The Big Glou

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This past week was Natural Wine Week in New York City and part of the festivities was the Big Glou wine fest held during the weekend. I had no idea what a glou was but apparently it’s French for gulp which is meant to say that these natural wines would be easy drinking, “gulpable” if you will.  I suppose they could have called the event “The Big Gulp” but that probably would have led to some legal issues with a certain convenience store chain.

The event was “New York’s first natural wine fair of its kind in the United States” inspired by European natural wine salons such as “Dive Boutille” in the Loire Valley and “Vini di Vignaioli” in Emilia-Romagna.  It was a two-day affair featuring over 100 natural wine producers pouring their wines and they are “artisan producers who are committed to farming sustainably and utilizing non-interventionist techniques in the cellar”. What is a natural wine is a bit murky but wines made with minimal technological intervention would be a good working definition. The event was open to the public was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I attended the Sunday afternoon session.

The Big Glou was held at the Wythe Hotel located at 80 Wythe Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The hotel itself is an industrial waterfront area across the street from Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Bowl. Nice space for a wine event, with a brick-lined rooms that gave the place a cave like atmosphere. It was  a popular event and the venue soon filled up with a decidedly young, flannel shirted wearing crowd.

 

Some of my highlights:

2014 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “McFadden Farm” (Mendocino). Made with carbonic maceration, not a big Zin, medium red, cooked berries on the nose, light bodied but with good, earthy fruit, very drinkable.

2014 Dashe Cellars Carignane “Evangelho Vineyards” (Contra Costa).  From 125 year old vines, medium to dark red, Asian spices and black licorice on the nose, concentrated and silky, finished dropped a bit at the end but tasty.

2013 Dashe Cellars Ancient Vines “Bedrock Vineyard” (Sonoma Valley). From vines planted in 1888, about an equal blend of Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvedre, medium red with dried herbs on the nose with bright earth fruit, silky finishing with big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “Todd Bros. Ranch” (Alexander Valley). Dark red, warm cooked berries on the nose, chewy with some green stem notes at the end, firm with big fruit and big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars “The Comet” (Alexander Valley). Mostly Zinfandel with Petite Sirah and a dash of Carignane, dark black in color, roasted coffee on the nose, tight, concentrated fruit with slate notes, firm tannins and acids.

2014 Broc Cellars Valdiguié (Solano County). Minor variety from SouthWest France, in California used to be bottled as “Gamay”. Clear, medium red, closed nose of sweet fruit, moderate concentrating, light.

2014 Broc Cellars Zinfandel “Vine Starr” (Sonoma County). Medium red , nose of sweet dried herbs, tight with great attack at the beginning and smoothing out in the middle. Interesting wine

2014 Matassa “Romanissa Casot” (Languedoc). A Grenache blend, very light red, minty barnyard on the nose, very extracted fruit for the color, black licorice on the balanced finish.

2014 Matassa “Coume de L’Lolla” (Languedoc). A blend of Grenache and Macebeo, light red, sweet black cherry on the nose, chewy with chewy tannins at the end.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Chiroubles” (Beaujolais). Medium red, crushed rocks, fresh rosemary on the nose, bright dark fruit and slate notes on the finish.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Fleurie” (Beaujolais).  Cloudy dark red, black cherry, medicinal candy on the nose, black cherry on the balanced finish, good acidity.

Other producers sampled:

 

Domaine De L’Octaviin           Domaine Du Coulet

Monte Bernardi                     Castel Noarna

Ronchi Di Cialla                     Croci

Autour De L’Anne                  Domaine Jaulin-Plaisantin

Bodega Cauzon                     Domaine Du Moulin

Partida Creus                        Andrea Scovero

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Wine Advocate Matter Of Taste

 

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This past Saturday, Robert  Parker’s Wine Advocate magazine hosted the Matter of Taste wine event which was called a “no-holds barred tasting experience”.  The reviewers of the wine magazine picked 180+ of their favorite iconic wines of the world and was one stop on a multi-city and multi-national event with a walkabout tasting of 90+ point wines.

