Catch Up

24 March 2013 – 14 April 2013, Manhattan, NY and Tucker’s Point, Bermuda

Lots of travel, golf and work set me back a few months on the blog so here’s my catchup post.

Prior to Dan and Sul’s move to London, Anthony, Jennifer, Diane and I joined them for a memorable dinner at Gramercy Tavern. We started with Dom Perignon at Anthony’s apartment beforehand and had two delicious but totally different wines with our meal:

2011 Anthony Nappa Wines "Anomaly" White Pinot Noir

2011 Anthony Nappa Wines “Anomaly” White Pinot Noir

A white pinot noir from the Finger Lakes of NY, this was refreshing and clean but with a red fruit flavor. The wine is made from Pinot Noir but the juice is immediately pressed and does not ferment with the skins, stems or seeds. The wine has a slight rose color despite the name and no tannins – great for appetizers and seafood.

The second wine of the night was my contribution:

2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Santo Stefano di Perno

2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Santo Stefano di Perno

Giuseppe Mascarello’s Barolo from Monforte and his less heralded wine was drop-dead gorgeous. The floral and earthy aromatics led to an elegant mixture of red fruit, tannins and structure. Extremely delicate for a 2001 Barolo and in my opinion, drinking better today than the 2001 Monprivato.

Before Dan and Sul took off, we spent one evening setting up a Slingbox for them in our apartment (don’t think they get NFL Redzone yet in London). We opened two California reds that night and both were juicy, young and delicious:

2009 Bryant Family DB4 & 2009 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon

2009 Bryant Family DB4 & 2009 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon

The Bryant Family was a huge, inky, dark wine with strawberry, cherries and spice. Huge body and a bit too bold for me right now (will leave the other two bottles in the cellar for a while). While everyone else preferred the DB4, I liked the Paul Hobbs which had a similar fruit profile but more spice and leathery/earthy characteristics. It is also a wine I’ll wait a few years before tasting again.

Our second annual pre-golf, golf trip was female friendly so Diane came this year and we stayed at Tucker’s Point in Bermuda. The last night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, The Point, and picked a new wine for both of us:

2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin

2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin

A balanced and subtle Burgundy with plenty of bright red fruit but with a good backbone. It paired well with our fish dishes that had more complex sauces and seasonings. Medium body with a long finish.

We opened this last bottle after I got back from the 4th annual actual golf trip (AAA victorious!). Diane’s mom came into the city and we decided to go to dell’anima last minute. We brought:

2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato

2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato

As I said above, I think that today, the Santo Stefano di Perno is drinking better than his flagship wine from Castiglione Falletto. I decanted this for a few hours and it was still continuing to evolve in the glass at the restaurant. While it wasn’t shut down, it took lots of swirling to coax the fruit out of the glass and the aromatics still have a ways to go before producing the perfume you’d expect from a Monprivato. Great wine but I plan on waiting at least three to four years before opening my next bottle.

** 2011 Anthony Nappa Wines “Anomaly” White Pinot Noir $19

*** 2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Santo Stefano di Perno $85

*** 2009 Bryant Family DB4 $100

*** 2009 Paul Hobbs Cabernet $75

*** 2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin $150

*** 2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato $125

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Paul Hobbs – Pinot Noir

9 March 2012, 100 Jane Street, Manhattan

My first Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir and I was a bit disappointed. The wine had depth, starting from the medicinal nose to the sharp acidity and tannins, but not the elegance or finesse one would expect from a well made Pinot Noir. It felt almost too extracted and potent for a grape that, at its best, should be subtle and nuanced.

Part of this was explained by it’s young age – I wouldn’t expect a great cru from Burgundy to show this well at such a young age. However, given that it was a California Pinot I was left hoping for something more like the Kistler Pinot Noir we had a couple months earlier.

The wine is fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. Native malolactic fermentation occurs in barrels and it’s aged for 15 months before bottling – unblended, unfined and unfiltered. The wine had great complexity starting with a floral aroma that led to a spicy and earthy mid-palate. Good red fruit but too overpowering at this age:

2009 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Lindsay Estate

** Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Lindsay Estate, $85

A Paul Hobbs Chardonnay

10 February 2012, 100 Jane Street, Manhattan

This past Friday, Diane and I decided to stay in, cook some food and try our first Paul Hobbs Chardonnay. We started out with bread, Wisconsin clothbound cheddar and Sabra Supremely Spicy hummus. We both noted that the Chardonnay, 2009 Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Vineyard, had bright acidity that cut through the marbling of your palate from the clothbound.

Our dinner was simple but good: baked chicken with rosemary and garlic, jasmine rice, sauteed squash and a baked sweet potato (for Diane). Pale gold in color, I thought the nose was a bit weak but Diane said it smelled like honeysuckle. The palate was rich with oak, vanilla, and pear with a “spicy” finish for a white. We were both interested to see how this would age as the fruit and acidity start to blend together.

As is the case with his wines in Mendoza that we tried, Paul Hobbs sources his grapes from various growers in the California area – he is just the winemaker, not the farmer. This particular Chardonnay is barrel-fermented with native yeasts for 6 months with concurrent malolactic fermentation. It’s aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, mainly new, and aged sur-lies (all the junk leftover from the yeast and the fermentation process). Unfined and unfiltered but remarkably clear in the bottle. A delicious wine and great complement to our food:

2009 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay, Richard Dinner Vineyard

*** 2009 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay, Richard Dinner Vineyard, $65