Long Island Wine Expo

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On Saturday late afternoon I attended the Long Island Wine Expo. The expo was held at the Cradle of Aviation museum in Garden City Long Island. The museum commemorates Long Island’s part in the early history of aviation. It seems that part of Long Island was conducive to flying since the geography was flat and tree-less. In fact, Charles Lindbergh took off on his famous flight to Paris about a mile from the museum where the Roosevelt Field Mall is located now. The museum itself is pretty cool, covering the history of aviation from the first flying machines to the space age. I liked the World War II fighter aircraft as well as Lunar landing that was scheduled to land on the surface of the moon.

The Expo itself wasn’t as exciting as the museum. Billed as “the largest wine event on long island”, I don’t feel it was all it could have been, long lines and for the most part, forgettable wines. The crowd did seem to be having a good time though.

Some of what I enjoyed:

2005 Sparking Point “Brut Seduction” (North Fork). Sparking wine from a producer that only produces sparking wine. Nose of lime and melon and nicely crisp with citrus notes on the finish.

2012 Cambria Pinot Noir “Julia’s Vineyard” (Santa Maria Valley). Medium red with dark berries on the nose and was juicy with coffee notes on the finish.

2011 Ferrero Roso di Montalcino (Piedmont). Dark amber with dark cherry notes and was silky with some sour cherry on the finish.

2012 Salentein Reserve Malbec (Mendoza). Dark red with a concentrated nose of dark plums and sweet spices and was juicy and dusty with some mint notes on the finish.

2008 Faustino “V” Reserve (Rioja). Dark red to black with an old world nose of dried leaf and cigar box, tight with sweet cherry fruit and sour cherry on the finish.

2009 Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon  Reserva (Maipo Valley). Dark red with an amber robe with bell pepper on the nose and was concentrated and juicy with black licorice notes with a firm grip.

Le Deux Chateau poured a couple of their wines, the 2012 Pinot Noir and the 2012 Chardonnay. I was told that the grapes are French but were bottled on the North Fork of Long Island. The wines are available in bottles but my samples were poured from kegs. Both the wines were inexpensive with not much character to them but were easy drinking, which is what I suppose you would want in a budget glass of wine.

 

 

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Industry Event

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On Monday evening I attended an event sponsored by Culintro which was billed for “NYC’s Industry Elite”. Mighty fancy words and since I’m in the biz I decided to stop by. The event was held at Hearth restaurant located at 403 E 12th Street. The night tastings are usually a lot of fun and this time was no different. Beer, spirits and wines from the Rhone Valley to drink and the people at Hearth put out a nice spread of various salumi  and cheeses. And on at midnight, the roast pig made its grand entrance.

It was more cocktail party than tasting so I stuck with a few wines to keep me busy:

2012 Prieure de Montazargues Rosé (Tavel, Rhone). My starter wine, dark pink with notes of cantaloupe melon on the nose and was full bodied with cherry flavors on the finish.

2011 Andre Brunel Cote du Rhone Villages “Cuvée Sabrine” (Rhone). Notes of roasted coffee with a good grip on the finish.

2010 Vidal Fleury Crozes-Hermitage (Rhone). Looking forward to drinking this, was a little disappointed, the wine tasted tired, older than the vintage. Notes of tobacco and slate on the nose with ripe fruit followed by mint and pencil shavings on the finish.

 

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Dressner Fundraiser 2014

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Saturday afternoon I attended a fundraiser sponsored by Chambers Street Wines and Louis Dressner importers for Partners in Health. It’s been an annual event for a while and the past few years has been held at City Hall Restaurant on 131 Duane Street. The event was open to the consumer and ran from 1-5 and over 100 wines were poured, mostly French with some Italian. I have to admit I had a head cold and congestion which made picking up the aromas from the wines difficult so most of them came across as closed on the nose.

Whites

I tried a few Muscadet from a couple of producers, I usually think of Muscadet as light and crisp, something to drink young with oysters. I tried a few with some bottle age to them and was impressed with the results. The wines gained a creaminess and complexity as they aged.

Domaine de la Pepiere                                                                                                                             2012 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie (Loire). Their basic wine, light yellow and easy to drink.

2012 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Les Gras Mouton” (Loire). Single vineyard, light yellow with tight fruit, tart with lemon notes on the finish.

2010 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Chateau-Thebaud Clos des Morines” (Loire). More body than the Mouton with good acidity.

