Archive for September, 2009

Wrist update & long lasting “mevushal” wine

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I saw my hand specialist today.

FUN NEWS…I got a new cast.

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BAD NEWS.

My wrist is NOT healing on its own.  I broke my scaphoid bone.  This is a bone in the wrist, and the location within the scaphoid where I broke it receives very little blood flow – no healing power.  So sadly, after almost 6 weeks in a cast, the break appears to be just as big as it was 6 weeks ago.

It appears that surgery IS in fact in my future.  I am off to Israel tomorrow so surgery will not commence until I return.  This gives me a glimmer of hope that MAYBE it will show signs of healing over the next 2 weeks and we can avoid surgery.  But if not, then it will be 8+ weeks in cast, maybe 9 before surgery.  Then surgery (screws put into my broken bone), re-cast, rehab…arghhh :(

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But did I mention I am going to ISRAEL!!!   WoooHooo!!!!

OK, wine.

I have blogged before about “mevushal” or flash pasteurized wine.  And in general, though the technology is improved, and I believe that the harm done to mevushal wines intended for early consumption is minimal, I must admit that I am not an advocate.  I guess I just figure that if I can have a non-boiled wine or a boiled one I will choose the “fresher” version every time.

Now the biggest knock that people have against mevushal wine is that the flash pasteurization process expedites the aging process, deeming mevushal wines unworthy of long term cellaring.

This past weekend I celebrated a momentous time in my life and while celebrating with new family members imagine my surprise to find a bottle of 1997 mevushal wine, in a closet, standing upright.  The wine, Herzog’s Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  A very fine wine in its youth.  But this one was standing upright (prime cork drying conditions), in a closet without any climate control, and did I mention; the wine is MEVUSHAL – FLASH PASTEURIZED.  These wines are not age worthy.  They are boiled.  Come on Wine Tasting Guy, don’t even bother opening up the bottle – it is SURE to be a goner.

Well, my hand is now hurting, and I took no formal tasting note, but…

…the wine was BEAUTIFUL!  Alive, soft, complex & DE-LIC-IOUS!

Dare I say my biases against mevushal wines are fading???

Happy (and healthy) mevushal wine tasting!

WTG

Trump event wine refresher

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

So the one (and a half I guess) handed WINE TASTING GUY made it out of Trump International Golf Course in one piece.  Actually, the event went great as a whole, and pretty well for me.  I think there were about 120-150 golfers, and then a total of about 350 people who made it out for the dinner reception & auction to benefit the St Jude’s Childrens hospital hosted by Eric Trump with special guest Jimmy Fallon (wow, there’s a mouthful).

But back to the wine, I got to taste and talk wine with lots of great people.  Some of whom I met last year, and others I met today for the first time.  What can I say, people enjoyed the wines, many placed orders and in  general they were just real cool.  I intend to stay in touch with some and talk more wine.

As for the wine we opened 2 reds & 2 whites.  The wines are all C & D wine Selection wines (the wine sponsor) and all were very well received.  C & D specializes in wines that taste like $100 & cost under $20.  It was fun asking a bunch of guys what they thought the Bordeaux I was pouring cost.  I heard $150, $120 & $90.  When I told them they could get a bottle for $15 they nearly tackled me and took all that I had.  For the record the Bordeaux was the 2005 “Chateau Tour de Gilet” Bordeaux Superior.  The wine, a very unique blend of 60% Petit Verdot with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot is a young Bordeaux showing nice fruit with great tannic structure and good acidity.  Truly a steal at under $20.

Salitis BACK

Working my way backwards through the wines, next up was the 2005 Chateau Salitis Cabardes, another unusual blend, this time consisting of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah & Grenache.  This fruit forward Languedoc gem had the folks raving about its fresh fruit flavors and long sensuous finish.

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Though I did not have a Chardonnay (I know, ABC – “anything but chardonnay”), I did have a very cool, full(er) bodied white.  Another Languedoc gem – a Faugeres Blanc – the 2008 Mas Olivier Faugeres.  Only about 5% of Faugeres is made white (mostly red wines are made there), and this one tastes like a top Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc.  A lovely blend of 80% Marsanne & Rousanne with the remainder Grenache Blanc and Rolle.  Medium bodied & creamy with tropical fruit flavors this wine was also a big hit.

Domaine Adele Rouze Quincy

Finally, my suggestion for most refreshing wine of the day was the 2007 Domaine Adele Rouze Quincy, a sauvignon blanc from the Quincy region of the Loire Valley.  Crisp, tart & refreshing with lime & green apple aromas & flavors, this wine was gulped by many a parched golfer.

