Celebrating the Brotherhood of Port

This week we had a chance to sample excellent Porto and Douro wines at the Association of Port Wine Tasting at the Fontainebleau Hotel Miami featuring a selection of wines from Blackett Port Wine, Jorge Rosas Vinhos, Niepoort, Porto Réccua Vinhos, Ramos Pinto, Rozès and Sogevinus Wineries.


Jorge Rosas of Ramos Pinto showed off a fine line of Porto and Douro


Raul Monteiro of Sogevinus Wines showed off their 60-year-old tawny.


We were pleasantly surprised by this smooth finish of this very affordable White Reserve Porto from Rozes.


Pedro Carniero of Blackett rolled out some of our favorite ports!


The Brotherhood of Port welcomes eight new members including our good friend James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer Lyn Farmer.

2015 Year in Retrospective

We are coming to the end of our ninth year together, and beginning our tenth. Traditionally, this is the start our “Tin” anniversary, but I prefer the more modern symbol of our tenth year together, “Diamond”. 2015 was a year of getting back to fundamentals.

We started our year with the introduction of a series of lectures led by Brian Connors, Wine Professor from Johnston & Wales. Brian taught us the same professional tasting techniques used by master sommeliers. We quickly formed a great appreciation for the difficulty associated with trying to blindly determine region, varietal and vintage.

However, with each successive tasting this year, our group as a whole, was able to detect the nuances associated with different regions and varietals. Personally, I find myself going through the sight, smell, and taste routine as I drink all wines now.

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A few highlights of the year were:

  • A vertical tasting of arguably the top Malbec producer in the world, Achaval-Ferrer
  • The 1991 Dominus Estate (courtesy of Arnie) Blind Tasting
  • Wines of Italy sponsored by Sarah Brownell of Cru Artisan Wines featuring Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino
  • France vs USA (Pinot Noir) Blind Tasting
  • Gourmet Chef’s Dinner paired with lesser known regional wines (Chef Chris Caplan of Cantinetta Vintners)
  • Napa, California vs Wala Wala, Washington (Cabernet and Meritage) + 10 year vintage variance Blind Tasting
  • 2000 Bordeaux
  • Champagne and rare wine tasting from a private collector’s cellar
  • Youth vs Age in Barolo Blind Tasting

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Beyond the educational focus in 2015, I also believe that our club has found a good balance in the social aspect as well. Attendance this year was one of the highest I can remember, and on the occasion that a member could not attend, open spaces were quickly filled by past members and friends. The commitment and contributions of our members has and will always be the backbone to the success and longevity of our group.

It has been my pleasure serving as President for the past 12 months, and I wish David Yaris much success as our new President. l look forward to celebrating our diamond anniversary year with more great wines, cherished friends and a weekend away to commemorate this milestone.

–Jeff Tenen, President, Wine Club Miami

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Wine Club Miami Holiday Party 2014

Wine Club Miami made its mark this holiday season celebrating eight years of wine and great friendship. Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau was a terrific setting as we paired an exceptional collection of notable wines with excellent Italian fare.

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Five selected non-vintages, arranged by our incoming president Jeff Tenen featured 4 wines and excellent Brut Rose Champagne to start a memorable evening with a few memorable highlights. Nice mix dry and soft white wines with the complexities of aged Italian wines.

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Many highlights, having both Montrachet’s was notable and it seems the group was split on which one was the dominant choice. The Italian reds did seem to be nicely placed with the Duck Foie Gras Ravioli as well as the Braised short ribs and the Spaghetti.

Henri Abele, Brut Rose Champagne (non-vintage)

• Domaine Bader-Mimeur, Saint-Aubin Ler Cru “En Remilly”, Chassagne-Montrachet, 2011 & 2013

Giacosa Barolo Falletto 2005 Le Rocche Falletto- (96pts- WS; 95pts-ST; 94+pts WA)

Fontodi Flaccianello Della Pieve, 2006 (99pts-WS; 96pts RP)

A terrific holiday evening to mark our 8th year and to toast our new President as we head off into 2015.

Best, MH

Champagne and Claws

Wine Club Miami November 2014 Champgne Tasting

Champagne, like it, love it, lets just drink it. It’s that time of year again as the holidays are fast approaching, all the more reason for Wine Club of Miami to have a Champagne tasting. Five selected non vintages, hosted by myself and Andrew Cohen at the gallery space of our President Stephen Gamson. Stone Crabs claw were a fitting menu followed by a Joe’s Key Lime pie brought a terrific tasting and the close of our 8th year of Wine Club Miami!

