Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lazy Meadow Wine Tasting

What better scenario to taste nearly a dozen wines than to pack up the car for a weekend getaway with friends to the mountains, grill up some meat and fish, and start popping the corks. That’s exactly what I did with my wife Tahirih and our friends Brian and Lisa a couple weekends ago. Our destination was Lazy Meadow Inn, a renovated motel opened up within the past year by Kate Pierson of the B-52s. ( Check out the great kitschy décor for yourself.

The ten wines…. notes are below.

2002 Clos Senechal – Loire Valley (France)
$21 at Crush (
Lisa thought it was a Classic Cabernet Franc with a medium body and a nice nose, strong finish bit just a little heavy on the alcohol. Would go great with food from the grill.

2002 Sheldrake Point Cabernet Franc – Finger Lakes (New York State)
$15 at GCP ( in Elmira Heights, NY)
We all thought this was a bit over-oaked, masking the cabernet franc flavor. Lisa thought that this made it taste even a bit like a Zinfandel. Tahirih found it round and soft in the mouth with a nice medium finish. 10% Merlot.

2002 Sheldrake Point Merlot – Finger Lakes (New York State)
$15 at GCP ( in Elmira Heights, NY)
Strangely, we thought the Sheldrake Point Cabernet Franc was a better Merlot! Too much wood hiding a lack of fruit. Unbalanced.

2004 Vicien Malbec Reserva (Argentina)
$8 at Garnet ( 68th and Lex.
I thought this was one of the best red wines of the weekend. Surprisingly lush and fruit forward and notes of oak but not too much. Lisa thought the alcohol was a bit heavy.

2003 Viticcio Chianti Classico – Tucany (Italy)
$12.50 at Garnet ( 68th and Lex.
Very nice Chianti for the price. Brian thought it was crisp and food friendly. Medium finish but full bodied. A little oak to balance it out with the dark berry flavors.

2003 Peconic Steel Fermented Chardonnay – Long Island (New York State)
$14 at Vintage New York (
Full bodies even without the oak, zing of acidity. Lemony and complex. Would go well with a stout fish like a giant octopus or humpback whale. Could also go well with chicken.

2003 Atwater Vidal Blanc – Finger Lakes (New York State)
$9 at Vintage New York (
Brian thought this was “truth in advertising” as the back of the bottle says “good crisp summer drinking.” Obvious notes of apple and pear. Clear and clean. A Very nice light wine.

1997 Franz Kunstler Riesling Kabinett – Germany
$14 at Slope Cellars (
One of the best whites of the trip. Tahirih thought it had a mineraly quality, nice balance of tropical fruit, including touches of leeche and pear, and low acidity. Very complex.

1997 Franz Kunstler Rheingau Riesling Halbtrocken – Germany
$14 at Slope Cellars (
Very similar to the Kabinett but just a little less complex. More leeche but this also had hints of vanilla. Excellent and another favorite white of the trip.

2004 Bedell Cellars Artist Series White – Long Island (New York State)
$25 at Vintage New York (
A blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, this had citrisy aromas along with some melon and spice. Medium bodied and crisp with a lingering finish. Nice.

2003 Venta Mazzaron (Spain)

Even thought I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on the 100 point wine scoring system, as much as I try to be objective, my eye always pops when I see a 90 point wine (according to Robert Parker) for around $10.

This is what happened at Garnet (68th St. and Lexington) yesterday. The 2003 Venta Mazzaron is a Spanish Tempranillo which is a dark garnet wine with what I think are notes of strawberries at the beginning which turn into darker fruit with air. It has a perfumed nose and is medium bodied with a slightly sweet, plush finish. Notes of cedar also emerge as the wine airs out.

I think this is a terrific value if you can find it at the $10 price I bought it at. I think it’s probably also worth up to $15 but anyone who is charging more is price gouging.

Friday, October 07, 2005

1995 Chateau Lagrange (Bordeaux)

Deep ruby in color. This is a soft and lush wine with beautiful fruit and soft tannins to go along with a long lingering finish. Going back to the fruit, it’s blackberry first then cherry eemerges after a couple hours of decanting. The wood starts off with strong cedar notes but that also softens. The end result is a beautiful, balanced wine.

You can find this wine at Garnet on 68th and Lexington for $55 or at Park Avenue Wine and Liqours for $60.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

2004 Mt. Difficulty – Roaring Meg (New Zealand)

I picked this up at Crush on 57th St near 3rd Avenue. Crush has a great tasting program and they always have about 5 wines to taste on hand in a nice side room, the staff is extremely knowledgeable, and they specialize in small production and hard to find wines.

In my never ending quest to find the perfect value for money pinot noir, I picked this up for $18 (minus the 10% new customer rebate). Although not exactly cheap, it’s less expensive than the majority of pinots yet priced that one-rung up where you should start to be paying for a quality drink. In addition, I had been wanting to try something from Mt. Difficulty every since Wine Spectator profiled them in an issue on New Zealand pinots.

As for the wine itself, the first thing I thought of when the aromas hit my nose was “smoky”, a smell I love, although not so much in pinots. The wine was “in barrel on full lees for nine-months”. The woodsiness of the wine dominates the fruit. The fruit itself is a mix of berries but it’s hard to differentiate which ones. The wine is medium bodied with a medium long finish. Overall, it tastes like a pinot but it lacks the finesse of most, even ones in the $20 range. A decent drink but not one to give too much thought too.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Vintage New York Wine Bar

One of our most recent NYC Wine excursions was a visit to the new Wine Bar at Vintage New York on 482 Broome Street at the corner of Wooster in Soho. Vintage New York is one of the few stores in New York City that carry New York State wines and in my opinion, it’s the only one in the city with a comprehensive sampling of what the state has to offer the wine world. Vintage New York carries approximately 200 New York State Wines from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, and Long Island and the new Wine Bar offers most, if not all of them, buy the glass along with a menu of light fare made from local product. The seating area is a comfortable two tier set-up which is a perfect casual place to hang out with friends.

