Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2021

After cancelling last year, the best consumer wine tasting event of the year was back. The 40th anniversary Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience was held on October 21-23. The event featured wine seminars given by some of the leading wine makers/owners in the world and a Grand Tasting held on Thursday and Friday evenings that had over 200 participating international wineries pouring wines rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator magazine.

The first Wine Experience was held in 1981 in San Francisco. For many years the event alternated between San Francisco and New York City until they made the decision a few years ago to have New York City and the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square as the permanent host city and venue for the event.

The Wine Experience is sponsored by the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation.

This year for the first time I was fortunate enough to attend both nights of the tasting. With such a staggering amount of good juice I had to focus my efforts on the red wines of Bordeaux and Napa Valley with few outliers thrown in.

That only put small dent in the amount of wines that were offered, I could have easily spent a couple more evenings sampling the rest of the wines. There were plenty of Italy’s finest, Brunello’s, Super Tuscans, Barolos and Barbaresco’s to sample and a copious amount of wines from the other wine producing countries.

In years past they would end the event with an award banquet that included live music from the likes of Chicago, The Beach Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, John Legend and Neal Sedaka to name a few but they forgo the banquet this year.

Some of my highlights:

Napa Valley

1995 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “S.L.V.” (Napa Valley): Medium brick, warm baking spices, tar and leather on the nose, tight with dried leaf notes on the finish.

2006 Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Selection” (Napa Valley): Black in color, crushed black fruit, mint and strawberry on the nose, thick dark chocolate and coffee notes on the fruit, bitter dark chocolate on the long finish. Nice.

2007 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon “Howell Mt” (Napa Valley): Black with a purple rim, ripe red fruit on the nose, silky, chewy with a nice grip at the end.

2013 Opus One Red Blend (Napa Valley): Thick black in color, crushed black fruit, cedar and pickle juice on the nose, silky dark chocolate fruit with a chewy finish, nice balance.

2014 Promontory Red Blend (Napa Valley): Opaque dark purple, raspberry and cooked vegetable on the nose, sweet fruit finishing with bitter cherry notes.

2015 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon “Trailside Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Clear medium red, sweet tar on the nose, juicy black fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids.

2016 Kerr Cellars Red Blend “Reserve” (Napa Valley): Thick black in color, crushed rocks and black fruit on the nose, thick and chewy dark chocolate and mint on the fruit, good grip on the medium to long finish.

2016 Bond St Eden Red Wine (Napa Valley): Cloudy dark red with an amber rim, warm spices on the nose, silky bitter almonds on the fruit with a long finish.

2016 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon “Kathryn Hall” (Napa Valley): Black in color, sweet dried leaf on the nose, chewy dark chocolate on the fruit with a nice grip on the chocolatey finish.

2016 Pahlmeyer Red Blend (Napa Valley): Black with a purple rim, crushed black fruit on the nose, juicy red fruit with tight tannins on the finish

2017 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon “The Reserve” (Napa Valley): Dark red, crushed raspberry and oak on the nose, silky red fruit with a nice grip on the finish.

2017 Staglin Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Black in color, smoky bacon fat and red licorice on the nose, tight concentrated fruit with some earth notes with lip smacking, firm balanced finish.

2017 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon “Mt Veeder” (Napa Valley): Dark red to black, closed nose of cherry and dirt, firm tannins.

2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot “Three Palms Vineyard” (Napa Valley): Clear dark red, red licorice and toasted earth on the nose, tight and concentrated with green herbs on the finish.

2018 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Dark red to black in color, toasted green herbs on the nose, tight red berry fruit with youthful firm acids.

2018 Ovid Red Blend (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red, slate and crushed red fruit on the nose, juicy red fruit with a nice grip at the end.

2018 Continuum Estate Sage Mt Vineyard (Napa Valley): Cloudy dark red with a purple rim, dried herbs and crushed red fruit on the nose, tight, dusty silky fruit with a firm, long finish.

2018 Diamond Creek “Red Rock Terrace” (Napa Valley): Dark red with a purple rim, tea, sweet red candy, crushed red berry on the nose, chewy red fruit, nice tannin grip on the long finish.

2018 Dominus Estate (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red, smoky cooked asparagus on the nose, tight red fruit with fresh herbs on the finish.

2018 Mt Brave Cabernet Sauvignon “Mt Veeder” (Napa Valley): Black with purple rim, toasted oak on the nose, tight black fruit with crisp acids at the end.

Other California

2001 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello ( Santa Cruz Mts): Cloudy brick with an amber rim, sweet tar on the nose, silky fruit, grippy tannings and great balance on the long finish. Tasty.

2018 Peter Michael Winery “Les Pavots” (Knights Valley): Clear medium red, toasted red fruit on the nose, tight, sweet black fruit with a firm, balanced finish.

Bordeaux

2006 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Pessac Leognan): Brick in color with a pretty perfume of tar and leather, silky, chewy dark fruit with tree bark on the nicely balanced, long finish.

2010 Chateau La Fleur-Petrus (Pomerol): Clear dark red with an amber rim, tobacco and tar on the nose with tight black fruit.

2010 Chateau Pichon Longueville Lalande (Pauillac): Opaque dark red with sweet red fruit on the nose, tight with dusty tannins.

2011 Chateau Cheval Blanc (St Emilion): Opaque medium red, sweet smoke on the nose, firm red fruit that tightens up with a smoky notes on the balanced finish.

2011 Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac Leognan): Opaque dark brick in color, cedar and sweet tar on the nose, tight with firm tannins.

2014 Chateau Leoville Barton (St Julien): Medium purple with a perfume of black licorice and tree bark, tight with firm acids on the finish

2015 Chateau Leoville Las Cases (St Julien): Dark black with mint and red cherry on the nose with crisp red fruit on the finish.

2015 Chateau Montrose (St Estephe): Medium purple with an amber rim, toasted, sweet wood notes on the nose, tight red berry fruit with a moderate to light finish.

2015 Clos Fourtet (St Emilion): Clear medium purple, stewed vegetable on the nose, nice silky black fruit with bitter almonds on the finish. Nice balance.

2016 Chateau Canon-La Gaffeliere (St Emilion): Dark red to black, bacon fat on the nose, tight silky fruit with green herbs on the finish.

2016 Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac): Dark red to black, stinky, tar, floral nose, tight, silky dark fruit, firm finish.

2016 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac): Brick with an amber rim, pretty perfume of cedar, tar and cigar box, tight bell pepper fruit with a long peppery finish.

2016 Chateau Pichon Baron (Pauillac): Opaque dark red, roasted meat and sweet violets on the nose, silky black fruit with a velvety finish and great balance.

Others

2001 Gaja Barberesco (Piedmont): Medium brick, sweet tar and leather on the nose, silky, tarry, smoky green herbs on the fruit with a mouthful, long finish. Tasty.

2010 Marquis de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva (Rioja): Medium brick closed nose of baking spices, silky cooked fruit with a firm finish.

2011 Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico (Ribera del Duero): Clear medium red color, green blueberries and crushed red fruit on the nose, tight with bitter cherry on the finish.

2015 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany): Light brick with a closed nose of crushed blueberries and black licorice, tight with green herbs on the fruit and crisp acids at the end.

2015 Penfolds Shiraz Grange (South Australia): Dark red with a brick rim, warm cherry tar on the nose, tight black fruit, crisp acids.

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