On Saturday I went to a couple of wine tastings. Spanish wines at Union Square Wines and a Burgundy tasting sponsered by Garnet Wines which was held at the Bohemian National Hall. I went to the Spanish event first. Didn’t have much time so I started the day with the 2008 Organic Brut Reserve Cava from Marques de Gelida. Then I made my way to the last table which usualy have the top-end wines at these tastings if any are being poured that day. They poured three Rioja Reservas from the 2001 vintage. It’s always nice to try a bottle of red that has some maturity to it. I liked the 2001 Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva which had a beautiful nose of leather with mature dusty fruit on the palate. The 2001 La Rioja Alta Reserva Especial Vina Adanza had a nose of dark blackberries with sweet fruit and a long finish. The 2001 Senorio de Pecina Reserva had a nose of sour cherries and cooked fruit on the palate. Other Rioja poured included the 2007 Muga Reserva and the 2005 Lopez de Heredia Crianza Vina Cubillo.
The tasting event sponsored by Garnet consisted of twenty white and red Burgundy and I have to say that there wasn’t a clunker in the bunch. Some of the whites that I enjoyed included the 2010 Domaine Bart Marsannay “Les Favieres”, the 2009 Claude Jobard Rully Montagne “Le Follie”, the 2009 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Saint Aubin Premier Cru En Remilly and the 2009 Chateau de le Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet. With the reds I enjoyed the 2009 Chateau de Raousset Morgan Douby, served chilled it was nicely balanced and a good sipping red. The 2009 Domaine Lafouge Auxey–Duresses 1er Cru “La Chapelle” was a great bargain Burgundy, toasted earth on the nose, black velvet fruit and a long finish. The 2009 Domaine Stephane Magnien Morey-Saint Denis Cuvee Petites Noix 1er Cru had a beautiful nose of forest floor with a great silky balance on the finish. Other tasty juice included the 2009 Hospice de Beaune Santenots Cuvee Jehan de Massol Volnay 1er Cru, the 2009 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet Rouge “La Boudriotte” and the 2009 Damaine Rapet Pere et Fils Pernand Ile des Vergelesses 1er Cru.
This past Sunday I attended the Malbec World Day tasting held at City Winery which is located at 155 Varick Street.
I’m not sure what the “world” in world day tasting was since all of the wines poured at the event were from Argentina but Malbec is the signature grape from that country. I’ve never been a big fan of Malbec from Argentina since many times the wines are big fruit bombs. Many of the wines at the event were just like that but a few were made in a more restrained style. I was finding that the wines from the San Juan province in the western part of the country were made in the more restrained style probably because of the fact that most of the vineyards are in high elevations. They served some good grilled skirt steak with a garlicy chimichurri sauce for a typical Argentinean experience.
Some of the wines I liked: Bodegas Caro 2010 Amancaya, the 2010 Aruma and the 2009 Caro. Caro is a collaboration between Catena and the Rothschild’s. The Amamcaya had a big nose of stone fruits with a great balance with a long finish. The Caro had good complexity and a velvety finish. I had the Casa Montes 2009 “Don Baltazar” Malbec which had a beautiful nose of black cherries and mint with tight but silky fruit and a good grip on the finish. Their 2010 Ampakama Malbec was dark with sweet leather on the nose and chewy fruit that dropped a bit on the finish but was still drinking nicely. From Bodagas Renacer I had the 2008 Final Reserva Malbec which had a big perfume of red fruits with silky fruit and a good grip on the long finish. Their 2009 Enamore was an unusual wine. A blend of five grape varietals it was made in an Amarone style in which the grapes were allowed to partially dry before being made into wine. A raisiny nose with the bitter almond finish that you would find on an Amarone.
The 2010 Salentein Reserve Malbec was dark and dense with good mouthfeel and black fruits on the finish. Luigi Bosca poured his flagship wine, the 2007 “Icono” which is an equal blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a persistent dusty nose with a velvety long finish.
This past Tuesday evening I attended a night tasting run by the Montefalco Consortium featuring wines of Sangratino from the village of Montefalco and surrounding areas in Umbria Italy. The event was held at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria located on 53 Great Jones Street.
The grape of Sagratino is a small production grape varietal that received its DOCG status in 1991. The wines labeled Sangratino di Montefalco (DOCG) are 100% Sagratino while the wines labeled “Rosso” (DOC) are 60-70% Sangiovese with about 15% Sagratino and the rest other grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.)
