In early March I ventured down to the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan to attend the Spring tasting of wine distributor Michael Skurnik. Last year was the first time that I attended and it was quite impressive. Probably about 1000 wines to try but they also had many of the winemakers and owners there to pour there wines, something we don’t see a lot at the Connecticut tastings. The event is for their customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, so some of the wines I tasted could be distributed by another distributor or not available. I was able to try a lot of nice Burgundies, Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s and Barolo’s.
2009 Domaine Newman Beaune Rouge 1er Cru ‘Greves’ – Dark fruit profile and can be drunk now. 91 Points
2009 Domaine Newman Mazis-Chambertin – More in the way of finesse with some flowers on the nose and red fruits on the palate. 92 Points
2009 Domaine Lafond Chateauneuf-du-Pape – lot of nice upfront fruit but definitely needs time in the bottle. 92 Points
2009 Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Lot going on with the nose but comes back to some classic Chateauneuf fruit and a nice finish. 92 Points
2009 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Loving these grenache dominated Chateauneuf’s! This had a lot of black and blue fruits to go along with some earthiness. 93 Points
2010 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc – Some stony mineral to go along with flavors of peach and melon. Delicious and perfect for Summer! 94 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges Blanc ‘La Gerbotte” – Very nice entry level White Burgundy that delivers suttle fruit and nice acidity. 91 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Blanc ‘Clos de l’Arlot” – A nice step up in quality with more pronounced fruit and longer finish. 93 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Cotes de Nuits-Villages ‘Clos du Chapeau’ – Again, nice entry level Pinot from this Domaine displaying some of the characteristics of the house style. 90 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Le Petit Arlot’ – Another nice effort. Fruit is a little more powerful in this one, with dark red fruits and plum. 92 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Les Petits Plets’ – Super wine with lots of big fruit but built to age. 93 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Clos de l’Arlot’ – Another tremendous effort, this packs power and elegance. Needs time. 92 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Clos des Forits St. Georges’ – Another impressive wine although I found this a tad backward at the moment. 91 Points
2010 Domaine de l’Arlot Vosnee Romanee ‘Les Suchets’ – Awesome wine. Layers of dark fruit and a finish that is mesmerizing. One of the stars of the tasting. 95 Points
2001 Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru ‘Clos des Forits St. Georges’ – a Library release they brought to show how their wines age, which was quite impressive. Showed nice mature notes but still plenty of fruit. 93 Points
2011 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc – Great flavors of mineral, stone and apple with fresh acidity. 92 Points
2010 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc ‘Cuvee Speciale Vieilles Clairettes’ – Similar to the 2011 but more pronounced fruit flavors. 93 Points
2010 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Delicious and elegant with complex nose of smoke, tobacco and licorice. 92 Points
2010 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Auguste Favier – A step up in quality, this exhibits nice notes of spice, licorice and blackberry. 94 Points
2010 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Collection Charles Giraud – Stunning wine, with vivid fruit flavors and an awesome finish. One of the best I have had from this region. 97 Points
2010 Domaine Ferrando Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Colombis’ – 100% Grenache that is another thrilling wine. Intensely flavored but elegant and pure. 97 Points
2009 Domaine Allary Haut-Brion – Located in the Haut-Brion vineyard, this is very impressive. Has some great fruit with a lot of tar. Very big wine now and needs time. 92 Points
2010 Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Vieilles Vignes’ – The entry level bottling is actually my favorite. Has some good fruit to go with some nice tobacco and earth notes. 92 Points
2010 Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Clos Prieur’ – Another nice effort, although I did not detect a large difference between this bottle and the bottle below. 91 Points
2010 Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Cuvee Alexandrine’ – 91 Points
Boyer-Martenot – Dazzling set of wines from Boyer-Martenot that captured ripe fruit flavors, the perfect amount of oak aging and great terrior. My favorite whites from the tasting.
