This tasting of “Jim’s Gem’s” gave us the opportunity
to combine tasting notes with Jim’s biography! Enjoy:
J VINEYARDS RUSSIAN RIVER CHARDONNAY 2009
Many have wondered about Jim’s origins. Some say he was hatched, others that he was left behind by an alien mothership. Some insist he was cloned from a section of Bill’s palate after a wild night of carousing through the barrel caves of Napa. Regardless, he loves this Chardonnay, whose sensual, creamy palate supports a complex mix of papaya, jasmine, and citrus characters over the long finish. 90 points Tobin Bros. $18.97.
CROSSBARN BY PAUL HOBBS PINOT NOIR 2010
The most likely scenario is that Jim was conceived of a wine virgin after her first experience with Burgundy. His birth in the Cote d’Or was the highlight of that year, and is still celebrated by the villagers. His birthplace explains his love of Pinots like this one. “Scented with raspberry and Darjeeling tea, this emerges from the glass in layers of blackberry and cherry with subtle hints of vanillin and clean earth. Supple tannins and balanced acidity grace a long finish.” 92 points Jim. $34.97.
L’AVENTURE STEPHAN RIDGE 2010
Jim’s first foray into the wine biz was in 2nd grade, when he traded a week’s worth of bologna sandwiches for surreptitious access to his best friend’s father’s wine cellar. He emerged three weeks after entering, a knowing grin showing off purple teeth, and never looked back. That experience led him to wines like this, with “aromas of fresh raspberries, mineral notes, and fresh fig. Coffee notes echo on the palate, along with red berry fruit, fresh plum, and blueberries.” 89 points Tobins. $22.97.
SBRAGIA GINO’S VINEYARD ZINFANDEL 2009
Since then Jim has devoted himself to spreading the gospel of wine, food, and friends. It was he who talked Marvin Schanken into creating the Wine Spectator, and who persuaded Robert Parker to try his hand at wine evaluation. And they all bow to Jim, who bows to this wine, which is “classically styled Dry Creek Zinfandel, with aromas of wild raspberry and underbrush that lead to rich but elegant flavors of black cherry, anise and smoky cracked pepper.” 92 points Wine Spectator. $26.97.
HALTER RANCH CABERNET 2008
It was Jim who spear-headed the exploding wine industries in Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and two of Jupiter’s moons. But he still loves a good California Cab like this, so “deeply concentrated with aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry, interwoven with earth, sage, and spice. Big, ripe and juicy on the palate, its blackcurrant and dark plum flavors are balanced by round, supple tannins that guide the wine through a long, rich and smooth finish.” 90 points Tobins. $26.97.
LUCA DOUBLE SELECT SYRAH 2010
Jim battles vine pests and diseases around the world, disguised as a glassy-winged sharpshooter (which he resembles), so that wine lovers may enjoy beauties like this. It’s nose “is like walking into a gentlemen’s poker parlor: aromas of cigar, leather, and smoked meat, plus hints of toasty oak, forest floor and spice. Well-structured tannins support big fruit flavors of blackberry jam, black spiced cherries, ground black pepper and just a hint of rhubarb, with a nice, lingering finish.” 92 pts. Parker. $19.97.
BERT SIMON SERRIG HERRENBERG RIESLING BEERENAUSLESE 2003
What is left to say? Let’s give thanks for Jim, hail him as a wine hero, and enjoy this amazing dessert wine, with floral, pear and apple aromas and flavors and fine concentration allied to a lightweight frame. Simply delicious. Like Jim. 93 points Jim. $35.97.