The event was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel located at 80 Columbus Circle on the Southwest corner of Central Park in Manhattan. With a sweeping view of Central Park, it was a perfect venue to spend the afternoon drinking some serious juice.

Some of what I enjoyed:

 

New World

2011 Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay “Trenton Roadhouse” (Sonoma Coast). Gold in color, honey, tropical fruit on the nose with tropical fruit notes on the finish.

2011 Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay “Vine Hill” (Sonoma Coast). Dark gold, toasty honey on the nose with tart, lemon-lime fruit.

2014 Signorello Estate Chardonnay “Hope’s Cuvée” (Napa Valley). Medium gold, white flowers and tropical fruit on the nose, moderate juicy with mango, papaya notes on the firm, balanced finish.

 

2005 Abreu Vineyards “Madrona Ranch” (Napa Valley). A Bordeaux blend, dark red with toasty, mint and slate on the nose, tight and concentrated with good grip on the long finish.

2012 Abreu Vineyards “Madrona Ranch” (Napa Valley). A Bordeaux blend, inky black, mint notes on the nose, juicy, still closed.

2012 Abreu Vineyards “Thorevilos” (Napa Valley). Inky black with dusty, smoky, black fruit on the nose, ripe and juicy with good balance.

2011 Bond “Pluribus”. (Napa Valley). Dark purple, dried herbs on the nose, silky and juicy with moderate tannin and acids at the end.

2013 Donelan Family Wines Syrah “Obsidian Vineyard”. (Knights Valley). Dark red to black with crushed red fruit on the nose, juicy red berries on the fruit.

2012 Donelan Family Wines Syrah “Walker Vine Hill”. (Russian River Valley). Black in color, crushed red fruit and roasted meat on the nose, chewy and dense with mint notes on the balanced finish.

2005 Calera Pinot Noir “Mills” (Mt. Harlan). Medium brick, nose of warm earth and cinnamon, tight with black licorice on the firm finish,.

2012 Calera Pinot Noir “Mills” (Mt. Harlan). Medium purple with fresh rosemary on the nose, red licorice on the moderate fruit, firm acids on the finish.

2013 Lail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Blueprint” (Napa Valley). Black in color, crushed slate on the nose, juicy crushed blueberry on the balanced finish.

2013 Lail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “J. Daniel Cuvée” (Napa Valley). Inky black, mint, crushed blueberry and black fruit on the nose, juicy and minty on the fruit.

2005 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon “Diamond Mt.” (Napa Valley). Inky black, dark, sweet crushed fruit on the nose, tar and graphite notes on the silky and juicy fruit.

2007 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon “Mount Veeder” (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, black cherry, violets and cigar box on the nose, silky, dusty, black rocks on the fruit, silky tannin, delicious fuzzy mouth feel.

2012 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon “Mount Veeder” (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, floral violets on the nose, silky red fruit followed by herbs with lip smacking tannin, tasty.

2012 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon “Nathan Coombs Estate” (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, cooked toasty fruit on the nose, dense, minty with crisp acids.

2012 Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Padrone” (Napa Valley). Dark red, purple robe, sweet crushed red berry and graphite on the nose, juicy red berry fruit, structure a bit short.

2005 Vérité  Cabernet Sauvignon “La Joie” (Sonoma County). Dark red to black, big nose of violet, cigar box, concentrated, medium fruit, tight with graphite notes with good acidity.

2012 Vérité Cabernet Sauvignon “La Joie” (Sonoma Coast). Inky black, purple robe, roasted meat and crushed dark berries on the nose, slate notes on the lip-smacking finish, nice balance.

2010 Henschke Shiraz “Hill of Grace”. (Australia). Dark red to black, juicy with very ripe fruit.

2012 Henschke Shiraz “Mount Edelstone” (Australia). Decanted, dark red to black, crushed black berries on the nose, juicy with crushed rock notes on the firm fruit, green herbs on the finish.

 

Old World

2009 Chateau Branaire-Ducru (St. Julien). Dark red to black, crushed dark berries and violets on the nose, tight, concentrated with silky tannin on the finish.

