Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. This weekend was my birthday, and that write up is HERE. Here are a few of the other wines we tasted this week:
2001 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford: Last summer, we bought a bunch of these basic BVs of various vintages, for dirt cheap. We are finally getting to the end of them, but by and large they have been a very pleasant surprise. This was no different. Very nice fruit and balance with enough of a finish to promote (just a bit of) introspection. We were having pizza, so introspection was not at the forefront of the evening rather I was focused on making sure that each of the boys had the same number of pepperonis on their equally sized slices. Oh the joys of parenthood. The wine was good, full-bodied, and added to the experience. By a lot. Very Good. 88 points.
2004 Cosentino Winery Merlot Legends: This was an effort between Mitch Cosentino (my very first wine club) and Larry Bird, the former Boston Celtic basketball star. Now, I have no idea what kind of role Bird played in the making of the wine, but growing up a Detroit Pistons fan, I hated Larry Bird for a very long time (and still do, truth be told). I decided to overlook that when I saw this wine on sale at the winery for $5. How bad could it be? While it is not a game changer (oops, that might have been a pun), it is a decent, everyday wine. Not a lot of fruit, not a lot of depth, but not a lot of cash either. Good. 83 points.
2002 Cosentino Winery Merlot: Opted for this after the Legends Merlot and it was not a fair fight. Even though older, this had much better fruit (those darkish berries that merlot delivers so well), balance, and above all complexity. There were many layers here and lots of interest and a medium finish. Like most of the Cosentino wines I have had, this was built to last and evolve. It might be on a downward slope now, but it is still a nice wine. Very Good. 88 points.
2010 Mohua Sauvignon Blanc: Retail ~$12. A bright nose of grapefruit and cut grass that characterizes New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, tart and sharp with bright acidity. The fruit is present as well, creating some nice balance between the two. This is certainly a fine N.Z. Sauvignon Blanc, what I would consider typical of the region. Very Good. 88 points.
2003 Matrot-Wittersheim Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru La-Pièce-sous-Le-Bois: Retail ~$35. Blagny is a small area shared between Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet, two areas where some of the best chardonnay in the world is made. This however, was the red wine of Burgundy, pinot noir. 2003 was a very hot year in France, and many vignerons struggled with all that heat. This wine seems to be one of those. While not bad (and even good), the fruit both on the nose and the palate is stewed, creating a slight bitterness that disrupted the wine. There are still many Burgundian characteristics (earthy notes, nice acidity), that make this a good wine with food, but I think I should get to my remaining three bottles sooner rather than later. Good to Very Good. 86 points.
N.V. Bouvet Rosé Excellence: Retail ~$15. I bought a case of this a short time ago from Wines Til Sold Out and I really wish I would have bought more. We had this same wine during our recent trip to France, where we paid almost twice as much as what I got it for from WTSO. A very good inexpensive sparkler from the Loire Valley with tons of strawberry and other red fruit. It lacks a bit in acidity, but that is really such minor point with this wine. Very Good. 88 points.
2004 Blockheadia Zinfindel: Retail ~$20. I got this a while back (I seem to say that a lot) from Cosentino Winery shortly after they had purchased the brand, so I believe that this wine was actually made by the previous ownership. I like my Zins with a little age on them to allow the fruit to calm down a bit, so that is why I held on to this for a while. The fruit is still here, and melds well into the wine. A little bit of tannin on the back end lets me know that I need not be in a big hurry to get to the remaining bottle. Very Good. 87 points.