Search for Events
Wine of the Day via RSS
Recent Blog Articles
- Comments and Analysis on the 2012 Barrel Samples at Passport to Cabernet
- On Baseball & Bubbly: Mumm Napa & San Francisco Giants Co-Brand Wine
- Balance - In the Eye of the Beholder
- Tasted—5 Rhone Variety Wines from Clos Solene
- 7 Wine Events for this Weekend, April 26 - 28
- Harlan, Dalla Valle, Bond & Other Highlights of ’13 Taste of Oakville
- The Best White Wines at Sonoma in the City 2013
- 5 Fun Wine Events for this Weekend, April 19 - 21
- California Cabernet Aging Potential - It’s Not About the Years, it’s the Character
- Tips on Buying a Wine Fridge
- The Paso Robles AVA - Too Big to File
- Fine Powder on Mount Veeder
- An "Interview" with Roger Ebert on Wine Criticism
- Enjoy Two Benefit Wine Events on April 20
- Great Wine Events for This Weekend, March 22 - 24 2013
- Buy a Nose
- Site Upgrade
- California Crushed It in 2012
- Zin Pourin' and Food Porn at ZAP Epicuria
- Kelly Fleming Winery: World-Class Cabernet Sauvignon, Timeless Beauty
Recent Wines of the Day
- 2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
- 2009 Laetitia Pinot Noir Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA
- 2012 Borra Vineyards Artist Series Kerner Lodi AVA
- 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Fire Messenger” Sonoma Coast
- 2011 Lucia Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2011 Roar Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay Bennett Valley Sonoma County
- 2007 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Napa Valley
- 2012 Voss Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
- 2012 Vina Robles Roseum Huerhuero Vineyard Paso Robles
- 2008 Hawk and Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Red Hills AVA, Lake County
- 2011 Vina Robles White4
- 2010 Quivira Refuge Sauvignon Blanc
- 2007 Ampelos Delta Grenache
- 2008 Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Pinot Noir
- 2010 DeLoach Estate Pinot Noir
- 2009 V. Sattui Zinfandel Gilsson Vineyard Russian River Valley
- 2009 Trinchero Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Chicken Ranch Vineyard, Rutherford
- 2009 McCay Cellars “Jupiter” Zinfandel
Wine of the Day
- Sparkling wine
- Written by Fred Swan
- Created on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 17:49
Sparkling wine is the wine of celebration and romance. Everything about sparkling wine makes it special — the shape of the bottle, the decorative foil, the sound it makes when opened and the steady stream of tiny bubbles rising in the center of the glass, not to mention decades of brilliant marketing by the Champagne industry.
Countless movies and TV shows reinforce the symbolism of sparkling wine. Opening a bottle kicks off the celebration or begins the seduction. It marks the transition between “I do” and the wedding reception. Sparkling wine underscores formality and elegance at fancy dress parties. An empty bottle laying on its side in a hotel room almost guarantees that the next shots will be of rumpled sheets and lingerie on the floor.
Good bubbly is more than just a symbol though, more than a trigger for us to be festive. It is good wine. It is versatile wine. Sparkling wine is appealing as an aperitif, delightful with hors d’oeuvres, awesome with oysters and marvelous throughout a meal. We should allow ourselves the “luxury” of sparkling wine more often. Decent Champagne may be too expensive, but there are good bottles of California sparkling wine available at very reasonable prices.
J Vineyards Cuvée 20 is pale gold in the glass with a plethora of small bubbles that rise quickly through the center of the wine. The attractive nose features lemon, bruised apple, honey, baking spice and fresh dough. The palate is “extra dry” with a pleasant but slightly coarse mousse. Flavors include green and red apples, apple skin, pear, and baking spice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg). The finish is generous and clean.
If you’re looking to enjoy good sparkling wine without busting your budget, J Vineyards Cuvée 20 is a great option. It has enough fruit to be easily approachable but the complexity brought by aging on the yeast keeps it interesting. It is not as dry as might be ideal for a traditional aperitif, but that will make it a better alternative to cocktails for some people. The slight sweetness definitely ensures harmony with food, though it is not nearly sweet enough to go with desserts. Serve it cold. The J Vineyards Cuvée 20 is an excellent value, espeically if you can find it for less than $20 as I did. Drink now through 2012. Recommended.
J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Sparkling Wine NV (non-vintage)
Drink: Now through 2012
Retail Price: $22.00
Winemaker: George Bursick
Blend: 48% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir, 2% Pinot Meunier
Origin: Russian River Valley
Aging: 25% of the cuvée is oak-aged. The blended wine is aged in bottle on its lees for 3 years after secondary fermentation. It ages an additional 6 months in bottle after disgorging and dosage.
Sweetness: Extra Dry, 1.5% (15 g/l) residual sugar [The maximum allowable sugar content for “Brut” Champagne was dropped from 1.5% to 1.2% by the European Economic Community in July, 2009. That doesn’t necessarily impact American wines that won’t be exported to Europe, but I will use the EC standards for Champagne here for consistency and ease of comparison.]
Production: 22,800 cases
This wine was purchased for review at Safeway.
Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.
This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Photo courtesy of J Vineyards. All rights reserved.