2010 Boyer-Martenot Meursault – 93 Points
2010 Boyer-Martenot Meursault ‘Narvaux’ – 93 Points
2010 Boyer-Martenot Meursault ‘Tillets’ – 94 points
2010 Boyer-Martenot Puligny-Montrachet ‘Les Reuchaux’ – 94 Points
2010 Boyer-Martenot Meursault 1er ‘Perrieres’ – My favorite white of the tasting. Incredible flavor intensity and acidity. 96 Points
2007 Clos Figueres Priorato Tinto – Big wine with tons of big fruit. 95 Points
2008 Clos Mogador Priorato Tinto – Similar to the Figueres but liked this a tad more. 96 Points
2009 Mud House Pinot Noir Swan Reserve Central Otago – Very nice value for the money. Close to Oregon than Cali. 90 Points
La Spinetta – 4 nice wines from this house. Liked both the Barolo’s a better than the Barbaresco’s. A more modern style.
2007 La Spinetta Barbaresco ‘Bordini’ – 91 Points
2006 La Spinetta Barolo ‘Garretti’ – 93 Points
2008 La Spinetta Barbaresco ‘Gallina’ – 91 Points
2007 La Spinetta Barolo ‘Campe’ – 93 Points
Domenico Clerico – Another nice set of wines from Clerico. Their Barolo are always super impressive. The 2006 was my favorite.
2007 Clerico Arte – 91 Points
2008 Clerico Barolo Pajana – 93 points
2008 Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra – 92 Points
2006 Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj – 94 Points
2003 Clerico Barolo Per Christina – Interesting to taste one with little age. Still has a long way to go till maturity. 93 Points
Cavallotto Fratelli – Impressive set of wines. My two favorite Barolos from the entire tasting.
2007 Fratelli Barolo Bricco Boschis – 90 Points
2005 Fratelli Barolo Riserva Vignola – 95 Points
2005 Fratelli Barolo Riserva San Giuseppe – 94 Points
2010 A to Z Pinot Noir – Another nice effort following their back to back 2008 and 2009 vintages. Just as good. 90 Points
Domaine Serene – Year in and year out they seem to make very nice wines here.
2010 Chardonnay Evenstad Reserve – Never had the chardonnay before, which I thought was really impressive. 92 points
NV Rose “R4” – Nice wine but too expensive for a rose. Better values out there. 90 points
2009 Pinot Noir Yamhill Cuvee – 91 Points
2008 Pinot noir Evenstad Reserve – One of the best Pinot’s of the tasting. Very elegant. 95 points.
2009 Soter Vineyard Pinot Noir Mineral Springs (White Label)- Very good pinot with nice upfront fruit but excellent balance. 95 points
Breggo Cellars – hailing from Anderson Valley, they presented a very impressive set of pinots. Lots of character and typical California Pinot fruit.
2009 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard – 94 points
2009 Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard – 93 points
2009 Pinot Noir Donnelly Creek Vineyard – 94 points
Anthill Farms – former cellar rats for Williams Selyem are making some excellent Pinot. I don’t remember being this impressed with these wines last year but wow.
2010 Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard – 91 points
2010 Pinot Noir Peters Vineyard – Super impressive. Tons of fruit at lower alcohol. 95 points
2010 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch – 93 points
Wesmar – Another Williams Selyem connection, this time Denise being Ed Selyem’s daughter. Similar to the Anthill farms. Tons of Cali fruit and pinot character but at lower alcohol levels.
2009 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 92 points
2009 Pinot Noir Hellenthal Vineyard – 94 points
2009 Pinot Noir Salzgeber Vineyard – 95 points
Hirsch Vineyards – I have enjoyed the Williams Selyem vineyard designate for years. The winery’s own wines are also quite good.
