Wine of the Week- Print, Press, (squid) Ink

We met some great friends for dinner, Lori and Michael, who were in town for birthday celebrations. Very cold in New York this weekend and they had a great restaurant in their hotel…easy decision on where to eat.

The new Kimpton Hotel property, Ink48 was previously a printing house. It is made up of the hotel, “Press” Lounge on the rooftop, and “Print” Restaurant, on the ground floor. The meeting rooms are named after typefaces, Garamond, Courier, Helvetica. Being a print production guy I love all of the references but I couldn’t locate anything that reminded me of any printing plant I have been in (no ink or varnish smells, no rolls of paper or heavy machinery). Not even a noisy, packed restaurant, can come close to the activity and decibal level of a pressroom.

Sorry, I digress. On to the rooftop lounge…

Press Lounge is very cool, and has beautiful views of the city. We were fortunate enough (and early enough) to have the place to ourselves. After a few drinks, we hopped on the private elevator down to enjoy dinner.

The restaurant is “farm to table” with ingredients from small local farmers throughout the NorthEast. Appetizers of Buffalo mozzarella over roasted tomatoes, grilled octopus, goat cheese gnocchi, and a salad, were all excellent. The wine list is good, with selections from all over the globe but one wine caught my eye…

Tuscany, Italy-Villa di Caprezzanna, 2005 Carmignano DOCG.

First off, I am a HUGE fan of the 2005 vintage for Tuscany. It is sandwiched between several OUTSTANDING vintages (2004,2006) so it often gets overlooked. Now 2004 and 2006 may be preferred by wine writers and Cellar keepers but 2005 wines cost less, and are drinking better NOW, in my opinion.

The wine is a Super Tuscan, which is a term that has no legal definition. The Super Tuscan wine movement (starting in the late 1960’s) came about when wine producers became frustrated with the outdated restrictions placed on them by the Italian wine laws.

Wine makers began to use alternative grape varietals and non-traditional winemaking techniques to create a “new breed” of premium wines outside the DOC and DOC(G) regulations.

This innovation was initially “rewarded” by the wines being labeled Vino da Tavola (table wine) which is the lowest quality designation. They eventually moved up to IGT and now some wines and regions (like this one) have been granted the highest DOCG status.

The wine has an amazing nose of Sangiovese-like baked earth, cherries and herbs yet it also provides Bordeaux-like scents of sweet oak (vanilla) and some cedar. Medium to full bodied with good acidity it has a plush, round mouth feel and a smooth, polished finish.

By the way, I don’t speak tasting notes out loud when I am at dinner with good company. “Wow, this wine is amazing!” “Yes, we will have another bottle,” was more appropriate.

This wine goes well with almost any food, especially acidic foods (tomato sauces), red meat and cheeses.

Price on the menu was $73. You can steal this beauty for under $30 at your local retailer.

2 thoughts on “Wine of the Week- Print, Press, (squid) Ink

  1. this place sounds amazing, and it’s in such a strange location! is the rooftop open only to people who are staying at the hotel?
    also, would love to know if I can find the wine at Zachy’s?

    • It is an odd location but was very convenient for us since we drove home and it is right off of the West Side Highway. Can’t help but think it would be a great destination for people who are looking to escape the horrible dining options near the Javits. They try to make the rooftop exclusive (to guests) but smart New Yorkers can probably make their way past the velvet ropes. Sorry, the Caprezzanna is not at Zachys (using Wine-Searcher). Interestingly enough, the daughter (future generation) of a fantastic Italian producer today told me that 2005 is her favorite vintage for Tuscany. “The wines from 2005 are not overly tannic and aggressive like 2004 and 2006 which will need many years to “calm down” and round out.” Her and her father are looking for a “friend” to import wines for them…opportunity???

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