Raw Wine New York 2018

 

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The 3rd annual New York City Raw Wine Fair was held on November 4-5. This is the latest stop in an itinerary that has stopped at or will stop at London, Berlin, Montreal and Los Angeles. The New York event was held in a warehouse venue at 99 Scott Avenue in trendy Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Raw Wine is “committed to empowering wine drinkers through real informed choices” with wines that have “emotion and living presence”. The fair was an opportunity to try low intervention organic, natural and biodynamic wines from over 140 wine makers and growers.

According to Beverage Media Group, a trade publication, “green wines” are a small niche in the United States with 1% of wines by volume but has grown by 10% volume growth outpacing total wine growth which is nearly flat. When it comes to natural, organic and biodynamic wines, the rules can be a little fuzzy but basically they are wines made with minimal manipulation. I remember a time when the selection of these wines were pretty limited and the common theme through most of them was “funky”.

I attended on Sunday afternoon which was a beautiful Autumn day and the venue was packed with people. These guys are the mad scientists of the wine world which made for a lot of interesting characters at the fest, most are small producers and I wasn’t familiar with many of the labels except for a couple of California producers. Usually at a mass tasting like this I try to have a focus on what I will try but today I just wandered around the rooms stopping at tables that looked interesting (and not have a mob of people surrounding it).

 

Some of what I sampled:

Couquelicot Estate (Santa Ynez Valley) 2015 Malbec, 2015 Rose & Son Red, 2016 Rose & Son Red

Lo-Fi Wines (Santa Barbara) 2016 Grenache Noir, 2017 Cabernet Franc Couquelicot Vineyard, 2017 Malbec

Hiyu Winery (Oregon) 2016 Falcon Box, 2016 Columba, 2015 Argo Iris

Swick Winery (Oregon) 2017 Pinot Noir, 2017 Bring It, 2017 Un Oeuf

Domaine de l’Ecu (Loire) 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Rednoz, 2015 Cabernet Franc Mephisto, 2017 Syrah Noblis

La Baronne (Rousillon) 2017 Grenache Gris De Jean, 2017 Les Chemins de Traverse

Chateau Guadet (St-Emillion) 2014 Grand Cru Classe Red

Closerie Saint Roc (Bordeaux) 2015, 2016 Red

Collina del Pernione (Lombardy) 2016 Agnore, 2017 Alma

I Mandorli (Tuscany) 2012 Sangiovese, 2015 Cabernet

Castello Poggiarello (Tuscany) 2012 Collerosso

Amepeleia (Tuscany) 2017 Cabernet Franc, 2017 Carignano

Il Monte (Veneto) 2016 Valpolicella Superiore, 2015 Amarone

Paolo & Lorenzo Marchionni (Tuscany) 2016 Rossovigliano, 2015 L’Erta Poggio della Bruna

 

 

 

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Dressner Fundraiser 2018

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On March 25th, Chambers Street Wines and Louis Dressner Selections held their 17th annual tasting and benefit for Partners in Health.

Partners in Health is an international medical organization “committed to improving the health of the poor and marginalized” in 12 countries.

The tasting featured 22 winemakers from France, Italy, Germany and Portugal pouring their artisanal wines grown in the most “natural” way, that is avoiding chemical treatments and with as minimal intervention as possible.

This year the tasting was held at Racines restaurant located at 94 Chambers Street in lower Manhattan. The event was in the afternoon and was crowded with people who as I, were able to taste many interesting natural wines from off the radar producers.

Some of what I sampled:

 

White

2016 Immich-Batterieberg Riesling “Ellergrub” (Mosel)

2015 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet “Clisson” (Loire)

2015 Domaine du Closel Savennieres “Clos du Papillon” (Loire)

2014 Julien & Francois Pinon Vouvrey Brut (Loire)

Red

2015 Domaine Beliviere Jasnieres Coteaux du Loir “Vielles Vignes Eparses” (Loire)

2016 Fredrik Filliatreau Samur-Champigny (Loire)

2016 Damien Coquelet Morgon “Cot de Py” (Burgundy)

2014 Kewin Descombes Morgon “Vielles Vignes” (Burgundy)

2015 Louis Benoit & Violetta Desvignes Morgon “Cotes de Py Javernieres” (Burgundy)

2014 Romeo del Castello Etna Rosso “Vigo” (Sicily)

2015 Arianna Occhipiniti Terre Siciliane Nero D’Avola “Siccagno” (Sicily)

2015 Nusserhof Sudtirol Lagrein Kretzer Rosato (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2013 Nusserhof “T” Teroldego (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2015 Foradori Vigneto delle Dolmaiti Teroldego “Granato” (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2015 Fonterenza Rosso di Montalcino “Alberello” (Tuscany)

