Gramercy Tavern Wine List Review- 1 Michelin Star
Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, Reims 120.- Krug has a devoted following because there are a group of people who only drink Krug Champagne. Order this 1/2 bottle and find out what all the “buzz” is about.
White Hermann J. Wiemer, Finger Lakes, New York 2016 (Riesling) 44. Don’t dismiss this Riesling from Upstate New York. Riesling gapers thrive in the cold climate and Wiemer is a brilliant winemaker.
Red Remelluri, Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2011 (Tempranillo) 75. This is one of my favorite Reserva [aged longer before release] Riojas. When you taste this Rioja, you could mistake it for a young Bordeaux.
Domaine Collin, Crémant de Limoux (Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc/Pinot Noir) 58.- This is not “true” Champagne but who cares? It is delicious Cremant and if you are entertaining guests, order a second bottle of “bubbly, and look like a sport.
Philippe Gonet, Signature, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 98- This is a NV [non vintage] Blanc de Blanc [all Chardonnay grapes] Champagne, which has great citrus, honey, and pear flavors. A great value.
Pierre Gerbais, Grains de Celles, Celles-sur-Ource 98- If you prefer a “dryer” Champagne, pick this one.
Benoît Déhu, Cuvée de La Rue des Noyers, Extra Brut, Fossoy (10.14.2015) 192. - This is an artisanal “grower” Champagne. This wine is “hand crafted” with a lot complex fruit flavors.
California Rose Sparkling Sandhi, Brut Nature, Sta. Rita Hills, California 2012 (Pinot Noir) 160. Pick this Rose sparkling wine from California. It has beautiful strawberry fruit flavors.
Vilmart, Coeur de Cuvée, 1er cru, Rilly-la-Montagne 2008 (04.2015) 276. - This Champagne if from the amazing 2008 vintage and has tons of nuts, apples, and toasted bread crust qualities. A great vintage produces great Champagne!
Pierre Péters, Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 2008 345. Another beauty from the great 2008 vintage. This one is a “grower” [small artisanal winery] Blanc de Blanc [all Chardonnay grapes]. Intense and complex!
Domaine de la Tour du Bon, Bandol 2016 (Grenache/Cinsault/Mourvèdre/Clairette) 80. - This great Rose is from Provence. Don’t mistake this Rose for one of those pale and insipid Roses from the south of France. This Bandol [Mourvedre grapes] Rose has stone fruit [peach] and citrus flavors.
Soave Filippi, Castelcerino, Soave Colli Scalageri 2016 (Garganega) 56. - This is not your grandfathers Soave. This Italian white that has flavors of nuts and minerals. A fantastic white wine value.
Riesling Sighardt Donabaum, Weingarten, Wachau 2016 60- Ask the Sommelier to describe [bone dry-dry-semisweet-sweet] all the Rieslings [German-Austrian-Italian-Alsatian] in this price point. See which one matches your preferred wine style.
Aligote Hubert Lignier, Bourgogne-Aligoté 2015 (Aligoté) 64.-Aligote is the sister grape to Chardonnay. In the right winemakers hands, like Linger, this wine becomes “bright” and “crisp” [high acid], which allows it to pair well with food. A great value wine.
Chenin Blanc François Chidaine, Les Tuffeaux Demi-Sec, Montlouis-sur-Loire 2015 78- This is Chenin Blanc from the Loire valley in France and has very complex flavors [nuts+ripe melon] and mineral flavors. This is a serious white wine for the price.
Santorini Domaine Sigalas, Santorini, Greece 2016 (Assyrtiko) 78.- This “crisp” [high acid] white wine is from the volcanic island of Santorini. Volcanic soil imparts a complex mineral and taste to the grapes. The breeze from the ocean blankets the vineyard, so there is a “salty” taste in the wine.
Chardonnay Domaine Vocoret et Fils 2015 85. Chablis is my favorite white Burgundy because of the complex citrus and mineral flavors. I like the 2015 vintage which will ensure this wine’s fruit will be “bright” and fresh.
Sauvignon Blanc Dominique et Janine Crochet, Sancerre 2016 88.- Sancerre [Suavignon Blanc] could be the best white wine value on any restaurant list, because it has great fruit flavors [citrus +pineapple] and is usually priced right.
California Chardonnay Sandhi, Santa Barbara County 2014 88.- If it is California Chardonnay you desire, pick this one because it is not too “oaky” and “buttery”.
Viogner Domaine Monier, Collines Rhodaniennes 2016 (Viognier) 90. This Viogner is from Condrieu [bend in the river] France. A very “alive wine” with pear, white flowers, citrus flavors. You can smell the wet stones, flora and fauna on the river bank.
Chardonnay Henri Prudhon, 1er cru Sur Gamay 2014 98-This Premier Crus [grapes grown in the special Sur Gamay vineyard] wine is produces in the village of St Aubin, where great Chardonnay are offered at a great price. Prudhon is a master winemaker in St Aubin.