2005 Chateau Gazin (Pomerol). Dark red to black, perfume of dried herbs and crushed rocks, tight, dense, concentrated, firm and balanced.

2010 Chateau Haut-Bailly (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red with a delicate  perfume of violets, silky fruit followed by big tannin and acids.

2009 Chateau La Fleur Petrus (Pomerol). Dark red with dusty black  fruit and roast meat on the nose, dense with smoky crushed dark berries and rocks on the fruit, great balance.

2002 Chateau Leoville Barton (St. Julien). Medium amber with graphite and cigar box on the nose, tobacco notes on the nice, balanced finish.

2010 Chateau Leoville Poyferre (St. Julien). Dark purple, sweet red flowers on the nose, dense, silky with firm acids on the finish.

2008 Chateau Pichon Baron (Paulliac). Dark red, graphite on the nose, dusty, moderate fruit with nice tannins at the end.

2009 Chateau Pichon Baron (Paulliac). Dark red to black, graphite on the nose, slate notes on the moderate fruit, firm acids.

2009 Chateau Pontet-Canet (Paulliac). Dark purple with a brick robe, pretty nose of floral graphite and cigar box with silky graphite fruit, dusty tannins on the long finish, firm but balanced.

2012 M. Chapoutier “Ermitage Pavillon” (Rhone). Dark purple, roasted meat on the nose, crushed stone and dried herbs on the fruit.

Boston Wine Expo 2016

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This past weekend, February 13-14 I attended the 25th anniversary of the Boston Wine Expo held at the  Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel along the Boston waterfront. With the grand tasting featuring 1,800 wines from over 200 wineries, various seminars, a vintner’s tasting room with high-end wines and chef demonstrations, it’s one of the best consumer wine shows in the country and I look forward attending every year.

Last year was the year of the blizzards in Boston with record amount of snowfall in that city. That year I was able to make it up to the Saturday event only to have a blizzard shut down the event (and the city) on Sunday. Thankfully, this year Boston did not have that problem and Mother Nature cooperated with clear days that weekend in both New York City and Boston. But Mother Nature still had ways to throw a wrench into the works. On Thursday I came down with a stomach virus that knocked the wind out of me and was hoping that by Saturday afternoon, things would calm down.

On both days of the event, the trade is let in a couple of hours before the consumers are and on Saturday afternoon I was at the check-in booth at the start time and ready to go. Unfortunately the lingering effects of the stomach virus keep me from tasting that day. Fortunately on Sunday morning I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to drink some juice.

 

Seminar

Wine Spectator’s Gems Of Napa Valley, a sit-down tasting of fifteen Napa wines.

2014 Honig Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Light yellow with greenish tints, grassy  nose, crisp and grassy.

2014 Merryville Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Light yellow with green tints, peachy lemon on the nose with moderate peach, grass and kiwi fruit.

2014 Kenefick Ranch White “Pickett Road” (Calistoga). Yellow with greenish tints, lime and spicy nutmeg on the nose, moderate oak on the fruit, balanced finish.

2013 Starmont Chardonnay (Carneros). Light yellow with green tints, closed nose of mango, tight and crisp, balanced.

2013 Artesa Chardonnay “Estate Reserve” (Carneros). Medium gold, hazelnut, oak on the nose with tropical fruit notes and good acidity.

2014 Rombauer Chardonnay (Carneros). Light gold, lime and melon on the nose, medium juicy with menthol notes on the moderate to long finish.

2013 Davies Pinot Noir “Hyde Vineyard” (Carneros). Medium red with dark plum and black olive on the nose, juicy plum fruit and good balance.

2013 Truchard Pinot Noir (Carneros). Medium to dark red, sweet strawberry on the nose, juicy with some green fruit on the finish.

2012 Paraduxx Proprietary Red (Napa Valley). Black with a purple robe, slate and mint on the nose with dark, concentrated fruit and crushed rock notes on the balanced finish.

