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:
2011 Viña Almirante Rías Baixas Vanidade: Retail $15. I simply do not drink enough Albariño. Even now, in the heart of winter, with the thermometer well below freezing outside, this is a delightful quaff. Acidity a go-go with grapefruit leading the way. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2010 Bersano Dolcetto d’Alba: Retail $30. Pizza, pasta, tacos, terrible movie. This wine works with all. Great paired with “Don’t get your hopes up.” Good. 84-86 Points.
2003 Cosentino Winery The Winemaster: Retail $95. Well, this might be a little past. It is still a fabulous wine, but the nose is a bit stewed. On the palate, though, it makes up for it–great balance, good fruit, really nice. If I sound disappointed, I guess I am a little. Mitch Cosentino was my first “love” and with each bottle of his, my admiration grew. Don’t get me wrong, this was Outstanding, just not phantasmagorical. 89-91 Points.
2003 Weingut Ernst Bretz Riesling Eiswein: Retail $15 (375ml). I have made a concerted effort to drink more dessert wine these days, and I grabbed this from the cellar on a whim. Surprisingly dark color, but a nice citrus nose. The palate was welcomingly tart, with nice sweetness. This is not a game-changer, but it is solid and Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2007 Henry Fessy Régnié: Retail $22. Along with Albariño, I need to drink more Gamay. We have had this bottle for a few years now and it is doing just fine–still nice fruit, good depth and a reasonable price. As the prices of the wines from the Burgundy’s Côte d’Or continue to go through the roof, Beaujolais Cru can be a nice alternative. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2011 Hugl Weine Zweigelt: Retail $10. (1 Liter). Bret. OK. A lot of Bret. Tons even. But that it was I expect with Austrian reds. Still, the ample fruit and great acidity are obscured by the funky little Bret. Not horrible by any means, but it’s got that funk going on and unless you like that funk, well…. For me? Good, maybe more. 84-86 Points.
2009 D’Isanto & D’Isanto I Balzini White Label Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT: Retail $20. Earthy with a tiny bit of fruit hidden under a bit of funk. On the palate, though, the funk is barely perceptible, but the fruit and the earth seem to be battling each other and the result is slightly disjointed. After a bit of time in the glass, things start to come together nicely. Very Good, maybe more with time. 88-90 Points.
2006 Skewis Pinot Noir Reserve: Retail $50. After the last bottle of this wine, which was corked, I decided to hit up another bottle sooner rather than later. Pulled the cork, and gave a quick sniff…. Phew. Fine. Actually, better than fine, the nose was fantastic: dark berry fruit (blackberry, blueberry, cassis) with a bit of earth, on the palate, the fruit is there, but nicely subdued and balanced by the acidity. Hank Skewis does a marvelous job. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
1992 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Cuvée Palmes d’Or: Retail $95. Oxidized. Sigh. Actually, there was a sigh when I opened this (although faint), which caused me to have some hope, but all hope was dashed when I poured the deeply golden-colored wine into a flute.
2009 Novy Family Wines “Oley” Late Harvest White: Retail $18 (375ml). We have not had much dessert wine lately, so this week I decided I would make a more concerted effort to drink through a few. I grabbed this and popped it with some popcorn and Downton Abbey on the DVR. Honey and apricot oozing out of the golden liquid. On the palate, great acidity and a well-balanced amount of sugar. This is really fabulous, particularly given that we paid $14 at the winery. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2004 Ojai Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard: Retail $60. Surprisingly dark and a bit brooding. On the nose dark berry fruit with a bit of eucalyptus and some pine needle. On the palate. Whoa. Deep and rich. Even some mocha? This is Outstanding. Maybe more. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. That makes four full Whoas. 93-95 Points.
2003 Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection: Retail $30. I bought this on a whim, since I love the Dry Creek Valley. More than a bit funky on the nose but still some fruit. Without a doubt some Brett here, but still an enjoyable quaff. Much better with food. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2011 Tallulah Chardonnay Farina Vineyard: Retail $32. We bought a case of this from WTSO and the first bottle was completely oxidized. The second bottle was better, but still off. The third bottle? Just right. In fact, it was better than “just right”, it was a fine rendition of a Big California Chardonnay that Mike Drash is known for making. I just wish I did not have to play a version of Golden Wine and the Three Bottles to find it. The bottle that was “just right” was Very Good to Outstanding, though. 89-91 Points.
2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Primitivo: Retail $18. Fruity on the nose and on to the palate, with some depth and nice balance. In the end, it is rather fruity, but I guess I should have expected that given the variety. Still, Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: These last couple of weeks saw a few more unfortunate bottles, and I should be just about caught up in that department I hope. On the good side of things, the Cosentino Winemaster was certainly good, but it fell a bit short of expectations. The other two top wines were both Pinots, which is not all that surprising since I certainly tend to buy more of that variety than any other. The second bottle of the Skewis was fantastic, but it was edged out this time around by the 2004 Ojai Clos Pepe. I have said it many times before, but in my mind, it is tough to beat out a Clos Pepe Pinot.
What was your Wine of the Week?