Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2016


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The 36th annual Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience was held on October 20-22. It was “a joyous three-day festival of great wines”, an opportunity to taste the world’s finest wines. Thursday and Friday consisted of wine seminars during the afternoon capped off with the critics’ choice Grand Tasting in the evening where over 250 wines rated 90 points or higher on their rating scale were served. The Wine Spectator magazine, which is celebrating its 40th year this year and its 100 point rating scale is one of the most influential  wine magazines in the wine world. Many consider it the “Bible” of the industry.

The event was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel at 1535 Broadway in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan. I attended Friday evening and it was an outstanding tasting, an embarrassment of riches with a huge selection of some of the worlds best wines to sample.  I decided to focus on California Cabernet and Bordeaux with an Italian here and there. One day was certainly not enough to sample everything I would have wanted, so much juice so little time.

Some of what I sampled:


2007 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Martha’s Vineyard” (Napa Valley). Dark red, perfume of red leather and tar, chewy black licorice and red cherry fruit on the balanced finish.

2007 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Hillside Select” (Napa Valley). Dark purple, toasty black fruit on the nose, tarry finish.

2012 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy with tobacco notes on the balanced finish.

2012 Harlan Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark purple, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, silky fruit, silky tannin.

2013 Ovid Hexameter (Napa Valley). Black with a purple robe, stewed fruit on the nose, juicy and jammy.

1999 Ridge Vineyards “Monte Bello” (Santa Cruz Mtns). Bordeaux blend, dark purple, sweet red candy and graphite on the nose, dusty, smoky fruit that tightens up at the finish.

2010 Diamond Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Gravelly Meadow” (Napa Valley). Dark red, red candy nose with red cherry fruit.

2013 Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon “Au Paradis” (Oakville). Dark red with a purple rim, cola and red cherry on the nose, juicy with firm herb notes on the finish.

2012 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Oakville). Dark red with a purple robe, toast sour cherry on the nose, tight and concentrated with fresh rosemary on the balanced finish.

2012 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt Veeder). Black in color, minty graphite on the nose with thick and chewy red fruit.

2013 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Select” (Napa Valley). Black with a purple rim, crushed black fruit on the nose, thick and syrupy.


2011 Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets (Burgundy). Brick color, brick dust on the nose, chewy with red cherry and smoke on the fruit, firm acids.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Corton (Burgundy). Medium light red, forest floor on the nose, tight, moderate fruit.

2001 Chateau Margaux (Bordeaux). Dark brick, big perfume of black olives and tar, smoky, tobacco notes on the fruit, balanced, long smoky finish.

2006 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Bordeaux). Dark red with a brown robe, beautiful perfume of violets, green olive notes on the concentrated dusty fruit, turns tight with crisp acidity at the end.

2006 Chateau Haut-Brion (Bordeaux). Dark red, closed nose of bacon, silky green olives on the fruit, balance with a long finish.

2006 Ducru Beaucaillou (Bordeaux). Dark red in color, closed nose with mint notes, tight fruit, tannins on the end.

2009 Chateau Figeac (Bordeaux). Dark red to black, cook fruit, dried leaf on the nose, tight with smoke and toast notes on the fruit, firm tannins on the finish.

2004 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Bordeaux). Medium brick, cigar box nose, silky graphite notes on the fruit and on the finish, great balance.

2008 Chateau Palmer (Bordeaux). Dark red with a purple robe, toast notes on the nose, concentrated, dusty, toasty fruit, good balance.

2011 Chateau Angelus (Bordeaux). Dark red to black, closed nose of black fruit, mint, silky green olives and toast notes on the fruit, firm finish.

2010 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Bordeaux). Black in color, crushed red fruit and Asian spices on the nose, thick and juicy with nice tannins to balance it out.

2011 E. Guigal Cote-Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (Rhone). Dark red, big roasted meat and floral notes on the nose, big and chewy meat notes on the fruit, tightens up a the end.


2006 Solaia (Tuscany). Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, pretty perfume of red roses, violets with dark silky fruit and a beautiful finish.

2012 Sassicaia (Tuscany). Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, medium purple, closed nose, juicy red cherry fruit. Boring.

2009 Ornellaia (Tuscany). Medium red with a brick robe, cooked vegetable on the nose, dusty, tobacco fruit, balanced, cigarette smoke on the finish.

2011 Gaja Sperss (Piedmont). Medium brick, cherry tar on the nose, tight, silky tannin, finishes with lip smacking tannins.

2011 San Felice “Vigorello” (Tuscany). Dark purple, cigarette smoke on the nose, thick and chewy black fruit with some mint notes on the balanced finish.

2006 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva” (Tuscany). Magnum, medium brick, tar and pencil shavings on the nose and fruit, great balance.



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