Reboule Du Rhone NYC 2017


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The 1st annual Reboule du Rhone wine tasting in New York City was held on Saturday November 18th. La Reboule is the traditional end of harvest celebration in the Northern Rhone Valley of France for the harvesters, winemakers and cellar staff. This event brought Northern Rhone wines and producers together with many local Somms for a weekend of wine tastings, dinners and seminars to raise funds for the No Kid Hungry organization.

The event was held in the glass lined atrium at 180 Maiden Lane, an office building in lower Manhattan next to the South Street Seaport.

In northern Rhone the only permitted red grape is syrah. Only a small amount of white wine is produce with viognier used in Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet and marsanne and roussanne for the rest. If you like to drink California wines you will like wines from the northern Rhone, generally, the viogniers are lush and the syrahs are bold, peppery and meaty.

Inside the Winning Women in Wine lounge they served a couple of tasty snacks: beef tartare, wild rice, shiso and sunchoke chips and venison sausage, turnip kraut, cranberry and rye.

Some of what I sampled:


2015 Domaine Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph Blanc “Les Oliviers”. Light gold with a honey notes on the nose, nice mouthfeel of canned peaches ending with a nice balance.

2015 Domaine Faury Saint-Joseph Blanc. Light gold, floral nose, moderate body on the peachy fruit, nice balance.

2014 Andre Perret Condrieu “Clos Chanson”. Light yellow, barnyard nose, full fruit of honey and peaches, moderate finish.

2013 Louis Barruol Hermitage Blanc “La Pierrelle”. Light yellow, citrus honey on the nose, with cooked veg notes on the full fruit.


2015 Laurent Betton Saint-Joseph. Dark purple, roast meat on the nose, silky red cherry fruit, balanced.

2015 Andre Perret Saint-Joseph Rouge “Les Grisieres”. Dark purple, roast meat on the nose, silky purple fruit with roast vegetable notes on the finish.

2015 Aurelien Chatagnier Saint-Joseph “La Sybarite”. Black in color, roast nuts and meat on the nose, firm, dusty fruit.

2015 Julien Cecillon Saint-Joseph “Babylone”. Dark red to black, crushed red berries on the nose with firm, tight black fruit.

2007 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph “Vignes de l’Hospice”. Dark brick, black leather and mint on the nose with chewy fruit and a long finish.

2015 Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage. Dark purple to black, closed nose, chewy, woody, dense.

2015 Domaine Rostaing Cote-Rotie “Ampidium”. Purple with chocolate covered cherries on the nose, chewy with slate notes on the fruit, nice balance.

2014 Domaine Jean-Michel Stephen Cote-Rotie “Coteaux de Tupin”. Dark purple, fresh rosemary on the nose with chewy, funky fruit.

1996 E. Guigal Cote-Rotie “La Landonne”. Brick with an amber rim, pretty perfume of red leather, smoky, meaty fruit with a moderate to long finish.

2015 Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie “Classique”. Black, closed nose of black leather, chewy with a hit bit tannins at the end.

2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage. Dark brick, tar and mint on the nose, chewy black licorice fruit, long finish.

2011 Louis Barruol Hermitage “La Pierrelle”. Dark brick in color with green bell pepper on the nose, dusty fruit.

2015 Domaine du Coulet Cornas “Brise Cailloux”. Dark purple with black licorice on the nose ending with red cherry fruit.

2013 Domaine du Coulet Cornas “Brise Cailloux”. Dark purple with a big nose of green herbs with red cherry fruit.




Raw Wine New York 2017


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The Raw Wine Fair was held in London and Berlin before coming to New York City on November 5-6. The festival was created and organized by Isabelle Legeron as a forum for wines that reject the industrial and over manipulated big brands for wines that are authentic, low intervention, organic and biodynamic and grown with sustainable agricultural practices.

The fair was held in a warehouse space in the industrial, graffiti-filled hipster neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn at 99 Scott Avenue. There were over 100 growers showcasing their wines.

The grey, misty weather didn’t keep people from the event and it seemed they had more wineries in attendance this year than in last.


Some of what I sampled:

Castagna Winery. Haven’t tried many biodynamic wines from Australia and haven’t tried many Australian wines made from Sangiovese. 2013 “Un Segreto”. a Sangiovese and Syrah blend, medium red, tar notes on the nose, starts chewy and ends with firm acidity. 2013 “La Chiave”, all Sangiovese, medium red, tar and violet notes on the nose, tight, bitter cherry fruit, medium finish.

