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 over the last few weeks:
2007 Domaine de Bel Air Pouilly-Fumé: Retail ~$20. Well, the color (certainly ‘golden’) gave away its age. In fact, it was much darker than I would expect it to be (not a good sign). The nose was not very expressive, but there were hints of fruit. On the palate, it tasted, well, old. There was some structure there and not really undrinkable (it takes a pretty offensive wine for me to pour it out), but I need to get to the other bottle of this soon. In fact, I am going to put it in the fridge now…. Average to good. 81 points. So I actually did just chill the second bottle and this one is oh so much better. Much paler color than the first with a bright nose of lemon and pineapple. On the palate, bracing acidity and great fruit. I am about to go to the Whole Foods to get something for dinner and I might just need to get a couple of pounds of mussels for the rest of this bottle. Very Good to Excellent. 90 points.
2006 Blue Pirate Pinot Noir: Retail ~$20. I am always a little wary of pinot that costs less than $30—call me a snob if you like. I am also a little nervous when it takes me a while to find out about the winery/winemaker on the internet. This wine is made by Precept Wine the ‘largest private wine company in the Northwest’. I have found that just about every time that somebody boasts about being the ‘largest’ anything regarding wine, it is usually a bad thing. This wine is not pour down the sink horrible by any means, but it is a bit thin and lacking character. I could tell it was a pinot and maybe even from Oregon, so I guess that says something. Average to Good. 81 points.
2004 Davis Bynum Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir: Retail ~$35. See the review HERE.
2007 Cosentino Winery Chardonnay The Chard: Retail ~$20. We got a bunch of these when the winery changed hands and they were selling them for $5 a bottle. Getting to the end of them now, but it was such a great deal—a typical chardonnay nose of lemon and pineapple, with good acidity and balance. A couple of bottles have been a bit tired and over the hill, but not this one. Very Good. 87 points.
2006 Cosentino Pinot Noir: Retail ~$35. Review available HERE.
N.V. Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut: Retail $15. Bright and vibrant with tons of citrus on the nose and the palate. A bit of creaminess on the finish, but lacking in acidity. This is certainly a nice sparkler for the money and I would not hesitate to buy more, but we like the rosé from the same producer a bit more (and at the same price). Good to Very Good. 86 points.
1999 Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon Bismark Ranch: Retail ~$35-40. Popped and poured. A bit reserved initially, it eventually came around with some really nice fruit (albeit a little stewed) and a bit of complexity on the backend. Not overly complex, this wine will not change your life. I paid $20 which seemed about right. It paired nicely with my now go-to cut of beef—the tri-tip. Very Good 86 points.
2001 G & M Machmer Bechtheimer Rosengarten Gewürztraminer Eiswein: Retail ~$20. Deep golden color. Nice nose of honeyed tropical fruit, with a hint of flintiness. On the palate, thick and rich with moderate sweetness. A bit lacking on the acidity which threw off the balance just slightly. Very Good. 88 points.
2005 Domaine Matrot Meursault-Blagny: From a half bottle. Retail ~$45-50 (for a full size bottle). The family was out of town, so I went for a nice long ride after work. I had a few half bottles of white burgundy, and I thought this would do well with the simple tomato salad. I was right. This is one of the better chardonnays I have had in a while. Nicely balanced, with just a hint of oak. Creamy and rich without getting all agitated. Long finish. Outstanding. 92 points.
1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered: Retail ~$45. Full reviewHERE.
2000 Fattoria di Montecchio Pietracupa Toscana IGT: Retail? The distributor claimed at the time that I purchased this that it was around $30, yet they sold it to me for considerably less than that. I should have been dubious, but I am a sucker for a good deal. I have not had one of these in a while, and perhaps I should clear these out sooner rather than later. Not bad, by any means, but not very good either. Might use the other two bottles for braising this fall…. Average to Good. 82 points.
N.V. G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Cordon Rouge Brut: Retail ~$35. This is not my favorite champagne—far from it. It has a bit of residual sugar it seems, and an overly nutty finish for my taste. Having said all of that, this is a very good example of the difference between champagne and sparkling wine. I know I might catch some heat for this, but I feel that an average champagne (like this one) still beats out most sparkling wines in the same price range. Very Good. 86 points.
2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Susan’s Hill Vineyard: Retail $32. Popped and poured. This was very tight upon pulling the cork, with a very muted nose and palate. After a bit of time, though, it really opened up nicely with really dark fruit (blackberries) and even a bit of mocha. After initially a bit astringent, it rounded out and expressed fine balance. I think it needs a couple of years still. Decant for at least an hour at this point. Very Good. 89 points.
2004 Trentadue Winery Zinfandel La Storia: Retail ~$25. Full review HERE.