Tasting French w Paul Aug 24 2013: Chateau Teyssier and Petit Maison Ventoux Blanc

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Opici Tasting Aug 24 2013

I’m talking about the wine on the left and  the wine 5th from the left.

In one of our rare themed tastings we put together a formidable line up of French wines that showed very well this past Saturday
all 6 of the wines were great but a couple really shined that day the top of the line Ch Teyssier Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2010 and the humble Ventoux Blanc, both new to my shop. The white “Petit Maison” Ventoux is a blend of 50% Grenache Blance, 40% Clairette and 10% Bourboulenc. The nose had apple, pear and some white flower notes and on the palate it had flavors of apple compote, candied lemon rind with a little spice and crisp acidity in the background. For around $10 it was pretty amazing and a big crowd pleaser.
At the other end of the spectrum was the Big Bad Bordeaux.  2010 Chateau Teyssier St Emilion I believe is about 85% Merlot with 15% Cab Franc.  The Teyssier 2010 is plush and lucious now with the fine tannins, extract and the stuffing to mature for 10-15 years. The nose is currants and plums with some coffee bean and yes Play Doh (I tested), a little clove and a slight floral scent with a little musk too. It is seamless, exceptional and overdelivers for about $30.

Soccarat Serendipity Aug 22 2013

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I was killing the hours between dropping off wine to chill and working a party on 14th street so I visited my urbanite mom and we strolled around 19th street at about lunch time and passed a small paella bar called Soccarat. I’d heard good things about it from my wine reps so we dove in for a little midday snack. We called my brother who has a real job to join us so we ordered him paella for one and mom and I amused ourselves with wine and great tapas while we waited for my brother and his paella. Mom had a nice Cava, I went with a Garnacha rose that would go with everything, the garlic shrimp, croquettes, jamon Serrano, grilled calamari… The paellas vary whether you want seafood or land based critter but they all have that crusty rice which is where the name Soccarat comes from. Soccarat is the crust that the rice forms on the pan which some say is the best part. I hit the sherry list and had to try the Palo Cortado which you can consider a confused sherry or a cellarmaster’s select sherry. It is a bit of a hybridized fino-amontillado-oloroso.  I had the Marques de Rodil which is from a house in Jerez which was recommended over a palo cortado from San Lucar de Barrameda. I was told the difference is that San Lucar is right on the ocean and the sherries have more brininess and tang, while the Palo Cortado from Jerez has less of that and a slightly softer rounder feel that I prefered. The Sherry was great with the Jamon and the paella. I just noticed that there are several branches of Soccarat paella bars throughout Manhattan so check it out some time. I have to say we don’t actually carry the Marques de Rodil but have an excellent Palo Cortado from Valdespino. For more info on the restaurant  go to http://socarratrestaurants.com/

Saturday Tasting Archive: August 31, 2013 Italian wines with Vias Imports

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2008 Cogno Barolo Ravera and  Walter Fissore Winmaker
Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.  Come taste 7 great Italian wines, this has really been Italian week with a tasting of  9 wines Wednesday night and 7 this week end! We will be doing a bottle tour of Piedmont, Trentino, Campania and Sicily.  Ahh, la Dolce Vita.  Here’s the line up at crazy low prices:
Very Limited!
94+ Points – Wine Advocate, April 2012
“The 2008 Barolo Ravera bursts onto the palate with dark red fruit, cherries, mint, licorice and spices. It shows gorgeous fleshiness and depth for the year, with layers of dark red fruit that flow effortlessly to the long, resonant finish. The aromas and flavors meld together seamlessly as the wine sits in the glass. Knock-out floral aromatics linger on the impeccable, elegant finish. In 2008 the estate did not make their top Barolo, the Vigna Elena, because of hail in that site. The best fruit from that site went into the straight Ravera bottling. This is a dazzling effort from Cogno. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.” -Antonio Galloni

