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 Arcadian Syrah Westerly Vineyard: Retail $35. I broke this out to watch Glee. Did I just say that? Incredible nose, but initially less expressive on the palate. There is a ton of grip on the finish–this wine has a long way to go and I really am looking forward to seeing where it ends up. Two bottles left and they will stay in the cellar for a while. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2011 Argyle Riesling: Retail $20. My note from last year: Much better than the last bottle–tart and fruity with some nice depth in the mid-palate. This will not be confused with a German or Alsatian version, but that is certainly OK. Particularly considering what I paid for it. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2006 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat Vineyards: Retail $35. We took this to our favorite BYO in the city, and this is a bottle that I did not realize I had. Sure, there is oak. Sure it is a California style Chardonnay, but there is balance, great fruit, and a finish that lasts for minutes. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2006 Buena Vista Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard Series Ramal Vineyard: Retail $30. I have lost count how many bottles of this we have popped, but this one seemed to fall a little flat–a bit lacking in fruit and the finish fell short. Still Good to Very Good, but a bit below previous bottles. 85-87 Points.
2012 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé Domaine René Couly: Retail $25. Another great bottle of this. I know most people think of rosé as a summer wine, but this was really fantastic with the Asian fare. I hope I am able to lay off this and keep some of it around for when summer eventually comes (if it ever does). Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2005 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley: Retail $50. It did not hit me until later, but I pulled this wine to drink after an Au Bon Climat Bien Nacido, not realizing the glaringly obvious connection (and I used to think I was bright). I bought this at the winery several years ago, and popped it at our favorite BYO. I am an unabashed fan of Gary Farrell, and I really enjoyed this wine. A bit hot, but otherwise fantastic. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2000 Louis Jadot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode: Retail $35. For a second time this week, I found a bottle that was not in my Cellar Tracker, which never happens–it’s like a little mini-Christmas. Or a clear sign of early onset Alzheimer’s–I guess that is for someone else to decide. As for the wine, there was quite a bit of funk here, and just a hint of fruit. Still, well, it was a Burgundy. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
NV Jaffelin Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut: Retail $20. We have been using these for Kir Royales, but we had this one straight up. Clean and bright, but lacking a bit in depth (but i tend to be overly picky when it comes to sparkling wines). Still, for $13 from Wines Til Sold Out, this is a very good deal. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
NV Mailly Grand Cru Champagne Brut Rosé: Retail $45. I brought this back several years ago from the winery and I basically forgot about it for a while. We took this to Bibou, our favorite BYO in the city. There was certainly a little “old champagne mustiness” but there was great fruit and balance as well. This is one of my favorite producers and this wine only reinforces. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2006 Morgan Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard: Retail $45. It was one of those typical crazy days–I had to rush home from work, jump off my bike, hop in my car, and go pick up my son from school and my wife from work. Then rush home, get dinner started, and then race across town to the Genius Bar to get my laptop fixed. I had brought this up from the cellar a week ago and it never made its way back down to the rack. So even though we were having spicy pork, I popped this puppy since, frankly, I did not have that much time. Great flavors, a bit thin on the mid-palate, and strong finish. Certainly Outstanding, maybe more when given the day I had. 90-92 Points.
NV Soutiran Champagne Brut Grand Cru Rosé: Retail $55. I went down to grab this, excited to have a little rosé. Problem: it was not there. Although I considered blaming my 5-year old who loves the bubbles, I realized that it might be time to do another inventory.
2007 Testarossa Pinot Noir Palazzio: Retail $35. A solid effort–great flavors and acidity–I thought about sharing this with my wife, but it was so fun to drink, I “forgot” to let her know that it was open. A bit thin on the mid-palate, but otherwise, a delight. Very Good. Very Good. 88-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was a bit of an adventure in the cellar this week. Yes, I found a couple of bottles that somehow where not on my Cellar Tracker inventory, but there were a few that were missing (which is far more comment than finding an “extra” bottle). So while the Arcadian Syrah was certainly memorable, this week’s Wine of the Week was the 2006 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat Vineyards. We took the wine to our favorite restaurant in the city, which was perhaps a bit blasphemous since, the restaurant, Bibou, is most certainly French. I figured that Jim Clendenen’s commitment to the Burgundian varieties (and of course the French name of the winery) would come close to fitting right in. And it did. Even thought the wine seemed to embrace its California origins, it also expressed wonderful balance and great fruit, even given its age.
What was your Wine of the Week?