2012 St. Supéry Merlot (Napa Valley). Black in color with a closed nose of ground charcoal, and dark chocolate, tight with graphite notes on the concentrated finish. Very enjoyable.

2012 Madrigal Petite Sirah (Napa Valley). Inky black, brambly and dark berries on the nose, jammy and juicy with graphite tannins.

2013 Round Pound Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Kith & Kin” (Napa Valley). Black in color with blueberry and tea on the nose with concentrated, silky tannin and black licorice on the finish.

2012 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Vintner Select” (Napa Valley). Black in color with a light purple robe, raspberry and black olive on the nose,  with juicy red fruit and a crisp finish.

2010 Knights Bridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer Dr.Crane Vineyard” (Napa Valley).  Dark red with a purple robe, plum and black cherry on the nose, harsh with high acid on the finish. Not the best in the pack.

2012 Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Select” (Napa Valley).  Inky black with blueberry and menthol on the nose, mint and roast meat on the dense and concentrated fruit, dried herbs on the juicy finish. Big wine.

Vintner’s Reserve Lounge

A separate tasting lounge with some extra special juice.

2011 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Adriana Vineyard “White Stones” (Argentina). Gold in color, ripe mango on the nose with juicy ripe tropical fruit.

2009 Louis Latour Meaursalt-Blagney (Burgundy). Medium gold, floral dried flowers on the nose, tight with earthy floral notes on the firm finish.

2012 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne (Burgundy). Medium gold with dried flowers on the nose, tight and balanced with just enough tropical fruit notes on the finish. Tasty.

2008 Bouchard Père & Fils Meursault “Les Perrières” (Burgundy). The local wine school had a table pouring wines with some bottle age to them. Many were over the hill or on their way there except this one. Medium yellow with a ripe nose, mineral notes on the ripe fruit and nicely balanced.

2005 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes (Bordeaux). Dark gold, dusty ripe apricot and botrytis on the nose, silky peach fruit with nice acidity and a long finish.

 

2012 Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford). Dark red with a purple robe, closed nose of dried herbs, dense, dusty, chewy with a good grip on the moderate to long finish.

2012 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Georges de Latour” (Napa Valley). Dark red with a purple robe, floral, black pepper and black fruit on the nose, dense with silky tannin and green herbs on the finish.

2012 Sterling Vineyards “Platinum Reserve”. (Napa Valley). Dark purple, black licorice on the nose, dense and dusty with bright fruit and a firm finish.

2012 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Private Reserve”. (Napa Valley). Dark red, purple robe, slate and crushed rock on the nose, dense and tight with dried herbs on the firm, balanced finish.

2013 Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, very fruity nose, chewy dark chocolate fruit. Plush.

2012 William Cole Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Cuvée Clair” (Napa Valley). 100% Cabernet, dark purple with red licorice on the fruit forward juice, good balance.

2012 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon “Bin 707” (Australia) . Dark red with slate and dried herbs on the nose, tight and silky with great balance.

2010 Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec “Nicasia ” (Argentina). Dark red, ripe berries on the nose, dense with some salinity on the fruit.

2010 Bodega Catena Zapata “Nicolás Catena Zapata”. (Argentina). Their flagship wine, a blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Decanted, black in color with a purple robe, slate and crushed rock on the nose, dense and concentrated with herbs and black licorice on the firm and balanced long finish.

2010 Usiglian del Vescovo “Il Barbiglione” (Tuscany). A super Tuscan, medium to dark red with a big nose of stinky black cherry, tight, medium dusty fruit, silky tannin at the balanced finish.

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East Ville Des Folies

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This past Saturday afternoon I attended the East Ville Des Folies which was billed as a “prohibition tasting event”. The event was held at the same venue as last year, Webster Hall at 125 East 11th in Manhattan. Webster Hall which was built in 1886 was an appropriate venue for a prohibition themed event since in one of its various incarnations was Al Capone’s New York City speakeasy in the 1930’s. The place has plenty of dark spaces, nooks and crannies and the event had four floors of spirits, beer, cider and three live bands pumping out music, a good time was had by all.

