October 28, 2009

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Wine Tasting event at Union Square Wines

 We are big fans of French Rhone wine...well actually of wine from any region.  Chateauneuf-du-Papes are favorite wines of ours because we love their taste of dark red fruit with pepper and spice.  So we were really excited to attend Union Square Wines' CDP tasting with Bastien Tardieu, of La Maison Tardieu-Laurent.  For $20, we got to taste 9 different wines, enjoy some local charcuterie and French cheeses, and received a $10 store voucher.  The only thing that could be better is if we flew to the Rhone Valley ourselves! 

While waiting for the tasting room to be opened, we were served tastes of 2005 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs.  This bubbly brought back wonderful memories for us - we first enjoyed this Blanc de Blancs while sharing a special meal at The French Laundry.

Our first flight was accompagnied by a hearty plate of local meats, French cheeses, and crusty bread.

The first flight consisted of the new 2008 Maison-Tardieu Laurent Cotes du Rhone Villages 'Le Bec Fins', 2006 Vacqueyras Vielles Vignes, 2007 Cotes du Rhone Rouge 'Guy Louis' and the 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vielles Vignes. 

The 2008 Le Bec Fin was steel-aged, resulting in a fresh but light wine. The 2008 Southern Rhone vintage was a struggle and ended up being a lighter wine compared to the prior few vintages. We preferred the richer 2007 Guy Louis Rouge, which was closer to the bolder style of the 2006 Vacqueyras. 

Our favorite food selection from the first plate was the D'Artagnan dry-cured duck prosciuotto.
2005 Maison-Tardieu Laurent Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vielles Vignes:  This 90% grenache/10% syrah blend is rich and ripe, with great color, medium to full body, pepper, spice with a sweet glycerin finish.
The second flight included four of Maison-Tardieu's Chateauneuf-du-Papes, all from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 vintages.  It's like we were kids in a candy store!  The big, round 2005 Cuvee Speciale is 100% whole cluster grenache and has an almost candied, spicy taste.  The 2006 Vielles Vignes was spicy and peppery but with a little too much heat on the finish that should hopefully die down over time.  The 2006 Cuvee Speciale was a more elegant, balanced style.  All of the wines were excellent - we were in heaven!

And to top it all off, we got to eat French cheeses and this Trio of Pate:  Pheasant Terrine Herbette, Mousse Truffee, Pate de Campagne.  So rich, meaty, and delicious!
Above, the recently released 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vielles Vignes was a plush, juicy wine with deep, primary fruit - it's still very young - and a fantastic, long finish.  This is going to be a great wine down the road.

We had a fantastic time at this wine tasting and look forward to attending a few more in the future.

Union Square Wines is located at 140 4th Ave (at 13th St).


  1. Awesome!!! I wanna live in NYC so I can go to all the fun events you guys do!

    FYI - shout out to you on my blog today for your friendship, comments, readership etc...

  2. love this post thanks, big Cab fan....but always learning about wines, very nicely presented thanks

  3. @Mardi: Hopefully if you come in the Spring to NYC, we can meet up for a foodie/wino(?!) day out! Btw, thanks for the shout out - as always, we enjoy reading your blog!

    @Claudia: Thanks! Any Cab blends (and friends of them!) are friends of ours!

  4. Good post. The event looked like a lot of fun. Nothing better than wine and charcuterie.

  5. another fun event with lots of awesome food and wine! I wish I could have gone so I could nibble my way though each food tray

  6. Wow - lucky you! I wish we were still back in NYC sometimes. Chateauneuf is my husband's fav wine (it must account for 30% of his wine cellar.) I adore Schramsberg sparkling wines and it is such a fabulous place to visit for a tour.

  7. Oh my -- duck proscuitto! And the pate selection looks creamy-dreamy. I do love wine, but paired with these edibles, what an incredible treat! Thank you for letting us vicariously experience your adventure!

  8. What a fantastic event! Can you please let us know of upcoming event similar events? It would be so much appreciated! The D'Artagnan dry-cured duck prosciuotto looks amazing! I adore Chateauneuf-du-Papes too!

  9. @FLB: We'll definitely let you know about these events...also, if you're on twitter, follow us @highlowfooddnk b/c we updated there more often.

  10. Great event - and for quite a reasonable price as well! I'll be on the lookout for future tastings at Union Square Wines.

  11. I love USqWines! And I love Rhones too. Sounds like it was an amazing event - sad to have missed it!


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