91(+?) Points – International Wine Cellar, November/October 2011
“(bottled two weeks before my visit): Good bright red. Lovely ethereal perfume of exotic fruits, peach, orange, flowers and medicinal herbs, plus a whiff of Barolo Chinato. Silky on entry, then sweet, juicy and perfumed in the middle, with flavors similar to the aromas. Saturates the palate without any impression of weight. The firm, sappy finish features big, dusty, granular tannins that reach the front teeth. Very sexy aromatics here but Nadia emphasizes that the 2007 is “much more typical and richer Barolo. The 2008 shows the pinot side of nebbiolo and should be drunk before the 2007 and 2006.” -Stephen Tanzer


“It presents a pale color with copper reflections. It is delicate and pleasing to the nose with an unmistakable hint of pear. It has a dry, harmonious and fine flavor with good balance and lasting. An excellent aperitif, it goes well with some typical Mediterranean dishes, grilled trout and boiled meat.” -The Importer

89 Points – Wine Spectator, September 2013
“A zesty white, sporting a creamy edge to the lime, melon, pine and chalk notes, with a smoke-tinged finish. Drink now. 13,300 cases made.” -Nathan Wesley

“100% Aglianico. A salmon pink hue, with radiant highlights and incredible youth. An intense, rich, bewitching bouquet of red fruit and citrus zest associated with more complex notes redolent of cedar and spring sap. The aromas evolve gently in the glass evolving from dried fruits, fresh almonds and frangipane, to notes of Tarte-Tatin, oven-baked apples and caramel. In tastings, the wine is soft and silky on the palate with a marvelous harmony of flavor and concentration of fruit. The Rosaenovae reveals a perfect equilibrium between concentration and finesse, richness and freshness, intensity and elegance.” -The Winery

90 Points – Wine Advocate, October 2012
“The 2010 Langhe Montegrilli, a Nebbiolo/Barbera blend, is another gorgeous entry-level offering. Here, too, it is the wine’s overall sense of balance, structure and polish that impresses most. Expressive Nebbiolo aromatics wrap around a core of supple Barbera fruit in a delicious wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.” -Antonio Galloni

90 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2013
“The 2010 Fastaia wraps around the palate with juicy, expressive fruit. This Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot blend is soft, texured and beautifully balanced. Raspberry jam, spices, and sage linger on the full-bodied, intense finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016.” -Antonio Galloni

“One of the best kept secrets of the Piedmont region of Northern Italy is a luscious red varietal called brachetto. A sweet, aromatic red, Brachetto is a lightcolored wine with distinctive aromas of rose and strawberry, moderate alcohol and a refreshing sparkle. It can be drunk during the different parts of the day. It matches well with desserts, especially chocolate-based, strawberries or as an aperitif.” -The Importer

San Vicente de la Sonsierra boy makes good: Viñero Benjamin Romeo

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The Riojano city of San Vicente de la Sonsierra is a very important city in the Rioja wine trade and Benjamin Romeo, former winemaker at the Vina Artadi winery  struck out on his own when he purchased a “cueva” or cave cut from the living rock beneath the city in 1996.He then began acquiring vineyard plots on his way to becoming a wine producer or “bodeguero”. Until 1999 his vinification was conducted at the cueva until he graduated to his parent’s garage. for the 2001-2007 period.

His philosophy is to acquire or source the oldest vines with the best terroir and to produce the best wine he can make. His top wine “Contador” is declassified into the “Cueva del Contador” unless it really is optimal in every way. The wines crafted in his parent’s garage have received worldwide recognition and represent the best that Rioja is capable of. His 2004 Contador received 100 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. His wine recieve  accolades from Decanter (generally 5 stars and “amazing”) and raves (and high scores) from the spanish wine publication Guia Penin. As the success continued and he moved into a new state of the art winery in the vineyards of Sonsierra the wines got bigger and better. His style in the top wines, Contador and Cueva del Contador tend to the highly extracted and super concentrated ripe flavors that he favors. He always destems and uses whole cluster fermentation. We’ve been fortunate to receive a small allocation of the excellent 2006 Cueva del Contador CLICK to buy which we sell for about $50, well under the release price of nearly $100/bottle! the 2006 received a rating of 94 points from Robert Parker.
The new winery was opened June 21, 2008, coinciding with the summer solstice. The buildings are designed in three terraced levels that all connect and blend in with the hillside vineyards in which they are situated and which enable fruit and juice to be moved by gravity. So the local boy from San Vicente made good and became a wine rock star.

