Friday, December 18, 2009

"I Truly Love the J Brut Rose" - Sparkling Wine Profile by!

Kris Chislett, (Jacksonville Wine Examiner)

Sparkling wine profile: J Brut Rose NV

The Grapes

59% Pinot Noir, 41% Chardonnay

The Facts

Judy Jordan (Founder and President) started J Vineyards & Winery in 1986 in order to craft varietal and sparkling wines. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in Earth Sciences/Geology, and worked in Geophysics in Colorado before returning to work at her family's winery. The J Brut Rose is NV (Non-Vintage) meaning it is a blend of grapes harvested in more than one specific year. This is mainly done for consistency in the wine, but to also maintain sales even in bad years.

This wine is created in the traditional method of Champagne, or Mêthode Champenoise, however the wine is obviously not made in the Champagne region, so cannot be called a "true" Champagne. All grapes for the J Brut Rosé are hand-harvested. J supports farming practices that are environmentally sensitive, economically viable and socially responsible by minimal use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in our vineyards. The J Visitor Center staff collect wine corks for ReCork America and recycles them at one of the participating retailers in Sonoma. Corks are 100% biodegradable and are converted into flooring, building insulation, automotive gaskets, soil conditioner and sports equipment.

The Place

The grapes for this Brut Rosé were selected from J’s Estate Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The Russian River Valley appellation is located approximately 70 miles northeast of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and less than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The region's unique topography includes hillsides, benchland and valley floor, providing an exceptionally diverse range of soils. There are actually more soil types unique to the Russian River Valley than in all of France!

The climate of the Russian River Valley make it ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay due to its rich soils, and the cool coastal climate prolonging the grape growing season. The unique soils with its deep gravel deposits, ensure good drainage and extensive root development. This results in vines which get a little stressed out (which is a good thing) which then send their energy to the grapes for concentrated varietal character. Chardonnay is the region's most widely planted wine grape, while Pinot Noir makes up one-third of the AVA's plantings and is increasing faster than any other grape variety. The Russian River Valley is home to more than 50 wineries and 200 winegrowers, and has been an AVA since 1983.

For more on J Winery, visit (the best looking winery website I've seen in a while).

The Taste

I had to check the bottle twice on this one, since it's the first time I've had this wine. Very subtle color for a Rosé, I was expecting more of the "electric pink" kind of color. The J Brut Rosé has just a very light pink hue. The key to this wine is subtlety. Beautifully delicate on the nose. Fresh aromas of peach and strawberry with faint toasty notes. Citrus flavors come through a little more on the palate, hints of tropical fruit, raspberry, red apple, a really elegant wine. Persistent finish, not too dry. If I'm drinking sparkling, I've always skewed more towards Rosés (I proposed to my wife with one), and I truly love the J Brut Rosé. It isn't over the top. It's one of the best sparklers I've tasted coming out of CA.

The Food

I've always been a big fan of Lobster Bisque, so give this one a try from the J Winery Website. It's their recommended food pairing specifically for J Brut Rosé. The Price $38.99.

The Place

Total Wine

4413 Town Center Parkway

Jacksonville, FL 32246

(904) 998-1740

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