A Night in Port at Tuyo Miami Culinary Institute

Opening image from A year in Port, documentary

1983 vintage for the Douro: This year was marked by a growing season which, during mid-summer, nobody would have predicted would be a declared vintage. The winter and spring were both cold, inhibiting flowering and retarding development, so that even as things heated up during the summer the vines were three weeks behind schedule, heralding a late harvest.(excerpt from www.thewinedoctor. com)

Tasked with a tasting for a range of Ports we took the course of : Warre’s 1983 Vintage, Grahams 30 Tawny and Quinta do Noval Vintage 2003(sourced direct from it’s vineyard). An approach that would allow to have a full range of with traditional characteristics and from notable Port houses. It is also interesting to taste wines that were reviewed many years ago with the understanding that these ports clearly upheld or even better than the rave reviews as below.

www.vintageportsite.com

The Warre’s 1983 Vintage Port “The 83 is richly perfumed and fragrant, which is so typical of ports from this vintage, and it is seemingly more forward than normal” -Robert Parker, 1989

“Slightly simple and sweet, but still very good. Deep purple with fresh violet and berry aromas. Full bodied, with very sweet fruit flavors, full tannins and medium finish”.-JS, WS 1989

Grahams 30 year tawny “The intensity and luxuriousness of this Port is a real treat. With an average age of 30 years, there has been plenty of time for the component wines to concentrate down and develop incredible complexity. Rich, syrupy and immediately nutty on the palate, sweet spices follow with a wave of cleansing acidity. Notes of dried orange peel, dried fruits, cinnamon and caramel flood the long finish. Very well balanced and surprisingly fresh”. -Decanter, 2016

Broad in feel and dark in profile, with walnut and hazelnut notes followed by flavors of brown bread, dried fig, bitter orange, singed almond and juniper. A lovely flash of green tea adds sparkle and detail on the finish, but this stays reliant on its bass line throughout. Drink now”. 1,200 cases made. – James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

Quinta do Noval Vintage 2003 has a gorgeous raisin, fig and clove-scented bouquet with more freshness than the whole of Pomerol combined. -Robert Parker 2014

For a relatively young tawny, this shows fine concentration and grip with a youthful and lively finish. Burly and powerful, this opened up over several days proving that is has some elegance too. – Wine Advocate

Tuyo Restaurant
Miami Culinary Institute – 8th floor
Miami Dade College
415 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33132


November Italian Tasting at Mira 5 Stars South Beach

photo: www.miamiandthebeaches.com

A five star night for four exception Italian reds hand picked for our perfectly paired tasting at Mira 5 Stars. These Italian wines represent the uniqueness of Italy while breaking away from the usual varietals that are typically selected for Italian wine tastings.

Petra Toscana Suvereto- 2012-is produced from two classic and international grape varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Two varieties that have proven to the soil types at Petra.  www.liberusa.com

Galatrona Petrolo-2014-The polish and fine texture to this 2014 is impressive with blueberry, dark chocolate and light walnut aromas and flavors. Medium body, integrated tannins and a long, refined finish. www. jamessuckling.com

The Flaccianello della Pieve- 2012- represents a selection of the best fruit from the best vineyards (excluding, of course, Vigna del Sorbo that is dedicated to its own wine). The five parcels span various soils types and exposures, and the youngest vines are 20 years old. Because the fruit selection process is so detailed, the darkest and smallest clusters are carefully chosen. As a result, the fruit is rich in polyphenols, thick extract and extra aromatic intensity. The 2012 vintage saw yields reduced by as much as 20%, meaning that fruit selection was even more severe in this vintage. This beautiful wine shows abundant richness and generosity with toned mineral nuances that are wrapped within bold flavors of dark fruit and spice. The wine is rich and velvety in texture. – Monica Larner, Robert Parkers Wine Advocate.

The Rosso “Ca’ del Merlo”- 2010- is a complex and robust red wine produced according to the Ripasso method from different grapes. After 7 years of maturation in oak barrels it expresses rich and smooth scents and a powerful and velvety taste. It continues the maturation in bottle for many years and decades. www.callmewine.com

We are going to miss you Paul! Jeff??

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The stuff that makes legends: Joseph Drouhin Wine Tasting: A perspective of four Burgundy Wines

Recent trip to Burgundy began our latest wine journey into one of  France’s most important and distinctive wineries. Visiting the cellar of Joseph Drouhin in Beaune was a tour of exceptional wines and along with the fascinating history of this legendary wine maker. A tale for the ages as the winery faced adversity during WW II – hiding it’s vintages from the Nazis and surviving. Well, that persistence has truly paid off as the winery lives on to be considered one of Brugundys signature appellations.   Once back in the US, arrangements were made for our club to taste four wines that are now available in most markets.

