Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

J. Vineyards Sparkling wines, any standouts?

Posted by outthere, Jul 10, 2015.

Looking for some sparklers for an upcoming party. Have an in with J Vineyards as my Step-Son works for Gallo and can get me a discount. Going to stop by and taste through some soon but was wondering if anyone has some experience with this producer. Looking for a solid performer if they have one. Otherwise I may go to Iron Horse. Liking the discount possibilities though since my budget is dissolving by the minute.


Reply by dmcker, Jul 10, 2015.

Could answer based on their performance in the early '90s. Or do you not like aged sparklers?  ;-)

Had an in back then, too, and often brought guests over to Jordan (and Opus One and ...) from Asia and Europe. J wasn't split off from Jordan then, but was merely their sparkling end of the menu. Then as part of what I always guessed was a family dispute the daughter of the founder took 'J' off in all sorts of directions, even more aggressively after buying up Piper Sonoma. J as of this year is owned by Gallo so who knows WTF is going on there at the moment...

No in with the Davies at Schramsberg? How about the French contingent?  Iron Horse will have had to have improved greatly the past decade for it to be in the same league...

Reply by outthere, Jul 10, 2015.

It's a budgetary thing. Gallo owning J has absolutely no effect on the wine except for the price I can pay. Bubbles are not my area of wine knowledge and I simply don't want to offend guests who enjoy it. A reasonably priced grower champagne would be nice but availability is key as we are 4 weeks away.

Reply by dmcker, Jul 10, 2015.

I've got a case and a half of miscellaneous proper Champagne I inherited from that auction over here right now, though don't see how I can get it to you.  ;-(

J sparkling while it was still part of Jordan was served a lot at the Reagan White House. I would've wanted to attend (if at all) on the days when Schramsberg was served instead. The stuff I picked up in the '90s during those periodic visits was better than OK, but not as good as Deutz (which existed down towards Santa Barbara at the time) or Roederer or Schramsberg. Even Chandon was better on their good days. But that's from vintages in the '90s.  All were far better than Iron Horse or Gloria F at that time (and during intermittent tastings during the  naughties).

I found the Davies not the easiest folks to deal with but if you can get an in with them or their team somehow, that's the best in your neck of the woods, IMHO.

If I were going for J I'd look for aged bottles, both because I like that flavor profile, and also because of the novelty value compared to what most people see out in the marketplace.

Reply by outthere, Jul 10, 2015.

Not necissarily going for J, it is an entertaining choice given the discount I can get. 4 weeks out right now so  multiple bottles of an aged bubble is likely not in the cards.

Reply by napagirl68, Jul 12, 2015.

It's been awhile since I've had bubbly.  I used to really like it, but not as much now.

I have had some J within the past few years... the ones that are distributed tho.  I wasn't too impressed, but  definitely a good idea to go taste through the non-distributed ones since you can get a discount.  That said, I  have (historically) really liked Iron Horse.  Haven't had any for awhile, but that was one of my go-to's in the day.  I also really enjoyed Roederer's L'Ermitage... especially in the magnum format.  

Reply by dmcker, Jul 12, 2015.

"4 weeks out right now so  multiple bottles of an aged bubble is likely not in the cards."

Was merely wondering if they might not have some library bottles lying around...

Reply by outthere, Jul 12, 2015.

Library wines would be nice but they need to go back about 15 years to get my attention.

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