Wine Spectator Grand Tasting NYC 2009 - TNs

I thought this was one of the better WS tastings i have been too. It was crowded but not too crowded. I never waited more than 10 seconds for a pour. Wide selection. A scene as usual. Adapted Posner’s format here…

Some general thoughts:

  1. many of the wines needed longer decants
  2. there were too many young wines that were too tannic and hard to discern - ex. 2004-2006 brunellos and 2006 bordeaux
  3. great to see the owners and winemakers pouring - Adam Lee, Michael Browne, Angelo Gaja, Mssr./Baroness Barton
  4. i love barolo and wish i could afford more
  5. i love pomerol when it hits its stride and wish i could afford more
  6. kudos to the vintners that brought wines with age on them - Ridge, Haut Bailly
  7. there was enough great dessert wine to end the night on a sweet note - kracher is awesome (never had before)
  8. i wish i was not dropped off the Schrader list (it wasn’t my fault!!!)
  9. the first growths all needed another 20 years before serving
  10. there are california wineries still making great wines (with long histories) despite no longer being “cult wines” - diamond creek is an excellent example
  11. i thought baroness Barton was going to have stroke when i told her that i loved her wines because they are delicious (and affordable)


Top 5 – all awesome and completely on a different level – WOW!
2006 Schrader Cabernet Old Sparky (out of magnum)
2004 Masseto
2005 Harlan Estate
2005 Ch LaFleur Petrus – need to search this one out – so beautiful, dark fruit and stones/minerals – sums up pomerol in 2005
2005 Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia – huge wine

Favorite Italians
2006 Ornellaia – fantastic, need to buy some
2004 Gaja Sperss – just a notch below the Conterno – loved it
2006 Fontodi Flaccianello – really powerful – WS99? I don’t know, humbling wine, there is something unique about the bottle but I cant put my finger on it
2006 Sassicaia
2006 Sette Ponti Oreno
2004 Siro Pacenti – powerful, acidic, tannic

Very Good Italians
2004 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino
2004 Valdicava Brunello - tannic
2004 Casanova di Neri Brunello Cerretalto
2007 Testamatta
2004 Altesino Brunello Montosoli
2006 Felsina Fontalloro

Favorite Bordeaux
2001 Ch Cheval Blanc – distinctive compared to the first growths – mint, chocolate, earth
1999 Ch Palmer - terrific
2001 Ch Margaux – best first growth, nice length
2005 Ch Mouton Rothschild – young, most terroir driven of the first growths
1998 Ch Haut Bailly – amazingly young and tannic, long life ahead
2006 Ch Leoville Las Cases – great, need to explore this chateau more

Very Good Bordeaux
2003 Ch Haut Brion
1995 Ch Latour – got nearly the last pour of the night, still needs time
2000 Ch Leoville Barton
2005 Ch Lynch Bages
2003 Ch La Mission Haut Brion
2004 Ch Pontet Canet
2000 Ch Montrose
2003 Ch Clerc Milon
2006 Ducru Beaucaillou
2006 Ch Vieux Ch Certan
2003 Ch Lafite – barnyard, disappointing – did the server taste this?

Favorite Cabernet
2005 Pride Cabernet Sauvignon Mountain Reserve – classic Pride, delicious
2004 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill – great!
2006 Phelps Insignia – always good year after year, tremendous consistency
2006 Opus One – seems they found their footing again
2006 Peter Michael Les Pavots – too young
2006 Foley Claret – powerful, too tannic
1989 Ridge Monte Bello – soft, kudos in bringing a wine with age on it!
2005 Shafer Cabernet Hillside Select – nice but not up to the level of the underrated 2004
2003 Caymus SS – too sugary for me

Favorite Pinot
2007 Dumol Finn – great future ahead, this is one of the top SVD in California
2007 Siduri Rosellas – great (always great to see Adam pouring!)
2007 AP Vin Pinot Noir Rosellas
2007 Kosta Browne RRV
2007 Kistler Cuvee Natalie

Favorite Merlot
2005 Carter Merlot Truchard Vyd – nice velvety feel, terrific merlot, nicely done

Favorite Spanish
1999 Vega Sicilia Unico – great wine

Favorite Dessert Wines – in order
2006 Kracher – awesome!!!
2000 Disznoko Royal Tokaji – 6 puttynyos - great
1998 D’Yquem – disappointing, lacked complexity and depth I expect from d’yquem, nice caramel color

Thanks for the report. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to one of these. Timing has been bad recently but I’ve enjoyed the ones I went to.


Thanks for the report. I was standing right near Unico, talking to my favorite wine personality, Jorge Ordonez, and I failed to get a taste of the 1999… [swearing.gif]

Which you listed in Italian…

Glad to see we had some similar notes.

2006 Ornellaia…OMFG…

I swear that the Pride was 2003 on the label, either way…AWESOME!

Diamond Creek was probably the biggest surprise for me.

stupid mistake about the Unico

corrected - sorry!

Did they only have wines from Padania there or was the rest of Italy represented?

Nice notes. I thought it was too crowded. I’d have prefrred to pay more for a relaxed setting.

it was crowded no doubt but they always are.
for me it is about the waits to get a pour. i never had to wait for more than 10 seconds and as the night went on most of the tables were empty.

anybody do the grand tasting seminars?

Can you share more detailed thoughts on the 04 Siro Pacenti Brunello? Thanks!

Siro Pacenti needed a decant (the bottle was clearly just popped open) - cherry, raspberry, chocolate, and smoke - high acid tone - long finish that was tempered though by chalky, powdery tannins
this wine needs patience
i left thinking i was glad i own some bottles and look forward to tis maturation