This weekend saw the second Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in New York City – building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, it gave some of the world’s top winemakers a chance to showcase their superb wines to a highly enthusiastic audience.
There were a few pre-event worries about the previous week’s Canadian wildfire smoke, which had briefly made New York look like a set from Blade Runner, but thankfully a breeze had sprung up and cleared the skies, allowing everybody to enjoy the astonishing vistas from our venue, Manhatta in downtown Manhattan, a 60th-floor restaurant and venue with stunning views across the Hudson and the surrounding Financial District.
Hundreds of eager wine enthusiasts, some of whom had started queueing well before the event’s start time, filled the venue to near-capacity, with many of New York’s top wine and restaurant industry professionals represented among them.
There were four exclusive Masterclasses featuring Champagne Louis Roederer, Harlan Estate, Gaja and Château Léoville Las Casas, all presented by the winemakers themselves – Executive Vice-President and Chef de Cave of Champagne Louis Roederer Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Harlan Managing Director Will Harlan, Gaja co-owner Gaia Gaja and Château Léoville Las Casas Export Director Antoine Gimbert.
A very impressive line-up, assisted by Decanter’s experts including Bordeaux Editor Georgie Hindle, US Editor Clive Pursehouse and Napa Correspondent Jonathan Cristaldi, who will all be writing up extensive notes from the masterclasses, which are due to be published here in the next few days.
The event’s Grand Tasting featured fine wines from 50 highly prestigious producers, all specially invited by Decanter. The full, and rather impressive, list is here.
To add even more excitement to the event, a selection of Decanter World Wine Awards winners was available at the central bar. It was a highly international and varied set of wines, ranging from Greece to Germany via France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, and more – with California represented for the home team. The full list is here.
Other highlights of the day included, for the first time, the option of an excellent lunch (with wine choices kindly sponsored by Rioja’s own Faustino and Bordeaux great Domaine de Chevalier). There was also a selection of fine cheeses available for hungry wine lovers to nibble on.
We’ll be posting a set of pictorial highlights from the event shortly, so if you attended keep an eye out for our photo gallery – you might be featured. If you missed it, we’ll be doing it again next year, and if you’re Europe-based there’s a sister event happening on Saturday 11th November in London at The Landmark. Sign up for ticket alerts here. See you there!