Bastille Day Wine Tasting

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Bastille Day is July 14 but in New York it was celebrated the previous day on Sunday, July 13. Sunday was also the day of the final game of the World Cup so there were plenty of reasons to have a celebration. The French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) held their annual three block street fair and festival on East 6oth Street between Lexington Ave. and 5th Ave.,”celebrating the best of France”. Of course, it was a French celebration so that included wine tastings. They had a “Grands Vins Tour de France” tasting at FIAF’s Le Skyroom and the Wine, Cheese, Cocktails and Beer tastings at FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium, both in FIAF’s flagship building on 22 East 60th Street. They were consumer events.

The “Grand Vins Tour de France” consisted of five tables of wine which were provided by Metrowine, Millesima wine shop, Aix, Ayala, Bernard Magrez, Chateau D’Esclans, Chateau La Gordonne, Dreyfus Ashby & Co., Joseph Drouhin, La Caravalle, Le Colonial, Piper-Heidsieck, Pommery, Veuve Cliquot, Wins of Alsace and Xavier Flouret.


Champagne Table

Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV. My starter wine, always like to start a tasting with a glass of sparkling.

Rosé Table

2013 Xavier Flouret “Nationale 7″ (Provence). Pale red with wildflower with strawberry cotton candy on the nose and tight cherry fruit with nice acidity.

2013 Chateau La Gordonne (Provence). Pale red with floral and light strawberry notes on the nose with some earth on the fruit.

2013 Chateau Sainte Marguerite “G.R.” Cru Classé (Provence). Pale copper color with bubble-gum and turned-dirt notes on the nose.

White Wine Table

2011 Trimbach Pinot Blanc (Alsace). Light yellow, floral on the nose with oily fruit and low acids.

2012 Domaine Weinbach Riesling “Réserve Personnelle” (Alsace). Light yellow with greenish tints with spicy cinnamon on the nose and dry and spicy fruit, good balance.

Red Wine Table

1999 Domaine G. Moulinier “Les Terrasses Grillees” (Languedoc). Black in color with an amber robe, sour dirt on the nose and was smoky and toasty.

2009 Chateau De la Selve “Serre de Berty” (Coteaux de l’Ardeche). Biodynamic and organic, black in color with a red robe with mint and barnyard on the nose, concentrated and chewy with crushed rocks on the long finish.

2000 Domaine Camus Bruchon Savigny-les-Beaune “Aux Grands Liars” (Burgundy). Dark amber with a brown robe with sour plums on the nose and ripe black cherry on the medium fruit.

Bordeaux Table

2011 Chateau LaTour Martillac (Pessac-Leognan). Dark red to black with spicy black plum on the nose, concentrated and tight with toasty oak on the finish.

2009 Chateau La Fleur Peyrabon (Pauillac). Black in color with smoky dark berries on the nose, chewy with firm tannin and acids with slate and mint on the long finish.

2003 Chateau Fombrauge (St.-Emilion). Black with a brown robe with dried leaf, mint and slate on the fruit with a big hit of fuzzy tannin on the finish.

2006 Chateau Quinault “L’Enclos” (St.-Emilion). Dark red with a light brown robe with ripe, cooked fruit on the nose, very tight with mouth coating tannin at the end.

2009 Chateau Plince (Pomeral). Black in color with rosemary and black cherry on the nose, concentrated and chunky with nice mouth-feel on the long finish.



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Fancy Food Show


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The 60th Summer Fancy Food Show was held June 29-July 1 at the Javits Center. It’s a bi-annual event with the Winter show held in San Francisco. Unlike the Restaurant Show held at the same Javits Center in which showcased many necessary to the trade but boring items such as insurance, computer systems and extermination services, the fancy food show presented specialty food and beverage products. What I keep sampling in between shots of espresso were the cheeses, olive oils, specialty soft drinks (especially ginger beer) and anchovies. Various countries had their little corner of the event space presenting its native products. It wasn’t a wine event but the wine-producing countries (but strangely, not France) had a booth or two of someone pouring wines. Thank the wine gods for my paisani who had several.


