VinExpo New York 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Vinexpo is a wine and spirits trade show that originated in Bordeaux France and is now held on odd-numbered years in Bordeaux and in Asia in even-numbered years. It is where trade professionals such as importers, distributors and Sommeliers can network with each other and to be exposed to new products.

Vinexpo New York took place on March 5 & 6 at the Jacob K Javits convention center located at 655 West 34th Street on the far west side of Manhattan. It’s the first time Vinexpo has hosted an event in New York City since 2002 and since then, the United States became the largest market for wines so I suppose it made business sense to host another one in this city this year.

I attended on Tuesday and the Javits Center was a beehive of activity since there were several other events other than Vinexpo being held at the Center. The expo itself was not very crowded, speaking with some of the vendors they felt the attendance was greater the day before. That might have been because of competing trade events being held that week and because I think that since the expo charged the trade a hefty entrance fee that many in the industry balked at paying and didn’t show up. I did attend a couple of very nice seminars.

 

Some interesting wines that I sampled:

2015 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir “The Beaux Freres Vineyard”

2014 Bouchard & Fils “Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus”

2014 Yangarra Vineyards Grenache

2014 Narbona Tannat

2015 Domaine de La Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape “Cuvee Les Haute Brusquieres”

2015 Chateau D’Issan

2015 Chateau Beychevelle

2015 Chateau Clarke

 

Seminars:

Comparative Tasting of the Northern Rhone AOC’s of Saint-Peray, Cornas and Saint-Joseph

2016 Eric et Joel Durano (St-Peray). A blend of Marsanne and Roussanne. Medium gold with floral notes and green herbs on the nose, juicy cantaloupe on the fruit.

2016 Maison Ferraton (St-Peray). 100% Marsanne. Medium gold, floral and honey notes on the nose with tart, kiwi flavors on the finish.

2014 Cave de Tain (St-Joseph). Syrah. Cloudy, dark red, red leather on the nose, chewy ending with tight, silky tannins.

2011 Delas (St-Joseph). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black, nice perfume of dark flowers and fresh herbs, silky red fruit and chalk notes on the balanced finish.

2014 Domainea du Tunnel (Cornas). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black with a purple rim, roasted meat and nuts on the nose, tight and tart with a long finish.

2015 Les Vins de Jean-Luc Colombo (Cornas). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black with a purple rim, sweet bacon on the nose, chewy, silky bright dark fruit with firm tannins.

 

New, Old and Different: Spanish Grapes To Know

2017 Bermejo (Lanzarote) Malvasia. Medium gold, grassy, salty nose, bright grassy fruit.

2016 Vina Goseval Cepas Vellas (Valdearras) Godello. Light gold, green, grapey nose, spicy fruit.

2015 Bodegas Arrayan La Suerte (Mentrida) Garnacha. Medium purple, salty nose, dusty red licorice fruit.

2015 Tridente Prieto Picudo (Castilla y Leon) Prieto Picudo. Cloudy black, ripe red fruit and roasted meat on the nose, cherry and dark chocolate on the chunky fruit.

2015 Descendientes de J Palocios Ville de Corullon (Biezo) Mencia. Opaque dark purple, closed nose of roast meat, tight fruit with notes of roasted nuts, firm tannins.

2014 Vivanco Coleccion Maturana Tinta (Rioja) Maturana. Cloudy black, strawberry jam on the nose, chewy, jammy fruit, moderate balance.

2011 Bodegas LAN Cuimen (Rioja) Tempranillo. Cloudy black, crushed black fruit and crushed rock on the nose, chunky, chewy, crisp finish.

2015 Finca Collado Delit Monastrell (Alicante) Monastrel. Cloudy dark purple with barnyard notes on the nose.

2015 Mustiguillo Finca Terrerazo (Vina del Pago Terreazo) Bobal. Opaque dark purple, closed nose of black licorice, sweet fruit with moderate tannins.

 

Advertisements

Mohegan Sun Wine & Food Fest 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Mohegan Sun casino is located in Uncasville Connecticut which is about a two-hour drive as the crow flies northeast of New York City on interstate 95. It’s owned by the Mohegan tribe and is one of the largest gaming facilities the U.S with three casinos all with Native American decor. The casino has all the usual amenities of dining, shopping, hotel accommodations, a concert venue and even its own WNBA basketball and lacrosse teams.

It was a two-day event on January 26-27 kicking off with a bourbon and cigar event on Friday evening. I attended the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon with featured chef demonstrations, wines and spirits on the main floor with craft beers on the 2nd floor.

When I go to these mega consumer events I have a certain expectation. I know they have to cater to a large range of wine drinkers so I don’t expect much high-end juice to be poured and also have an expectation that on a Saturday night, the venue will be mobbed which it was.  Fortunately there was a separate “Elite Cru” tasting room with a more manageable crowd and some nice juice poured. Some of what I sampled at that tasting:

 

Keenan Winery

2013 Merlot Napa Valley

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2013 Spring Mt Reserve

2013 Cabernet Franc

Fulcrum Winery

2013 Petite Sirah Landy

2015 Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown

2015 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

Fullerton Winery

2014 Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard

2015 Pinot Noir Bennet Vineyard

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23

***

2015 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707

2012 Guilano Rosati Amarone

2013 Pelissero Nebbiolo

2013 Cheval des Andes

2015 The Withers Winery Mouvedre Rubin

2014 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve

2014 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

2013 Mt Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder

 

 

Italian Holiday Tasting

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone and we are now on the home stretch of the holiday season with Christmas right around the corner. Italian Wine Merchants, a wine shop specializing in Italian wines located at 108 East 16th Street in Manhattan, threw a “mini grand” tasting on Saturday November 25th.