2011 Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)

2011 La Stoppa Emilia “Macchiona” (Emilia-Romagna)

2016 Vignetto Saetti Lambrusco “Il Cadetto” (Emilia-Romagna)

2016 Vignetto Saetti Lambrusco “Rosso Viola” (Emilia-Romagna)

 

 

Raw Wine New York 2017

 

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The Raw Wine Fair was held in London and Berlin before coming to New York City on November 5-6. The festival was created and organized by Isabelle Legeron as a forum for wines that reject the industrial and over manipulated big brands for wines that are authentic, low intervention, organic and biodynamic and grown with sustainable agricultural practices.

The fair was held in a warehouse space in the industrial, graffiti-filled hipster neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn at 99 Scott Avenue. There were over 100 growers showcasing their wines.

The grey, misty weather didn’t keep people from the event and it seemed they had more wineries in attendance this year than in last.

 

Some of what I sampled:

Castagna Winery. Haven’t tried many biodynamic wines from Australia and haven’t tried many Australian wines made from Sangiovese. 2013 “Un Segreto”. a Sangiovese and Syrah blend, medium red, tar notes on the nose, starts chewy and ends with firm acidity. 2013 “La Chiave”, all Sangiovese, medium red, tar and violet notes on the nose, tight, bitter cherry fruit, medium finish.

Clos de Caveau. A winery in Vacqueyras, Rhone Valley. 2014 “Carmen Brillant”: Medium red, closed nose of red berries, concentrated, silky fruit with tobacco notes and roast nuts on the nice balance. 2015 “Fruit Savage“: Medium purple, closed nose of black licorice, chunky, crushed rocks on the fruit, balanced, moderate long finish.

2015 Sine Felle Toscana Bianca: Orange wine from the Malvasia varietal, dark orange with orange peel notes on the nose, earthy with good balance.

2009 Sine Felle  Chianti Riserva: Dark amber, bright red leather on the nose, chewy licorice fruit, nice grip at the end, long finish.

2016 Sine Felle Canaiolo: This varietal used in Chianti is not normally bottled on its own, medium red, sour cherry on the nose, sour, bitter cherry on the fruit ending with some funkiness on the fruit.

2014 Rocca di Carpeneto “Erche”: Dolcetto, dark red, violet, green herbs on the nose chewy slate on the fruit, firm tannins.

2013 Podere Borgaruccio “Rivale”: Medium red, crushed fresh rosemary and some petroleum on the nose with dusty, mouth coating tannins on the moderate finish.

2015 The Scholium Project “The prince in his cave”: An orange wine made from Sauvignon Blanc, dark orange in color, orange peel on the nose, moderate fruit with orange peel fruit, good balance.

2014 The Scholium Project “Sylph”: Chardonnay, light gold in color, damp earth on the nose, ripe fruit.

2015 Pallazzo Tronconi “Mocevo”: Sangiovese and Merlot blend, dark red to black, cooked red berry on the nose, mouth coating tannins, balanced.

2015 Pallazzo Tronconi “Donnico”: Made from indigenous grape varietal Olivella, dark purple, smoky, cooked earth on the nose, bright red fruit.

 

 

The Big Glou

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This past week was Natural Wine Week in New York City and part of the festivities was the Big Glou wine fest held during the weekend. I had no idea what a glou was but apparently it’s French for gulp which is meant to say that these natural wines would be easy drinking, “gulpable” if you will.  I suppose they could have called the event “The Big Gulp” but that probably would have led to some legal issues with a certain convenience store chain.

The event was “New York’s first natural wine fair of its kind in the United States” inspired by European natural wine salons such as “Dive Boutille” in the Loire Valley and “Vini di Vignaioli” in Emilia-Romagna.  It was a two-day affair featuring over 100 natural wine producers pouring their wines and they are “artisan producers who are committed to farming sustainably and utilizing non-interventionist techniques in the cellar”. What is a natural wine is a bit murky but wines made with minimal technological intervention would be a good working definition. The event was open to the public was held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I attended the Sunday afternoon session.