 

Music:

Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra

Queen Esther’s Quartet

Molly Ryan Quartet

 

Some of what I sampled:

Rekorderlig Cider

Magners Cider

Woodchuck Cider

Ace Cider

Badass Cider

Downeast Cider

Crabbie’s Ginger Beer

High West Rendezvous Rye

Hudson Whiskey Bourbon

Four Roses Single Barrel

Jack Daniels Gentleman Jack

Jack Daniels Single Barrel

Knob Creek Rye

Bird Dog Bourbon

Widow Jane

Jefferson’s Small Batch

Old Forester 1870

Drambuie 15 yr

Redenbachbeer Grand Cru

 

 

Wine On Wheels Fundraiser

 

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On Saturday May 2nd I attended the Wine on Wheels fundraiser run by the Wheeling Forward organization. The event was held at City Winery on 155 Varick Street in Manhattan.

Wheeling Forward is an organization that “helps people with disabilities experience life to the fullest and enable them to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles”. They work with individuals to provide advocacy, mentorship and support services to reach their goal.

The event consisted of a Grand Tasting with over 175 wines poured by 50 local Somms, Fast-Track seminars and a Silent Auction.

Some of what I sampled:

2004 Dom Perignon Blanc de Blanc. Always start with something sparking.

NV Krug Brut Grand Cuvée

2006 Perrier-Jouet “Belle Époque” Brut

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cidre de Fouesranz “. A trio of ciders from Brittany, lots of character, very wine-like, tasty.

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cornouaille”

Manoir du Kinkiz “Cuvée Blanche”

2010 Domaine Francois Buffet Volnay “Clos des Chenas”. Medium red, black fruit, dried herbs.

2010 Domaine Marchand Grillot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Perrier”. Medium red, tart.

2013 Francesco Cirelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Black in color, slate on the nose, chunky wet stone on the firm but balanced finish.

2011 Podere Ciona “Montegrossoli” Four wines from this producer poured by the winemaker, all very nice. This one was clear medium red with smoky black cherry on the nose with concentrated bitter cherry on the finish, good  balance.

2011 Podere Ciona “Semifonte”. A Merlot based wine, dark red to black with slate and roasted meat on the nose, silky dark cherry fruit, great balance with roasted meat notes on the finish.

2010 Podere Ciona Chianti Classico “Riserva”. Medium red with a pretty nose of sweet tar and pencil shavings, silky with sweet tannin at the end.

2007 Podere Ciona “Le Diacce”. The flagship wine of the estate and Merlot based, dark red to black with ripe berries and cooked meat on the nose, deeply concentrated with ripe fruit, graphite and silky tannin.

2006 Chateau Giscours. Medium red, toasted oak on the nose and oak on the fruit, firm tannin.

2003 Clos De L’Oraroire Grand Cru Classé. Dark red with an amber robe with a big perfume of smoke, sweet fruit and ripe berries, silky and balanced on the moderate to long finish. Tasty.

2000 Chateau Les Orme de Pez. Medium to dark red with a pretty perfume of sweet red fruit, tight and tannic.

2009 Echo de Lynch-Bages. Dark red with a closed nose of brambly dark fruit, concentrated and finishes tart.

2011 Flowers “Sea View Ridge” Pinot Noir. Light red and slightly cloudy with floral, ripe flowers on the nose, smoky fruit with some crisp acidity at the end.

 

 

 

Boston Wine Expo 2014 Sunday

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I had a very nice tasting at the Vintners Reserve Lounge on Saturday and today, Sunday I concentrated my time in the main tasting area as well as attending a couple of seminars. There were plenty of wines to sample from many countries, I began my tasting in the North America section of the convention hall and made my way to the California wines and was able to attend a couple of excellent seminars.  For a huge consumer event, the Boston Wine Expo poured some very drinkable juice.

Clos du Val 20011 Chardonnay (Carneros). Medium gold with big pineapple/tropical fruit on the nose with moderate, dusty fruit with some tartness on the long finish.

Clos du Val 2011 Pinot Noir (Carneros). Medium red with a nice perfume of earth and roasted meat with meaty and dried mushroom notes on the fruit with good balance.

