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:
2011 Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray Vouvray Pétillant De Chanceny Tête de Cuvée, Brut Excellence: Retail $25. We have had several bottles of this wine and while it lacks a bit of sparkle, it makes up for it in flavor. I think that Chenin is underrated in general and as a sparkler in particular. This is no exception. It helps that I have visited this winery countless times since, well, context is everything in wine tasting. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2011 De Ponte Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé: Retail $25. This was exponentially better than the last bottle (yes, I am a math geek). Strawberry and rhubarb a go-go here with a bit of spice. On the palate a bit subdued initially, but the flavors soon barge in. Wonderful finish. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2007 Flowers Chardonnay Andreen-Gale Sonoma Coast: Retail $50. I bought this from the PLCB a couple of years ago for a solid $30. The first bottle was, well, rather unfortunate. Since then? A totally different ball game. I will go out on a limb and say this was one of the better Flowers wines I have ever had (and I am no slouch in that department). Lemon curd, vanilla, depth, acidity, balance. This has it all. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
1997 Gramona Cava Celler Batlle Gran Reserva: Retail $65-70. This is my first foray into vintage Cava, and I could not help but compare it to a similarly priced champagne as we went through the bottle. As one might expect from a nearly 20 year-old wine, it is lacking a bit in sparkle, but there is also a great lemon creaminess, and a bit of nuttiness on the lingering finish. For the price? As Marie Antoinette said: “Let them drink champagne” (or something like that). Very Good to Outstanding.
2004 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Sommerberg: Retail $35. The first one of these we had was incredible, but the last was regrettable (well maybe not that bad, but “just OK” does not rhyme with “incredible”). This go around, the wine was certainly dark for a Riesling, with some oxidized notes at the forefront. As time wore on, though, these “old” flavors started to fade, and the wine improved. It never quite made it to its former glory, though. Much like the French football team vs. Germany today. I might think about decanting the next (and last) bottle. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rosé: Retail $15. A solid effort. Good red berry fruit, balanced acidity, vibrant sparkle, but the magic is not there. A bit like taking your second or third choice to the prom–sure you had fun, but your dream date was with someone else. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2012 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Vincent Vin Gris: Retail $20. Here is my last note for this wine: “We had two bottles of this over the weekend, and while the first bottle was a bit disjointed, it was much better the second time around. A bit of fruit and a ton of acidity. It is listed at $20 retail which is a bit high, perhaps, but it was on sale for $8 at the PLCB. $8? Easy. Buy a case. And I did.” That certainly still holds true, but I found this a tad bit more harmonious. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2007 Testarossa Pinot Noir Palazzio: Retail $30. I have a bit of a conundrum with this wine. First, it is a solid effort: good fruit, a bit thin on the mid-palate, and an ample finish. Solid wine. At $30 retail? Under-performer. At the $10 I paid? Maybe not a rock star, but a good warm-up band. Very Good. 89-91 Points.
1991 Topolos Zinfandel Rossi Vineyard Sonoma County: Retail ? Some fruit left but certainly stewed. A fun wine to drink, remembering what a complete mess I was in 1991. My wife did not like the wine, but she would have liked the ’91 me even less. Me? I’m a lot easier—Good. 85-87 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): Over the past few weeks I have noticed that I have become a bit negligent when it comes to keeping up with my inventory. This will only get worse, I fear, as I will be out of town a lot over the next several weeks. My wife, who was never much of a drinker, has now become quite the oenophile herself and had requested that I set aside several bottles for her consumption while I am gone–I have created a monster. One of the bottles that will likely not make it into that pile is this week’s Wine of the Week. While I know that this will likely end my run for the Husband of the Year, the 2007 Flowers Andreen Gale Chardonnay was really that good. Besides, I am sure that she would want to share it with me, right?
What was your Wine of the Week?