Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. As I have been getting a few more samples in, I am dipping into my cellar a bit less, which is why I have not had one of these posts in a couple of weeks. Here are some of the wines we tasted the past two weeks that stood out:
NV Ayala Champagne Rich Majeur: Retail $40. A bit sweet, and a bit old–neither of which are a bad thing for me. Of course, I wish I had consumed this earlier (bought in 2011), but any champagne worth its stuffing can last three years in the cellar. Nonetheless, a bit of citrus and some biscuits, if only there were some eggs and bacon, would have been a nice breakfast. As I tweeted: Like an hot-ish older divorcée–you wonder what it was like in its prime. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
2012 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé Domaine René Couly: Retail $20. This was the first bottle of a second case that we bought of this wine, and for whatever reason, this was not quite as good as the last few bottles of the previous case. Perhaps there is a bit of bottle variation, or worse, case variation, or perhaps it was not a “fruit day” on the biodynamic calendar and I should not have been drinking wine (does anybody really believe all that lunar calendar stuff?). Whatever the reason, the fruit was not as vibrant, the flavors not as profound. Still, Very Good, but previous bottles had me spoiled. 86-88 Points.
2008 Hirsch Vineyards Chardonnay: Retail $45. Hirsch Chardonnay. Popped and poured. The slightly golden color, paired with the slightly oxidated note on the nose had me worried. After a bit, though, the oxidation seemed to blow off. What remained was a rather unctuous, rich, and yes fat wine. The acidity was a bit lacking so it suffered on the table. Alone? It was better. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2005 Matanzas Creek Winery Merlot Bennett Valley: Retail $35. I popped this since I really had no idea what to drink and I did not have the patience for something to get cold. I was not impressed: Not much fruit, little to no depth, and a finish that was, um, well, what was I talking about? I gave up and put a cork in the wine, thinking I might cook with it, or use it for sangria even though I have never made nor like sangria. The next day, I decided to give it another go. What a difference–what was a barely “Good” wine (82-84 Points) evolved into at least a “Very Good” wine (87-89 Points, at least). Good fruit, good balance, decent depth, it was all there. (Maybe another “fruit day” caper, you posit? I actually checked–they were both fruit days…)
2012 Cave de l’Ormarine Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-de-Pinet: Retail $13. I had pretty big hopes for this wine, and although this was perfectly fine, the acidity level was just not there. You could argue that this should have been consumed last year (and you might be right), but I expect most old world wines to hold up for at least a year or two. One more bottle, I will be getting to it soon. Good. 85-87 Points.
2010 Martin Pasler Pinot Blanc: Retail $12. Wow, this has really come around! Great depth of flavor, still plenty of fruit, and acidity that would hold up to just about anything. Why is it that the “Old World” can do inexpensive whites so much better than the “New World”? Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2009 Skewis Pinot Noir Rosé: Retail $25. After the triathlon today (don’t get excited, I only did the bike leg), I needed a rosé. I ventured down into the cellar and realized I had forgotten about this one. Since Skewis is one of my favorite producers, I was excited about the find, but also nervous about the time that had elapsed. Very dark, could even be confused with a light red (think Tavel-rosé dark). Different than the last in that this was much more Pinot and a little less rosé. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): This week, I did not really dip all that much into any of what I would consider “treasures” (although I did have high hopes for the Hirsch Chardonnay). The 2009 Skewis Pinot Noir Rosé was certainly a big surprise, though. First, I had forgotten that I had it, then not only was it not “past” as I had feared, but it turned out to be one of the more interesting Pinot Noir rosés that I have had in a while. As I mentioned in the note, it was much more Pinot than it was rosé. It also does not hurt that it came from one of my favorite producers–Hank and Maggie Skewis are two of the nicest people you will ever meet.
What was your Wine of the Week?