Here are a few of the wines we went through this week:
1996 Siduri Pinot Noir Oregon: Retail: ??? I Paid ~$25. I have mentioned a couple of times at least that we are unabashed fans of Siduri/Novy, so when I saw this wine on an auction site, I had to go all-in to get these two bottles. We had the first bottle several weeks ago, and I was surprised to see a synthetic cork, not sure why I was shocked, but it was worthy of note. That first bottle was rather unremarkable, a bit flat and listless. This second bottle was far from that. Bright and cheery, with cherry and a bit of cassis, and certainly a little earthiness. On the palate it was both rich and delicate, with balance throughout, and a medium to long finish. Excellent. 91 points.
2010 The Girls in the Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc: Retail~$12. I paid $10. I am not a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actively dislike it, but it is a rare occasion that I will chose it over just about any other white wine. In most instances, I tend to prefer a good white to a good red (white Burgundy=ahhhh), but there are only a few Sauv Blancs that I would put in the ‘good’ group. I know, I need to relax a bit. Perhaps. So why did I buy this? Well, it ticked a couple boxes: relatively cheap (check), whites for the summer that did not require a lot of thought (check). This surprised me a bit in that it showed some nice balance (always the most important factor for me) and some bright citrus fruit. A bit short on the finish, but it hit the spot on a hot afternoon. Good. 86 points.
2009 Argyle Pinot Noir Cowhouse: Retail ~$45. I paid $25. I got this wine as a special deal from my ‘guy’ out in Oregon. I have written of my affinity for Argyle many times before. We have gone through a lot of their sparkling wine in this house. I also have a fair amount of the Nuthouse and Spirithouse pinot noirs. This is my first experience, however, with the Cowhouse bottling. We tried this opposite a 2006 Spirithouse (the top pinot, at least by price, from Argyle). I have to say that the Cowhouse more than held its own, despite the feeling that 2006 was at least as good of a year as 2009 (if not vastly better). In fact, even though the Spirithouse was more complex and had a slightly better finish, the Cowhouse had much brighter fruit (slightly un-ripe strawberry and gooseberries) and even a tad more balance. Excellent. 91 points.
1999 Château Lafitte-Teston Madiran Vielles Vignes:: Madiran is in the Southwest corner of France, closer to Spain than to Bordeaux. The wine is made from the Tannat grape which, generally speaking, is rather harsh and needs several years in the bottle before it is even drinkable. Even then, it can be austere, tannic and bitter. Why in the world would someone want to drink that? Good question. I got this relatively cheap in an auction, buying it because I have a dear friend who has a strange affinity for the wine. Seeing that he will likely not be back in Philly anytime soon, I decided it was time to pop this puppy. I had made a couple of steaks for this, but it really did not help all that much. Saying this was austere would be like saying Tiger Woods made some mildly questionable choices. This was acidic, tannic, and devoid of pretty much anything that resembled fruit. My wife tried but bailed on it early, after making her best bitter beer face. I soldiered through, but it was not easy. Average to good (?). 81 points.