…Or Sparkle That Way

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from J Vineyards.

Apparently this review is quite timely given the announcement this week of the sale of the J brand to Gallo. Only time will tell what that will mean for the future of the brand. As for today’s wine, we have the J Cuvee 20. The Cuvee 20 is a non vintage (NV) blend made mostly of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a touch of Pinot Meunier.  The wine has a traditional Champagne closure, retails for around $28, and sports an alcohol content of 12.5%.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The J Cuvee 20 is a solid sparkler for the money/ I’ve seen it online for as little as $20 a bottle, which is a steal and makes this a great mid-week sparkler. At closer to $28 I’d probably save it for Friday after our kid goes to bed!

2.) I really wanted something hot and salty to munch on with the wine. I was dreaming of the truffle and parm fries from the Healdsburg Bar and Grill as I sipped.

3.) I really liked the yeast and pear notes on the nose of the J Cuvee 20.

4.)  While great for sipping on its own, I think the J Cuvee 20 would lend itself well to your next cheese tray.

On the nose I found green apple, bread, yeast, lemon, and pear. In the mouth got more apple, pear, lemon, and lemon zest along with some toast and vanilla notes. The bubbles were persistent and the wine changed nicely from tart up front to smoother mid-palate.

 

 

I’m still alive!

Despite evidence to the contrary, I am still alive.

Life often finds a way to interrupt my fun pursuits, though usually not for this long. I’ve had a long sickly winter where wine has not been at the top of my mind.

Back tomorrow to our regularly scheduled wine tasting. I have lots of spring wines to tell you about and some great reds that I tasted before my first respiratory infection of the winter knocked me down. Stay tuned!

Sparkle This Way….

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Sleigh bells ring, snow is glistening and all I can dream about is sparkling wine in my glass. Much to my wondrous eyes did appear a box full of J Vineyards holiday cheer. Enough with my mixing of Christmas songs and tales and onto the wine. I couldn’t help but bust open the J Brut Rose almost as soon as it arrived.  The J clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, has a traditional Champagne closure, and retails from the winery for $38, though I see it around the internet for less.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I could drink it by the case and never tire of the J Brut Rose.

2.) I’m bringing some to my Christmas feast this year, I suggest you do the same.

3.) The color on the rose is gorgeous. I had to tear myself away so Mr. Wannabe Wino didn’t steal all the bubbles.

4.) If the color doesn’t win you over, the racy citrus backbone and perfumey nose will seal the deal.

On the nose I found orange zest, raspberry, strawberry, an an almost apricot note. In the mouth I got tart berries, raspberry, and a racy citrus backbone.  The nose of the wine was fantastically full of citrus and berry perfume and the mouth had lovely little bubbles and excellent acidity. Cheers!

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s on the wine menu at your house today?

The WannabeWinos will choose from: 2 Roses, 1 Sancerre, 1 Pinot Blanc, 4 Gruner Veltliners, 3 Pinot Noirs, 2 Cabernet Francs, 1 Grenache, 1 Sauternes, 1 Tokaji and one Viognier blend dessert wine.

Gobble Gobble!

2011 Reserve Le Cigare Blanc

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

When I want something interesting and unique to taste from my basement, it’s easy to turn to a wine from Bonny Doon. Randall Graham’s wines are nothing if not unique.  The 2011 Reserve Le Cigare Blanc is no exception. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussane, heavier on the Grenache Blanc. The wine has a screw cap, retails for $28, and clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Don’t get it too cold or you will mute the nose and palate and miss out on how interesting it is.

2.) I could not get my nose out of my glass when I poured this wine and Matt got to taste more than his fair share.

3.) Even with the Roussanne, which usually adds heft and sometimes a bit of an oily quality to a wine, the Cigare Blanc has surprising acid on the palate.

4.) I suppose you could pair this with something, but really I just enjoyed sipping this as it warmed.
On the nose I got honey, honeysuckle, herbs, and caramel apple. In the mouth I found kiwi, green apple, and pear. The fruit on the palate trended towards being quite tart with lots of acid.

*Disclaimer: I received these wines as sample to participate in a live Twitter tasting.

A few weeks ago, four rieslings from the Finger Lakes arrived so I could do a live tasting. Fun! I’m particularly excited to try more wines from this region since the 2015 Wine Blogger Conference will be held. I’ve signed up for my hotel room and need to get on booking my actual conference attendance! Back to the wines. We’ll start with one of my favorites of the bunch, though frankly, it was quite hard to choose. The 2013 Heron Hill Winery Dry Riesling sported a screw cap and 12% alcohol by volume. (Which is apparently really important to my blog according to a recently released study on wine blogs…)

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) One thing all four wines in this tasting had in common was great acidity.

2.) The wine stood up very well on its own, but would also work really well with food with a bit of spice and heft – I kept imagining chorizo with this.

3.) Our weather was still quite warm in DC in late September at this tasting and I found the wine quite refreshing for the heat.

4.) I’m hoping all the wines at the upcoming wine blogger conference will be as tasty as this one!

On the nose I found orange flowers, honey and green apple. In the mouth I got lime, stones, stone fruit, and peach. Overall the wine had acidity to carry it through and balance out some sweeter fruit flavors.

 

 

 

A Syrah A Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Keeps the doctor away. That’s how that expression goes, right? Well, that’s how it should read, particularly if the Syrah in question is the 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Syrah. The weather here in DC turned (for a moment anyway) to chilly and the reds in the cellar started to call my name.  The Cornerstone Syrah has a real cork closure and retails for $35.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The nose. Oh, my, the nose. This Syrah has that meaty note I love in Syrahs.

2.) We had this with beef stew. Perfect for a cold evening.

3.) I could also see this in the summer with my BBQ ribs.

4.) Cornerstone Cellars really delivers across their portfolio.

On the nose I got spice, cinnamon, baking spice, berries, black cherry, meat, and the scent of bbq. In the mouth I found black cherry, spice, black fruit, berries, and anise.  I loved the tart black fruit with the spice lurking around.

 

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