La Paulée de New York 2017

La Paullée de Meursault was a Burgundian end of harvest festival originally for wine makers, cellar workers and the surrounding community. In 2000 Sommelier and Wine Entrepreneur Daniel Johnnes brought the festival to the United States as a homage to the original La Paulée. The festival alternates between the cities of San Francisco and New York and in 2017 the festival came back to New York.

The festival took place during the week of March 7-11 with seminars, tastings and wine-pairing dinners. The Grand Tasting was on Saturday afternoon from 12-3 and was a walk-around tasting of over 100 Burgundy wines from the 2014 vintage.

The event was held at Pier 60 event space in the Chelsea Piers sport complex at 23rd street and the West Side Highway at the Hudson River.

Some of what I sampled:



Domaine Alex Gambal Saint-Aubin 1er Cru: Very light yellow, cinnamon spice on the nose, moderate fruit, very balanced, easy drinking.

Domaine Eleni & Edouard Vocoret Chablis “Le Bas de Chapelot”: Light yellow with a greenish tint, lime and melon on the nose, moderate fruit, nice balance.

Domaine Alex Gambol Puligny-Montrachet “Les Enseignieres”: Light yellow, closed nose, juicy mango on the fruit with a nice grip at the finish.

Domaine Rougeot Meursault “Sous La Velle”: Medium yellow, peaches on the nose, petroleum on the finish.

Domaine Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Mazures”: Light yellow, greenish tints, toast, petroleum on the nose, cinnamon on the moderate fruit, long finish.

Domaine Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: Light yellow, oak notes on the nose, nice fruit at initial sip, tightens up at the finish.

Domaine des Lambrays Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clos du Cailleret: Light yellow with a green tint with green tropical fruit.

Les Hospices de Beune Saint-Romain “Cuvee Joseph Menault”: Light yellow, cinnamon spice on the nose, juicy tropical fruit with moderate acids. Very Cali.

Bouchard Père & Fils Meursault 1er Cru “Genevrieres”: Very light yellow, cinnamon spice on the nose, light buttery fruit with a nice balance and a long finish. Nice.



Louis Jadot Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru: Medium red with a pretty perfume of dark violets, dusty, silky, tight with a long finish.

Domaine Génot-Lavollée Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Medium purple, stinky red cherry on the nose, earthy bright fruit with a tight finish.

Domaine Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru: Light red, crushed red berries on the nose with bright red fruit and a nice balance.

Domaine Gagey Clos-Saint Denis Grand Cru: Light red, crushed red berry and dirt on the nose, silky fruit with a lip smacking finish.t fruit, tight finish.

Bouchard Père & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru: Light red, crushed black fruit on the nose, tight with firm tannins.

Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru: Light red, big smoky perfume with delicate fruit.

Domaine Génot-Lavollée Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru “Clos du Chapitre”: Medium red, crushed red fruit with asparagus on the nose, nice fruit, balanced finish.

Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay 1er Cru “Taillepieds”: Medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, bright, tight and dusty fruit, firm and tart on the finish.

Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru “Les Suchots”: Medium red, big barnyard on the nose, silky, spicy with firm. crisp acids.

Domaine Georges Mugnerer-Gibourg Vosne-Romanée: Light red, cooked warm dark berries on the nose, dusty, tight and firm fruit.

Les Hospices de Beaune 1er Cru “Cuvee Guigone de Salins”: Medium to light red, smoky black cherry and dirt on the nose, silky, concentrated fruit that drops a bit at the end.

Domaine des Lambrays Morey-Saint Denis 1er Cru “Les Loup”: Medium red with bright black cherry and green herbs on the nose, tight, bright black fruit.

Domaine Armand Rousseau 1er Cru Gevrey Chambertin: Light red, barnyard and black cherry on the nose with silky, light cherry fruit.

Domaine Duroché Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Lavaut Saint_Jacques”: Medium red, warm crushed berries and earth on the nose, dusty fruit with firm tannins at the finish.

Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “La Combe d’Orveau Cuvee Ultra”: Medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, silky fruit with nice balance.




