Home > wine ratings, wine recommendations, Wine Tasting > Few Updates From Michael Skurnik Portfolio Tasting in Connecticut

Few Updates From Michael Skurnik Portfolio Tasting in Connecticut

Michael Skurnik Wines generally needs no introductions – one of the best wine importers and distributors in the country, with the great portfolio of wines and spirits from all over the world. A few days ago I attended a small trade tasting event here in Connecticut, and I want to share a few highlights with you. These are the wines which are either already available or about to be available in the wine stores near you, so if our palates are aligned, you might want to look for them : )

As usual for the trade tastings, my notes are short, and the ratings are done in “+” signs, from “+” to “+++”, but of course, the exceptions make our life more interesting, so “++-|” and “++++” are also  possible. Also, I will list prices for all wines as SRP (suggested retail) in CT, so your local price might be different.

Here we go:

2012 Charles Smith Wines ‘Eve’ Chardonnay Columbia Valley (SRP: $12.99) – ++, nice minerality, very much Chablis-like. Not the best in the world, but excellent value.

2012 Charles Smith Wines ‘Boom Boom’ Syrah Columbia Valley (SRP: $16.99) – ++, surprisingly balanced, simple, round and spicy. Again, great QPR.


2012 Joel Gott Riesling, Washington (SRP: $13.99) – ++-|, fruit forward, nice, balanced, good acidity

2011 Joel Gott Alakai California (SRP: $18.99) – ++-|, nice Rhone-style blend with very explicit Grenache notes – nice plumpness, very round

2011 Joel Gott Zinfandel California (SRP: $16.99) – ++-|, nice, smokey

2012 Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon California (SRP: $16.99) – ++-|, very scaled back, good balance

2010 Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (SRP: $47.99) – +++, classic Bordeaux style, perfectly round and clean.

2012 Charles Fournier Gold Seal Vineyard Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY (SRP: $14.99) – +++, creamy, delicious

2012 Charles Fournier Gold Seal Vineyard Chardonnay, Finger Lakes, NY (SRP: $13.99) – +++. It seems that winemakers on East Coast start getting their vibe with Chardonnay. Dry, mineral, with clean acidity – Chablis-style and very well done. And QPR? Unbeatable value!

2012 Charles Fournier Gold Seal Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, NY (SRP: $17.99) – +++. I’m a sucker for a good East Coast Cabernet Franc, and this was a perfect example – bell pepper, cassis, soft and round. Try it!

2011 Januik Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley (SRP: $28.99)- +++. Classic Cabernet Sauvignon, perfectly expressive and round.

2012 Ramsay Pinot Noir California (SRP: $13.99) – ++-|, nice fruit, smokey and round.

2011 Robin K Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley (SRP: $15.99) – ++-|, nice and light

2012 Owens and Vaughn Cabernet Sauvignon California (SRP: $14.99) – ++-|, good fruit, cassis, acidity. Might be the best California Cabernet the money can buy under $15.

2010 Chateau Saint Julian Bordeaux Superieur (SRP: $12.99) – ++-|, nice, round, and great QPR

2012 Petit Chapeau Macon-Villages (SRP: $13.99) – ++-|, perfect Chardonnay, round and supple, and outstanding QPR

2012 Petit Chapeau Bordeaux Blanc (SRP: $12.99) – ++-|, refreshing, clean, great acidity – perfect for a hot summer day.

2010 Chateau de Clotte Cotes de Castillon (SRP: $16.99) – ++-|, classic Bordeaux at a great price

2011 David Duband Bourgogne Rouge (SRP: $22.99) – +++, excellent, classic Burgundy at a great price

2011 Domaine de L’Enchantoir Saumur Blanc (SRP: $12.99) – +++. Very unusual and interesting wine, great minerality mid-palate. Definitely worth experiencing, especially at such QPR

SkurnikTasting_RiojaAltaAnd of course I saved the best for last.

2007 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Rioja Riserva (SRP: $19.99) – ++++. In a word, spectacular. In another word, wow! Such a perfect balance of fruit, structure, power and earthiness which only Rioja possess. Amazing wine, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing which can beat it in the under $20 range. Go try it (I mean buy a case) and send me a thank you note…

2001 La Rioja Alta 904 Rioja Gran Riserva (SRP: $47.99) – ++++. Stunning. Same as the wine above, but mature, with different level of fruit expression. At a price? Great value in my opinion. And don’t forget that 2001 was one of the best years ever. This wine will give you lots of pleasure for many years ahead.

2010 Bodegas Cepa 21 Hito Ribera Del Duero (SRP: $14.99) – +++-|. Outstanding. Fruit and power combined  – delicious rendition of Tempranillo. At $14.99? No further comments.

And we are done here. Whether you tried any wines listed here or not, I would love to know your opinion. Cheers!




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