Joseph Phelps Insignia Tasting Vertical: 09, 10, 11

Wine Club Miami capped off a milestone with a vertical tasting of the wine that is considered the 1st bordeaux style wine in Napa. 2004 was the first vintage of Insignia to be 100% estate grapes and every subsequent release is as well. A cult following and a flair for the expensive allowed Joseph Phelps winery to make its mark and raise the bar along with the price tag for these highly rated vintages.

Wine list from the the infamous Greycliff in Nassau with a pricey 2011 Insignia at $680 a bottle

2009 Joseph Phelps Insignia
Full-bodied and structured. Dark fruit and licorice on the nose, dark chocolate, black fruit jam, oak and espresso on the palate. Hold until 2020
 2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia
A superb wine. Inky purple in the glass with notes of dry leaves, spice, chocolate mousse, violets and dark berries. The palate is sumptuous: full-body, and loaded with fine, chalky tannins but also fresh. Flavors of blackberry jam, moist charcoal and chocolate.

2011 Joseph Phelps Insignia
The vintage is illustrated in this wines Right Bank character. Though only 1% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot, the fruit is red and the overall vibe savory with dry leaves, coffee, leafy spic
e and shiitake. Drinking very well now. Reviews provided by




Great Wines of Italy 2017

James Suckling needs no introduction into the Wine World. Wine Club Miami made their entrance into the sold out event to only find hand selected array of top wine makers, producers and owners of Italy’s best wines. Held at the historic Moore Building in Miami’s Design District was the proper location for hosting this event. Predominately Italian was being spoken but the main language was Italian wine.

Upon walking into the main room, you are immediately ready for your first glass of Franciacorta. This traditional method “metodo classico” of this sparkling wine is of no other. It is mostly of Chardonnay and hand crafted to perfection. By looking at the bubbles fizz you know that it is high quality. Either it be a vintage or non-vintage, they are a “Spumante” to be of high standards. We “cin can” (Italian for Cheers) each other and continue the tour.
There were over 150 bottles to sample. Mostly leaning towards the Tuscan area but James knows his wines. This tour was from the hard to find Barolos to the delicacy of the Nero d’Avolas. If you don’t know what I mean by that, it is saying from the northern to the southern wines. This event was what Italian wine is about. Old World, refined wine making, historic production, aged vines, soil that in admirable and the list goes on.

Wesley Castellanos visiting the Antinori table

This was a tour of Italy that only Mr. Suckling can collaborate into one room. Wine Club Miami was ever so grateful to have spent a few hours to experience most of Italy’s top wines. Wine Club Miami graciasly thanks James and his team, along with the collaborators to make this experience one of the best someone can experience.


2017 SBWFF-Wine Spectator Seminar: Beaulieu Vineyards Retrospective Tasting

A SBWFF- Wine Spectator Tasting of BV’s : Jorge Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Tapestry Red Blend wines

A notable and enjoyable wine at the SBWFF tasting was BV 2013 Tapestry Red Blend. Bordeaux style with nice finese of flavors as supple hints of black cherry and soft tannins round out a nice and lasting finish. Wine Advocate Review: “The 2013 Reserve Tapestry Proprietary Red Wine, which is another Bordeaux blend, raises the question: Is Beaulieu actually producing too many of these proprietary blends, instead of focusing on four or five top wines? In any event, this is a smooth, supple, delicious, front-end loaded style of wine for 2013, with elegant cedar wood, fruitcake and soil undertones intermixed with red and black cherries and blackcurrants. It is ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, elegant and well-balanced. Drink it over the next 12-15 years”. (Taken from Wine Review) Score: 90, Robert Parker, October 2015

Most impressive and the well noted at this year’s SBWFF tasting was the 1997 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. A truly lasting wine with concentrated fruits and soft complexities of notable and lasting finish.  This wine drank very well as it seems to to be holding up in true form as the following review implies.”A profoundly deep nose of red and black fruit, with cedar, ginger and nutmeg. The sense of balance and grace is sublime, as layers of cassis, plum and cinnamon keep unfolding. The chewy finish is lengthy and elegant, and it should be held for no less than five years. This bottling honors its pedigree as California’s first classic cabernet.” (taken from wine review, score 94 points Wine Enthusiast)

