Bad-Ass Reds

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New York Vintners is a wine shop on 21 Warren Street in downtown Manhattan, a stones throw away from the Trade Center memorial. It’s a very small wine shop that has an event space and kitchen in the back room. They put that back room to good use hosting many wine and food themed events. On Sunday I attended the Bad-Ass Reds wine class which was a sit down tasting of seven wines. The house Sommelier was on hand to discuss the wines.

2015 Manique Rosé of Pinot Noir (Argentina). Not one of the bad-ass reds but the aperitif wine, salmon in color with green herbs and damp earth on the nose, tart red cherry fruit.

2014 Castello di Verduno “Basadone” (Piedmont). Made from the obscure Pelaverga grape varietal, red amber, closed nose of tree bark with more fruit than the color would suggest, silky fruit with earth notes with silky tannin and moderate acids at the end. Different but tasty.

2014 Sean Minor Pinot Noir (Central Coast). Dark red, red cherry jam on the nose, juicy with mint and toast notes on the nose, crisp and balanced finish.

2006 Chateau Clairefont (Margaux). Black with an amber robe, violets, dried leaf on the nose, chunky, mint notes, balanced tannin and acids on the finish.

2005 Calabretta “Nerello Masalese” (Sicily). Dark red with an amber robe, crushed red fruit and slate on the nose, stewed fruit notes, silky tannin and black licorice on the finish.

2013 My Essential Red Blend (Santa Ynez). Black with a purple robe, crushed dark fruit and crushed rocks on the nose, chunky, chewy with dill notes on the juicy and jammy finish.

2013 Tikal “Patriota” (Argentina). A blend of Malbec and Bonarda, black with a purple robe, dark chocolate and anise on the nose, chunky and chewy with firm tannin and acids at the finish.




Cabernet Franc On Long Island

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Cabernet Franc is one of the varietals used in the classic Bordeaux blend and of Chinon in the Loire Valley. It’s a thinner skinned and earlier ripening relative of Cabernet Sauvignon. At one time on Long Island there was talk around that Cabernet Franc was going to be the varietal that was going to put the region on the map. It was said that the cooler, maritime conditions of the North Fork were perfect for the grape. Alas, it was not to be, Cabernet Franc was never able to dethrone Merlot as the primary grape in the region and wine makers have begun experimenting with other red varietals such as Syrah and Malbec. Cabernet Franc is still used in the Bordeaux blends that the North Fork wineries bottle and is still bottled on its own though some wineries aren’t growing it anymore or  bottling  it as a single varietal.


2013 Roanoke Vineyards Cabernet Franc (North Fork LI). Had this at their Love Lane tasting room since the winery tasting room is for members only. Dark red in color, opaque, slate,  and black cherry on the nose with stewed prune notes as the wine opened up in the glass, dense and chunky with black cherry fruit, nice balance.


2013 Clovis Point Vineyards Cabernet Franc (North Fork LI). Relatively new winery, began with land purchased in 2001. Dark red to black in color with a purple robe, crushed rocks and dried herbs on the nose with crushed black fruit, chewy with firm tannin on the juicy, dark chocolate finish.


2012 Palmer Vineyards Cabernet Franc “Proprietor’s Reserve” (North Fork LI). One of North Fork’s original wineries. Dark amber with a brick robe and cloudy, red licorice on the nose, juicy, red fruit with notes of sour cherry, tart with some green notes on the finish.



Wine Riot Spring 2016

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This past weekend was the Spring time version of the biannual Second Glass Wine Riot fest which was held at the 69th Regiment Lexington Amory event space on 68 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. It’s a multicity, twice a year wine party.

The booths were separated into wine regions and into wine varietals of mid-range wines that the large crowd of mostly young wine drinkers were soon swarming over.

There were lectures and food booths scattered about.


