Plenty of trade wine tastings at this time of year. In the three-tier system in New York State, a bar or restaurant has to buy their wines and spirits from a distributor. On March 8th one of those distributors, Independence Wine & Spirits held their annual portfolio tasting.
I wasn’t familiar with this particular distributor, so I was curious to see what was in their portfolio, so I attended the tasting.
I was pleasantly surprised at what they carried. They had a huge French presence with many Burgundy, Cote du Rhone and Bordeaux brands. I even had the opportunity to sample one of the Premier Grand Cru of Bordeaux, the 2017 Chateau Lafite Rothschild which was drinking very nicely.
They also had a very nice portfolio of excellent boutique California Cabernets and I decided to focus my time sampling them.
It was a trade tasting and was held at The Metropolitan Pavillion event space at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.
Some of what I sampled:
2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Melanson” (Atlas Peak): Opaque black, closed nose of crushed blueberries, chewy with dark mint chocolate on the fruit, long finish.
2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Sage Ridge” (Napa Valley): Opaque black with a purple rim, chewy and chunky black fruit, mint notes on the fruit ending with a long, dark finish.
2019 Adversity Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Erba” (Atlas Peak): Black with a purple rim, chewy and chunky with smoky, damp earth on the black fruit, nice balance.
2018 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon “Helena Montana” (Knights Valley): Dark red to black in color, dark leather on the nose, tight red fruit with firm tannins.
2016 Cardinale Cabernet Franc “Caladan” (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red to black with silky fruit and tannins, great balance.
2018 La Jota Vineyard Co. Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mt): Opaque black with dusty, crushed black fruit on the nose with dense and chewy black fruit ending with silky, firm tannins.
2018 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon (Diamond Mt): Opaque dark red, crushed rocks and green herbs on the nose, bright red fruit, crisp acids.
2018 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mt): Opaque dark red, closed nose of milk chocolate with chewy and dusty fruit ending with silky tannins.
2018 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon “Salus” (Rutherford): Medium red with tobacco and bacon fat on the nose, silky red fruit with some pickle juice notes on the finish.
2018 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (Rutherford): Clear medium red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy with tobacco note on the fruit, silky tannins.
2017 Taub Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Morisoli-Borges” (Rutherford): Clear medium red, dusty dried leaf on the nose, silky black fruit with silky tannins on the long finish.
2017 Taub Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper” (Napa Valley): Opaque dark red to black, sweet violets on the nose, silky with a great grip on the balanced, long finish.
2018 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt Veeder): Opaque dark red, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy bark fruit ending with big tannins.
2018 Verité Cabernet Sauvignon “La Jolie” (Sonoma County): Dark red to black, closed nose of tar and tobacco with dense, silky and toasty fruit, firm finish.
2018 Verité Merlot “La Muse” (Sonoma County): Clear medium red, toasty nose with silky red fruit, nice balance.