2015 Beringer “Quantum” Red Blend



Beringer vineyards has been producing wine in the Napa Valley since 1876. Their tasting room is a Napa Valley landmark.

They produce a wide range of wines from budget bottlings to their flagship Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon along with several bottlings of hard to get single vineyard wines.

Their Quantum bottle is a red blend of the Bordeaux varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot with some Petit Sirah.


2015 Beringer Quantum Red BlendOpaque dark red, violets, anise and crushed black fruit on the nose, juicy and jimmy with black licorice and slate on the moderate to long finish, good grip, some heat. 



2016 Allegrini “Palazzo della Torre” Red Blend



The Allegrini family has been making wine in the Veneto region of Italy since the 16th century. The most famous red wines from that area are Valpolicella and Amarone, both red blends made from indigenous grape varietals.

Allegrini produces both Valpolicella and Amarone as well as single vineyard and proprietary wines. Their Palazzo della Torre wine is stylistically somewhat in the middle of those two wines. It’s made in the “ripasso” method in which some of the grapes are set aside to partially dry out and then blended with the finished wine to undergo a second fermentation. This adds body to the wine.


2016 Palazzo della Torre

40% Corvina Veronese, 30% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella, 5% Sangiovese

Clear dark red in color, perfume of violets and dark cherry, dusty red fruit with gunmetal notes with bitter dark cherry and dark chocolate notes on the finish. 



2016 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir Oregon



Everyone likes a good glass of Pinot Noir. Unfortunately the Premier Crus and Grand Crus of Burgundy are really not priced for everyday drinking, or at least for people in my financial reality. The conventional wisdom is that cheap Pinot Noir is not worth drinking which is often true. It was great to find and drink a budget friendly Pinot Noir that was interesting enough to make for a good glass of wine.

A to Z winery sources the fruit for their wine from across Oregan. They share a tasting room with Rex Hills Winery in Newberg in the Willamette Valley and was one of the wineries I visited during my Willamette Valley wine tour a couple of years back


2016 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir: Clear medium red, red licorice on the nose, medium juicy red fruit with some herb notes on the balanced finish.  Nothing too serious but very drinkable. 



2017 J Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Valley



J Vineyards and Winery is located in Sonoma County, California.

I’m not a big fan of the old style California Chardonnay that are buttery, fruit forward with loads of tropical fruit notes. There is still that style of wine to be had if you want it but many wine makers are moving away from long oak aging in their wines. This wine had a nice balance of delicious fruit and acidity to make it interesting. 

 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley: Medium gold with greenish tints, honey, saffron and cantaloupe on the nose, medium fruit with lemon curd and cinnamon on the finish and good acidity. Very drinkable. 



La Paulée de New York 2020


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This year was the 20th anniversary of La Paulée de New York which was held from March 4-7. The week included seminars, tastings and some very expensive dinners. The Grand Tasting was held on Saturday afternoon at the Pier Sixty event venue located at 60 Chelsea Piers on the far west side of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson river.

In the U. S., the festival alternates between New York City and San Francisco and showcases the latest vintage of the Burgundian wines to be released. At the Grand Tasting on Saturday afternoon over 50 wine professionals were on hand to serve the wines from over 40 domains of Burgundy. A team of top-notch chefs prepared “petits plats” for guests to nosh on while they sampled the various wines. Members of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastvin were on hand to serenade (a capella style) the wine drinkers.

The event is Restaurateur and Sommelier Daniel Johnson’s homage to the annual La Paulée de Meursault in Burgundy. That originally began as a end of harvest festival thrown by the Burgundian growers for their guests and field workers and was revived in the early twentieth century as an annual event for the growers and their guests.

The 2017 vintage was a much better year for Burgundy than Bordeaux. The later suffered through epic frost while Burgundy was able haul in the biggest crop since 2009.

This was one of those tastings that I could have spent 2-3 days tasting through all the wines. There were over 150 of some of the most famous (and expensive) wines in the world to taste. I really enjoyed the whites, in general they were very elegant and balanced wines with just enough of the tropical fruit and oak notes to make them interesting. The reds were light in color with restrained fruit and firm acids, very old world style.

