Tasting Epically at Quality Meats: Don Melchor, Alamaviva, Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Epically, defined as something which is done in an epic way, meaning in a lengthy, grand or important way, well we had it covered at Quality Meats.
Our November tasting has been in the planning for over a year.  The inspiration behind this originated from a 5 vintage vertical of Almaviva that the club had in its early days.  As a club, we’ve also been fortunate enough to have also tasted Concha y Toro’s Don Melchor as well as a young Mouton Rothschild.
This time around we thought it would be interesting to taste a well aged 1989 Mouton Rothschild from a great vintage and line this up against the best wines from Chile, the Don Melchor from Concha y Toro.  Of course, the natural inclination was that we should also explore what a collaboration of these two great winemakers could achieve with the 2009 Almaviva(Jeff Tenen, Wine club Miami founding member)

2013 DM Vintage– This season was the coldest in the history of Don Melchor, and this, along with harvesting 10 days later than usual, allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and reach the end of the season with exceptionally well-ripened tannins along with very good fruit expression, freshness, and personality.Winemaker Enrique Tirado tasting notesVARIETY:91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc.VINEYARD:Don Melchor Vineyard, Puente Alto D.O., Alto Maipo Valley

Nice ruby color sets up a lengthy finish

2015 DM Vintage-This very elegant wine presents tremendous aromatic expression with a predominance of small red fruit notes. It starts smooth and is friendly on the palate and continues with perfectly balanced flavours and a long finish, where the balance and delicacy of the tannins reappear with great expression of this vintage’s lively fruit. Winemaker Enrique Tirado tasting notes VARIETY:93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot y 1% Merlot. VINEYARD:Don Melchor Vineyard, D.O. Puente Alto, Alto Maipo Valley.

1989 Mouton Rothschild– Freshly picked blackberries turn into minty dark chocolate and oozing caramel with domineering eucalyptus on the nose. It becomes yet more complex on the palate thanks to layers upon layers of spices and sage plus fat and rounded tannins. There’s a long finish with a bitter aftertaste, suggesting this could do with another 10 years or more of bottle aging. This is a Mouton I found massive at the time, then elegant and slightly austere years later, but today true to its former glory. Like the amazing 1947, it should not be forgotten. Tasting notes James Suckling.
2002 Chateau Mouton Rothschild– Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2002 Mouton-Rothschild is a wine that burned brightly in its youth, though recent encounters suggest that maybe it is beginning to flag as it enters what you might call middle age. Here, it has a conservative bouquet with blackberry, cedar, warm bricks and melted tar aromas – an unfussy, uncomplicated, quite serious Pauillac bouquet. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity. It feels lively on the entry with fine tannin, a Mouton that is nimble on its feet with a gentle grip towards the finish, which offers a satisfying aftertaste of spice and clove. It does not mirror some of the outstanding bottles I consumed within the first decade of its life, and peering into this First Growth, it is difficult to see whether it will repay those who cellar it longer. Tasted December 2016. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
2009 Almaviva-Classically built, with a compact and fine-tuned frame giving way to rich cassis, black cherry reduction, fig paste, spice box and licorice notes woven with fine tannins, juicy acidity and a firm, minerally spine. The finish reverberates the focused flavors, but should expand with mid-term cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2020.Tasting notes Wine Spectator.
Nice line up and a sweet finish capped the night

The Right Side of the Andes- Almavin Wine Tasting with Wine Maker

www.tripsavvy.com
Wine Maker Marcelo Victoria and Club Member Andrew Cohen

When you find a special wine you become excited that you have discovered a new wine that you were never aware of. When you find several wines from the same winemaker, well you become a fan.  A selection of small production wines with classic European wine making and Argentina terroir made for exciting and lasting wine tasting. Headlined as “wines the were made from a miracle” and along with from “no man’s land” these unique small production wines were worthy to savor not just to taste. Marcelo Victoria, winemaker presented four wines for our group tasting along with a his chef abilities.

Nice color and finish Notable were the taste of the Chardonnay resembling European traits of slight French Oak and a subtle and dry finish. No Cali considerations here.

Marejada Chardonnay 2015-60 cases-Mendoza is under an extreme semi-dessert kind of weather which could be compared to Arizona but laying at high altitude. Rainfall level measured in a yearly basis rarely exceeds 6 in. but in 2 years in a row, 2015 and 2016, we had an unusual rainfall level that produced Botrytis Cinerea giving us the chance to get such and extraordinary and rare wine. Fermentation process took months in a 600 liters French barrique,  using native yeast. The wine didn’t go through malolactic fermentation.-Notes from the Winemakers: Marcelo Victoria andnd Giuseppe Franceschini.  “Most memorable Chardonnay in many years for us. Hints of Sauturnes in style as to dried and exposed apricots with mellowness, while slowly reinforcing   the Chardonnay taste” Miami Wine Club tasting notes.

