Aquarium Tasting

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This past Memorial Day weekend on Sunday evening, I attended the Taste The East End Food and Wine event which paired local food vendors and restaurants with locally produced beer and wine. It was a consumer event and was held at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center at 431 East Main Street Riverhead. This is the beginning of the North Fork wine country about 80 miles east of Manhattan. It was the first time I went to a wine event in an aquarium which made for an interesting evening of wine, food and live fish swimming around. The wines served were all from Long Island.


Some of what I sampled:

2012 Lenz Gewürztraminer

2014 Raphael Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Martha Clara “Solstice” White

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Fume Blanc

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Osprey’s Dominion Reserve Pinot Gris

2013 OR Vineyards Chardonnay

2013 Roanoke Vineyards “Reserve” Chardonnay

2013 Suru Winery Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Suru Winery Pinot Grigio

2014 Water’s Crest Rosé

2014 Roanoke Vineyards Rosé

2010 Suru Winery “Red Bland”

2011 Raphael “Estate” Merlot

NV Raphael Cabernet



NYC Spring Wine Fest

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On May 9th, I attended the New York Spring Wine Festival. A series of bi-annual wine events run by NY Wine Events. The event was held at the Broad Street Ballroom at 41 Broad Street opposite the New York stock exchange in Manhattan. This venue was the former Lee-Higgins bank built in 1928-29. A pretty spot with lots of mosaics but lousy lighting, the wine booths were either cloaked in shadows or blinded with spotlights. It was a consumer event with two sessions, I attended the afternoon session. A nice crowd of consumers having a good time, plenty of wines, nibbles and good jazz playing in the background. This year included the addition of a VIP suite which had a couple of tables pouring fifteen bottles of some very nice juice.

VIP Suite Table A

2004 Dom Perignon Brut (Champagne). Only white in the room, been there, done that last week.

2009 Robert Chevillon Nuit-St Georges (Burgundy). Brick color, nose of cooked fruit, rustic and firm with a long finish.

2006 Domaine De Courcel Pommard “Les Rugiens” (Burgundy). Brick in color with stone notes on the nose, silk and dusty dark chocolate on the balanced finish. Nice.

2007 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Spring Mountain). Dark red with crushed red berry on the nose, silky with a big hit of tannin at the end.

2012 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black in color with a closed nose of dark plums, concentrated with toasty, roasted fruit on the firm, moderate to long finish.

2004 Chateau Giscours (Margaux). Dark red with an amber robe, roasted nuts and coffee on the nose, graphite on the tight and tannic finish.

2009 Domaine De Chevalier Rouge (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red to black in color with juicy black fruit of mint and black licorice, chewy and dusty, balanced with mouth coating tannin. Delicious.

2012 Domaine Du Pegau Chateauneuf Du Pape (Rhone). Dark red with a perfume of mint and crushed black licorice that jumps out of the glass with chewy tannin on the long finish. Tasty.

Table B

2011 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Napa Valley). Black with ripe fruit on the nose, concentrated and dusty with mouth filling tannin.

2009 Ad Vivum Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with rosemary on the nose, big cherry and mint flavors and firm tannin.

2011 Isole E Olena “Cepparello” (Tuscany). Dark purple with a perfume of sweet red fruit, chewy and juicy sweet fruit, still young at this point.

2010 Chateau Gruaud Larose (St-Julien). Dark red with a big barnyard nose, chunky and dusty fruit.

2003 Chateau Clerc Milon (Paulliac). Dark red with an amber robe, nice perfume on the nose, dark licorice on the fruit, tight with big tannin.

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton “Clos du Roi” Grand Cru (Burgundy). First bottle corked, there was a discussion with the pourer that the batch might be bad, second bottle better, brick in color with barnyard on the nose and tight, mouth puckering tannin at the end.

2010 Joseph Phelps “Insignia” (Napa Valley). No notes.




Wine On Wheels Fundraiser


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On Saturday May 2nd I attended the Wine on Wheels fundraiser run by the Wheeling Forward organization. The event was held at City Winery on 155 Varick Street in Manhattan.

Wheeling Forward is an organization that “helps people with disabilities experience life to the fullest and enable them to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles”. They work with individuals to provide advocacy, mentorship and support services to reach their goal.

The event consisted of a Grand Tasting with over 175 wines poured by 50 local Somms, Fast-Track seminars and a Silent Auction.

Some of what I sampled:

2004 Dom Perignon Blanc de Blanc. Always start with something sparking.

NV Krug Brut Grand Cuvée

2006 Perrier-Jouet “Belle Époque” Brut

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cidre de Fouesranz “. A trio of ciders from Brittany, lots of character, very wine-like, tasty.

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cornouaille”

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cuvée Blanche”

2010 Domaine Francois Buffet Volnay “Clos des Chenas”. Medium red, black fruit, dried herbs.

2010 Domaine Marchand Grillot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Perrier”. Medium red, tart.

2013 Francesco Cirelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Black in color, slate on the nose, chunky wet stone on the firm but balanced finish.

2011 Podere Ciona “Montegrossoli” Four wines from this producer poured by the winemaker, all very nice. This one was clear medium red with smoky black cherry on the nose with concentrated bitter cherry on the finish, good  balance.

2011 Podere Ciona “Semifonte”. A Merlot based wine, dark red to black with slate and roasted meat on the nose, silky dark cherry fruit, great balance with roasted meat notes on the finish.

2010 Podere Ciona Chianti Classico “Riserva”. Medium red with a pretty nose of sweet tar and pencil shavings, silky with sweet tannin at the end.

2007 Podere Ciona “Le Diacce”. The flagship wine of the estate and Merlot based, dark red to black with ripe berries and cooked meat on the nose, deeply concentrated with ripe fruit, graphite and silky tannin.

2006 Chateau Giscours. Medium red, toasted oak on the nose and oak on the fruit, firm tannin.

2003 Clos De L’Oraroire Grand Cru Classé. Dark red with an amber robe with a big perfume of smoke, sweet fruit and ripe berries, silky and balanced on the moderate to long finish. Tasty.

2000 Chateau Les Orme de Pez. Medium to dark red with a pretty perfume of sweet red fruit, tight and tannic.

2009 Echo de Lynch-Bages. Dark red with a closed nose of brambly dark fruit, concentrated and finishes tart.

2011 Flowers “Sea View Ridge” Pinot Noir. Light red and slightly cloudy with floral, ripe flowers on the nose, smoky fruit with some crisp acidity at the end.




Night Spanish

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This past Tuesday night I attended the Wines From Spain Sommelier After Hours wine event held at Soccarrat Paella Bar East on 953 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. It was a casual tasting of eight Spanish wines served with trio of Paella.

NV Pere Ventura Cupagtge d’Honor Cava (Penedès). Always start with a sparkler, this one was light and tart.

2014 Marqués de Riscal Verdejo (Rueda).  Nose of grapefruit and peaches.

2013 Bodegas Castro Martin A2O Albarino. (Rias Baixas). Big perfume of cotton candy and ripe peaches, with ripe fruit. A colleague called this very “Cali”.

2011 Portia Crianza (Ribera del Duero). Dark, concentrated dusty fruit.

2011 El Vinculo (La Mancha). Tight with toasted dark leather fruit.

2010 Casa de la Ermita Crianza (Jumilla). Beautiful perfume of dark fruit and plums with bright sour cherry fruit.

2009 Bodegas San Valero Garnacha (Aragon). Ripe nose of roasted plums with meat and roast nuts on the finish.

2004 Bodegas Muriel Gran Reserva (Rioja). Red leather on the nose with tight, red cherry fruit and firm acids on the moderate to long finish.