Thursday, July 19, 2012

Russian River: J Vineyards and Winery

From Healdsburg, we went to J Vineyards and Winery on Eastside road down South.
J Winery
Grand modern entrance. The tasting room itself was very modern and spacious with a high roof, making it very comfortable except for the price tags. Tastings were $20 for five pours. We shared ours and got much more than five pours.
Grand Entrance

J Vineyards Chardonnay Jewell ranch 2010
This is the most amazing Chardonnay I have ever tasted although I have not tasted much and I also do not like the oaky California style Chardonnays that are popular. Thus, there will no doubt be disagreements. Well, this one had a great floral nose with minerality and butterscotch. Smooth with amazing balance of acid, there was still plenty of butteriness to go around with tropical fruits like papaya and pear. It was fresh with a perfect balance of oak that gave hints of vanilla. The creamy finish lingers on for awhile with touch of minerality. If only I had the money, there would be cases of it at home now. $45 OOOOO

J Vineyards Russian River Vin Gris 2011
Taste list
Rosé made from all Pinot Noir. Sweet smelling, reminds me of butterscotch or caramel (somewhere along that line), which is strange! Perhaps it the Jewell Ranch Chardonnay lingering in my mouth. This was crisp and refreshing with green apple and tart cherry. It would be wonderful for summer. Interesting metallic finish that was a little tart. OOO

Hoot Owl Vineyard Viognier Alexander Valley 2011
Wonderful nose of bouquet, tropical fruits like longan and minerals. Great balance with good acidity, this was smooth and fresh with hints of papaya, longan, roses and minerality. OOOo

J Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009
Made with grapes sourced from 14 different vineyard, this was well balanced with fruity notes of dark cherry, leather and spices. Although well made, this did not stand out. $35 OOOo

J Pinot Noir Nicole's Vineyard Russian River Valley 2009
Although this was flat, lacking in acid, it was fruity with hints of spice and a good nose with notes of spice. Light, the berry flavor lingers. OOOo

J Vineyards Pinotage Russian River 2010
Fruit forward with hints of sweet plums, there was obvious tannins and good acidity. Notes of blackcurrant with a wonderful lingering finish. This well balanced easy to drink wine reminds me of a Zin. Could definitely use a little aging on the tannins. $45 OOOo

J Vineyards Brut Rose Russian River NV
J wines
Made from blend of 64% pinot noir 34% char 2% Pinot Meunier, this fine bubbly goodness had bouquet hints of hibiscus and roses. It was medium dry leaning towards the sweet side. Arrr fine bubbles! Yummmmy. I never knew there was good bubblers produced here! OOOO

J Vineyards Brut Russian River 2005
Made from mainly Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier thrown in, this had fine bubbles as well with more distinct notes of green apple and pear. OOOO

J Chardonnay Barrel 16 Russian River Valley 2009
Made using full french oak, this Chardonnay was not as refined as Jewell ranch although I just had some bubbles, which makes tastebuds a little off. This also had similar buttery smoothness with good minerality. It smells oaky but was not overly oaky in taste with notes of tropical fruit papaya, pear and apricot. Another well made, well balanced Chardonnay with wonderful nose and taste that lingers!

That was 9 pours for $20. I don't know if they intended to pour that much but perhaps because we were taking notes? If that is the case, damn, I will be taking notes everywhere I go!

Overall, this place had wines that were definitely to my taste. It will be on my to-go list next time I visit!  Very friendly and knowledgeable staff too!

Next up, we go further South on Eastside road to Copain!

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