The trip was made mostly to check out the space but also to sample some New York State wines, some of which are among my all time favorites having grown up in the Finger Lake region. Our tasting revolved mostly around Finger Lake Rieslings which are among my personal favorites. The panel of tasters included myself, my wife Tahirih Sadrieh, and friends Brian Cogan and Lisa Bochini, a college professor and graphic designer, respectively and all of us wine lovers. Below is a list of the wines we sampled that night along with our thoughts.


We started with the Long Island Schneider Cabernet Franc “le Breton” 2003. The bottle we bought was $32 or they sell it for $8 by the glass. You can walk out of the store with it for $18.99. We though this wine was balanced and smooth with hints of chocolate, an earthy aroma and a medium finish. Lisa thought it wasn’t quite as complex as it smelled but that it had enough acidity to go well with food. Brian thought it reminded him of a French film set on Long Island where everyone toasts all the ducks as they walk along on the beach and then these water fowl are then later collected and made into dinner where everyone then toasts the foie gras.

We all tried a flight of Bordeaux-style reds from Long Island beginning with the Pindar Pythagoras-NV, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec that we all thought had an ok fragrance but tasted flat and not very balanced. It sells for $8 a glass or $14.99 at the store.

The 2001 Macari Bergen Road is much more expensive at $12 a glass or $39.00 at the store. It was certainly better than the Pindar with an Earthy, fruit forward nose, a dark cherry taste, and a soft medium finish. This would probably pair perfectly with dark chocolate. However, its not very complex and probably not worth the price-tag.

Finally, the 2001 Paumanok Assemblage, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, was much fuller bodies with notes of blackberry and smoke. It had a wonderful nose and nice long finish. This was our favorite red and would pair well with the classic steak. This also sells for $12 a glass or $39.00 at the store and is more worth the money compared to the Macari.


The 2003 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Johannisberg Riesling sells for $12.99 at the store or $7 a glass. This had a peach nose with strong acidity. It’s a slightly sweet, zingy wine that would probably be great with Chinese or other spicy food.

The 2003 Standing Stone Riesling sells for $13.99 a bottle at the store or $7 a glass at the bar. This is crisp, minerally wine which. Not overly complex but straight forward and well balanced. We thought this was a little close to the classic Reisling that you might find from Alsace.

The 2003 Ravines Riesling sells for $16.99 a bottle or $8 a glass. This wine was our favorite of the night, whites and reds. Apparently, according to my mom, the former winemaker at Dr. Konstantine Frank left a couple years ago to start his own winery. This is it. We thought the Ravines had a slight floral bouquet, drier than the others, smooth, and had good acidity. It had a medium finish that was still the longest of the ones we tasted.

Separately, I tasted the 2003 Standing Stone Chardonnay from the Finger Lakes which sells for $10.99 a bottle. This is one of my favorite everyday Chardonnays that might appeal more to fans of Chablis or the un-oaked variety rather than the bigger oaked California versions. This has a light taste that almost reminds me of a sauvignon blanc. Its crisp with lemon as the dominate flavor and medium bodied.
Overall, the Vintage New York Wine Bar is a hit in my book mostly for the fact that you can get turned on to New York State Wines by sampling the huge array they have on hand. Its one of the few places you can find a wide array of these wines and many are well worth seeking out. My only complaint (and this is the Upstate New Yorker in my talking and should be taken with a gain of salt) is that the Finger Lake wines are much much cheaper upstate. The best store for picking up these gems at bargin prices is GCP Wine and Liquors in Elmira Heights, a mere 5 hour drive from NYC but I’m sure they ship. There you can fine the Standing Stone Chardonnay for $6.99 ($10.99 at Vintage) or the Ravines Riesling for $12.99 ($16.99 at Vintage)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

1999 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)

Its been a little while since I’ve added a tasting note to the site between being on vacation (France and Italy) and weddings (my sister’s) but I’m back and I want to write about what I think is one of the best wine deals right now.

The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino vintage is rated 94 by Robert Parker and 97 by Wine Spectator and, along with the 1997 vintage, is the best in the past 10+ years.

Brunellos typically cost between $45 and $65 a bottle for the standard bottlings not accounting for Riserva or single-vineyard editions. However, right now Zachy’s in Scarsdale is selling the 1999 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino for $29.99 a bottle and I think this is a great deal if you are willing to go to the $30 a bottle price point.

Tasting note: This wine has the classic Sangiovese nose, is dark cherry red in color with a rich and velvety texture. It’s full bodied with a fruity flavor which I think is led by cherry. It has a long, soft finish that I think also hints at candied cherries.

Where to Find It: Like I mentioned, this can be purchased at Zachy’s for $29.99 and I’ve also seen it elsewhere on the internet for the same price but not in the New York area (Woodland Hills Wine Co. in California). The next best price I’ve seen is at Italian Wine Merchants on 16th St. at $39.50. Other prices listed for the New York area include K&D on Madison and 95th for $50.99, PJ Liquor on Broadway and 207th for $53.99, and Columbus Circle Liquor on Broadway and 57th for $69.99. It can probably be found in various other stores in the NYC area as it’s a fairly common wine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

2002 Gotim Bru - Castel Del Remei (Spain)

In my humble opinion, this might be the best $10 bottle of wine on the market. It’s a dense, medium bodied wine with chocolate and coffee aromas and an abundance of black cherry. It’s a little earthy and not too complex but the fruit makes it a generous wine.

I’ve seen this wine in many a wine store in NYC, including Garnet Wine ( on 68th and Lexington for $9.99. PJ Wine ( on 207th and Broadway also has the 2001 which is slightly drier and in my opinion, more complex and slightly more refined for $10.99. Another steal in my opinion.