The wine shop throws many wine themed events throughout the year and their tastings are usually pretty solid with quality wines poured. This was their Black Friday edition which meant a nice discount from the regular price.  It was a walk-around tasting featuring 26 wines from an all Italian list (and one Champagne). It was a well thought out list with a nice variety of premium wines.

The wine shop is just down the block from Union Square Park, an historic intersection where New York City’s first commercial theater district was located. At this time of year a Christmas market is set up in the park and during the day one of the best farmers markets in the city selling local produce and products.

 

What I sampled:

NV Barone Pizzini Brut Franciacorta “Aminante” (Lombardy). Gold in color, honey, floral nose with green apple notes on the fruit.

NV Roger Coulon Brut Reserve de l’Hommée (Champagne). The non-Italian outlier of the tasting, light gold with green vegetable and bread dough on the nose, crisp.

 

2015 Antinori Castello della Sala Pinot Nero (Umbria). Medium red, spicy cinnamon on the nose, leather fruit with some tar on the finish.

2014 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, leather  on the nose, tight fruit with green herbs, firm finish.

2012 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, leather, violet on the nose, tight, bitter cherry fruit, firm finish.

2011 Castello dei Rampolla “Sammarco” (Tuscany). Dark red in color, nice perfume of pencil shavings, tar and red fruit, dusty crushed black fruit with a long, firm finish.

2015 Tenuta San Guido “Guidalberto” (Tuscany). Medium red, green bell pepper on the nose with tart red cherry fruit.

2014 Cerbaiona Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red, tar and crushed red cherry on the nose, dusty, black licorice fruit, balanced with tar notes on the finish.

2015 Guado al Tasso “Il Bruciato” (Tuscany). Medium red, red cherry and green herbs on the nose, tight, tree bark notes on the fruit, big astringent at the finish.

2014 Cerbaina Rosso IGT (Tuscany). Medium red, tar, graphite on the nose, red licorice and dusty tar on the firm, moderate to long finish.

2014 Le Mortelle “Bortrosecco” (Tuscany). Medium to dark red, green herbs, sour green bell pepper of the nose, tight with herb and leather notes, toast on the firm finish.

2012 Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium brick, tar on the nose, silky fruit with bitter cherry and crisp acids on the finish.

2012 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium brick, tar, graphite on the nose with silky tar and toasty notes on the medium fruit.

2013 Poderi Aldon Conterno Langhe Rosso (Piedmont). Medium red, cooked fruit notes, couldn’t get a handle on this wine, not sure if the bottle was bad or not.

2014 Prunotto Barbera d’Alba “Pian Romualdo” (Piedmont). Medium red, closed, plummy nose, tight and tart.

2010 Prunotto Barolo Bussia Riserva “Vigna Colonnello” (Piedmont). Light brick, big perfume of tar, camphor, tight and firm, tart finish.

2012 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo “Colonnello” (Piedmont). Medium brick with a sweet perfume of tar, graphite and sweet cherry, tight and dusty with big tannins at the end.

2013 Ada Nada Barberesco “Valeirano” (Piedmont). Brick in color with a pretty perfume of violets and roast meat, tight, roast nut notes on the fruit, ending with firm tannins.

2011 Bruno Giacosa Barberesco “Santo Stefano” (Piedmont). Light brick, tar, red cherry on the nose with dusty red cherry fruit ending with moderate tannin and acids.

2014 Nicolis Valpolicella Classico (Veneto). Medium brick, red flowers on the nose, moderate to light, tart fruit.

2011 Brigaldara Amarone “Casa Vecie” (Veneto). Medium amber, green fruit on the nose, bitter plum and dusty bell pepper on the fruit.

2012 Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo (Puglia). Medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, concentrated, dark and dusty fruit ending with bitter black cherry notes.

 

 

Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

California

 

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.

Bordeaux

 

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.

Italy

 

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.

 

 

La Nuit en Rosé 2017

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

La Nuit en Rosé is billed as “the world’s first food & wine festival dedicated to rosé wine” whose mission is to showcase the versatility and diversity of rosé. It debuted in New York City in 2014 and this year the tour made stops in Miami and Los Angeles. In New York it’s booze-cruise that heralds the Summer with free-flowing rosé from over 100 worldwide producers with a cheese bar and a pasta & risotto lounge to provide nibbles. A DJ provided music to sip by.

The event took place May 18-20 and I attended the Saturday afternoon session which set sail from the Hornblower Infinity Yacht docked at Pier 40 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. After an hour spent at the dock, we spent a couple of hours cruising lower Manhattan. The weather this year as in last wasn’t optimal but with unlimited wine and great views, everyone had a good time.

 

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

 

 

Raw Wine New York City 2016

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The New York City Raw Wine Fair was held on November 6-7. It was a two-day, huge tasting and celebration of low-intervention, organic, biodynamic and natural wines showcasing the growers whose farming and cellar philosophes concur with the raw wine charter of quality. Raw Wine “celebrates wines with emotion, wines that have a humanlike, or living presence. They are also wines that are an authentic expression of a place.”

The event was held at a warehouse at 99 Scott Avenue in the up and coming, graffiti filled, industrial prairie of Bushwick in Brooklyn. I attended the Sunday afternoon session which was open to both trade and consumers, it was packed with people having a good time.

 

I particular enjoyed wines from these producers:

 Dirty & Rowdy Winery

Donkey & Goat Winery

Les Clos de Caveau

Chateau le Puy

Fattoria di Caspri

 

Other producers I sampled:

The Hobo Wine Co.

Hardesty Cellars

Coturri Winery

Swick Wines

Montebruno

Bloomer Creek Vineyard

Podere Casaccia-Sine Felle

Costa Graia

Andrea Scovero

Santa 10

Chateau Mirebeau

Clos Lentiscus