The Big Glou was held at the Wythe Hotel located at 80 Wythe Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The hotel itself is an industrial waterfront area across the street from Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Bowl. Nice space for a wine event, with a brick-lined rooms that gave the place a cave like atmosphere. It was  a popular event and the venue soon filled up with a decidedly young, flannel shirted wearing crowd.

 

Some of my highlights:

2014 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “McFadden Farm” (Mendocino). Made with carbonic maceration, not a big Zin, medium red, cooked berries on the nose, light bodied but with good, earthy fruit, very drinkable.

2014 Dashe Cellars Carignane “Evangelho Vineyards” (Contra Costa).  From 125 year old vines, medium to dark red, Asian spices and black licorice on the nose, concentrated and silky, finished dropped a bit at the end but tasty.

2013 Dashe Cellars Ancient Vines “Bedrock Vineyard” (Sonoma Valley). From vines planted in 1888, about an equal blend of Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvedre, medium red with dried herbs on the nose with bright earth fruit, silky finishing with big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel “Todd Bros. Ranch” (Alexander Valley). Dark red, warm cooked berries on the nose, chewy with some green stem notes at the end, firm with big fruit and big tannins.

2012 Dashe Cellars “The Comet” (Alexander Valley). Mostly Zinfandel with Petite Sirah and a dash of Carignane, dark black in color, roasted coffee on the nose, tight, concentrated fruit with slate notes, firm tannins and acids.

2014 Broc Cellars Valdiguié (Solano County). Minor variety from SouthWest France, in California used to be bottled as “Gamay”. Clear, medium red, closed nose of sweet fruit, moderate concentrating, light.

2014 Broc Cellars Zinfandel “Vine Starr” (Sonoma County). Medium red , nose of sweet dried herbs, tight with great attack at the beginning and smoothing out in the middle. Interesting wine

2014 Matassa “Romanissa Casot” (Languedoc). A Grenache blend, very light red, minty barnyard on the nose, very extracted fruit for the color, black licorice on the balanced finish.

2014 Matassa “Coume de L’Lolla” (Languedoc). A blend of Grenache and Macebeo, light red, sweet black cherry on the nose, chewy with chewy tannins at the end.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Chiroubles” (Beaujolais). Medium red, crushed rocks, fresh rosemary on the nose, bright dark fruit and slate notes on the finish.

2014 Christine et Gilles Paris “Fleurie” (Beaujolais).  Cloudy dark red, black cherry, medicinal candy on the nose, black cherry on the balanced finish, good acidity.

Other producers sampled:

 

Domaine De L’Octaviin           Domaine Du Coulet

Monte Bernardi                     Castel Noarna

Ronchi Di Cialla                     Croci

Autour De L’Anne                  Domaine Jaulin-Plaisantin

Bodega Cauzon                     Domaine Du Moulin

Partida Creus                        Andrea Scovero

Wine Tasting At The Cleveland

 

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On a Sunday afternoon I attended a small wine tasting held at the Cleveland Restaurant located at 25 Cleveland Place in Manhattan. It was a small tasting with four unconventional importers showcasing unconventional wines. These were Biodynamic/Natural/Organic unusual and interesting wines made from the mad scientists of the wine world.

Zev Rovine Selections:

2013 Frank Cornelissen “Susucaru 6” (Sicily). From grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, a cloudy salmon color with strawberry and floral notes on the nose and was chewy with mint flavors on the finish.

2010 Sebastian Riffault Sancerre “Sauletas” (Loire). A cloudy gold in color with sour lemon on the nose, chewy for a white wine with good balance. Not the usual Sancerre but tasty.

2011 La Paonnerie “Le Rouge de La Jacquerie” (Loire). Cabernet Franc, dark purple with a nose of crushed blueberries and was juicy and balanced with nice tannins at the end.

Fifi’s Import:

2012 Aveyron-Nicolas Carmaran “L’Olto” (Aveyron). A wine made from 100% Fer Sevadou, a grape variety grown in southwest France, it went through semi carbonic maceration and was dark purple with spicy crushed rocks on the nose with sweet fruit followed by oak and tannin.

2010 Les Vignes Herbel “Le Rouge” (Loire). Dark purple in color with sea air and strawberry on the nose, peppery fruit and fuzzy tannin.