Chenin Blanc Stéphane Bernaudeau, Les Onglés 2014 110. -Stéphane Bernaudeau is an artisanal winemaker producing “unique” and “hand crafted” terroir driven wines. His ability to recognize the different unique characteristics of each of his vineyards [terroir], makes him a great winemaker. The 2014 vintage was amazing.
Burgundy Moreau-Naudet, Forêts 2015 130.-Chablis are the most interesting of all the white Burgundies. The vineyards are located way north and the vines experience colder climates. This “stress” and the soil bring out the complex citrus and mineral flavors from the Chardonnay grape. The 2015 vintage was amazing and so is Moreau as a winemaker. A serious bottle of Chablis.
Burgundy Chassagne Montrachet Jean -Marc Pillot, Les Chaumes 2014 158. This Chassagne Montrachet [Chardonnay] from the great 2014 vintage, is produced by Pillot, a serious winemaker. I have enjoyed Pillot’s Chassagne for many years, and have never been disappointed.
Burgundy Simon Bize, Savigny-lès-Beaune 2015 138. - This Chardonnay is a little “rustic” and “feral”. An “unpolished” gem from the great 2015 vintage.
Riesling Veyder-Malberg, Wösendorfer Hochrain, Wachau 2015 164. -Ask the Sommelier to describe [bone dry-dry-semisweet-sweet] all the Rieslings [German-Austrian-Italian-Alsatian] in this price point. See which matches your preferred wine style.
California Chardonnay Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast 2015 178.I pick this Chardonnay for anyone who is entertaining guests. You do not have to know a lot about wine to “enjoy” this Chardonnay. Order this wine and watch peoples reaction to this “user friendly” “lush” Chardonnay.
Burgundy Meursault Henri Germain, Chevalièrs 2015 198- Meursault [Chardonnay} is the most “feminine” of all the white Burgundies. Henri Germain is a brilliant winemaker and the 2015 vintage was excellent. If you want more depth of flavor, order this 2015 Premier Crus [grapes grown in the special Charmes vineyard] Henri Germain, 1er cru Charmes 2015 260.
Begali, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2015 (Corvina Blend) 64.- This red Italian wine is produced in the Veneto [home of Amarone]. This is a great “table” wine using the same grapes as Amarone, but without the “weight” and “depth” of fruit.
Beaujolais Georges Descombes 2015 72.- Don’t dismiss this Beaujolais as that “super fruity” wine. This is Crus Beaujolais from the Morgon area [my favorite]. Crus Beaujolais can be as complex and as nuanced as Burgundy Pinot Noir. The 2015 vintage was amazing.
Oregon Pinot Noir Walter Scott, La Combe Verte 2016 78.I love this Pinot from Oregon because there is excellent black cherry and dark plum flavors. A great Pinot Noir choice.
Burgundy David Duband 2015 76.- This is Pinot Noir from a great producer in an excellent vintage.
Bordeaux Château Castera 2010 78. - The 2010 vintage was amazing, so this Petit Chateau will be “lush” with Cabernet fruit flavors.
Burgundy Domaine Rollin, Pernand-Vergelesses 2014 88.-In a good vintage, only great winemakers produce great wine. Here is Rollin on top of his game expressing the true terroir of his vineyards. Pick this “rustic” Pinot.
Cotes du Rhone Domaine Gramenon, Les Laurentides, Côtes du Rhône 2015 88.Cotes du Rhone’s are usually simple red wines bended by large wineries to produce a inexpensive product to put their label on. Here is an example of anything but a “simple” Cotes du Rhone. A lot of thought went into producing this great red wine.
Chianti Classico Castell’in Villa 2013 89. This Chianti [Sangiovese] is from the very good 2013 vintage. With 5 years of bottle age, the fruit and tannins will be in balance.
St Joseph Maxime Graillot, Equis 2015 90-St Joseph is located “off the beaten” path where great winemakers produce inexpensive serious Syrah wines. That is exactly what this wine is and the Graillot’s are master winemakers using Syrah grapes.
Rioja La Rioja Alta, Viña Ardanza Reserva 2008 98- I love this Rioja with intense bing cherry fruit flavors. With 10 years of bottle age, the fruit flavors will become more complex [think dried cherries].
Sicily Calabretta, Vigne Vecchie, Etna 2007 (Nerello Mascalese) 98. This is a great wine value. Grapes grown on the volcanic soil in Sicily, possess “unique” dark fruit [black cherry], licorice, and earthy aromas. This wine has 11 years of bottle age, so the tannins will be soft and the complex fruit flavors will emerge.
Zinfandel Turley, Old Vines, California 2015 (Zinfandel) 100. -Don’t dismiss this Zinfandel because Helen Turney is a brilliant winemaker. This Zin has a lot of intense fruit flavors, style, and grace.