Some of what I sampled:

2017 Vintage

Domaine Etienne Sauzet

Puligny Montrachet: Light gold, closed nose lemon curd, nicely balanced fruit.

Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrieres: Light gold, nose of fresh herbs, moderate fruit with a firm but juicy finish.

Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet: Light gold, spicy cinnamon on the nose, moderate fruit with a firm, balanced finish. 

Domaine Roulot

Meursault “A Mon Plasir” Clos du Haut Tesson: Light gold with tropical notes on the nose, earthy, tart fruit, good balance. 

Domaine Bernard Moreau

Chassagne Montrachet: Light gold, tropical nose, dusty, tropical notes on the fruit, nice balance. 

Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Vergers: Light gold, rosemary and tropical fruit on the nose, moderate fruit, pineapple, firm and balanced finish. 

Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot: Medium to light gold, cinnamon and tropical fruit notes on the nose, fruit forward, drops at the end. 

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey

Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru: Light gold, tropical fruit and cinnamon on the nose, minerally with crisp acids at the end.

Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru: Medium gold, tropical fruits and cinnamon on the nose with tropical fruit notes and lemon on the long finish. 

Olivier Laflaive

Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot: Medium gold, spicy tropical fruit on the nose with tropical fruit notes on the nice balance.

Meursault 1er Cru Blagny Sous le Dos d’Ane: Medium gold, toasty nose, lemon tart fruit with a firm finish. 

Bouchard Pere & Fils

Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru: Medium gold, mashed peaches on the nose, moderate peachy fruit, great balance. 

Beaune 1er Cru Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus: Light brick, red leather on the nose, green herb notes on the balanced and long finish.

Joseph Drouhin

Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc: Light gold, toasted pineapple on the nose, moderate tropical fruit with oak notes, nice finish. 

Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge: Clear light red, pretty perfume of spicy berries, silky fruit with a nice balance.

Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: Clear light red, spicy perfume with oak notes on the light fruit. 

Domaine Genot-Boulanger

Meursault 1er Cru Les Boucheres: Light gold, spicy tropical fruit on the nose, spicy, juicy fruit, long finish. 

Domaine de Montille

Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots: : Light gold, green herbs and tropical fruit on the nose, juicy fruit with lime notes, good balance. 

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: Light gold, toast and tropical fruit on the nose, toasty lime fruit, crisp finish. 

Beaune 1er Cru Les Sizies: Light red, red leather nose, silky red fruit and red leather notes on the firm finish.

Louis Jadot

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: Medium gold, sweet candy and toast on the nose, juicy with a firm finish. 

Beaune 1er Cru Aux Cras: Light red, roasted earth on the nose, dusty, juicy fruit with firm acids at the finish. 

Domaine Yvon Clerget

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru: Light to medium red, floral nose with sweet fruit and a tight finish.

Domaine Nicolas Rossignol

Volnay: Light purple, dried leaves on the nose, crushed rock on the fruit, good grip.

Domaine Jean Grivot

Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Ronciere: Light brick, dried herbs on the nose, medium body fruit with good balance and a long finish. 

Domaine Hudelot-Baillet

Chambolle Musigny Vielles Vignes: Clear medium red, black licorice on the nose, juicy fruit with a nice balance.

Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras: Clear medium red, toasty tar on the nose, silky fruit and nicely balance.

Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: Clear medium red, tarry black fruit on the nose with silky red fruit and a firm balanced finish. 

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue

Chambolle Musigny Vielles Vignes: Clear medium red, sweet perfume of strawberries with a tight and silky finish. 

Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru: Clear medium purple, pretty nose of sweet, dried herbs, juicy red leather on the fruit, nice balance.

Bonnes Mares Grand Cru: Medium brick, red leather and herbs on the nose, silky red fruit on the firm and balance finish.

Domaine Dujac

Morey Saint Denis: Light red, red leather nose with moderate juicy fruit, balanced. 

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru: Light red, dried herbs on the nose, dusty red fruit with firm, mouth watering tannins at the finish.

