NY Wine Fest Winter Edition 2020


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This past Saturday on January 25th I attended the New York Wine Festival. It was a consumer event with tasting sessions in the afternoon and in the evening. I attended in the evening. The event was held at The Tunnel event venue at 269 11th Avenue on the west side of Manhattan.

These bi-yearly wine festivals are run by the same company at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. They are more or less cookie-cuter versions of each other with the same food and wine vendors in attendance. They’re not events for hardcore wine and spirit drinkers but rather events for wine and spirit neophytes who are looking to sample something new while socializing in a party atmosphere.

They poured a wide selection of wines from Italy, France, Spain, South Africa and the United States. Local wines from New York State were represented by Rooftop Reds, an urban winery based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard using New York State fruit and by Pumphouse Wines which poured locally produced red, white and rosé on tap.



Holiday Wine Tour Of Spain


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The end of the year usually brings a lull to the wine/cocktail tasting events in the city, but there is still an event or two around town to attend.

Pierre Loti is a Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar with locations in Chelsea and Union Square in Manhattan. On Sundays they usually host some sort of wine tasting.

On Sunday, December16th they hosted a holiday wine tour of Spain at their Union Square location located at 53 Irving Place. It was a sit down tasting of ten interesting Spanish wines with a nice selection from sparkling to dessert. It was a cozy room filled with people there to taste some wine and to listen to commentary from Spanish winemaker April Cullom and resident wine guy, Robin Kelley O’Connor.

It was a nice way to spend a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.



NV Caves Torllo Brut Reserve (Penedes)

30% Macebeo, 45% Xarel-Lo, 25% Parellada: Light gold, crisp and lemony

2017 Bodega Gaintza Txakolina (Tzakoli Guetaria)

85% Hondarrabi Zuri, 10% Gros Manseng, 5% Hondarrabi Beltza: White floral nose, with lime notes on the crisp finish, fresh.

2016 Casa Abril Godello (Valdeorras)

100% Godello: Orange and stinky undertones on the nose, moderate floral fruit with nice acidity on the finish.



2017 Vinos Guerra Armas de Guerra (Bierzo)

100% Mencia: Very light red in color, red cherry on the nose, cooked vegetable notes on the moderate fruit, moderate to low acids.

2017 Zestos Rosado (Madrid)

100% Free Run Garnacha: Medium copper in color, dark flower and dark cherry on the nose, juicy with firm acidity on the finish, nice balance.



2016 Bodegas Barreda Casa Abril Coupage (Tierra de Castilla)

60% Tempranillo, 20% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque dark purple, crushed black fruit and slate on the nose, tight with cherry and roast coffee note on the firm finish with tight tannins.

2016 El Quinon Barco de Piedra (Ribero del Duero)

100% Tempranillo: Opaque dark red, dusty green herbs on the nose, dusty and tart with firm tannins.

2014 Celler Vinos Piñol Portal (Terra Alta)

50% Garnacha, 20% Carignan, 10% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% Tempranillo: Opaque  medium red with crushed red fruit and toast on the nose, tight moderate fruit with crisp acids.

2016 Bodegas Nekeas El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa (Navarra)

100% Old Vines Garnacha: Medium red, crushed red fruit and dark flowers on the nose, bright, tight and toasty silky red fruit, crisp finish.

2010 Bodegas Ochoa Reserva (Navarra)

55% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot: Opaque dark red, crushed dark fruit and ripe leather on the nose, tight, juicy fruit with a medium to long finish.



2016 Bodegas Ochoa Moscatel Vendimia Tardia (Navarra)

100% Single Vineyard Late Harvest Moscatel: Light gold with a big perfume of lychee, thick, with melon notes on the moderate finish.

Bodegas Alvaro Domecq Oloroso Reserva 1730 (Jerez)

Palomino Fino Aged 30 years:  The color of chocolate milk with a perfume of gun metal, cut grass and raisons, thick and creamy, not a shy dessert wine.



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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




Golden Gate Wine Cellars NYC Tasting

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Golden Gate Wine Cellars is a San Francisco based wine retail store that specializes in hard to find boutique and cult wineries. This past Saturday they held their 12th anniversary East coast wine tasting in New York City.

The event was held at the New York City Fire Museum at 278 Spring Street in Manhattan. The museum houses “one of the prominent collections of fire related art, artifacts, gear and apparatus from the late 18th century to the present”

The tasting showcased small and off the radar California wineries with the owner/winemaker on hand behind the tables to pour their wines and answer questions.

Some of what I sampled:


Argot Vineyards

2014 Chardonnay “Estate” (Sonoma). Medium yellow, tropical fruit on the nose, juicy, cinnamon fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Sonoma). Dark red, brick rim, crushed black fruit and cooked plum on the nose, silky, chewy fruit, nice grip on the finish.

2013 Syrah (Sonoma). Black, closed nose, silky, dusty and chewy fruit, nice balance.


Attune Winery

2015 Chardonnay (Sonoma). Light gold, melon on the nose, toasty oak notes on the fruit.

2014 Pinot Noir “Estate” (Sonoma). Medium red, brick rim, fresh herbs and dark crushed berries on the nose, tight and firm fruit.


Coho Winery

2013 Cab Blend “Headwaters” (Napa Valley). Dark red, closed nose of crushed rocks mint and petrol, chunky and chewy with good balance.

2013 Merlot “Michael Black” (Napa Valley). Black, crushed red fruit on the nose, chewy black licorice fruit, firm balance.

2012 Proprietary Red “C2” (Napa Valley). Dark red, smoky bacon notes on the nose, silky and tight.


Dumol Winery

2015 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). Medium gold, toasty kiwi on the nose, juicy tropical fruit, oak notes on the firm fruit, some heat.

2015 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). Medium red, crushed rock on the nose, chewy red leather, bitter cherry on the finish.

2015 Syrah (Russian River Valley). Black, purple rim, closed nose of slate, dusty slate fruit, juicy nice balance.


Y. Rousseau Winery

2013 Merlot “Pepe” Cavedale  Vineyard. Dark red, brown rim, mint and plum on the nose, tight, pruney with firm acids.

2013 Tannat “Alder Springs” (Mendocino). From a 2.9 acre plot, black with crushed blueberry on the nose, chunky, rustic with a firm finish.


Purlieu Winery

2014 Chardonnay “Shibumi Knoll” (Russian River Valley). Medium gold, peaches and tropical fruit on the nose, juicy tropical fruit with lime notes on the finish.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Black, crushed red berry on the nose, juicy, crushed black fruit and rocks with a juicy finish.


Young Ridge Winery

2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Light yellow, grassy, cantaloupe on the nose with damp earth on the moderate finish.


Inherit The Sheep

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Coombsville). Black with a tight nose of strawberries, concentrated and chewy with good balance.


Bohème Carte Blanche

2013 Pinot Noir “Stuller” (Sonoma). Medium to light red, big perfume of crushed strawberry and damp earth with juicy strawberry on the moderate finish.

2013 Proprietary Red Blend (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with crushed fresh herbs on the nose, tight with good balance. 


B. Kosuge

2014 Pinot Noir “The Shop” (Carneros). Medium brick with plum notes on the nose, tight berry and smoke on the fruit with good balance.


MC4 Vineyards

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” (St. Helena). 126 cases from a one acre plot. Black with barnyard, burnt bacon and turpentine on the nose, concentrated fruit with mouth watering tannins on the finish.


Post Parade Winery

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Stretch Drive” (Napa Valley). Black, red cherry and black cherry on the nose, juicy red fruit on the finish.


Lieu Dit Winery

2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez). Light yellow with honeydew on the nose, tight with citrus notes on the finish.