Clos de Caveau. A winery in Vacqueyras, Rhone Valley. 2014 “Carmen Brillant”: Medium red, closed nose of red berries, concentrated, silky fruit with tobacco notes and roast nuts on the nice balance. 2015 “Fruit Savage“: Medium purple, closed nose of black licorice, chunky, crushed rocks on the fruit, balanced, moderate long finish.

2015 Sine Felle Toscana Bianca: Orange wine from the Malvasia varietal, dark orange with orange peel notes on the nose, earthy with good balance.

2009 Sine Felle  Chianti Riserva: Dark amber, bright red leather on the nose, chewy licorice fruit, nice grip at the end, long finish.

2016 Sine Felle Canaiolo: This varietal used in Chianti is not normally bottled on its own, medium red, sour cherry on the nose, sour, bitter cherry on the fruit ending with some funkiness on the fruit.

2014 Rocca di Carpeneto “Erche”: Dolcetto, dark red, violet, green herbs on the nose chewy slate on the fruit, firm tannins.

2013 Podere Borgaruccio “Rivale”: Medium red, crushed fresh rosemary and some petroleum on the nose with dusty, mouth coating tannins on the moderate finish.

2015 The Scholium Project “The prince in his cave”: An orange wine made from Sauvignon Blanc, dark orange in color, orange peel on the nose, moderate fruit with orange peel fruit, good balance.

2014 The Scholium Project “Sylph”: Chardonnay, light gold in color, damp earth on the nose, ripe fruit.

2015 Pallazzo Tronconi “Mocevo”: Sangiovese and Merlot blend, dark red to black, cooked red berry on the nose, mouth coating tannins, balanced.

2015 Pallazzo Tronconi “Donnico”: Made from indigenous grape varietal Olivella, dark purple, smoky, cooked earth on the nose, bright red fruit.



CiderFeast Brooklyn 2017

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Cider Week in New York was on October 20-29. It was a week of cider and cider themed events at various venues and restaurants across the city.

CiderFeast was held on Saturday afternoon on October 28th at The Brooklyn Kitchen, “a radical cooking school on a mission to teach people to cook like grown-ups”. It’s located at 100 Frost Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

CiderFeast was hosted by Edible Brooklyn magazine and presented by Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s Nº 43 restaurant who has run many food and spirit events.

It was a walk-around tasting of over 20 local and international ciders with a live band providing the music and some really excellent cheeses from Bardwell Farms, an artisan cheese producer from Vermont and from Murray’s cheese shop.


Some of what I sampled:

Angry Orchard (NY State). The usual mass-produced cider you get on tap at a bar, they also make small production unique ciders such as the trio that was served here: Understood in Motion 01, EDU and Wooden Sleeper.

Diner Brewing Co. (NY State). This guy brought a tub of bottles with no labels since they were all experimental ciders including one made with Miso. He also brought over some home-grown Sicilian figs.

Descendant Cider Co. (NY State). New York City’s first cider company located in Queens. They poured their limited reserve ciders: Descendant Dry, English Kills and Wilderness.

Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider (NY State). Some of their offerings included specialty unfiltered and bottled conditioned ciders such as The Last Blacksmith and Northern Spy.

Barrika (Spain). Basque cider, the guy who was pouring made a show of it by pouring the cider from a glass carafe while holding it high above the drinking glass. He was a hit.

Bembel With Care (Germany). In addition to straight cider they served ciders flavored with cola and cherry (kirsh). The German guy pouring liked to crush the empty cans and soon the table was full of crushed cans.

Black Duck Cidery Woody (NY State). This is their barrel fermented cider.

Others I sampled:

EZ Orchards Roman Beauty Cider (Oregon)

Urban Farm Fermentory wild fermented ciders (Maine).

Austin Eastciders (Texas)

Downeast Cider (Massachusetts)

Farnum Hill Cider Extra Dry (New Hampshire)

Aval (France)

Aspall Dry (England)

Craigies Cider Ballyhook Flyer (Ireland)



Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2017

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The 37th annual Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience was held on October 19-21. It was three days of sit down seminars, wine pairing lunches, critics choice grand tastings ending with an awards banquet on Saturday night. The event was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel at 1535 Broadway in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan with all of the net proceeds going to the Wine Spectator’s scholarship fund.

Over 2,000 people attended the Grand Tastings each night on Thursday and Friday evenings which featured over 250, 90+ wines from some of the best wine regions in the word. I attended on Friday night.

What can I say, it was an embarrassment of riches with such an impressive choice of high-end juice that would take days to try them all. Unfortunately  I had one night so I had to focus my tasting. I decided on reds from Bordeaux and California Cabernet with the Italians at the end of the evening for a chance of pace.



2006 Hall Exzellenz “Sacrashe Vineyard” (Rutherford): Dark red to black, complex nose of crushed green herbs, red fruit, chewy dark chocolate fruit with green olives, coffee and dark chocolate on the firm but balanced finish.

