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Earlier in April I attended the New York press and trade tasting of Le Cercle Rive Droite 2013 at the beautiful Millesime Restaurant at The Carlton Hotel.

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This tasting was a chance for more than 30 vineyards from Bordeaux’s Right Bank to introduce their 2012 pre-market wines to the press and the distributors along side their vintage 2009/2010 wines that are already being sold.

On the street level of the restaurant I was greeted at check-in, handed an informational booklet with all the wineries in attendance as well as my initial empty glassware, soon to be filled with a variety of neve- before-tasted -in New-York Bordeaux wines. This first level was dedicated to the vineyards presenting their wines and I got to taste well over 14 different wines – some just the 2012 offerings and some as a pairing with their 2009 / 2010 counterparts.

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Most of the wines that I tasted had a mix of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wines with this particular blend were from Château Bonalgue, Château Rol Valentin, Château de Laussac’s 2009 and 2012; a vineyard that was also on the lookout for an importer for their wines. Some of the wines were better than others but one of my favorites was the Grand Cru 2009 wine from Château Patris; a 100% Merlot wine that had a great bouquet and an excellent finish in flavor.

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I enjoyed the conversation I had with the owner of Château Rol Valentin who told me about his beautiful vineyard and about his expectations of this event. Talking with Nicolas about his vineyard made me feel like I was at his château with the blue shutters and surrounded by beautiful vines.

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As I was tasting the multitude of wines I was also lucky enough to try some delicious sweets from Canelé by Céline. Canelés are small pastries that are specific to the Bordeaux region and were therefore a perfect treat for this event. There are no less than 14 different flavors to choose from, most created uniquely for canelés by the owner/chef Céline herself. For this particular event she selected 4 of them for all of us to try  vanilla, dark-chocolate, caramel and orange. Céline even let me know that she dubbed the vanilla-flavored canelé “guilt-free” as one of the small treats has only 25 calories. Besides the canelé, mini Parisian almond teacakes, called financiers, were available to taste with three different flavors to choose from: plain, chocolate chip and one with pink sugar on top. Both french creations were mouth-watering and it’s possible I just stumbled on the next dessert craze here in New York.

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A day filled with treats and great wine can only be summed up to be no less than a perfect day.

-Mike J

Photo via CercleRiveDroite.com and VignoblesRobin.com, and by Socially Superlative