Domaine Duroché

Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaut St Jacques: Clear light purple, damp earth and rosemary on the nose with strawberry notes on the fruit ending with firm acidity. 

Echezeaux Grand Cru: Clear light red, strawberry and earth on the nose, red cherry fruit with rosemary notes on the finish. 

Domaine Jean-Marie Fourrier

Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Cherbaudes: Light clear red, earth and herbs on the nose, silky finish with some heat at the end.


Grand Cru des Bordeaux New York 2020


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The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux is a trade organization that promotes the Grand Cru wines of Bordeaux, France. At the beginning of each year they sponsor a world-wide tour where they showcase the current vintage that is being released. The U.S. and Canadian portion of the tour will make stops in Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC and on January 20th, the tour arrived in New York City. The event as usual, was held at Cipriani restaurant at 110 East 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan across the street from Grand Central Terminal. It’s the former Bowery Savings Bank which was constructed at a time when banks were built to be opulent places of commerce. A trade tasting was held in the afternoon and Sotheby’s auction house held a tasting for consumers at the same venue in the evening.

The 2017 vintage in Bordeaux was not the best of vintages. It was the “year of the frost” where the worst frost in living memory created conditions that had yields coming in at about 40% lower than the previous year. There were fewer wineries attending this tasting than there were in previous years as many wineries did not make a wine or made very little wine from the 2017 vintage. 

In tasting through the wines, no one would confuse them for the lush and fruit forward wines of a Napa Valley Cabernet. In general for this vintage, I was finding a lot of lean red fruit with red cherry aromas and bitter cherry flavors on the finish. Many, not surprisingly for young wines, were hard edged, but many had low tannins and acids. I was not getting the type of concentration in these wines that I had gotten from the 2015 or 2016 vintages. I think these will be wines to be drunk in the short term.


Vintage 2017


Chateau Haut-Bailly: Clear medium red, toasty nose, tight with big tannins at the end. 


Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere: Opaque medium to dark red, pretty nose of black fruit and graphite, dusty red cherry fruit with firm tannins. 

Chateau Canon: Clear medium red, cooked fruit notes on the nose, tight with crisp acids and firm tannins. 

Clos Fourtet: Opaque dark red, crushed black fruit on the nose, juicy, graphite black fruit ending with a firm, silky finish. 

Chateau Larcis Ducasse: Opaque medium red, sweet red cherry on the nose, moderate silky and dusty fruit with moderate tannins and acids at the end. 

Chateau Pavie Macquin: Cloudy dark red, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, tight red cherry fruit with tongue coating tannins at the end.  

Chateau Villemaurine: Medium clear red, floral black cherry on the nose, bright dark fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 


Chateau La Cabanne: Clear medium brick, dark chocolate on the nose, juicy red fruit with silky tannins and firm acids. 

Chateau Clinet: Clear light amber, red cherry graphite on the nose, tight, silky tannin on the firm finish. 

Chateau Gazin: Clear medium red with some tar and earth on the nose, tight, red cherry fruit, low acids. 


Chateau Cantemerle: Opaque medium red, graphite notes on the nose, tight red fruit with big tannins and acids on the finish. 

Chateau Citran: Opaque medium red, candy red cherry on the nose with juicy red fruit and moderate acids. 

Chateau Coufran: Medium to light brick, sweet red cherry on the nose, light black fruit with a chewy finish and moderate tannins. 

Chateau La Lagune: Opaque medium red, dusty red leather on the nose, tight fruit with bitter red cherry at the end. 


Chateau Giscours: Medium to brick in color, toast and wet earth on the nose, moderate chewy fruit with dark chocolate on the finish, nice balance. 

Chateau Kirwan: Clear medium red, crushed black fruit and some earth on the nose with bright red fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids. 

Chateau Rauzan-Gassies: Clear medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy, toasty red cherry fruit with a firm finish. 

Chateau du Tertre: Opaque medium red, toasty dark chocolate on the nose, bright dark fruit, firm finish. 


Chateau Beychevelle: Medium purple, green olives on the nose, light fruit with olive notes, balanced finish. 