Reviews Tastings

New Zealand Wines, Blind Tasting

2013 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection “The Fuder – Clayvin” Chardonnay Marlborough“Wow- the brand new 2013 The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay sure adds to the growing list of absolute knock-out Chardonnay’s of true global significance emerging these days from New Zealand. The highly revered Clayvin vineyard, from which this comes, does not fail to live up to its reputation, yielding a profoundly intense and complex wine redolent of ripe peaches, acacia honey, cashews and crushed chalk with marzipan and brioche nuances. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with savory and mineral flavors with a satiny texture and lively acid backbone, finishing with lingering honey-nut notes.” (Taken from wine review 95+ points Robert Parker Wine Advocate)

2013 Craggy Range “Sophia” Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Sophia Proprietary Red is intensely scented of crushed blackberries and blackcurrants with hints of cloves, cedar and violets plus a touch of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied and laden with muscular fruit, it has a solid backbone of grainy tannins and tons of vivacity in the long, multi-layered finish” (Taken from wine review 93 points Robert Parker Wine         Advocate)

2013 Rippon “Tinkers Field” Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otag0 “Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2013 Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir delivers fragrant black cherries, violets and Ceylon tea notes with underlying garrigue, lavender and fallen twigs hints. Medium-bodied, the tightly knit palate gives restrained, earthy flavors at this youthful stage with a firm level of grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and multi-layered” (Taken from wine review 94 points Robert Parker Wine Advocate).                                                                                           

                      2013 Trinity Hill”Homage” Syrah Hawke’s Bay “This full-bodied, richly tannic wine delivers. It starts off with savory notes of cracked pepper, black olives, violets and cedar, then eases into concentrated flavors of blueberries and roasted meat before ending with a flourish of firm, dusty tannins. Give it a few years to soften. Drink 2020–2030″. (Taken from wine review 95 points Wine Enthusiast)



River Yacht Club: 2016 Holiday Party and Wine Pairing

Charles Krug “Grande Cuvee” Brut Champagne, NV 95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. The harmonious juxtaposition of creaminess and lees enrichment with bright, juicy citricity and of expansive richness with levity is stunning. Citrus zest notes segue seamlessly into the fine stream of CO2 without bitterness, while succulent white peach garlanded in lily-of-the-valley is laced with rich, subtly piquant nut oils and saliva-liberating salinity. The team at Krug has long taken pains to emphasize that the task of assembling their Grande Cuvee from a hundred or more lots reflecting reserves of widely varying ages is mind-bogglingly complex. (DS) (Taken from wine review)

2013 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru (90 Point Vintage. After the ravages of the phylloxera epidemic at the end of the 19th century the Latour family took the then unusual decision to tear up the dead Aligoté and Pinot Noir vines and replace them with Chardonnay. This decision leads them to create one of Burgundy’s most celebrated white whites. Today the Latour family owns 11 hectares which makes them the biggest owner in the appellation. The Latour’s Corton-Charlemagne vineyards are located on a prime section of the Corton hillside where the south-easterly aspect ensures maximum exposure to the sun. The fruit is harvested as late as possible to guarantee maximum ripeness. (Taken from wine review)

2009 Domaine de L’Arlot Nuits St. George, Clos de Forets (95 Point Vintage. The 2009 Nuits St. Georges Clos des Forets Saint Georges comes across as dark, brooding and totally intense. Black cherries, tar, licorice, smoke and menthol are some of the many notes that are woven together in this rich, deep wine. There is a baritone register to the fruit that is absolutely gorgeous. The powerful, structured finish begs for considerable cellaring and suggests a long life of great drinking lies ahead. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2034 (Taken from wine review)

1989 Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien (98 Point Vintage). Delivers fabulous aromas of crushed red fruits, with leather, tar, tobacco and mint. Full-bodied, offering supersoft and silky tannins, as well as a beautiful polish. Open and luscious, with amazing richness of fruit and decadence at the same time. (Taken from wine review)


