Brooklyn Reserve

 

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On Saturday March 2nd, City Farm, an entertainment production and marketing agency held its 2nd annual Brooklyn Reserve, a wine, beer & larder festival. The event “celebrates the passionate makers of the culinary world by connecting audiences to local and international producers”.

It was an opportunity to sample 30+ local and international wines, beer and a trio of Russian vodka with artisan bites from local restaurants.

The event was held at The Bell House located at 149 7th Street in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn. It’s an event space in an old warehouse in the middle of nowhere just off of the Gowanus Canal.

The closest subway station, the Smith-9th Street station G and F train stop has the distinction of, at 87.5 feet high, of being the highest rapid mass transit station in the New York City subway system, and indeed in the world. It was built that high to accommodate the tall-masted that used the Gowanus Canal below it. It does have a spectacular view of the surrounding area at the top of the station.

The wines were from small, off the radar producers but very drinkable and music by the Jerome Sabbagh Trio. It was an enjoyable afternoon.

Some of what I sampled:

 

Maria Rigol Ordi Brut Nature Reserva Cava

2018 Caractere Unique Saint Chinian Blance

2017 Colombier Muscadet

2015 Chateau La Fleur Grand Landes Montagne St. Emillion

2016 Chateau Manos Cadillac

2015 Chateau de Peyguerol Costieres de Nimes

2016 Li’Infi Cahors

2017 San Marcello Lacrima di Morro D’Alba

2016 Barking Dog Old Vine Zinfandel

 

 

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Charcuterie Masters 2019

 

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Charcuterie are prepaired meat products such as sausage, terrines, rillettes, confit and patés to name a few made primarily from pork.

On Saturday February 23rd the 4th annual Charcuterie Masters competition was held Flushing Town Hall located at 13735 Northern Boulevard in Flushing, Queens.

The “meat lover’s paradise” had pro and amateur chefs competing for the best charcuterie of the night. It was appropriate that in the Year of the Pig the event was held in Flushing, Queens which has one of the largest Asian communities in New York City.

This was the wrong place to be if you didn’t eat pork since there was copious amount prepared meats on hand from both local and international purveyors.

I could have spent the night in front of the big bowl of chicharrónes, noshing on the crispy, crackly bits of fried pork and pork rind that were like “pork popcorn”.

 

Some of what I sampled:

Casella’s: American prosciutto using exclusively rare breed heritage pigs. They were slicing from two prosciutto made from Berkshire and Red Wattle pigs. Very tasty and happy to see that domestic producers can go head to toe with the Europeans.

Il Porcellino Salumi: A Denver based company, they served several different versions of salami and a Wagu braesola.

Amylos Taverna: Not everything was dried meat, this Astoria restaurant served an excellent roasted suckling pig with lemon potatoes, mint yogurt and lodolemono aioli.

Caseiro e Bom Gourmet House: A meat wholesaler that served several salumi and an iberico ham from the pata negra pig which is always outstanding.

Fermín: A Spanish charcuterie company, they served an excellent iberico ham and a couple of salumi.

Drinking options weren’t extension but they served wines from Rooftop Reds, a Brooklyn based winery using Finger Lakes grapes.

Mikkeller Beers, a Danish beer company brewing beer at Citi Field baseball stadium.

An surprising, Sanfords restaurant poured Macallans 12yr old double cask single malt scotch paired with manchego cheese.

 

 

Pét-Nat On Long Island

 

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Pét-Nat (pétillant natural) wines are how they made sparkling wines in the old country (methode ancestral) before they came up with the methode champenoise method. Simply, after the wine undergoes its initial fermentation, it’s put in a bottle and capped while the wine continues to ferment and releases carbon dioxide into the wine. That’s simpler than the two-step process used in making Champagne. The wines are usually not disgorged or filtered which gives them a cloudy look with sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

This type of wine is trendy right now so it’s not surprising that some wineries on Long Island would produce them though they are in limited production as I found out when I went out for a tasting. I showed up at a couple of wineries that I knew poured pét-nats from previous visits only to find they were all out and the current inventory were still in the cellar.

