Sunday, January 22, 2012
I just got back from the 2012 Boston Wine Expo so I thought I'd post some pictures and thoughts for those who weren't there this year.
Compared to prior years the two big changes I noticed were the layout and the mix of vendors. Rather than long aisles of tables, vendors were situated in clusters. Intermingled within these clusters were lifestyle vendors and - in a welcome addition - more food than I've seen at prior Expos.
Where else to start off before noon on a Sunday but Chateauneuf-du-Pape? I don't recall seeing them last year but they seemed to be back with a concerted collective effort. I was pleasantly surprised to see them pouring wines from the highly anticipated (if young) 2010 vintage.
First taste was from one of my favorite producers: The 2010 Le Vieux Donjon Chateuneuf-du-Pape. They're one of the few wineries in Chateuneuf who retains a "One Estate, One Wine" model (rather than offering multiple bottlings at various price points. 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault. It was showing very well in its young with its signature round brambly flavors.
Wilson Farm from Lexington, MA - a great place to visit if you're in the Boston area.
1WineDude.com about how people should stop hating on Pinotage. A few years back I was intrigued to try some Pinotage after reading that it commonly has coffee aromas and flavors. That sounded great to me but a few I tried had no such markers and instead smelled like quirky burnt rubber. This one did deliver the coffee though. Perhaps the name - Barista - was effective in subliminally programming me to expect some mocha.
Similar to prior years half the tables were manned by winemakers/owners and the other half had random people pouring who didn't know anything about the wines. I had a nice visit with the principals from Inman Family pouring their highly regarded Pinot Noir. I thought the 2007 Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was quite nice. They say they're patient in releasing their wines (some 2010 CA Pinot Noirs are already hitting the market). I like the approach of releasing wines when they're showing their best - with a little age on them - but I understand the interest wineries have in selling through vintages and paying the bills.