2009 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “3″ (Loire). Nice minerality with a mouth-watering finish.

Domaine Luneau-Papin,                                                                                                                2009 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Le L d’Or” (Loire). Light peaches on the fruit with nice acidity on the long finish.

2005 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Le L d’Or” (Loire). Great body followed by firm acidity with citrus and peaches on the finish.

Nusserhof 2010 Vino Bianco Blaterle. (Trentino Alto-Adige). An unusual wine, Blaterle is the grape varietal, yellow with some earth notes on the nose.

Maison Brulee Vin de France 2012 “Poussiere de Lune”. (Loire). Another unusual wine,  an orange wine made with Sauvignon Blanc and was pale red with moderate body.

Reds

Alain Coudet 2012 “Clos de la Roillette” Fleurie (Burgundy). Cru Beaujolais, dark purple with a nose of warm, cooked fruit and crushed black berries and was tight with bitter red licorice on the finish.

Georges Descombes 2012 Brouilly (Burgundy). Cru Beaujolais, dark purple with dried mushroom and forest floor on the nose with crushed red fruit and a nice grip.

Cascina Tavijin 2012 Grignolino D’Asti (Piedmont). Very light red in color with a closed nose, more fruit than the color would suggest with good balance with notes of dark flowers on the finish.

Monte dall” Ora 2009 Valpolicella Classico Ripasso “Sausto” (Veneto). Medium red with silky medium fruit with bitter cherry notes on the balanced finish.

Poderi Sanguineto 2011 Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red with dusty, silky fruit with tart cherry notes on the nice balance.

Domaine Bernard Baudry 2011 Chinon “Les Clos Guillot”. (Loire). Dark red in color with dusty fruit and silky tannin with a firm grip.

Domaine Bernard Baudry 2011 Chinon “Domaine” (Loire). Dark red with notes of slate and crushed rocks on the fruit with velvet tannin at the end.

 

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Giants Of Generosity Fundraiser

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Saturday evening I attended a food and wine fest fundraiser for Giants of Generosity, a non-profit organization that is about “encouraging altruism in local communities”. It was a consumer event and was held at the Clinton Inn Hotel in Tenafly New Jersey. There were a couple of celebrity chefs in attendance, Maneet Chauhan and the White House Chef, Guy Mitchell who ran cooking seminars that night. Tid-bits of food were provided by local vendors and quite a few wines were poured. Like many consumer events it was more quantity than quality when it came to the wines but this was a fundraiser, and any night there are wines to sample is a good night. I took a bus from the Port Authority and an hour later pulled up in front of the hotel which was very quaint.

Whites

2012 Champalou Vouvrey (Loire). Light yellow with a greenish tint with a nose of sweet peaches and peach fruit with some nice acid at the end.

2012 Villa Rosa Gavi di Gavi (Piedmont). Medium gold with some forest floor on the nose, medium bodied with peach flavors and lime notes at the end.

2012 Dinastia Vivanco Blanco (Rioja). A blend of three white grapes including 60% of the obscure Viura variety, it was light yellow with earthy notes on the nose and was medium bodied and crisp with some of those earth notes on the finish.

Reds

2012 Kriss Pinot Noir (Pavia). Medium red with smoky black cherry notes on the fruit.

2011 Maculan “Brentino”(Breganze). About an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from a producer that does a good job, dark red with bell pepper, smoke and tobacco on the nose with chewy fruit and dried herbs and mint on the balanced finish.

2011 Terra di Vulcano Aglianico del Vulture (Basilicata). From 100% Aglianico, medium red with a big perfume of black cherry and was tight with firm tannin.

2009 Vina Bujanda Crianza (Rioja). Dark red with sweet leather on the nose with velvety fruit followed by firm tannin.

2007 Marquis de Grinon Cabernet Sauvignon (Valdepusa). Black in color with a nose of dried herbs with black cherry and licorice on the dark, dusty and concentrated fruit with good grip at the end. Nice wine.

2011 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with cooked fruit notes on the nose with a tight and smoky finish.

2011 Bogle Merlot (California). A good budget producer, this was dark red to black in color with stewed fruits and vegetables on the nose and was chewy and chunky with black licorice on the finish, good balance.

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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.

