Tastes jwine

Published on November 23rd, 2013 | by Greg


J Vineyards: Bright Bruts For The Holidays

Whatever is on your menu this holiday season, chances are that it will include some wine. Beer is great at a game, and spirits mix nicely at a bar, but while relaxing at home or entertaining a group, you should break out the nice glasses. Recently, we looked at a couple of other flexible options for the table, but today’s are the ideal appetizer or mingle wines. We suggest popping these open during any big announcements, or just saving them for the celebrations around the fire, or the post-meal lounge.

We’ve tried out several wines from J Vineyards before, a California wine that is distinctive for several reasons. For starters, it was founded by a woman, Judy Jordan, and winemaker Melissa Stackhouse continues to thrive in a very male-dominated business. Today’s pair of J Vineyards sparkling wines takes traditional Champagne-style techniques and applies them to New World grapes.

We’ll start with the perfect introduction to hors d’oeuvres- the J Vineyards Brut Rosé, a light salmon-colored wine made from 66% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay. Grapes were hand harvested, and some of the Pinot Noir skins left on to add color. At least two and a half years of aging later, with some secondary fermentation in the bottle, you’re greeted with a pop and fizz that is clearly classy, and notes of fresh berries and a little herbal and floral side. It’s not too sweet, and the acidity allows it to hold up to seafood like oysters or smoked salmon. Available for around $38 a bottle, it’s ready to drink now- or for New Year’s!

Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley is home to some of the finest wines in America. Making them into a Cuvee to celebrate twenty years of great wines, J Vineyards’ 20 Brut NV lives up to the name and history, and is our favorite sparkling wine this season. While you might imagine a pretty straightforward process for many wines, this one’s journey sounds intense:

“The grapes for this cuvée (blend) were hand harvested into small quarter-ton bins and placed as whole clusters, without destemming, into our special Coquard presses for a gentle pressing cycle. Juice from each vineyard lot was fermented and kept separately until blending. The cuvée was assembled and cold-stabilized to remove excess tartrates and then bottled in the spring. After the secondary fermentation occurred in the bottle, the wine aged for an average of two more years in the cellar. The bottles were carefully riddled to remove the yeast sediment. Following disgorging, a dosage liqueur of reserve wine and pure cane sugar was added. An additional six months of aging on the cork before release ensured a perfect balance of flavors.”

Extra-dry and effervescently sweet, we loved the pear nose on this, and the crisp, lemony feel. It was too bright for some folks, but highly drinkable. Crisp, fruity, and not too expensive, expect to spend around $28.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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