The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2016

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22  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2016 NEW YORK CITY SIPS A world of stately reds from Spain, Napa Valley and Italy paraded through New York last month for launches, anniversaries and a celebration of women in wine. Winemaker Manuel Louzada was in town for the U.S. launch of Arínzano wines, newly represented by Stoli's Prestige Wine Portfolio, of which he is also the CEO. One of Spain's 15 Vino de Pagos as of 2015, Arínzano represents the highest category of quality in Spanish wines, and is made with a "Cru philosophy," Louzada said. The winery, located in Navarra, produces 7,000 cases. Aside from a Tempranillo-based rosé for which Navarra is famous, Arínzano produces a single- variety Tempranillo and a Burgundian-style Chardonnay, as well as Tempranillo- based blends with Merlot. "When you taste, they are Old World and Spanish in style, but are silky and exciting. The origin, expression of terroir and balance of the winemaker is the new expression of Spain," Louzada said. Marking the 20th anniversary of Castello di Fonterutoli "Siepi," Francesco Mazzei conducted a vertical tasting of the Super Tuscan made by his family in the heart of Chianti Classico. The lineup included 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and the newly released 2012. "We think there is room to make wines the same level of Brunellos," he said, adding "Italy has great potential everywhere but not as a first player; we need someone else to open the market." Mazzei says nowadays origin plays a larger role than ever. "You see people looking more for identity—I could not say that 15 or 20 years ago." The Mazzei family has little to prove in that department: They inherited the Castello di Fonterutoli estate in 1435. Three additional selections were paired with lunch: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Mix 36 (a blend of 36 biotypes of Sangiovese) and Philip Cabernet Sauvignon. Women winemakers have their star turn at the Ritz-Carlton's Auden Bistro & Bar on Central Park West, thanks to the "Phenomenal Femmes" wine dinner series conceived by Wine Director Marika Vida. The most recent guest was Rebekah Wineburg, responsible for the elegant Bordeaux-style wines of Quintessa in Napa's Rutherford district. With a name referencing the estate's five hills, the winery was created out of virgin land by its Chilean owners, Agustin and Valeria Huneeus, and has never been treated with chemicals. Wineburg, whose own ritzy resumé includes Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Staglin Family Vineyard, Rudd Winery and Buccella, presented Illumination 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Pace 2012, 2006 and 2012 Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon and Faust 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. She said that while "the idea with Faust is to express Cabernet, the idea with Quintessa is to express the estate." Ritz-Carlton Wine Director Marika Vida (left) and Quintessa's Rebekah Wineburg at Auden Bistro & Bar at the Ritz-Carlton. Francesco Mazzei with the vertical lineup at Aureole in Times Square. A Celebration for Every Reason by Lana Bortolot Manuel Louzada chats with trade guests at Upper Story, the Charlie Palmer event space in Midtown. In the back: Lisa Granik, MW (gray sweater) and to her left, Katrin Naelapaa, Director of Wines from Spain. PHOTO: SUZANNE SUTCLIFFE PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT

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