Grand Crus de Bordeaux New York 2018

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The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux is an organization of 135 estates of the Bordeaux wine region of France and whose mission is to promote its members to foreign countries. They do that by travelling to 15 countries and 65 cities during the year to showcase whatever current vintage has been bottled and ready to be released.

The North American tour began on January 18th in Toronto and would stop in Montreal, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. On January 22 the tour arrived in New York City for a trade tasting in the afternoon at Cipriani restaurant at 110 East 42nd street in Manhattan and for a consumer tasting that evening at Sotheby’s auction house in Manhattan.

The 2015 vintage was poured. I always take vintage reports with a grain of salt but the general consensus was that the vintage was a very good one. After attending the trade tasting in the afternoon and working my way through many of the wines, I found many of them hand characteristics that I don’t normally associate with Bordeaux wines. I was getting a lot “jammy” notes both on the nose and on the fruit as well as higher alcohol notes on a few of the wines. With that fruit, many had firm silky tannins that will age well and some had softer tannins that are ready to drink soon. It was a very enjoyable tasting.

 

Saint-Emillion

Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere: Dark red, dried herbs on the nose, thick and chewy black licorice fruit, moderate dusty tannins, drinking nicely now.

Chateau Pavie Macquin: Dark red, sweet perfume of tar, silky fruit with tar notes on the dusty finish, firm tannins.

Clos Fourtet: Opaque dark red, toasty sweet fruit and black licorice on the nose, chewy black fruit with silky, firm tannins.

Chateau La Couspaude: Medium brick, big perfume of sweet tar with sweet tarry fruit and dusty tannins on the finish.

Chateau Canon: Opaque medium red, tar and dark cocoa on the nose, bright silky fruit with silky tannins on the finish.

Chateau Dassault: Opaque dark red, big perfume of sweet cherry, chewy cherry tar fruit with firm tannins at the end.

Chateau La Gaffeliere: Dark red, strawberry jam on the nose, dusty red fruit finishing with bitter cherry notes.

Pomerol

Chateau Clinet: Medium red, smoky tar on the nose, chewy green herbs on the fruit, moderate tannins and acid.

Chateau Gazin: Medium to dark red, crushed red fruit and tar on the nose, tight with silky tannins on the firm finish.

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur: Dark red, toasty tar on the nose, chewy and thick with firm tannins on the finish.

Saint-Julien

Chateau Leoville Poyferre: Dark red to black, black tar on the nose, chewy, tarry, silky tannins on the firm finish.

Chateau Talbot: Medium red, tar and cigar box on the nose, sweet, black berry on the fruit, moderate tannin, some heat.

Chateau Beychevelle: Clear dark red, tar notes on the nose, chewy black fruit, moderate tannins and acids, drinking nicely now.

Chateau Gruaud Larose: Clear medium red, toasty, smoky nose, bright fruit with firm acids.

Paulliac

Chateau Pichon Baron: Dark red, cherry jam and herbs on the nose, thick, chewy with firm silky tannins on the mouth coating finish.

Chateau Clerc Milon: Dark red with toast and crushed dark fruit on the nose, moderate fruit with mouth coating tannins at the finish.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtese de LaLande: Medium red, jammy and turned earth on the nose, tight with oak notes on the firm finish.

Margaux

Chateau Lascombes: Black, toasty black fruit on the nose with chewy ,silky crushed black fruit, firm finish, nice balance.

Chateau Cantenac Brown: Dark purple, mint and roast meat on the nose, bright fruit with dusty dark chocolate and firm tannins on the finish.

Chateau Prieure-Lichine: Dark red, crushed red berry and roast meat on the nose, chewy and silky fruit, nicely balanced with a long finish.

Chateau Brane-Cantenac: Cloudy dark red, tar and cigar box on the nose, chunky with tar and green vegetable notes on the fruit, bitter black cherry on the finish.

Chateau Malescot Saint-Exupery: Medium red, strawberry mint on the nose, chewy minty fruit with bitter red candy notes on the finish.

Haut-Medoc

Chateau Cantermerle: Dark red, cherry candy on the nose, tight, bright red fruit, balanced.

Chateau Coufran: Opaque medium red, dusty cherry on the nose, tight cherry candy on the fruit, crisp finish.

Chateau La Lagune: Opaque medium red, tar and cigar box on the nose, dusty graphite fruit with moderate tannins and acids.

Pessac-Leognan

Chateau Pape-Clement: Dark red, crushed dark fruit on the nose with chunky, silky fruit and firm tannins. Coming in at 16% alcohol.

Domaine de Chevalier: Medium red, perfume of sweet tar, moderate dusty, bright fruit.

Saint-Estephe:

Chateau Phelan Segur: Medium red, sweet tar on the nose, bright, light fruit.

