Where Can You Find 235 Amazing Wines? At the Wine Spectator Grand Tour

The young couple in the shorts and festival shirts sped into the ballroom of the New Orleans Marriott on a mission. It was the opening night of Wine Spectator’s 2024 Grand Tour, and 235 of the world’s greatest wineries were pouring wines, all rated 90 points or higher. The pair had come straight from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, having watched Jon Batiste play an amazing set, and now they were eager to cap off a perfect day with an evening of outstanding wines.

After eight hours of sun and music, what would motivate them? “The love of fine wine,” said T. Lopez of New Orleans without hesitation. “There are such amazing wines and amazing producers here.”

A packed ballroom of close to a thousand fellow wine lovers agreed with them. This was the Grand Tour’s first visit to New Orleans, and wine fans from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama,Texas and beyond all flocked to the Marriott on Canal Street to taste old favorites, talk about new discoveries and meet winemakers and fellow consumers.

[article-img-container][src=2024-04/ns_grand-tour-nola-crowd-042924_1600.jpg] [credit= (Cory Fontenot)] [alt= A packed crowd at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour tasting in New Orleans.][end: article-img-container] [article-img-container][src=2024-04/ns_grand-tour-nola-mondavi-042924_1600.jpg] [credit= (Cory Fontenot)] [alt= Winemaker Peter Mondavi Jr. of Charles Krug chats with a guest at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in New Orleans.][end: article-img-container]

For the winemakers, this was the first of three stops on the Grand Tour, which will head to Las Vegas and Denver in the coming weeks. It was an opportunity to meet serious wine consumers; some of the vintners had been to New Orleans before and loved the city, while others making their first visit were amazed at the deep appetite for great food and wine.

“I can’t believe how much people love and know about wine here,” said Alessandra Angelini, who was representing her family’s two Montalcino wineries, Altesino and Caparzo. Like several other vintners, Angelini had taken the opportunity to enjoy the city for a few extra days. Santiago Achával, of Argentina’s Matervini, made plans to spend the week in town with his wife to celebrate their anniversary.

[article-img-container][src=2024-04/ns_grand-tour-nola-hydegroup-042924_1600.jpg] [credit= (Cory Fontenot)] [alt= Katie German, Roger Ross, Kevin Hyde, Jacque Louie, Nate Fuller share a toast at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in New Orleans.][end: article-img-container] [article-img-container][src=2024-04/ns_grand-tour-nola-foley-042924_1600.jpg] [credit= (Cory Fontenot)] [alt= Courtney Foley of Chalk Hill Estate serves a red wine at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in New Orleans.][end: article-img-container]

For attendees, the Grand Tour provided a chance to taste both classic names and outstanding wines they’ve never had before. You could begin with Louis Roederer Brut Champagne Collection 244 NV (93 points) and then pivot to Italian sparkler Ca’ del Bosco Extra Brut Franciacorta Cuvée Prestige NV (91). Just a few tables apart, you could try Sarah Jessica Parker’s Invivo Sauvignon Blanc X 2023 (93) from New Zealand, then sample Quarz, a very different Sauvignon Blanc from Cantina Terlano in Italy’s Alto Adige (93).

There were familiar icons, such as Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Special Selection 2018 (94) and E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis 2019 (95). But you could also find less expected gems including Feudo Montoni Nero d’Avola Sicilia…

Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/grand-tour-comes-to-new-orleans