Joseph Drouhin Chablis AC, Drouhin-Vaudon 2015 (100% Chardonnay). Wine Maker notes:  The Moulin de Vaudon, the property of Joseph Drouhin, is an 18th Century watermill straddling the Serein River, close to the GrandCru vineyards of Chablis.  Tasting note by Veronique Boss-Drouhin – “A dry and fruity wine, easy to drink. Its colour is pale gold with greenish hues. Very fresh aromas reminiscent of citrus (lemon or grapefruit); On the palate, dry and fruity, with mineral notes. Pleasant and long aftertaste”.  WCM- The Chablis AC is a dry, fruit-forward wine with citrus aromas and slight hints of spices with and subtle hints of fruit with a lingering mineral finish. Overall very good chablis that pairs easily for a host of menu choices as it paired well with fried snapper that accompanied it.

Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles, Mâconnais 2015 (100% Chardonnay) Wine maker notes: The wine area stretches south of Burgundy in the Mâconnais region, within 10km south-west of Mâcon. Less famous than its neighbour “Fuissé”, it has been known since the Roman times; “Vincella.  Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin”A wine for mere pleasure! Pale yellow colour with numerous bright green reflections. Intense persistant flavours of peach and white flowers harmoniously meshed together. On the palate, the wine is ample, fresh, intense, with reminiscent notes of ripe grapes, almond, fresh hazelnut and cinnamon. The mouth reveals an elegant wine endowered with a good structure”. WCM- A truly enjoyable wine with a nice sense of taste and balance. On the palate, this wine  has flavors of tropical and citrus fruits and slight oak making it a memorable wine for our tasting

Joseph Drouhin Brouilly Cru Beaujolais, Hospices de Belleville 2014 (100% Gamay) Wine Maker notes; Depending on the plot and the quality of the grapes, part of the harvest isde-stemmed for a ‘Burgundy style’ vinifi  cation with punch downs and pump overs, whilst the rest is vinified as whole cluster with carbonic maceration. Slow fermentation lasts between 10 to 15 days. TASTING NOTES: Th is Brouilly displays a deep red purple robe, a fleshy body with supple, caressing tannins, perfectly balanced, fruitiness is present with a delicately peppery note to finish. WCM-Served Chilled Note: The Brouilly has come together as a fuller wine with more complexities. Nice low tannin and full flavor give this wine easy drinkability and we are sure a wine to keep for many many years.

Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin Pinot Noir 2015 (100% Pinot Noir) Wine Maker Notes: History & tradition: Gevrey is of course the village where the Grand Cru vineyard Chambertin is located. Vines have been cultivated here since 630AD, when a certain Bertin decided to emulate the monks, his neighbors. The wine he made turned out to be spectacular – and the rest is history! Soil: lean and chalky, with a red-brown cover layer of clayey marl. WCM: Wow, black cherry,  blackberry and spice on the nose, with earthy styled nose. The Tannins blend harmoniously and a velvety texture of the wine. Overall a terrific wine with a wonderful finish and brings out the best of Burgundy.

 

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.

2017 SBWFF-Wine Spectator Seminar: Beaulieu Vineyards Retrospective Tasting

A SBWFF- Wine Spectator Tasting of BV’s : Jorge Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Tapestry Red Blend wines

A notable and enjoyable wine at the SBWFF tasting was BV 2013 Tapestry Red Blend. Bordeaux style with nice finese of flavors as supple hints of black cherry and soft tannins round out a nice and lasting finish. Wine Advocate Review: “The 2013 Reserve Tapestry Proprietary Red Wine, which is another Bordeaux blend, raises the question: Is Beaulieu actually producing too many of these proprietary blends, instead of focusing on four or five top wines? In any event, this is a smooth, supple, delicious, front-end loaded style of wine for 2013, with elegant cedar wood, fruitcake and soil undertones intermixed with red and black cherries and blackcurrants. It is ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, elegant and well-balanced. Drink it over the next 12-15 years”. (Taken from Wine Review) Score: 90, Robert Parker, October 2015

Most impressive and the well noted at this year’s SBWFF tasting was the 1997 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. A truly lasting wine with concentrated fruits and soft complexities of notable and lasting finish.  This wine drank very well as it seems to to be holding up in true form as the following review implies.”A profoundly deep nose of red and black fruit, with cedar, ginger and nutmeg. The sense of balance and grace is sublime, as layers of cassis, plum and cinnamon keep unfolding. The chewy finish is lengthy and elegant, and it should be held for no less than five years. This bottling honors its pedigree as California’s first classic cabernet.” (taken from wine review, score 94 points Wine Enthusiast)

