Friday, November 4, 2011


I often encounter people who are flabbergasted and not a little overtly envious of my job as a professional Wineau. This is indeed a wonderful industry with a product that brings people together in a special way. There is passion at every corner: in the vineyard, retail store, tasting table, online forums... Wine enhances food, and vice-versa. It makes memories. It is a celebration.

Unless you're a professional wine taster, that is.

Then the world of wine can be a marathon whirl-wind of tasting, spitting, note-taking, absorbing details of varietal percentages, soil composition and time spent in what kind of oak.

I recently spent a 50-hour span at the Wine Spectator magazine's NY Wine Experience. Although this is primarily a consumer-oriented event, I approached it as a fantastic trade opportunity. During the two Grand Tastings, I sped between tables with a marked-up map and plan of action, running up and down from ballroom to ballroom to taste as many wines as I could. During the days, the pace was kinder, but there were still seminars pressed against each other - the pourers sliding between rows with the precision and frequency of an elite military assault team.

My intention would be to eventually break down some of these amazing wines into categories and post richly-detailed and enthusiastic articles about them. But the sheer number of wines might make that quite difficult.

So as a bridge to understanding for you fellow Wineaux who may not be in the industry, here is simply a list of every single wine I sampled that weekend (and apologies for some missing accents and any overlooked auto-corrections.)

Take a minute, read it through, and imagine what it would be like to spend time tasting and evaluating each one. I think you will agree that being a Professiona Wineau is not for the weak of mind or palate! (But still enviable.)

