Sunday, March 10, 2013

SAINT NICHOLAS WINES and Me by Philip S. Kampe

Recently I attended the New York Wine Expo, a huge event that is for consumers, trade and press.  Over 150 wineries are represented and over 600 wines are poured from around the world. 
Boston, as well, hosts a similar show, the Boston Wine Expo, yearly in mid-February, as well. It is the sister show of the New York Wine Expo.
Besides wine, Italian cheese selections were served. My friend from the Italian Trade Commission, Vincenza Kelly, invited my wife and I to attend a special cheese tasting event at the Italian Pavillion. The wonderful cheeses sampled were the brainchild of Margaret Cicogna, known as America’s leading female Italian cheese authority.
My colleagues in the cheese business refer to Margaret as the ‘Countess of Cheese’.  
Attending the cheese and wine tasting was Mr. David O’Shaughnessy, from Seaport Companies, who heads the New York and Boston Wine Expo and the honorable Mr. Aniello Musella, New York’s Italian Trade Commissioner.
As I began to wander through the show, directly across from the Italian Trade Commission was Booth 447, home of Saint Nicholas Wines and German wine guru Nicholas Rogowski.
Nicholas explained that he was raised in Germany’s oldest wine village, Neumagen-Dhron, surrounded by of the spectacular Mosel Valley, the most famous wine region in Germany. With a little outside help from Adrian Wohlgemuth, he founded Saint Nicholas Wines in Germany. Success came easily due to the palate of Nicholas Rogowski, who personally selects,what he considers the best wines from Germany’s traditional family estates.
The focus for Nicholas is always on quality and exclusivity of each wine he selects. One of his goals, beyond peer recognition, is to have his wines featured in high-end restaurants throughout the United States.
His U.S. wine representative, Laura Martorella, explained that Saint Nicholas Wines has taken New York by storm. We are here to share our portfolio of wines at the wine expo with New York’s top consumers, trade representatives and the wine media. And share the wines of the Saint Nicholas Wines portfolio, she did.
The first three wines that I sampled were from ‘St. Laurentius’, an estate known for its sparkling wines known as ‘Sekts’.
I sampled the two amazing sparkling wines,the ‘St. Laurentius Riesling Brut’ and the ‘St. Laurentius Chardonnay Brut’. All wines were produced by Award Winning winemaker Klaus Herres. St. Laurentius is the most awarded wine estate in Germany. Klaus Herres was the first wine producer in Germany to be made a ‘Knight in the Brotherhood of Champagne Makers’ or ‘Les Chevaliers de l’Arc’ in French. He was inducted because his high quality of sparkling wines, made using the ‘Methode Traditionelle’, which means that after the primary fermentation, a second alcoholic fermentation occurs in the bottle. 
My palate found that the St. Laurentius Sekts were ‘over the top’ in uniqueness in the sparkling wine world. Consider drinking an exceptional Riesling with bubbles paired with spicy shrimp or a traditional spiced Jamaican or Indian dish. The pairing would be amazing.
On the elegant side, the ‘St. Laurentius Chardonnay Brut’ had all of the characteristics of a sparkling wine that could be served to the President of the United States. It was flawless and was masterfully made by Klaus Herres.
Possibly the best Gewuerztraminer I have ever tasted in my life was the ‘Weingut Stern 2011’, a popular handmade, low yield wine that Saint Nicholas Wines distributes. The quality of this environmentally sound wine, made by father and son winemakers, Wolfgang and Dominic Stern, is ‘out of this world’.
Organic Riesling winemaker Manfred Rodermund is well known throughout the world for his unique ‘terroir-driven’ wines from the Mosel. Laura explained that ‘Bio Winzer Manfred Rodermond’ are of unique identity and quality. Again, this selection was a sweet  wine ‘of its own’. A Riesling yes, but,certainly not a Riesling that my palate knew. If I were Robert Parker, a 97 score would be achieved.
Last, but not least, a wonderful dry wine from 100 year old vines was poured. The ‘Weinhaus Barzen’ Riesling Auslese Trocken is one of those perfect dry wines to finish a meal with or use as an aperitif.
The Saint Nicholas Wines  portfolio ( has my attention and should have yours.


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