Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. This past week, I have been up in Dry Creek Valley tasting a few wines, attending a couple of events. Prior to that, back in Philly, we celebrated another trip around the sun for me and had a few good wines over the course of the week. Here are some of the wines we tasted that stood out:
2005 Chaufournais Chinon: Retail ??? Whoa. I paid 5€ each for three bottles of this several years ago. I have resisted popping this last bottle even though I had put a “2011 Drink By” date on it. Great fruit. Really great fruit. Complexity, and some backbone. I guess my preference in wine is similar to my taste in women: complex (intelligent), backbone (confidence), and great fruit (use your imagination). Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2009 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir: Retail $50. I usually wait much, much longer before I pop one of my beloved CP, but the herd was rather dense, and I needed to thin it a bit. I can’t get enough of Clos Pepe–that tart cherry, balanced acidity, lasting finish. I was at a party not too long ago with about 80 blind wines from all over the world. Once I hit a Clos Pepe, I went no further and Bogarted that wine for the rest of the night. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
1991 Hugel et Fils Tokay Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive: Retail $80? I picked this up from the winery several years ago and was surprised that the wise populace that is the Cellar Tracker community suggested that this wine should have been consumed by 2011. Nonetheless, I heeded the advice of my faceless family and popped the first of my two bottles back in ’10. I waited four and a half years to pop the other. I could have waited 3 times that. Easily. This is still as fresh and as vibrant as I remember it being when I tasted it in Riquewihr however many years ago. Just a fantastic wine. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
2005 Domaine du Mas Blanc (Docteur Parcé) Collioure Clos du Moulin: Retail $20. 100% Mourvèdre. Corked. Back when this was bottled, the claim was that as much as 10% of wine bottled under cork would have unacceptable levels of TCA. This was one of them–corked happens.
2007 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir: Retail $50. This wine showed rather different this time around. I prefer the ’07 to the ’08 in Oregon (I might be alone in that). A bit hot on the nose with some eucalyptus and pine. Nice fruit on the palate with near perfect acidity. The backbone suggests more life but this is fabulous right now. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2000 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut Rosé: Retail $110. This looks much more like an older champagne than a rosé–darker yellow with only a hint of pink (and that was probably wishful thinking). Great tartness and impressive bubble despite the slight sigh on opening. Completely dry and sophisticated. Put on your big boy pants this is not your every day Champers and might not be the ideal apéritif–this can handle and cries for any number of big dishes. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
1987 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Bates Ranch: Retail $25? OK, let’s get this out of the way up front: this is not a blockbuster. Nor is this a wine have a lot of life left. This is a wine that was likely at its best a couple of years ago (or more). But make no mistake: there is a ton of fruit and ample acidity to hold it together. Years before the Santa Cruz Mountains became a significant player, this wine shows the promise that has (yet to have?) been realized from the region. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2010 Skewis Pinot Noir Rosé: Retail $25. Perhaps I waited too long, as much of the fruit had gone, but Hank does such a great job–the acidity was still there despite this being a saignée. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2011 St. Supéry Moscato: Retail $20. My last note pretty much summed it up, although I’ll add that I was once again far too stupid to remember to read my previous note before popping this. As an apéritif, this was too sweet (Fail), and as a dessert wine–not sweet enough (Fail). Maybe with cheese, or popcorn. Or poptarts. Good. 84-86 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK(s): Unless this is your first time reading my blog, you probably thought you knew by reading the notes above what my wine of the week was. Therefore you are no doubt surprised that it is not the 2000 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut Rosé even though it probably should be. 2000 was a pivotal year in my life–I moved back to the East Coast and got engaged to an incredible woman (and married her the following year). It also could have been one of the two Pinots or the Chinon, but no, this week–a week of drinking some pretty darn good wines–the wine of the week is the 1991 Hugel et Fils Tokay Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive. Not only was the wine phenomenal, but it caused me to reflect not on the vintage (I had just started teaching back then), but rather when I purchased the wine. I was spending a week in the tiny town of Riquewihr with my family, and we all had a fabulous time. When I popped this the other night, I caught a little heat from my wife since she remembered that I bought this from the 500 (?) year old tasting room when I was supposed to be out buying some milk.
What was your Wine of the Week?