Wine Spectator’s NY Wine Experience 2016

 

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The 36th annual Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience was held on October 20-22. It was “a joyous three-day festival of great wines”, an opportunity to taste the world’s finest wines. Thursday and Friday consisted of wine seminars during the afternoon capped off with the critics’ choice Grand Tasting in the evening where over 250 wines rated 90 points or higher on their rating scale were served. The Wine Spectator magazine, which is celebrating its 40th year this year and its 100 point rating scale is one of the most influential  wine magazines in the wine world. Many consider it the “Bible” of the industry.

The event was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel at 1535 Broadway in the heart of Times Square, Manhattan. I attended Friday evening and it was an outstanding tasting, an embarrassment of riches with a huge selection of some of the worlds best wines to sample.  I decided to focus on California Cabernet and Bordeaux with an Italian here and there. One day was certainly not enough to sample everything I would have wanted, so much juice so little time.

Some of what I sampled:

 

2007 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Martha’s Vineyard” (Napa Valley). Dark red, perfume of red leather and tar, chewy black licorice and red cherry fruit on the balanced finish.

2007 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Hillside Select” (Napa Valley). Dark purple, toasty black fruit on the nose, tarry finish.

2012 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, crushed black fruit on the nose, chewy with tobacco notes on the balanced finish.

2012 Harlan Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark purple, crushed black fruit and mint on the nose, silky fruit, silky tannin.

2013 Ovid Hexameter (Napa Valley). Black with a purple robe, stewed fruit on the nose, juicy and jammy.

1999 Ridge Vineyards “Monte Bello” (Santa Cruz Mtns). Bordeaux blend, dark purple, sweet red candy and graphite on the nose, dusty, smoky fruit that tightens up at the finish.

2010 Diamond Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Gravelly Meadow” (Napa Valley). Dark red, red candy nose with red cherry fruit.

2013 Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon “Au Paradis” (Oakville). Dark red with a purple rim, cola and red cherry on the nose, juicy with firm herb notes on the finish.

2012 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Oakville). Dark red with a purple robe, toast sour cherry on the nose, tight and concentrated with fresh rosemary on the balanced finish.

2012 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt Veeder). Black in color, minty graphite on the nose with thick and chewy red fruit.

2013 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Select” (Napa Valley). Black with a purple rim, crushed black fruit on the nose, thick and syrupy.

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2011 Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets (Burgundy). Brick color, brick dust on the nose, chewy with red cherry and smoke on the fruit, firm acids.

2013 Domaine Faiveley Corton (Burgundy). Medium light red, forest floor on the nose, tight, moderate fruit.

2001 Chateau Margaux (Bordeaux). Dark brick, big perfume of black olives and tar, smoky, tobacco notes on the fruit, balanced, long smoky finish.

2006 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Bordeaux). Dark red with a brown robe, beautiful perfume of violets, green olive notes on the concentrated dusty fruit, turns tight with crisp acidity at the end.

2006 Chateau Haut-Brion (Bordeaux). Dark red, closed nose of bacon, silky green olives on the fruit, balance with a long finish.

2006 Ducru Beaucaillou (Bordeaux). Dark red in color, closed nose with mint notes, tight fruit, tannins on the end.

2009 Chateau Figeac (Bordeaux). Dark red to black, cook fruit, dried leaf on the nose, tight with smoke and toast notes on the fruit, firm tannins on the finish.

2004 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Bordeaux). Medium brick, cigar box nose, silky graphite notes on the fruit and on the finish, great balance.

2008 Chateau Palmer (Bordeaux). Dark red with a purple robe, toast notes on the nose, concentrated, dusty, toasty fruit, good balance.

2011 Chateau Angelus (Bordeaux). Dark red to black, closed nose of black fruit, mint, silky green olives and toast notes on the fruit, firm finish.

2010 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Bordeaux). Black in color, crushed red fruit and Asian spices on the nose, thick and juicy with nice tannins to balance it out.

2011 E. Guigal Cote-Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (Rhone). Dark red, big roasted meat and floral notes on the nose, big and chewy meat notes on the fruit, tightens up a the end.

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2006 Solaia (Tuscany). Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, pretty perfume of red roses, violets with dark silky fruit and a beautiful finish.

2012 Sassicaia (Tuscany). Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, medium purple, closed nose, juicy red cherry fruit. Boring.

2009 Ornellaia (Tuscany). Medium red with a brick robe, cooked vegetable on the nose, dusty, tobacco fruit, balanced, cigarette smoke on the finish.

2011 Gaja Sperss (Piedmont). Medium brick, cherry tar on the nose, tight, silky tannin, finishes with lip smacking tannins.

2011 San Felice “Vigorello” (Tuscany). Dark purple, cigarette smoke on the nose, thick and chewy black fruit with some mint notes on the balanced finish.

2006 Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino “Riserva” (Tuscany). Magnum, medium brick, tar and pencil shavings on the nose and fruit, great balance.

 

 

Italian Winemaker’s Invitational

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This past Saturday I attended the Astor Winemaker’s Invitational event held at Astor Wines & Spirits at 399 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. The event consisted of 13 artisanal wine makers pouring their products as well as winemaker seminars. It was a consumer event. There were many off the radar producers with small labels pouring some very interesting wines that afternoon.