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Castello d'Albola Toscana Acciaiolo 2006
Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006
Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Taillepieds 2008
Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs 2009
Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne 2001
Antinori Chianti Classico Badia a Passignano Riserva 2001
Antinori Toscana Solaia 2007
Antinori Toscana Tignanello 2001
Antinori Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Fattoria La Braccesca 2001
Argyle Brut Willamette Valley Extended Tirage 2001
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura 2006 (2x!)
Antonio Barbadillo Oloroso Jerez Dulce Amoroso San Rafael NV
Marchesi di Barolo Barbera d'Alba Ruvei 2008
Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Georges de Latour Private Reserve 2008
Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2009
Bergström Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Bergström Vineyard 2009
Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Private Reserve 2008
Bollinger Brut Champagne NV
Bollinger Brut Rosé Champagne NV
BOND Quella Napa Valley 2007
Bouchard Père & Fils Volnay Caillerets
Cà Bolani Sauvignon Aquileia del Friuli Gianni Zonin Vineyards 2010
Brander Sauvignon Blanc Santa Ynez Valley 2010
CARM Duoro Reserva 2007
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Special Selection 2005
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Special Selection 2009
Chalone Chardonnay Chalone 2009
M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne 2007
Jean Chartron Puligny-Montrachet Clos du Cailleret 2009
Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Cinq Cépages 2007
Château Cheval Blanc St.-Emilion 2005
Château Climens Barsac 2007
Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Cicala 2007
Continuum Estate Napa Valley 2008
Château Cos d'Estournel St.-Estèphe 2004
Château Coutet Barsac 2007
Dalla Valle Maya Napa Valley 2008
Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Red Rock Terrace 2000
Disznókó' Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2000
Dolce Napa Valley Late Harvest 2006
Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2001
Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2008
Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne 2002 (2x)
Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne Oenothèque 1996
Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne Oenothèque 1990
Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne Oenothèque 1975
Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2008
Joseph Drouhin Morey-St.-Denis 2009
Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis Les Clos 2008
Georges Duboeuf Morgon Jean Descombes 2009
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St.-Julien 2008
DuMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Estate 2009
Ernie Els Stellenbosch Signature 2007
Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons 2009
Far Niente Chardonnay Napa Valley 2009
Ferrari-Carano Trésor Alexander Valley 2007
Ferrari Trento Fontadore Riserva 2001
William Fèvre Chablis Bougros Côte Bouguerots Domaine 2007
Firestone Sauvignon Blanc Santa Ynez Valley Barrel Select 2009
Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2005
Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Camp Meeting Ridge 2010
Fontodi Colli della Toscana Centrale Flaccianello 2007
Marchesi de'Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2006
Fontana Candida Frascati Supreiore Luna Mater 2009
Gaja Barbaresco 2007
Gaja Langhe Sperss 1999
Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Asili 2007
Domaine J. Grivot Clos de Vougeot 2009
Domaine J. Grivot Echézeaux 2008
Château Gruaud Larose St.-Julien 2001
GTS Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain District Seaver Family Vineyards 2008
E. Guigal Condrieu 2009
E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis 2007
Gunderloch Riesling Beerenauslese Rheinhessen Nackenheim Rothenberg 2001
HALL Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kathryn Hall 2008
Harlan Estate Napa Valley 2007
Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan 2006
Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Blanc des Millénaires 1995
Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Martha's Vineyard 1999
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja White Reserve 1993
Hess Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder 2007
Hitching Post Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Highlander 2008
Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 2008
Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain Richard Dinner Vineyard 2009
Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2008
Hugel Gewürztraminer Alsace Vendage Tardive 2005
Inniskillin Riesling Niagara Peninsula Ice Wine 2007
Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2007
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes 2010
Kistler Chardonnay Russian River Valley Vine Hill Vineyard 2008
Kracher Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese Burgenland Zwischen den Seen No. 11 2008
Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1998
Alois Lageder Alto Adige Löwengang 2007
Lapostolle Clos Apalta Colchagua Valley 2008
Louis Latour Corton Château Corton Grancey 2009
Château Léoville Barton St.-Julien 2000
Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008
Lincourt Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills Steel 2009
Lincourt Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2008
Littorai Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Hirsch Vineyard 2009
Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese Mosel Ürziger Würgarten 2009
Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac 2005
Château Margaux 1999
Masseto Toscana Masseto 2001
Domaine Pierre Matrot Meursault Charmes 2007
Medici Ermete Lambrusco Reggiano Concerto 2010
Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Klopp Ranch Méthode à l'Ancienne 2007
Peter Michael Chardonnay Sonoma County Ma Belle-Fille 2008
Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley 2008
Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2006
Mollydooker Shiraz McLaren Vale Velvet Glove 2009
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 2007
Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2006
Muga Rioja Torre Muga 2006
Mumm Napa DVX Napa Valley 2001
Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2004
Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley White 2003
Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroie 2008
Greg Norman Estates Shiraz South Eastern Australia Reserve 2006
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port Nacional 1994
Numanthia Termes Toro Termes 2008
Opus One Napa Valley 2008
Orneillaia Bolgheri Superiore 2001
Pahlmeyer Napa Valley 2008
Château Palmer Margaux 2000
Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009
Peay Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Pomarium 2009
Penfolds Shiraz Barossa Valley RWT 2007
Perrier-Jouët Brut Fleur de Champagne Cuvé Belle Epoque 2002
Joseph Pelps Insignia Napa Valley 2008
F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Trocken Wachau Dürnsteiner Kellerberg 2010
Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron Pauillac 2003
Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande Pauillac 2008
Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Somoma-Napa Counties Reserve 2007
Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling Spatlese Mosel Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2007
Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Pedregal Vineyard 2008
Revana Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena 2007
Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello 1981
Château Rieussec Sauternes 2006
Bodegas Roda Rioja Cirsion 2001
Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley L'Ermitage 2002
Louis Roederer Brut Champagne Cristal 2004
Rosenblum Zinfandel Rockpile Road Vineyard 2008
Champagnes Barons de Rothschild Brut NV
G. Roumier Morey-St.-Denis Clos de la Bussière 2009
G. Roumier Morey-St.-Denis Clos de la Bussière 2008
Royal Tokaji WIne Co. Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos Red Label 2007
Château de Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2003
Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Le Mesnil 1999
Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2006
Sanford Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2008
Sartori Amarone della Valpolicella Corte Brà 2004
Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassacaia 2007
Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007 (2x!)
Schramsberg J. Schram Rosé North Coast 2004
Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Hillside Select 2007
Simcic Ribolla Goriska Brda Opoka 2008
Soter Vineyards Brut Rose Willamette Valley 2006
Spice Route Malabar Swartland 2007
Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008
Spring Valley Uriah Walla Walla Valley 2008
Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 25th Anniversary Selection 2007
Sterling SVR Reserve Napa Valley 2008
Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Alexander's Crown 2008
Château Suduiraut Sauternes 2007
Taittinger Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 2000
Terradora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Loggia della Serra 2010
Domaine Tollot-Beaut Corton-Bressandes 2009
Domaine Tollot-Beaut Corton-Bressandes 2008
TOR Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Beckstoffer To Kalon Clone 337 2009
F. E. Trimbach Riesling Alsace Cuvée Frédéric Émile 2005
Two Hands Ares Adelaide 2007
Two Hands Shiraz Barossa Valley Bella's Garden 2008
Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva 2005
Vall Llach Priorat 2006
Bodegas Vega Sicilia Ribera del Duero Unico Gran Reserva 1994
Bodegas Vega Sicilia Ribera del Duero Unico Gran Reserva 2000
Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2007
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2009
Château d'Yquem Sauternes 2008
Zaca Mesa Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2007
Zaca Mesa Viognier Santa Ynez Valley 2009

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For the record, it only took one day until I was ready to actually drink a glass of wine again.  Some of the above were truly standouts among magnificence and I hope to get into more depth about my favorites soon!  Drink well.