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Boston Wine Expo 2014 Sunday

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I had a very nice tasting at the Vintners Reserve Lounge on Saturday and today, Sunday I concentrated my time in the main tasting area as well as attending a couple of seminars. There were plenty of wines to sample from many countries, I began my tasting in the North America section of the convention hall and made my way to the California wines and was able to attend a couple of excellent seminars.  For a huge consumer event, the Boston Wine Expo poured some very drinkable juice.

Clos du Val 20011 Chardonnay (Carneros). Medium gold with big pineapple/tropical fruit on the nose with moderate, dusty fruit with some tartness on the long finish.

Clos du Val 2011 Pinot Noir (Carneros). Medium red with a nice perfume of earth and roasted meat with meaty and dried mushroom notes on the fruit with good balance.

Grassini Family Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Happy Canyon). Dark purple to black with a big perfume  of roasted meat and dark plums and was chewy with black licorice flavors on the finish.

Dylan’s Ghost 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Hell Hollow” (Napa Valley). Small production (400 cases) from a producer have never had before, dark red to black in color with a very dusty nose with dusty black plums on the fruit with a nice balance.

Dylan’s Ghost 2010 Red Blend “The Beast” (Napa Valley). Black with a nose of concentrated forest wood with concentrated black cherry fruit and moderate balance. A big wine.

Rombauer Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to black with a nose of black licorice and crushed black berries and was thick and juicy with coffee and crushed berry fruit.

Fess Parker 2010 Pinot Noir “Ashley’s” (Sta. Rita Hills). Dark red spice and red cherry notes on the nose with chewy cola and black cherry fruit on the balanced finish..

Piandacco 2010 “Mairem” Rosso di Toscano (Tuscany). Dark red with mint on the nose, concentrated and tight with firm balance with sweet slate notes on the finish.

Altesino 2008 Brunello di Montelcino (Tuscany). Brick red, stinky nose and was velvety with great balance and a good grip.

Seminars                                                                                                                                                    Rioja Today

An excellent seminar given by Ana Fabiano, Trade Director, Rioja USA, we sampled seven wines from Rioja.

2012 Sierra Cantabria Rosado. Dark salmon pink in color with and earthy, forest floor nose with very good structure for a rose.

2010 Bodegas LAN Crianza. Medium to dark red with sweet basil and pickle juice on the nose with velvet fruit and dried herbs and wet stone notes on the long finish. Great balance.

2009 Marquis de Caceres Crianza. Dark red with hints of barnyard and pickle juice on the nose and was a little rustic and chunky with some heat at the end.

2011 Luis Canas Crianza. Dark red with a beautiful nose of tobacco, crushed rocks and crushed black berries with sweet black berry, wet stone and herbs on the fruit, nice grip and great balance. Delicious.

2008 Baron de Ley Reserva. Dark red to black with a big perfume of sweet plums and was juicy and velvety, balanced with good grip. Tasty.

2004 Bodegas Ontanon Reserva. Black in color with smoky tobacco on the nose and was very dark and chewy and concentrated. I though it had some corkiness notes at the beginning but my colleague’s to the left and right of me disagreed.

2004 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva. Black in color with a beautiful perfume of tobacco and smoky bacon and was very deep and concentrated and chewy followed by mint, tobacco and silky tannin on the long finish.

Matching Cheese with Wine

The local cheesemonger, Wasik’s Cheese Shop presented this seminar where they paired ten really excellent cheeses with six wines. The cheese plate alone was worth the price of the seminar. Piave Extra Vecchio (Veneto), Bijou Goat Cheese (Vermont), Mt. Vully (Swiss Alps), Brie de Lyon (Lyon, France), Pawlet (Vermont), Brie Traditional (Brie, France), Beecher’s Flagship Reserve (Swiss Alps), Humbolt Fog (California), Madaio Canestrato (Italy) and Colston Bassett Stilton (England).

Wines in the pairing that I enjoyed included the 2011 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay “Robert Young Vineyard”, the 2011 Etude Estate Pinot Noir, and the 2011 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon “Knight’s Valley).