I was still able to find a few to try. Anyone who enjoys a nice Lambrusco from Italy would like these wines. The ones I tried were crisp and refreshing and would be perfect for the upcoming warmer days.  

 

Peconic Cellar Door 2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic

This is a small tasting room opened by the wine makers from BQE and Saltbird Cellars and is adjacent to another tasting room (Winemakers Studio). They pour wines from small producers who don’t have their own tasting facilities.

 

2018 As If Wines “GratitudeGewürztraminer

Orange hue, green apple on the nose, clear with sediment at the bottom of the bottle, dry and crisp with orange notes on the finish.

 

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Jamesport Vineyards  1216 Main Road, Jamesport

One of the first wineries you run into on the north fork wine trail as you drive East with one of the oldest vineyards on the North Fork. The tasting room is in a 165 year old barn.  

 

2016 Albarino

Cloudy medium yellow, lemon, pineapple and green apple on the nose, crisp and bone dry with flinty notes on the finish.

 

2015 Cabernet Franc

Clear copper with sediment at the bottom of the bottle, hints of strawberry on the nose, tight with lemony tartness on the finish. A bit more one-dimensional than the Albarino.

 

 

 

La Tablée Rhone Tasting NYC

 

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The inaugural La Tablée New York City Rhone wine event was held on January 30-February 2nd.

It was run by the same team that produced the high-end French wine events of La Paulée and La Fête du Champagne. The series of events consisted of wine dinners, seminars and a tasting. I attended the tasting on Saturday February 2nd which was held at 26 Bridge, an event venue located at 26 Bridge Street in the trendy cobblestoned streets of DUMBO Brooklyn.

The term La Tablée originates in the village of Ampuis in Cote-Rôtie and denotes “the meal celebrating the end of the harvest (similar to Burgundy’s La Paulée), bringing to mind the colloquial French phrase, a table, the call given to family and friends to sit and enjoy a convivial meal around the table.”

The tasting was an opportunity to preview nearly 100 wines from the excellent 2016 vintage from 25 estates in the northern and southern Rhone. Other vintages were poured as well.

Some of what I sampled:

Pierre-Jean Villa

2016 Cote-Rotie “Fongeant”: Medium purple, cooked fruit notes on the nose with juicy black fruit and moderate tannins and acids.

2016 Cote-Rotie “Carmina”: 100% Syrah. Light purple, roasted dried herbs on the nose, chunky with sweet dark cherry fruit.

2013 Saint-Joseph “Tilde”: In magnum, dark red, roasted meat on the nose, juicy black fruit with silky, firm tannins on the long finish.

Yves Cuileron

2016 Saint-Joseph “Serines”: Medium purple with a funky, dirty nose and juicy, chewy and firm fruit.

2007 Saint-Joseph “Serines”: Medium brick with an amber rim, nice perfume of tar and violets, tight and tannic.

Stephane Ogier

2016 Cote-Rotie “Reserve”: Medium purple, toasty green herbs on the nose, juicy, toasty fruit nicely balanced.

2007 Cote-Rotie “Reserve”: Cloudy dark brick with a perfume of crushed black fruit, mint and tar, juicy herb notes on the fruit with lip smacking tannins at the end.

René Rostaing

2016 Cote-Rotie “La Landonne”: Medium purple, roast meat and red fruit on the nose, bright red fruit with firm, silky tannins.

2003 Cote-Rotie “Cuvee Classique”: Medium brick, pretty perfume of sweet red fruit, bright red fruit and licorice notes with firm acids.

Jean-Baptiste Souillard

2016 Crozes-Hermitage “La Tout”: 100% Marsanne, single vineyard. Light gold, lemon, petroleum on the nose with lemon custard notes on the tight fruit.

2014 Cote-Rotie “Couteaux de Bassenon”: Light purple, roasted meat on the nose, light with bright red fruit, nice balance.