New Zealand Wines, Blind Tasting


2013 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection “The Fuder – Clayvin” Chardonnay Marlborough“Wow- the brand new 2013 The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay sure adds to the growing list of absolute knock-out Chardonnay’s of true global significance emerging these days from New Zealand. The highly revered Clayvin vineyard, from which this comes, does not fail to live up to its reputation, yielding a profoundly intense and complex wine redolent of ripe peaches, acacia honey, cashews and crushed chalk with marzipan and brioche nuances. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with savory and mineral flavors with a satiny texture and lively acid backbone, finishing with lingering honey-nut notes.” (Taken from wine review 95+ points Robert Parker Wine Advocate)

2013 Craggy Range “Sophia” Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Sophia Proprietary Red is intensely scented of crushed blackberries and blackcurrants with hints of cloves, cedar and violets plus a touch of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied and laden with muscular fruit, it has a solid backbone of grainy tannins and tons of vivacity in the long, multi-layered finish” (Taken from wine review 93 points Robert Parker Wine         Advocate)

2013 Rippon “Tinkers Field” Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otag0 “Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2013 Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir delivers fragrant black cherries, violets and Ceylon tea notes with underlying garrigue, lavender and fallen twigs hints. Medium-bodied, the tightly knit palate gives restrained, earthy flavors at this youthful stage with a firm level of grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and multi-layered” (Taken from wine review 94 points Robert Parker Wine Advocate).                                                                                           

                      2013 Trinity Hill”Homage” Syrah Hawke’s Bay “This full-bodied, richly tannic wine delivers. It starts off with savory notes of cracked pepper, black olives, violets and cedar, then eases into concentrated flavors of blueberries and roasted meat before ending with a flourish of firm, dusty tannins. Give it a few years to soften. Drink 2020–2030″. (Taken from wine review 95 points Wine Enthusiast)

 

Wines From the Holy Land: Israel

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September 13, 2016- I’d been wanting to showcase some great Israeli wines for a while- and when this month’s Wine Spectator dropped I know it was time! I had the guys taste blind with no clues. The guesses were all over the place. (All four of our wines were Bordeaux style blends). Our first wine, the 2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite. It proved to be very well balanced, subtle French Oak, and illustrated the complexities of Israel’s limestone terroir but French wine/grape provenance. David Yarus, Wine Club Miami President 2016

 

2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite
2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite

General Interest: Warm winds from the Sahara are a challenge for growing wines in Israel.

Question: Is Israel considered old world or new??!

 

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Mar. ’15 – Bordeaux’s Right and Left Banks

We all love Bordeaux!!  This little old town has become the Mecca for true wine lovers.  All vineyards face Bordeaux.  This month we had acquired from some bottles from collectors that were willing to let some experience them.  David Yarus dusted them off and studied.  He spends his days handling inventory of wines in a wine bank.

With the combination of some good pizza and Brian Connor at the microphone, we had a night of one of the best tastings the club could experience.

As for the right and left banks, can you tell which side of the Gironde River the wine comes from?  The Right Bank is more focused on Merlot as the Left is Cabernet Sauvignon.  They are almost always blended of a few varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbet) unless you have a Chateau Petrus.  Brian kept us updated on the stats of the region.

The list was as follows:

  • Chateaux Léoville Barton 2000 $194 WS 97pts. Left Bank – Medoc: Brick color with strong rim variation.  Ripe Fruit and Leather notes on the nose.  Lead pencil and minerals.  A long finish.
  • Clos De L’Oratoire 2000 $117. WS 92pts. Right Bank – St. Emilion Grand Cru: This can age another 5 years.  Strong coffee, cocoa and soft tannins.  This was a true Right Bank Bordeaux.
  • Chateau-Fageac 2000 $264. WS 89pts.  Right Back – St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe. Brownish brick red. Soft with Cedar/Sandlewood nose.  Soft tannins and a long silky finish.
  • Chateau Palmer 1998 $321 WS 90pts. Left Bank – Medoc Margaux.  Leather nose.  Tobacco and black cherry on the palate with a textured finish.  Still strong and has years more to go.

Each had its own distinct character.  Eventhough they had the blends to help you figure out which side it came from, the age added complexity.

This tasting was memorable as each wine grew into its own not following the standard charateristics.  We loved the variety each Bordeaux made.

Drink plentiful people!

Feb. ’15 – The Art of Aged Wine

The older the wine the better right?  Now there is a myth we all hear.  There is a lot to be said when it is aged properly.  Eventhough mostly all wine is made for immediate consumption.  However in recent tasting the Club had with Inglenook wine maker Philippe Bascaules at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival with Wine Spectator, I asked him his thoughts if wine should be aged first then released to the public like a Barolo or just sell it immediately.  He said, “The Consumer should have the luxury to taste the wine young and aged…”  He began to explain that having this experience is how wine aging helps to learn more about the maker and wine.