Chateau Branaire-Ducru: Clear medium red, toast and graphite on the nose, light fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 

Chateau Lagrange: Clear medium red, minty nose, dusty dark chocolate fruit with crisp acids. 

Chateau Leoville-Barton: Medium red, tarry nose, moderate black cherry fruit, firm but balanced. 


Chateau d’Armailhac: Clear medium red with some cooked vegetable notes on the nose, light fruit with very tight tannins on the finish. 

Chateau Clerc Milon: Medium to light red, dirt and sweet red fruit on the nose, tight with big tannins. 

Chateau Duhart-Milon: Clear medium red, stinky nose, moderate dusty fruit with a bitter cherry finish. 

Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste: Clear medium red, dusty nose with tight red fruit and crisp acids. 

Chateau Lynch-Bages: Opaque medium red, red cherry and graphite on the nose, light red fruit with high acids at the end. 

Chateau Pichon Barton: Clear medium brick, chocolate on the nose, chewy bitter cherry fruit with a firm but balanced finish. 

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande: Opaque medium red, tar and red cherry on the nose, light and tight with low tannins and acids on the finish. 


Chateau Ormes De Pez: Light red in color, graphite on the nose, tight red fruit, nice grip. 

Chateau Phelan Segur: Cloudy medium red, red pixie stick and toast on the nose, tight, light closed fruit with low tannins and acids. 


Chateau Suduiraut Chateau Riessec
Chateau Guiraud Chateau de Fargues
Chateau Doisy Daene  



IWM Holiday Grand Tasting 2019


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Italian Wine Merchants (IWM) is a wine shop that, not surprisingly, specializes in Italian wines. It’s located at 108 East 16th Street across from Union Square Park in Manhattan.

Unusual for a wine store, they have a small room and a dedicated kitchen in the back of the shop that they use as a venue where they host wine dinners and wine tastings.

On the weekend after Thanksgiving Day they hosted their Black Friday mini grand tasting. On this Saturday afternoon, it was a casual walk-around tasting of 32 Italian wines. I’ve been to a few tastings at this venue and I know they pour quality juice. It was a mostly a red wine list with a couple of sparking wines, a rosé and a handful of whites thrown in. They poured a good representation of Italian wines from the North to the South of the boot.

As usual they put out a nice spread of food with good bread and an excellent selection of charcuterie. The kitchen cooked up a couple of tasty pasta dishes as well.

It’s a popular event and the crowd became a little thick at times but I was able to sample as many wines as I wanted, everyone was in a festive mood. My favorites of the afternoon were a couple of Nebbiolo based wines, the 2015 Luigi Giordano Barbaresco Asili and the 2015 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia.

Wines poured:

NV Cima da Conegliano Prosecco Extra Dry 2011 Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Brut Cru Perdu
2018 Cornarea Roero Arneis 2015 Drago Collio Friulano
2018 De Concilus Falanghia 2018 Masut da Rive Maurus Chardonnay
2015 Per Luna Cerasuolo 2016 Hilberg-Pasquero Vareij
2016 Hilberg-Pasquero 29.5 Per Alessandra Barbera d’Alba 2016 San Giuliano Barbera Fiore di Marcorino
2015 San Giuliano Barbaresco 2017 Scarzello Langhe Nebbiolo
2013 Scarzello Barolo 2015 Luigi Giordano Barbaresco Asili
2015 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2013 Gaja Costa Russi
2017 Masut da Rive Maurus Pinot Noir 2018 Per Linda Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
2017 Schiena Vini Salento Enneoro Negroamaro 2017 Schiena Vini Impero Primitivo di Manduria

2017 De Conciliis Donnaluna Anglianico

2010 De Conciliis Naima
2017 Begali Valpolicella Classico 2012 Nicolis Amarone dell Valpolicella Classico
2008 Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2014 La Corsa Settefinestre
2014 La Corsa Teroldego 2015 Trecciano Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva
2017 Collemattoni Rosso di Montalcino 2016 Le Mortelle Botrosecco Maremma
2011 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino

2012 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino Riserva