MDV Malbec 2016 / MDV Syrah 2016 –166/50 cases-Pedernal Valley is among Argentina’s New Discovery. Sorrounded by mountains lays on the slopes of the Pre-Andes range. Complexity that comes from pure limestone soils diversity. The quality of the light and TLC farming produces not only original nuances but balance and elegance- notes from the Winemakers: Marcelo Victoria    Region: Pedernal Valley, San Juan. Altitude:4,950 feet above sea level DV Malbec: 100% Malbec / MDV Syrah:100% Syrah

Marejada Cabernet Blend 2015-112 cases-We found a extremely old vineyard, planted back in 1918, that for some reason the owner decided to sell it to a developer. We immediately fall in love with this chance so we bought the grapes and made 2 vintages with them during 2015 and 2016. The result this extraordinary complex Cab, that comes from these old vines that only produced a ton per acre so we needed 2 plant to make one bottle of wine. We used French new oak without filtering or fining. Vines are dead but these are the late witnesses of its Glory-Notes from the Winemakers: Marcelo Victoria andnd Giuseppe Franceschini. “The Cab blend came from vines planted in, get this 1918. They are located in the rain shadow of the Andes. The winemakers of old world heritage sought out to make a wine best described as New Old World. I believe they nailed it”. @jesus_drinks_wine

Cinco Sentidos Late Harvest Malbec-83 cases-Hand picked at 34.2 Brix with a residual sugar of 128 gr / lt, deep colors aromas of ripe figs prunes and raisins. 18 Months in new and second used French and American barriques. Region Luján de Cuyo Valley, Mendoza. Altitude:2,640feet above sea levelVariety:100% Malbec

 

Summer Wine Review- The Often Overlooked Beaujolais Cru

South Beach Victory Garden located at 226 Collins Avenue

Beaujolais is a French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Wikipedia. A wine tasting that had all the members guessing as we enjoyed a wonderful organic and vegan menus sourced by wine club member David Yarus. “I remembered some unbelievable Beaujolais Cru’s I had had a few years back and being so shocked as to how they drank.  I thought this would be perfect as they are packed with flavor and complexity yet have an easy thin and light quality about them.  In addition, I felt like this region and the Gamay grape are often overlooked and certainly in the United States can be associated with the cheaper Beaujolais Nouveau. There are three quality levels within Beaujolais:  Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and Beaujolais Cru.  Within the Cru, there are ten villages:  Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote De Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-A-Vent, Regnie, and Saint-Amour.

David locally sourcing our wine dinner

Over a year ago I started gardening at the South Beach Victory Garden located at 226 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.  The garden is a little oasis that is also overlooked hosting 60 plots where we grow all our own organic veggies!  I thought what could be a better summer evening spot than surrounded by all this lovely fresh produce (almost vineyard like), butterfly farm, and fresh air.  Check out the garden here:  https://southbeachvictorygarden.org

*Homemade loaded baby curl leaf spinach salad with fresh veggies all from garden!Nobl Veggie Burgers (Delicous Raw ):

*Vegan Burger topped with Scratch-made Pickles, Smoked Aioli, Truffle Infused Garlic Dijon, Baby Spinach, Roasted Tomato, Roasted Portobello and Bermuda Onion. Served on a House-made Vegan Brioche Bun and accompanied by a Root Salad dressed in Roasted Garlic and Lemon.Vegan Pad Thai (Delicous Raw):

*Black Bean Noodles, Signature Vegan Pad Thai Sauce, Bean Sprouts, Crispy Nappa Cabbage, Crunchy Peanuts, Fresh Chopped Cilantro, Red Chilis (https://delraw.com)

Served as a blind tasting these wines had us guessing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clos du Val- Wine Tasting

www.closduval.com
836 1st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 672-0011
wines tasted
2012 Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon -Stags Leap 2012 Clos du Val Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon  -2012 Clos du Val Joie du Vin-2014 Clos du Val Three Graces- 2015 Clos du Val Hirondelle Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

 Wine Club Miami met at the world renown Fogo de Chao in South Beach for its May 2019 event. The event was hosted in its private wine room and the wines of Clos du Val were presented and sourced by member Andrew S. Cohen.  The predominantly cabernet-based wines were a great compliment to the food. Unlike most California big reds, these wines were not overly fruit-forward and jammy, and were more in an old-world style that the group appreciated.

