Boardwalk Tasting In Atlantic City

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This past Sunday I took a road trip to Atlantic City to attend Food & Wine’s Boardwalk Wine Promenade. It was the wine events Fall debut and featured over 100 wines at multiple destinations along a mile long stretch of the Atlantic City boardwalk. Each destination had a theme with appropriate paird wines. There was live music, some food from local vendors and plenty of people enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather on the boardwalk. I was told that Sunday wasn’t as hectic and crowded as the Saturday event which was fine by me since I don’t like to muscle my way in the tent for a splash of wine, still, there was still plenty of folks out parading back and forth on the boardwalk enjoying the event and I had fun.

Station 1: Come & Go Vino

Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Brut (Columbia Valley)

Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Brut Rosè (Columbia Valley)

2013 Vitano Rosato (Umbria)

2013 Vivanco Blanco (Rioja)

2011 Scott Family Estate Pinot Noir “Dijon Clone” (Arroyo Secco)

2010 Ontañon Crianza (Rioja)

Station 2: Bubble Lounge (a.k.a. the party lounge)

Sponsored by Moet & Chandon, cool vibe, good DJ, Champagne, what’s not to like.

NV Brut Imperial

NV Rosé Imperial

Station 3: Sun & Sea

2013 Fontana Candida Frascati (Lazio)

2012 Kris Pinot Grigio (Veneto)

2012 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling (Washington)

2013 Artazuri Garnacha Rosado (Navarra)

Station 6: Food & Wine Plaza

2012 Clos Pegase  Chardonnay”Mitsuko’s Vineyard” (Carneros)

2012 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay “Russian River Ranches” (Sonoma)

2012 Reata Three County Pinot Noir (California)

2012 Etude Pinot Noir “Lyric”(Santa Barbara C0unty)

2012 Ferrari-Carano Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)

2010 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2010 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Alexander Valley)

2011 Jamieson Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon “Double Lariat” (Napa Valley)

Station 8: Bourbons & Bold Reds

Good band, stayed away from the spirits.

2011 Wild Oats Shiraz (Australia)

2013 Emilana Carmenere (Chile)

2011 Rewood Winery Zinfandel “Old Vines” (Amador County)

2011 Shannon Ridge Petite Sirah (Lake County)

2012 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2012 Ferrrari-Carano “Siena” (Sonoma County)





Newport Mansions Wine And Food Fest

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On Sunday afternoon I attended the 9th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. The event was sponsored by Food & Wine magazine and consisted of various events such as a wine makers brunch and dinner, seminars and a grand tasting of wines on Saturday and Sunday. The Grand Tasting had wines from around the world, cooking demos, a silent auction and food from various local restaurants.

The tasting was held at the Marble House which is one of many historic, Gilded-Age properties (Mansions) that the Preservation Society of Newport County administers and conduct tours of. The Marble House was built for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt between 1888-1892 as a “summer cottage”. A cottage that cost $11 million (in 19th century dollars) with $7 million of that just for the marble. Like most of the mansions in the area, it was built on the cliffs overlooking Narragansett bay. In the back yard they built a replica of a Chinese tea house. It was an opulent venue to have a wine tasting.

It was a consumer event and many of the higher end wines were poured out at the Saturday tasting and were not available the Sunday afternoon I attended. But there was still enough juice to make for an enjoyable afternoon. I did attend one of the seminars which was held in the Chinese tea room.

Seminar: Bond’s Bordeaux

Where speaker Philippe Newlin compared different appellations in Bordeaux with the appropriate James Bond.

2011 Marquis de Bordeaux (Bordeaux). The starter wine, a generic Bordeaux.

2008 Les Hauts de Smith (Pessac Leognan). Dark red to black in color with mint and graphite on the nose, tight, silky with some toast and tobacco on the balanced finish.

2008 Marquis de Mons (Margaux). Medium red with a brick robe with a big, pretty floral and tobacco nose with crisp, bright red fruit.

2008 Lacoste Borie (Pauillac). Dark red to black with crushed stone on the nose, concentrated and firm with mouth-watering tannin.

2008 Le Petit Caillou (St. Julien). Dark black in color with a pretty perfume of red fruit and tobacco with big tannin and some citrus notes at the end.

