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 Domaine Auvigue Pouilly-Fuissé Solutre: Retail $22. Purchased from Last Bottle for $12. Perfectly serviceable, if unremarkable. Some nice tart lemon on the nose and the palate, but not a whole lot more. Good, but I’m glad I did not pay more than $12. Good. 84-86 Points.
2009 Bott Frères Riesling Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé: Retail $35. This wine was very good, but frankly, I expected a bit more. Perhaps I drank it too early, but there was not the depth of flavor that I expect from a Kirchberg. Sure, it was really good, but not more. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2003 Cosentino Winery Sémillon Edie – Botrytised Sémillon: (375 ml) Retail $35. We had this later in the week, after The Chard (see below). This wine reminded me of what Cosentino once was–an excellent winery. The wine was dark–darker than ginger ale (even darker than the glass shown above). Intense nose of honey and more honey. It makes a powerful first impression on the palate, almost overwhelming. It just takes a while to get used to, I guess, since this turned out to be one of the better dessert wines I have had this year. Based on the somewhat negative comments on CT, I think this one just needed some more time to intensify a bit. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2011 Cosentino Winery Chardonnay The Chard: Retail $22. I opened this ready to not like it (yes, keeping an open mind), but it was not all that bad at all. Sure, there are some depth issues here–a bit one dimensional (acidity with a little fruit and oak), but really it is OK. The reason I was ready to not like it? Cosentino has taken a bit of a nose dive, in my opinion, since the bankruptcy and while this wine is “OK” it is still a shell of its former self…. Good. 84-86 Points.
2012 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé Domaine René Couly: Retail $20. This continues to be a very nice Rosé–great fruit and just the right amount of acidity, a really fun, yet complex wine. I would feel a lot better about it if it did not have the synthetic “cork” though–just go twist off already! Very Good. 88-90 Points.
NV Jean-Noël Haton Champagne Brut Classic: Retail $45. Our first bottle of this in a few months and this wine continues to show more character than the first few bottles. There is a pleasant creaminess that one looks for in champagne, but it lacks a bit of depth to render it more than an every day type of wine. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2009 Roessler Pinot Noir La Brisa: Retail $30. I have only limited experience with Roessler, but I have been always happy with their wines. I got this wine from Wines Till Sold Out and was a little surprised since the label makes it seem like it is a second wine. When I went online to see what the heck the story was, I realized that Roessler was bought out by Kathryn Hall (and now will be called “WALT” wines–yes, all caps). I guess I should try and stay on top of what goes on a little better. The wine? Not bad, even very good–good fruit and a bit of depth, but not one for keeping around–drink up! Very Good. 87-89 Points.
1989 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Hendry Ranch: Retail ???. I was talking to a friend the other day about my affinity for older Zinfandel. He was incredulous–he believed that most Zins should be consumed within the first few years after bottling in order to maximize the intense fruit. Or some crap like that. I gave him a taste of this wine and he was impressed–perhaps not to the point of becoming a convert yet (but he did mention that he would happily help me drink my remaining stock of old Zin. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2008 Siduri Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills: Retail $30. Sadly, this was our last bottle of this blend. I had bought it as an afterthought–I was just trying to fill out a case to get a break on shipping–but all three bottles showed that outstanding Pinot can be made for $30. While certainly not as complex as say, their Clos Pepe, this Siduri has incredible fruit and balance. I was certainly ‘wowed’ and sad that I had not bought more. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2004 Skewis Pinot Noir Bush: Retail $75. I drink a lot of Pinot. Increasingly, more and more from the U.S. (good Burgundy is just becoming way too expensive). Hank Skewis is certainly one of my favorite producers and for me, this is what all those years holding on to his wines gets you–a phenomenal wine. Everything in balance and the tannins nearly fully integrated–this was fantastic. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Rafael Reverte Garnacha Cistum: Retail $35? Same note from last week, but I bumped it up another point or two: I picked this up from the PLCB when it went on sale for $12. The store claimed that this received a 92 from the Advocate, which stated that its drinking window as 2014-2024. I am not so sure about the score, and certainly skeptical about the window, since this had more new world fruit and very little tannin on the back end. For $12? Not bad. For the $38 suggested retail claimed by the PLCB? Not a chance. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2002 J. L. Wolf Wachenheimer Belz Riesling Spätlese: Retail $20? Solid Riesling with a bit of age on it. Dark color with a touch of petrol on the nose. Nice on the palate initially with a hint of sugar, the finish was a bit chalky, though, with some burnt popcorn, which was odd. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was a no brainer. Yes, the 1989 Rosenblum Hendry Zin was fantastic, but it was our second bottle and we have a few more to go. The 2003 Cosentino Edie was great as well, but now every time I open a bottle of older Cosentino, I get a bit depressed–kind of like seeing your high school sweetheart at your 20th reunion and realizing that she had really let herself go. Now, looking at the pictures of her from high school just does not hold the same “excitement” it once did. No, this week’s Wine of the Week was the 2004 Skewis Pinot Noir Bush Vineyard. The wine was certainly worthy of WOTW, but what makes it that much easier to select is that Hank and Maggie Skewis are just the nicest people you would want to meet.
What was your wine of the week?
I’m hoping you have fond recollections of the Cosentino vintages from 1995-97- my husband was assistant winemaker then 🙂
I believe I was first introduced to Cosentino in 1996, and I was a frequent visitor after that, so no doubt I experienced your husband’s work. I did not have Cellar Tracker back then (nor did anyone!) so I am not sure what wines from those years I bought–but there is no doubt that I loved them–I was a loyal follower for years!
I also loved the Roessler Pinot’s and recently tried the 2011’s under the WALT label and they are amazing. Highly recommend!
That is so good to hear that the new label wines are good as well! I am looking forward to trying them!