Imagine you’re invited to a fantastic reunion of family and friends. Now imagine those friends each brought some of their favorite wines, to the tune of more than 260 of the best bottlings in the world. That gives you an idea of what the opening night of the 2023 New York Wine Experience was like, as close to 2,000 attendees packed two floors of the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
The Critics Choice Grand Tasting was the start of three days of wine, food, seminars and fun. It was also a gathering of folks who feel like family.
“It’s great to be back here again,” said California vintner Sir Peter Michael. “It doesn’t feel like a year has passed.”[article-img-container][src=2023-10/nywe2023-overhead-group-tasting-wine-101923_1600.jpg] [credit= (Daphne Youree)] [alt= An overhead view of a ballroom full of winemakers pouring for guests at Wine Spectator’s Grand Tasting walkaround event][end: article-img-container]
The two nights of Grand Tastings feature wines from around the world, all rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator tasters. The wines on offer made it clear that, while economic uncertainty lingers around the globe, wine quality continues to rise. As consumers wandered the rows of wineries offering their top cuvées, winemakers also took the opportunity to check out what their colleagues in other parts of the world are doing.
“We started coming a long, long time ago, at least 30 years,” said Napa Cabernet vintner Naoko Dalla Valle, “and now my daughter [Maya] is a winemaker and is here with me. It’s just a great festivity: You get to see all the amazing producers of the world here. This is the only place where you get that.”
As at any good reunion, there are always those bubbly friends who instantly welcome you and put you at ease. Attendees could sample incredible Champagnes like Bollinger Brut Champagne La Grande Année 2014 (97 points) or Taittinger’s Brut Blanc de Blancs Comte de Champagne 2011 (93). Or they could say ‘ciao’ to a sparkling Italian friend like Ca’ del Bosco’s Dosage Zéro Franciacorta Annamaria Clementi Riserva 2013 (92).[article-img-container][src=2023-10/nywe-bollinger-charles-amand-de-balenet-101923_1600.jpg] [credit= (Daphne Youree)] [alt= Charles-Armand de Belenet, general manager of Champagne Bollinger, pouring La Grand Année 2014 for a guest at Wine Spectator’s Grand Tasting][end: article-img-container]
And of course, there are the perpetually popular friends—like Penfolds Grange 2018 (98) or Gaja Barolo Sperss 2018 (94). Angelo Gaja held court at his booth as a stream of consumers lined up to take a photo with him.
Once the ice was broken, guests could catch up with old friends like Ridge Monte Bello 2003 or Bodegas Vega Sicilia’s Ribera del Duero Unico 2013 (96). Or they could say hi to someone unexpected, like Gérard Bertrand’s orange wine, Languedoc Villa Soleilla 2021 (92) or Kim and Erica Crawford’s Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough tee 2021 (90), which sees extended skin contact. Maybe they could even meet someone new, such as the Cathiard Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2020 (92), the first vintage of a new California wine from the owners of Bordeaux’s Château Smith Haut Lafitte.
“This is our first year here! We are so happy to be here,” said Argiano winemaker Bernardino Sani, who flew in from Rome to pour the winery’s first single-vineyard Brunello di Montalcino, Vigna del Suolo, from the 2018 vintage (97). “It has taken over 10 years to be able to pull this off, so being here really feels like the arrival of all that effort. It’s everything coming together, it’s a dream come…
Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/grand-tasting-photo-gallery-new-york-wine-experience-2023