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:
2006 B Kosuge Pinot Noir The Shop: Retail ~$35. Popped and poured at our local restaurant that is BYO on Mondays. I pulled this to surprise my wife since Byron’s wines are among her favorites (and I usually hold on to them since they age quite well). On the nose a strong strawberry cream comes through with nice acidity and a bit of coffee grounds on the palate. Really great balance–we are huge fans of Byron. Excellent to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
1994 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot: Retail ~$35. Some good friends came over and I pulled this out. For some reason, it was not in my Cellar Tracker, so it was like getting a free bottle (and I am amazed that I knew I had it down in the morass that is the ‘cellar’). Popped and poured. Very little bricking, surprisingly, the wine also had a great nose of stewed cherries and a bit of spice. This really was a treat to drink as it caused me to reflect on my time teaching at the boarding school back in the mid ’90’s. Well, at least the wine helped dull a few of the memories of living in a dorm with 38 pubescent boys…. Excellent to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
1999 Le Duo de Bourgogne Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes: Retail ~$45. I brought this back from France over a decade ago and I worried that I had waited too long to pop this one, but that quickly went away with the impressive nose of cherries and earth. It has been a while since I have had a Burgundy as nice as this one and it reminded me why this region is so magical—fruit, earth, acidity, balance—it is all there in spades and melded seamlessly into the meal. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2001 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Avaux: Retail ~$35. I have had a few of these now and I remain impressed. 2001 was not the finest year in Burgundy, and this wine does not have an abundance of fruit, but it does have earth, acidity, and balance. This is without a doubt a Burgundy lover’s kind of wine—a bit austere and reserved, but spot on. Also the year that I was fortunate enough to get married to my lovely wife (she rarely reads the blog, so I am not trying to suck up or get out of the dog house). Excellent to Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
1985 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon Reunion: Retail ??? It took me a good ten minutes to get the darn cork out. After I did, our guest declared that the wine was corked. I was not so sure, so I used the Vacu Vin and put the bottle in the fridge. The next day, the hint of TCA (I thought it was a bit of bret) was gone, and there was some nice fruit, acidity, and balance. A fun wine that has seen better days, without a doubt, but still Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2003 Jessup Cellars Zinfandel: Retail ~$35. First, I am not a huge Zin fan–particularly the big bombastic ones. I tend to like my Zins with a bit of age on them, so that the wine calms down a bit. I think that is what has happened here–some great fruit, but not over the top, this was a great wine to sip while
pretending to watch enjoying watching the Sound of Music with my wife. 87-89 Points.
NV Soutiran Champagne Brut Grand Cru Rosé: Retail ~$50. This Champers is still bringing it! Amazed still by the color—closer to the color of a light Pinot than a rosé champagne. All that pinot has an effect, resulting in a really full bodied wine. I picked up some raspberry and black currant and on the palate, this seemed like a kir royale without the sweetness. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2006 Tallulah Syrah Bald Mountain Ranch: Retail ~$35. Man, do I dig this wine. I am not a big fruit kind of guy, but this has a bunch. It also has some white pepper and spice–it is the kind of wine that you stay up late to finish since it is so damned good! Excellent to Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Looking back over the week, we ‘harvested’ a few of our older Burgundies that I had been sitting on for a while. Looking at the scores, we also had some fairly good luck this week, making it difficult to pick just one. So I won’t. The wine of the week is Oldish Burgundy, we had three of them: 1994 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot, 1999 Le Duo de Bourgogne Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes, 2001 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Avaux. All great wines and memory provoking.