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:
2010 Argyle Pinot Noir: Retail $25. Solid Pinot, great acidity. For the $10 I paid? Close to unbeatable. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2011 Domaine des Carteresses Tavel: Retail $16. 50% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 13% Clairette, 12% Picpoul, 10% Syrah. 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, full-bodied but with vibrant acidity, and a great pairing for fried rice and pot stickers. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2004 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch: Retail $40. Quite closed on the nose, I struggled to find a trace of blackberry and anise. On the palate, though, this was quite nice, round, but not fat, sharp, but not biting, hints of blue and blackberry. Wonderfully balanced with a bit of tannin at the end. The finish is well past average and well into the “memorable” realm. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2012 Darby Le Deuce: Retail $25. 52% Viognier, 48% Roussanne. This was sent to me by my Secret Wino, L.M. Archer of binNotes (for more information about Secret Wino, click HERE). Great nose, really fantastic: tropical and floral with a touch of lemon. On the palate, this is one of the better Rhône style whites that I have had recently. The reviews on Cellar Tracker do not seem to share the same enthusiasm, but screw them–this is fantastic. $25? Worth it. Hands down. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2012 Dois Irmãos Winery Pinot Noir: Retail $30. I picked these up from the Cheapskate Marathon on Wines Til Sold Out for $15. Certainly a bargain. A little funk initially, but that blew off, leaving some good berry fruit and nice balance. I drank the last of this while binge watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” which just might be the funniest show on TV (if you are into sub-sophomoric humor). What does that have to do with the wine? Nothing, but I have been trying to find a way to sneak it into one of my tasting notes for some time now, and finally realized that I am not nearly clever enough to do it smoothly. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2007 Lodovico e Virna Borgogno Barolo Riserva: Retail $40. Much bigger fruit than I had anticipated. Much bigger. Like “is this actually a California wine?” bigger. I do not mind fruit at all, but this was big (I think you get my drift at this point). Violets, blueberries and cassis on the nose with fruit up front followed by a little earth, acidity and a hint of tannins. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this wine (it almost even got a “Whoa”) but this is unlike any Barolo I have had previously. Still, Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2009 Domaine Pignier Côtes du Jura: Retail $25. Yet another region where Pinot is grown in France that is not called “Burgundy”, but this is not a Pinot-lovers wine, this is a geeky Pinot-lovers wine. It is tart, bretty, low in fruit and tannin. Really for the average wine drinker, I would imagine that this is pretty god-awful stuff, but it comes from the Jura, and I love the Jura. Let’s face it, just about every Jura wine is strange in some way—after all, they are trying to grow grapes in essentially the Alpes. Well, this ticks just about every wine-geek box, including the fact that my wife does not like it, leaving it all for me. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2011 Rued Winery Zinfandel: Retail $25. The Rueds have to be in the running for the nicest people in Dry Creek. And that says a lot. Dark berry fruit and a bit of earth on the nose with plenty of fruit (but not obnoxious) on the palate. When I taste this wine, I can’t help but think of Dee and Richard–two really sweet, down to earth people. Does that affect my perception of the wine? You bet it does. And that is a good thing. Very Good to Outstanding. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week there were several solid contenders for the Wine of the Week (WOTW), starting with the 2004 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch, which still seems youthful and vibrant even a decade after harvest. The 2007 Lodovico e Virna Borgogno Barolo Riserva, evidence of the adherence to my New Year’s Resolutions (well at least one of them), and not at all what I had expected. Two other wines that did not score quite as highly, the 2011 Domaine des Carteresses Tavel and the 2011 Rued Winery Zinfandel were also considered since they were wonderful examples of their respective styles. In the end, however, the 2012 Darby Le Deuce is this week’s WOTW. I received it back in October from my Secret Wino, but did not get around to drinking it until this week. It is certainly one wine that I hope to come across again soon.
What was your Wine of the Week?