By DEAN TUDOR
The Time and Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2PM to 5 PM
The Event: Uncork New York : the Fine Wines of New York
The Venue: Chefs’ House, George Brown CAAT, 215 King St. East, TORONTO, 416-415-5000
The Target Audience: wine press and wine trade.
The Availability/Catalogue: at best, scattered. There are some agents (e.g., Hanna for Raphael, Edward’s for Bedell) but Robert Ketchin is your best bet for details on availability. The emphasis, of course, was on expensive wines, over $25 to showcase the productions.
The Quote/Background: It has been years since the last New York trade show was in town, also at George Brown. Much marketing has been concentrated at the Fall and Spring consumer wine shows, as well as HOSTEX.
We were delighted that there was a seminar for us to catch up with New York wine development. Robert Ketchin led a PowerPoint presentation and we had notes and a CD of screen captures.
We tackled the three principal areas: Finger Lakes, Long Island and Hudson River (33 wineries on the Hudson), with many facts and figures and wines to taste. In terms of competition, the Finger Lakes seem to reflect most of what we in Ontario taste in Prince Edward County and Niagara (Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling). That’s always a tough sell, especially with the Canadian dollar once again tanking. The wines of the Hudson and Long Island (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Meritage) are sufficiently different in taste and structure from Niagara wines that they can be assessed as an emerging wine region, and ought to be marketed that way.
The Wines: I tasted 54 wines; here were my 17 faves —
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— Peconic Bay Riesling 2006, Long Island — $23.20
— Millbrook Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Hudson River — $36
— Wolffer Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2005, Long Island — $37.40
— Millbrook Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2005, Hudson River — $47.20
— Macari Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2004, Long Island — $47
— Bedell Cellars Musee 2005, Long Island — $83.95 [Meritage]
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— Lamoureaux Landing Gewurztraminer 2006, Finger Lakes — $19.60
— Raphael Estate Merlot 2006, Long Island — $21.60
— Herman J. Weimer Riesling 2007, Finger Lakes — $26.15 Vintages
— Dr. Konstantin Frank Riesling 2006, Finger Lakes — $25.40 Vintages
— Castello di Borghese Cabernet Franc 2004, Long Island — $37.60
— Raphael Estate Cabernet Franc 2006, Long Island — $25
— Macari Vineyards Bergan Road 2004, Long Island — $72.95 [Meritage]
— Macari Vineyards Sette NV, Long Island — $28
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— Sheldrake Point Chardonnay 2006, Finger Lakes — $13.45 Vintages
— Brotherhood Pinot Noir 2006, Hudson River — $15.10 Vintages
— Raphael Estate Merlot 2001, Long Island — $33.95 Vintages
The Food: from George Brown kitchens — raw oysters, cheeses, breads, meats, sweets.
The Downside: it was lightly attended.
The Upside: the seminar was a great opportunity to catch up.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 93.