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Some Wines to Look For at the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival

Wine-food-glass-logoThe Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival is coming fast, and there will be a lot of wine.  Since you can’t get to all of it you’ll need to be a bit selective, or circle the event tables at breakneck speed.  I vote for the former option.  Recently I attended the Horizons Beverage Company of RI Beverage Expo, and had a chance to sample a few wines that will also be in Newport.  Here are some to consider during your tasting day:

Bespoke Collection – this included Blackbird Vineyards and Recuerdo.  The Bespoke Collection also includes Ma(i)sonry in Napa, but they weren’t pouring those.  Fellow blogger Frederick Thurber recently opened a bottle of Blackbird Arise from his cellar and you can see his notes here.  He also talks a bit about the Recuerdo line.  I tried several of the wines.  Everything from Blackbird, who is in Napa, is excellent, they just make quality wine across the board.  Tasted were the 2011 Arise, the 2009 Illustration and the 2009 Paramour.  There was incredible spice on the nose of the Arise, and it is a wonderfully complex, medium+ bodied wine.  The other two take it up a notch and are truly outstanding.  Arise is probably a $45 retail while the others will be over $100 a bottle.  Try these if they are pouring them.

The Recuerdo wines are from Mendoza, Argentina, and included a Torrontes and two Malbecs.  The 2012 Recuerdo Torrontes was crisp and clean with refreshing acidity and a very smooth finish.  Really nice balance here, and definitely worth trying.  The 2012 Recuerdo Malbec I did not really like, but the 2011 Recuerdo “Aliado” Malbec was excellent, with a deep, rich nose and palate, full body and excellent length.  The Torrontes is probably a $10 wine and well worth it, the Aliado more in the $30+ range.

Casey Flat Ranch – we’ve written so much about Casey Flat Ranch I’ll just say they will be there so go try everything they are willing to open.

Chappalett – I thought the 2013 Chardonnay was quite good, and will run about $30.  The 2011 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon surprised me, and while I’ve heard a lot about the trying 2011 vintage in Napa and Sonoma this wine is very good.  It is an elegant,  structured cabernet with a classic nose and flavor profile.  It’s not huge or in you face but is really yummy.  Somehow they managed to make a very good wine in spite of the weather.  Probably a $45 wine retail.

J. Lohr – this producer is pretty consistent, and their Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is always a good wine at a good price.  Two to watch for here are the 2012 Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc, which was quite excellent and actually one of my favorite wines from the day’s event.  At around $12-$13 retail it’s a steal.  Also very good was the 2011 Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon, an excellent, full bodied cab with good depth and a long finish.  You’re likely to see these in Newport.

Joseph Phelps – a premier producer, they always show good wines.  Their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc was very good, but it will run you closer to $30.  The 2011 Insignia is excellent as always, but this iconic red will cost upwards of $150 at retail.  The good news is that Joseph Phelps is usually actually pouring the Insignia at the Newport Mansions Grand Tastings, so grab a sip when you get the chance.

There’s a few to look for, there will be hundreds more so enjoy the variety and have at it.  Whether you have a tasting plan or not you will be sure to find something new that you like a lot.

And don’t forget the seminars!  I think there’s still some room and they are a great option to try some excellent wines and learn a little bit more about this magic juice.

A votre sante!

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