First off, Happy Birthday to my younger son, Sebastian. He does not read this blog (I know this since, despite our best efforts, he is still not yet reading), but like his brother, he has brought my wife and me so much joy (not to mention a steady stream of Sunday morning content for my blog).
This week was a particularly light one in the bottle consumption department in the Drunken Cyclist’s humble abode. There are several reasons for this: I went to two Phillies’ games this week on the two prime wine consumption nights—Friday and Saturday. The wine choices at Citizen’s Bank Park are so abysmal that I was forced to drink [gasp] beer (although we did manage a bit of pâté and champagne during our tailgate). I also conducted a wine tasting for a group of friends in the neighborhood and I hope to write a separate post about that later this week. Last, we had my son’s birthday party on Sunday and despite my desperate pleas, my wife refused to allow me to drink before the 10:00 a.m. trip to the zoo with a flock of five-year-olds.
NV Brice Champagne Grand Cru Bouzy: Retail $40. We had tickets to a luxury box at the Phillies game and we decided to tailgate beforehand (tailgating before a baseball game seems a little forced, but I rallied). Bought some pâté and popped this cork. A bit tired and just slightly oxidized, but I actually like that vibe. We showed South Philly how to tailgate right (in our Prius). Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2001 Domaine Chandon Étoile Rosé: Retail $35. We popped this open after a rather unremarkable meal at a restaurant in our neighborhood (Fare) the food was, well, fair, and the service was poor (we will not be back). We had brought this along to open at a BYO in the neighborhood, but it was unexpectedly closed. So we lugged this to Fare and then back home, which we promptly opened after the kids were in bed. Nice red fruit nose and a tart palate, this is a solid sparkler, but I am not sure if it merits its “champagne-like” tariff. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2012 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé Domaine René Couly: Retail $20. I am a fan of pretty much all things Chinon and even though the Couly-Dutheil house has gone through some upheaval recently, the wines are still solid. Strawberry and watermelon on the nose of this 100% Cabernet Franc, with a little bit of tartness on the palate. I am a big fan of Couly-Dutheil and I also opened this wine after the gaggle of birthday party goers cleared out so I am certainly biased., but this is a really nice rosé that would go well with a host of options. For me, today, it went best with some peace, quiet, and my computer keyboard (drinking it now). Good to Very Good 85-87 Points.
2004 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Sommerberg: Retail $40. Ruh roh. I brought six of these back from France several years ago. The first two were incredible. Not this one. Very, very dark. Some hints of what it once was, but oh boy. Not yet awful, but I can’t serve this to anybody we don’t hate. I am hoping this was just an isolated poor seal. I hope. Otherwise I might break my tailbone from kicking myself. Three to go. Good, I guess. 83-85 Points.
2010 Martin Pasler Pinot Blanc: Retail $18. I continue to be impressed with this wine, particularly for the price. Here are my previous notes, which still ring true: “Bright and tart with great grapefruit and Granny Smith apple. There is lip puckering acidity that balances out the fruit. This is a nice aperitif, patio, light seafood wine that is quite refreshing. Very Good. 87-89 Points.“
2006 Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard: Retail $45. Whoa. This is noticeably an improvement from the last bottle. Sure, there is oak and butter, but it is nicely integrated and balanced. The lemon curd is subtle and fantastic. We really enjoyed this wine even though it is a bit of a bigger California style, which we normally eschew. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
NV Pommery Champagne Pink POP: Retail $14. I got these a while ago from the PLCB–there are four 187ml bottles in a box that comes with their own individual straws. At the time, instead of charging me $14 per bottle, they charged me $14 per box. I thought it was the deal of the century. Well, it turns out the wine is all rather tired, with little fizz, and not much to warrant even another word. Oh, and the straws all seem to have holes in them. Another stellar job by the PLCB…. Average. 77-79 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Looking back over the above list, I realize that even though it seemed like a bit of a “down week” volume wise, we still managed to inflict a bit of damage to the cellar. The choices overall, however, were less than inspiring (made worse by the fact that I still have some more of the wines that were at the bottom of the spectrum). There was one exception: the 2006 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay was truly impressive–great fruit, just the right amount of oak, and nice tartness on the back end. It saved what would have been a rather dismal week otherwise.
What was your Wine of the Week?