Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. Here are some of the wines we tasted this last week that stood out:
2010 Argyle Pinot Noir: Retail $25. I have been a big fan of Argyle for a while now. I must admit that I dally mostly in their upper end Pinots (and their Brut sparkler) and thus, I have been spoiled, but this is a solid effort and at the price I paid ($10-ish), it was well worth it. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
2003 Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese: Retail $20? My fellow blogger and Riesling aficionado, The Winegetter, was in town and over for dinner, so I pulled this out to try and impress him. Well, I am not sure if he was impressed, but I thought this was a very nice effort. A bit on the flabby side (especially when compared to those that followed), but there was some nice sweetness and an older feel to this wine (which I like). Not the best Riesling of the night, but it really did try to hold its own. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2003 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese: Retail $35. This was the third Riesling of the night that we shared with the Winegetter. I visited this winery at the Winegetter’s suggestion and the visit was wonderful. I walked out with three bottles of this wine, which was spectacular. The winemaker told me that they needed to be consumed in the short-term, but this was brilliantly alive with fruit, depth, and vibrancy. I might hold on to the other two for quite some time. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
NV Jean-Noël Haton Champagne Brut Classic: Retail $45. I did not realize that it has been this long since I had a bottle of this champagne, but consulting my Cellar Tracker, it has been nearly a year (I might have to do another inventory since there is no way that can be right). Here is my last note, which still holds: I bumped this one up a point since it showed a little more depth than the previous bottles. More creaminess and slightly less tart than I remember. Very Good could be Outstanding with some more time. 88-90 Points.
2005 Helfrich Gewurztraminer Steinklotz: Retail $35. I grabbed this after several minutes of being paralyzed down in the cellar. I placed this outside (and into the polar vortex) to chill, and just as it was ready to pop, my wife informed me that we were having lasagna. Well, it was too late to alter my determination to have a little Alsace. The wine was a bit on the sweet side, with just enough acidity to place it (slightly) out of the “flabby” category. Not bad at all. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2010 Oriel Chardonnay Dylan: Retail $25. The last bottle of this, and while this is perfectly fine, it really is rather nondescript. Some evident fruit, but not much depth nor finish. Good. 85-87 Points.
NV Pfaffenheim Crémant d’Alsace Brut Excellence: Retail $25. A solid crémant, with an expected bracing acidity, but not as much depth as I had hoped. At $15 from Wines Til Sold Out, an honest price, but nothing remarkable. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
1989 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Hendry Ranch: Retail $30? I pulled this out to share with another wine geek, but served it to him blind and then asked him to guess what it was. I knew it was unfair, but I was curious how another wino perceived a style of wine that I have grown to love, but is not all that common to taste. He thought it was a fairly young (5 years old) Pinot, but he was a bit flummoxed by the considerable fruit. I have to say that his analysis was spot on and precisely why I really enjoy old Zins. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2007 Skewis Pinot Noir Montgomery: Retail $50. I am a huge fan of Hank and Maggie Skewis’ wines, and I have been a member of their wine club for a while. I have not consumed all that many of their wines, though, since more than most CA Pinots, Skewis has a great ability to age. As a result, I have not had much of their wines recently. This might change that. Wow. Great dark cherry on the nose, with even a bit of mocha. On the palate. Another “Wow!” (See, the exclamation point, making this a “bigger: “Wow:?) Still a baby, but this is spectacular. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2004 Whitcraft Winery Pinot Noir Morning Dew Ranch: Retail $65. The first glass of this was a bit like a first date: everything was new and exciting–could not wait for the second. By the time I poured another glass, though, a few warts showed up–the fruit was fading quickly and the acidity became much more prominent. By the third glass, it was clear that this relationship, although fun at the onset, was just not going to last. Outstanding to Very Good, to Good, to breaking up (probably by text). 86-88 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: OK, so I cheated. Here I am, sitting on the couch. We just put the kids to bed and I am getting this post ready for Monday morning. Looking back over the wines we had, I noticed that the top wine was clearly the 2003 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese. But there was a problem: we had that wine right after another Riesling that was brought by the Winegetter. While we were drinking his wine (another 2003 Riesling from the Mosel), we even joked about me finally reviewing a wine brought by one of my guests. This wine too, would have been in contention for WOTW, but of course, I forgot to take down all the information from the bottle before my wife dutifully recycled it. I could have texted the Winegetter, I guess I could have swallowed my ego and let him know that I committed a cardinal sin for the wine blogger. But I didn’t. Instead, sitting here on my couch watching the replay of the game on the DVR, I decided to stack the deck. I knew before I opened it that the 2007 Skewis Pinot Noir Montgomery would be the Wine of the Week, and I was right. In the running for the best Pinot of the Year.
What was your Wine of the Week?