Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wine Bars in New York City

I have a few favorites when it comes to New York City wine bars, but I'd like to get some feedback from bloggers out there pounding the streets. Tell me what your new best bets are....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Duck Walk Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, 2006 Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Tomaiolo Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 DOCG, Averna

Today Rita and I visited our good friends Jody and Rich for a dinner paired with 3 wines. We started with the 2006 Duck Walk Cabernet from Long Island which is a dark garnet/plum color with a jammy nose of plums, cherries and chocolate. The palate showed a mild but not overpowering bitterness, but also reminds me a bit of a Pinot Noir, sort of leathery or tarlike. After about an hour the wine softened and revealed a good balance between fruit and tannins along with a nice smooth black cherry finish.

Then, Richie served dinner, a delicious gemelli pasta with a light tomato sauce with garlic, onions, carrots, bacon and green peas served on a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese. We paired it with 2006 Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a ruby color with aromas of raisins and black fruits and a palate of chocolate, coffee and black cherry. Slightly tannic but also well balanced.

We continued with Tomaiolo Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 DOCG, purple ruby colored, with medium to full body, and a smooth bouquet of cherry, oak, figs, and currants.

After dinner we had a small glass of Averna, a great digestiv from Sicily made from the essence of many herbs.

You can buy our wine...

...but YOU can't.Yesterday I took a ride out to the Hamptons (South Fork) to watch my daughter run a race to benefit Leukemia research. Since opportunity seemed to be knocking, on the way back to the city I stopped at _______ Estates (I won't name names) to sample, and perhaps purchase some of their wine. I asked for a quick rundown of their line and heard a disturbing bit of information: unless you're a club member, only a limited selection of wines is available for purchase. So I promptly did an about face, drove a little further down the road, and stopped at Duck Walk Vineyards where I discovered a beautiful tasting room as well as a full selection of wines to choose from...the vintners were friendly and graciously accommodating, and I was able to find a nice 06 Cabernet. I don't know about you, but I believe this kind of exclusionary marketing can only hurt the wine business, especially in this economy. What do you think?

Top photo: Grapes on the vine from Duck Walk Vineyards, bottom photo: Duck Walk Vineyards

2008 ©copyright Dave Trieger

Friday, September 26, 2008

Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2003 DOCG (Fattoria dei Barbi)

Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, this Brunello di Montalcino has a really interesting mix of aroma vs. palate. At first the nose reveals roasted meats, toast and ripe concentrated stewed prunes. Then you taste the intense ripe cherries, plums and spices and then a bit later chocolate, more spices and black pepper. 14% alcohol and $51 at WRFH.

©2008 photo by Dave Trieger

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Galarej Barolo 2004 DOCG

This Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes with colors of deep garnet and a nose of cherries, raspberries, herbs and spice. There's a full, rich, ripe palate of dark berries and leather, along with a warm, smooth finish that reverberates an earthiness. 13.5% alcohol content and $45 at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wine ingredient Resveratrol protects against radiation

Is Resveratrol sounding more and more like the new miracle drug? First it was believed it prevented cancer, now there's new evidence by U.S. researchers that the antioxidant protects against radiation. See Reuters piece. What a noble fruit, the grape.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gran Sasso Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Colline Teramane 2004 DOCG

©2008 photo by Dave Trieger

To me many of the Montepulciano D'Abruzzo around today are are usually in the blander category of red wines, so to find one with full-body like this at such a great value is a pleasure. There's a lot going on here, a rich wine with deep ruby colors, a fragrant herbal nose, rich ripe concentrated berries, dark fresh ripe fruit, oak, vanilla and spice. On the palate you'll find a creamy ribbon of preserved fruit/jam flavor and chewy dark berries. There is a nice balance of acidity and texture, ripe tannins and a long supple finish. Alcohol by volume is 13.5%. Found this beauty for $21 at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Barbera del Monferrato "Pais" 2005, Colle Manora

This is such a great bottle of wine from the Piemonte region of Italy. It comes on strong with a nose of violets, mushrooms, barnyard and musk and quickly ratchets up on the palate with concentrated black cherries. Displays an intense silky finish and simply the best wine I've had in a while. I discovered this wine at InVino.

Friday, September 19, 2008

L'Aventure Cote a Cote 2006

From the Paso Robles region of California where owner and Winemaker Stephan Asseo makes this Rhone blend of 40% Mourvedre, 30% Granache and 30% Syrah comes this ruby red from 100% estate grown fruit aged in French oak for 14 months. With a subtle nose comes forth spice, red fruits and a slight slate or chalk aroma. Smooth tannins, The mouth displays nice tannins and the finish is black cherry and vanilla. Unfined and infiltered.

The website reveals their interest in sustainability:
In the spirit of sustainable agriculture, L'Aventure winery runs on solar power. "My favorite thing about the solar panels is that we are decreasing our impact on the environment, and this is a big part of sustainable agriculture," says Dave DeBusk, vineyard manager. Sustainable agriculture relies on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present, without compromising the future. Solar power is the most reliable and environmentally friendly form of energy available. Our panels are producing clean, renewable energy, and any extra power produced will go directly back into the grid. In addition to providing for the winery, we produce enough energy to power 5-7 homes here in Paso Robles.

I like that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mitchell Katz Sangiovese 2006 Crackerbox Vineyards

Sangiovese (the primary grape used in making Chianti) grown in this part of California (Livermore Valley) makes for an interesting variation on a theme. Mitchell Katz ages this 100% Sangiovese in French oak with an alcohol content of 15.4%. That sounds fairly high but hardly noticeable while tasting it. On the nose I get cherries, chocolate and a faint hint of rubber bands, but upon tasting there is an exotic spiciness with a black cherry finish. Overall the tannins are soft and luscious with a crisp acidity. SRP is $25.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Justin Isosceles 2005 Paso Robles

From the Paso Robles region of California comes this classic blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot. Deep purple colors with a nose hinting of minerality, intense black fruits and, well, raw fresh steak. On the mouth there is vanilla and wood from the 18 months in French oak barrels. Good tannins meld with a smooth ripe blackberry finish. 14.6% alcohol and $62 SRP.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pine Ridge Carneros Merlot 2005

This Pine Ridge 2005 Carneros Merlot from the Napa Valley/Carneros region of California is 98% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec and aged 15 months in French oak barrels. It shows dark aromas of blackberries, cherry and blueberry with notes of coffee, tobacco and cedar. The flavors are bright, but balanced, with flecks of oak and a finish of chocolate. Lush flavors combined with a silky texture allow for a nice finish. This is ready to drink now, or you can lay it down for 10 years. SRP is $45. I tasted this wine at the California Wine Month expo at Espace on west 42nd street in NYC.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lenz Estate Selections Merlot 2001

Made from grapes of 15 year old vines, unfined and unfiltered, this is a wine made oxidatively to show fruit and is ready to drink now. Aromas of cherry and raspberry are present but the ageing (stored 2 years in oak and 5 years in bottle) makes for a complex wine with a subtlety showing secondary fruit (vinuous) flavors that are superbly melded.