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Boston Wine Expo 2014 Saturday

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This past weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to the Boston Wine Expo which was held at the Seaport World Trade Center. I Usually make it a one day affair and take the bus up and back later that evening which makes for a very hectic day. This year I decided to spend the weekend in town which made for a more relaxing experience. I and was able to get to Boston Saturday morning before the anticipated snowstorm hit and I  got to attend the events on both days so I was able to cover a lot of ground. The Expo was a consumer event but they had trade only hours before the event was opened to the public. The expo consisted of the “Grand Tasting” which was the main tasting event and was held in the warehouse size convention center, and the high-end “Vintner’s Reserve Lounge” tasting which was held along with the seminars in the hotel next door. On my first day, Saturday, I spent the day in the Reserve Lounge. Some nice juice and food including very tasty grass-fed beef from Uruguay which I heartily enjoyed. Some of what I sampled:

Whites

Bonny Doon 2011 Le Cigare Blanc (Arroyo Seco). A blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, it was medium gold with notes of white flowers on the nose and was medium bodied with mouth-watering, crisp acids on the finish.

Bonny Doon 2011 Le Cigare Blanc “Reserve” (Arroyo Seco). Same blend of Grenache and Roussane, unfiltered and cloudy, aged in demijohns with white flowers on the nose and notes of dried mushroom on the somewhat chewy fruit, nice balance.

Bonny Doon 2010 Le Cigare Blanc “Reserve” (Arroyo Seco). Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, unfiltered but clear, medium gold with an interesting nose of roasted meat and saffron with moderate mouth filling fruit on the nice balance with a long finish. Very tasty.

Littorai 2008 Chardonnay “Charles Heintz Vineyards” (Sonoma Coast). Very ripe nose of tropical fruit juicy but not overdone with good balance.

Phillippe Colin 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet (Burgundy). Light gold in color with moderate fruit with some tropical notes on the nose with some lemon tartness at the end but nice balance.

Domaine Borgeot 2010 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot (Burgundy). Medium gold with white flowers on the nose with moderate tropical fruit followed by lime notes on the finish.

Captain Gagnerot 2011 1er Cru Ladoix (Burgundy). Medium gold with a nose of sweet flowers with nice mouth feel with lemon/lime notes on the finish.

Reds

Bonny Doon 2008 Le Cigare Volant (Central Coast). Medium to dark red in color with a nose of rip vegetables and dried herbs and was silky and dusty with herb notes on the fruit with a long finish and nice balance.

Boony Doon 2008 Le Cigare Volant “Reserve” (Central Coast). Medium dark with a nose of ripe vegetables and cigarette smoke and was juicy with a big hit of tannin at the end.

Winderlea Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills). Light red in color, closed nose of earthy leather and was tight with very smoky fruit.

Winderlea Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills). Medium red with a nose of red licorice with more fruit than the 2011 with tart cherry notes on the finish.

Alexana 2011 Pinot Noir “Revana Vineyard” (Dundee Hills). Medium red with a floral and bright leather nose with smoky leather on the moderate fruit with a bit of heat at the end.

Revana Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red to  black in color with a nose of stewed fruit and black cherry with notes of roasted meat and plums on the velvet fruit and was firm and balanced at the end.

Le Saffre 2009 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Medium to dark red with dried leather on the nose with red cherry fruit and good balance.

Le Saffre 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). Black in color with a nose of stewed prunes, black cherry and camphor and was silky with forest floor notes on the balanced fruit with a long finish. Tasty.

Emmollo Winery 2011 Merlot (Napa Valley). A producer I’ve never tried before, it was black in color with a nose of dried herbs and black fruit and was dense and chewy with balanced tannin.

Caymus Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Special Select” (Napa Valley). Very black and very concentrated with mint notes on the balanced finish. I thought it was drinking great at this stage.

La Spinetta 2008 Barberesco  “Vigneto Gallina” (Piedmont). Medium to dark amber in color with a nose of dark fruit and cigar box on the velvet fruit with nice silky tannin on the firm finish.

La Spinetta 2005 Barolo “Vigneto Campe” (Piedmont). Medium to dark red with an amber robe with pencil shavings on the nose, silky fruit and silky, mouth filling tannins on the nice balance. One of my favorites of the night.

Ruffino 2004 Toscana Romitorio di Santedame (Tuscany). A blend of Colorino and Merlot, it was dark red to black in color with pencil shavings and black cherry on the nose with velvet fruit and hints of cigar box, great balance and a long finish.

La Serre Nuove dell Ornellaia 2010 (Tuscany).  The second label from Ornellaia, a Bordeaux blend with a nose of toasted oak, dark chocolate and dried herbs and was chewy and chunky with dusty fruit with mint notes and great balance.

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