2003 Château Rieussec, Sauternes (95 Point Vintage) Château Rieussec was originally owned by monks, though after the French Revolution it was confiscated from the church and sold off at public auction. Current owners, Domaines Barons de Rothschild. Located in Fargues, the chateau includes 186 acres planted to 90% Semillon, 6% Sauvignon Blanc, and 4% Muscadelle. Oak for the fermentation barrels come from the Château Lafite cooperage. About 6,000 cases of Château Rieussec are produced annually.(Taken from wine review)


Out(side the box) to dinner- Alter Miami

Sometimes ya gotta just get out of the box! Getting out of your comfort zone is often the only way to grow, learn, and evolve — and that is exactly what we did going out for our dinner and wine pairing at Alter Miami.


223 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127 Phone: (305) 573-5996



Alter Miami ( is a cozy little spot in the heart of Wynwood. For those of you not familiar with Wynwood you should drop everything and familiarize yourself with it right away! Wynwood has emerged as Miami’s (and one of the country’s) most cutting edge art districts. Some of the most incredible street art, galleries, music venues, and restaurants have popped up here. And when you follow the arts and music throughout history it has lead to some wonderful places!
manaquin-alterAs you can see we had some wonderfully creative and tasty dishes! The wine pairings were also very unique! I’ve certainly never heard wine descriptors such as “skunky marijuana, Dr. Browns Cream Soda, or Gummy Bears!”  It was a treat to just enjoy a fun dinner with you all. Also, a special thanks to Stephen for popping the bottle of Malbec at the end!

David Yarus, Wine Club President 2016




South of the Border:

Scoring high quality South American wine is no easy feat! Let alone, high quality with some age on them.. I was lucky to acquire some wonderful wines from a client that were exciting to open. Would they have held up over the years?! Who the heck would have thought to save these kinds of wines for this long? Interesting…!


Obviously South America hasn’t been producing high quality recognizable wines for nearly as long as Europe, but that’s exactly where many of the grape varietals came from.   We tasted blind and the group was very humbled. Everyone was very impressed with the quality of the 2002 Clos Apalta & the Cheval des Andes each of which come from a nice pedigree!


David Yarus, Wine Club President 2016



California Cult Wine Tasting

cult/kəlt/ noun: cult; plural noun: cults
1) a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

California Cult Wines Tasting: September 2016
The Wine Advocate – “Pure sensuality in the glass, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard is going to be nearly impossible to resist in its youth.”

California Cult Wines Tasting: September 2016- Trends come and go, but good wines never go out of style. Some wines — being so good — even develop a certain mystique around them. Such is the case for this special line up. A special thanks to my friend Rafael Balestra for helping curate the wine!

Winemaker Jesse Katz knocks another one out of the park with his Devil Proof Malbec. If you haven’t had a chance to try his stuff please do! You will not be disappointed!

The Kayli Morgan Vineyard is located just north of Saint Helena, California at the base of Howell Mountain. The soils are a chocolaty clay; holding moisture to keep the vines cool. As summer progresses, the ground forms micro-cracks, allowing the roots to seek water deeper and deeper into the earth; as they do, they pick up minerals that give Kayli Morgan its distinctive characteristics. Kayli Morgan is a single estate vineyard and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

David Yarus, Wine Club Miami President


Wines From the Holy Land: Israel


September 13, 2016- I’d been wanting to showcase some great Israeli wines for a while- and when this month’s Wine Spectator dropped I know it was time! I had the guys taste blind with no clues. The guesses were all over the place. (All four of our wines were Bordeaux style blends). Our first wine, the 2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite. It proved to be very well balanced, subtle French Oak, and illustrated the complexities of Israel’s limestone terroir but French wine/grape provenance. David Yarus, Wine Club Miami President 2016


2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite
2011 Domaine Du Castel was our favorite

General Interest: Warm winds from the Sahara are a challenge for growing wines in Israel.

Question: Is Israel considered old world or new??!