As usual, I did not taste as many wines as I would have liked at Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour in New York last week. I always start with grand aspirations, but fall short by the end of the evening.
Nonetheless, the event is not only about tasting the wines; I enjoy catching up with friends and winemakers that I don’t see often and meeting new winemakers or winery representatives for the first time.
A perfect example of the latter was the Simcic Ribolla Brda Opoka 2007 from Slovenia presented by Marjan and Valerija Simcic. This 44.5-acre, family-owned estate makes about 7,500 cases a year. The Ribolla Opoka, named after the marl soils in the local dialect, comes from three different vineyards. It had fresh apple and floral aromas and flavors with a distinctive mineral finish.
All the white Burgundies showed beautifully, but it was the William Fèvre Chablis Montmains 2007 that impressed me. After sampling the Italian whites, it tasted like a mouthful of rocks and minerals, a precise, steely Chardonnay that could only come from Chablis.
Moving from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, still in Burgundy, I felt the Bouchard Père & Fils Corton Le Corton 2006 showed very well. It featured a gorgeous nose of wild berry, spice and earth, and an elegant frame saturated with flavor. Of the few New World Pinot Noirs I sampled, Domaine Drouhin’s Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Laurène 2006 reminded me of Burgundy with its soft red fruits and floral notes, perfumed and fleeting, with presence, harmony and length on the palate.
I enjoy Barolo and Barbaresco, so I made a point of visiting that section. Ceretto’s Barolo Brunate 2005 was balanced and intense, offering supple, cherry and licorice flavors on a base of firm tannins. The Damilano Barolo Cannubi 2005 revealed lovely, warm spices and licorice, both mouthfilling and elegant at once.
After tasting a number of reds, I finished up with some Riesling and Champagne. The Loimer Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken Kamptal Langenlois Terrassen 2007 tasted like a gust of spring air, fresh and bright with floral and peach notes. Pommery’s Brut Champagne Cuvée Louise 1998 was showing fine depth and developing mature, toasty notes and mellow richness.
Maybe next year I’ll have a better plan of attack. However, I had a great time, and it seemed like everyone around me also enjoyed the event.
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