In the second part of this series, Decanter’s editorial team members highlight the wines they are looking forward to tasting at the upcoming Decanter Fine Wine Encounter NYC on Saturday 18th June 2022.
Tina Gellie – Content Manager and Regional Editor (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand & South Africa)
In 2016, while on a press trip to British Columbia’s Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, I had the pleasure of visiting the Burrowing Owl winery south of Oliver, not far from the US border. Their estate vineyards here, and from purchased fruit in Osoyoos, always give full-bodied, rich, ripe reds which regularly win a slew of medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards. At the recent annual Taste Canada trade event, I tried the range of current vintages and it was the Meritage, Cabernet Franc and this Cabernet Sauvignon in particular which stood out, for its bright acidity, inky blue fruit and pencil lead notes, judicious oaking and creamy length. Mark stand 32 of the Grand Tasting in your diary!
Christophe Baron‘s Walla Walla Valley AVA wineries (Cayuse, Hors Catégorie, Horsepower and No Girls) have a cult following. The AVA, while more associated with Washington, is one of the few that crosses state lines, and Baron’s vineyards and production facilities are on the Oregon side. All vineyards are farmed biodynamically, but only those under Horsepower label are (as the name suggests) ploughed by horses. For a Champenois, Baron certainly has the Rhône touch. While I’m looking forward to trying all of the wines on stand 33 of the Grand Tasting (as it’s doubtful I’ll ever be able to afford a bottle!), it is this 2015 Syrah I’m most excited by, following Charles Curtis MW’s description of ‘floral purity, lovely balance and impressive length‘.
This beautiful estate, founded in 1685, is one of South Africa’s most famous, thanks to its incredible sweet Muscat de Frontignan, Vin de Constance, a favourite of everyone from George Washington to Napoleon and Jane Austen to Charles Dickens. And yes, the wine is extraordinary – visitors to the Grand Tasting (stand 42) can enjoy the 2018 as well as the 2009. But before the luscious sweetness overtakes your palate, make sure you try Metis. Klein Constantia’s winemaker Matt Day is just as skilled with ageworthy dry wines as sweet, and this Sauvignon Blanc, inspired by Sancerre producer Pascal Jolivet, is a delicious example, boasting juicy orchard and citrus fruit, flinty minerals and focused acidity.
This is the inaugural release of Tom Cullity, the top-tier red named after Vasse Felix’s founder. Dr Cullity planted Margaret River’s first commercial vines in 1967, so the 2013 was released in 2017 to mark that 50th anniversary. And the wine named in his honour is still based on those original Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec plantings, along with a dash of Petit Verdot. While I have tasted a couple of the more recent vintages, I’ve never had the chance to taste this inaugural Tom Cullity release, so I’ll be making a beeline for this icon wine and the others on stand 44 of the Grand Tasting – including the superb Heytesbury Chardonnay 2019 from magnum.
Sylvia Wu – Editor, Decanter China & Regional Editor (Asia, Northern & Eastern Europe)
Nahe is a relatively small and sunny wine region located southwest of Frankfurt. To make a sweet wine like this, the wine growers need to wait patiently until autumn for the grapes to shrivel and even pick up some botrytis flavours. This is a youthful, complex sweet wine with plenty of acidity to refresh. I always love to enjoy these luscious treats at the end of the tasting – so there’s no need to spit!
An 100% Traminer orange wine from Serbia which was awarded a Platinum medal at the 2021 DWWA – something you won’t just find everywhere. Serbia has a history of making wines for 1000 years and is now a white wine-driven nation. This wine in particular is from the slope of the Fruška Gora mountain, 140-220 metres above sea-level. Complex and structured, this is a seductive orange wine featuring Oolong tea and honeyed characters, and so much more for you to explore.
James Button – Regional Editor (Italy)
I tasted some new and old vintages of Col d’Orcia’s excellent Brunellos at Vinitaly recently, and they age exceptionally well. The Poggio al Vento vineyard is rich in fossils and sand, delivering a mineral dimension to this wine which has been bottled separately as a single-vineyard since 1982. The examples I tasted were exceptionally fresh, structured and deep, and you can expect more of the same from the ’95 served from magnum.
Lungarotti is a benchmark producer in the relatively obscure winemaking region of Umbria. Rubesco Vigna Monticchio has been the estate’s flagship wine for over 50 years, a single-vineyard Sangiovese matured for 12 months in large casks and barriques then a number of years in bottle. Elegant, persistent and spicy, it’s a delicious interpretation of Sangiovese which delivers plenty of black tea, cherry, chocolate, clove and herb flavours.
Ines Salpico – Special Projects Editor
Alessandro Mori, the charismatic winemaker of Il Marroneto, is as divisive as his wines. Some call him ‘the whisperer of Sangiovese’; others dismiss his performative approach to winemaking (and life). One thing is certain: his wines do not leave anyone indifferent and are imbued with a sense of intrigue and earthy intensity. Having tasted this 2013 – a complex, yet evolving wine from a balanced vintage – at a vertical recently I can say is it definitely a very good reason to attend Michaela Morris’ promising Masterclass.
The Badoz have been making wine in Jura since 1659. Now with the 10th generation at the helm of the estate, they are known for consistency and unpretentious classicism. Aged for over six years ‘sous voile’ their Vin Jaune is an uncompromising example of the style, showing purity, length and savoury complexity. A Platinum winner with 97 points at the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards, this wine is a must-taste.
Already a fan of the wines, I became a fan of the people behind them after interviewing Jaume Gramona four years ago. The sense of expressive precision and quiet strength the wines show also permeated his words, making it easy to understand how Gramona has been able to tread a solid path toward ever greater quality and terroir specificity without making unnecessary marketing fuss. This III Lustros, which hails from Finca Font de Jui, Gramona’s core property, masterfully blends 70% Xarel.lo and 30% Macabeo and spends 80 months on the lees. Structured and rich without losing freshness and drive, it showcases the beauty of development in bottle while retaining clear varietal character. Delicious.
I am a fan of Mas de Daumas Gassac’s white wines, which bring a Burgundy-meets-Northern-Rhône twist to the Languedoc. Five to seven days of skin maceration give their flagship Blanc structure and grip, without loss of elegance and nuance. Allowed to rest in the glass the different layers – Viognier’s heady aromatics, Chardonnay’s mineral edge, Petit Manseng’s nutty twist, etc – reveal themselves in what is an enjoyably rich wine with great cellaring potential.
The Prats & Symington joint venture has, since 1999, produced outstanding wines in the Douro valley and played a key role in elevating the quality and reputation of the region’s still wines. Their flagship Chryseia, first released in 2000, is consistently praised for its robust elegance, filigreed aromas, firm yet fine tannins and incredible length. All this could be said of the 2018 vintage, a somewhat difficult and unpredictable growing season, that eventually yielded balanced, appealing wines.
The Grand Tasting is at the heart of Decanter Fine Wine Encounters and will take place in the beautiful Bay Room, on the 60th floor of Manhatta featuring breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan and its surrounding waterways. Set to be a truly unforgettable experience, producers will showcase four wines each with one being a very special bottle specifically selected from the winery’s cellar.
You will also have the opportunity to attend four exceptional masterclasses throughout the day.
Learn from the experts at our world-class 75-minute tutored tastings:
Whether you are New York dwellers or short-term visitors, tickets are strictly limited so make sure you don’t miss out.
Decanter Fine Wine Encounter NYC
Date: Saturday June 18 2022 from 10:30am to 6pm.
Location: Bay Room at Manhatta
Price: Grand Tasting tickets from $225 | Masterclass tickets from $235
Tickets go on general sale on Friday 11 March.