Over 90 Wines from a Fall Tasting

Every year in the Fall the wine distributors in Connecticut have their holiday wine tastings. These tastings are to help wine store buyers make their purchasing decisions for the holiday season, typically the busiest time of the year in the wine industry. It also allows people like me to taste a lot of wine! The following notes are from the first Fall tasting of the year, typically my favorite one to go to of the year. I don’t have time to take extensive notes but I try to at least give our readers and customers a glimpse of the wine with a simple numeric rating based on the 100 point scale. Here are my notes from the show.

Palmaz Vineyards

I was impressed with these wines but was unable to taste the 2006 Cabernet because the rep was unable to multitask while talking to other customers. Eventually I just had to move on. To many wines to taste!

2009 Chardonnay Napa 92 points

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Cedar Knoll – 91 points – this was very nice for the money compared to the more expensive siblings.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 92 points

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 94 points – the most expressive one I tasted with plenty of big fruit.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2010 Dijon Clones Chardonnay Napa – 89 points

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 91 points

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Stag’s Leap District – 93 points – Mature and drinking very well.

2009 Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir – 92 points – consistent with the vintage

2011 Chamisal Stainless Steel Chardonnay Edna Valley – 89 points

Domaine de Beaurenard – Had 3 very impressive wines from this estate. 2009 proves to be a great vintage in the Rhone.

2009 Chateauenuf du Pape Rhone – 92 points

2009 Boisrenard Chateauenuf du Pape Rhone – 95 points – Fabulous wines with a great range of flavor!

2009 Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau Rhone – 90 points

NV Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne – 92 points

NV Gosset Grand Reserve Brut Champagne – 94 points

2009 SA Prum Blue Slate Kabinett Mosel – 90 points – Both SA Prum’s great for the money!

2009 SA Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Mosel – 92 points

2010 Domaine Henri Darnat Bourgogne Blanc les Jumalie Burgundy 90 points

2010 Domaine Henri Darnat Meursault Clos du Domaine Burgundy 90 points

2010 Trimbach Riesling Alsace – 90 points – consistent with past vintages

2005 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Fred Emile Alsace – 92 points – very impressive. Dry with great minerality.

2009 Domaine Antonin Guyon Chambolle Musigney Les Cras Burgundy – 91 points

2009 Domaine Antonin Gevrey Chambertin La Justice Burgundy – 92 points

2009 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 92 points – nice wine but a step below the great 2006 and 2008

2009 Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge  Rhone Р93 points

NV Barons de Rothschild Brut Champagne – 91 points – made from purchased grapes. Who knew Lafite was in Champange?

NV Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs Champagne – 92 points

NV Barons de Rothschild Rose Champagne – 92 points

Ferreira Quinta do Porto 20 yr Tawny – 92 points

Naia Verdejo Rias Biaxis – 90 points – fantastic range of flavor for the price. We have this in stock now after tasting it!

Bergstrom

Was pretty excited to see this table but I must admit I was underwelmed by the wines. Only the two higher end wines lived up to the hype. Could be the vintage as well as 2010 was suppose to have mixed quality.

2010 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir – 89 points

2010 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir – 88 points

2010 Gregory Ranch Pinot Noir – 89 points

2010 de Lancellotti Vineyard – 91 points

2010 Bergstrom Vineyard – 93 points – head and shoulders above the rest of the wines but as I stated above, the most expensive.

Heitz

I have had some mixed experiences with Heitz. The Martha’s Vineyard is always good. It is the other wines that I find mixed. This time out though I found them very nice. One of the best kept secrets is their Ink Grade Port, which I find to be the best Port I have had outside of Portugal.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 91 points

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa – 90 points

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Napa – 90 points

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha’s Vineyard Napa – 95 points – best Martha’s I have had. Super fruit forward though and did not get a lot of the eucalyptus you typically find.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha’s Vineyard Napa – 93 points

2007 Pio Cesare Barbaresco Piemonte – 92 points

Cune

These wines were decent values but the 1999 was the star by far.

2010 Monopole Blanco Rioja Alta – 88 points

2009 Blanco Rioja Alta – 87 points

2009 Crianza Rioja Alta – 88 points

2004 Imperial Reserve Rioja Alta – 90 points

1999 Real de Asua Rioja Alta – 93 points

2011 Fox Run Riesling – 88 points

2011 Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling – 91 points

2011 Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling – 87 points

Dr. Konstantin Frank

Typically one of the best producers from the Finger Lakes, their wines don’t disappoint!

2011 Dry Riesling – 91 points

2010 Rkatsiteli – 88 points – one of the few producers of this interesting grape in the US.

2010 Gewurztraminer – 90 points – my favorite producer in the Finger Lakes for this grape.

2011 Semi Dry Riesling – 91 points

Joseph Phelps

Year in and year out, Phelps wines are pretty consistent. The better years, their peaks for their top tier wines can be among the best in the world.

2009 Sauvignon Blanc – 91 points – Phelps makes one of the most underrated Sauvignon Blancs in California.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 91 points

2008 Insignia – 94 points

2009 Insignia – 93 points

2009 Freestone Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – 89 points

2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – 92 points

2010 Fog Dog Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – 90 points

2008 Cigliuti Vigna Erte Barbaresco – 91 points – Very tannic

2004 La Spinetta Barolo Campe – 95 points – Excellent and drinking well now.

Honig

Always one of my favorite producers from Napa Valley that makes affordable wines.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 90 points – year in and year out one of the best Napa cabs for the money.

2011 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – 90 points

2011 Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford – 92 points – There Rutherford bottling is always a step above and worth the extra splurg.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Bartolucci Napa – 94 points

Paul Hobbs

Never get to taste the high end bottlings at these shows but the entry level stuff is a nice introduction to the style.

2011 Crossbarn Chardonnay – 88 points

2009 Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 88 points

2009 Crossbarn Pinot Noir – 90 points

2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 92 points

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 91 points

Venge

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Silencieux Napa – 92 points

2009 Chardonnay Maldonado Vineyard – 90 points

2009 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 93 points – surprised by the quality here. Usually known for there cabs.

2010 Spettro White Napa – 90 points

Anderson Conn Valley

Another favorite of mine. Always top notch Cabs and red blends. 2009 another good vintage for them.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Prologue – 91 points

2009 Chardonnay Prologue – 88 points

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – 94 points

2008 Eloge Red Blend – 95 points

2008 Chardonnay Napa – 90 points

2006 Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino Toscana – 93 points

2007 Massolino Barolo – 93 points

2009 Mirafiore Barbera d’Alba Superiore – 90 points

2009 Domaine Droughin Pinot Noir – 93 points

2009 Joseph Droughin Chorey Les Beaune – 90 points

2010 Joseph Droughin Saint Veran – 88 points

2011 Dr. Loosen Estate Riesling Blue Slate Kabinett – 92 points

2010 Dr. Loosen Red Slate Riesling – 91 points