This wine will go well with any “red wine food” just short of steak in my opinion although feel free to disagree as I’m still learning about food and wine pairings.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

2002 Cristom - Mt. Jefferson Pinot Noir (Oregon)

This wine if fantastic! It has an earthy/underbrush nose that recedes some after the wine has been allowed to breathe some. After some time, it reveals cloves along with hints of cedar, blackberry, black currant, raspberry, and maybe even some plum. It’s dry on the tongue with a nice long clean finish. There’s a real delicacy and elegance to this complex wine. It might even be one of my favorite Pinot Noirs.

This wine was originally bought at Union Square Wine for $25 although they don't currently carry the 2002 and have moved on to more recent vintages. However, a search of Wine Zap reveals that you can find it for about the same price at various other places across the country and order it via the internet. It might be worth it to do so if you love Pinot Noir.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Chateau Lagrange - Bordeaux

These pictures of from our trip to Bordeaux and specifically, our visit with Marcel Ducase, the winemaker of Chatuear Lagrange in the St. Julian region. We were treated to a tour of the entire operation and then dinner at the chateau! Truely an experience of a lifetime. Below are just a few pictures from that evening.

The vats of Chateau Lagrange

The vineyards of Chateau Lagrange

The tasting room at Chateau Lagrange

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

2002 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma County)

This is one of my favorite “great value” wines. I think it’s a solid cabernet sauvignon from California at a very reasonable price. First off, Rodney Strong is a Sonoma, California based winery and maybe the price is reasonable because it’s not Napa. Just a guess. Still, the 2002 is a nice medium bodied with noticeable tannins and a dark ruby color. It could still stand a year or two of bottle age if you are inclined to hold on to it. Rather than tasting of oak, the wood is more like cedar with a rich blackberry cocoa flavor. After sitting for a little bit, more of the black cherry and vanilla emerge.

If you find the 2000 in the store, buy it. It’s awesome and very refined for the price. The 2001, not so much. The 2002, right in the middle in my opinion.

I bought my bottle at Garnet Wine on 68th and Lex. This wine is cheaper here than anywhere else I’ve seen it but I have seen it in other wine stores around the city.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

My Favorite Place on Earth - Bordeaux

I am an unabashed fan of Bordeaux wines. Even more specifically, my preference is for the wines of St. Julien and Pauillac. Because of that, our visit to Bordeaux in May of 2005 felt like I had found heaven on earth. Below are just a small sample of the pictures I took.

Leaving St. Julien and entering Pauillac with vineyards of Leoville Las Cases in the forground and Chateaux Pichon-Lalande (right) and Pichon-Baron (left).

The famous arch of Leoville Las Cases

The enterence of Pauillac's Lynch Bages

The vineyards of Chateau Leoville Poyferre

The fairytale like Chateau of Pichon-Lalande

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

2002 Chateau Lagrange (Bordeaux)

The 2002 Chateau Lagrange is a young and big wine that needs several years to soften up. Dark garnet in color with cedar and black currant on the nose. The fruit is right on top at first and then reveals a dry finish and fine tannins. A little uneven right now but this wine is going to be fantastic with a little bottle age.

Unfortunatly, this wine has pretty much disappeared from the shelves but if you do find it, expect it to be betweem $30 to $40 a bottle now. I originally bought this at PJ Wine for $25.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

1997 Lynch Bages (Bordeaux)

There’s a lot going on with this wine. Notes of leather and tobacco over bright cherry. With a little air, the wine softens some to reveal darker cherry and the leather recedes some. Soft lush texture and a nice balance of tannins to acidity. Medium long finish. A very nice wine from a somewhat uneven vintage.

The wine was originally bought from D. Sokolin Wine but they no longer carry it. A quick internet search of Wine Zap revealed that it's available from Gotham Wines & Liquors on Broadway betweem 93rd and 94th St. for $68, at least twice the price I paid for it. Probably not worth it at that price.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sinalunga - Tuscany

Sinalunga is a resort just outside of Siena in Tuscany where we spent part of our honeymoon. The resort is built around an abandoned 16th century village. The guestrooms, restuarant, reception, etc. are all centered within buildings that used to be the town hall and homes of villagers. In addition, they have a beautiful vineyard surrounding the land which they use to make their own "house" wine. You are allowed to wander through the vineyards to your hearts content as we did!

The Vineyards of Sinalunga

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Montalcino - Tuscany

Tahirih celebrated our honeymoon by traveling to Tuscany, with a quick sidetrip to Umbria. While there, we were able to soak in the mountaintop village of Montalcino and sample a few bottles of Brunellos along the way. Highlights of the visit included a tour of Castello Banfi, a visit to the vineyards of Poggio Antico, and the unbelievable views!

The view from Montalcino

One of Castello Banfi's famous barrels.

Artwork in the cellar of Castello Banfi

The vineyards of Poggio Antico

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Santa Barbara Country

Below are three pictures from my afternoon in Santa Barbara County just north of the city itself. I was able to take a couple hours and visit the region after sneaking away from a buisness off-site. In addition to soaking in the country side, I was also able to visit Los Olivos where I first discovered the beauty of Central Coast Pinot Noir. These pictures were taken in January 2003

Santa Barbara County

The View From the Highway

The Vineyards of Gainey

Gainey's Mountain View

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Index to Wines - NYC Wine Notes

Please use this index much like you would one in the back of a book. The wines tasted and written about in this website have been organized simply by red, white, rose, sparkling, ports, and dessert wines. The wines are organized alphabetically by producer under each category followed by the wine’s name, vintage, general location, and when the wine was tasted.

You can click on the wine you’re interested in for the tasting note.

In the future, this index may be organized by region and varietal when enough of a body of tasting notes have been collected. Wine Bars and Restaurants are listed towards the end. Suggestions are welcome!

