Food Network Grand Tasting

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This week the Food Network held their annual food and spirits event. A four-day festival of seminars, demonstrations and food and wine tastings held at various venues around town. From Friday to Sunday they held their Grand Tasting which this year was housed at Pier 94 at 55th Street, an airplane-hanger sized venue on the westside highway. It was a consumer event with many booths with food products, spirits and wine, it was also a mob scene Saturday afternoon. Like a lot of consumer events there was plenty of wine with some of it drinkable. I cherry-picked my way around the room and began at the Simi Vineyards table.

The 2010 Simi Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) was dark red with notes of bright cherry on the fruit.

The 2009 Simi “Landslide” Cabernet Sauvignon was dark purple and concentrated with a nose of toasted oak and cherry and was tight with a mouthful of tannin.

At the Inglenook Winery table, three wines were poured. The 2011 “Edizone Pennino” Zinfandel was dark red with a nose of roasted coffee and toasted oak and was juicy with firm acids on the finish.

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley was dark red to black with notes of stewed dark fruits and roasted nuts on the nose with black licorice flavors on the fruit which ended with big tannins.

Their flagship wine, the 2009 “Rubicon” which is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and was dark red to black with notes of roasted nuts on the nose and was very concentrated and was dusty with black licorice on the fruit and was firm with a nicely balanced finish.

Kendall-Jackson 2010 “Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon was black in color with a nose of stewed fruit and was concentrated and thick with some oak notes on the fruit with firm but manageable tannins.

At the table of Marques de Riscal from Rioja, there were a trio of nice wines poured. A new label made from young vines, the 2009 “Proximo” made from mostly Temprinillo was dark red with roasted coffee on the nose and was tight and concentrated with firm but balance finish, still a little young.

The 2007 “Reserva” was dark red with a brown robe and had notes of tar and black leather on the nose with tight and concentrated fruit with notes of roasted nuts and coffee on the fruit and ended firm and balance.

The 2001 “Gran Reserva” was dark red with a brown robe with notes of black licorice on the nose and was concentrated with great balance and a long finish. Very nice..

I was in the mood for a glass of white so I had the 2011 William Fevre Chablis which was light gold with a nose of white flowers and was dry and crisp with nice balance. A nice glass of white.  Another table with some nice juice was at Duckhorn and their second label Decoy.

2010 Goldeneye Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) was medium red with notes of leather on the nose with bright cherry fruit.

2010 Duckhorn Merlot (Napa Valley) was dark red with ripe plum on the nose with ripe red fruit.

2010 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) was dark red with dusty plum on the nose with dusty fruit with oak notes and good balance. Tasty.

2009 Paraduxx “C” Blend was dark red with a nose of black licorice and had concentrated, dusty fruit with good balance.

2011 Jordan Vineyards Chardonnay (Russian River) was light gold in color with notes of honey and ripe tropical fruit and was big and juicy with firm acids at the end. Old school Cali Chard.

2009 Jordan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley) was dark red with a nose of stewed fruit and roasted coffee was young and dusty and I thought a little unbalanced.

I ended the tasting with a glass of the 2010 Artesa Pinot Noir (Carneros) which was dark red with a closed nose of black cherry and leather and was nicely balanced with a long finish.

From the Grand Tasting me and my fellow wine drinkers hopped on a cab and headed to the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District to attend a sit-down tasting presented by Wine Spectator. Called “California Dreaming” it was a tasting of two whites and five reds to showcase the diverse terroir of the state.

Girard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Gold in color with a nose of white flowers with moderate fruit and a floral finish. I thought it was a nice glass.

Ferrari-Carano 2012 Chardonnay (Sonoma County). Gold in color with toast notes on the nose and was medium to full body with toastiness on the fruit and crisp acidity on the finish. Mouth filling.

Robert Mondavi 2011 Pinot Noir (Carneros). Black in color with a nose of dried herbs and bacon with chunky big fruit at the beginning but dropping near the end with big acids at the finish.

Napa Cellars 2011 Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with dried rosemary and cooked vegetable on the nose with some cigar box on the full fruit, some unbalance.

Robert Mondavi 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with a red robe with notes of green bell pepper on the nose and was very tight with a mouthful of tannin.

Mount Veeder 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Inky black with a beautiful nose of fresh herbs, black cherry and slate and was concentrated and tight with a firm and balanced finish. The star of the tasting.

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