January 2013 Tasting

Collectables at Our Fingertips

Wine Club Miami - January 2013 TastingLadies and gentlemen,

As Wine Club Miami embarks into their 2013 tastings, they have become inspired to find the highest quality wines money can offer. As the new President, Wesley Castellanos guides the way, his course of direction is to experience “once-in-a-lifetime” bottles.   Through the collaborative efforts of the club, our contributions have leveraged us to obtain hard to find wines.

Dryness is the last thing you normally have to worry about in Miami’s humid climate, but five out of six corks broke because of dryness. I blame myself! The level of my excitement rushed. I recommend to gently open under extreme patience. Play some classical music and open with the most delicate of hands.  — Wesley

Wine Club Miami new and past presidents, Wesley Castellanos and Matt Hege
Wine Club Miami new and past presidents, Wesley Castellanos and Matt Hege


2000 Matriarch, Bond Estates, Napa Valley

WINE NOTES: Deep ruby color, sugars apparent in the direct light with some slight sediment.  Spicy nose, freshly cracked black pepper, vanilla bean, ripe cherries, high alcohol on the palate, with the most delicate tannins.  A long silky finish. This gem can age another 5-10 years.  One of the most impressive wines I had. W.C.

Wine Club Miami - January 2013 Tasting

2000 The Maiden, Harlan Estates, Napa Valley, Red Bordeaux Blend

WINE NOTES: Dark plum red, no sugars or sediment in the light.  Hints of fresh tobacco leaves and ripe cherries on the nose.  A slightly velvety texture that swirled over the palate.  A soft and delicate body.  The finish lasted quite some time as it passed the throat. This bottle has aged to perfection and is ready to drink right now. W.C.

Wine Club Miami has agreed that this Collection is one that will be an impression to last decades.  Great job wine makers!  We commend you on your talents.
Wine Club Miami - January 2013 Tasting
January’s tastings were again hosted by the spectacular Tuyo restaurant in downtown Miami.Wine Club Miami - January 2013 Tasting Wine Club Miami - January 2013 TastingWine Club Miami - January 2013 Tasting

2012 Vin Review

It’s time to uncork our Vino Miami blog and finish off another enjoyable wine filled year. Memorable wines and memorable times have marked our calendar with a few notable moments and enjoyable wines to remember along the way. We started out tasting thru the old country with several noatable wines. Lively conversation and a new scoring approach marked our first few tastings. LMNT in Wynwood was the spot and 2010 Principessa Gavia “Gavi” with a overall score of 8.37 was the highest scoring white of the year.

In April, We enjoyed Matt Jewel’s rooftop setting for an Italian tasting.

The May Beer party was a nice break as we ventured off the wine path and hit South Beach for the love of Beer.

Back into the tastings as we explored the French and found a new definition for “Bait and Switch”… A French Discrepancy marked our night at the French Cafe, “Oui, we like wine but, we charge corkage…” Our night at Buena Vista Bistro also marked Wesley’s first wine club event as a member.

Chateau Mahmoud was the setting for the September tasting featuring blended whites and reds from California.

A great Miami evening with notable wines including the winning the highest scored red wine for the year the Justin Isosceles 2008 Paso Robles Blend ranking 8.22

We wrapped our year with  our final two tastings at the Miami Culinary Institute’s  Tuyo.

Terrific food, excellent service and nice wines directed our attention and our scoring. Ending our blind tastings with the 2009 Chateau Carigan Primm marking our final wining red wine.

Best, your wine captain! –Matt Hege

November 2012 Blind Tasting

Miami Culinary Institute’s Wine Theater set the stage for the November tasting of White Burgundy and 2009 Bordeaux


The winning White Burgundy was the Vincent Prunier Chassage – Montrachet with a 7.4 score, presented by Mosheim/Issa/Smith. A tie for second and third place goes to 2010 William Fuve with a score of 7.22 provided by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen and the Mercurey Chateau de Chamirey provided by Hege/Tennen/Gamson/Castellanos. Well enjoyed and well liked whites with solid scores to accompany the last White blind tasting of 2012.


The winning red wine in 1st place was the 2009 Chateau Carigan Primm with a score of 7 provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson. 2nd place was awarded to 2009 Pipea Saint Emillian Grand Cru provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored 6. The Third place wine is the 2009 Chateau Telmac Saint- Julien provided by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen and scored 5. Young wines is the consensus and were enjoyable to mark our last red wine tasting.

