Over the course of a week, I taste a bunch of wine, usually with friends, and almost always with my wife. Here are some of the wines we tasted this last week that stood out:
2012 Maison Bouachon Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tiare du Pape Blanc: Retail $45. Like most people, I suspect, I do not have a ton of experience with white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I guess I have had some good, some bad, and one glass at a café in the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that basically blew my mind. While this fell just short of “mind-blowing” it was fantastic. Tropical fruit, a bit of lemon, and a hint of oak (?) on the nose. On the palate? I might change my mind about the mind-blowing comment–this was close–outstanding with great weight and depth. Round, but also bright with a finish that is remarkable. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2006 Buena Vista Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard Series Ramal Vineyard: Retail $35. Needed some Pinot and this fit the bill. Better than I remember the previous bottles with a bit more depth here. One bottle left–this has been a stellar purchase. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2004 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Vieilles Vignes: Retail $25 (from 375ml bottle). I am pretty much over the half bottle idea. I used to think the idea was a good one, but now? I hope my half bottles don’t all go bad before I get to them! This one hadn’t—creamy and rich with just a hint of oak, this was a classic White Burg. I would have only enjoyed it more if it were a standard sized bottle. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
NV Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut: Retail $65. I bought three of these way back in 2008 and had the first one a just a month after buying them. It was less than stellar. I was so depressed I idid not try another until this week, six years later. Well, that turned out well–this was fantastic red berry fruit and a depth of secondary flavors that was remarkable. This is why I love champagne. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Tallulah Chardonnay Farina Vineyard: Retail $32. OK, before we get started, this is a big Chard. Not an over-the-top ridiculous kinda Chard, but noticeable oak that is in near-perfect balance. There is some tropical fruit, vanilla, and a creaminess that is inviting. I know that there are those out there that tend to shy away from this style of Chard, but not me–this is well made and still has a long life ahead of it. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2004 Domaine de Terrebrune (Bandol) Bandol: Retail $25. My wife was making chili so I was looking for something hardy to go along, but did not want to mail it in and go the Zinfandel route, so I grabbed this. I am glad I had a taste of it before eating–inky and brooding with cassis, blackberry, and a bit of earth. On the palate, a bit stewed, but otherwise a well-rounded, solid example of Malbec. As for the chili? Whoa, it was so spicy that the wine was not even an option. Yes, my wife has been properly chastised. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Looking over the text above, I am fairly certain most of you know what the wine of the week was. Despite what you might think, however, the decision was not that easy. First, the Maison Bouachon Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tiare du Pape Blanc was impressive (and unexpected). It was a wine that was on sale for $20 at the Pennsylvania State Store and I naturally thought that it would have to be less than “great” to be reduced by that much at the PLCB. Second, there was a solid white Burgundy (but since it was only a half bottle, it was hard to give it top honors this week). Last, there was the bottle of Tallulah Chardonnay Farina Vineyard that I opened while interviewing the winemaker, Mike Drash, over the phone. Mike is a great guy, and we talked wine, family, and bikes while drinking his great Chard. In the end, though, I have to go with the Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut for this week’s Wine of the Week. Given that the first bottle we had six years ago was a pretty big disappointment, this was clearly in the other direction. So much so, that I bought another four bottles (and might get more)…..
What was your Wine of the Week?