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 Brick House Chardonnay Ribbon Ridge: Retail $36. Wow. I picked this up back in 2010 when I was out at the International Pinot Noir Celebration. There are few U.S. Chardonnays that I have had that would be able to run with this one. A classic style with reserved fruit and subtle flavors. A bit of the tropics on the nose and impeccable balance on the palate. Best Chardonnay I’ve had so far this year. Whoa. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
NV Champagne Pierre Legras Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs: Retail $50. I am not usually a big fan of Blanc de Blancs. They tend to be a little more “delicate” than Champagnes made with Pinot, and I guess I am not just a delicate kind of guy. But this wine has nice body and a hint of verve, which demands attention. These are good bubbles, folks–and for the $23 that I paid at the PLCB? That gets a Whoa. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2009 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard: Retail $30. I took this over to a friend’s house for his housewarming party (along with a bottle of champagne) and I did the total Wine Snob jerk-move–after it was open, I held on to it. I kind of felt bad about it, but all the people there know me as a wine snob so it was as much maintaining my reputation as it was maintaining a steady flow of decent wine into my glass. Don’t worry, I shared. Some. A tiny bit of funk along with some black cherry and spice. Plenty of fruit on the palate with some intrigue on the back-end. Solid Pinot, especially for the Wines Til Sold Out price. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2011 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Corbières: Retail $14. 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah. I have always been a fan of Corbières–not a bombastic wine by any means, but it is a good wine to place firmly in the center of the table. Fruit? A bit. Depth? A touch. Backbone? A hint. Nothing sticks out too much, but all elements are there. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2010 Vinhos Sogrape Alentejo Callabriga: Retail $16. Tinta Roriz, Alicante Bouschet, Alfrocheiro. More of a “New World” feel to this wine, with big, bold fruit, but there is also some nicely balanced acid. Surprisingly, some nice grip on the back end as well. For the suggested retail of $16, this is a solid effort. For the $10 at the State-run wine store? This is a no-brainer. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: As seems to happen many times with the Wine of the Week selection, the wine chosen this week was consumed on Sunday night. I am not exactly sure why that is, but it may be that I realize that I have not had any truly outstanding wines during the week and thus am looking to rectify the situation. Or it could be that I have a bit more time, have decided to put a little more effort into the evening’s meal, and want a more “special” wine as accompaniment. Well, this week we went over to some friends’ house, and he is an incredible cook so I thought I needed to step up my game a bit, so to speak. The 2008 Brick House Chardonnay certainly met the challenge of the cod with squid ink risotto that was placed before us. Initially the wine was a bit too cold, but as it warmed, it reminded me of a classic Chassagne-Montrachet with perhaps a bit more fruit. A truly wonderful bottle.
What was your Wine of the Week?