A quick reminder that today is the last day to enter the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge! Details for submission can be found HERE.
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:
1996 L. Aubry Fils Champagne Blanc de Blancs: Retail $65?. I finally realized that I am alone, all alone. At least among my friends (OK, there is one exception, maybe two, but they are married and live in France, so we rarely see them anymore). I love old champagne. That might be an understatement–I live for old Champers. My wife dutifly plays along, but it is not her favorite. Other than her, the list is virtually non-existent. This wine was a classic older bottle (although by no means ancient): A little lacking in fizz but not in personality. Nutty and tart with off the chart acidity. This is a champagne that is more than in my wheelhouse. It’s in my skivvies, in my blood stream. Unreal finish. Incredible. 93-95 Points.
1996 Château Bastor-Lamontagne: Retail $25? I do not drink nearly enough Sauternes and even less older Sauternes. While this is not a world beater, there is a wonderfully musty richness emanating from its golden hue. On the palate, a nutty, sweet, rich, and complex amalgam that coats the mouth and warms the esophagus. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2011 Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray Vouvray De Chanceny Tête de Cuvée, Brut Excellence: Retail $20. We had a bottle of this about a week ago and I was less than impressed. This bottle was noticeably better–more sparkle, more verve, more fruit. I will go out and get more at $14 a bottle at the PLCB. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2002 Domaine du Mas Blanc (Docteur Parcé) Collioure Clos du Moulin: Retail $25? This is a classic old world wine with a bit of age on it–stewed fruit and a bit of forrest floor (this wine is bringing out the wine geek in me) on the nose. Once past the lips, the acidity jumps out quickly, reserved yet refined, this is a great wine to have with dinner (and it ain’t too bad on its own). Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2005 Hugel et Fils Pinot Gris Tradition: Retail $25? Perhaps I waited too long–certainly the golden color was shouting the same to me. There were good aromatics and wonderful flavors, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2010 Mettler Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel – Epicenter Lodi: Retail $15. This is our third bottle of this wine and I certainly like it, but this time the acidity seems to be a bit out of balance. Pretty decent fruit and nice weight, but the acidity was overly present. Of course we had this with Asian food, since my father-in-law prefers red, and that was not the best choice. Very Good, nonetheless. 86-88 Points.
NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rosé: Retail $12. Good, not great. Cheap. Enough said. 84-86 Points.
2003 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll: Retail $40. I decided to pop this one after reading the less-than-flattering piece in SF Gate, I decided I should try and weed through the Trefethens in my cellar. You know, there is nothing wrong with this wine at all (not that I thought there would be). There is decent fruit, good balance, and an acceptable finish. Complexity? Not so much. This is a solid wine, but nothing to really write home about (although writingabout it on my blog is OK). Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2006 Trione Syrah: Retail $45. Inky black and rich, an interesting nose mostly dominated by barnyard (Brett?), which is by no means a deal breaker with me. On the palate, full and rich with ample acidity, but a bit disjointed on the mid palate, with a stewed fruit finish. Very Good, on the verge of Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Even before I opened the bottle, I knew the 1996 L. Aubry Fils Champagne Blanc de Blancs was going to be the wine of the week. Even had the bottle been off, this was going to be the one. Is that a sign of some potential bias? You bet your sweet tooth it is. 1996 has turned out to be a phenomenal year for champagne, which is interesting since at the time, many thought that the year prior (1995) would end up being the longer lived of the two. I bought five bottles of this wine back in ’08 and they just keep getting better.Sure, I might have a peculiar palate that enjoys the caramelized, on the verge of oxidized nature of these older champagnes, but I just can’t help it (although my wallet certainly hopes that I start showing at least some restraint).
What was your Wine of the Week?