Beaujolais MORGON Marcel Lapierre, Juliénas 2016 110. - This could be one of the best food wines for the price and quality. Lapierre is a great winemaker with Crus Beaujolais and the Morgon is my favorite. Crus Beaujolais can be as nuanced and complex as red Burgundy.
Oregon Pinot Noir Bergström, Cumberland Reserve 2015 136.-This Pinot is loaded with tons of dark [blueberry-black cherry] and red fruit [raspberry-cassis] flavors. A complex beauty from Oregon. Did you know that Oregon and Burgundy are on the same latitude?
France CORNAS Franck Balthazar, Chaillot 2012 148. Cornas [Syrah] is one of the best values in Rhone and Franck Balthazar is a great winemaker. The 2012 vintage will be drinking perfect tonight. A great choice for the price!
Italy BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO Casanuova delle Cerbaie 2006 152.-Brunellos [Sangiovese] wines need bottle age to soften the tannins and allow the dark fruit [black cherry-black plums-licorice-dark chocolate] flavors to emerge. Here you have the necessary 12 years from the great 2006 vintage.
Burgundy VOLNAY Bitouzet-Prieur, 1er cru Les Pitures 2012 178.This Pinot Noir is a Premier Crus [grapes grown in the Les Pictures vineyard] and is produced by Bitouzet, who practices “ nonintervention” winemaking . He allows the vineyard terroir to “create” the wine.
Italy Paolo Bea, Pipparello, Montefalco Riserva 2010 (Sangiovese/Sagrantino/Montepulciano) 190. Paolo Bea is a master winemaker in Umbria. His “fast ball” is the Samgratino grape, which need bottle age to allow the “intense” fruit flavors to emerge. Here you have the 8 years necessary to begin to appreciate this “rustic” beauty.
Italy LANGHE Giacomo Conterno, Cerretta 2009 198.-Langhe is located just outside of the Barolo region, so the great Nebbiolo wines produced there, can be afforded by mere mortals. The Nebbiolo grapes are so good there, that a brilliant “old school” Barolo winemaker like Giacomo Conterno, went there to make this wine.
Burgundy BEAUNE Dominique Lafon, 1er cru Les Vignes Franches, Beaune 2015 199. I love Beaune [Pinot Noir] Premier Crus [grapes gown ninth special Les Vignes Franches vineyard] because they possess great red fruit [strawberry-raspberry-cherry] flavors for a good price. BTW Lafon is a brilliant winemaker with white Burgundy, and here is his red Burgundy effort.
California Grgich Hills 2009 220-If it is California Cabernet you desire, pick this one. I use the “ten year rule” when drinking California Cabernet, otherwise, it is like drinking liquid newspaper. This 9 year old is now ready.
Bordeaux Château La Mission Haut-Brion, La Chapelle 2008 225.- Remember who told you to pick this wine! This is an excellent Bordeaux with intense dark fruit [black currant-black cherry] flavors with a lot of wet soil and mushroom scents. A great second label value wine from the esteemed Chateau La Mission haut Brion. If you love very good Bordeaux,at a great price, pick this gem.
Burgundy GEVREY- CHAMBERTIN Domaine Fourrier, Vieille Vignes 2015 240. This Vielle Vines [old vines] Gevrey-Chambertin [Pint Noir] is from the great 2015 vintage, and Fourrier is a master winemaker.
Rioja La Rioja Alta, Viña Ardanza Reserva 2000 248.I love this Rioja because it has intense bing cherry and vanilla flavors and an almost “creamy” texture on the palate.
Burgundy VOUGEOT GRAND CRU Jérôme Chezeaux, Clos de Vougeot 2011 296.- This Pinot Noir is from the famed Grand Crus vineyard of Clos Vougeot. This “powerful” Pinot needs bottle age to allow the serious fruit flavors to emerge. Here you have the necessary 7 years from the very good 2011 vintage. This Pinot is just hitting it’s stride.
Burgundy CHAMBOLLE MUSIGNY Ghislaine Barthod, Les Chatelots 2014 315. Chambolle [Pinot Noir] is my favorite red Burgundy because it is almost “ethereal”. It maybe light in color but possesses intense red fruit [strawberry-raspberry] flavors. Barthod is a master winemaker in Chambolle and this Premier Crus [grapes grown in the Les Chatelots vineyard] Pinot will blow your mind!
Rhone CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE Château de Beaucastel 1995 365- How often do you get to taste a 23 year old Chateauneuf du Pape from the famed Chateau Beaucastel? Mature Chateauneuf du Pape is sublime.
Burgundy MOREY ST DENIS Hubert Lignier, Les Chaffots 2005 395- This is a no brainer! This 13 year old Premier Crus [grapes grown in the special Les Chaffots vineyard] Pinot Noir is from the great 2005 vintage. Lignier is one of the greatest winemakers in all of Burgundy. His ability to express the true terroir [the unique flavors imparted in the grapes from the soil and surrounding flora and fauna of a vineyard] is unparalleled. Morey St Denis is where he began making wine decades ago.