilly is the largest of these Crus.

Review: This medium purple wine has fresh and fruity aromas of tart cherries, wild strawberries, and a herbs. It's dry with fresh acidity and mild, ripe tannins. The fruitiness keeps going on the palate with more tart cherries and cranberries. There's a hint of wild lavender, giving the wine a bit more depth. The finish is medium in length.

I appreciate the simplicity of this wine. It is impeccably made, showing varietal character of Gamay. While the Bonne Neige is not one to cellar (or linger over looking for nuance) it makes for a lovely, flavorful glass.

Pairing: Serve a bit chilled with grilled meat or veggies.

Bottom Line: Easy drinking, fruity, and so well balanced. I dig it. 


Wine Geekery:

  • VINTAGE: 2013
  • PLACE: Brouilly AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPE: Gamay
  • BOOZE: 12.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2018

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Mid Priced

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Adega Sameirás Viña do Avó Blanco

Adega Sameirás Viña do Avó Blanco 2013Ribeiro, Spain

Ribeiro -- translating to "the river bank" in Galician -- is a region in Galicia along the banks of the Mino River. This wine from Adega Sameirás is a blend of many native Spanish and Portuguese grapes from this region.

Review: This wine is a medium lemon color with aromas of honeydew melon, blossom, and lemon custard. It's dry with medium acid and a broad, mouthfilling texture. The Viña do Avó has lovely flavors of ripe quince, candied lemon peel, and more melon. The finish has some oomph to it and lingers longer than I would expect. Quite lovely.

This wine is dominated by Treixadura, Godello, and Galician Torrontés (unique and different from Argentine Torrontés). This combination of interesting, aromatic grapes makes for a delicious sipping!

Food Pairing: A light melon and citrus salad. Or maybe some BBQ chicken. So versatile!

Bottom Line: Full flavor, round body, great price. I dig it. 


Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2013
  • PLACE: Ribeiro DO (Denominación de Orixe)
  • GRAPES: Treixadura, Godello, Galician Torrontés, Albariño, Lado, Caiño Blanco
  • BOOZE: 15%
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2018
  • www.adegasameiras.com

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Mid Priced

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Brewery Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven

Brewery Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale
Cooperstown, New York

The Three-Eyed Raven is here, installment number five of Ommegang Game of Thrones Series! (You can find my thoughts on the Iron ThroneTake the Black, Fire and Blood, and Valar Morghulis here.)

Review:  The Three-Eyed Raven is a beauty, with dark tawny color and thick foamy head. The nose was full of malty, yeasty aromas with an undertone of coffee and smoke. The palate was full of dark bittersweet baking chocolate, bruleed sugar, more smokiness, and a tiny herbal hint of lemon grass. The finish was moderate in length with a bit of lingering hoppy bitterness and anise

Bottom Line: This was a nice beer, especially to be enjoyed in the springtime. Not my top pick in the GOT series, but pretty solid.

 Beer Geekery:
  • BREWER: Brewery Ommegang 
  • STYLE: Saison
  • PLACE: Cooperstown, New York
  • BOOZE: 7.2%
  • www.ommegang.com

Where did I get it?  Crystal City Wine Shop 
What's the damage? Mid Priced, per 750ml bottle