*The Wines*


Vicien Malbec Reserva 2004 - Tasted October 2005

Barossa Valley
Layer Cake Shiraz 2005 – Tasted March 2007

Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Tasted April 2006

McLaren Vale
Coriole "Redstone" Shiraz-Cabernet 2001 - Tasted August 2006
d'Arenberg "The Footbolt" Shiraz 2004 - Tasted February 2008
Mollydooker – The Boxer 2005 – Tasted March 2007
Mollydooker – Two Left Feet 2005 – Tasted November 2007
Rosemont Estate – Belmoral Syrah 1999 – Tasted September 2007

Casa Lapostolle – Cuvee Alexandre – Apalta Vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – Tasted March 2007
Mont Gras Syrah "Limited Edition" 2003 - Tasted December 2006

Bordeaux - Côtes de Blaye

Chateau Gigault – Cuvee Viva 2003 – Tasted November 2007
Chateau Gigault – Cuvee Viva 2005 – Tasted February 2008

Bordeaux - Côtes de Castillon
Chateau Cap de Faugeres 2004 – Tasted October 2007
Chateau de Clotte 2003 – Tasted April 2007

Bordeaux – Haut Medoc
Chateau Coufran 1982 - Tasted May 2006
Chateau Coufran 2003 - Tasted November 2006 and Dec. 07
Chateau d'Arcins 2005 - Tasted March 2008
Chateau Lanessan 2005 - Tasted February 2008

Bordeaux – Fronsac
Chateau La Vieille Cure 2003 – Tasted March 2007
Chateau Mayne-Vieil 2001 – Tasted April 2006
Chateau Mayne-Vieil 2003 – Tasted December 2007
Chateau Moulin Haut-Laroque 2003 - Tasted June 2006

Bordeaux – Pauillac
Chateau Duhart-Milion 1999 - Tasted June 2006
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2000 - Tasted April 2006
Chateau Lynch-Bages 1997 - Tasted April 2005
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2000 – Tasted April 2006
Chateau Pichon Lalande 1997 - Tasted May 2006

Bordeaux – St. Julien
Chateau Gloria 1995 – Tasted March 2007
Chateau Lagrange 1990 - Tasted October 2006 (posted 2/07)
Chateau Lagrange 1995 - Tasted October 2005
Chateau Lagrange 2002 - Tasted April 2005
Chateau Leoville Barton 2004 – Tasted August 2007
Clos du Marquis 1994 - Tasted June 2006
Clos du Marquis 1996 - Tasted September 2006
Domaine de Jaugaret 2002 - Tasted March 2008
Domaine de Jaugaret 2003 - Tasted March 2008
Domaine de Jaugaret 2004 - Tasted March 2008
Fiefs de Lagrange 2002 - Tasted June 2006
Fiefs de Lagrange 2004 - Tasted December 2007
Pavillon des Connetables 2000 - Tasted February 2007

Bordeaux – St. Emilion
Chateau Angelus 2000 – Tasted April 2006
Chateau Pipeau 2000 - Tasted January 2007
Chateau Valandraud 2000 – Tasted April 2006

Bordeaux – Pomerol
Chateau Bourgneuf 1994 - Tasted January 2007
Chateau Bourgneuf 2001 - Tasted May 2006
Chateau de Sales 1996 - Tasted July 2006
Chateau L’Enclos 2000 – Tasted May 2007

Burgundy – Beaujolais
Domain Mont Chavy – Morgan - Georges Duboeuf – Tasted August 2007
Georges Duboeuf – Julienas Flower Label 2006 – Tasted August 2007

Abbaye de Tholomies 2004 – Tasted November 2007
L'Ostal Cazes 2002 - Tasted April 2006

Loire Valley
Clos Senechal 2002 - Tasted October 2005
La Rouge de la Garreliere 2006 - Tasted March 2006

Rhone – Southern
Chante Cigale Châteauneuf du Pape 2001 – Tasted April 2006
Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil-Cairanne Cotes du Rhone -Tasted Jan. 07
J. L. Chave – Mon Coeur 2005 – Tasted October 2007
J. Vidal Fleury 2004 - Tasted February 2007
Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf du Pape 2000 – Tasted September 2007
Perrin & Fils Vacqueyras – Les Christins 2004 - Tasted November 2006
Perrin & Fils Vacqueyras – Les Sinards 2003 - Tasted November 2007
Rasteau Cote du Rhone Villages 2004 - Tasted May 2006

Cantina Zaccagnini - Tasted June 2006

Falesco “Montiano” 1998 – Tasted May 2007
Falesco “Montiano” 2001 – Tasted March 2006

Piedmont – Barbaresco
Beni di Batasiolo Barbaresco 2000 - Tasted January 2007

Piedmont – Barolo
Bovio Barolo 1994 – Tasted May 2007

Piedmont – Other
Bricco Manzoni 1996 - Tasted June 2006

Ognissole Primitive de Mandura-Fuidi di San Gregorio - Tasted July 2006

Argiolas Costera – Isola Dei Nuraghi 2004 – Tasted September 2007

Tuscany – Bolgeri
Greppicante 2005 – Tasted February 2008

Poggio ai Ginepri 2005 – Tasted November 2007

Tuscany – Brunello di Montalcino
Caparzo “La Casa” Brunello di Montalcino 1995 – Tasted April 2006
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 1999 - Tasted July 2005
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2001 - Tasted January 2008
La Magia - Rosso di Montalcino 2000 - Tasted February 2007
Poggio Antico 2000 – Tasted April 2006
Poggio Antico – Altero – 2000 – Tasted February 2007