2008 Tronquoy de Sainte-Anne (St. Estephe). Black with a closed nose of dark prunes, mint and graphite with a mouth full of tannin.

2009 Chateau La Grace Dieu Des Prieurs  (St. Emillion). Dark red with smoky black cherry and cedar on the nose with a firm, long finish.

After the seminar, enjoyed the event with bites from local restaurants and more wine


2013 Pearl Pinot Gris (Lodi) 200 cases made.

2013 Chappellet Chenin Blanc (Napa Valley)

2011 Morgan “Double L Vineyard” Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands)

2012 Chappellet Chardonnay (Napa Valley)

2012 Kistler Chardonnay (Sonoma Mountain) 171 barrels made.

2013 Chamisal Chardonnay (Central Coast). Unoaked.


2011 Walt “Blue Jay” Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)

2012 Morgan Pinot Noir “Twelve Clones” (Santa Lucia Highlands)

2013 Kistler Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)

2011 Seamus Red Cuvée (California) 125 cases made.

2011 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

2011 Hall Merlot (Napa Valley)

2012 Chappellet “Mountain Cuvèe (Napa Valley)

2011 Chappellet “Prichard Hill” (Napa Valley) Cabernet Franc.

2011 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Napa Valley)

2011 Joseph Phelps “Insignia” (Napa Valley)

2011 Tenuta Santa Maria Valpolicella Ripasso (Veneto)

2007 Tenuta Santa Maria Amarone (Veneto)


Merlot At Lenz

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This past Saturday, September 13  I attended the 25th annual Merlot World Classic which was held at the Lenz Winery in Peconic on the north fork of Long Island. Lenz is the second oldest winery on Long Island and have some of the oldest Merlot vines in the area. They make some nice sparkling wines as well. The event gathered together Merlot from the United States, France,  Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile though most of the wines were from California and France. Of course, Long Island wines were represented as well.

It was a consumer event held outdoors at the winery. It was a rainy evening but things were kept dry under the tents.


2011 Markham Vineyards Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium to dark red in color with crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy and silky and nicely balanced. Very drinkable.

2011 Freemark Abbey Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with smoky oak on the nose with tight black fruit with notes of pencil shavings on the finish.

2010 Plumpjack Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with an amber robe, toasty black fruit on the nose and was chewy with black licorice on the firm and balanced finish.

2009 Cakebread Cellars Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with some vegetal notes on the nose with silky fruit upfront that droped a bit at the end.

2009 Shafer Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with toasty black cherry on the nose with bright black fruit and crisp acids.

2008 Grgich Hills Estate Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with a pretty floral nose of red roses, and was tight and silky with graphite notes on the finish.

2007 Twomey Cellars Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium red with some cooked vegetal notes on the nose, chunky and dusty with graphite notes on the mouth-puckering finish. Some heat.


2009 Chateau de Sales (Pomerol). Dark red with some damp earth on the nose and was silky and chewy with mint on the finish.

2009 Chateau Nenin (Pomerol). Dark red with a ripe, floral nose and was tight and silky with a firm long finish.

2009 Chateau de Pez (St. Estephe). Medium red with a stinky floral nose and was rustic and chewy with mouth-watering tannin at the end.

2008 La Domaine de Montrose (St. Estephe). Dark red to black with pretty dusty crushed dark berries on the nose and was concentrated and silky with mouth filling tannin and dark chocolate at the finish. Very nice.

2004 Chateau Haut-Simard (St. Emillion). Medium red with an amber robe with stinky black cherry on the nose and was tight with some bitter cherry on the medium to long finish.

Long Island

2010 Lenz Merlot “Estate Selection” (North Fork). Medium red with red cherry on the nose and was tight and bright.

2007 Lenz Merlot “Old Vines” (North Fork). Medium red with dark roasted meat on the nose with tight fruit and some cooked fruit notes on the moderate to long finish.

2011 Wölffer Estate Merlot “Lambardo” (South Fork). Medium red with dusty, roasted coffee on the nose with toasty fruit.

2010 Wölffer Estate Merlot “Christian’s Cuvée” (South Fork). At a $100 a bottle, the most expensive bottle at the tasting. Dark red with toasty roast meat on the nose and was chewy with dark chocolate on the finish.