Bastille Day Fête 2019

 

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July 14th is Bastille Day, the national holiday of France. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789 and the birth of the modern French nation.

FIAF (french institute alliance francaise) is the “country’s leading French language and cultural center” founded nearly 120 years ago to promote French arts and teach French language and is now housed in the heart of Manhattan at 22 East 6oth Street. For over twenty years they have hosted New York City’s largest public celebration of France’s national holiday.

It was a three-block long party on East 60th Street with French themed food booths, French products and a stage with continuous live music throughout the afternoon.

Of course there were a couple of wine tastings as well, a Summer in Provence tasting and a Champagne, Cocktail and Jazz party which I attended. At the party they served five very drinkable Champagne and a specialty cocktail while being serenated by Avalon, a four-piece Jazz band.

 

Champagnes:

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé

Pol Roger Reserve

Delamonte Brut

Besserat du Bellefon Bleu Brut

Michel Gonet Brut Reserve

 

Cocktail: “La Quatorze Juillet

Made with Routin vermouth blanc, Giffard rubarbe liquour, Giffard Menthe Pastille (a pepperment flavored liquour), a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and topped with a slice of cucumber. It was very refreshing.

 

 

Côte du Rhône Festival

 

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The debut Côte du Rhône festival was held on June 23rd and promised to be “a free flowing wine and food experience in Manhattan”.

The event was held at the event space Second at 849 6th Avenue in Manhattan. It was a walk-around tasting with a French wine bar theme. There were also a couple of seminars thrown in. To accompany the generous quantity of wines that were served were pates, terrines, salumi, mussels, cheeses and pasta.

The Rhone is the second largest wine appellation in France and the Rhone AOC was established in 1937. The appellation is divided the into four classifications; Cote du Rhone, Cote du Rhone Villages, Cote du Rhone Villages + a village name and Cru wines which come from 17 defined crus.

The region is coming off of a couple outstanding vintages of 2015 & 2016 and I’ve tried some nice wines from across the classifications at every Rhone tasting that I’ve been to this year.  Viognier based whites are in general lush with peach and tropical fruit notes while the rest of the whites have nice minerality and floral notes. The reds have nice concentration with meaty notes on the Syrah based North Rhone reds with red fruit and earth notes and approachable tannins on the rest.

They hosted a Trade/Media tasting in the afternoon and opened the doors for the consumers later that evening, it was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

La Tablée Rhone Tasting NYC

 

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The inaugural La Tablée New York City Rhone wine event was held on January 30-February 2nd.

It was run by the same team that produced the high-end French wine events of La Paulée and La Fête du Champagne. The series of events consisted of wine dinners, seminars and a tasting. I attended the tasting on Saturday February 2nd which was held at 26 Bridge, an event venue located at 26 Bridge Street in the trendy cobblestoned streets of DUMBO Brooklyn.

The term La Tablée originates in the village of Ampuis in Cote-Rôtie and denotes “the meal celebrating the end of the harvest (similar to Burgundy’s La Paulée), bringing to mind the colloquial French phrase, a table, the call given to family and friends to sit and enjoy a convivial meal around the table.”

The tasting was an opportunity to preview nearly 100 wines from the excellent 2016 vintage from 25 estates in the northern and southern Rhone. Other vintages were poured as well.

Some of what I sampled:

Pierre-Jean Villa

2016 Cote-Rotie “Fongeant”: Medium purple, cooked fruit notes on the nose with juicy black fruit and moderate tannins and acids.

2016 Cote-Rotie “Carmina”: 100% Syrah. Light purple, roasted dried herbs on the nose, chunky with sweet dark cherry fruit.

2013 Saint-Joseph “Tilde”: In magnum, dark red, roasted meat on the nose, juicy black fruit with silky, firm tannins on the long finish.

Yves Cuileron

2016 Saint-Joseph “Serines”: Medium purple with a funky, dirty nose and juicy, chewy and firm fruit.

2007 Saint-Joseph “Serines”: Medium brick with an amber rim, nice perfume of tar and violets, tight and tannic.

Stephane Ogier

2016 Cote-Rotie “Reserve”: Medium purple, toasty green herbs on the nose, juicy, toasty fruit nicely balanced.

2007 Cote-Rotie “Reserve”: Cloudy dark brick with a perfume of crushed black fruit, mint and tar, juicy herb notes on the fruit with lip smacking tannins at the end.

René Rostaing

2016 Cote-Rotie “La Landonne”: Medium purple, roast meat and red fruit on the nose, bright red fruit with firm, silky tannins.

2003 Cote-Rotie “Cuvee Classique”: Medium brick, pretty perfume of sweet red fruit, bright red fruit and licorice notes with firm acids.