October 2012 Blind Tasting

Terrific evening at Tuyo set the stage for the October tasting of Western Australia Chardonnays and Mclaren Vale Shiraz.


The winning Western Australian white was the Jip Jip Rocks 2011 with a 6.5 score, presented by Mosheim/Issa/Smith. Second place goes to 2010 Evans and  Tate Margaret River with 6.1 score provided  by Jewel/Mahmoud/Cohen  and the third place wine is The Wishing Tree 2009 at 5 score provided by Hege/Tennen/Gamson/Castellanos. Nice white wines that seem off the usual wine path of typical chardonnays. Less oaky and more grape oriented as the tasting notes will allude to.  Low to moderate scores as the group seem to be split on these wines.


The wining red wine in both 1st and 2nd place was the 2010 Blue Eye Boy provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson and provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored a  7.1 and 7 respectively. The Third place wine is the Two Hands 2010 Mclaren Vale Angels Share provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel and scored 6.1.

September 2012 Blind Tasting

Chateau Mahmoud was the setting for the September tasting featuring blended whites and reds from California. A great Miami evening set the stage for our monthly blind tasting.


The winning California blended white was the Conundrum 2010 at $19.00 by Cohen/Jewel/Mahmoud with a 5.4 score, and ranked a 7 by our guest Topher Hoffmann. Second place goes to Shenandoah 2010 at $15.50 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley with a 4.2 score with a 7 by Tohper.

A non blended wine was entered into the tasting and scored the highest ranking for all three wines. The Chappellet 2009 Chardonnay with a score of 5.6 provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa. A terrific non-oaky well balance Chardonnay.

These whites were a mixed bag with the group noting various tasting elements including more sweet and fruity, heavy bouquets for winning blended wine and with other blended wine seeming to loose it’s flavor over time and too soft. It should be noted the white tasting was overall very low on all scores and noted as as average or below average.


The winning red blend was the Justin Isosceles 2008 Paso Robles Blend at $49 a bottle provided by Tenen/Hege/Castellanos/Gamson with a 8.22 ranking and scored a 7 by Topher Hoffmann. Second place was awarded to the Girard Napa Valley Artistry 2008 and scored a 7.22 and provided By Mosheim/Smith/Issa and scored a 6 by our guest. The Third place wine is the 2008 Napa Nook scored a 6.55 provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel and scored a another 6 by our guest, Topher. All three wines were 2008 vintages.

Tasting Notes

from Wesley A. Castellanos

White California Blend

1. Minerals and steel nose, stones and lead taste, a tight crisp finish 5pts.  Lacks body and texture
2. Light Apricot and lemon vest, kiwi and ripe peace, crisp finish 6pts.  Good character.
3. Soft toast oak nose with hints minerals on the palate, soft finish. 5pts. A lesser competitor..

Reds California Blends

1. Flowers, earth, ripe cherries and powerful nose, spice sweet and soft body sharp taste, and smooth finish. Keeps transforming. 9pts Impressive….Ready to drink but can age a few more years.
2. Light soil and metal nose, lacks body, dry pepper warm finish. 5 pts.  I can find the notes, but not impressive.
3. Lilly lilac nose, oak nose, wheat alcohol taste and light body, crisp finish. 8pts. A “beautiful” wine.  Not overpowering elements. Great Character….

Terrific selection and excellent food pairings as everyone scored high on these well enjoyed wines with above average rankings along with an exceptional 8.22 for the Justin. Well done Cohen/Mahmuod/Issa for a nice blind and a great night.

Get ready for the October tasting, with information coming up.

Best, your wine captain! MH

August 2012 Blind Tasting

Enjoyable wine night and Mandolin was a perfect setting for our Albarino and Priorat tasting. Many thanks to Abraham and his team for arranging and the staff at Mandolin for terrific Greek cuisine with no corkage!