 

 

 

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Toast Of France

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On October 8th I attended the Toast of France wine event. The tasting was a fundraiser in which 100% of proceeds benefit Wheeling Forward and Hurricane Relief.

The event was held at Le Dû’s wine shop at 600 Washington Street in lower Manhattan where I’ve been to many a wine tasting in the past. It was hosted by Somms, Yannick Benjamin, one of the co-founders of Wheeling Forward and by Jean-Luc Le Dû.

All of the French wine regions were represented with a table of wines served by volunteer Sommeliers. There was a live and silent auction, oysters in the Champagne room, cheese and paté in the main room, and some French guy strolling around playing the accordion. It was an enjoyable afternoon of sampling wines from all of France.

Some of what I sampled:

 

Champagne

NV Krug “Grand Cuvee” En Jeroboam

NV Larmandier-Bernier “Longitude” En Magnum

NV Marc Hebert Brut Rosé

Bourgogne

2014 Domaine Christine Moreau Chablis Grand Cru “Les Clos”

2014 Pierre Morey Meursault

2014 Domaine Antonin Guyon Pugliny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Pucelles”

2013 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Cazetiers”

Beaujolais

2015 Domaine des Billards Saint Amour

2015 Domaine de Haute Combe Julienas

2013 Chateau des Jacques Moulin a Vent “La Roche”

Bordeaux

2009 Le Petit Caillou de Ducru

2009 Chateau Bourgneuf

2014 Chateau Cartier

2012 Sirene de Giscours

2012 Chateau de Sales

Loire

2016 Domaine Pabiot Puilly Fume

2012 Domaine de la Chevalerie Bourgueil “Galichets”

Savoie/Jura

2008 Chateau d’Arlay Vin Jaune

2012 Domaine Berthet-Bondet “Tradition”

Alsace

2010 Domaine Trimbach Pinot Gris

2012 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris “Clos Windsbuhl”

Rhone

2014 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

2013 Pierre Gaillard Cote Rotie

2014 Domaine J. Despesse Cornas

2012 Domaine de Beaurenard  Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge

Provence/Languedoc

2009 Domaine Hauvette Baux de Provence “Cornaline”

2012 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol

2014 Mas Daumas Gassace Rouge

Roussellon

2014 Domaine du Clos des Fees Les Sorcieres

2014 Chateau Haute Serre

 

 

Rosé On Long Island

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With the Summer season around the corner, it’s now time to drink some rosé. Most Long Island wineries produce a rosé which is usually one of their biggest sellers as it’s snapped up by thirsty locals. There are no GSM blends out East since the varietals of Grenache and Mourvedre are not grown as far as I know, and Syrah grown very little, the wines can’t be said to be made in the style of the wines of Provence or Languedoc wines of the South of France, but they do just fine with the grapes the have.

This past Sunday I travelled to the North Fork to try a few.

 

Bedell’s Tap Room at Corey Creek  45470 Route 25, Southold

This is the sister property to Bedell Vineyards, the comfortable tasting room was recently remodeled and opened a couple of weeks ago. They serve all their wines on tap except for one pét-nat Gewürztraminer.

2016 Rosé

An unspecified blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Medium pink with a slight fizz, bubblegum and honeydew melon on the nose and melon notes on the fruit. Moderate to low acids make for an easy drinking wine. The pét-nat was interesting.

 

Croteaux Vineyards  1450 South Harbor Road, Southold

They make rosé and only rosé and say they are the only vineyard in the United States to do so. They have a gorgeous tasting barn and garden in the back for a relaxing tasting.

2016 Rosé Merlot 181 “Sauvage”

One of several rosé they produce, fermented with wild, natural yeast in 100% stainless steel. Pale pink in color with damp earth and melon on the nose, melon on the fruit and the moderate to low acids make for another easy drinking wine.

 

Jamesport Vineyards   1216 Route 25, Jamesport

From one of the original wineries on the North Fork founded in 1981 with the winery and tasting room in a 165 year-old barn.

2015 Rosé “East End”

Made from 100% Syrah, darker in color than the previous two wines, red candy on the nose with chewy, peppery fruit ending with moderate acids.

 

 

Wine On Wheels Fundraiser 2017

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On Saturday afternoon, April 29th I attended the 6th annual Wine On Wheels Grand Tasting fundraiser. The event raised money for the Wheeling Forward organization whose mission is to “help people with disabilities experience life to the fullest and enable them to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles”.

The fundraise was held at City Winery at 155 Varick Street in Manhattan. The event featured over 200 wines served by over 60 local Sommelier and cocktails created by local Mixologists.