I was glad to have the opportunity to select some wines with the group.   Jeff Tenen, president of the Club, said to select anything I wanted, just don’t tell me and keep is within the budget.

My goal at this month’s tasting was to experience more about how wine transformation in its youth and aged.

I placed four bottles in front of the blood (or wine) thirsty Club.  We all drank them blind.  They were all the same variatel and manufacturer.

1st Pour: Red brick with medium halo variation.  Acidic & Leather nose. A Light Oak on the palate with a long finish.  This wine transformed as we studied.  It was extremely tight and complex.  The team narrowed it down.  It was an Amarone della Valpolicella or Nebbiolo.

2nd Pour: Light Brick with strong halo variation.  Less tannins with hints of vanilla bean.  Again an old world.

Since we knew it was an aged wine tasting, they immediately said Barolo!  We had the 2005 Vietti Barolo Brunate and the 2010 Vietti Barolo di Castiglione Falletto.

We loved the transformation.  What was a tight and complex wine turned into a flowing stream of flavors that kept shifting and opening bigger and better.

3rd Pour: Opaque dark ruby.  Sweet palate with soft tannins.  A velvety finish.  Immediately Stephen Gamson screams California Cabernet!  Why I ask.  He stated because, “It makes me Happy!”  So that immediately made the club start thinking a vintage California.  This is how the mind tricks you.  Don’t trick your mind, but he was on the right track.

4th Pour: Again Opaque dark ruby.  A nose that was releasing bitter sweet flavors.  This was now tricking the Club because they were thinking California.  Can this wine be so different?

2001 Winehall Lane Leonardini Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon compared to the 2011 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here the young wine was tight.  It was ready to drink but we felt it lacked the characteristics to age well.  The Leonardidi aged with grace.  Even at 14 years old it was obvious what it was.

Now make your choice.  Do you like to age the wine to see what it will become or to see it will remain true to what was made to taste like when it was created?  Happy drinking!!

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Wes

 

Jan ’15 – Do Not Trick Your Mind!

We all can recall that moment when it comes. The wine is in the glass and you begin to study it.  You have that taste and before you finish, you are already calling out varietals and regions.  Well that’s because you and almost every wine drinker out there, think they know it all. I can say that most of the group does know it all, that’s why we can only drink amongst each other, but we need to take the minutes and appreciate it. Isn’t she beautiful; look as her color; appreciate her age; she smells like a bouquet of roses; and when see speaks… take the 60-120 seconds and listen before you judge her.

The group had the opportunity to have Mr. Brian P. Connors of Connors Davis Hospitality. Brian is a Professor at Johnson & Wales University, The School of Hospitality Management. He lectured us on the how we have different “Sensations we experience are Reality” or are they not. This often triggers our minds to believe the wine we prefer is immediately from something we experienced. Yes, we have links from your palette to your brain, but it’s time to stop and take the steps to understand the wine.  What is good to you may be bad to someone else. Or is it just “different”.

Brian poured five wines.  The final two were blind tastings after our lecture.

Wine #1: 2005 Tempranillo Spain, Valduero – 6 Años Reserva Premium.

Wine #2: 2008 Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine #3: 2008 Gemstone Cabernet Sauvignon.

Brian’s lecture was comprised of many facets.  To list a few: Sensation Versus Perception; Analysis Versus Evaluation; See / Sight (Color and Intensity); Smell Descriptors (Off-Odors or distinct aromas); The 6 ‘S’s (Swirl, Smell -Three times, Sweetness, Savor); the human tongue; French Oak (Vespa), American Oak (Harley Davidson), Hungarian Oak (Moped Bike); viscosity (2%, Whole Milk or Light Cream); Rim Variation (Age and quality with color consistency when you look at the wine from the side, below and directly from above.)

Tasting Technique

Here is where we have our initial conclusions (Climate, Variety, Quality Level, Age, New vs. Old World).  After we think about the initial and a few minutes thinking, then we can come to our Final Conclusion.  Varietal, Country, Region, Vintage, Quality/Price.

We were able to practice the wines with the information in front of us. Now was the test. BLIND.

Wine #4. White wine. Color: Light Gold meant wasn’t aged too long. Bouquet: Slight Minerals meant Old World. Old World meant the Region could be from Europe. Vintage: Rim Variation was light it meant young.  Finally Quality: Sweet with citrus on the nose. Slightly textured, with a crisp finish.  Andrew Cohen, nailed it. Sancerre – 2013 Domaine de la Perriere Sav Blanc.

Wine #5. Now here this one was great!  It had all the challenges we love. Complex, interesting, old world, dark, high alcohol. Who guessed it? No one. This 2011 Ribera del Duero Pagos de Carraovejas was just hard to pinpoint.

As I said, we often know it all. Now, study the wine with these steps and you’ll be surprising people and yourself like a David Copperfield at the Playboy Mansion.