2010 Pinot Noir Bohan-Dillon – 91 points
2010 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast San Andreas – 93 points
2009 Pinot Noir Reserve – 93 points
Kistler – They didn’t make it to the tasting last year but I was glad I got to try the wines this year. I have only had the wines once before but I have recently read that they have changed the style of the wines they make. Previously, they made super concentrated, proud to be California wines. Now, apparently, they have dialed back the intensity in favor of a more elegant, balanced style. I must say that I really wasn’t that impressed considering their reputation. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad wines, but considering the price you can certainly find better values for the money, at least with the wines that I tried. Will have to try and taste some of the previous vintages.
2010 Chardonnay Les Noisetiers Sonoma Coast – 89 points
2010 Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain – 90 points
2009 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard – 91 points
2010 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – 89 points
2009 Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard – 91 points
Siduri – Glad I had the chance to taste and meet Adam Lee who was an awesome guy. The wines were quite impressive as well.
2010 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – 92 points
2010 Pinot Noir Chahalem Mountain – 91 points
2010 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – 93 points
2010 Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch – Always one of my favorite Kosta Browne wines. Siduri proves they can make an outstanding wine from here as well. 94 points
2009 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe – 93 points
Martinelli – Another winery that didn’t make it last year. Enjoy their wines although I think they can be a bit over the top at times. These were all pretty nice.
2008 Chardonnay Three Sisters – 93 points
2008 Chardonnay Lolita Ranch – 92 points
2009 Pinot Noir Three Sisters – 91 points
2010 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch – 94 points
Ramey Wine Cellars – Always solid Chardonnays and Cabernets from Ramey. Never over the top and always a good value for the money.
2009 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – 90 points
2009 Chardonnay Russina River – 90 points
2009 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard – 91 points
2008 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard – 93 points
2008 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard – a great value compared to other wineries that make Ritchie vineyard designates. Nice fruit with a mineral driven finish. 94 points
2009 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard – Another knockout but the fruit is a tad more concentrated compared to the Ritchie. 94 points
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 92 points
Paul Hobbs – Always top quality wines from Hobbs. Expensive but you get what you pay for with them.
2009 Chardonnay Russian River – 91 points
2009 Chardonnay Ulises Valdez Vineyard – 92 points
2009 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard – Impressive, like the Ramey, but quite a bit more per bottle. 94 points
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 93 points
Peter Michael – probably my biggest let down of the tasting. Had the 09 Chardonnay’s last year and they blew me away. The 2010’s, overall, were way over the top, alcoholic, and unbalanced for the money. Perhaps they need a few years to flesh out.
2010 Chardonnay Mon Plaisir – 89 points
2010 Chardonnay La Carriere – 89 points
2010 Chardonnay Belle Cote – 92 points
2010 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille – 91 points
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Les Pavots – 92 points
2009 L’Espirit des Pavots – 89 points
Corison – Nice wines made in a more classic style.
2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – The best Cab was the one with some age on it. 92 points
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 90 points
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 89 points
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Kronos – Impressive but expected given the vintage. 92 points.
Robert Biale – Always quality Zins from Biale
2010 Zinfandel Party Line – 91 points
2010 Zinfandel Black Chicken – 91 points
2010 Zinfandel Moore Vineyard – 91 points
2009 Red Blend Like Father Like Son – 92 points
2009 Red Blend Basic Black – 91 points
Turley – If you are looking for big, burley Zins then look no further than Turley. Not the most impressive set from them but they are truly one of a kind.
2010 Zinfandel Juvenile – 89 points
2010 Zinfandel Duarte – 90 points
2010 Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard – 90 points
2010 Zinfandel Dragon – 91 points
2011 Charles Smith Kung-Fu Girl Riesling – Liked this just as mush as the 2010 that we have in store. 90 points
2009 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon – Not a bad cab with a lot of dark fruit and chocolate. 90 points
Andrew Will – Never had their wines before but they were quite nice. Lots of complexity and varietal character.
2008 Red Bordeaux Blend Two Blondes – 92 points
2008 Red Bordeaux Blend Ciel Cheval – 94 points
2008 Red Bordeaux Blend Champoux – 93 points