The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 148

44  /  the tasting panel  / january-february 2016 OVER THE TABLE W hile debate rages within the Republican and Democratic parties about who will be their respective candidates for the 2016 election, winemaker Jean Hoefliger, a veteran of Château Lynch-Bages and Newton, and currently at Alpha Omega, is throwing his own weight onto the national stage—but not in the form of his candidacy. Last October, I met with Hoefliger in a closed-door tasting of The Debate, a new luxury wine that falls under the aegis of the JH Collection, Hoefliger's consultancy. He currently makes wine for 13 different brands, including Monteverro in southern Tuscany, which Antonio Galoni called "the first new Super Tuscan in a long time." The Debate, conceived over a real life passionate exchange with now business partner Rob McKay, comes in a three-bottle pack priced at $400 and consists of single vineyard designates, each 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Debate 2011 The Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper was texturally dazzling and ethereal, bolstered by delicious dark blackberry and blueberry fruit, vibrant and alive, with layers of tobacco and spice, espresso and toffee, anise and licorice. The Debate 2011 To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon is gorgeously floral, giving way to complex tannins, a dense core of robust fruit and savory, smoky, meaty spice, while The Debate 2011 Dr. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon offers chalky tannins and complex red berry fruit. The 2012s were released in November. For more information, visit In November, Morimoto Napa played host to a "Wa-Shoku" tasting, an event aimed at rais- ing awareness of traditional Japanese cuisine (wa-shoku) and saké as a versatile beverage that can pair with an array of global foods—from Japanese to Italian, French and American. Chef Ichiro Tsuji paired a series of bites with sakés selected by Toshio Ueno, a Master Saké Sommelier and the Executive Instructor at Saké School of America. The event was supported by MAFF (the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). Eriko Sekiya, an expert officer for MAFF, said that saké awareness in the U.S. is hindered by complex importation laws and a lack of experts in this country. MAFF is making efforts to connect with distributors, and educators like Ueno, and is willing to offer support for events that promote Japanese food and saké. For more information, visit and Single-Vineyard Cabs, Wa-Shoku Tasting, Quick Compare THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON: THE DEBATE, SAKÉ AT MORIMOTO AND NEWS FROM VIVINO by Jonathan Cristaldi And in December, the wine app Vivino, which boasts 12 million users worldwide, released a major update that might have on-premise buyers noticing their clientele scanning wines left and right. The new feature, called "Quick Compare," is designed to allow users who are facing an aisle of wines to scan as many wines as they want in one burst and to see all ratings of those wines on one screen within seconds. Vivino believes that this feature will help eliminate the guesswork of "making the right choice" when it comes to purchasing wines, enabling decisions based on peer ratings or how that wine might pair with food. Vivino was founded in Copenhagen by Heini Zachariassen and co-founder Theis Søndergaard in 2010. For more information, visit Jean Hoefliger. Saké expert Toshio Ueno. A screenshot of the Quick Compare feature.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - January 2016