Last Friday my fiancé and I attended our second Zagat Wine tasting. A few years ago he gave me a membership to the Zagat Wine Club for my birthday and we can’t say enough positive things about it. Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, this year’s event featured 20 tables hosting a total of 74 wines from all over the world. With all that choice it was a little overwhelming as to where to begin and how many to try! I am happy to say that we sampled many and were able to walk a straight line upon leaving! Everyone was given a chip as they entered to vote for their favorite wine. Listed below are the wines we tasted. I am using a star rating to denote if the wine was extra special and how much I loved the wine * is great and ** is excellent.
Roche Lacour 2011 from France ** is now my favorite bubbly!
Starmaker Viognier 2012 from California
The Prospector 2012 from California **
Paumanok ‘Prestige Cuvée’ from Long Island *
Saracosa Rosso di Toscana 2012 from Italy
Duca di Cardino 2008 from Italy *
Alessandro Gallici Prosecco NV from Italy *
La Cantera Reserva 2006 from Spain *
Gran Bombero 2010 from Spain **
Pagos de Tahola Rioja 2010 from Spain
Pagos de Tahola Rioja Reserva 2006 from Spain *
Camino Ibérico Rioja Rosado 2013 *
Ermita de San Lorenzo Gran Reserva 1993 from Spain
Cardal Vinho Tinto 2010 from Portugal *
Piscadela Reserva 2011 from Portugal **
Le Grand Chai Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010 from France **
Château de Colombe 2012 from France **
Alma Andina Malbec Reserve 2012 from Argentina *
The Waxed Bat Reserve 2010 from Argentina **
Alambrado Malbec/Tempranillo 2011 from Argentina *
Alambrado Gran Seleccion Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Argentina **
Don Cayetano Cabernet Reserva Especial 2012 from Chile **
Saint Tropez Rosé 2012 from France **
Baileyana Pinot Noir Rosé 2013 from California *
Petticoat White Zinfandel 2012 from California
La Pinta Malbec Rosé 2013 from Argentina
Brennan Vineyards Viognier 2011 from Texas
Stonewall Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from New Zealand **
Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from Washington State **
Pillastro Primitivo 2011 from Italy **
Virginie T. Brut Champangne NV from France *
Château Bel-Air Lagrave Moulis-en-Médoc Cru Bourgeois 1989 from France **
Tenuta Lamiata Brunello di Montalcino 2009 from Italy **
Meridion par Pierre Perrin Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 from France **
La Tirela Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011 from Italy **
The Full Fifteen Sparkling Red NV from Australia *
Mar Azur Moscato 2012 from Spain *
As you can clearly see from the list above we made excellent headway into tasting as many of the featured wines as possible. With a tasting this large our game plan was to be very selective so wines we had already received in past shipments were skipped. Zagat Wine Club specializes in small production wineries which may produce limited cases each year and may be difficult to find at retail. It makes each case all the more unique and special.
At the end of the evening the votes for the favorite wines of the event were cast. The winners of the competition for best wine were:
1st place: Le Coin Sauvignon Gris 2012 from France
2nd place: Château la Clariére Laithwaite Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2009 from France
3rd place: The Waxed Bat Reserve 2010 from Argentina
The top 2 places were both by winemaker Tony Laithwaite. Since I didn’t try the first or second place wines I can’t say if I agree or not with my fellow tasters. I love The Waxed Bat Reserve and agree that it deserved to be in the top three. Their non reserve version has been my most popular blog post to date.
My vote for the best wine of the night and the receiver of my chip was:
The Prospector 2012 from Reed Renaudin’s X Winery in Napa, California
I tried this wine early in the evening and no wine after that was able to beat it. It blends all my favorite grape varietals: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Malbec, and Syrah.
Overall the evening was quite a lot of fun and we were happy to see how much the Zagat Wine Tasting has grown and improved since the first one we attended. I am already looking forward to the next event and hoping that some of the above gems will be in our next club shipment!