Tuscany – Chianti
Cellole Chinato Classico Riserva 2000 – Tasted February 2007
Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2003 – Tasted November 2007
Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 – Tasted March 2008
Ruffino Riserva Ducale - Tasted July 2006
Querciabella Chianti Classico 2001 - Tasted August 2006
Querciabella Chianti Classico 2005 - Tasted Sept. 2007 and Dec. 2007
Viticcio Chianti Classico 2003 - Tasted October 2005
Viticcio Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 - Tasted October 2006
Viticcio Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 - Tasted January 2008

Viticcio Chianti Classico Riserva “Lucius” 2003 - Tasted September 2007

Tuscany - Montepulciano
Tre Rose Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2001 – Tasted July 2007

Tuscany - Other
Ambra Carmignano 2003 - Tasted July 2006
Torrione Petrolo 2001 - Tasted November 2006

Pesano Merlot - Falesco 2003 – Tasted April 2006
Vitiano 2004 - Tasted June 2006 and February 2007

Falasco Amarone 2001 – Tasted October 2007
Monte Tondo San Pietro Valpolicella 2003 - Tasted June 2006
Palazzo Della Torre 2001 - Tasted May 2006

Hochar 2000 - Tasted April 2006

New Zealand
Mt. Difficulty "Roaring Meg" Pinot Noir 2004 - Tasted September 2005
Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2003 – Tasted July 2007

Cardeal Reserva 2002 (Dão) – Tasted September 2007

South Africa
Fairview "Goat-Roti" 2003 - Tasted March 2006
Warwick Pinotage Old Vines - Tasted June 2006

Castilla y Leon
Bodega Numanthia – Termes Toro 2002 – Tasted June 2007

Costers del Segre
Castel Del Remei "Gotim Bru" 1999 - Tasted February 2006
Castel Del Remei "Gotim Bru" 2000 - Tasted February 2006
Castel Del Remei "Gotim Bru" 2001 - Tasted February 2006
Castel Del Remei "Gotim Bru" 2002 - Tasted June 2005 and Feb. 2006
Castel Del Remei "Gotim Bru" 2004 - Tasted September 2007

Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2003 – Tasted January 2008

Venta Mazzaron 2003 - Tasted October 2005

United States
California – Central Coast
Au Bon Climat - Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2006 - Tasted March 2008
Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Clark & Telephone Vineyard” 2003 – Tasted April 2006
Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Clark & Telephone Vineyard” 2005 – Tasted March 2007
Domaine Alfred Pinot Noir 2004 Chamisal Vineyard - Tasted June 2006
Garretson "Aisling" Syrah 2003 - Tasted March 2006
Ramsey Pinot Noir 2004 - Tasted March 2006
Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir 2004 - Tasted December 2006
Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir 2005 - Tasted February 2008

California – Napa
Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 – Tasted March 2006
Franciscan Magnificant 2002 - Tasted March 2006
Peju Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Tasted March 2006
Roessler “Blue Jay” Pinot Noir 2004 – Tasted March 2006
Silver Oak Caberbet Sauvignion 2001 – Tasted March 2006
Stonestreet Merlot 2002 - Tasted October 2006

California – Sonoma
Limerick Lane 1023 2001 - Tasted May 2006
Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2002 - Tasted December 2006
Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 - Tasted June 2005

New Mexico
Milagro “Corrales Red” NV – Tasted March 2006

New York – Finger Lakes
Sheldrake Point Cabernet Franc 2002 - Tasted October 2005
Sheldrake Point Cabernet Franc 2005 - Tasted January 2007
Sheldrake Point Merlot 2002 - Tasted October 2005

New York – Long Island
Collina 48 - Macari Vineyards NV – Tasted April 2006
Macari "Bergen Road" 2001 - Tasted August 2005
Paumanok "Assemblage" 2001 - Tasted August 2005
Pindar "Pythagoras" NV - Tasted August 2005
Schneider “Le Breton” Cabernet Franc 2003 - Tasted August 2005

Belles Soeurs “Wild Thing” Pinot Noir 2000 – Tasted March 2006
Benton Lane "First Class" Pinot Noir 2002 - Tasted July 2006
Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2002 - Tasted June 2005
Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir 2003 - Tasted May 2006
Van Duzer Pinot Noir 2004 - Tasted July 2006
Willamette Valley “Whole Cluster” Pinot Noir 2005 – Tasted March 2006
Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir 2002 - Tasted April 2006

Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Merlot 2000 - Tasted October 2006
Chateau Ste. Michelle - Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 – Tasted March 2007


Pikes “Gill’s Farm” Viognier 2004 - Tasted May 2006
Yellow Tail Riesling 2006 - Tasted January 2007

Loimer Gruner Veltliner 2005 - Tasted January 2007

Willm-Clos Gaensbroennel Gewürztraminer Alsace Grand Cru-Kirchberg de Barr 2002 - Tasted March 2006

Chateau Laville Haut Brion 2000 – Tasted April 2006
Les Arums de Lagrange 2004 - Tasted February 2007

Bordeaux - Sauternes and Barsac
Chateau Piada 2003 - Tasted February 2008

Bachelet, JC Chassagne Montrachet 'Encegnieres' 2003 - Tasted February 2007
Coren Pere & Fils Pouilly-Fuisse 2004 – Tasted February 2007
Domaine Bachelet Chassagne-Montrachet 2003 - Tasted June 2006
Jean Claude Bachelet – Chassagne Montrachet 2003 – Tasted February 2007
Jean Marc Brocard-Fourchaume 2003 Chablis Premiere Cru - Tasted April 2006

Coteaux de Langedoc
Gaujal de Saint Bon – Cuvee de Dames 2005 - Tasted February 2007

Domaine de Pouy 2005 - Tasted August 2006
Domaine de Pouy 2006 - Tasted January 2008

Loire Valley
Domaine Didier Pabiot - Pouilly Fume 2005 – Tasted December 2007
Domaine Sauvion "Les Ombelles" 2004 - Tasted April 2006
Jardin de la Fruitiere - Tasted July 2006
Regis Minet – Pouilly Fume – Vielles Vignes 2004 – Tasted May 2007

