What We Have Been Drinking–1/27/2014

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:

2011 Axis Mundi Grenache/Syrah Windmill Vineyard: Retail $29. This is a very interesting wine. Very light in color, perhaps even lighter than a Pinot. On the nose, there is smoke, cherry, and a bit of blueberry. On the palate, this certainly is reminiscent of a Pinot, but with a slightly different flavor profile. The acidity is off the charts and thus, this wine screams for food. I really like this wine a lot and only wish that I had bought more. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.

2010 Bersano Dolcetto d’Alba: Retail $18?. I picked this up from Last Bottle for $9. $9. Heck, I would likely drink almost any wine for $9. This was not all that bad, though. I might even pay $10 for it. Good for lack of a better word. 84-86 Points.

2011 Blockheadia Ringnosii Pinot Noir: Retail $25. I grabbed this to have with some black beans and rice, after scratching my head in the cellar for 25 minutes (with my wife screaming for me to make a #*@!% decision). Popped and poured–a playful nose of cherry, blueberry, and a hint of mocha. The palate is vibrant and clean, if a bit thin. A nice, but brief finish. Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2006 Buena Vista Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard Series Ramal Vineyard: Retail $35. We have had this numerous times now and we like it, but not much more. I said to my wife that this reminded me a bit of my high school girlfriend–nothing all that special, but pleasant and you knew what you were going to get. My wife did not appreciate the analogy even after I added “I knew what I was going to get, but it was not all that much!”  Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2011 Cosentino Winery Zinfandel CigarZin: Retail $25. Sigh. I am trying to go through all my newer Cosentinos as quickly was possible since it just makes me so sad. The winery used to be near the top of my list of favorites. Since the winery was bought out, however, it has slipped into mediocrity. This wine is the perfect example–the wine is fine, but exceedingly boring. None of the smoky character of the Cigar Zins of old. Double sigh. Good. 84-86 Points.

NV Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut: Retail $25. This remains our “house sparkler” it has great fruit, sparkle, and even a bit of depth. What else can you ask for–a lap dance? Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2001 Damien Laureau Savennières Les Genêts: Retail $20. I have stated before that I am a fan of aged Chenin Blanc and this is a good example of why. Upon opening, the amber color had me worried. There was a hint of oxidation on the nose as well, but this was easily overwhelmed by the lemon honey herbal tea. Rich but delicate on the palate with just a hint of sweetness and some nuttiness on the finish. This was not a mind-blowing experience, but for a 12-13 year old white? Very Good and interesting. 88-90 Points.

2006 Domaine Matrot Meursault: Retail $18. I had several half bottles of these and since we rarely are looking for that size bottle any more, I decided to pop one of these when I got sent home early during winter storm Janus. Certainly showing its age with some oxidation on the nose. On the palate, it was OK, but clearly tired and screaming to me that I have to get to the three other bottles soon. Real soon. Not Rated.

NV Pommery Champagne Pink POP:  Retail $15. This was from a 187 and well, I should have had this a while ago. I got them for a steal from the PA state store, so I am pretty sure they were rather crappy from the get go, but we will never know, will we? Still interesting, in an old-should-have-popped-this-a-while-ago-(or-maybe-never) kind-of way. Still, Good (it is champagne after all). 84-86 Points.

2006 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico: Retail $20. I was really happy with this wine this go around, there were some nice fruit flavors with a bit of earth and ample acidity. I opened this on pizza night and this was near perfect for the meal. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2003 Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese: Retail $22. Honey and lemon on the nose, with just a hint of petrol. I popped this with some really spicy leftover Chinese and it was perfect. There is considerable sweetness still, which counterbalanced the heat of the meal nicely. The acidity is there, but a bit thin. With another meal, this might not have worked as well. Good thing I am a “fortunate genius”. Very Good. 86-88 Points.

2006 Spelletich Cellars Syrah Reserve: Retail $25. When I popped and poured this, it initially seemed like a “typical” over-oaked and over-extracted Napa Syrah. I was all set to pan it, but once I read the other comments on CT, I thought I would give it another chance the following day. Well, it is still a bit of a mess, but there is a bit of complexity there. Not a ton, understand, but enough to save it, I guess. Might even be Very Good. 86-88 Points.

20140127-090301.jpgWINE OF THE WEEK: This was a bit of an odd week in that we did not have anyone over for dinner. Usually, we entertain at least once during the weekend, if not 2 or 3 times. When we do, we tend to drink some fairly good wines. This week, though, without such a social calendar, we went through a few bottles that probably we should have popped a while ago. (The obvious exception being the 2011 Axis Mundi which will likely be a WOTW in the future.) Such was the case with the 2001 Damien Laureau Savennières Les Genêts, a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. It was a bit oxidized and a little lacking in fruit, thus my wife was not much of a fan. When I pointed out that the wine was from the year that we got married (and finally paired it with some fish tacos) she did a 180 and really enjoyed the wine. As did I.

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 Franc, Champagne, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Chianti, Dolcetto, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking–1/27/2014

  1. Quik Red Fox says:

    Cosentino wines were so impressive before the buy out. I enjoyed them so much I made it a point to go to the winery on my first trip to Napa. What a disappointment:(


  2. Lauzan says:

    Bersano Dolcetto d’Alba/Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut/Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico… I know three wines of your list! Wow! Happy about me!


  3. Since you paired it with fish tacos, I will have to give it a try!


  4. talkavino says:

    I’m with you on Cosentino. Their wines are not what they were, unfortunately…


  5. dwdirwin says:

    I always like reading your reviews about Cosentino- that’s where my husband got his start in the wine industry (think I have already mentioned that…) And it is too bad that Mitch isn’t involved anymore- my husband always said he had a gifted nose and palate.


    • Well I certainly have more than a few bottles left from the “glory days”: A ton of Poet (’00, ’04, ’05), some M Coz (’00, ’03), a Winemaster (’03), Hoopes Ranch (’01) and a couple Cab Franc Reserves (’03, ’04). Was your husband behind any of those?


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