Wine Club Miami November 2014 Champgne Tasting

A non ranked tasting based on comments from member for the following selected: Laurent -Perrier Brut ($35) Louis De Sacy Brut ($32) Ruinart Blanc de Blancs ($80) Drappier (almost) Blanc de Noirs ($47) Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose ($80)

Enjoyed by all and commented for good balance and subtle complexities seems rule the overall tasting comments. Several were noted with additional comments. Overall it seemed the Laurent was most liked in general for balance and for the nice price. Also commented on uniqueness and taste were the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and the more drier Blanc de Noir. Both of these Blancs seem to be most interesting for excellent taste.

Overwhelming response seems to be enjoyed for the Billecart-Salmon as to the quality of the champagne in an overreaching group consensus as very well liked.

Best, MH

Wine Club Miami November 2014 Champgne Tasting
Event hosts Matt Hege and Andrew Cohen

2012 Vin Review

It’s time to uncork our Vino Miami blog and finish off another enjoyable wine filled year. Memorable wines and memorable times have marked our calendar with a few notable moments and enjoyable wines to remember along the way. We started out tasting thru the old country with several noatable wines. Lively conversation and a new scoring approach marked our first few tastings. LMNT in Wynwood was the spot and 2010 Principessa Gavia “Gavi” with a overall score of 8.37 was the highest scoring white of the year.

In April, We enjoyed Matt Jewel’s rooftop setting for an Italian tasting.

The May Beer party was a nice break as we ventured off the wine path and hit South Beach for the love of Beer.

Back into the tastings as we explored the French and found a new definition for “Bait and Switch”… A French Discrepancy marked our night at the French Cafe, “Oui, we like wine but, we charge corkage…” Our night at Buena Vista Bistro also marked Wesley’s first wine club event as a member.

Chateau Mahmoud was the setting for the September tasting featuring blended whites and reds from California.

A great Miami evening with notable wines including the winning the highest scored red wine for the year the Justin Isosceles 2008 Paso Robles Blend ranking 8.22

We wrapped our year with  our final two tastings at the Miami Culinary Institute’s  Tuyo.

Terrific food, excellent service and nice wines directed our attention and our scoring. Ending our blind tastings with the 2009 Chateau Carigan Primm marking our final wining red wine.

Best, your wine captain! –Matt Hege

November 2012 Blind Tasting

Miami Culinary Institute’s Wine Theater set the stage for the November tasting of White Burgundy and 2009 Bordeaux

WINE NOTES: WHITES

The winning White Burgundy was the Vincent Prunier Chassage – Montrachet with a 7.4 score, presented by Mosheim/Issa/Smith. A tie for second and third place goes to 2010 William Fuve with a score of 7.22 provided by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen and the Mercurey Chateau de Chamirey provided by Hege/Tennen/Gamson/Castellanos. Well enjoyed and well liked whites with solid scores to accompany the last White blind tasting of 2012.

WINE NOTES: REDS

The winning red wine in 1st place was the 2009 Chateau Carigan Primm with a score of 7 provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson. 2nd place was awarded to 2009 Pipea Saint Emillian Grand Cru provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored 6. The Third place wine is the 2009 Chateau Telmac Saint- Julien provided by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen and scored 5. Young wines is the consensus and were enjoyable to mark our last red wine tasting.

October 2012 Blind Tasting

Terrific evening at Tuyo set the stage for the October tasting of Western Australia Chardonnays and Mclaren Vale Shiraz.

WINE NOTES: WHITES

The winning Western Australian white was the Jip Jip Rocks 2011 with a 6.5 score, presented by Mosheim/Issa/Smith. Second place goes to 2010 Evans and  Tate Margaret River with 6.1 score provided  by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen  and the third place wine is The Wishing Tree 2009 at 5 score provided by Hege/Tennen/Gamson/Castellanos. Nice white wines that seem off the usual wine path of typical chardonnays. Less oaky and more grape oriented as the tasting notes will allude to.  Low to moderate scores as the group seem to be split on these wines.

WINE NOTES: REDS

The wining red wine in both 1st and 2nd place was the 2010 Blue Eye Boy provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson and provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored a  7.1 and 7 respectively. The Third place wine is the Two Hands 2010 Mclaren Vale Angels Share provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel and scored 6.1.

September 2012 Blind Tasting

Chateau Mahmoud was the setting for the September tasting featuring blended whites and reds from California. A great Miami evening set the stage for our monthly blind tasting.