Save the Date Sunday December 8th, Mora’s Fine Wine & Spirits Annual Grand Tasting: The Bliss Blast. Don’t miss it!

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Details will be coming out soon, featured wines, menus and  bonuses for early registering.

sign up for our email notifications and get the lowdown first

Join us and kick off the holiday season! A festive walk around tasting
filled with bonhomie and good cheer on Sunday December 8th, 2013, 1 to 4pm

at Bliss Restaurant 766 Rt 25A East Setauket NY 11733

  • Strictly limited to 75 guests
  • our best wine and spirit purveyors
  • Pouring over 60 fine wines and artisanal spirits
  • Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres
  • Door prizes and a pre-event wine tasting class
  • Tickets can be purchased at Mora’s Fine Wine & Spirits

Many thanks to our suppliers who made this event possible

Rich’s Weekly Wine Picks – Just in, a great deal on Benjamin Romeo Rioja!

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half price 2006 Cueva Del ContadorVery Limited buy now

Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2006 $52.99, 48% off release price

94 Points – International Wine Cellar, September/October 2009
“Dark purple. Exotically perfumed scents of blueberry, mulberry, black olive, violet and licorice, with a strong spicy overlay; smells like a top-notch wine from the northern Rhone. Round, sappy and palate-coating, offering sweet dark berry and cherry-cola flavors framed by velvety tannins. This gained weight with air but maintained clarity and vivacity, finishing with outstanding spicy persistence and a strong echo of dark berries.” -Josh Raynolds

 

The Riojano city of San Vicente de la Sonsierra is a very important city in the Rioja wine trade and Benjamin Romeo, former winemaker at Artadi struck out on his own when he purchased a “cueva” or cave cut from the living rock beneath the city in 1996.He then began acquiring vineyard plots on his way to becoming a wine producer or “bodeguero”. Until 1999 his vinification was conducted at the cueva until he graduated to his parent’s garage. for the 2001-2007 period.

Benjamin Romeo’s  philosophy is to acquire or source the oldest vines with the best terroir and to produce the best rather than the average level of wine. His top wine “Contador” is declassified into the “Cueva del Contador” unless it really is optimal in every way. His “garage wines” received worldwide recognition and represent the best that Rioja is capapble of. His 2004 Contador received 100 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. His wine are recieve  accolades from Decanter (generally 5 stars and “amazing”) and raves from the spanish wine publication Guia Penin. As the success continued and he moved into a new state of the art winery in the vineyards of Sonsierra the wines got bigger and better. His style in the top wines, Contador and Cueva del Contador tend to the higly extracted supe concentrated ripe flavors that he favors. He always destems and use whole cluster fermentation. We’ve been fortunate to receive a small allocation of the excellent 2006 Cueva del Contador which we sell for about $50, well under the release price of nearly $100/bottle! the 2006 recieved a rating of 94 points from Robert Parker.

Saturday Tasting Archive: August 24 2013, French wines with Paul from the Opici Wine Co.

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Wine Connoisseur
Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.  This week we have Paul from Opici Wine Co back from vacaton with a line up of French wines.
Here’s the line up at crazy low prices:
La Petite Maison d’Olivier Lafont Ventoux Blanc 2012

88 Points – International Wine Cellar, June 2013
“(50% grenache blanc, 40% clairette and 10% bourboulenc): Bright gold. Aromas of poached pear and honey, with a floral topnote. Supple and round in the mouth, offering juicy orchard fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter lemon pith nuance. Finishes with good cling, a hint of chalkiness and a touch of honey.” -Josh Raynolds