Grassini Family Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Happy Canyon). Dark purple to black with a big perfume  of roasted meat and dark plums and was chewy with black licorice flavors on the finish.

Dylan’s Ghost 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Hell Hollow” (Napa Valley). Small production (400 cases) from a producer have never had before, dark red to black in color with a very dusty nose with dusty black plums on the fruit with a nice balance.

Dylan’s Ghost 2010 Red Blend “The Beast” (Napa Valley). Black with a nose of concentrated forest wood with concentrated black cherry fruit and moderate balance. A big wine.

Rombauer Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with a nose of black licorice and crushed black berries and was thick and juicy with coffee and crushed berry fruit.

Fess Parker 2010 Pinot Noir “Ashley’s” (Sta. Rita Hills). Dark red spice and red cherry notes on the nose with chewy cola and black cherry fruit on the balanced finish..

Piandacco 2010 “Mairem” Rosso di Toscano (Tuscany). Dark red with mint on the nose, concentrated and tight with firm balance with sweet slate notes on the finish.

Altesino 2008 Brunello di Montelcino (Tuscany). Brick red, stinky nose and was velvety with great balance and a good grip.

Seminars                                                                                                                                                    Rioja Today

An excellent seminar given by Ana Fabiano, Trade Director, Rioja USA, we sampled seven wines from Rioja.

2012 Sierra Cantabria Rosado. Dark salmon pink in color with and earthy, forest floor nose with very good structure for a rose.

2010 Bodegas LAN Crianza. Medium to dark red with sweet basil and pickle juice on the nose with velvet fruit and dried herbs and wet stone notes on the long finish. Great balance.

2009 Marquis de Caceres Crianza. Dark red with hints of barnyard and pickle juice on the nose and was a little rustic and chunky with some heat at the end.

2011 Luis Canas Crianza. Dark red with a beautiful nose of tobacco, crushed rocks and crushed black berries with sweet black berry, wet stone and herbs on the fruit, nice grip and great balance. Delicious.

2008 Baron de Ley Reserva. Dark red to black with a big perfume of sweet plums and was juicy and velvety, balanced with good grip. Tasty.

2004 Bodegas Ontanon Reserva. Black in color with smoky tobacco on the nose and was very dark and chewy and concentrated. I though it had some corkiness notes at the beginning but my colleague’s to the left and right of me disagreed.

2004 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva. Black in color with a beautiful perfume of tobacco and smoky bacon and was very deep and concentrated and chewy followed by mint, tobacco and silky tannin on the long finish.

Matching Cheese with Wine

The local cheesemonger, Wasik’s Cheese Shop presented this seminar where they paired ten really excellent cheeses with six wines. The cheese plate alone was worth the price of the seminar. Piave Extra Vecchio (Veneto), Bijou Goat Cheese (Vermont), Mt. Vully (Swiss Alps), Brie de Lyon (Lyon, France), Pawlet (Vermont), Brie Traditional (Brie, France), Beecher’s Flagship Reserve (Swiss Alps), Humbolt Fog (California), Madaio Canestrato (Italy) and Colston Bassett Stilton (England).

Wines in the pairing that I enjoyed included the 2011 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay “Robert Young Vineyard”, the 2011 Etude Estate Pinot Noir, and the 2011 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon “Knight’s Valley).

Boston Wine Expo 2014 Saturday

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This past weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to the Boston Wine Expo which was held at the Seaport World Trade Center. I Usually make it a one day affair and take the bus up and back later that evening which makes for a very hectic day. This year I decided to spend the weekend in town which made for a more relaxing experience. I and was able to get to Boston Saturday morning before the anticipated snowstorm hit and I  got to attend the events on both days so I was able to cover a lot of ground. The Expo was a consumer event but they had trade only hours before the event was opened to the public. The expo consisted of the “Grand Tasting” which was the main tasting event and was held in the warehouse size convention center, and the high-end “Vintner’s Reserve Lounge” tasting which was held along with the seminars in the hotel next door. On my first day, Saturday, I spent the day in the Reserve Lounge. Some nice juice and food including very tasty grass-fed beef from Uruguay which I heartily enjoyed. Some of what I sampled:

Whites

Bonny Doon 2011 Le Cigare Blanc (Arroyo Seco). A blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, it was medium gold with notes of white flowers on the nose and was medium bodied with mouth-watering, crisp acids on the finish.