WINE NOTES: WHITES

The winning California blended white was the Conundrum 2010 at $19.00 by Cohen/Jewel/Mahmoud with a 5.4 score, and ranked a 7 by our guest Topher Hoffmann. Second place goes to Shenandoah 2010 at $15.50 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley with a 4.2 score with a 7 by Tohper.

A non blended wine was entered into the tasting and scored the highest ranking for all three wines. The Chappellet 2009 Chardonnay with a score of 5.6 provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa. A terrific non-oaky well balance Chardonnay.

These whites were a mixed bag with the group noting various tasting elements including more sweet and fruity, heavy bouquets for winning blended wine and with other blended wine seeming to loose it’s flavor over time and too soft. It should be noted the white tasting was overall very low on all scores and noted as as average or below average.

WINE NOTES: REDS

The winning red blend was the Justin Isosceles 2008 Paso Robles Blend at $49 a bottle provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson with a 8.22 ranking and scored a 7 by Topher Hoffmann. Second place was awarded to the Girard Napa Valley Artistry 2008 and scored a 7.22 and provided By Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored a 6 by our guest. The Third place wine is the 2008 Napa Nook scored a 6.55 provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel and scored a another 6 by our guest, Topher. All three wines were 2008 vintages.

Tasting Notes

from Wesley A. Castellanos

White California Blend

1. Minerals and steel nose, stones and lead taste, a tight crisp finish 5pts.  Lacks body and texture
2. Light Apricot and lemon vest, kiwi and ripe peace, crisp finish 6pts.  Good character.
3. Soft toast oak nose with hints minerals on the palate, soft finish. 5pts. A lesser competitor..

Reds California Blends

1. Flowers, earth, ripe cherries and powerful nose, spice sweet and soft body sharp taste, and smooth finish. Keeps transforming. 9pts Impressive….Ready to drink but can age a few more years.
2. Light soil and metal nose, lacks body, dry pepper warm finish. 5 pts.  I can find the notes, but not impressive.
3. Lilly lilac nose, oak nose, wheat alcohol taste and light body, crisp finish. 8pts. A “beautiful” wine.  Not overpowering elements. Great Character….

Terrific selection and excellent food pairings as everyone scored high on these well enjoyed wines with above average rankings along with an exceptional 8.22 for the Justin. Well done Cohen/Mahmuod/Issa for a nice blind and a great night.

Get ready for the October tasting, with information coming up.

Best, your wine captain! MH

August 2012 Blind Tasting

Enjoyable wine night and Mandolin was a perfect setting for our Albarino and Priorat tasting. Many thanks to Abraham and his team for arranging and the staff at Mandolin for terrific Greek cuisine with no corkage!

WINE NOTES: WHITES

The winning Albarino was the Las Canan, 2011 Rias Baixas provided by Smith/Mosheim/Issa with a 7.11. Second goes to Fidosela 2010 Consecha Rias Baixas with a score of 6.5 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley-last name Third place goes to Nessa, 2011 Riax Biaxas with a score of 6.11 provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel

These whites were well liked with the group noting various tasting elements including subtle fruits and minerals with a soft and easy drinkability. It should be noted that this white blind tasting had the tightest scoring noted as all wines were slightly separated with a few members in scoring with mostly above average scores.

WINE NOTES: REDS

The winning Prioat was the Mas D’EN Compte 2007 with an overall score of 8.11 provided by Cohen/Jewel/Mahmoud. Second place was awarded to Plaret 2004(more info if you have a photo)and scored a 8 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley as a last minuet just in time addition. Third place wine is the Gotes 2010 and scored a 6.7 provided by Smith/Mosheim/Issa.

Lush full bodied wines with a fruit forward with a strong influence of Grenache coming thru. Another nice red tasting with wines that were exceptional. Hat’s off to Paul and his team for picking terrific wines to learn about and enjoy.

Tasting Notes

from Wesley A. Castellanos

Albariño

1. Soft touch of grapefruit with crisp green apple nose, peach fuzz hints, light body, mineral finish. 8
2. Apricot and mineral nose, soft light body that offers hints of stone fruit, bitter mineral finish. 7
3. Star fruit with mineral nose, dry mineral taste and finish. 7.5

Priorat

1. Ripe cherry with a sweet oak nose, full body. Great finish. 8
2. Oaky cherry, soft and balanced body with tart taste, Soft Tar and coal finish. 7
3. Toasty and oak nose, soft body with dry taste, no structure. 5

We are getting set for our next blind tasting in September with Mahmoud/Cohen/Jewel hosting at Saad’s casa with a confirmed date of September 18th. Wine details to follow.

Until then, your wine captain! MH