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:
2006 L’Angevin Pinot Noir: Retail $45. OK, this has achieved “Whoa.” status. I thought I had a couple of these in the cellar, but of course, there was but one. Nonetheless, I pulled it and headed upstairs to try to do a little Sunday night blogging. Whoa. The fruit (and a bit of heat [15.1%] to be honest) was impressive. On the palate, the wine was nicely balanced and a joy to drink. Wait, was I supposed to be writing? Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2008 Argyle Brut: Retail $27. This has always been high on my list of best domestic sparklers—well made, great green apple flavors, good value. The retail on the vintage Brut has been steadily rising, though, and now retails for close to $30. It’s good, but I am not sure it’s THAT good. I used to have a guy who would get me this for around $10-12/bottle. Now that he has left Argyle? Well…. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
NV André Clouet Champagne Brut Grande Réserve: Retail $35. It might be time to get to the other two bottles of this wine. Still tasty with the addition of a bit of that older Pinot Noir dominate champagne musty taste—but the sparkle was struggling to keep up. Still, it’s from Bouzy! Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2005 Cosentino Winery The Poet: Retail $50. This is a wine with a bit of a split personality. First, there is still a bunch of fruit and great mocha notes on the nose and the palate. But second, even with the slightest aeration, a wave of secondary characteristics and hidden depth come out of no where. Mitch really knew/knows what he’s doing. Fascinating. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2005 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley: Retail $55. The fruit has faded a bit and given way to some previously unperceived elements of game and chestnut. The fruit that remains is an interesting blend of cassis and raspberry. I popped this after a pretty tough ride and this certainly helped the recovery process. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
1995 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Dutton-Sanchietti Vineyard: Retail $60? I doubt this is going to get better, but it is doing very well now. Still impressive fruit and quite a bit of acid—it would be understandable to guess this was half its age. I grabbed this as an afterthought and had it our on the stoop with a neighbor. Delightful (the wine more so than the neighbor). Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2004 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Sommerberg: Retail $25. Marginally better than the last: “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.” I guess that is a good thing. Even better? This was the last bottle. Very Good, really wanted it to be Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2005 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Florimont: Retail $30. I bought these several years ago along with some of the ’04 Sommerberg. The last few bottles of the Sommerberg were a bit sketchy, so I was worried about these. No need to worry. This was fantastic–floral yet mineral, rich yet bracing–this was one of the better Alsatian Rieslings I have ever had. The finish lasted well into the night. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2011 Nicolas Potel Pouilly-Fuissé: Retail $25. I was a little let down by this bottle—not as enjoyable as the last. Lacking in nose, fruit, and depth, I was less than whelmed. Don’t get me wrong—it was a pleasant quaff, but there was not much there to really grab my attention either. On the other hand, my wife enjoyed it so go figure. Good. 84-86 Points.
NV Pommery Champagne Brut Royal: Retail $35. The last bottle of this was listless-with a decided lack of sparkle. This bottle was more like it. We had this after a bottle of Veuve Rosé, so this paled a bit by comparison, but this was a solid sparkler—a bit of citrus, some baked pie notes, and plenty of sparkle. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): The Wine of the Week(s) this time around was not an easy choice. There were a couple of older Pinot Noirs: the ’95 Hartford Court, and the ’06 L’Angevin. There was also the ’05 Poet. I need to pause a moment. The Poet–I am not a huge Bordeaux style guy, but this is a wine that got me hooked (I believe it was the ’96). Then there was the ’05 Farrell Bien Nacido. Perhaps no other winery has been kinder to me since I have started blogging (nod to Cornerstone) and this wine rocked, plain and simple. No, this time around, I am going with the 2005 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Florimont for a couple of reasons. First, Alsace is my adopted home: I grew up in the Midwest and I am of Croatian origin, but Alsace will always be home. Second, I was beyond relieved that the Florimonts have not (yet) suffered the same fate as the Sommerbergs
What was your Wine of the Week?