Grand Tasting: Whites

2012 Coenobium Bianco (Lazio). A white wine blend made by Sisters of the Cistercian, fermented with some skin contact, closed nose with a light, floral finish.

2011 Coenobium “Ruscum” (Lazio). An Orange wine, more skin contact than the Bianco, copper colored, nicely balanced and very drinkable.

1997 Ronchi di Cialla “Ciallabianco” (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). Dark yellow with wildflowers and sweet spice on the nose with some oak and vanilla on the honeyed , but dry finish. Holding up well.

2011 Gulfi “Carjanti” (Sicily). Carjanti is the grape varietal, light gold in color with ripe flowers on the nose, very ripe fruit with a hit of lemon tartness at the end.

2013 Foradori Manzoni Bianco “Fontansanta” (Trentino Alto-Adige). A blend of Pinot Bianco and Riesling, light gold with an oily nose of canned peaches, some oak and vanilla spice on the fruit with cotton candy notes on the finish.

Grand Tasting: Reds

2012 Cantine Valpane Grignolino “Euli” (Piedmont). Little seen varietal from Piedmont that produces light bodied reds, this one has more heft than usual. Strawberry on the nose with silky fruit and cigarette smoke on the balanced finish, very drinkable.

2009 Cantine Valpane Barbera del Monferrato “Perlydia” (Piedmont). Dark red to black with black berry on the nose with dusty, chewy fruit and moderate tannin and acids on the balanced finish, drinking nicely now.

2012 Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium to light red with some cooked fruit notes on the nose with juicy tobacco fruit and tart at the end.

2009 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Brick color and slightly cloudy, silky with herbs and nuts on the well structured finish.

2010 Gigi Bianco Barbera D’Alba (Piedmont). Medium red with a big perfume of dark fruit and pencil shavings, silky dark fruit and firm acidity on the finish.

2009 Gigi Bianco Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont). Medium red, brick robe with sweet herbs on the nose, pencil shavings on the fruit, feels light but ends with a long finish.

2009 Oddero Barberesco “Gallina” (Piedmont). Light red with an amber robe with cigar box on the nose, silky and tight with lip-smacking tannin at the end.

2010 Oddero  Barolo (Piedmont). A blend of grapes from three vineyards, brick color with a muted nose with smoky black cherry on the tight fruit, roasted nuts on the firm finish.

2009 Oddero Barolo “Rocchi di Castiglioni” (Piedmont). Brick color with cigar box on the nose, sweet silky fruit, firm structure and mouth coating tannin at the end.

2007 Oddero Barolo “Brunate” (Piedmont). Medium red with an amber robe, sweet black cherry on the nose, silky sweet fruit with a firm structure.

2011 Poggio la Nocce “Gigetto” (Tuscany). A blend of Sangiovese and Teroldego, dark red with roasted coffee and black cherry on the nose, rustic, chunky and dusty, firm but balanced.

2011 Poggio la Nocce “Gigiò” (Tuscany). The flagship wine of the estate, mostly Sangiovese, dark purple with roasted meat on the nose, chewy and chunky with a nice brambly and mint finish.

1995 Ronchi di Cialla “Schiopettino” (Oriental dei Friuli). Schiopettino is the varietal, dark red with licorice and dried leaf on the nose with herbs and earth on the crisp finish.

2007 Tormaresca Aglianico “Bucco di Lupo” (Puglia). Dark red in color with dried herbs and fruit on the nose, very silky and concentrated, with chewy mint notes on the finish.

Seminars:

Iconic Antinori with Allegra Antinori

2011 Tignanello (Tuscany). Single vineyard wine, Dark red with dark fruit and rosemary on the nose, tight fruit with bitter herbs on the finish, getting some heat at the end, still young and needs time to balance out.

2011 Solaia (Tuscany). Purple robe with a perfume of pencil shavings and roast meat, silky with the same roasted meat on the tight and dusty fruit with dried herbs on the finish. Young.

2011 Guado Al Tasso (Bolgheri). A Bordeaux blend, black in color with fresh herbs, oregano on the nose, thick, dusty with bitter cherry on the fruit, mouth coating dusty tannin.

Paolo Bae, Il Censo, and Neal Rosenthal

2012 Il Censo Cataratto “Praruar” (Sicily). An orange wine. Burnt orange in color, muted nose, good fruit and balance.

2009 Paolo Bea Umbria Bianco “Arboreous” (Umbria). Another orange wine, dark copper with a perfume of sweet berries, chewy and earthy with a bit of citrus acid on the finish.

2006 Paolo Bea Sangrantino “Pagliaro” (Umbria). Medium to dark red with a brick robe with smoky tobacco on the nose, starts silky and ends with mouth numbing, fuzzy tannins.

2007 Paolo Bea Sangrantino “Pagliaro” (Umbria). Black in color with a light red robe with a gamey, barnyard and black fruit nose, concentrated with mint notes ending with the same ferocious tannin as the ’06.