In all once again it was a terrific day and I was thrilled to play a small role at such an incredible event for a great organization & cause.

Happy charitable golfing & wine tasting!

WTG

wrist update, Trump Invitational & Dalton wine tasting update

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Chugging along here.  Wrist is still in a cast & it seems I have a long way to go.  I’m told it could take a full 3 months.  It has only been 3 weeks.  AHHHHHHHHHHH…….

Cast & all, I will be wearing my Wine Tasting Guy hat tomorrow.  For the second straight year I have been invited to talk about wine to those in attendance at the Trump Invitational Golf Tournament put together by the Eric Trump Foundation to raise money for St. Jude’s children’s charity.

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I had lots of fun at last years event.  Met some Trump family members who were all pretty cool.  And the golfers were all quite receptive to the wines I was pouring, many of which were Israeli wines.  Hope I will have a story to share with you following tomorrow’s event.

Finally, I had the pleasure to attend a tasting of Dalton wines last week.  Dalton is an Israeli based winery, located (and with vineyards) in the Galilee region of Israel.

The tasting was led by proprietor Alex Haruni.  And it was A TREAT!

We tasted 9 wines in all, including 2 as of yet not on the market.  One, the 2006 “Super Premium” (shown above with white label and Hebrew writing), will be released Spring 2010.  And the second unreleased wine is a fortified Muscat was a single vintage example of a wine which is to be made using the “Solar System” (as is done with Spanish Sherry).  The final blend is expected to be a blend of 5 vintages so we got an EARLY preview as the 2006 we tried is the first vintage.  I hope Alex & family don’t drink it all and have the willpower to save some for the loyal customers. ;)

Of the wines presently on the market, there were as usual a few standouts.

The 2007 Dalton Viognier (wild yeast fermented) is both fermented & aged in oak barrels, of which 1/3 has NO YEAST ADDED, left alone for spontaneous fermentation.  The wine had a golden lemon color, with aromas of honey & melon.  Flavors of honey, flowers, vanilla, cream & toasty oak led to a long toasty finish.

We did a mini vertical of Dalton reserve Merlot – 2005 & 2006.  Though it seemed Alex preferred the 2006 which had fewer herbaceous notes, I enjoy this bit of what I believe is Israeli terroir and preferred the 2005.  But that might also have had to do somewhat with the extra year of bottle age that I thought led to a softer wine.

The 2005 Dalton reserve Merlot had a lite garnet color that faded to burnt orange at the rim.  Subtle red fruit and herb aromas led to an elegantly soft & fruity palate that  finished long and smooth.

The 2006 Dalton reserve Merlot was garnet with ripe red fruit flavors.  Full bodied and extracted, the pure fruit on the nose and palate were supplemented by chewy tannins and an acidity that I believe will soften with a year or so of bottle aging.  The wine had a long finish.

The 2006 pre-released “Mattatiah” (AKA Super Premium) is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc.  This wine was made with 200% new French oak (new oak for one year taken out of barrels and then put back into brand new oak for another year), very low yield vineyards, and when released about 1 year of bottle age.  The wine is clear ruby, dark to the edge.  Black fruit and sweet oak aromas lead to a ripe, concentrated, soft & plush wine with a pleasant & rich long finish.

Happy one-handed, charitable golfing & Israeli wine tasting!

WTG

Dalton Winery NYC tasting

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Starting off with the wrist, I will tell you that losing the use of a dominant hand is NOT FUN.  It doesn’t hurt much anymore, but it sure makes simple mundane activities real difficult.  I have my 2 week checkup tomorrow and will know more (I hope) about healing time, etc.

BUT, a quick note to let you know about a tasting taking place TOMORROW.

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Alex Haruni of Dalton Winery (Premium Israeli wine…and yes, kosher) is in town & will be pouring some SPECIAL wines at an event TOMORROW night, Wednesday 9/9/09.

Information on the tasting can be found here (only $36)…

The wines to be poured are as follows:

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Reserve Merlot 2005
Reserve Merlot 2006
Reserve Syrah 2005
Reserve Viognier 2007

Dalton Estate Fume Blanc 2007
Dalton Alma (Bordeaux blend) 2007
Dalton Zinfandel 2006

And two special not (yet) commercially available wines — Super Premium 2006 and Muscat 2006

Should be a special evening.  I’ll be there…will you???

Happy (one handed) special Israeli wine tasting!

WTG