November News & Notes
An Interview with Ann Turso, Wine Director at Asiate, Mandarin Oriental, NYC: "When I sip Ayala, I'm transported to Champagne!"
Manhattan's Sommelier-In-the-Sky Annie Turso comes back on her 14-year career in wine service and shares her passion and approach. Offering Champagne Ayala Rosé Majeur by-the-glass to her guests, emphasizes the importance of purity, finesse and terroir in wine. For her, Champagne can be enjoyed at "lunch, brunch, as an aperitif, throughout dinner, with dessert and as a nightcap too! Champagne provokes enjoyment, contemplation, celebration and is complimentary to just about any dish."
What or Who inspired you to become a sommelier?
14 years ago, between careers, I happened to start working at Vong, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's French/Thai restaurant, which at the time, was jamming! During the six years I was there, I was inspired by a succession of Sommeliers and Beverage Directors - Mark Bell, Susan LaRossa, Kurt Eckert and Chuck Simeone. Each brought their own strengths and personalities: Mark's unabashed enthusiasm; Susan's studious, perfectionist approach; Kurt's quest for finesse, Chuck's command of detail and business savvy. They all instilled in me a desire to study, to share, to build relationships and above all to define my own style as a Sommelier.
Read the full interview here...
It is Champagne Season and Ayala is More Available than Ever Nationwide
With new distributors attracted by the pure style of Ayala, the Champagne house owned by Bollinger since 2005, Cognac One has recently increased the Ayala footprint in the U.S., just in time for holiday season. We are pleased to welcome Allied Beverage in New Jersey, Empire Distributors in Georgia, V. Suárez & Co. in Pueto Rico and Young's Market in Hawaii. Ayala is now available in 22 states.
94 pts Wine Enthusiast: Ayala Perle Nature 2002
94 pts Wine Spectator: Ayala Blanc de Blancs 2002
93 pts Wine Spectator: Ayala Brut Millesime 1999
93 pts Wine Spectator: Ayala Perle 2002
92 pts Wine Spectator: Ayala Brut Majeur NV
91 pts Wine Enthusiast: Ayala Brut Nature Zero Dosage NV, currently featured in the December issue as the representative of the Brut Nature category.
Cave de Tain l'Hermitage in the Press: Values from the Old World in a New World
In its "Value Roundup", Wine Spectator sampled some 5,000 wines and selected 200 winners among them. It is no surprise to us that three of these wines are produced by Cave de Tain. The article ends on a good note for consumers: the marketplace is full of great wines at attractive price points, and with wines to fit everyone's taste.
The most recent Wine Spectator reviews on Cave de Tain include Hermitage 2009 (92 pts), Crozes Hermitage "Les Hauts du Fief" 2009 (91 pts) and St Joseph "Esprit de Granit" 2009 (91 pts).
Meanwhile, online, Wine Enthusiast focused on wine cooperatives calling them "An Old World force in a New World marketplace". Among the best cooperatives in the world, Cave de Tain earns first place in France, described as "a modern winery brilliantly situated at the foot of the famed hill of Hermitage, [where] grapes from Cave de Tain's 330 growers are turned into some of the Northern Rhône's finest values. Syrah is the star, from simple vin de pays to a luxury-level Hermitage named after the cooperative's founder, and everything in between."
With a Strong Foothold in New York, Xavier Flouret Wines Expands Distribution across the U.S.
Since launching the brand in New York in 2008, Xavier Flouret Wines have been seen on the most tasteful tables and shelves of the city. That same year, the collection was the only brand awarded the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Wine Competition for its striking yet educative label. While our packaging plays a significant role in attracting our consumer, the wines are true testimonies to their respective origins. Xavier Flouret wines are vinified using the same generations-old principles followed by each family they come from, be it the Chatelain in Sancerre, the Selbach-Oster in Mosel, Fonty's Pool in Western Australia or Amani in Stellenbosch. Now 15 wines from various appellations and countries allow both lovers and novices to travel the world of wine with confidence in their choices of our authentic wines. So be on the lookout! From the rooftop of The Peninsula Hotel, the shelves of Zachy's, the bar of the Plaza Hotel and the terrace of Le Charlot, Xavier Flouret Wines will be travelling North, South, East and West in 2012.
The Wine Advocate: Hawke's Bay, NZ produces Complex, Age-Worthy Wines, Te Awa Makes Truly Unique Wines
In her recent article on New Zealand, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW from The Wine Advocate, came back to the region of Hawke's Bay which she visited earlier this year; "a region I noted that is doing a particularly great job at producing complex, age-worthy wines in recent years [....] My visit earlier this year revealed the improvements happening mainly in the vineyards with better site selections, control of yields and canopy management. Noteworthy are the Bordeaux blends and Syrahs with the Gimblett Gravels sub-region [....] Chardonnays from Hawke's Bay are also becoming very exciting."
She also defined Te Awa as one of the "few superlative New Zealand producers making truly unique, complex wines."
Te Awa Cabernet-Merlot 2009: 92 points.
Te Awa Chardonnay 2009: 90+ points
Te Awa Syrah 2009: 88+ points