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:
2008 Amelle Zinfandel Buck Hill Sonoma County: Retail $24. Continues to be not just my favorite Zinfandel, but maybe my favorite wine. A cool climate Zin–a real Pinot lover’s kind of wine. Great fruit, balance, and finish. This is just a magnificent wine. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Argyle Pinot Noir Cowhouse: Retail $30. A bit closed initially, but after I fell asleep for a bit (giving the wine some time in the glass), and woke to more than a bit of wine left. What did I find? A classic Pinot with good berry fruit, some intrigue based in earth, and plenty of tartness to keep it all in check. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2005 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse Reserve Series: Retail $65. I was cooking salmon and thus an Oregon Pinot felt like a necessity. I encrusted the salmon with thyme and this really was accentuated by the wine. The tart cherry is there as well in spades (still tons of fruit), but there is earth, pine needles, and depth. This deserves a Whoa. Maybe two. Outstanding 91-93 Points.
2011 Domaine des Carteresses Tavel: Retail $25. This is what happens when you make what I call a “dedicated rosé”. This is not a saignée, but rather a wine made from grapes that were always destined to be a rosé. As a result, this wine is still going strong even 3.5 years out. Ample fruit, vibrant acidity, and a great pairing for fried rice and pot stickers. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2004 Domaine Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Vieilles Vignes: Retail $50. From 375ml. Oxidized. Bummer.
2006 Chasseur Chardonnay Durell Vineyard: Retail $50. I have had a few Chasseurs, even a few from this vineyard and vintage. They have been big, buttery, and oaky. I am not really a huge fan of that style, but it has its place and I can appreciate it. Oddly, this wine was not buttery, nor big, and certainly not oaky. This was oddly devoid of all of those adjectives. In fact, it was pretty much devoid of flavor altogether. Very Odd, something rather strange going on here. Not Rated.
2000 Cosentino Winery The Poet: Retail $65. After the last bottle, which was corked, I decided that we needed to get to this final bottle right away. I popped this and it was clear that it was not corked, it was a bit raisin-y, but the fruit was rich and deep. Hmmmm. Which way to go? Was this oddly flawed as well? Or was it deceptively complex, esoteric wine that was enjoyable even while watching Glee with my wife? What the hell—Option 2. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2004 Domaine Bernard Moreau & Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain: Retail $50. I do not really consider myself a worrier. I no longer worry about politics, nor the stock market. I try not to worry about my receding hairline or my increasing waist size. I do worry about my kids and when my wife will finally wake up and leave my sorry white butt. So I guess I am more of a “selective worrier”. Above all else, I worry that I will wait a day (or more) too long to drink a wine. So when I saw that Cellar Tracker users felt this wine should have been consumed in 2012, I started to stress out–I had two bottles left. Well, this goes to show that stress is a wasted exercise. While not perhaps a “classic” white Burgundy (the citrus is a bit too prominent), it is really crazy good. The creaminess still breaks through the acidity to let you know its heritage. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
NV Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut: Retail $65. These were on sale at the PLCB for a ridiculous $37 so I bought a bunch of them. We took this one to a BYOB and it was a hit—great fruit and deep flavors, this is every bit as good as the Grande Réserve, my all-time favorite non-vintage champagne. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2010 Martin Pasler Pinot Blanc: Retail $25. One of the richest Pinot Blancs I have had–great fruit flavors all over the place: peach, guava, even some banana. Once past the lips, full and unctuous but with enough acidity to hold it all together. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2006 Skewis Pinot Noir Reserve: Retail $48. I have had a bit of bad luck these days. Another corked bottle.
2010 Zaca Mesa Syrah: Retail $35. After having spent part of the Wine Bloggers Conference at Zaca Mesa last year, when I saw this come up on Last Call Wines (for $19), I jumped on it. Glad I did. Upon opening, it was not all that interesting, but with some time in the glass (and particularly on day 2) there was more fruit (blueberry, and raspberry), spice (white pepper and rhubarb—yeah not a spice, so sue me). The finish also improved noticeably. I am going to hold on to the other three bottles for a bit, hoping for more improvement. I like my chances. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: A real mixed couple of weeks. There were a couple of bottles that were not quite right (Skews, Chasseur, Girardin), a few that were perfectly fine, and then a solid three that were truly Outstanding. The Moreau White Burgundy was fantastic and a pleasant surprise as I was not at all sure how it would show. The Gosset champagne met expectations in every way—it was full-bodied, vibrant, and stupendous. Both worthy of Wine of the Week. There was also the Siduri I had when I heard the news about the sale of the winery earlier this week, but it already had its own post, so I took it out of the running. This week, I listened to my wife (“for once”, she would say) and she specifically requested a bottle of Amelle Zinfandel—easily one of our favorite wines for a couple of reasons. First, it is really good—not in a big fruit, over-the-top kind of way, but in a multi-layered, complex, thought provoking way. Second, it is way too cheap (at $24, this is a steal—which reminds me I need to buy some more). Third, the winemaker, Eric Buffington, is a really nice guy and obviously talented (he used to be the winemaker at Freeman). Last, the label—OK, I do not like the label, but hey, can’t get everything….
What was your Wine of the Week?