Rhone Valley
Cuilleron - Roussanne – Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes – Tasted June 2007

Dr. L Riesling - Dr. Loosen 2004 - Tasted May 2006
Franz Kunstler Rheingau Riesling Halbtrocken 1997 - Tasted October 2005
Franz Kunstler Riesling Kabinett 1997 - October 2005
Grunhauser Riesling Spatlese Maximin 2004 – Tasted April 2006
Leitz Dragonstone Riesling 2005 - Tasted August 2006
Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2004 – Tasted April 2006
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr - Riesling Auslese - 2003 - Tasted July 2006
Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube - Riesling Kabinett - 2005 - Tasted February 2008
Zilliken – Ockfener Bockstein – Riesling Kabinet 2001 – Tasted March 2007
Zilliken – Saarburger Rausch – Riesling Spatlese 1993 – Tasted May 2007

New Zealand
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2005 - Tasted April 2006
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2005 - Tasted July 2006

Gramona ‘Gessami’ 2005 - Tasted June 2006
Louro Do Bolo 2005 - Tasted March 2008
Vina Godeval 2004 - Tasted July 2006

United States
California – Central Coast
4 Vines "Naked" Chardonnay 2006 – Tasted February 2008
Beckman – Le Bec Blanc 2005 – Tasted May 2007
Qupe – Bien Nacido Cuvee 2005 – Tasted April 2007

California – Napa
Heinz Vineyards Chardonnay 2004 – Tasted March 2006
Peter McCoy "Clos des Pierres" Reserve Chardonnay - Tasted July 2006

California – Sonoma
Pellegrini Unoaked Chardonnay 2006 – Tasted October 2007

New Mexico
St. Claire Gewurztraminer 2004 – Tasted March 2006

New York – Finger Lakes
Atwater Vidal Blanc 2003 - Tasted October 2005
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Johannisberg Riesling 2003 - Tasted August 2005
Chateau Lafayette Reneau Dry Riesling 2005 - Tasted November 2006
Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2006 – Tasted August 2007
Glenora Riesling 2005 - Tasted February 2007
Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2004 - Tasted March 2006
Heron Hill – Game Bird White – NV – Tasted December 2007
Ravines House White 2004 - Tasted April 2006
Ravines Riesling 2003 - Tasted August 2005
Ravines Riesling 2004 – Tasted April 2006
Ravines Dry Riesling 2006 - Tasted March 2008
Ravines Dry Riesling 2005 - Tasted January 2007
Ravines Dry Riesling 2004 - Tasted July 2006

Standing Stone Chardonnay 2003 - Tasted August 2005
Standing Stone Reserve Chardonnay 2004 - Tasted June 2006
Standing Stone Riesling 2003 - Tasted August 2005

New York – Long Island
Bedell Cellars Artist Series White 2004 - Tasted October 2005
Martha Clara Riesling 2004 – Tasted April 2006
Peconic Steel Fermented Chardonnay 2003 - Tasted October 2005

J. Albin Pinot Gris 2005 – Tasted September 2007
Ponzi Pinot Gris 2006 – Tasted October 2007
Sokel Bolsser - Evolution #9 NV - Tasted February 2006


Commanderie de Peyrassol (France - Provence) - Tasted May 2006
Inman Family – Rose of Pinot Noir 2006 (California – Somona) – Tasted September 2007
Foley Rose 2006 (California – Santa Ynez Valley) – Tasted August 2007


Charles de Fère Brut Blanc de Blancs Réserve NV - Tasted March 2008
Gruet Blanc de Noirs NV (New Mexico) - Tasted May 2006
Gruet Brut Rose NV (New Mexico) – Tasted March 2006
Pol Roger NV (Champagne) - Tasted March 2006


Churchhill 1997 (Potugal) - Tasted April 2006
Colheita Royal Oporto 1944 (Portugal) - Tasted July 2006
Quinta Do Noval 1997 LBV (Portugal) – Tasted March 2006
Warre Otima 10 Year Tawny Port (Portugal) - Tasted May 2006
Warre 1980 (Portugal) - Tasted April 2006

Dessert-Ice Wines

Kinheimer Rosenberg Reisling Eiswein 2002 (Germany) – Tasted March 2006
Standing Store Vidal Ice 2004 (Finger Lakes) - Tasted April 2006

Wine Bars - Index

Vinovino (Tribeca) - April '06 / May '06 /June '06
Vintage NY (Tribeca) - August 2005

Restaurants and Wine - Index

Cafe D'Alsace (Upper East Side) - July 2006
Farm on Adderley (Ditmas Park-Brooklyn) - January 2007
Landmarc (Tribeca) - April 2006
Le Bateau Ivre (East Side) - May 2006

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Wine Stores - NYC Wine Notes

Below is a very small selection of New York City wine shops with addresses along with my own observations. I’ve been to all the shops listed below and will only post reviews of stores from my own personal experience. This list is not meant to be all inclusive and I recognize that are probably scores of other excellent wine shops in the city that I just haven’t been to yet. I will continue to add to this list as experience warrants. Also note that not all stores mentioned in the Wine Notes, Musing, etc. sections of this website are reviewed below. If I don't have a feel for a store, I'd rather wait until I've visted a couple times before writing about it.

Wine Stores

67 Wine
179 Columbus Ave. (67th St.)
New York, NY 10023
212-724-6767 or 888-671-6767
This store on the Upper West Side has a nice selection of wines in all price ranges. Look for the most affordable deals on the ground floor while most of the higher end French, Italian, and California wines are located on the 2nd Floor. They also have a very comprehensive selection of German wines and a staff than can help explain them.

