Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. We were in Seattle last week, getting home on Monday–along with a pretty good sized cold. We rallied for New Year’s Eve, but faltered the next few days, with no wine anywhere in sight. On Wednesday, I read somewhere that red wine could help to speed up the recovery process, so I was back on the ‘horse’ by Wednesday night. Here are some of the wines we tasted this last week that stood out:
2005 Brian Carter Byzance: Retail $30. Picked this up about four years ago on our last trip to Seattle. Since we just got back from the Pacific Northwest I figured it was time to pull this one at our local ‘almost’ BYO. Great cherry fruit and wonderful balance. A great food wine with a lasting finish. Certainly did not wait too long. On our trip to Woodinville, I decided to forgo this tasting room–had I tasted this prior, I certainly would have stopped there and bought more. Excellent to Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2007 Cosentino Winery Chardonnay The Chard: Retail ~$20. Just when you think you have it all figured out…. I bought a case of this wine several years ago for an insane price ($6/bottle). The first few bottles made me think that this was indeed the deal of the century–great fruit, just enough oak and malo, great acidity on the finish. The last few bottles of this, however, were less than stellar–not bad by any means, but a definite drop-off. This bottle, though, was a return to the initial impression–wonderfully balanced and a great representation of what a relatively inexpensive Cali Chard can be…. Excellent to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2009 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc: Retail ~$15. The week of rather good deals continue–I picked up a case of this a few years ago from the PLCB for $5/bottle. Pineapple and melon, a bit soft on the midpalate, but a solid finish–what do you want for $5? I’d take this any day of the week. Very, Very Good 88-89 Points.
2006 Inman Family OGV Pinot Noir: Retail ~$55. Twist and pour. The best of the three bottles of this wine that we have had. Initially subdued but eventually expressive cherry fruit, the wine opened gradually as we progressed through the bottle. I was surprised by one of the better finishes I have had in a while. Classic Russian River Pinot. I wish I had a few more of these and will seek out other vintages. This was absolutely a great way to finish off the week. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2005 Mommessin Fleurie Les Roches: Retail ~$22. I was still in the throes of a cold, but I read some where that red wine helps you get healthier. That was all I needed to read. Since I could barely breathe (much less smell), I grabbed a wine that I would not regret drinking in the morning. Once I pulled the cork on this one, my sinuses miraculously opened up to catch a whiff of the stewed fruit and earthiness. On the palate, it had great weight and balance, but the acidity was bracing and helped break down the pork chops. Miraculously (coincidentally?) I felt much better the next day. I (we all) need to drink more Beaujolais…. Excellent to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
N.V. Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Champagne: Retail $45. This was my contribution to the NYE party out in the ‘burbs with our good friends–we have been going out there for NYE for the last 6 years or so. She works with my wife and is a big fan of the Veuve, so the choice was easy. I really do not know why there are so many out there that give the Veuve such a hard time. Sure it is made by a huge producer. Sure it lacks a real sense of place. Sure it is a bit overpriced. Sure it has become somewhat of bourgeois cliché. Honestly, though, it is a decent champagne and I really enjoy it. Great fruit, a bit of complexity and predominantly Pinot. Come on! Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week, it seems as though I had a bunch of really good bargains, anyone of which could be WOTW. I gave serious consideration to the Cosentino Chard since it was our last bottle, but I still have a bunch of Cosentino down in the cellar (a lot of Poet and some higher end cabs) so I have a feeling that Mitch will get his much coveted WOTW award. I also could have or even should have given it to the Brian Carter, but I was mad at myself for not having stopped there and bought more. No, instead I took a bit of the easy way out and went with the highest scoring wine, the 2006 Inman Family OGV Pinot Noir. I honestly loved this wine and really do wish I had purchased more at the time–it seems to be at or near its peak.
What was your wine of the week?