Jean-Baptiste Souillard

2016 Crozes-Hermitage “La Tout”: 100% Marsanne, single vineyard. Light gold, lemon, petroleum on the nose with lemon custard notes on the tight fruit.

2014 Cote-Rotie “Couteaux de Bassenon”: Light purple, roasted meat on the nose, light with bright red fruit, nice balance.

Paul Jaboulet Ainé

2016 Hermitage “La Chapelle”: Medium purple, roast meat on the nose with dusty bright black fruit and a firm finish.

2013 Hermitage “La Chapelle”: Medium brick with a sweet nose of dried leaf and mint, sweet red fruit and red licorice on the nicely balanced finish.

Chateau de Beaucastel

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne “Vielles Vignes”: Light gold with tropical fruit notes on the nose and fruit, moderate acids.

2007 Chateauneuf du Pape: Medium brick in color, sweet dried leaf on the nose, juicy black licorice on the balanced fruit, long finish.

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Piedlong”: 100% 70yr old Grenache vines. Light red, crushed red fruit and nuts on the nose, silky red fruit with a nice balance.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieux Telegraphe”: Medium brick, perfume of mint and toast, chewy fruit with a roast coffee on the long and balanced finish.

Domaine de Crista

2016 Chateauneuf  du Pape: Medium purple, notes of earth and strawberry on the nose, chunky and earthy, good balance.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape “Renaissance”: Dark brick, perfume of sweet earth, chewy red fruit followed by dusty and earthy tannins.

Domaine La Barroche

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature Julien Barrot: Medium purple, roast meat on the nose, juicy ending with tight, firm tannins.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Signature Julien Barrot: Cloudy medium brick, perfume of mint, tree bark, chunky fruit with mint notes on the finish.

Domaine Saint Préfert

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier: Dark purple, tree bark and crushed black fruit on the nose, dark chewy fruit ending with mint notes on the silky tannins.

2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve Auguste Favier: Light brick, roast meat on the nose, juicy red fruit with earth notes on the balanced finish.

Domaine de Beaurenard

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Boisrenard”: Cloudy medium purple, cooked red fruit on the nose, dusty fruit with lip smacking tannins at the end.

2001 Chateauneuf du Pape: Black with a brick rim, perfume of crushed red fruit and mint with sweet red fruit and a balanced, long finish.

Domaine de la Janasse

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes”: Medium cloudy purple, crushed red berries on the nose, big juicy red fruit, red licorice on the firm finish.

1999 Chateauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes”: Magnum. Light brick, mint and dried leaf on the nose, chunky red licorice fruit, firm and balanced.

La Vieux Donjon

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape: Clear medium purple, crushed blueberry on the nose, juicy red fruit with a good grip.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape: Clear brick, sweet roast meat on the nose, sweet dark fruit with a good grip on the long finish.

Chateau de Saint Cosme

2016 Gigondas: Dark purple, damp earth on the nose, juicy, concentrated black fruit with coffee notes on the balanced finish.

2010 Gigondas: Dark red with an amber rim, chunky and chewy dark fruit, tight, silky tannin on the firm finish.

Maison Tardieu-Laurent

2016 Gigondas: Dark purple, roast meat and black licorice on the nose, concentrated and dusty fruit, firm balanced finish.

2005 Cornas “Vieilles Vignes”: 100% Syrah. Medium brick, petroleum notes on the  nose, chunky fruit with mint and dried leaf, nice balance.

Domaine Pierre Usseglio

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape: Opaque medium purple, green herbs and toast on the nose, spicy red fruit, firm and balanced.

2010 Chateauneuf du Pape: Light brick, stewed plums on the nose, chewy red leather fruit, nice balance on the long finish.

 

 

Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux Tour 2019

 

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The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux is a trade organization based in Bordeaux, France that promotes the wines of its 133 member chateaux.

Every year they host a world tour showcasing the current vintage to be released, stopping in various cities in Europe and Asia with the tour arriving in North America on January 18-26.

In New York City on Monday afternoon January 21st, they held a tasting for members of the trade and a consumer event later that evening. Both events were held at the Cipriani Midtown event space located at 110 East 42nd street in heart of Manhattan, just down the street from the iconic Chrysler building. A former bank, the event space is a huge, pink marbled cathedral-like room.

The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux was a Jekyll and Hyde vintage. The first half of the year was very rainy which made the winemakers concerned that the vintage would be a bust, but the second half of the year turned out to be bone dry. 

For the most part, I thought the wines had good fruit and structure with firm tannins and manageable acids. Most of the wines were still wound tight but I think will age well. I didn’t think they had the immediate lushness of the 2015’s where I was getting a lot of California style flavor profiles, nor were they as hard-edged as the 2014 vintage. Overall some nice wines to be drunk in the future.

