What We Have Been Drinking—12/2/2013

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:

2006 Benovia Zinfandel Sonoma County: Retail $40. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do not have a ton of experience with Zinfandel. I tend to shy away from bigger wines since I really struggle to find an appropriate pairing on the table. I might be changing my stance. This was a wonderfully rich wine with blackberry and spice throughout the jammy mouthful. I would love to see this wine again in a few years. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

22009 Chad Pinot Noir: Retail $25. I have not been all that impressed with this wine from WineAccess, but this bottle was marginally better. The first glass was the best, with depth of flavor and appealing fruit, but the wine faded quickly and the last few glasses were rather nondescript. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.

2005 Faiveley Rully Les Villeranges: Retail $25? We had two bottles of this wine one night–the first was a horribly oxidized: dark yellow. I quickly threw another in the freezer and the second was remarkably better. The fruit was faint, but showed well. The balance was impressive and the finish medium to long. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points (rating for the “good” bottle).

2005 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Rully Vieilles Vignes: Retail $25-30? I had six of these in all, and this might have been the best of the bunch–good lemon rind and a bit of vanilla with excellent acidity. Just enough complexity to make me question what this must have been like several years prior. Don’t wait any longer on this one. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

NV Knot Wines Sinnet Sparkling Rosé: Retail $25. This was certainly better than the previous iterations as this one had far more sparkle and oomph. Red berry flavors throughout, and vibrant acidity. Had all the bottles been this good, I would have wished I would have purchased more, but given the bottle variation, still glad I didn’t. Very Good. 92-94 Points.

NV Gérard Loriot Champagne Brut Cuvée Tradition: Retail $40. This is a champagne made from 100% Pinot Meunier, which is fairly difficult to find outside of Champagne. We took this over to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving so I do not have extensive notes, but it had a bright and floral nose and was very fruity and tart on the palate. Really nice. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.

1990 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Millennium: Retail $60? Another wine we took over for Thanksgiving. A little turpentine on the nose initially, but that blew off. Once it did, a bit austere with dark cherry and earth. Really good with the meal. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.

2010 Oriel Chardonnay Dylan: Retail $25? Another bottle that I picked up from Last Bottle for just over $8/bottle. Not a world beater by any means, but for $8? This is a solid wine. Not a ton of fruit, nor complexity, I would place this at around $15, so for half that? You bet. Good. 85-87 Points.

2000 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Carla’s Vineyard: Retail $25? Another older Zin that is just fantastic–great dark berry fruit of blackberry and cassis. On the palate, completely integrated tannins and balanced acidity. The finish rounds out this truly fantastic wine. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.

2007 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County: Retail $25? I went down to get this bottle for our throwback Thanksgiving (since we did not have any leftovers–we went to friends for Thanksgiving–we recreated the Thanksgiving dishes from out childhood, which meant everything came from a can). Alas, this wine was not in the basement, despite what Cellar Tracker said. I will assume I drank it and also assume I liked it (but not as much as the other Yahoos on Cellar Tracker).

NV Soutiran Champagne Brut Grand Cru Rosé: Retail $55.This was the fifth bottle of six and with each subsequent bottle, the cassis element has become more pronounced. I do not mind it, I guess, but it detracts from the refinement and complexity. This bottle had not lost any effervescence as previous bottles had. One bottle to go–better be soon. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.

20131202-092042.jpgWINE OF THE WEEK: A bit of a different week this time around since Thanksgiving landed right there in the middle. Thanksgiving is always a tough holiday for me as a wine geek. First, it is the biggest meal of the year, so you want to have nice wines to go with it. On the other hand, the food pairings are really difficult since there are so many competing flavors on the plate all at once. Add to this the fact that you are usually eating with friends and family of varying levels of wine appreciation (in other words not exactly wine geeks). In the end? I usually like to have something interesting, but rarely pop a “special” bottle. So, for the wine of the week, I certainly could have chosen the 1990 Barolo, but honestly, I don’t think it was WOTW worthy. The older Rosenblum Zin was very nice but since I have another couple bottles of it, I am sure it will be in contention at another point for WOTW. This week I chose the 2006 Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel as my WOTW. We bought the bottle shortly after the winery opened, and while I certainly would not classify this as an “older” Zin, the fruit, though still prominent, had calmed down a bit, showing some secondary flavors. A very nice wine indeed.

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 Barolo, Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Tasting, Tasting Notes, Wine, Wine Tasting, Zinfandel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking—12/2/2013

  1. mrsugarbears says:

    Yummy! Your week sounds lovely. After working Friday and Saturday, I just opened anything I had in my house and gulped. Not exactly the way I like to drink my wine, but sometimes you just have to.


  2. binNotes© says:

    Love Benovia!!!! My wine of the week is Benovia’s neighbor, Boletto Pinot Noir – any Boletto, any vintage, actually…cheers.


  3. Thanks for your review! My husband and I thought we might have a Rosenblum Carla’s Vineyard Zin in the Cellar…we did, and ours was a 2003. We decided to open it with dinner tonight. Ours still had lots of life in it, too. Mahogany in color, with plum and brown sugar aromas. Still some big tannins; and BIG alcohol (15.5%). The taste was fig, dried strawberries, and cocoa. Very nice! Thanks for the prompt to open a fantastic wine!


  4. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you friend, there are many inspirational articles


  5. Mark Yeo says:

    Chad Pinot Noir gets my vote every time!


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