Astor Wines & Spirits
399 Lafayette St. (4th St.)
New York, NY 10003
One of the biggest wine stores in the city just got bigger by moving into its new space on Lafayette St. The store offers selections from all around the world, has very competitive prices, and tastings once or twice a week where all featured wines are 10% off. Very helpful staff.

Cellar 72
1355 2nd Ave. (72nd St.)
New York, NY 10021
A new store on the Upper East Side specializing in rare and hard to find wines, especially back vintage Bordeaux. Prices seem fair for they type of wines they carry but don’t expect to find any Yellow Tail or Two Buck Chuck types. They just don’t do that. Very knowledgeable staff.

Chelsea Wine Vault at Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Ave. (16th St.)
New York, NY 10011
Being in Chelsea Market, this store if perfectly located if you’re already there picking up ingredients for that night’s dinner. The store has a solid selection of old and new world wines, including many small production selections. They also have a great “Top 10 Wines of the Month” program where these selections are all 10% off and there are three opportunities to taste them each month. Prices are average. They also offer off-site storage for collections.

Crush Wine & Spirits
153 East 57th St. (Lexington Ave.)
New York, NY 10022
212-980-9463 or 877-980-9463
Wine shop opened by restaurateur Drew Nieporent and partners Josh Guberman and Robert Schagrin. The store specializes in small production and artisanal wines which can make for a fun shopping. The also have a nice selection of fine wines which they kept in “The Cube.” They always have at least two bottles open for sampling and host broader tastings at least once a week where at times they even pour some more expensive $50+ wines. Prices always seem to be fair although some “Cube” wines can be slightly more expensive than elsewhere. Extremely knowledgeable staff who are always fun to talk to.

D. Sokolin Co.
12 Foster Ave.
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
D. Sokolin on Long Island specializes in back vintage French, Italian, and California wines and often have hard to find wines and vintages. In addition to their own inventory, they are also a brokerage firm, selling other collections. Prices are not cheap and they typically do not deal in bargain wines. This store seems more for the connoisseur with a cellar. They have a knowledgably phone staff and deliver to the city.

Garnet Wine and Liquors
929 Lexington Ave (68th St.)
New York, NY 10021
Typically offer some of the best prices in New York and they carry wines from most regions, including a solid array of red and white Burgundies. Certainly a place to consider if buying a case of wine that you like that they carry. Staff could be more helpful.

GCP Discount Liquors & Wines
1020 Center Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
GCP is a discount wine store located in Horseheads and near the Finger Lake wine region. It’s has the most comprehensive stock of Finger Lake wines at the lowest prices possible. It might not be worth a drive to save a few dollars off a wine you might be able to purchase at Vintage in the city but it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area.

225 East 5th Street (Bowery)
New York, NY 10003
This small and charming shop in the East Village specializes in small production and over looked old and new world wines. In their own words they deal in “honest wines--no brand names or wines rated by the magazine gurus.” They purposely seek wines prices at very reasonable levels and are big proponents on food and wine pairings. Their Saturday afternoon tastings from 4P-7P offer an opportunity to try before you buy.

Morrell Wine
One Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
212 688-9370 or 800-969-4637
Morrell’s offers wines in all styles and price ranges but are probably best know for their adjoining Wine Bar and Restaurant where they have a large selection of wines by the glass. You can also take one of the many classes they offer from Wine 101 to regional focuses.

Northside Wine and Spirits
Ithaca Shopping Plaza (Elmira Road)
Ithaca N.Y. 14850
Another comprehensive store for Finger Lake wines. It’s also located in Ithaca, NY which is ideally situated for visiting the area’s wineries. The store also stocks wines from all over and has one of the best Bordeaux collections in all of upstate. Prices are very competitive and Finger Lake wines would be the cheapest here if it werren’t for GCP’s amazing deals in the neighboring town of Horseheads.

PJ Wine
4898 Broadway (bet. 204th and 207th Sts)
New York, NY 10034
Huge wine shop all the way at the end of the A train. Excellent prices and worth a visit to browse the store. They tend not to tend to carry back-vintages so look for mostly recent releases. Quick delivery to the city. Look for their Grand Tasting each fall which benefits City Harvest.

Red, White & Bubbly
211 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, this shop has fair prices with a healthy stock of wines in the $10 to $15 range and a wide and well thought out selection from around the world. There are some bargains to be had but overall, it’s a fair priced wine shop and really, what more can you ask for in the city. The shop does stand out on two fronts. First is that they have a decent selection of New York State wines which, surprisingly, not may other wine shops do. They have also started bottling their own branded label called Brooklyn Wine Company with grapes sourced from “around the world.” No one expects grapes to be grown in Brooklyn but with a name like that, I’d figured they would at last be local but there are future plans to procure some from the North Fork of Long Island. Staff is friendly enough but I didn’t find them overly helpful during my first two visits.

Sherry Lehmann
679 Madison Avenue (Between 61st & 62nd St.)
New York, NY 10021
An excellent selection of French wines, especially Bordeaux and Champagne although they carry wines from all regions. They carry a good variety of Italian and German. New world wines are less represented but what they do carry is typically solid, including very good price per quality South African and New Zealand wines. Wines always seemed to be priced fair and they have excellent customer service.

Union Square Wine & Spirits
33 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003
This store has one of the best free weekend tasting programs in the city as they pour as many as 15 wines on most Saturday afternoons beginning at 2pm, providing an excellent opportunity to buy after tasting. They also discount the wines each tasting. Typical prices are average to slightly above average for some of the premium wines. However they have a great selection and a sizable number of half-bottles to choose from.

Vintage New York
482 Broome Street (Wooster) or 2492 Broadway (93rd St.)
New York, NY 10013 New York, NY 10025
212-226-9463 212-721-9999
The only wine store in the city (and possibly the state) to deal solely in New York State wines. In addition, each of their two locations has a wine bar where you can sample from just about everything in stock along with hors d’oeuvres and cheeses produced in the region. They also offer classes and free tastings with the winemakers which they call “Meet Your Winemaker.” Prices are hard to judge as most stores don’t carry these wines but they get tons of credit for filling a definite market need in my opinion.