Bonny Doon 2011 Le Cigare Blanc “Reserve” (Arroyo Seco). Same blend of Grenache and Roussane, unfiltered and cloudy, aged in demijohns with white flowers on the nose and notes of dried mushroom on the somewhat chewy fruit, nice balance.

Bonny Doon 2010 Le Cigare Blanc “Reserve” (Arroyo Seco). Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, unfiltered but clear, medium gold with an interesting nose of roasted meat and saffron with moderate mouth filling fruit on the nice balance with a long finish. Very tasty.

Littorai 2008 Chardonnay “Charles Heintz Vineyards” (Sonoma Coast). Very ripe nose of tropical fruit juicy but not overdone with good balance.

Phillippe Colin 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy). Light gold in color with moderate fruit with some tropical notes on the nose with some lemon tartness at the end but nice balance.

Domaine Borgeot 2010 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot (Burgundy). Medium gold with white flowers on the nose with moderate tropical fruit followed by lime notes on the finish.

Captain Gagnerot 2011 1er Cru Ladoix (Burgundy). Medium gold with a nose of sweet flowers with nice mouth feel with lemon/lime notes on the finish.

Reds

Bonny Doon 2008 Le Cigare Volant (Central Coast). Medium to dark red in color with a nose of rip vegetables and dried herbs and was silky and dusty with herb notes on the fruit with a long finish and nice balance.

Boony Doon 2008 Le Cigare Volant “Reserve” (Central Coast). Medium dark with a nose of ripe vegetables and cigarette smoke and was juicy with a big hit of tannin at the end.

Winderlea Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills). Light red in color, closed nose of earthy leather and was tight with very smoky fruit.

Winderlea Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills). Medium red with a nose of red licorice with more fruit than the 2011 with tart cherry notes on the finish.

Alexana 2011 Pinot Noir “Revana Vineyard” (Dundee Hills). Medium red with a floral and bright leather nose with smoky leather on the moderate fruit with a bit of heat at the end.

Revana Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to  black in color with a nose of stewed fruit and black cherry with notes of roasted meat and plums on the velvet fruit and was firm and balanced at the end.

Le Saffre 2009 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Medium to dark red with dried leather on the nose with red cherry fruit and good balance.

Le Saffre 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). Black in color with a nose of stewed prunes, black cherry and camphor and was silky with forest floor notes on the balanced fruit with a long finish. Tasty.

Emmollo Winery 2011 Merlot (Napa Valley). A producer I’ve never tried before, it was black in color with a nose of dried herbs and black fruit and was dense and chewy with balanced tannin.

Caymus Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Select” (Napa Valley). Very black and very concentrated with mint notes on the balanced finish. I thought it was drinking great at this stage.

La Spinetta 2008 Barberesco  “Vigneto Gallina” (Piedmont). Medium to dark amber in color with a nose of dark fruit and cigar box on the velvet fruit with nice silky tannin on the firm finish.

La Spinetta 2005 Barolo “Vigneto Campe” (Piedmont). Medium to dark red with an amber robe with pencil shavings on the nose, silky fruit and silky, mouth filling tannins on the nice balance. One of my favorites of the night.

Ruffino 2004 Toscana Romitorio di Santedame (Tuscany). A blend of Colorino and Merlot, it was dark red to black in color with pencil shavings and black cherry on the nose with velvet fruit and hints of cigar box, great balance and a long finish.

La Serre Nuove dell Ornellaia 2010 (Tuscany).  The second label from Ornellaia, a Bordeaux blend with a nose of toasted oak, dark chocolate and dried herbs and was chewy and chunky with dusty fruit with mint notes and great balance.