The town of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, California, is home to J Vineyards & Winery. The winery was founded by Judy Jordan in 1986. While they initially focused on the production of sparkling wines, they eventually branched out into using varietals agreeable to Russian River Valley, namely, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.
The 2009 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley was 100% Pinot Noir. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new, 70% old) for 14 months, and spent an additional 9 months in the bottle, prior to release. The label listed ABV was 14.4%. There were 12,000 cases of this vintage produced.
I was in a local beverage store, looking for a specific Russian River Valley Pinot Noir I had previously tasted. It was nowhere to be found. I glanced down and noticed the J Vineyards Pinot Noir. Hmmm…this would be a great wine to compare against the one I couldn’t find.
And with that, I made my first purchase of a J Vineyards wine.
Robert Foley Vineyards is based in the town of Angwin, in Napa County, California. While best known for its Claret, the winery has branched out into production of a full line of reds using different varietals. Recently, they have also introduced a Pinot Blanc and a Semillon.
The 2006 Robert Foley Vineyards Petite Sirah Pepperland was 100% Petite Sirah. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. The label listed ABV was 15.1%. The fruit for this wine was harvested from the rocky soil of Spring Mountain. There were approximately 500 cases of this vintage produced.
Previously, I had tasted, and enjoyed, the 2007 Robert Foley Petite Sirah and the 2008 Robert Foley Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. While shopping at a local beverage store, I came across the 2006 Robert Foley Pepperland.
Given my past success with the winery, I decided to give Pepperland a try.
The town of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, California, is the home to Ramey Wine Cellars. The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blends, as well as several Chardonnay selections.
The 2008 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley was 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels (63% new, 37% old) for 24 months. The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
It had been a year or so since I last tasted a Ramey Cabernet. I came across the label while shopping in a local discount beverage store.
In the interest of research, I thought it time to revisit the wine.
The town of Paso Robles, in the Paso Robles appellation of California, is home to Justin Vineyards & Winery. The winery’s primary focus is the production of two Bordeaux blends, one using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and the other using Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In addition to this, they use a number of different varietals (Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay to name a few) to produce smaller quantities of wine.
The 2008 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles was a red blend, composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (65% new, 35% old) for 24 months. The label listed ABV was 15%.
Recently, I was dining at Salt Creek Grille, in Rumson NJ, when the manager approached me. He mentioned they had one bottle left of the 2008 Justin Isosceles. Previously, I had neither heard of the vineyard, nor tasted the wine. On his recommendation, I decided to give it a try.
I was glad I did.
S.A. Prüm is based in the town of Wehlen in the Mosel region of Germany. The Prüm family has been producing wine in the region since 1156. The winery’s primary focus is the production of Riesling wines. They participate in the German VDP classification system.
The 2009 S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett was 100% Riesling. The label listed ABV was 7.5% (whoa, if I have a beer it is usually higher than that.).
I am always on the lookout for wine holidays (we need more wine holidays). Thankfully, Talk-A-Vino, a fellow wine blogger, in one of his Wednesday Meritage posts brought to my attention that July 2012 was the 31 days of German Riesling. One week later, Molly at Paprika & Pinot, delivered an excellent post titled “Still Searching for a Bone Dry Riesling”. In the comments section of her post, The Winegetter, another wine blogger (he’s knows German wines extremely well), posted some tips on identifying a dry Riesling.
Armed with The Winegetter’s advice, I set out in search of a dry Riesling.
Duckhorn Vineyards is based in the town of Saint Helena in the Napa Valley region of California. In addition to wines produced under their flagship Duckhorn label, their portfolio also includes wines produced under their Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, and Decoy labels.
The 2010 Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Pinot Noir Sonoma County was 100% Pinot Noir. It was aged in French oak barrels (90% second vintage, 10% new) for 6 months. The wine was produced with grapes from 10 different vineyards. The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
In April of this year, I had the good fortune to attend a wine tasting dinner for Duckhorn Vineyards at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, NJ. The wine selection that evening was interesting, but it did not include anything from the Decoy lineup. I came across the 2010 Decoy Pinot Noir in a local beverage store.
I’ve come to like many Duckhorn wines. I was hoping to add the Decoy Pinot Noir to the list.
Viña Montes is one of the largest and most well-known wineries in Chile. The winery produces a vast number of products utilizing many varietals, including Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah, to name a few. The winery is based in the Apalta region in Colchagua Valley in Chile.
The 2008 Montes Alpha Pinot Noir was 100% Pinot Noir. 60% of the wine was aged in French oak (80% old, 20% new) for 12 months. The remaining 40% was not oak aged. The grapes for this wine were sourced from Casablanca Valley. The label listed ABV was 14%.
I had previously tasted, enjoyed, and commented on the winery’s Purple Angel Carmenere product. When I came across their Pinot Noir in a local discount beverage store, I decided to give it a try.
Given the great experience with Purple Angel, expectations were fairly high.