Sunday, October 25, 2009

New York Wine Experience

Manhattan – Marriott Marquis

Sponsored by Wine Spectator and benefits the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation which awards grants to students pursuing careers in the wine industry.

The 2009 Critic’s Choice Grand Tasting International Wine Tasting had 256 wineries for tasting and they all scored over 90 points in Wine Spectator.

You rarely have the opportunity to taste the best wines in the world side by side. This really gives you the opportunity to fine-tune what you really like and come up with some new favorites.

Do you really like the big French Bordeaux or the California Cab and blends? For me that is a tough choice – my taste buds are all California, but I really appreciate the French wines which are amazing when you get to taste an older vintage. This was evident when my old boss opened up a 1968 Chateau de Beaucastel – that goes in my all time top 10.

And when you get to sample fines wines like this – you’ll know you already like them if you decide to spurge at dinner

Here’s my Top 15 favorites in order of preference from Friday night, October 23:

1) Harlan Estate ’05 Napa Valley blend of Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Two words ‘ Wow Wow
2) Chateau Mouton Rothchild Pauillac 2005
3) Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley 2006
4) Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 2003
5) Beringer ’95 Napa Valley Cabernet – This has an old style French taste – amazing.
6) Chateau Latour ’95 Pauillac
7) Chateau de Beaucastel ’07 Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Nice now but will be amazing in about 5 or more years.
8) Paul Hobbs ’06 Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet
9) Dalla Valle – ’06 Napa Cabernet – this is special and very limited – want to revisit in 3 years.
10) Pahlmeyer Napa Valley 2006
11) Chateau Margaux – Grand Cru Classe 2001 – one of my favorites
12) Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2006
13) Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 1998
14) Chateau Palmer Margaux 1999
15) Louis Roederer Brut Champagne Cristal 2002

California Faves
Shafer Stags Leap District Napa Cab Hillside Select 2005
Caymus ’03 Napa Cab – Special Select – always one of my favorites – never turn down the opportunity to drink this!
Cliff Lede “Poetry” Stags Leap Napa Cab 2005
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2006
Hall ’06 Napa Cab – Kathryn was on hand and looks as good as the wine tastes
Bond ’05 Napa Cabernet – very nice.
Dominus Estate ’06 Napa Valley
Diamond Creek ’04 Napa Valley Volcanic Hill
Etude ’05 Napa Cab
Snodew Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 2006
Robert Mondavi Cab Napa Valley Reserve 2006
Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon St Helena Family Estate Grown 2006
Far Niente ’02 Napa Cab
Opus One Napa Valley 2006
Ferrari-Carano Tresor 2006 Sonoma Cab blend
DuMol ’07 Russian River Pinot Noir
Duckhorn ’05 Napa Cab
Heitz Wine Cellars – ’04 Napa Cab
Dolce Late Harvest Napa Valley 203
Lewis Cellars 2006 Napa Valley Reserve Cab
Pride Mountain Sonona-Napa Counties Reserve Cabernet 2005
Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Annum 2006
Rubicon Estate 2006
Silver Oak ’05 Alexander Valley bonus taste of Twomey Pinot Noir
Stags Leap SLV Napa Valley Cabernet 2000
Twomey – Pinot Noir bonus taste at the Silver Oak table – absolutely amazing!
Chateau St. Jean – ’01 Cinq Cepages Sonoma Cab – Big fan of this wine and winery on Hwy 12 in Sonoma – they make great Chardonnays too.

Chateau Haut-Brion 2003
Perrier Jouet Brut Champagne Fleur bottle 1999
Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne ‘07
Chateau La Fleur – Petrus 2005
Pol Roger Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 1999
E. Guigal Cote-Rotie 2005
Chateau La Mission Haut – Brion 2003
Krug Brut Champagne

Cloudy Bay ’08 Sauv Blanc – great wine, but I really like their Chard better – my taste.
DeLille Cellars – ’05 Red Mountain Cabernet – one of the best from Washington.
Dow’s Port ’07 Vintage Port
Gaja SPERSS – 2004 blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera
Graham’s Port
Penfolds Shiraz RWT 2006 which I can remember Real World Taste

Ron Parker attended the event with me and we both tasted over 50 wines. The big sushi dinner before the event followed by turkey burgers and kareoke at Mr Biggs helped.

And the best part a lot of the entry fee is tax deductible.

Can't wait until the next one...