The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

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Page 26 of 132

WINE BRIEFS Cocktail port N oval Black, from Quinta do Noval, one of Portugal’s venerable port houses, is proof that what’s old is new again. Launched last year, the fruity port is not to be enjoyed in a red velvet smoking jacket; indeed, its maker encourages you to quaff it in a cocktail. “The idea is to liberate port from its constraints,” says Christian Seely, Managing Director for the quinta. And to do that, he’s enlisted de rigueur bar- tenders such as PDT’s Jim Meehan in Manhattan to create seriously sexy cocktails. Meehan, who loves a spirited challenge, said “I love stuffy British things, but that doesn’t sell drinks in 2011.” Meehan uses it as a base for summer drinks, lightening it up with layers of citrus and fresh fruits with an intermittent zing like ginger beer or lime juice. In its first nine months of sales, Noval Black went from zero to 7.5% of the market—a rate that makes it the fastest-growing port, according to Alex Michas of Vintus, importer for the port. Who’s buying? A younger and more adventurous drinker attracted by sleek and sophisticated packaging that says “this is not your father’s country estate.” SRP $22. —Lana Bortolot Jim Meehan, owner of PDT in New York’s East Village, pours the Betsy Black cocktail he created using Noval Black. specializes in small artisan bottlings of single-vineyard-designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old-vine Zinfandel. “Jennifer and I are thrilled that Jeff will be joining our team,” says proprietor Don Hartford. “He is an established artisan winemaker who has developed a well-earned reputation for specializing in cool-climate viticulture and winemak- ing. Jeff’s balance of winemaking talent, experience and leadership will be a great addition to our family winery.” Stewart, a graduate of U. C. Davis with a degree in fermentation science, viticulture and enology, began his career working with a number of wineries on the North Coast of California and, in 1999, was named winemaker at La Crema in the Russian River Valley. He is still largely credited for laying the foundation that led to the winery’s current success. He left La Crema in 2003 to take the winemaking helm at Buena Vista Carneros. 2 / the tasting panel / june 201 1 Jeff Stewart Joins the Hartford Team F ormer Buena Vista winemaker Jeff Stewart is now winemaker and General Manager at Hartford Family Winery. The Russian River Valley–based winery Jeff Stewart is the new winemaker and GM for Hartford Family Winery. PHOTO: GEERT TEUWEN

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