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:
2008 Cave de Vouvray Vouvray Les Fosses d’Hareng: Retail $20. I love me a good Vouvray–slightly sweet, tart, and refreshing, all in one. This hit pretty well on all three, perhaps lacking a bit on the tartness. It was also a bit thin through the middle, which is good for super models, but not so much for wines. But I nitpick. This is a fun wine and a nice Vouvray. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
2010 Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc: Retail $25. I bought this a few years ago at the winery, and decided to finally pop one for Sauvignon Blanc day. Too cold to start, but it eventually opened up. Melon, lemon, and Kiwi jump right out. A bit chalky on the palate, but nice tartness and a strong finish. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
NV Jaffelin Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut: Retail $20. I have had a few bottles of Pinot from this producer and was impressed. When this came up on Wines Til Sold Out’s Cheapskate Tuesday for $13, I bought a case. Great fizz and tartness, but lacking on the baked bread/yeastiness that characterize the better sparklers. SI bought these to make Kir Royales, but solid on its own. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
NV Knot Wines Sinnet Sparkling Rosé: Retail $25? I got a half a dozen of these a while ago and they have been a bit of a mixed bag. There were a couple that were rather blah–a bit nondescript. There were two that were quite good–great flavors, a bit more sparkle, some personality. This bottle fell in between, some good berry flavors, but a bit lacking on the sparkle spectrum. Still Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2009 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard: Retail $30. Listen, this is not a premier Pinot, but there is enough intrigue to make you want more. Curiously, a bit of mocha along with the dark cherry, but balanced enough to earn a spot at the table. As you probably realize by now, I had a lot of fun drinking this, and therefore was not as focused as I should have been. Luckily, I have another five bottles to get my act together. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2006 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico: Retail $20? I am not much of an Italian wine guy. Scratch that. I am not an Italian wine guy. I get the regions (for the most part), I understand the varieties (for the most part). I find the whites disjointed and the reds overly stewed (for the most part). Having said all that, I have had some very good luck with this wine: black cherry and a bit of heat on the nose, but on the palate, this is spot on. Great Chianti acidity that invites all types of cuisine, with some fruit up front that promotes a grin. Very Good (for the most part–sorry, could not resist). 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): This was the first week in a very long while that I did not drink at least one wine that was solidly in the “Outstanding” category. We did not really entertain this week–we went to a wedding on Saturday, where I had way too much of some rather unfortunate wines. We thought we had plans on Sunday, but they apparently fell through. So this week was a litany of very good wines, but none really stood out. I also tried to make my way through a few samples, so there was simply not a lot of opportunities to crack open a good bottle.
I know, woe is I.
After some long, hard deliberation, I initially pondered not having a wine of the week. I quickly came to my senses and realized that was rather dumb–even though none of the wines were “Outstanding” one of them, almost by definition, had to be “better” than the rest. When I looked back over my notes, I noticed that the top wine of the week was the 2006 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico. I have never hid my malaise when it comes to Italian wine, which I guess stems from the fact that I just do not drink all that much of it. Well, this wine was certainly pleasant–still some good fruit left and plenty of acidity. I know, I know, there are plenty of great Italian wines out there and I really should give them their due. As long as youagree to be the one to let my wife know that I will be buying more wine, you’ve got a deal.
What was your Wine of the Week?