16 East Parkway
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Although I’ve never been to the store itself, Zachy has a huge selection of wines in any and all price ranges and from all over the globe. Their website is easy to use and they have next day delivery into the city. There are many bargains to be had, especially in the $20 and below range. I have found some of their more expensive $40+ wines for less elsewhere, but not so much that I’d shop elsewhere. Overall, this is a great store. I just wish I had a car so I could visit.

Online Sources:
Useful tool for searching specific wines by name and vintage and who currently has them in stock. You can also search for wines by region, type, price, food and wine parings, and ratings.
Similar to but also provides links to partner wines stores, offers features wines of the day, and ratings provided by Stephen Tanzar of The International Wine Cellar. It also has a wine portfolio feature and access to various newsletters.
Auction website based in Napa. It offers auctions on a weekly basis for literally thousands of wines. Benefit of this site is that all wines are inspected by Wine Bid and condition is clearly labeled along with pictures. They also offer futures.
The “e-bay” of wines where individuals can put their wines up for sale. Auctions revolve around the clock in an e-bay like fashion.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

NYC Wine Notes - Wine Links

There are probably a hundred thousand wine related websites out there on the internet. Below is a very very small sample of what I currently have book marked in my browser. These are the links I use for resources along with some blogs I like. This list is not meant to be all inclusive and I welcome suggestions of other places to visit on the net and I’ll add them to the list.

Wine Links is the official website of the region. Contains a comprehensive overview of the region and its wines.

BYOB Website – New York City Restaurants (New York Magazine)
BYOB restaurant list for New York City with reviews and locations of wine stores near the restaurants. Great resource for anyone living in the city. - Magazine
Website for the Britished based wine magazine. Extensive archive of articles and access to their wine notes free of charge.

Eric Asimov - The Pour
This is New Your Time’s wine columnist Eric Asimov’s official blog which is a great compliment to his weekly New York Times articles.
Website for wine critic Robert Parker. Includes wine news, articles and access to tasting notes. Full issues of Wine Advocate are posted to the site but after they’ve been available in print. Subscription required.
Educational website focusing on the wines of Germany.
Eric Anderson’s website about his adventures in wine. Includes commentary on visits to wineries and useful tips on how to save labels, etc. in addition to long archive of tasting notes.
Website for one of the best wine podcasts on the net. Recently added features include a glossary of 500 wine terms.
Website for British wine critic, Janice Robinson. Includes tasting notes, news, and articles but subscription required to access most pages.

Jennifer Rosen – Wine Writer Website
Website for Jennifer Rosen, an award-winning wine columnist who writes for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post as well as contributing to Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Comprehensive listings of wine tastings and classes throughout the world.

Lenndevours is Lenn Thompson’s New York-focused wine and food blog which was founded in 2004. Strong focus on Long Island wines, his current home.
Mark Squire’s wine website with extensive tasting notes, articles, photos, and an excellent bulletin board.
Official website for New York State wines.

NYC Wine Report
Great site with no-nonsense wine notes of bottles found in New York City shops along with where to buy them.
This website brings together wine reviews from around the world and is free. A very useful resource.
Daniel’s Ragov’s very comprehensive wine notes from his professional and personal tastings along with food and wine pairings, spirits, and other ramblings.

Terroirs of France
French guide covering all the regions and wines.

Veritas in Vino – Wine Writer Website
Veritas in Vino is wine writer Alice Feiring’s website detailing her views on wine along with links to her various articles.

Dr. Vino Website and Blog
This great website and its accompanying blog from Dr.. Tyler Colman covers all topics from tastings, wine picks, travel, and some very interesting and amusing musings on the wine world. Highly recommended.

Fantastic wine blog that has more categories than you can imagine along with over 10 different categories of tasting notes, restaurant reviews, and miscellaneous “rants.” Also includes an long list of links, including an extensive list of other wine blogs.
An online wine magazine based out of the UK which covers a wide array of topics.
Website is the home for a great wine blog and complimentary podcasts by Tim Elliott. Podcasts now number over 50 episodes.
Wine blog from enthusiast Jathan MacKenzie based out of Napa. Very extensive with over 10 different categories of posts.

Wines of France
Wines of France is an educational website dedicated to all the wine regions of the country.
Neal Martins website dedicated to fine wine with in-depth profiles, photographs, and over 5,000 tasting notes.

Wine Lovers Page
Robin Garr’s fantastic online resource with a great Wine Tasting 101 section and several wine forums including a general wine discussion, a food discussion, wine and food writers forum, travel and restaurants, spirits and beers, wine trade forums, and even one on Louisville restaurants.

Wine Enthusiast - Magazine
Official website for Wine Enthusiast magazine. The recently redesigned website is free (in contrast to Wine Spectator, eRobert Parker, and Wine & Spirit) and offers news, articles, and tasting notes.

Wine Regions of Italy
This website offers an overview of the wine regions of Italy along with maps and descriptions of the wines.
A newsletter which informs wine enthusiasts about upcoming North American wine release dates. Released once a month.

The Wine Scout
This website is a great resource from Patricia Crowell and Jack Olexy which offers up very in depth podcasts on New York State wine. It’s a great travel resource and they even offer you the opportunity to be a “guest pod- scout.”

Wine Spectator - Magazine
Website for Wine Spectator magazine. Includes wine news, articles and tasting notes and an extensive archive. Subscription required.

Wine & Spirits - Magazine
Official website for Wine & Spirits magazine. They offer a free newsletter but access to the rest of the site requires a subscription to the magazine.
This blog is basically a travelogue of the French wine regions by Bertrand Celce, a photographer living in France. Needless to say... beautiful pictures.