2013 Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner (Wachau). Yellow with a greenish hue with an oily nose, crisp and floral with good acidity.

2012 Meinkang Blauburgunder (Burgenland). Pinot Noir. It was dark red with a brown robe with a red cherry nose with dusty and earthy fruit.

2012 Meinkang Blaufrankisch (Burgenland). Dark red with a nose of crushed black cherry and some mint and was tight with black cherry fruit with firm acids on the finish.


2011 Cortijo Trifillas Cabernet Sauvignon (Castilla). Barrel aged and was dark red with wildflowers on the nose and was very tight with a tart mouth-feel and some heat coming through.

2011 Cortijo Trifillas Tempanillo, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend. (Castilla). Medium to dark red in color with a closed nose of pencil shavings and black cherry and was tight with slate notes on the fruit ending with firm tannin.


2012 Valdivieso Reserve Carmenere (Lontue Valley). Dark red with a closed, dusty nose and was chewy with black licorice notes on the finish.

2010 Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Chile). Medium red in color with sweet cherry and mint on the nose, tight with dusty mouthfeel ending with mouth-watering acidity, good balance.


2011 CasaSetaro Caprettone Brut. (Campania). 100% of the Caprettone grape, aged on lees with a greenish tint and was floral and crisp with some bread dough notes on the finish.

2013 CasaSetaro  Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Munazei White (Campania). Medium gold in color with a slight honeyed nose and was crisp and tart with hazelnuts on the finish.

2013 CasaSetaro Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Munazei Red (Campania). 100% Piedirosso and was dark purple, light, grapey and stemmy and was firm with tannic plums on the finish.

2013 Tenuta Col Sandago Brut Rosé (Veneto). Made 100% from the Wildbacher grape variety which is a dark-skinned grape originating from southern Austria. Pale red in color with a closed nose and light strawberry on the finish.

2007 Tenuta Col Sandago “Wildbacher” (Veneto). Made entirely from the Wildbacher grape variety, dark red to brownish tints with dried leaf on the nose and big tannins, tobacco and cigar box on the finish.

2007 Tenuta Col Sandago “Camoi” (Veneto). Made with “typical red varieties” and was dark red with a brown robe, notes of black licorice on the nose and was rustic and chewy with slate on the firm fruit, balanced with bitter cherry on the finish.

Cantina Centro Massenzatico Lambrusco Secco (Emilia-Romagna). From a co-operative, dark black to purple in color, inky and dry with refreshing tannins and acids.

2013 Cantina La Salute “Manzione Bianco” (Veneto). A cross between Riesling and Pinot Blanc, and was medium gold in color with white flowers on the nose, floral medium fruit with low acids.

2008 Cantina La Salute “Eneto” (Veneto). Made from 100% the Raboso grape variety and was medium red with an amber robe with cigar box and dark cherry on the nose, tight, smoky and bitter cherry and good acidity on the finish.

2012 Montesole Falanghina del Sanno (Campania). Light yellow in color with a greenish tint, closed nose of bubble-gum and roasted nuts with moderate fruit.



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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.


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La Nuit En Rosé


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On June 13-14 the La Nuit en Rosé event was held in Manhattan and was billed as “New York’s first Rosé wine festival”. I attended the Saturday afternoon tasting which was open to the public.

More than 85 rosé wine from around the world were poured.  Most were from France with many examples from Provence with others from the Languedoc, Champagne, Corsica, Rhone Valley, Loire Valley and Bordeaux.  The rest of the world wasn’t left out with wines poured from Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon and even Long Island. Many of the wines were made from the classic Southern French varietals of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre as well as from well known grape varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Others from more obscure varietals such as Counoise, Rolle, Nielluciu, Sciaccarellu, Grolleau and Kavaklidere.

