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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

Whites:

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.

Reds:

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)

 

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