2007 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Martha’s Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Medium red to black, tar and mint on the nose, silky fruit, moderate tannins with herbs on the long finish. Delicious wine.

2007 Ridge Vineyards “Monte Bello” (Santa Cruz): Dark red with an amber rim, crushed sour cherry on the nose, chewy, black licorice and dark chocolate on the fruit, good grip.

2007 Ramey Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum” (Napa Valley): Amber in color, big tarry nose, cherry, tar and mint on the chewy fruit, nice balance.

2011 Diamond Creek “Red Rock Terrace” (Napa Valley): Dark red to black, green olives on the nose, tight, bright tarry fruit, good balance, long finish.

2012 Carter Cellars “To Kalon Vineyards” (Napa Valley): Black in color, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy black fruit, juicy with firm tannins.

2012 Mt. Brave “Mt. Veeder” (Napa Valley): Black, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy mint notes on the fruit, juicy and balanced.

2012 Ernest & Julio Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Sonoma): Black, sweet cherry on the nose, concentrated red cherry fruit, nice balance.

2013 Louis Martini “Monte Rosso” (Sonoma Valley): Black with crushed black fruit on the nose, chunky, chewy, juicy, mint notes on the fruit, balanced.

2013 Duckhorn Merlot “Three Palms Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Dark red to black, roasted coffee and dried red berry on the nose, chewy ending with firm, bright fruit.

2014 Opus One (Napa Valley): Medium dark red, crushed dark berries and earth on the nose, chewy, dusty dark chocolate on the fruit with silky tannins.

2014 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Napa Valley): Dark black, crushed red fruit on the nose, chewy dark chocolate on the fruit, moderate finish.



2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac): Black in color, closed nose of mint and red cherry, concentrated with chalk notes and roasted coffee on the fruit, hot acids on the finish.

2005 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac): Medium amber, black olives on the nose, tight with coffee notes and silky tannins on the firm, balanced finish.

2006 Chateau Margaux (Margaux): Medium amber, sweet tar on the nose, tight, tarry with mouth coating tannins, some tartness on the finish.

2006 Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red, tarry earth notes on the nose, tight silky fruit with silky tannins ending with a nice grip.

2000 Chateau Leoville Las Cases (St-Julien): Black, green olives on the nose, tight, silky tannins with green olive notes on the finish.

2004 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan): Dark red to black, green olives and herbs on the nose, silky fruit, balance, long finish, a beautiful wine.

2006 Chateau Leoville Barton (St-Julien): Dark red to black, smoky, black fruit on the nose, tarry with firm tannins, lingering finish.

2008 Cos D’ Estournel (St-Estephe): Dark red to black, roasted coffee on the nose, concentrated bright red fruit, green herbs on the finish, good balance.

2009 Chateau Montrose (St-Estephe): Black in color, tarry, strawberry and roast coffee on the nose, a little chunky with a big, silky mouthfeel and firm tannins.

2009 Chateau Canon-La Gaffeliere (St-Emilion): Dark red, crushed sour cherry nose, tight, red cherry fruit, firm tannins.

2009 Chateau La Fleur Petrus (Pomerol): Medium amber, closed nose of toasty dark chocolate, chewy fruit with mint and fresh herb notes, good balance.

2010 Chateau Figeac (St-Emilion): Black in color, green olives on the nose, chewy fruit with mint notes, firm with a lingering finish.

2011 Chateau Clerc Milon (Pauillac): Dark red, tarry cooked cherries on the nose, concentrated black fruit, juicy and balance with a good grip.

2012 Chateau Pavie (St-Emilion): Black, roasted coffee on the nose, concentrated red fruit with good balance.

2014 Chateau Pichon-Longueville (Pauillac): Dark red, black olives on the nose, dusty dark chocolate on the fruit with nice balance.



2000 Allegrini  Amarone “Classico” (Veneto): Dark red with an amber rim, roasted nuts on the nose with ripe plums and good acidity on the fruit.

2007 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino “Madonna del Plano Riserva” (Tuscany): Amber in color, big tarry nose, chewy fruit of tar and mint, chewy finish with a nice balance.

2010 Masseto (Tuscany): Medium amber, tar and leather on the nose with chewy dark chocolate fruit and firm acids.

2013 Gaja Barberesco “Sori Tilden” (Piedmont): Medium amber, very closed nose of black cherry with dusty red cherry fruit and silky tannin. Atypical Barberesco.

2013 Tenuta San Guido “Sassicaia” (Tuscany): Medium red, roasted nuts on the nose and on the fruit with balanced tannins and acids.