OK, first of all the wine event was great, the wines that I tasted were ok but not great or wow, but that is my opinion. There were many great wines and a large number of wines that I did not enjoy, and the rest were fine. Some shockers on the downside and a few shockers on the upside. The overall event was a bit crowded in the evening but, thanks to Royal, I had more than enough time to taste the wines I wanted to taste and enjoy some food along the way - YES! Going to both events allows for food consumption! Again, to me I skipped MANY GREAT wines because I had them already, and I tasted wines I did not have that were not so great and many that were lovely! Overall, if you tasted through every wine at the event (god help you) - I would say many wines would be GREAT, and some that were not so enjoyable.
The best food tables: MASSIVE hunks of meat the Pomegranate, et-al's lamb bacon wrap was awesome, etc's mole was nice, frinchie's sweets were nice and REALLY sweet, gemstone's veal belly was nice along with the polenta, skipped anything that said cholent - LOL!!!, skipped glatt-a-la-carte, I think I tatsed gotham burger, it was OK, The facon sanwich at Jack's was OK - nothing great, Le Marias was ok,
BEST dish by far was the lamb wrap by et-al and pardess's madness on a plate - officially called stuffed beef carpacio
missed abigales, basil, carlos should have been missed, missed coffee & bean, missed (I think) hakodeh bbq, missed the short rib sliders at heavenly, skipped joburg, skipped pitapia, and noidue (too long a line for coffee).
Ok, that was the overall sense of the place. Poor Gary was trying his hardest to not lose his mind. Ny is NY guys, and you can tell them to do something, but that just makes them want to ignore you, add in booze and all bets are OFF! I REALLY hope Gary L. enjoyed himself. He put in GOBS AND GOBS of time and sweat and effort into the ting. Thousands came and enjoyed it, wine was pouring like it was water and overall it was successful again. The venue is large enough, the issue is the crowd and controlling it. To me, I loved it. However, listening to patrons, who paid good money - it was a bit testy at times - but hey they are New Yorkers. Royal clealy did their best and tried to lay out the wines and food to make for the best of the event - to me, it is always an issue of space to people, and unless they get Grand Central Station - it will always be a bit crowded.
Now on to the wines - AGAIN THESE are my opinions! My 2 cents:
1) 1848 wines were not interesting - they are well made wines but far too sweet and far too much raisin and date riddled. The 2010 Cabernet Franc was nice
2) Alexander Winery - was way too sweet! Shocked here, as I loved the Amorolo last year and this was nothing short of cheese or port or liquor notes - way too sweet. The Cabernet Franc was OK, the rest was not for me.
3) Passed on Alfasi and Balma Venise
4) Barkan table was shocklingly so - so. Loved the 2008/2009 Assemblage, the 2010 was not near that. The altitude wines were ok, the Superiour was ok, really just OK, not poor
5) Skipped Herzog and Baron herzog
6) The French table was so-so, some were so-so (Parsac 2011, Medoc 2010, 2010 Perigord), some were not interesting, some were GREAT (Pontet Canet, Poyferre 2005, Malartic 2005, Montviel 2004). The 2007 Dupre was ok, the 2005 lecrock was not, 2006 Piada was ok, shocked by the 2002 valnadraud being not so good at all, the 2004 Tour was not good, Lacare 2010 was bad, Rollan 2010 was bad, Seran was so-so.
7) Binyamina 2007 Chosen Diamond was going bad fast, skipped the reserve wines, 2009 Ruby was nice. The 2009 cave was 90 score or so, the 2009 Cave mevushal was cooked - really. The 2009 Diamond was not blowing me away.
9) Capcanes was awesome - the 2010 wines were nice. The le for 2011 was nice, the 2012 rose was OK (not loved it) while the 2012 carignan was really nice
10) skipped carmel - and I may have missed the Limited as I doubt that will make an appearance in LA
11) Clos Mesorah was nice as always
12) Covennat was really nice - all of them were great. I got to taste teh 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 Covenant wines (YAY!) All were great! The 2010 and 2012 wines were at the table and the sauvignon blanc was bright and lovely!
13) The Castel table was skipped - nothing new there, but the 2010 Castel C that I tasted last year was really nice as is the 2009 GV, the 2010 PC is so-so
14) Netofa table was skipped, as I was at the winery a few weeks ago - LOVELY wines - taste them.
15) Drappier wines - skipped - lovely wines as well!
16) Skipped much of Elvi - as time got away from me. I tasted the whites and the older whites were not so great. The Adar 2007 is great, the herenzas are great.
17) Flam wines great
18) I know I will regret this - I really did not enjoy the Gamla wines - again way too sweet - but well built wines
19) skipped goose bay
20) Hagafen wines continue make me happy, the 2009 Cab was blue and lovely, the Franc is nice, the Pinot Noir is nice, the white wines were great, including the late disgorged brut cuvee
21) LOVED the 2010 Shiraz from Harkham - like when I tasted it at the special tasting in LA from Harkham.
22) The Madmon Soreka was really too sweet, overripe, and not so well built - again my opinion
22) The pacifica wines shocked to the down side - not sure why, but they tasted far too sweet again - dried fruit, candied fruit - again - my 2 cents
23) Psagot was AWESOME!!!!
24) Segal Dishon wines were OK, though a bit too sweet
25) skipped shiloh
26) Tulip was nice, but the 2010 reserve cabernet was a bit too sweet, but the rest are very impressive
27) skipped tzuba
28) skipped weinstock, yatir, and zion