Two wine and book events in Napa Valley during the first week in May. First, at 750 Wines in St. Helena, on Thursday 5 May John Haeger was joined by Smith-Madrone Winery and Stony Hill Vineyard, Spring Mountain neighbors, both of which make excellent dry Riesling in addition to benchmark editions of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon; and by Eric Sussmann of Radio-Coteau in Sebastopol, whose exceptional dry Riesling from Lew and Joan Platt’s vineyard in the true Sonoma Coast was featured along with the estate wines from Smith-Madrone and Stony Hill in Riesling Rediscovered. In addtition to those wines, dry Rieslings from Dreissigacker in Rheinhessen, Markus Huber in Traisental (Austria) and Weingut Malat (Kremstal, Austria) were also poured. Chick here for the tasting list from this event. The following day, Friday 6 May, John and Master Sommelier Peter Granoff poured a flight of mostly dry Rieslings, mostly from the Mosel, at Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. A few signed copies of Riesling Rediscovered were still available for sale at Oxbow afterwards.
Crush Wine & Spirits hosted John Haeger on Wednesday 27 April from 5.30-7.30 pm for an informal stand-up, walk-around tasting of dry Rieslings from Austria, Germany and elsewhere. This well-attended event was a perfect occasion to discover one of New York City’s most acclaimed wine stores and some of the world’s finest dry Rieslings: Trimbach’s Cuvée Frédéric Emile (2007), F. X. Pichler’s Steinertal (2013), Prager’s Achleiten (2014), Schloss Gobelsburg’s Gaisberg (2013), a 2012 Saumagen Kabinett Trocken from Koehler-Ruprecht in the Pfalz, a 2014 Halenberg GG from Emrich-Schoenleber in the Nahe, a 2102 Fahrlay Terrassen GG from Clemens Busch in the Mosel, plus dry Rieslings from Ravines in the Finger Lakes and Tatomer in Santa Barbara. Some copies of Riesling Rediscovered were still available after the tasting at Crush, which is located at 153 East 57th Street, between Lexington and Third avenues.
Oenosite.com and Wine & Co. presented an unprecedented international tasting of award-winning single-vineyard dry Rieslings from limestone-based soils on Wednesday 27 April in New York City. Wines from BattenfeldSpanier, Wittmann and Dreissigacker in Rheinhessen; A. Christmann and Von Winning in the Pfalz; Pfister and Mittnacht-Frères in Alsace, Markus Huber in the Traisental, and Ravines in the Finger Lakes were tasted in four flights, while John Haeger guided a discussion of soil types and finished wine properties in the case of dry Riesling. Morten Hallgren, principal and winemaker for Ravines Wine Company in Geneva, New York also presented two vintages of his Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling personally. Click here to see the riesling.limestone.tastingbook. Or click here to see a post about this event by Cathrine Todd, aka DameWine, who was present on 27 April and subsequently posted her notes, reactions and thoughts!
John Haeger moderated a by-invitation-only seminar held on connection the Circo Vino Portfolio Tasting in New York City on Monday 25 April 2016. Two Varieties and Multiple Shared Terroir featured Austrian winemakers Ingrid Groiss and Peter Veyder-Malberg, and New York sommelier Dustin Wilson MS, discussing the circumstances where Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grow side by side in Lower Austria.
The 16th annual World of Pinot Noir, originally the brainchild of Pinot makers domiciled along California’s Central Coast, is now an independent not-for-profit trade organization, and has relocated from its first home at Shell Beach to Bacara Resort, eleven miles from Santa Barbara. Seminars, tutored tastings, giant walk-around tastings, lunches and dinners unfolded there on the first weekend in March 2016. John Haeger moderated two programs on Friday morning, 4 March: A Sparkling Evolution, which examined changes in the world of sparkling wines, and The Diversity of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Burgundy. The latter featured a presentation of wines from six Burgundian climats by Frédéric Drouhin, MJD’s president. Further information is found at www.wopn.com. Chaucer’s Bookstore sold all three of Haeger’s bopoks at the event, and may still have copies in stock. Check with Chaucer’s, 3321 State Street, Santa Barbara, 805-682-6787 for updated information.
The 11th annual International Alsace Varietals Festival, produced by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, took place Saturday 20 February 2016 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. The morning Educational Session featured limited-production dry Rieslings from Washington, Oregon and California, presented by Nicolas Quillé (Pacific Rim), Chris Williams (Brooks Winery), Alex Crangle (Balo Vineyards), and Graham Tatomer (Tatomer Wines). This part of the program was introduced and moderated by John Haeger. A Grand Tasting of Rieslings and other “Alsace” varieties followed in the afternoon. For information about the 12 edition of this event, in 2017 visit www.avwines.com.