Louis Dressner Selections:

2012 Domaine du Possible “C’est pas la Mer a boire” (Roussillon). Rhone blend, a small amount of the wines were foot trodden and it was purple in color with a salty tang and barnyard on the fruit.

2012 Domaine de Souch “Jurancon Sec”  (Jurancon). Made from more grapes I’m not familiar with, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Courbu. Vinified in stainless steel vats and was yellow with spicy peaches on the nose and great balance.

Selection Massale:

2013 Maison PUR “La Boutanche” (Rhone). In a liter bottle, a Syrah based wine that was dark purple with a nice perfume of crushed berries and was rustic and chewy.

2013 Andy Knauss “Weissharpt” (Wuttemberg). Pink and sparking, light and easy to drink.

 

Natural Wines

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On Saturday afternoon I attended the tenth annual Natural Wine Event held at Astor Center located on 399 Lafayette Street, it was a consumer event. The wines were from Jenny & Francois Selections imports. Natural wine is defined as “made with minimal chemical and technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine”. How is that different from Organic wine? Glad you asked. Organic wines have varied definitions  from country to country but standards are set from some governing agency which excludes the use of preservatives. I think the main difference is the word “minimal” as opposed to “excluding”. The difference I experienced was in what aromas came out of the glass. At an organic tasting those aromas tilted toward the pungent and stinky and not roses and black cherry. At this natural wine event the aromas where more subdued. In any case, the practice is pretty big in France and most of the wines served at this event were from France though I was glad to see a couple of wineries from the USA represented as well as one from Italy.

Whites

2012 Dirty & Rowdy Semillon (Napa Valley). The only Cali producer at the tasting, light yellow and cloudy with a closed nose, medium bodied with dirty tartness on the finish.

2011 Emmanuel Guillot-Broux Macon-Cruzille  “Les Perrieres” (Burgundy). Gold in color with a nose of ripe mango with dusty fruit with lime notes on the finish.

2011 Emmanuel Guillot-Broux Macon-Chadonnay “Combettes” (Burgundy). Light gold with saffron and tropical fruits on the nose with some cinnamon on the fruit with lemon notes on the long finish.

2012 Domain de La Patience Chardonnay Vin de Pays (France). Light gold with notes of pineapple and green apples on the nose and tropical fruit on the balanced finish. Not a bad glass for a budget bottle.

2011 Domaine Grange Tiphaine Montiouis Sec “Clef de Sol” (Loire). Medium yellow with a spicy nose with pear notes on the fruit with a moderate long finish, good balance.

Reds

2012 Dirty & Rowdy Mouvedre “Shake Ridge Ranch” (Amador County). Medium red to purple with sweet berry notes and some earth on the nose and was chunky and rustic with black licorice on the fruit with a good grip.

2010 Montebruno Winery Pinot Noir “Crawford-Beck” (Oregon). Light red with rosemary and crushed grapes on the nose and was tight and tart on the finish.

2011 Dufaitre Winery Beaujolais Villages “L’Air de Rein” (Burgundy). Medium purple, cloudy with sweet spices on the nose and was chewy with crushed berries on the fruit with a nice grip at the end.

2008 Le Loop Blanc Val de Cesse “Les Trois Petits C” (Languedoc-Roussillon). Unusual with some Tempranillo in the blend, dark purple with a nose of crushed blueberry with silky tannin and drops a bit at the end.

2011 Le Loop Blanc Minervois “Le Regal” (Languedoc-Roussillon). Aged 12 months in concrete and was dark purple with earth and crushed dark berries on the nose and was tight and concentrated with silky mouth tannins on the finish.

2012 Domaine Grange Tiphaine  “Ad Libitum” (Loire). A Gamay blend, medium purple with toast, and dried mushroom on the nose with dried herbs on the finish.

2011 Clos Siguier Cahors (France). Dark purple with a closed nose with crushed strawberry on the fruit with moderate tannin and crisp acidity on the end.

2012 Domaine Cousin-Leduc Le Cousin Rouge “Le Grolle” (Loire). Le Grolle is the grape varietal, light red with a big nose of barnyard, more full bodied than it looks with nice balance with barnyard notes on the long finish.

2012 Domaine Cousin-Leduc Anjou “Pur Breton” (Loire). 100% Cabernet Franc, dark purple with smoke and dark berries on the nose with chewy moderate fruit with moderate tannin and acid on the black licorice finish.