The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2014

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22  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2014 NEW YORK CITY SIPS by Lana Bortolot N ew Yorkers will hesitantly shed their de rigueur black after Memorial Day, when all fashion choices lighten up, as do our wines. To celebrate the season of all things light and bright, we joined these women in white (wines) who came to town with the latest summer sips. Elena Walch and her daughter, Karoline, hosted a pairing dinner from their Alto Adige estate at the German-centric Marrow restaurant. The wines were precise with good reason: Elena is a former architect, now known not only a winemaker, but as the "Queen of Gewürztraminer" (so-named by the Italian gastronomic group, Gambero Rosso). Indeed, we found the 2012 Gewürz from the Kastelaz single vineyard swoon-worthy with its intoxicating nose of rose petals, honey and orange rind. The tri-lingual Walchs (who speak German, Italian and English) were here to introduce Beyond the Clouds, a Chardonnay blend with a heady floral nose with hints of caramel and burnt sugar. We caught up with Sandra Alves, who hosted Esporão's third annual "Women and Wine" luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park. The locale was perfect, and not just for its horsey-tailed view of the park: Ritz-Carlton Wine Director Marika Vida is known for her "Women In Wine Program" featuring female winemakers on her list and in a dinner series. Alves, one of the youngest female winemakers in Portugal, celebrated a decade with Esporão by introducing Assobio White, her first white wine from her native Douro, blended from Viosinho, Rabigato and Gouveio grapes at the Quinta dos Murças estate. Assobio is Portuguese for whistle, and with its bracing lime and mineral notes, we say this wine is as clean as a whistle. Anne-Laure Helfrich, the seventh-generation of the winemaking Helfrich family in Alsace, hosted dinner at ABC Kitchen with the newest vintage of terroir-driven wines for which the region is known. For those who think Alsace is all pricey and fancy, Helfrich's Noble label is the most modern and approachable of the portfolio, serving as a gateway wine for new consumers to the more complex and intense grand cru wines. The pair of Pinots (Gris and Blanc) showed explosive aromatics and fruits to match: pear, apple (bright in the Blanc and bruised in the Gris). She may not be the Queen of Gewürztraminer, (Alsace and Alto Adige share some grape DNA as well as cross- cultural references), but Helfrich's version was noble enough for us. Women Elena and Karoline Walch. Sandra Alves of Esporão. Anne-Laure Helfrich with ABS Kitchen Chef Karen Shu. in White

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