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New Jersey 2013 Harvest Wine Festival

Hilton, Short Hills, NJ

Weeks of searching for this wine review and still MIA. This is why I prefer handwriting my reviews before typing.  Handwriting feeds my obsession with hard back journals and stationary. Writing is exhilarating: seeing your thoughts on paper, hurried penmanship from words spilling out and your hands not being able to keep up with your thoughts. The downfall is deciphering your handwriting then wishing you used a voice recorder:).

Another great thing about writing out your thoughts is when the friggin computer has a glitch you do not lose any work.  You then find yourself searching for hours and days because your original thoughts were so magnificent that there is no way they can be recaptured.

So here I am, filled with frustration, writing and having Déjà vu; I just searched the computer AGAIN (feeling optimistic). You would not believe what just happened! In the middle of typing, the computer screen faded out and the below message appeared:

word error msg 1

All is calm; repairs were made, now let’s begin AGAIN…

The Professional and I are on our annual trip to the New Jersey Harvest Wine Festival at the Hilton, Short Hills, NJ. We developed a game plan to taste as many of the 100+ wines without becoming intoxicated.  Ok, we all know there will be some level of intoxication; however, as classy wine drinkers, the level of intoxication should not be one that leads to regret. (Just a little advice 🙂).

There are over 140 wines and I tasted approximately 41 wines, which are identified below.  The key to tasting 40+ wines and not get drunk is DON’T SWALLOW!  For those of you who see this as a sinful act, trust me, there were wines that deserve to be at the bottom of a spittoon.

NJ wine festival 2013 pamphlet

The festivities began in The Grand Ballroom:

Table 1:  J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines: (offered 4 wines)

  • J. Lohr Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir 2013 – cherry and spicy aromas, juicy, cherry flavors, Delicious!  No surprise, I like this wine, J. Lohr produces great wines.

Table 2: Re-Wine Distributor (offered 7 wines)

  • II Gabbiano Montepuliciano D’Abruzzo 2009 – “not able to appreciate at this time
  • Mwitu Pinotageokay.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wine Moschofilero 2012 – variety: Moschofilero, reminds me of Albarino, fruity. Delicious!
  • The Deck Carmenere 2009 – Big herbal finish – “not able to appreciate at this time

Look what reared its ugly head: For those of you who read my previous blogs. This is not the first time I had issues with my computer. In January 2014, it took Best Buy’s Geek Squad a month to fix the problem; apparently, the problem still exists.

word error msg 2

Hope the saying, “third time’s a charm” is true.

Table 3: A.I. Selections (offered 9 wines)

  • We love Pinot Noirs so we had to try the Tecora Reserva Pinot Noir 2010 from Chile, silky smooth finishGood!
  • Alma Andes Cabernet Sauvignon – Big licorice and oaky aromas, full-bodied berries and woodsy flavors – Get’s a Star!

We wanted to taste more wines at this table, but the people waiting were 3 rows deep, so we moved on.

Table 4: Wilson Creek (offered 4 champagnes, including peach and orange champagne)

  • Wilson Creek Almond ChampagneOkay.
  • Wilson Creek Sparkling Sangria – reminds me of Chrysalis Vineyard’s Sarah’s Patio Red.  Yummy!

Table 5: P.W. Selections (offered 5 wines)

  • Pinot Patch Pinot Noir California 2012 – caramel and smoky aromas, fruit-forward, medium to full-bodied with a smooth silky finish. Gets a Star!
  • Taylor Cellars Pinot Noir “Michaud” Monterey County 2009 – fuller bodied than the Pinot Patch. Delicious!
  • Fondo Antico Grillo Parlante Sicilia IGT 2012 – variety: Grillo. Reminds me of a Verdejo. Light, pale in flavor. Interesting.

Table 6:  David Bowler Selections (offered 10 wines)

  •  Black Kite Pinot Noir “Kite’s” Rest 2011 – green pepper and herbal flavors; no berry flavors. This is a VERY unique Pinot. “not able to appreciate at this time”
  • Cazar, Chardonnay Russian River 2011 – 100% stainless steel. – Tasted to cleanse palate from the Black Kite Pinot Noir. Okay.
  • Lopez de Heredia, Tondonia Reserva 2001 – Rioja – Nice!

Table 9:  Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars (offered 5 wines)

Last year, they were at the festival and wines are delicious. No tasting done this year – exploring new wines of interest.

Table 10:  The Naked Grape Wine (offered 6 wines)

  • The Naked Grape Pinot NoirHORRIBLE! Enough said!

Table 11:  Sherbrooke Cellars/Massanois Imports (offered 8 wines)

  • Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera D’Asti 2011 – Dry Sparkling Red – Tasty!
  • Hoopes Hoopla Chardonnay 2012 – All I taste is chemicals.  I do not know what is going on… JUST HORRIBLE!