 

 

 

Enter, the Champagne Cave

Ariete 3540 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove, FL 33133
(305) 640-5862


2002 Dom Perignon
I am starting my series of Champagne reviews with Dom, because simply put Dom DOMinates.  This 2002 vintage is very heralded and is comprised of even split between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  
Pale to medium lemon in color with a nose that starts with nuts and toast, hints of light petrol which then distinctly goes to gun flint.  I should be careful with these tasting notes because something may blow up. Elegant stone fruit and citrus on the palate with an underlying mineral streak. Delicate lingering mousse with a medium plus acidity.  These bubbles remind me of Charlize Theron.  A beautiful lady that still can still show here racy side.  Like Charlize, these bubbles will age gracefully.

David L’Eclapart L’Amateur
An amateur, is a word derived from the French word amateur “lover of”, is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity independently from renumeration. This champagne entitled L’ Amateur is solely from Chardonnay hailing from the rolling hills of the Premier Cru village Trépail. This is a real Blanc de Blanc with no added dosage.  The French have an analogy for this level of purity, they say these champagnes are like a woman without any form of make up, it all about the natural beauty.  I suggest these bubbles just could be like Jessica Biel. This Lover of  is unrecompensed and unencumbered.  It is a bare and transparent champagne that solely reflects the varietal and the chalky soils. I can only imagine if this is the introductory offering by David L’ Eclapart, what the rest of his selections has for us.QuickNotes:Pale lemon hue with a core of acidity combined with bracing crisp citrus and green apple fruit with subtle pleasing hints of oxidation.

J Lassalle’s Preference is a very balanced and full-bodied NV champagne. It is one of their Premier Cru offering that is Pinot Meunier dominate. There is a pleasing roundness to this wine that only can come from a PN/PM based champagnes. Pale lemon in color, lovely chalky vibe, good tension and yellow apples interplay going on here. Touch of tannins from the PN/PM make there presence felt on the tongue. If this champagne was a lady, this would be Scarlett Johansson.

Philippe Gonet Grand Reserve Champagne NV
My value play of my recent Champagne Tasting that goes toe to toe with the heavyweight names everybody knows at a fraction of the price. Retails stateside for 50-60 USD.
This Champagne is composed of 30% Chardonnay, 60% Pinot Noir and 10% Meunier. The grapes are all from the Gonet family’s estate, spread from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the valley of the Marne. Pale lemon hue, marzipan nose with lemon cake and toast.  Red delicious apple for fruit with spot on acidity that counters the sweetness of the apples.  The mousse starts forceful then gently lingers without wanting to leaving you palate.  Lovely minerality to boot.  This is wonderful caliber Champagne that just became my new best friend.

Selosse is a Grower Champagne that needs no introduction for wine lover, who have placed it in a cult status.  Their Champagne are quite distinct in that they have an oxidative style. 
The V.O. Version Originale is a Grand Cur Blanc de Blancs from three vintages as well as three villages; Avize, Oger and Cramant.
(Notes from April 2019)Light golden color. Burgundian, new oak, sherry-like oxidation, butter, yeast, croissant, round, tiniest bubbles, candied citrus, with a tangy acidity that big but never over the top. A tour de force Champagne!

Wine reviews by member Jesus Cabarcos Only IG jesus_drinks_wines 

One Hundred Acre Ancient Way Vertical 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005

WineClubMiami kicked off the new year strong with Hundred Acre Vertical tasting from some of the oldest vineyard sites in the whole of Australia. The result is some of the country’s boldest Shiraz that unapologetically coats your mouth! In aspect all wines (05, 06, 07 and 09 each had rim variation, but at the core was some of the darkest garnet hues I have ever come across. Nose was equally powerful with notes of bruised black cherry, black licorice, blackberry, with a balsamic baseline. Occasionally there were whiffs camphor, acetone, and eucalyptus. A persistent core of acidity reins in the black fruit on the palate that borders on overripeness. Structure of these wines follow thru with the BIG theme. Appreciated very much that this wine was dry and had a balanced tannic backbone with notes of taught leather on the finish. WOTN was the 2007 (4/2/5.0), followed closely by the 2006(4.1/5.0) Cheers to wine club member David Yarus arranging this memorable tasting and raising the bar for our 0’19 tasting calendar. Notes by wine club member Jesus Cabarcos.

