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:
2009 Argyle Pinot Noir Cowhouse: Retail $45. I am an unabashed fan of Argyle, and this wine did nothing to dissuade my inclination. Great fruit, but even more depth and intrigue. Glad I have seven more bottles. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2010 Bersano Dolcetto d’Alba: Retail $15. Perhaps the quintessential pizza wine–good fruit, not too complex, and you’re not worried that you perhaps picked a bottle that was “too good for pizza”. Good. 85-87 Points.
2005 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir: Retail $50. Still the top of the heap, as far as I am concerned, when it comes to American Pinot. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2007 Hugel et Fils Riesling “Hugel”: Retail $20. Well. This is a case of “Really? I have some of that?” Apparently, I bought three of these way back in 2009 and I have held onto them since. Good thing it’s an Alsatian Riesling, since they can endure. I popped this watching the Tour, waiting for my wife to come home from work. Luckily, she was a bit late and I got to tear through this wine. Still great fruit and acidity, there is no need to hurry here. Not a gigantic blockbuster, but there are few wines that I would opt for in a pinch over this one. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2002 Louis Latour Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru Les Chaillots: Retail $20-25 (Half bottle). I was asked to participate in an online wine tasting for Soléna Estate Wines. I have participated in a few of these wine chats now and they all follow the same basic protocol–the wines are sent ahead of time and then at the appointed hour, people across the country chat about the wines on Twitter. This was not the first time, however, that the organizers of the chat would not ship to Pennsylvania because of the completely screwed up and idiotic laws that exist in this “Cradle of Liberty”.
I participated in the chat, nonetheless, since a friend of mine was running it. I could not really sit there without any wine, so I grabbed this half bottle. It may have been a bit past its prime, but it was all Burgundy: earthy and complex, with an austere finish, this is not a sipping wine–to do it justice it needs some food. Still some time left, but I would not delay too long. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
1998 G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne René Lalou: Retail $95. There are few things on this planet that I enjoy more than aged vintage champagne (I am only talking about consumables here–which means my family is not included [a good thing since if it were a great vintage, well….]). On top of that, there are only a few people on the planet that I know that also share this affinity. One of those people was in town this week, so this wine was an obvious choice. A bit lacking in sparkle, but not in flavor. This is exactly why I love older champagnes. Some might call it “musty” or even “oxidized” but I call it heaven. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard: Retail $38. I went to the cellar and pulled this without consulting CT (which is usually a dangerous proposition) but it turned out great. A great nose of mocha, blackberry, vanilla, and even a bit of anise led to a palate with tons of fruit and depth. This is an enjoyable wine that I could drink for a while. Siduri/Novy will always be one of my favorites precisely because of this wine—perhaps not the finesse that I prefer, but balanced and fun. In the end, I can’t really ask for a lot more. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2009 Qupé Chardonnay Reserve Bien Nacido Block Eleven: Retail $25. Oak. Big oak. This is certainly a “traditional” California Chardonnay, which I actually do not mind. Sure, it is not my preferred style, but this is well made–good balance, a bit of fruit. But if you do not like oak in your chards, this is certainly not one for you. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2012 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Vincent Vin Gris: Retail $20. Very much like some other wines we have been having lately, this seems to be getting better. Of course, context plays a role–I just rode home from work on a pretty hot day, and this screamed out to me when I opened the fridge for something cold to drink. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2003 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll: Retail $60. I am not sure if it is bottle variation or I am just in a different place on this, but this was noticeably better this time around. Restrained nose with some dark fruit and a bit of forest floor with some green pepper. On the palate certainly old world with great balance and not an over abundance of fruit. Really nice old world cab. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): The Wine of the Week(s) this time around was an obvious choice, and I knew it when I first sipped it. Every so often, I taste a wine and it gives me goosebumps (I know that is rather creepy, but what can I say?). The 2009 Argyle Cowhouse was wonderful, as predicted, and the 2005 Clos Pepe remains one of my all time favorites, but the wine of the week is clearly the 1998 Mumm René Lalou. Anytime I have a vintage champagne with a little age on it, any other wine has an uphill battle to become Wine of the Week.
What was your Wine of the Week?