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 over the past few weeks:
2009 Babcock Pinot Noir Grand Cuvée: Retail $30. I bought these a few years ago and while I do not think there is a big hurry to drink them, I don’t see them getting all that better either. Good berry fruit and a bit of earth, but somewhat thin on the finish. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2004 Domaine des Baumard Savennières: Retail $25. 100% Chenin Blanc. I realize that I held on to this longer than most, and this wine is fine right now, but I expected more. Good Chenin flavors and acidity, but the depth was just not where I had hoped it would be. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2000 Cosentino Winery The Poet: Retail ~$65. Bordeaux-style blend. Corked. Not terribly corked, but corked nonetheless. Ugh.
NV Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray Vouvray C. Greffe Rosé: Retail $17. A solid sparkler as always. Great red berry fruit with a brightness that defines the style. At this price (got for $8) I should have bought a whole lot more. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2011 Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray Vouvray Pétillant De Chanceny Tête de Cuvée, Brut Excellence: Retail $30. 100% Chenin Blanc. One of my favorite sparklers out there–not as bubbly as a traditional method, but there is a wonderful nutty note that really defines this wine. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Charles de Cazanove Champagne Brut: Retail $65. From magnum. We have been very happy with this wine. Fine bubbles with citrus and plenty of backbone, this is the type of girl that I want my boys to date–refined yet strong, expressive yet demure, a perfect addition to the table and sad to see it go. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Deutz Champagne Brut Classic: Retail ~$40. The wife said “I want bubbles” so I obeyed. I grabbed this which I bought several years ago, and it was clearly old–a bit oxidized and a touch of caramelization, but boy was this good. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
NV Jaffelin Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs Brut: Retail $18. Used for Kir Royales–perfect in that role as there is great acidity and sparkle.
2012 La Cave des Vignerons de Gigondas Gigondas Les Primaires: Retail $30. A very good Southern Rhône wine with a bit of stewed fruit and plenty of earthiness. We paired this with some grilled beef and both were better as result. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
NV Moët & Chandon Champagne White Star: Retail $35. This White Star is no longer produced, and it was made for the U.S. market only–it was sweeter to appeal more to the American palate. I actually got this bottle for free (long story) and good thing–not only was it badly oxidized, there was not a single bubble to be found anywhere.
2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Susan’s Hill Vineyard: Retail $28. Well, is there such a thing as “slightly corked”? There was a bit of funk on the nose and curiously even more on the palate. I had hoped that since it was not all that harsh, it would blow off. I guess it did to a certain extent, but still there. Too bad, seems to have good fruit….
2009 Rued Winery Zinfandel: Retail $25. This is one of those Zins that proves my point (the one that I am a genius, natch). After some time in the bottle, this wine has really come around: the fruit, acidity, and depth are harmoniously in balance and this is fantastic. With the first few bottles, the wine was overly fruity and hid the balance beneath. Now? This is wonderful—too many think that Zins need to be consumed young. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Looking back over the last few weeks, it seems like we ran into several bad bottles. It happens. Depending on whom you choose to believe, anywhere from 1-10% of bottles are “corked” and after a pretty good run of not having many corked wines, it finally caught up to us. Oh well. The most disappointing, perhaps was the Moët White Star–don’t misunderstand, I thought the White Star was an abomination of a wine before I opened this one. I have had many White Stars over the years and it was simply not a good wine. Nonetheless, it was technically a champagne so when there were no bubbles, it was a definite downer. The wine that was the biggest surprise (in a good way) this week was without a doubt the Rued Zinfandel. In addition to being a delight to drink, I discovered that my inventory was incorrect and I had one more bottle than I thought I did. Bonus.
What was your Wine of the Week?