Bernard Magrez- 4 Grands Crus Classes of Bordeaux

Bernard Magrez LA GRANDE MAISON BORDEAUX

Bernard Magrez- 4 Grands Crus Classes of Bordeaux-A leader and visionary in Bordeaux for the last 40 years, Bernard Magrez has never strayed from his quest for perfection in every bottle of wine. The sole owner of four grand cru classes properties in Bordeaux: Chateau Pape Clement, Fombrauge, La Tour Carnet, Clos Haut-Peyraguey. Bernard Magrez’s vision of excellence guarantees connoisseurs of grand cru Bordeaux  a selection of wines of utmost quality. (except taken from www.millesima-usa.com/bernard-magrez.html)

Chateau Fombrauge- Saint Emilion- 2016– A terrific well rounded wine with a nice essence of dark red fruits. Expressive nose and nice complexity with hints of black cherry.  Very low and almost unoticed tannis that allow for the body of the wine to linger thru the tasting.  89% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Aging for 18 months in 45% new oak barrels. (http://www.bernard-magrez.com/en/wines)

Chateau La Tour Carnet- Haut Medoc- 2016-Hints of dark fruit and plum are evident with a subtle spice hints of cinnamon.  Nicely well balanced with essence of tannins are included in the finish.  56% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 1 % Cabernet Franc. Fermentation in wooden vats and small capacity concrete tanks. Aging in oak barrels for 16 months 30 % new. (http://www.bernard-magrez.com/en/wines)

Chateau Les Grands Chines- Medoc- 2016– red in color with heavier fruit forward taste represents a younger taste. Medium bodied with a younger finish to a noticeable tannin as a aftertaste. 70 % Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 % Cabernet Franc. Transfer into thermo- regulated and small stainless steel tanks. Maceration for 28-30 days. Aging for 16 months. (http://www.bernard-magrez.com/en/wines)

Chateau Pape Clement- Graves- 2009:  Rich and ruby red with nice hints of tobacco and coffee. Spice with essence of herbal and fruits are soft in the taste.  A supple and well rounded body with a lingering finish that seems complex.  50 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 2 % Petit Verdot, 1 % Cabernet Franc.  The wine is run off into French oak barrels by gravity flow. Aging for 18 months in oak barrels. (http://www.bernard-magrez.com/en/wines)

Clos Haut Peyraguey- Bommes- 2010–  Intense, complexe noes. Taste of honey and candied orange with lingering tastes of almonds, apricot and vanilla. 95 % de Semillon, 5 % de Sauvignon. Fermentation in oak barrels new or 1 year old. (http://www.bernard-magrez.com/en/wines)

 

 

 

Summer Wine Review- Notorious Pink

NotoriousPink.com

Stephen Gamson Artist and Wine Club Miami member

As an artist and member of Wine Club Miami, I’m always on the look out for that special wine.  This summer, I introduced Notorious Pink Rose to my wine club.  I first experienced their wine at my art opening during Art Basel Miami Beach. At our tasting we featured Notorious Pink and paired it with Chilean Sea Bass, pasta and coq au vin. Our club fell in love with this well balanced rose and we started recommending it to our friends

Noteworthy details: Award winning rose. South of France estate made from 100% Grenach. Blush pink in color. Aromatic with citrus and red fruit. Crisp and refreshing mineral character. Delicious with seafood, vegetables, pastas, and poultry. Winemaker notes: Pink is a special blush cute made from 100% Grenach    the
leading grape varietal at Domaine La Colombette in the South of France. At this estate, the technique used have been tried and tested. The grapes from the oldest vines are bled using the signee method, while those from younger vines are pressed. After settling, the musts are fermented at low temperatures (14-18 degrees).  Pink in color, Notorious Pink is inviting with a pleasant under-ripe strawberry, mango, and citrus zest scent with a crisp and refreshing mineral character. Can be enjoyed with seafood vegetables and pasta and poultry dishes, but easily stand on its own. Perfect for every day in every season.

“I See!” said the blind man.

Can you guess the wine? When we ask “Guess the wine”, we mean exactly the varietal, region, and vintage.  By performing a deductive tasting we can assess the wine to a point we can get pretty darn close.   So WineClubMiami held a Blind tasting.  President Wesley Castellanos is in pursuit to become a Certified Master Vinho Verde Muralhas de Moncao, Adega Cooperative Regional de Moncao. Monçao e Melgaço 2015Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, he decided to put the Club through a few moments of the rigorous examination process

Can you guess the wine?  The tastings will be based on the following:

  1. Sight
  2. Nose
  3. Palate
  4. Initial Conclusion
  5. Final Conclusion

You have 5 minute to make your selection.