Vintage 2016

Saint-Julien

Chateau Beychevelle: Clear medium purple with a closed nose of crushed red berries and milk chocolate, tight with silky, firm tannins.

Chateau Talbot: Dark purple, roasted meat and sour fruit on the nose, juicy dark fruit with a firm, balanced long finish.

Chateau Gruaud Larose: Medium red, tree bark and roast meat on the nose, tight silky fruit, moderate firm finish.

Chateau Leoville Barton: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, chunky, sweet cherry fruit with firm tannins.

Chateau Leoville Poyferre: Medium red, toasty sweet fruit on the nose, gritty tannins on the dark fruit ending with big tannins.

Chateau Branaire Ducru: Medium red, toasty crushed red fruit on the nose with silky red fruit and green herbs on the finish.

Saint- Estephe

Chateau de Pez: Medium red with a perfume of sweet red fruit, tight red fruit.

Chateau Phelan Segur: Medium red, floral, green herbs on the nose, dusty dark chocolate and slate on the firm fruit.

Paulliac

Chateau Clerc Milon: Medium red, toast and crushed dark fruit on the nose, tight, red cherry fruit with crisp acidity.

Chateau Lynch Bages: Dark red, tar, violets and green herbs on the nose, tight with mouth puckering tannins.

Chateau Pichon Baron: Medium red, crushed dark fruit and violet on the nose, light, juicy fruit with firm tannins and acids.

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtese de Lalande: Clear, dark red, roast meat notes on the nose, tight red cherry fruit with a moderate finish.

Saint-Emillion

Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere: Dark purple, tar and leather on the nose, chewy, meaty dark fruit, long finish on the balanced finish.

Clos Fourtet: Medium purple, sweet tar on the nose, sweet red fruit with firm , tongue coating tannins.

Chateau Grand Mayne: Opaque medium red, dark chocolate and cigarette smoke on the nose, tight and tannic.

Chateau Pavie Macquin: Medium clear purple, tar and violets on the nose, dusty, red cherry fruit, moderate to long finish with moderate tannins and acids.

Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle: Medium to light red in color with a perfume of tar, tight, silky red fruit with crisp acidity at the end.

Pomerol

Chateau Clinet: Medium purple with a pretty perfume of violets and tar, juicy dark red fruit with moderate tannins and acids on the long finish. Drinkable.

Chateau Gazin: Clear medium purple, toast notes on the nose, juicy red fruit with some earth on the firm finish, tight.

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur: Medium red, cooked berries on the nose, leather notes on the fruit, firm and nicely balanced.

Chateau La Pointe: Medium red, strawberry and graphite on the nose, toasty sweet fruit on the firm finish.

Margaux

Chateau Brane-Cantenac: Clear medium red, tree bark on the nose, dark chocolate and gritty tannins on the fruit.

Chateau Giscours: Medium red, sweet red fruit on the nose with tight sweet fruit and a firm finish.

Chateau Lascombes: Opaque dark red with a perfume of sweet cherry, tar and mint, chewy dark fruit and silky tannins with moderate acids.

Chateau Prieure-Lichine: Dark red with green herbs and red cherry on the nose, juicy followed by big tannins and moderate acid.

Chateau Dauzac: Clear medium red, pixie stick notes on the nose, juicy red fruit ending tart.

Pessac-Leognan

Domaine de Chevalier: Opaque medium red, some barnyard notes on the nose with chunky red fruit, moderate tannins and acids.

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere: Medium opaque red, sweet black fruit on the nose with silky black, ends tart, moderate tannins and acids.

Moulis En Medoc

Chateau Maucaillou: Medium red with a perfume of turned earth, chunky and rustic, with the fruit dropping a bit but still nice balance.

Haut-Medoc

Chateau La Lagune: Medium red with dark chocolate on the nose, juicy bright red fruit ends with tart notes.

 

 

Northern Rhone Tasting NYC

 

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Le Reboule is the traditional end of harvest celebration in France’s Rhone Valley. It’s when everyone involved the wine process celebrate another successful vintage with wine, food and fun.

Sommiliers Dustin Wilson and Thomas Paustuszak brought the tradition of Reboule du Rhone to New York City on November 17th with a weekend of wine dinners and tastings with some of the best producers of the Northern Rhone who were on hand to pour their wines. The events raise money in which 100% go to the No Kid Hungry charity.

Most of the wines that were poured were from the excellent 2016 vintage. With plenty of sun and a long growing season, the whites had plenty of tropical/ melon/honey/ peach notes on the fruit. Anyone who drinks California whites would love them. With the reds I got plenty of the classic roast meat notes on the nose though at this point they’re still wound a little tight.

I attended the Northern Rhone tasting on Saturday afternoon which was held at the venue located on 180 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan next to the South Street Seaport.