The afternoon was warm and the air-conditioning lacking so I spent a lot of time in the “Champagne Room” where the wine storage tanks are located which was cooler than the rest of the building. There was much juice to drink and people having fun for a good cause. Some of what I sampled:

 

NV Ruinart Rosé

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

2004 Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

NV La Caravalle Rosé

NV La Caravalle Blanc de Blanc

NV La Caravalle “Cuvée Nina”

NV Marion-Bosser

NV Géraud Loriot

NV Jose Dhondt

NV Tattinger Rosé

NV Laurnet-Perrier Rosé

2014 Hirsh Vineyards Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault

2014 Hirsh Vineyards Pinot Noir East Ridge

2014 Hirsh Vineyards Block 8

2015 Costa Graia Rosato del Frusinate

2013 Costa Graia Piglio

2014 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Clos des Mygland

2012 Domaine Michel Viré-Clessé

2005 Nicolas Potel Beaune Les Greves

2015 Marisa Cuomo Bianco Fuore

2015 Singulier Trousseau

2014 Chateau de Vaux Les Gryphees

2014 Domaine Durant Saint-Joseph

 

 

 

Oregon: Dundee Hills AVA

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The Dundee Hills AVA is about 28 miles southwest of Portland. Some of the first vineyards in Oregon were planted in the iron-rich, volcanic soils of the region and many of the states most famous wineries are located in this AVA. Over 40 wineries are here. Since it is close to Portland, the weekends will be crammed with day-trippers.

 

Domaine Drouhin  6750 NE Breyman Orchard Rd

This winery is probably the most famous vineyard in the state. The Drouhin family purchased land here in 1987 which is at the same latitude of the Burgundy region in France. Kellie, the Hospitality Concierge was a gracious hostess. They are releasing a second label called ” Arthur”.

2015 Chardonnay Estate “Arthur”: Medium yellow with green herbs and oak notes on the nose, white chocolate on the fruit with good structure.

2014 Pinot Noir “Dundee Hills”: Dark purple, crushed dark fruit and green herbs on the nose, concentrated, plum notes with a silky finish.

2013 Pinot Noir “Cuvée Lauréne”: Medium amber with a pretty nose of violets and earth, sweet red leather fruit, firm, long finish.

2008 Pinot Noir: Brick color, barnyard on the nose, tight and tannic.

***

Stoller Family Estate  16161 NE McDougall Rd

We had an appointment and they did not disappoint with a private tasting.

2015 Pinot Noir “Reserve”: Medium purple, dried herbs and red fruit on the nose, tight, red silky fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Helen’s”: From 2 acres of land, medium purple, roasted meat on the nose, chewy, black licorice fruit, great grip, black olives on the long finish.

2014 Syrah: From one acre of land planted, dark purple, roasted meat and bacon drippings n the nose, deep concentration with silky dark cherry fruit.

***

Domaine Serene  6555 Hilltop Ln

2014 Chardonnay “Cote Sud”: Medium gold, mango, tropical fruit on the nose, tight fruit, balanced finish.

2014 Pinot Noir “Yamhill Cuvée”: Medium purple, pretty perfume of black olives, silky red fruit, still young, tannins need to smooth out.

2014 Pinot Noir “Evenstad Reserve”: Medium purple, spicy, Asian spices on the nose, juicy, black licorice and red cherry fruit followed with crisp acids.

***

Sokol Blosser Winery  5000 Sokol Blosser Ln

2013 Pinot Noir “Goosepen Bock”: From 2.5 acres, brick color, barnyard on the nose, silky, tarry notes and leather on the fruit, finishes with black pepper notes.

2013 Pinot Noir “Legacy Cuvée”: Brick in color, tart, barnyard nose, juicy, chewy black licorice fruit, firm finish.

2014 Pinot Noir “Bigtree Block”: Light brick, barnyard and red cherry on the nose, red cherry fruit, firm finish, peppery.

***

Soter Vineyards  10880 NE Mineral Springs Rd

Ok so technically, this vineyard is just west of the Dundee Hills AVA in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA but close enough. Modernistic tasting room with a big kitchen and 32 acres planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Wine host met us in the parking lot with glasses of rosé in hand.

2015 North Valley Chardonnay: Their non estate Chard, medium gold with green tints, dried white flowers and green herbs on the nose, tight and dry with lime and tropical fruit notes on the finish.

2014 North Valley Origin “Yamhill-Carlton”: Medium purple, light barnyard and red cherry on the nose, silky red fruit, nicely balanced.

2014 Soter Pinot Noir “Mineral Springs Ranch”: Dark purple, closed nose of crushed black fruit with a hint of rosemary, black licorice on the tight fruit with firm, dusty tannins at the end. Still young.

***

The Four Graces  9605 NE Foxfarm Rd

2014 Pinot Noir “Willamette”: Medium purple, crushed plums and slate on the nose, silky red cola on the fruit followed with some astringency at the finish.