Vinho Verde Monçao e Melgaço 2015, A nice starter refreshing wine.  It cleansed the palette off the nose.  The light hints of minerals on the nose gave a old world smell, but the youth of the wine gave us a curve in the region.  The texture and finished we balanced with slight effervescence..  A nice bottle for the price.

Cervaro Della Sala, Antinori 2014. I slipped and said the C word when they asked which glass was which of the whites.  I said this is definitely a Chardonnay!!!!!! The oak on the nose and taste was amazing.  No hints of butter so we went old world.  Aged well. Hold or drink now.

 

Quarry Vineyard, Nickel & Nickel. 2011. The complexity and the color was powerful.  Dark ruby and a secondary black color.   On the nose it was pure dark ripe fruit.  Blackberry, ripe cherries with some earthy.  Not your typical Cab Nap. Collect this one.

 

Alter Ego, Chateau Palmer, Margaux. 2010. Amazing bottle.  We will not tell you! Go a buy this bottle at $100 so you can experience a beautiful bottle of a Left Bank Bordeaux.   The blend was to beg for more.

 

Alion, Bodegas y Vinedos. 2011. This was the curveball blind.  The complexity, depth, transformation as it opened up.  Where the hell was this from.  I love you we all said to the bottle.  The Jeff Tenen whispers, it’s a Tempranillo Wes.  Great bot!

 

 

 

 

January 2018 Wine Tasting

Photo provided by Wine Spectator

It was all a dream. The year was 1995 and it was a hot August day.  I started small talk with this lad about wine.  He said to me, “One day Everyone will know my name as a great wine maker.”  I said, “that’s an ambitious statement for an American staying in Florence, Italy.”  He gave me a smile and said, “I will call it Orin Swift!” Fast forward to January 2018.  WineClubMiami was starting the 2018 year with new President Wesley Castellanos.  As this is his return from a few years ago as president, we asked, “What have you learned about being the president of the club?”His reply, “You can never please everyone’s palate in wine.  Either they like it, indifferent or just don’t know the nature about wine.”Needs no introduction.  His website says it all.  http://www.orinswift.com. He is creating a powerhouse of wines coming out of California.  Inspired by his trip in Italy in 1995 then working for the Legendary Robert Mondavi in 1997.  He dedicated the company to his parents by giving the names of Orin in his father’s middle name and Swift as his mother’s maiden name. Now to the tasting.  Don’t forget that Wesley has been Barbequing Aged Ribeyes from Whole Foods with free ranged chicken. Mercury Head 2012: 
Napa Valley 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A rich and dense dark red.   A nice punch of cigars and lead accented dark berries. On the palate was a powerful texture to express the body and cabernet.  You can tell this was made with precious and attention.  The finish has strong tannins as it was a young bottle.  I would say this bottle can age very well for 20-25 years.  Hold. Paired with fat of the Rib Eye, medium rare with Kosher Salt.
Palermo 2012: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Again a rich color with some swirl of lightness from the Merlot.  On the nose as the amazement.  The Merlot was an orchestrated very well as is was a perfect balance.  It made me appreciate this combination.  As you swirled the body was apparent on the legs.  The Malbec was the toning of this powerful body.  The cabernet came through well, but the Merlot gave it the grace as the Malbec sewed the varietals together perfectly.  Drink now to appreciate it but hold for 15 years. Paired with meat of the Rib Eye, medium rare with Kosher Salt. Papillon 2012:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, & Cabernet Franc. This Bordeaux  blend was ready for us.Intense dark.  Excellent ripe berries, lead, graphite and stewed grapes.  A fully bodied, almost silky texture with hints of tannins on the finish.  It kept me salivating for more.  I could not stop smelling this beautiful bottle.  I went and purchased as many as I could as this bottle will be worth 5 fold in 10 years.  Collect this jewel as it is a commodity.  Paired with marinated Chicken in Italian Dressing.

Machete 2013:Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. The finisher!!A lighter hue with a high alcohol on the legs.  Great dark berries and some chocolate.  A smooth texture that paired well when letting the chocolate dissolve on your tongue.  Paired with Chocolate from Spain. Each bottle was difference in shape.  I know this adds to overhead for Orin Swift but it made the wines distinct to the bottle. We thank Orin SWIFT and his team for this amazing experience. I, Wesley Castellanos, decided to try this line-up in this order to start from a 100% Variatel to see what would happen when you added 2 other varietals then 4 more.  Each step made you appreciate the 100% to then open your palate to blends.   Blends usually carry more emphasis as it is mixed to taste many ways.  The trick to make one varietal taste one way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely, Wesley Castellanos, President 2018