Rosé come in a variety of shades from light copper to dark pink depending on the method used to produce the wine. Those methods include the Maceration Method, the Vin Gris Method and the Saignée Method. Examples from the tasting included the color range from the very pale copper color of the 2013 Domaine Poli Niellucciu (Corsica) to the beet-red color of the 2013 Domaine de Chevalier (Bordeaux). The wines had a wide range of prices as well, from the B & G Cotes De Provence (Provence) at $6.29 a bottle to the 2012 Chateau D’ Esclans “Garrus” (Provence) at $90.00 a bottle. Some unusual wines included the 2013 Chateau Les Eollers “OG” (Languedoc) which is a copper-hued wine in a nontraditional bottle filled with real flecks of gold. The Ferrari Rosé Brut NV was a wine that the pourer opened by running to the bow of the boat and lopping the top of the bottle off with a mini saber as the crowd cheered him on, and a sparking wine name after one of the Presidents, the 2012 Gerard Bertrand “Thomas Jefferson Cuvee”(Limoux)

The event took place on the Hornblower yacht leaving from Pier 40 at Houston Street and we spent a good portion of the tasting cruising around lower Manhattan. It was a beautiful day to be on the water on a boat with plenty of good juice packed with people out to have a a good time. It was a fun day.

Of course with any party there must be sparking wine and there were a few of the rosé versions present such as:

Pommery Demoiselle de Vranken Brut NV

Pommery Brut NV

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV

Domaine Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV

Marquis de la Tour Brut NV

2006 Ferrari Perle

Berlucchi Franciacorta NV

Still wines I sampled included:

2013 Domaine du Grand Cros “Esprit de Provence” (Provence)

2013 Domaine Terra Vecchia “Clos Poggiale” (Corsica)

2013 Domaine Poli Niellucciu (Ile de Beauté)

2013 Merrenon Roséfine (Rhone)

2013 Bernard Magrez “Blu de Mer” (Languedoc)

2013 Gerard Bertrand Cotes des Roses (Languedoc)

2013 Gerard Bertrand Chateau La Sauvageonne (Languedoc)

2013 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel (Rhone)

2013 Rémy Pannier Rosé D’Anjou (Loire)

2013 Domaine Gérard Millet Sancerre (Loire)

2012 Chateau D’Esclans “Les Clans” (Provence)

2013 Chateau D’Esclans “Whispering Angel” (Provence)



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Two Wine Events And A Cold

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A couple of weekends ago I attended two nice wine events. On Saturday I attended a rundraiser for Wheeling Forward, an organization that helps people with disabilities that was held at City Winery at 155 Varick Street and featured over a hundred wines donated for the event. Sundays event was the Grand Tasting which was part of a week long food and wine festival sponsored by Westchester Magazine with the wines provided for by Zacheys wine shop located in Scarsdale. The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in White Plains and featured many local restaurants serving bites of food and much good juice. The problem was that I had a massive head cold and my palate was shot. I mean completely shot, I couldn’t smell anything, all aromas were closed down which meant that white wines tasted flat and red wines tasted like bitter cherries. Everything tasted the same. At both events I ended up drinking sparking wines because the bubbles at least made the juice interesting. At the Westchester event that included:

Gosset Brut Excellence NV

Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut NV

2006 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

2002 Dom Ruinart

Henroit Souverain Brut NV

Barons de Rothschild Brut NV

Chateau de L’Aulee Brut Intense NV

2013 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé

2010 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs

Roederer Estate Brut NV Brut Prestige NV

2011 Raventos I Blanc De Nit Cava Rosé

Ferrari Brut NV

Berlucchi Cuvee 61 Rosé NV

It was an interesting weekend in learning on how much the ability to pick up aromas affected how wine tastes.