The winning Albarino was the Las Canan, 2011 Rias Baixas provided by Smith/Mosheim/Issa with a 7.11. Second goes to Fidosela 2010 Consecha Rias Baixas with a score of 6.5 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley-last name Third place goes to Nessa, 2011 Riax Biaxas with a score of 6.11 provided by Cohen/Mahmoud/Jewel

These whites were well liked with the group noting various tasting elements including subtle fruits and minerals with a soft and easy drinkability. It should be noted that this white blind tasting had the tightest scoring noted as all wines were slightly separated with a few members in scoring with mostly above average scores.


The winning Prioat was the Mas D’EN Compte 2007 with an overall score of 8.11 provided by Cohen/Jewel/Mahmoud. Second place was awarded to Plaret 2004(more info if you have a photo)and scored a 8 provided by Tennen/Hege/Gamson/Wesley as a last minuet just in time addition. Third place wine is the Gotes 2010 and scored a 6.7 provided by Smith/Mosheim/Issa.

Lush full bodied wines with a fruit forward with a strong influence of Grenache coming thru. Another nice red tasting with wines that were exceptional. Hat’s off to Paul and his team for picking terrific wines to learn about and enjoy.

Tasting Notes

from Wesley A. Castellanos


1. Soft touch of grapefruit with crisp green apple nose, peach fuzz hints, light body, mineral finish. 8
2. Apricot and mineral nose, soft light body that offers hints of stone fruit, bitter mineral finish. 7
3. Star fruit with mineral nose, dry mineral taste and finish. 7.5


1. Ripe cherry with a sweet oak nose, full body. Great finish. 8
2. Oaky cherry, soft and balanced body with tart taste, Soft Tar and coal finish. 7
3. Toasty and oak nose, soft body with dry taste, no structure. 5

We are getting set for our next blind tasting in September with Mahmoud/Cohen/Jewel hosting at Saad’s casa with a confirmed date of September 18th. Wine details to follow.

Until then, your wine captain! MH

July 2012 Blind Tasting

A nice French wine theme night at Buena Vista Bistro as we explore Sancerre and Bordeaux from St. Estephe. We congratulate our newest member Wesley and appreciate him bringing the 2009 Château Saint Andre Cerbin to end our evening.

Wine Notes:


The winning Sancerre was the was wine # 3 Las Reine Blance Vignerons a Veding provided by Smith/Mosheim/Issa with a 6.6 score and ranked with a overall score of 6 by our new member Wesley.

Second and third place goes to wine #1-#2 with a score of 5 2009 Essential Domaine de La Rossignole and the colder of the two identical wines in the tasting as we then score this same wine for third place at 4.375 with Weley providing a 4 and 5 respectively.

In all Sancerre was not a hit and seemed to be one of the lowest scored white wine so far this season with an identical wine as well with different temperatures making the slight ranking from the two scores.


The winning red was wine #2 2009 Chateau Lilian Ladouys Gran Vin with an overall score of 8.25 and scored 9 by our guest provided by Mosheim/Smith/Issa. Second place was awarded to wine #3 the 2005 Chateau Laton Rochet at 7.5 and scored 6 our guest provide by Tenen/Hege/Gamson. Third place wine #1 2007 Chateau De Pez Grand Vin 6.7 and scored 6 by Wesley provided by Cohen/Jewell. All nice years and moved above the assigned $50.00 price point on the 2005 wine.

Tasting Notes:

Wesley did another terrific job of providing us with tasting notes and have provided them below for reference and for comparison.
Last Night’s Notes:

Sight, Nose, Taste and Finish

1. Light gold, Light lemon zest nose, soft on the palate. Open up then faded fast. Unfortunately vinegar from salad is not allowing the body out. needs to age. 6 pts
2. Light soft gold, super light stone fruit nose, lemon zest on the palate, airy no body, acidic finish. 4 pts
3. Light color again, Mineral nose, stones/rocks on the palate, and soft mineral finish.. 6pts.

St. Estephe
1. Dark cherry color, Musty-chalky and rubber nose, eraser and lead palate with lots of tannins, dry-tart finish. 6pts
2. Dark Plums color, vanilla chocolate velvet body, soft dry on the sides of the mouth. Swirls and moves well.. Keeps me wanting more. I’ll buy a case. Must be a grande cru classé. softer tannins compared to #1. 9 points
3. cherry color, mineral cherry nose, Dry cranberries, light tannins and a dry finish.. Great with food. 8pts

We are getting set for our next blind tasting in August with Mosheim/Smith/Issa hosting will confirm a date and a wine for our next blind.