Paul Jaboulet Ainé

2016 Hermitage “La Chapelle”: Medium purple, roast meat on the nose with dusty bright black fruit and a firm finish.

2013 Hermitage “La Chapelle”: Medium brick with a sweet nose of dried leaf and mint, sweet red fruit and red licorice on the nicely balanced finish.

Chateau de Beaucastel

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne “Vielles Vignes”: Light gold with tropical fruit notes on the nose and fruit, moderate acids.

2007 Chateauneuf du Pape: Medium brick in color, sweet dried leaf on the nose, juicy black licorice on the balanced fruit, long finish.

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Piedlong”: 100% 70yr old Grenache vines. Light red, crushed red fruit and nuts on the nose, silky red fruit with a nice balance.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieux Telegraphe”: Medium brick, perfume of mint and toast, chewy fruit with a roast coffee on the long and balanced finish.

Domaine de Crista

2016 Chateauneuf  du Pape: Medium purple, notes of earth and strawberry on the nose, chunky and earthy, good balance.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape “Renaissance”: Dark brick, perfume of sweet earth, chewy red fruit followed by dusty and earthy tannins.

Domaine La Barroche

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature Julien Barrot: Medium purple, roast meat on the nose, juicy ending with tight, firm tannins.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature Julien Barrot: Cloudy medium brick, perfume of mint, tree bark, chunky fruit with mint notes on the finish.

Domaine Saint Préfert

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier: Dark purple, tree bark and crushed black fruit on the nose, dark chewy fruit ending with mint notes on the silky tannins.

2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier: Light brick, roast meat on the nose, juicy red fruit with earth notes on the balanced finish.

Domaine de Beaurenard

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Boisrenard”: Cloudy medium purple, cooked red fruit on the nose, dusty fruit with lip smacking tannins at the end.

2001 Chateauneuf du Pape: Black with a brick rim, perfume of crushed red fruit and mint with sweet red fruit and a balanced, long finish.

Domaine de la Janasse

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes”: Medium cloudy purple, crushed red berries on the nose, big juicy red fruit, red licorice on the firm finish.

1999 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes”: Magnum. Light brick, mint and dried leaf on the nose, chunky red licorice fruit, firm and balanced.

La Vieux Donjon

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape: Clear medium purple, crushed blueberry on the nose, juicy red fruit with a good grip.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape: Clear brick, sweet roast meat on the nose, sweet dark fruit with a good grip on the long finish.

Chateau de Saint Cosme

2016 Gigondas: Dark purple, damp earth on the nose, juicy, concentrated black fruit with coffee notes on the balanced finish.

2010 Gigondas: Dark red with an amber rim, chunky and chewy dark fruit, tight, silky tannin on the firm finish.

Maison Tardieu-Laurent

2016 Gigondas: Dark purple, roast meat and black licorice on the nose, concentrated and dusty fruit, firm balanced finish.

2005 Cornas “Vieilles Vignes”: 100% Syrah. Medium brick, petroleum notes on the  nose, chunky fruit with mint and dried leaf, nice balance.

Domaine Pierre Usseglio

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape: Opaque medium purple, green herbs and toast on the nose, spicy red fruit, firm and balanced.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape: Light brick, stewed plums on the nose, chewy red leather fruit, nice balance on the long finish.

 

 

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest 2019

 

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Brew it. Taste it. Sip it. Pork it. That’s the motto of the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival which is a pork-centric, American multi-city tour that began in New York City on January 26th.

The event was held at The Tunnel, a former railroad freight terminal turned nightclub now an event space located at 220 12th avenue at West 28th Street in Manhattan. The festival promised “60+ beer, 40+ Bourbon and lots of BBQ”, though it was an all-American whiskey list that included whiskey other than Bourbon. Beer and hard cider were also served to help wash down all the bbq. Music was spun by DJ Flava.

There were two sessions that day and I attended the “whole hog picking” session in the evening.

 

Seminars:

Bulleit hosted by Adam Geissler

Bourbon, Rye, Barrel Strength, 10yr Bourbon.