Some of what I sampled:

Doff & Irion Brut Rosé

The Chook Sparking Shiraz

Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve

2014 Dashe Cellars Grenache Blanc

2014 Ramsay Chardonnay

2014 Demoiselles De Castelnau PicPoul

2014 Domaine Michael Buraud Macon-Villages

2013 LaFond Pinot Noir

2013 Lioco Carignan

2014 Valravn Zinfandel

2014 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 J. Lohr Los Osos Merlot

2013 Di Georgio Family Shiraz

2012 Famiglie Merlot

2014 Ca ‘Momi Rosso

2013 Ca “Momi Cabernet Sauvignon



The Big Glou

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This past week was Natural Wine Week in New York City and part of the festivities was the Big Glou wine fest held during the weekend. I had no idea what a glou was but apparently it’s French for gulp which is meant to say that these natural wines would be easy drinking, “gulpable” if you will.  I suppose they could have called the event “The Big Gulp” but that probably would have led to some legal issues with a certain convenience store chain.

The event was “New York’s first natural wine fair of its kind in the United States” inspired by European natural wine salons such as “Dive Boutille” in the Loire Valley and “Vini di Vignaioli” in Emilia-Romagna.  It was a two-day affair featuring over 100 natural wine producers pouring their wines and they are “artisan producers who are committed to farming sustainably and utilizing non-interventionist techniques in the cellar”. What is a natural wine is a bit murky but wines made with minimal technological intervention would be a good working definition. The event was open to the public was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I attended the Sunday afternoon session.

The Big Glou was held at the Wythe Hotel located at 80 Wythe Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The hotel itself is an industrial waterfront area across the street from Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Bowl. Nice space for a wine event, with a brick-lined rooms that gave the place a cave like atmosphere. It was  a popular event and the venue soon filled up with a decidedly young, flannel shirted wearing crowd.


Some of my highlights:

2014 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “McFadden Farm” (Mendocino). Made with carbonic maceration, not a big Zin, medium red, cooked berries on the nose, light bodied but with good, earthy fruit, very drinkable.

2014 Dashe Cellars Carignane “Evangelho Vineyards” (Contra Costa).  From 125 year old vines, medium to dark red, Asian spices and black licorice on the nose, concentrated and silky, finished dropped a bit at the end but tasty.

2013 Dashe Cellars Ancient Vines “Bedrock Vineyard” (Sonoma Valley). From vines planted in 1888, about an equal blend of Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvedre, medium red with dried herbs on the nose with bright earth fruit, silky finishing with big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “Todd Bros. Ranch” (Alexander Valley). Dark red, warm cooked berries on the nose, chewy with some green stem notes at the end, firm with big fruit and big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars “The Comet” (Alexander Valley). Mostly Zinfandel with Petite Sirah and a dash of Carignane, dark black in color, roasted coffee on the nose, tight, concentrated fruit with slate notes, firm tannins and acids.

2014 Broc Cellars Valdiguié (Solano County). Minor variety from SouthWest France, in California used to be bottled as “Gamay”. Clear, medium red, closed nose of sweet fruit, moderate concentrating, light.

2014 Broc Cellars Zinfandel “Vine Starr” (Sonoma County). Medium red , nose of sweet dried herbs, tight with great attack at the beginning and smoothing out in the middle. Interesting wine

2014 Matassa “Romanissa Casot” (Languedoc). A Grenache blend, very light red, minty barnyard on the nose, very extracted fruit for the color, black licorice on the balanced finish.

2014 Matassa “Coume de L’Lolla” (Languedoc). A blend of Grenache and Macebeo, light red, sweet black cherry on the nose, chewy with chewy tannins at the end.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Chiroubles” (Beaujolais). Medium red, crushed rocks, fresh rosemary on the nose, bright dark fruit and slate notes on the finish.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Fleurie” (Beaujolais).  Cloudy dark red, black cherry, medicinal candy on the nose, black cherry on the balanced finish, good acidity.

Other producers sampled:


Domaine De L’Octaviin           Domaine Du Coulet

Monte Bernardi                     Castel Noarna

Ronchi Di Cialla                     Croci

Autour De L’Anne                  Domaine Jaulin-Plaisantin

Bodega Cauzon                     Domaine Du Moulin

Partida Creus                        Andrea Scovero