La Chablisienne Chablis La Pierrelee 2011

88 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only – 2013
“A fresh, succulent and harmonious version, this white evokes apple, melon and lemon flavors, with a squeeze of lemon. A mineral element lingers. Drink now through 2016. 1,500 cases imported.” -Bruce Sanderson

Chateau Teyssier St. Emilion 2010

92 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2013
“An over-achieving estate for a number of years now, this dense purple wine exhibits oodles of creme de cassis and licorice, hints of subtle barbecue smoke and toast, terrific texture and a long, succulent, fleshy finish. It is not all that dissimilar from the 2009 in terms of its flamboyance and drinkability, although I suspect that analytically the pH is slightly lower and the tannins a bit higher than those of its older sibling. Drink it over the next 10-15 years. From the home estate of Englishman Jonathan Malthus, the 2010 Teyssier is showing better out of bottle than it did out of barrel…” -Robert Parker

Chateau Macard Bordeaux Superieur 2010

88 Points – Wine Spectator, December 2010
“A very friendly, ripe style, with plum cake, raisin and dark linzer torte notes framed by toast, but stays fleshy enough through the finish for balance. Drink now. 4,800 cases made.” -James Molesworth

Adissat Cotes du Rhone 2010

90 Points – Wine Advocate, October 2012
“A major player in the vintage, the 2010 Cotes du Rhone, a 2,000-case blend of 55% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah, is an opulent, rich, Chateauneuf du Pape-like, full-bodied effort that over-delivers in flavor, intensity, complexity and potential. It may even improve over the next 1-2 years, and should last for 5-6 years, possibly a decade or more.” -Robert Parker

Domaine du Grand Montmirail Vacqueyras 2009

92 Points – Wine Advocate, October 2011
“A sensational effort, the 2009 Vacqueyras is composed of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah from the estate’s 20 acres of vineyards situated in a high proportion of red clay and the Galets Roules (small boulders) of Vacqueyras. A dense purple color is followed by abundant aromas of cassis, blackberries and acacia flowers. The Syrah component clearly pushes forward at this stage of the wine’s evolution. Full-bodied with silky tannin and low acidity, it should drink well for 7-8 years.” -Robert Parker

Tasting with Colin McBryde of Some Young Punks Wines and Adelina Estate Wines, at the shop

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Adelina Shiraz Clare Valley Fierce Allure Cabernet Sauvignon Lust Collides Mataro
Passion Has Red Lips Cabernet Shiraz Naked On Skates Shiraz Monster, Monsters Attack Riesling

I met with this bright young Australian winemaker last week at the shop for a showing of his fantastic wines with the fantastical (some say cheesy) labels. Though a huge Francophile, he may like to drink Burgs and Rhones but he makes Aussie wines and must have a long distance relationship with France as his heart is in the Adelina Estate with vines upto 100 years old as well as his Some Young Punks that keeps him busy sourcing great fruit in the Clare and elsewhere and making a wonderful variety of wines. The European influence is their in his wine as he captures varietal character, vintage character and the hard to define quality known as “terroir”. From what I tasted he is pushing past the homogenous international style that results in oaky fruit bombs.
The labels may be humourous and outrageous but if you judge this book by its cover you will surprised when you pull the corks.

 

Colin McBryde

The Monsters Monster Attacks Reisling 2012 (Some Young Punks) about $25 has a very light almost clear color to it but good viscosity.
It is off dry, maybe a percent or two of residual sugar with a nice grapey flavor with hints of tropical fruit (guava?) a little chalk and a touch of bee’s wax.  That was the only white we tried, the reds were terrific. Too often Aussie wines come off simple and one dimensional, all fruit and oak as I said. McBryde uses small fermentors and ambient yeasts which is dicier but provides a broader array of flavors. Some of the reds show hints of stone dust and mineral notes that remind me of some top Riojas and Garnachas or the meaty, smoky character of some Northern Rhone Syrahs.
Passion has Red Lips Cab/Shiraz 2012 (Some Young Punks) about $30 Was one of the first SYP wines produced and still one of my favorites. The blend is about 50 50  but to me the the Cabernet was in the forefront. The wine had a dark brooding color with bright cherry and mulberry flavors and a little of what you might call “Rutherford dust”. It came off fresher than the last one I had which I think  was a 2010.  Naked on Roller Skates 2012 (SYP) about $30 This one is a 75% Shiraz 25%Mataro blend. This wine actually had was released as sparkling shiraz a few years back, I thought it was really terrific but nothing wrong with the present version. Colin has produced a deep brooding serious wine here as you can tell by the serious label art. Compared to Passion Has Red Lips , the Naked is denser and plummier than the Passion. The Mataro really amps up the Shiraz and gives it depth as well as a long finish with slight notes of sundried tomatoe.  Now onto the more surreal labels…