Makers Mark hosted by Alexa Amendognine

Bourbon, Makers 46, Private Select.

 

Others I sampled:

Koval (Chicago) Millet, Rye, Bourbon, Four Grain.

Virginia Distillery (Virginia) Port Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky, Chardonnay Cask Single Malt Whisky.

Deadwood (South Carolina) Rye, Straight Bourbon.

Buffalo Trace Distillery (Kentucky) Straight Bourbon, Eagle Rare Straight Bourbon.  

Balcones (Texas) Single Malt, 100°, Brimstone, Baby Blue.

Elijah Craig (Kentucky) Small Batch Bourbon.

Four Roses (Kentucky) Straight Bourbon, Small Batch, Single Barrel.

George Dickel (Tennessee) Rye, Sour Mash.

 

 

 

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux Tour 2019

 

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The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux is a trade organization based in Bordeaux, France that promotes the wines of its 133 member chateaux.

Every year they host a world tour showcasing the current vintage to be released, stopping in various cities in Europe and Asia with the tour arriving in North America on January 18-26.

In New York City on Monday afternoon January 21st, they held a tasting for members of the trade and a consumer event later that evening. Both events were held at the Cipriani Midtown event space located at 110 East 42nd street in heart of Manhattan, just down the street from the iconic Chrysler building. A former bank, the event space is a huge, pink marbled cathedral-like room.

The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux was a Jekyll and Hyde vintage. The first half of the year was very rainy which made the winemakers concerned that the vintage would be a bust, but the second half of the year turned out to be bone dry. 

For the most part, I thought the wines had good fruit and structure with firm tannins and manageable acids. Most of the wines were still wound tight but I think will age well. I didn’t think they had the immediate lushness of the 2015’s where I was getting a lot of California style flavor profiles, nor were they as hard-edged as the 2014 vintage. Overall some nice wines to be drunk in the future.

Vintage 2016

Saint-Julien

Chateau Beychevelle: Clear medium purple with a closed nose of crushed red berries and milk chocolate, tight with silky, firm tannins.

Chateau Talbot: Dark purple, roasted meat and sour fruit on the nose, juicy dark fruit with a firm, balanced long finish.

Chateau Gruaud Larose: Medium red, tree bark and roast meat on the nose, tight silky fruit, moderate firm finish.

Chateau Leoville Barton: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, chunky, sweet cherry fruit with firm tannins.

Chateau Leoville Poyferre: Medium red, toasty sweet fruit on the nose, gritty tannins on the dark fruit ending with big tannins.

Chateau Branaire Ducru: Medium red, toasty crushed red fruit on the nose with silky red fruit and green herbs on the finish.

Saint- Estephe

Chateau de Pez: Medium red with a perfume of sweet red fruit, tight red fruit.

Chateau Phelan Segur: Medium red, floral, green herbs on the nose, dusty dark chocolate and slate on the firm fruit.

Paulliac

Chateau Clerc Milon: Medium red, toast and crushed dark fruit on the nose, tight, red cherry fruit with crisp acidity.

Chateau Lynch Bages: Dark red, tar, violets and green herbs on the nose, tight with mouth puckering tannins.

Chateau Pichon Baron: Medium red, crushed dark fruit and violet on the nose, light, juicy fruit with firm tannins and acids.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtese de Lalande: Clear, dark red, roast meat notes on the nose, tight red cherry fruit with a moderate finish.

Saint-Emillion

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere: Dark purple, tar and leather on the nose, chewy, meaty dark fruit, long finish on the balanced finish.

Clos Fourtet: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, sweet red fruit with firm , tongue coating tannins.

Chateau Grand Mayne: Opaque medium red, dark chocolate and cigarette smoke on the nose, tight and tannic.

Chateau Pavie Macquin: Medium clear purple, tar and violets on the nose, dusty, red cherry fruit, moderate to long finish with moderate tannins and acids.

Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle: Medium to light red in color with a perfume of tar, tight, silky red fruit with crisp acidity at the end.

Pomerol

Chateau Clinet: Medium purple with a pretty perfume of violets and tar, juicy dark red fruit with moderate tannins and acids on the long finish. Drinkable.

Chateau Gazin: Clear medium purple, toast notes on the nose, juicy red fruit with some earth on the firm finish, tight.

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur: Medium red, cooked berries on the nose, leather notes on the fruit, firm and nicely balanced.

Chateau La Pointe: Medium red, strawberry and graphite on the nose, toasty sweet fruit on the firm finish.

Margaux

Chateau Brane-Cantenac: Clear medium red, tree bark on the nose, dark chocolate and gritty tannins on the fruit.

Chateau Giscours: Medium red, sweet red fruit on the nose with tight sweet fruit and a firm finish.

Chateau Lascombes: Opaque dark red with a perfume of sweet cherry, tar and mint, chewy dark fruit and silky tannins with moderate acids.

Chateau Prieure-Lichine: Dark red with green herbs and red cherry on the nose, juicy followed by big tannins and moderate acid.

Chateau Dauzac: Clear medium red, pixie stick notes on the nose, juicy red fruit ending tart.

Pessac-Leognan

Domaine de Chevalier: Opaque medium red, some barnyard notes on the nose with chunky red fruit, moderate tannins and acids.

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere: Medium opaque red, sweet black fruit on the nose with silky black, ends tart, moderate tannins and acids.

Moulis En Medoc

Chateau Maucaillou: Medium red with a perfume of turned earth, chunky and rustic, with the fruit dropping a bit but still nice balance.

Haut-Medoc

Chateau La Lagune: Medium red with dark chocolate on the nose, juicy bright red fruit ends with tart notes.

 

 

Winter Wine Crawl On Long Island

 

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It’s that time of year, after the holiday rush when things slow down a bit including social events, but not completely this is New York City after all. I decided to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon in wine country. Usually I have a theme that guides me in tasting decisions but this time around I had none. When I got to wine country I decided on Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

Mattebella Vineyards  46005 Main Road, Southold

Mattebella is a small, family farm whose motto is “wine, passion, craftmanship”and who make “old world style wines” using sustainable winemaking practices. To get to the tiny tasting room you walk through a garage-sale motif yard.

NV Famiglia Red Blend: 932 cases produced, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Dark purple to black in color with slate and crushed blueberries on the nose, thick and juicy with gun-metal and  dark chocolate on the balanced fruit with soft and silky tannins.

 

Lenz Winery  38355 Main Road, Peconic

Lenz winery was established in 1978 making it one of the founding fathers of the industry out east, the tasting room is an old barn. They are known for their old vine Merlot but today I sampled a Cabernet Sauvignon.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate”: 2014 was an excellent year on Long Island. The wine is black in color with dark chocolate and slate on the nose, thick and chunky with moderate tannins, red cherry and slate notes on the finish, an enjoyable glass of wine.

 

Pellegrini Vineyards  23005 Main Road, Cutchogue

Winery with an Italian cloister design courtyard and building with a cellar and barrel room that you can take a self tour of. You sample the wines in a two-story, cherub strewn, wood-beamed tasting room.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate”: Dark red to black with a purple rim, roasted coffee and ripe red fruit on the nose, thick and chunky with ripe red leather notes on the fruit with moderate tannins and acids.

 

Sherwood House/Hound’s Tree Vineyards  1291 Main Road, Jamesport

Finally, a tasting room with a proper wine glass and a nice one at that. I wish that tasting rooms would realize that their wines would show better in a wine glass that wasn’t thimble sized. The cozy tasting room is in a 1870’s farm-house with a fireplace and is attached to an antique/art store so there’s always some funky artwork on the property. They serve wines from two wineries.

2016 Hound’s Tree Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark red with an amber rim, roast bacon and hazelnuts on the nose, clean, fairly neutral fruit with moderate to light tannin and acids, easy drinking.