The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2017

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Page 20 of 116

20  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2017 The Ransom Note is a monthly column by The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor, David Ransom. Each month, David connects readers with some of the people, products and events that are making news along the Eastern Seaboard. A Tasting for Every Palate story and photos by David Ransom A pril was a banner month for tastings both large and small in New York City, with multitudes of winemakers and regional programs in town at one point or another to discuss their wines, and in some cases their new vintages. Here is a snapshot of some of the events I attended that intrigued me the most. First, as if they knew it would be an 80-degree day, Loire Valley Wines (www. hosted their spring tasting in an open atrium on Tenth Avenue (aptly named The Park) and poured a vast selection of the various wines produced in the region. In the Loire, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet and Cabernet Franc rule the roost, and vibrant fruit and acidity are hallmarks of the region's style. Along with representations from the main production areas of Chinon, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre and Vouvray, there were some wonderful wines from Anjou, Bourgueil and Cheverny, among others. Also well-represented was a large selection of one of my favorite sparkling wines, Crémant de Loire. Light and refreshing, Crémant is produced throughout the region, and the Loire is second only to Champagne for production of sparkling wines in France. On a slightly smaller scale, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with winemakers from Canada's Okanagan Valley, when Wines of British Columbia ( hosted a tasting at Paul Grieco's Terroir Tribeca. Producers pre- sented a variety of high-quality wines including whites made from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling, along with reds from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Okanagan Valley's first winery opened in 1931, and there are now over 300 wineries in the province, spread across ten distinct regions. Lastly, on a very small scale, I had the good fortune to spend some time one-on- one with Beaulieu Vineyards ( Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor to taste BV's newest incarnation of the ultra-exclusive Rarity Cabernet Sauvignon. Fittingly, the tasting took place at Rarities, the luxurious drinking "club" at the New York Palace Hotel. First made in 1968 by the Legendary André Tchelistcheff in order to show the "distinctive, opulent expression of an extraordinarily high- quality vintage," Rarity has made only four appearances since. This release, 1,500 bottles of the powerful 2013 vintage, is available only in magnums with a retail price of $1,000. Scene at the Loire Valley Wine tasting. Winemakers at the Wines of British Columbia tasting at Terroir Tribeca. East Coast Editor David Ransom with Beaulieu Vineyards Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor.

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