The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 48 of 152

AT RETAIL IN HIS ROLE AS A NEW YORK CITY RETAILER, INDUSTRY VETERAN ROM TOULON KNOWS How to Present the World's Greatest Wines by Timothy Moriarty / photo by Doug Young B Rom Toulon, Managing Partner of 24 Hubert Wines in New York City. y any reasonable measure, Rom Toulon was already a wine-world success story when he decided to make a change. For five years he had served as Wine Director at the Michelin three-star Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley. Prior to that, he had been on the wine team of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, opening its properties in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, London, Tokyo, Toronto and Paris. Where do you go from there? The native of Vouvray in France's Loire Valley decided it was time to open his own retail store. He chose one of New York City's most hip, fashionable—and competitive—neighborhoods, Tribeca. As Managing Partner of 24 Hubert Wines, Toulon describes the retailer's philosophy and ambition: "To sell wines that I would have carried in a three-star restaurant environment. And Toulon photographed to please people who only outside 24 Hubert want to spend $15." Wines in NYC's Tribeca The store carries 850 labels, neighborhood. with room for 250 more. Of that, 140 wines are priced at $25 and under. "We have wines from $10 to $3,000 from the same region," says Toulon. The store is strong on Burgundies and Loire Valley wines, and Toulon is looking to expand the Bordeaux section, "we are adding more labels that are smaller in production, a little obscure, and wines that are fun." Toulon is particularly proud of his selection of allocated wines. "Retailers don't usually get those," he says. "In terms of California wines, it took a while to earn the trust from distributors to get such wines as Marcassin, Schrader, Harlan Estate." He often brings in winemakers to showcase their wine in person, but in the case of Michael Polenske from Napa Valley's Blackbird Vineyards and Argentina's Recuerdo Wines, "We did a Skype session with Micheal from his home in San Francisco. How cool is that!" Rom Toulon's Picks for Five Food-Friendly California Wines Clendenen Family Vineyards 2010 Aligoté, Santa Maria Valley Bone dry and mineral, floral and citrus. Epoch Estate 2010 Veracity, Paso Robles A GSM. Robust, rich, but very elegant on the finish. The Hilt 2009 The Old Guard Pinot Noir Santa , Barbara Matt Dees is the winemaker. Wellbalanced, no greenness, no astrigency. Paul Lato 2011 Atticus Pinot Noir John , Sebastiano Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills Very Burgundian in style, with cherry, tobacco and leather notes. Pott Wine 2008 Pour Ma Gueule Carignane, Alfred Frediani Vineyard, Napa Valley Jammy red fruits, a little pepper, plus a bit of smoke, prune and plum. 48  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_034-65.indd 48 9/23/13 10:33 PM

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