Great Wines Of Italy 2017 Tour

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James Suckling is a wine and cigar critic who sponsored the Great Wines of Italy Tour. In 2016 the tour was international and stopped by the cities of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Phuket, this year the tour will take them to Miami, Beverly Hills and San Francisco. On March 8th it was New York City’s turn.

The event was held at the Frank Gehry designed IAC building at 555 West 18th Street on the far west side of Manhattan. You can’t miss the very unique and distinctive building with its wavy, white glass design.

The event had over 150 Italian wineries serving 92+ point wine wines handpicked by Mr. Suckling. Most of the wine regions of Italy were represented but I concentrated my tastings on Piedmont and Tuscany.

Some of what I sampled:


2012 Fattoria Del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Riserva”

2010 & 2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino

2011 La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Aletesino Brunellod di Montalcino “Montosoli”

2011 Carparzo Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva”

2011 Carparzo Brunello di Montalcino “La Casa”

2012 Fattoria La Leccaia Brunellod di Montalcino

2012 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino “Altero”

2011 Il Bosco di Grazia Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Il Bosco di Grazia Brunello di Montalcino

2014 Tommasi Valpolicella “Rafael”

2012 Tommasi Amarone

2010 Pra Amarone

2011 Masi Riserva “Costasera”

2011 Masi Brolo Campofiorin “Oro”

2011 Aldo Conterno Barolo “Cicala”

2012 Rocche dell” Annuziata Barolo

2012 Fontanafredda Barolo “Serralunga”

2012 Sordo Barolo “Parussi”

2012 Sordo Barolo “Monvigliero”

2012 Pio Cesare Barolo

2011 Cascina Bruciata Barberesco Riserva “Rio Sordo”

2014 Orenellaia

2014 Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia

2013 Viticcio Chianti Classico “Riserva”

2013 Viticcio Chianti Classico “Gran Selezione”

2013 Fattoria Le Pupille “Poggio Valenti”

2013 Fattoria Le Pupille “Saffredi”

2013 Ceralti “Alfeo”

2013 Petra “Potenti”



2013 Merlot On Long Island


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Merlot is the most widely planted grape varietal on Long Island with about 700 acres planted representing 30% of the total. It’s an early ripening varietal that does well in cooler climates which is great for the maritime climate of the North Fork of Long Island where hurricanes might blow through during the harvest.

It has its own association, the Long Island Merlot Alliance whose mission is “to educate media and consumers as to the quality of Merlot and Merlot based blends in Long Island. At their website you can learn the history of Merlot including about the first vines planted on Long Island in 1974 at Hargrave Winery and Mudd’s Vineyard.

The 2013 vintage was called a “fantastic” vintage with a hot Summer and a long, dry Autumn which meant a later harvest of very ripe grapes.



2013 Waters Crest Winery Merlot “Grand Vin”.  28735 Main Road, Cutchogue

Jim Waters does not own vineyards but makes his wines from locally purchased grapes. Up until recently, the tasting room was in a strip mall but has recently opened a comfortable tasting room on the main road.

The wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak, very dark red in color, opaque, black cherry, strawberry and slate on the nose, juicy, concentrated crushed black fruit with bright silky tannin at the end.


2013 Pelligrini Vineyards Merlot “Estate”.  23005 Main Road, Cutchogue

The two story tasting room was built in 1991 overlooking a courtyard with an Italian cloister design.

The wine spent 24 months in oak, black in color, crushed black fruit, cooked vegetable and toast on the nose, concentrated and tight with slate and smoke notes on the fruit, ending with tight tannins and crisp acids.


2013 Paumanok Vineyards Merlot “Grand Vintage”.  1074 Main Road, Aquebogue

Paumanok is a 127 acre estate winery founded in 1983 with the tasting room in a turn of the century barn.

Aged two months longer than their regular Merlot, dark purple with a purple rim, dark chocolate and black cherry on the nose, tight, bright cherry fruit with crisp acids and tannins on the finish.