Until then, your wine captain! MH

June 2012 Blind Tasting

A good return to the blinds and Bin 18 served Vino Miami well as we forged ahead in the Old world with a nice pairing of Cotes du Rhone’s and Chablis. Many thanks to Jeff for coordinating and arranging our return to the blind format after our break in May. We missed Matt Jewell only a few blocks away seeing Miami win Game 3 of NBA Championship series and now a part of Miami Heat history. Nice to have long term Vino member extraordinaire Saad returned as well and put the group at a needed 10 for the evening. Jeff’s guest Wesley was a welcome addition as well as Andrew’s guest Julio as well. Many thanks to Wesley for the well needed tasting notes with more to come, and a very nice bottle of 2010 Cotes Du Rhone “Calendal” a terrific end to our Cotes tasting.

Wine Notes:

The winning white was wine Chablis wine #1 2009 Vaillons – Domain William Ferve with a overall score of 6.8 and ranked a even 8 by our guests Wesley and Julio provided by Mosheim/Mahmoud/Issa/Smith. Second place goes to wine #3 at very close to the winning score at 6.25 is the 2010 Premier Cru – Montmains from Cohen/Jewell and scored a 8 by Wesley and 3 by Julio. Third place was Wine #2 with an overall score of 5.124 was the 2008 Kermit Lynch Les Truffieres and our guest enjoying with a 8 and 4 score provided by Hege/Tenen/Gamson. Mixed bag as it seem some Vino members were into Chablis and some were not in on the famous French white, with scoring random at best.


The winning red was wine #1 2009 Domaine De LA Janasse Les Garriques with an overall score of 7.24 and scored 6 and 8 by our guest provided by Hege/Tenen/Gamson. Second place was awarded to wine #2 the 2007 Alain Jaume “Rasteau” Les Valets at 7.125 and scored 6 and 5 by guests provide by Mosheim/Mahmoud/Issa/Smith. Third place the 2007 Domaine Grand Nicolet Les Esquayrons “Rasteau” at 6.5 and scored 8 by Wesley and 5 by provided by Cohen/Jewell Two “Rasteau” was an interesting connection and the same year made this notable. Tight scoring on all three wines seem to have everyone enjoying the taste and finish.

Tasting Notes:

Wesley did a terrific job of providing us with tasting notes and have provided them below for reference and for comparison and look to have tasting notes going forward.


Whites – Chablis

1. Light color/Soft floral bouquet on the nose/Hints dry soft quince on the palate/ Crisp finish.
2. Light color/Soft bouquet/Difficult to grab it character/Lemon zest on the palate with light body/Dry finish
3. Light color/Soft-bland like paper hints on the nose/Minerals and stones on the palate with Light body/Soft long finish.

1. Apple red color/Overripe cranberry nose/Pepper & spices on the palate
2. Dark plum color/Berries and soft soil palate/Soft finish with hot spices
3. Dark plum color/Soil and earth with hints berry nose/Light peppery with hot spices to warm the palate/Complex.

We set our next tasting on the calendar for July 17th hosted by Andrew Cohen and Matt Jewell and look forward to our next tasting. Wine details and venue will be announced soon.

Best, your wine captain! MH

April 2012 Blind Tasting

Rooftop setting and clear Miami Beach sky was the perfect backdrop for our April blind tasting. Many thanks to Matt Jewel and Andrew Cohen for hosting, cooking and providing a perfect location in the heart of South Beach. We all enjoyed meeting our newest guest Stephano and many thanks to him as he brought several wines for pre- and post-tasting including the well liked, 2010 Poggio Aignepri Rose as well as his knowledge of Italian wines. We missed Leo, Saad and Brian as we conclude our three blind tasting focusing primarily on Italian wines with one Riesling tasting in the mix.

An enjoyable tasting with a collective nod to the wines as everyone seem to enjoy their drinkability. Harder to separate taste as most selections were similar in body and tannis. It also should be noted that one red was not of actual D’ Abruzzo origin- as we were specific to the grape varietal and not to the famous Tuscan town.  However, all wines seems to work well with our nice selection of cheeses and of course Matt’s grilled steak and vegetables were a perfect menu for these nice table wines.  More thanks as we were also able to also enjoy a higher priced red as a comparison wine after our blind tasting, 2003 Emido Peo Tolanu Nuvo worthy and well liked.