2014 Pinot Noir “Reserve”: Medium purple, barnyard, crushed black fruit and crushed rock on the nose, with bright red fruit and firm tannins and acids.

2014 Pinot Noir “Lindsay’s Reserve”: Medium purple, green herbs, red licorice on the nose, chunky red fruit with mouth coating tannin at the finish.

2014 Pinot Noir “Foley Family Estate”: Medium purple to brick, barnyard notes on the nose, juicy red licorice fruit, balanced finish, silky tannins.

***

Roco Winery  13260 NE Red Hills Rd

This is a small winery on the northern border of Dundee HIlls.

2014 Pinot Noir “Wit’s End”: Light red to brick in color, closed nose with some stinkiness with bright red cherry fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Private Stash #12”: Light red, red licorice and leather on the nose, bright cherry fruit, moderate to long finish, firm acids.

2014 Pinot Noir “The Stalker”: Light brick, tree bark and black licorice on the nose, medium to light juicy fruit with good acidity.

2014 Pinot Noir “Fossil Block”: From a single block of vines, medium red, black licorice and smoke on the nose, concentrated, silky, firm with a long finish.

 

 

2013 Merlot On Long Island

 

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Merlot is the most widely planted grape varietal on Long Island with about 700 acres planted representing 30% of the total. It’s an early ripening varietal that does well in cooler climates which is great for the maritime climate of the North Fork of Long Island where hurricanes might blow through during the harvest.

It has its own association, the Long Island Merlot Alliance whose mission is “to educate media and consumers as to the quality of Merlot and Merlot based blends in Long Island. At their website you can learn the history of Merlot including about the first vines planted on Long Island in 1974 at Hargrave Winery and Mudd’s Vineyard.

The 2013 vintage was called a “fantastic” vintage with a hot Summer and a long, dry Autumn which meant a later harvest of very ripe grapes.

 

 

2013 Waters Crest Winery Merlot “Grand Vin”.  28735 Main Road, Cutchogue

Jim Waters does not own vineyards but makes his wines from locally purchased grapes. Up until recently, the tasting room was in a strip mall but has recently opened a comfortable tasting room on the main road.

The wine was aged for 24 months in new French oak, very dark red in color, opaque, black cherry, strawberry and slate on the nose, juicy, concentrated crushed black fruit with bright silky tannin at the end.

***

2013 Pelligrini Vineyards Merlot “Estate”.  23005 Main Road, Cutchogue

The two story tasting room was built in 1991 overlooking a courtyard with an Italian cloister design.

The wine spent 24 months in oak, black in color, crushed black fruit, cooked vegetable and toast on the nose, concentrated and tight with slate and smoke notes on the fruit, ending with tight tannins and crisp acids.

***

2013 Paumanok Vineyards Merlot “Grand Vintage”.  1074 Main Road, Aquebogue

Paumanok is a 127 acre estate winery founded in 1983 with the tasting room in a turn of the century barn.

Aged two months longer than their regular Merlot, dark purple with a purple rim, dark chocolate and black cherry on the nose, tight, bright cherry fruit with crisp acids and tannins on the finish.

 

 

Gewürztraminer On Long Island

 

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Gewürztraminer is one of the classic noble grapes and is known for its distinctive aromatic and pungent aromas of lychee, pineapple, ginger and rose petals to name a few.

It has a limited popularity and its difficulty in production keeps it with limited acreage but it’s been grown out on Long Island since the industry began and most wineries bottle of version of it either dry, off-dry or as a dessert wine. I still have a half bottle of a 1993 late harvest Gewürztraminer in my fridge from Palmer Vineyards that I bought in 1995.

This past rainy and sleety Sunday afternoon I took a drive out to the North Fork wine country to try some.

 

2015 One Women Vineyards: 5195 Old North Road, Southold. 

Small tasting room off of Highway 48 on the far Eastern North Fork before the town of Greenport.

About 250 cases produced, greenish tint, lemon-lime, earth notes on the nose, off-dry with cotton candy and kiwi on the fruit. Good balance, moderate acidity.

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2012 Lenz Winery: 38355 Route 25, Peconic.

One of the original wineries on the North Fork known for its Merlots.

About 400 cases produced, steel fermented, dark yellow in color, closed nose of petroleum, bone dry with lychee and lime notes on the fruit, moderate acidity on the moderate to long, spicy finish.

***

2013 Coffee Pot Cellars: 31855 Main Road, Cutchogue.

Small production winery with a tasting room off the main road offering handcrafted beeswax products as well as their wines. When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by Beasley the Pug.1

174 cases made, about 6% Riesling added, dark gold in color, petroleum and white flowers on the nose, crisp, full spicy fruit with good acidity on the moderate to long finish.