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:
2007 Adria Vini Barbera da Vine: Retail $15? II pulled this out to drink with our normal Thursday night pizza. We really don’t plan on having pizza every Thursday, but I teach a Spinning class and my lovely wife opts for pizza in my absence (I could go into a rather long soliloquy here, but she reads my blog every third month, and I have lost track if this is the month or not). This wine was serviceable, and had a bit of funk that seemed out of place. Good, maybe more. 85-87 Points.
2011 Argyle Riesling: Retail $20. This is certainly becoming one of my go-to Sunday evening wines. Bright and fresh with just a hint of sweetness, this is easy to enjoy without the need to get too cerebral, which is a good thing since I rarely like to get cerebral on Sunday evenings. Usually, I am getting depressed: watching 60 Minutes while contemplating going back to work the following morning. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2002 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse Reserve Series: Retail $70. Sadly, this was our last bottle of this wine, and like the other two, it did not disappoint. Earthy, fruity, complex, acidity: the wholly trinity (although there are four, so that would make it a quadrinity?). This was the third pinot of the night (and one of those was a magnum), so my focus on this wine was a little lacking–but trust me when I say it was incredible. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2006 Ayres Vineyard Pinot Noir Piper: Retail $35? Ayres is a very good producer in the Willamette and I have been a fan for a while now. This is a solid effort, with great acidity and flavors, but slightly lacking in fruit. Very Good, on the verge of more. 88-90 Points.
NV André Clouet Champagne Brut Grande Réserve: Retail $45? Ah Bouzy, how I love thee–back when I started getting into champagne, I adopted the town of Bouzy as my own–I am not quite sure why, but it certainly was based, at least in part, on the fact that it was a Pinot Noir town. Every time I open a bottle of wine from Bouzy, I am taken back to the time that I first fell in love with champagne and I jump for joy (figuratively speaking, of course–jumping up and down with a champagne flute in your hand is silly and borders on reckless). Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2002 Carmes de Rieussec: Retail $20. I really can’t lie to you, dear reader, this wine came after several other bottles of wine and I know that I liked it, but that is really all I can say. Very Good.
1995 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Dutton-Sanchietti Vineyard: Retail $50. Surprisingly dark, with a very rich nose of earth and a bit of stewed fruit. On the palate, this was far richer than I would have imagined for a 20 year old Pinot—in fact, had I tasted this blind, I doubt I would have been able to identify it as a Pinot at all. Not quite sure to make of all of this other than I like it. A lot. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
NV Knot Wines Sinnet Sparkling Rosé: Retail $25? We had yet another bottle this week since I have decided that the lack of sparkle (it is weakly effervescent) is a sign that I need to drink them sooner rather than later. The other sign was my wife saying “I need some sparkling wine NOW” and this was already cold. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
2007 Rudolf Müller Riesling Auslese: Retail $15. A solid effort–the sweetness was present, but restrained. Ample fruit and acidity rounded this out nicely. I felt that this was the right choice for the leftover Korean food–leftovers get a bit of a short shrift, and perhaps for good reason. That is why I did not go whole hog on the Riesling–but this was Very Good, in a leftovers kind of way. 86-88 Points.
2006 Skewis Pinot Noir Bush: Retail $55. This came after a magnum of ’09 Clos Pepe Estate, so naturally, it seemed to be a bit lacking in fruit. Once I was able to put the CP out of my mind, this wine was fantastic–more in the old world style, which is precisely in my wheelhouse. Hank and Maggie are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, but their wines are so precise and balanced, it would be impossible not to love their wines even if the two of them were not so great. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: I really struggled with the wine of the week this time around. Friends brought over a magnum of 2009 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir that was gorgeous and the 2006 Skewis Bush Pinot was superb. The 1995 Hartford Court was intriguing, but I have two more bottles of it to try and figure it out. The 2002 Argyle Spirithouse was certainly the “best” wine of the week, but it has won WOTW before (I think) so I thought I would spread the wealth around a bit. I ended up opting for the 2002 Carmes de Rieussec as this week’s Wine of the Week. Why? Great question. As I mentioned in the note above, we popped this wine with friends at the end of a fun evening (and after several bottles of Pinot). I can’t tell you if it had a nose of quince or elderberries, or even if the fruit was in balance with the sweetness or acidity. I did not even score it. So why is it the wine of the week? I chose it because it should serve as a reminder that wine should be consumed with friends and that one does not (always) need to over-analyze–sometimes it is best to just sit back and enjoy.
What was your wine of the week?