Lust Collides Mataro 2009 (SYP) about $40 Mataro is also known as Mourvedre. the inky Rhone variety that usually lurks in the background adding sinister bass notes to a blend. In this case I get an inky flavor or dried cherry cough drops topped with a little stone dust. Not exactly like a Spanish Jumilla wine but tending in that direction. Really excellent and unique.  The Fierce Allure Cabernet Sauvignon  2009 also about $40 Was equally impressive It was gorgeously perfumed but I have to say I’d have trouble identifying the variety as Cabernet which is not a strike against it.

Now onto Colin’s baby from the Adelina Winery. His Adelina Shiraz 2010 about $65 is sourced from 100 year old vines with deep plush berry, spice flavors with whiffs of smoke.  A real gem.

Saturday Tasting Archive: Aug 17, 2014The Family That Picks Together- Sticks Together

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Paumanok Vineyards Massoud Family
Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.
Paumanok Vineyards has been a family affair since the beginning with the second generation following in their parents footsteps. Come taste Paumanok wines with Karen from the winery.  Today at 3 at the shop. Save yourself a really long drive. Here’s the line up at crazy low prices:
“Festival Chardonnay is a blend of several lots of Chardonnay. It was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks. It is light, dry, crisp and clean with refreshing aromas and flavors of apple, lemon, pineapple and stones. This is a great every day white, perfect with pasta, poultry, fish and cheese dishes.” -The Winery

“This wine was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve the Riesling varietal character. It offers aromas of lime, green apple, lilies, lilac and other white flowers. Bone dry with flavors of lime, green apple, white apricot, it finishes with intense acidity. Pair it with white meat dishes and lighter fish.” -The Winery

“This Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and vibrant with aromas of lemon, followed by more subtle mineral and herbaceous notes. Medium-bodied with citrus flavors, crisp acidity and a pleasant, dry finish. 647 cases were made.” -The Winery

Paumanok Festival Red 2011Buy Now 20% off through Aug 22 Paumanok Festival Red 2011

“50% Merlot and 50% Petit Verdot. Light to medium-bodied with fresh, ripe flavors of cherry, plum and spice. A great everyday red, try pairing it with pasta dishes, meat loaf or pizza.” -The Winery

“This medium to full-bodied Merlot offers aromas and flavors of ripe plums and black cherries along with herbal and floral notes and a smooth, generous tannin structure. 100% Merlot. Ready to drink now with roasted meats, Italian foods and cheese.” -The Winery

Rich’s Weekly Wine Picks Week of August 12, 2013- Crisp Chablis & Fat Sonoma Pinot

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Chasseur Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2010
This wine WAS great, alas there are a scant few bottles left after Saturday’s tasting. The wine is in all its glory with a gorgeous nose of mulberry, black cherry and baking spices and a broad fleshy palate. Bill Hunter is the driving force behind Chasseur’s wonderful Pinots and Chardonnays. More about Bill Hunter…

Patrick Piuze “Terroir de Chablis” Chablis 2012
Great purity, clarity and focused acidity, reminds you of lemon, lime and wet stones with a fresh quality that makes your mouth water. An excellent value for $25. Piuze’s entry level Chablis “Terroir de Chablis” is all hand harvested which is unheard of at the Villages level wines. More about Patrick Piuze…