Boston Wine Expo 2017: Grand Tasting & Vintners’ Reserve Lounge

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On February 18-19 I attended the 26th annual Boston Wine Expo in Boston Massachusetts. It’s my 6th year at this event which I think is one of the best consumer events in the country. In addition to the many seminars, the main floor of the convention center hosted the Grand Tasting which poured hundreds of wine and the smaller, more intimate Vintner’s Reserve Lounge which featured higher end wines that were not served at the Grand Tasting. After attending the Seminars and Vintner’s Lounge on Saturday, I spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the Grand Tasting.  Some of what I sampled:


Vintner’s Lounge

2014 Louis Latour Corton-Charlamagne (Burgundy). Light yellow, tropical fruit on the nose, full melon and honey notes on the fruit, nice balance.

2015 King Estate Pinot Noir (Oregon). Medium purple, spicy plum on the nose, bright fruit.

2013 King Estate Pinot Noir “Domaine” (Oregon). Medium to light red, spicy cinnamon on the nose, tart and light on the fruit.

2012 Grgich Hills Merlot (Napa Valley). Black in color, ripe plums and dried herbs on the nose, chunky fruit with a firm finish.

2013 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with a purple rim, closed nose of dark raspberry, juicy, ripe black fruit.

2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black with a purple rim, dried herbs and cherry on the nose, dark chocolate on the moderate finish that drops a bit at the end.

2014 Frogs Leap Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford). Dark  red, closed nose of black fruit, ginger and spice, tight, bright fruit.

2013 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot (Napa Valley). Dark red with a perfume fo plum and crushed black fruit, thick and juicy with tobacco notes on the fruit.

2013 Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Rockaway” (Alexander Valley). Dark red with a purple rim, fresh herbs on the nose, tight, silky finish with some heat.

2012 Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Alexander’s Crown” (Alexander Valley). Dark red with a purple rim, green herbs on the nose, silky, juicy with moderate acids. Drinkable.

2011 Domodimonti “Passione e Visione” (Marche). Petit Verdot, inky black, perfume of violets with silky tannins on the crushed dark fruit, great grip on the finish.

2011 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium brick, closed nose of plum, silky graphite fruit, great balance.

2011 Antinori Chianti Classico “Riserva” (Tuscany). Medium brick, roast nuts and red cherry and pencil shavings on the, silky fruit with a nice grip of tannin at the finish.

Grand Tasting

2016 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé (Central Coast). Very light pink, cotton candy nose, juicy with fresh herbs and strawberry fruit.

2014 Qupé Roussanne “Bien Nacido” (Santa Maria Valley). Light yellow, spicy cinnamon on the nose, honeydew, tropical fruit on the finish, nice balance.

2014 Treana Winery “Blanc” (Paso Robles). A Rhone blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne, medium yellow, dark floral nose, earth and roast nuts on the fruit.

2011 Tenuta La Gigliola Canaiolo (Tuscany). A varietal that’s not usually bottled on its own, medium brick, closed nose of barnyard, juicy graphite fruit, bitter almond on the finish.

2014 Concha y Toro Carmenere Gran Reserva (Chile). Dark red to black, fresh herbs on the nose, chunky, chewy with mint notes on the finish.

2012 Kenneth Volk Grenache “Rio San Benito Vineyard” (San Benito County). Light brick, fresh rosemary and graphite on the nose, juicy red leather fruit, bitter cherry on the finish.

2011 Qupé Grenache “Lindquist Vineyard” (Edna Valley). Medium red, smoky tree bark on the nose, bright smoky cherry fruit, moderate to low acid.

2011 Qupé Syrah “Lindquist Vineyard” (Edna Valley). Medium red, pretty perfume of violets and graphite with dusty, graphite fruit on the moderate finish.

2014 English Hills Pinot Noir (Vacaville). Light red with a big stinky nose, silky red cherry fruit and a bright finish.

2011 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany). Dark red to black, warm turned earth on the nose, chewy with black licorice notes on the fruit and finish.