What We Have Been Drinking—9/2/13

I normally post the weekly consumption notes on Monday, but Monday was a holiday and I also published the latest Ohmygod chapter that day. I did not get these up on Tuesday since, well, I was lazy. Yesterday was my wife’s birthday and the normal Wine Trivia Wednesday, so that is why these are going up here now (a little more explanation than you wanted, no doubt).

2004 Cosentino Winery Cabernet Sauvignon: Retail $45. Dark and brooding, this wine really is doing well. Rich dark berry fruit and hints of vanilla and mocha, the oak is present, but in no way overpowering. I really enjoy Mitch Cosentino’s work, and this only served to make me more depressed about the turn the winery has taken since it was bought out. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

2008 Faiveley Bourgogne Blanc: Retail $25. Nose evokes lemon curd, a bit of celery seed, as well as a nice butter croissant. On the palate, the acidity is vibrant and beyond, this wine cries for food. I would put it up with a Seafood pasta with a butter and garlic sauce. Just sayin’. Very Good 88-90 Points.

1999 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard: Retail $50? Since the tasting window on Cellar Tracker closed in 2011, I was a bit worried about this wine, but I tend to like my wines with a bit more age on it than the average CT drinker, so I was not terrified. There was a bit of green pepper on the nose, which caused some pause, but there was also some rich dark berry fruit right behind it. On the palate, the fruit was playful but not overbearing and the finish was admirable. Paired with the Tri-tip, it really started to sing. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.

NV Gosset Champagne Brut Grande Réserve: Retail $28 (Half bottle). The Grande Réserve from Gosset is my single favorite NV Brut and my trip to finally visit there was fantastic. I bought these half bottles a few years ago and it looks as though I have let them go a bit too long, I am afraid. The fizz is faint and tired and there are the beginnings of oxidation. Still Very Good, but not what it should be. 87-89 Points.

2005 Hugel et Fils Pinot Gris Tradition: Retail $22. A great melon and kiwi nose, just a tiny bit on the dark side. On the palate, the wine was really enjoyable. Great depth but still more than ample acid, this is a really enjoyable wine. It became even more impressive as it warmed–and the finish bordered on phenomenal. After the debacle that was the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, this was just so much better. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

2005 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay: Retail $40. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I write a lot of tasting notes. Recently I realized that they all start to sound the same: I like to talk about fruit, balance, and acidity. Is it necessary for each note to be unique? I have had about 57 chardonnays this year and there are only so many descriptors…. Well, what can you say about Montelena? A classic California Chardonnay that is no where near over the top. Great fruit and balance with the precise amount of acidity. It is so great when you have high hopes for a wine and it meets them! Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

2008 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Napa Valley: Retail $35. Playful new world style nose, with tons of fruit. On the palate, the theme continued–not my preferred style, but I really enjoyed the wine. The acidity helped immensely with the food pairing of pasta, sausage, and broccoli rabe. Very Good to Outstanding 88-90 Points.

NV Soutiran Champagne Blanc Perle Noir Grand Cru: Retail $45. The last bottle really had me worried, but this one was fabulous (it also helps that the boys were gone for the night)! A bit of yeast, lemon, and a curious note of ramen noodle on the nose. Great fizz, acidity, and verve on the palate. This was as close to perfect as I could contemplate on a Wednesday. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

2009 Torii Mor Pinot Gris: Retail $35. This is a wine that is a bit trapped between two styles–it certainly has more flavor and richness than an Italian Pinot Grigio, but it lacks a bit of the depth that you find in the Alsatian rendition. Still, Very Good. 86-88 Points.

NV Domaine St. Vincent Brut: Retail $12. I got duped into buying this–the online retailer stated it was the Gruet sparkler from New Mexico, but when they showed up, it was their second label (and not very good). I used this as an apéritf, however, with a splash of Crème de Cassis for a little Kir Royale. Unrated.

20130905-091530.jpgWINE OF THE WEEK: This was a rather interesting week. First, I only had one Pinot Noir (can’t remember the last time that happened) and after the Pinot Grigio rant last week, I doubled down and tried both an Oregon PG and another from Hugel in Alsace–I wanted to make sure that I was not crazy in panning the Santa Margherita (I wasn’t). I also went back to my roots, in a way, when I had a Cosentino for Cabernet Day (last Thursday). As I mentioned in the note, it was fabulous and could have been wine of the week if I were not so depressed about the turn the winery has seemingly taken. I also quite inadvertently tasted two wines from wineries that participated in the 1976 Judgment of Paris, where many claim that U.S. wines showed they could compete with the best. Both wines were fantastic, but the 2005 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay really showed what California Chardonnay can be–they don’t have to be big and bombastic while still showcasing fruit. A very nice wine.

What was your Wine of the Week?


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Champagne, Chardonnay, Ohmygod, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rosé, Sparkling Wine, Tasting Notes, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking—9/2/13

  1. Damon says:

    You drank well last week !


  2. Stefano says:

    I will keep picking on it: “after the debacle that was the Italian Pinot Grigio” should actually read “After the debacle that was the Italian Pinot Grigio that I recently tried”. Lame Santa Margherita is not representative of all Italian Pinot Grigio 😉


  3. asueba says:

    At $50 for a bottle of 1999 Freemark Abbey, I will run out and buy another couple more bottles. Likewise, I have a very soft spot for well aged wine. Had a 1996 Sociando Mallet (1.5litre format) two weeks ago and it tamed me. LOL


  4. cbgwine says:

    Keep up the good work!!


  5. I would have been happy with the Cosentino and the Montelena, but I guess somebody had to open all of those wines. I am happy for you and not really a bad one in the bunch.


  6. foxress says:

    Your tasting notes don’t all sound the same to me, but I know what you mean about always looking for more words. Maybe we should try borrowing descriptors from other disciplines. That could be fun, if uninformative.


  7. Sally says:

    I admire Jay McInerney’s way of comparing wines with famous people – wish I’d thought of it – widens the wine vocab considerably!


  8. I love Chateau Montalena! Have you seen the movie, “Bottle Shock”? A fun movie, if for no other reason than Alan Rickman/Severus Snape is Steven Spurrier. Salud!!


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