Wine Notes:

The  winning white was a classic Soave wine #2 with a overall score of 6.14 and ranked a even 5 by our guest Stephano, provided by Mosheim/Mahmoud/Issa/Smith a nice wine I Campi, Campo Volcano 2009.   Second place goes to the Soave Pieropan 2010,with an overall score of 5.88 and our guest enjoying with a 7 score. Rounding out and off by a few tenths is the Inama , Vin Soave, Soave Classica 2010 at 5.7 and scored a steady 6 by our guest.

The winning red was wine #2, provided by Cohen/Jewell from an enjoyable group with a overall score of 7.87 and was very fruit forward, well balanced and enjoyable for it’s 2002 vintage and scored 7 by our guest. Second place was awarded was the dry and smooth 2008 Le Berne Rosso Di Montapulciano (Not a  D’Abruzzo varietal) and scored with a 5.71 and Stephano’s lowest score at a 4. The 2009  Montepluciano D’Abruzzo “Samael”  close behind at 5.42  and was scored another 6 by our guest. Close scores again keep the second and third wines together and voting was reduced and exaggerated by having only 7 members and one guest.

Now we move on as we get ready for a beer party for our May event as we prepare to return to tastings and verticals for the summer months. Given the recent tasting mishap for these wines, I have provided some insight into the origin of the grape and clarification on both Montipulicano the wine town and the grape grown in a different region of Italy- Montipulician D’ Abruzzio.

Let’s get ready for our “Red Solo Cup” party and in the meantime lets add comments on the next format and then decide on the next  format.

Best, your wine captain! MH

March 2012 Blind Tasting

Another terrific event and many thanks to Abraham for arranging with Gino and his excellent team at LMNT – Our most unique and enjoyable location this year and many thanks for being a part of Vino Miami Wine Club. We missed  Leo and enjoyed the company of our two guests Gino and Eduardo and hope to see them at our next tasting.

It was an interesting wine night with a observation that all tasted wines seem to have the group in a unimpressed mood, with the exception of the winning white wine.  It also should be noted that the reds were all highly rated wines in the 92-95 range- and not resonating in our scores or in our taste buds during this blind event.

Wine Notes:

The  winning white was the tasty and well balance along with terrific drinkability the 2010 Principessa Gavia “Gavi” with a overall score of 8.37 and our guest giving a ranking of 7.5 The winning wine was provided by Cohen/Jewell/Leo nice wine find as several commented on case fees with a bottle price around $14. Other tasted wines were the 2011  TO LE  DA NA  “Gavi” with an overall score of 4.75 and our guest chiming in at 4.5 score. The ill matched and maybe an ill as in corked 2009 Vigneto Ca da Rena Pigato was scored at 1.87 and guests entered in  a solid 1 point  and not cheap at $26 a bottle as a fill in purchased at the last minuet by your vino wine captain.

The winning red wine provided by Mosheim/Mahmoud/Issa/Smith from a set of highly rated wines is the well rounded 2006 Manzone  Barolo Le Gramolere with a overall score of 6.875 and scored a average 5 by our guests. Second place was awarded to the jammy – 2007 Langhe  Viticoltore Nebbiolo at 6.6 and a impressive 7.5 score from our two guests. The 2007 Azelia Barolo was scored at 6.5 and not liked by our guests with O and 7 score by Gino and Eduardo. Tight scores separated these reds from one another and from each wine member, food became a deciding factor once again.

Our next tasting will be April 10th hosted by Cohen/Jewell/Leo as we round out three blinds featuring Italian wines. The red has been changed to Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the white is a Soave from Veneto.

A Wine Question to ponder: What is really in that glass of vino that we love, what do we taste is it fruit, tannis, terroir or moolah- as it seems that our discussion around our recent blind tasting was wine price point as to deciding whether expensive wine equates into a better wine for our blind  or even vertical  tastings.  Here’s a link to some research on the question. An opportunity for us to have more discussion at our next tasting.

Let’s get ready to set the next wine round and wine format as we decide on blinds, verticals  and wine themes and keep the wine flowing.

Best, your wine captain! MH