Some of the wines I tried included: The 2007 & 2008 Colpetrone Sangratino di Montefalco, The 2005, 2006 & 2007 Arquata Sagratino di Montefalco, the 2006 Perticaia Sagratino di Montefalco, the 2005 Antonelli Sagritino di Montefalco, and the 2008 Antonelli Montefalco Rosso
These wines were inky-black, dense and chewy with a mouthfeel that reminded me of a good Amarone or a jammy Cali Zinfandel. I thought the younger wines tasted green and grapey while the older ones meshed together with flavors of wet leather, damp earth, meat and herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Very bold wines.
On Saturday night I attended a “wine tasting” at Foley Art Gallery located at 548 West 28 Street. Four wines were poured , two white and two reds. I have to say, for a wine tasting I was underwhelmed. Both whites, the “Night Harvest” Sauvignon Blanc from California and the “Dream Bird” Pinot Grigio from Romania were non vintage and very basic wines. The reds, the 2011 Novecento Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2011 Finca Flichman Malbec both from Argentina had a bit more character but not much more. Some interesting artwork and some nice people but sub par wines.
Last Saturday afternoon I attended a tasting at New York Vitners wine shop located at 21 Warren Street. They poured about fifty wines which were available for purchase.
The last few tastings I’ve been to had not had much California wines for me to sample, so I made a bee-line to the Cali wines to start the tasting. First wine I tried was the 2009 Mount Eden Chardonnay “Wolff”. Typical Cali, tropical fruit and oak on the nose and palate but the finish dropped. They poured two wines from Copain Winery, the 2009 Pinot Noir “Tous Ensemble” and the 2010 Syrah “Tous Ensemble”. The Pinot had a dusty, cooked fruit nose, light fruit with tart, sour cherry and earth on the finish.
A wine I really enjoyed was the 2007 Ferrando Carema Etichetta Bianca. A cool climate Nebbiolo from Northern Piedmont, it had a big nose of pencil shavings and cigar box with gamey fruit and a very long finish. Not a brawny wine but very elegant and tasty.
The 2005 Primitivo Quiles Raspay Tinto was an interesting wine. A red wine it was produced in an oxidized style and had the aromas of a sherry but with much darker fruit and a dry finish. A couple of other interesting wines from the Loire were the 2009 Cousin-Leduc “Le Cousin” and the 2010 Cousin-Leduc Gamay. Olivier Cousin is one of those natural wine makers that uses organic and biodynamic methods. The “Le Cousin” had a dirt, barnyard nose with definate terroir on the fruit. In fact it was like licking dirt and don’t mean that in a bad way. My notes on the Gamay was “dirty laundry, lots of character”. Very funky wines.
This past Saturday afternoon I attended a couple of wine-shop wine tastings at Union Square Wines which is located at 140 4th Avenue and at Le Du’s Wines which is located at 600 Washington Street.
I started the tasting at Union Square where they were having their “Grand Tasting”. Not much blew me away but I did enjoy the 2010 Louis Latour Montagny “La Grande Roche”. Aged in Stainless Steel, it was dry and crisp with some very nice minerality. It’s a nice budget white Burgundy from the Cote Chalonnaise.
Le Du’s had their Grand Italian Tasting event. I started with the whites. Some that I enjoyed were the 2010 Fontezoppa Verdicchio with a nose of slate and wet stone and some concentrated, tropical fruit on the finish. The 2010 Il Casolare Verdicchio had a golden hue with medium tropical fruit notes with a long, crisp finish. I like a dry Lambrusco and they poured an excellent one at the tasting.
The 2010 La Battagloia Lambrusco was refreshingly dry and crisp with earth notes on the finish. I liked it so much I picked up a couple of bottles. I like Italian reds, they have their own unique flavor profiles that set them apart from other wines. Some of the reds I liked at the tasting were the 2009 Roddolo Dolcetto D’Alba with a nose of dark chocolate and damp earth with crisp acidity on the finish. The 2008 Caprandole Rosso Toscano (100% Sangiovese) had a nose of dark plums, red roses and damp earth fruit with crisp acidity and a long finish. The 2007 Pacina Chianti Colli Senesi had a nose of tar and violets, velvety fruit and a long, lip-smacking finish.
The were pouring two very good Brunellos. The 2004 Pietranera Brunello di Montalcino and the 2004 Ramoni Brunello di Montalcino Brunello Reserva. The Pietranera was made in a rustic style with a beautiful nose of dark plum and barnyard with chewy earthy fruit and a persistent long finish while the Ramoni had a nose of cooked earth and black plums with velvet fruit, great balance with notes of damp earth and a long finish.
The most unusual red I had that night had to be the 2010 G.B. Burlotto Freisa. The Freisa varietal is grown in the Piedmont section of Italy and is one fo the oldest Italian grape varietals. The varietal has a parent-offspring relationship with the Nebbiolo grape. The Burlotto was medium to light bodied with a smokey and earthy finish.