Table 12: Vintus (offered 11 wines)

  • Recougne Sauvignon Blanc – After the last two wines (minus the Asti), this was pleasant.
  • Poggio Almino Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Full-bodied spicy red blend. Thank you, Jesus, a good wine! I could  not take another “unpleasant” wine.

 Table 13: Alexian Foods (www.alexianpate.com) – All Natural Gourmet Pates

There were other tables of foods, but Alexian stood out from the others. The Chicken Liver Mousse and Rosemary Pate were YUMMY!

courtesy of citywinecellar

courtesy of citywinecellar

Table 15:  Banville & Jones – Oregon (offered 6 wines)

  • Mouton Noir OPP 2011Big cherry flavors. The best Pinot Noir I tasted thus far. VERY GOOD!
  • Terlano Pinot Grigio 2012 – pale in flavors – light.
  • Farina Amarone 2010 – Of course, I had to taste the Amarone and I’m glad I did; candy apple and BIG herbal aromas with cherry and earthy flavors. I LIKE IT!

Table 16:  Omni Wines (offered 8 wines)

  • Zolo Cab Reserve 2010 – spicy flavors with firm tannins. $16.98 (not sure why we were told the price)
  • Accordini Valpolicella “Ripasso” 2010 – deep rich color, wet musky aromas, medium-full bodied.  Okay.
  • Antonelli Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2006 – variety: Sagrantino, Rep informs the variety resembles a Nebbiolo.  The grape may resemble a Nebbiolo, but the wine is far from a Nebbiolo. “not able to appreciate at this time”

Table 18:  Communal Brands(offered 10 wines)

  •  Tenuta Monteli Caburnio 2009 – No notes are written, so it safe to assume that I’m becoming numb and the wine was not impressive enough to write tasting notes.  Therefore, I coming to the conclusion that I’m “not able to appreciate it at this time”.
  • Otto’s Constant Dream Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – Big grapefruit flavors, typical Sauvignon Blanc. Nice!
courtesy of wine-searcher.com

courtesy of wine-searcher.com

 Table 19:  Polaner Selections (offered 8 wines)

We have now entered the Livingston Room; we should have started in this room.

  • Wyatt Cabernet Sauvignon California 2012 – Smooth. Delicious!
  • Mourre du Tendre Chateauneuf-du Pape Tres VV 2007 – AWESOME!
  • Roagna Barbaresco Paje 2007 – Good!
  • Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2010 – I love Sean Minor wines, but the Cab was not available.
courtesy of wine library

courtesy of wine library

Table 21: Vera Food and Vine(offered 8 wines)

  • I Capitani Faius 2010 – Three different varietals. Very complex. I’m intrigued!
  • Vicien Malbec 2009 – smoky flavors. Nice!
  • La Lajania Chardonnay 2012 – 100% stainless steel, pale flavors. Ok!

We arrived to the Patio Pavilion and the festival is beginning to shut down. Following are the last wines of the evening:

courtesy of wine-searcher

courtesy of wine-searcher

Table 26:  Orovela Wines Co. & Corus Imports (offered 6 wines)

  •  Orovela Cuvee Chandrebi Saperavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – variety: Saperavi, smooth medium-bodied
  • Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Kondoli Saperavi-Merlot 2009 – 50% Saperavi and 50% Merlot; FANTASTIC!!!! We saved the best for last 🙂

 The festival has ended and we did not visit the following tables:

  • Table 27:  Wines of the World – South America
  • Table 29:  Wines of the World – Italy
  • Table 31:  Wines of the World – France
  • Table 32:  Wines of the World – Down Under (Australia & New Zealand)
  • Table 33:  T Edwards Wines
  • Table 34:  Wines of the World: United States

 CONCLUSION

Most Popular Variety: Pinot Noir

Best Pinot Noir: Mouton Noir OPP 2011

Best Wines: 1) CJ Importers, 2009 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Kondoli Saperavi – Merlot; 2) Mourre du Tendre Chateauneuf-du Pape Tres VV 2007

Most Interesting: 2010 I Capitani Faius

Worst wine: The Naked Grape Pinot Noir

Time to Buy

The state of New Jersey only permits alcohol manufacturers sell to wholesalers, who are permitted to sell to retailers, who may only sell to customers.  Therefore, we arrive early to the Wine Library 586 Morris Ave, Springfield, NJ 07081, (973) 376-0005, winelibrary.com with our list in tow. There are only two wines that I must have:

1) Corus Imports, 2009 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Kondoli Saperavi – Merlot; and 2) 2010 I Capitani Faius

My wine purchase resulted to: “No, we don’t have that one” and “no, we don’t have that one either”.  I hoping this wasn’t going to happen again, which is why we arrived early.

During the event, I asked, “Does the Wine Library have your wines and was told yes.  The Wine Library could have ordered and shipped me the wine, eh; and that quick our wine weekend was over.

See you next year, Short Hills.

Salute!

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