White

2012 Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc “Blanche” Medium gold, big nose of honey, tropical fruit, juicy, honeyed fruit followed with a great grip, delicious.

2016 Jean-Baptise Souillard Roussanne Medium gold, honey, green herbs on the nose, tight with slate notes on the balanced finish.

2016 Domaine Andre Perret Condrieu “Chery” Light gold, honey nose, ripe peaches on the fruit, good balance.

2016 Domaine Andre Perret Condrieu “Clos Chanson” Light gold, sweet honeydew on the nose, tight honeydew melon fruit.

2017 Julien Cecillon Saint Peray Light gold, crushed peaches on the nose, juicy with some toast notes on the long finish, some

2017 Aurelien Chatagnier Condrieu Very light gold, crushed apricot on the nose, juicy, peachy, nice finish. heat.

Red

2015 Domaine Graillot Crozes-Hermtage “La Guiraude” Black, slate and crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy, chunky black fruit, nice balance

2015 Maison Tardieu-Laurent Cornas “Coteaux” Medium red, crushed black fruit and rosemary on the nose, tight with roasted meat notes on the fruit.

2016 Domaine Andre Perret Saint Joseph “Les Grisieres” Medium purple, roast meat notes on the nose, silky roasted nuts on the fruit, firm, balanced finish.

2016 Jean-Baptise Souillard Saint-Joseph “Janoune” Opaque medium purple, roasted meat on the nose, juicy red fruit, balanced.

2016 Aurelien Chatagnier Syrah “Cret Louison” 100% Syrah, Dark purple, barnyard notes on the nose, nice silky fruit, balanced.

2016 Domaine Clape Cornas “Renaissance” Dark purple to black, roast bacon and green herbs on the nose, concentrated, silky fruit, moderate balance.

2016 Domaine des Lises Crozes-Hermitage Medium purple, roast meat on the nose, silky red fruit with moderate tannins.

2016 Domaine Monier Perreot Saint-Joseph “Chatelet” Dark purple, roast meat on the nose, silky fruit with some nice barnyard notes on the finish with a long finish.

2016 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas “Granit 60” Opaque dark purple, crushed dark nose, juicy firm tannins with roast nuts on the finish.

2016 Julien Cecillon Crozes-Hermitage “Les Marguerites” Light purple, roast meat on the nose, juicy turns tight on the long finish.

 

 

FIAF Bastille Day Party 2018

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July 14th is the French National Day, or Bastille Day which commemorates the storming of the Bastille during the French revolution.

In New York City on Sunday July 15th, FIAF (French Institute Alliance Francaise) has celebrated Bastille Day for over twenty years with a three-block long party on 60th Street in Manhattan.

FIAF is a private not for profit created in 1898 to “promote and enhance knowledge of French and Francophone culture” through cinema, lectures and language classes.

The fête featured live entertainment, street art, a French-themed market and a couple of wine tastings; a  jazz and Champagne event and a tasting of wines from the south of France provided by Sud de France. The tastings took place at their office at 22 East 60th Street.

As luck would have it, this year France made it to the finals of the World Cup which was played on this Sunday afternoon which added to the festivities of the day.

There was an after-party at Amali restaurant at 115 East 60th Street with free-flowing wine from the south of France , rum from Martinique and cider from Normandy.

 

 

Planet Bordeaux NYC

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Planet Bordeaux is a French trade organization that represents the wineries of the Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Superieur appellations from the world’s largest fine-wine vineyards. Bordeaux is justifiably famous for its grand cru wines from the famous Chateaux. Those wines are also very expensive but these off the radar regional wines, which are over half the production of the Bordeaux appellation, are more accessible in both price and style.

In February and March the organization held various trade and consumer tastings of its member wineries around New York City. On Sunday evening March 4th, they held a tasting for members of the trade. That tasting was held at O’Cabanon restaurant located at 245 West 29th street in Manhattan.

They poured sparkling wines, whites and several reds, many from the excellent 2015 vintage but from other vintages as well. I wasn’t familiar with many of the producers but there were some nice drinking wines that didn’t break the bank.

Some of what I sampled:

 

2010 Chateau Montlau

2012 Domaine del Ile Margaux

2014 Domaine del Ile Margaux

2012 Chateau La Rose du Pin

2014 M de Monsegur Reserve Cabernet Franc

2013 Chateau Boutinet

2014 Chateau Donjon de Bruignac

2014 Chateau de Seguin Cuvee Carpe Diem

2014 Chateau La France Cuvee Gallus

2015 Chateau Grand Jean

2015 Chateau Lauduc

2015 Chateau Lauduc Grande Cuvee

2015 Chateau Montlau

2015 Chateau de Bel

2015 Chateau Tayet Cuvee Prestige

2016 Chateau Haut Favereau

2016 Ipsum Carmenere