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On Tuesday afternoon I attended a tasting featuring the wines from Rueda which is a Spanish Donominación de Origen (DO) North-West of Madrid. It’s white wine country with 98.5% of production white grapes with their best whites made with its indigenous grape variety: Verdejo which is also the #1 selling white wine in Spain.


The wines were being marketed as friendly on the wallet Summer wines that should be drunk young while they are still fresh with lively acidity. Most of the whites don’t see any oak though some producers are going that route.


The event was held at Salinas restaurant at 136 9th Avenue, a small neighborhood tapas place. It was a sit down tasting of seven wines and a slide show lecture in the back room of the restaurant which was jammed packed with tasters. We were served a plate of assorted tapas to nibble on.


2013 Avelino Vegas Montespina Sauvignon Blanc. The outlier wine made with Sauvignon Blanc, light yellow with a greenish tint with salty and grassy notes on the nose and was moderately herbaceous and crisp.

2013 Bodegas Copaboca Gorgorito Verdejo. Light yellow with initial nose of bubblegum that blew off to floral, moderate light with mineral notes and good acidity.

2013 Selección De Torres Verdeo Verdejo. Light yellow with dark floral and bubblegum on the nose and was moderate light with lemony, citrus notes on the finish.

2012 Castelo De Medina Verdejo Vendimia Seleccionada. Light yellow with a greenish tint with mushroom notes on the nose and earth and slate on the crisp finish.

2013 Javier Sanz Viticultor Collección “V” Malcorta. Light yellow with tangerine notes on the nose with grapefruit citrus on the fruit, I thought it fell a bit flat at the end.

2013 Bodega El Albar Lurton Campo Alegre Verdejo. Light yellow with an earthy and floral nose with moderate grapefruit on the fruit, balanced with a moderate to long finish. Drinking nicely.

2012 Bodega Emina Rueda Mattarromero Limited Edition 25th Annivesary. Fermented in barrels, medium yellow with peachy notes on the nose with moderate fruit with slate, ripe fruit and some toast on the finish.

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Night Riesling


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I went to another one of those night tastings Monday night. It was the Riesling & Co. road trip. I have to admit when it comes to Riesling, or at least the German kind, my knowledge is a bit foggy. I know the difference between the ripeness categories of  a Kabinett and a Trockenbeerenauslese but the wine labels are impossible to decipher.

The event took place at Salvation Taco Rooftop at 145 East 39th Street. After negotiating with the tough gate-keeper, I was let in to the terra-cotta terrace overlooking the neighborhood.

The event was set up so we can sample Riesling from the driest versions to the ripest. Large tubs of ice were stocked with a hand-full of producers in each tub and progressing from one side of the room to the other would take you through the various versions of German Riesling, ending up with a couple of tubs with wines from the ’90s and ’80s. I started with the driest and since I wasn’t familiar with labels, just grabbed a bottle and took it from there. Of course Tacos were served and at midnight the roast pig made a grand entrance.

2012 Ostricher Doosberg (Rheingau). Oily and peachy on the nose with tight fruit, petroleum and some burnt rubber notes on the finish.

2012 Groebe Kirchspiel (Westhofen). Closed nose of apricots, tight with lime notes on the finish.

2012 Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser (Mosel). Floral and crisp.

2010 Peter Jakob Krühn (Rheingau). Deep gold in color and very floral.

2012 Weingart Kabinett (Mittelrhein). Dusty, peachy nose, moderate sweet with apricot on the fruit.

2011 A. Christmann (Pfaltz). Gold in color, oily petroleum on the nose with apricots and spice on the moderate fruit with a long finish.

1999 Schloss Johannisberger Kabinett (Rheingau). Gold in color with honey and spices on the nose with some RS.

1994 Husarenkappe Troken Spatlese (Baden). Dark gold with petroleum notes on the nose, moderate dry.

1990 Domdechant Werner Hochmeier Auslese (Rheingau). Gold in color with saffron and honey on the nose , moderately sweet with good acidity.



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