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:
1988 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve: Retail ~$80. Decanted briefly, maybe about 30 minutes. Stewed on the nose but elegant on the palate. Perhaps should have been popped a few years ago, but this was nice. Even very nice. Excellent to Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2009 Littorai Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard: Retail $70. We are huge fans of Littorai and have a few in the cellar, but this was brought by dear friends to Blackfish. Both the nose and palate of this wine ooze cherry fruit, as the name of the vineyard implies (“cerise” means “cherry” at least in French). Very long finish and a very long life ahead of it. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2005 Matanzas Creek Winery Merlot: Retail ~$30. I am not a huge Merlot guy. We bought this to share with friends, but we don’t really see them that much anymore since an unfortunate incident. I figured ‘what the hell’ and popped this with leftover meatloaf. The meatloaf was OK and the wine was clearly above ‘Meh’ so I came out ahead on all fronts. The fruit took a while to come around, but eventually it showed up–some minor balance issues on the back end, but a pleasant quaff all in all. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2010 Melini Chianti Borghi d’Elsa: Retail ~$15. I bought a case of this some time last year for a pretty good price and we are finally getting to the last of them. This is a quintessential pizza/pasta wine and not really much more. My wife was at best non-plussed, but I thought it was slightly better—perhaps since my expectations were rather tepid. Good. 84-86 Points.
2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard: Retail $32. We are big fans of Siduri/Novy wines and this was no different. Big, dark fruit—probably the biggest of the Novy Syrahs that we have had. Thick and rich, but still refined and balanced. We enjoyed this with oxtail stew at our “new” local BYOB, the Blue Cat. Excellent. 89-91 Points.
2010 Martin Pasler Pinot Blanc: Retail ~$20-25. Picked these up from Last Call Wines and this was the first that I have tried. Bright and cheery with nice fruit and vibrant acidity. This is a perfect wine for the patio on a hot afternoon or as a nice apéritif. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
1999 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Cuvée Fleur de Champagne: Retail ~$120. Although I would not necessarily classify this as all that “old” for a wine of this pedigree, it certainly has taken on some of the characteristics of an old champagne and some at the table did not appear to care for it all that much. Many say that appreciating older champagnes is an “acquired taste”–I think it is safe to say that I have acquired it. In spades. This was just short of incredible–caramel and brioche with just a hint of citrus. It started off far too cold, but once it warmed up I did not want to share. It pained me to see the waiter haul off unfinished glasses. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2007 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County: Retail ~$25. First, this is not my style of wine. Second, it seemed like there were 37 reviews of this wine a day flashing up on my Cellar Tracker. Therefore, I was looking forward to getting this wine out of my cellar. But this was good. Really good. Decadent good. Mocha, cassis, and blackberry. Very tasty. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Saturday night, we had a slew of fine bottles (even a couple more that I neglected to record) and the Littorai and Georges de Latour were memorable wines. The Littorai could use a few more years and the Georges de Latour could have used a few less. In a Goldilocks-type scenario, the 1999 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Cuvée Fleur de Champagne seemed just right to me. Yes, I am a sucker for a good bottle of champagne, but the flavors here seemed to balance out to near perfection.
What was your wine of the week?