What We Have Been Drinking—6/22/15

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 Baer Winery Chardonnay Shard Stillwater Creek Vineyard: Retail $25. Solid citrus nose with the slightest hint of creaminess. Bright and fresh on the palate with that same citrus and a dash of minerality. A great option for the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd. Really any crowd that likes solid wine. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

1998 Jean-Claude Belland Corton-Grand Cru Clos de la Vigne au Saint: Retail $100. This was another of the “I am worried all of my Burgundies Suck” dinner. This one didn’t. At all. Raspberry coulis and red earth here that I could sniff for most of the rest of my middle age years. Whoa. Gorgeous reserved red fruit, great acidity and an incredible finish. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa–goosebumps kinda whoa. Oustanding. 94-96 Points.

2004 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux: Retail $50. After last night (when I pulled three bottles, including one of these–and all were oxidized) I was paranoid. Really paranoid. So I grabbed this to take to our favorite BYOB fearing the worst. Whoa. This is what an older white burg should be. Whoa (and that’s 2). The slightest hint of oxidation from the golden elixir along with faint lemon curd and a hint of oak. Rich and unctuous on the palate with that white burg goodness. Whoa (and we have three). Finish lasts for quite some time.Outstanding. 92-94 Points.

2012 Gruet Winery Grand Blanc de Noir Limited Release: Retail $33. There are times in your life that you have regrets: I should have tried out for the football team in college (we were horrible–I could have ruled); there was the time in Champagne that I passed on a Krug tasting for a longer bike ride (I know, I know); and I never asked out the hottest woman in my graduating class after contemplating it most of the four years there (I found out a decade later she would have said yes). Here? I should have bought more of this. A lot more. I fooled my wife into thinking this was champagne–deep and complex flavors, vibrant acidity, enduring finish. Outstanding90-92 Points.

2006 Clos Mogador Priorat: Retail $80. A tiny bit of Brett but that quickly blows off (but I am one who likes Brett in moderation) revealing some raspberry, cassis, and plenty of earth. On the palate? This gets a Whoa, and maybe more (3?). Cinnamon and spice with red berry fruit. Finish? Fantastic. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.

NV Charles de Monrency Champagne Brut Réserve: Retail $30. Well, this is a bit of a departure from my previous notes on this wine since I found this bottle at least slightly better than the last three. Why? Well, I noticed a bit more nuttiness and intrigue here and that rates in my book. Still not going to blow your mind, but then how often can one’s mind be blown? Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Moscato Secco: Retail $20. I guess if I were to say this has a pleasant “musky” aspect to it, I could be accused of being a bit cliché, but it’s there, along with melon and vibrant white flowers. On the palate, dry as a bone, but with fruit flavors that trick you into to thinking there is some sweetness to it. This is a wine to pull out to stump people–and a fun wine to drink as well. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

IMG_4129WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was full of contenders since I decided to pull out a bunch of good bottles after I had the Burgundy scare (also known as “the Night of Crappy Wines”). The Clos Mogador was fantastic, which is good since I have another five bottles. The Girardin Meursault tried its hardest to restore my faith in (and love affair with) White Burgundy, but that wound is still fresh and rather deep. No, this week’s Wine of the Week falls on the sloped shoulders of the 1998 Jean-Claude Belland Corton-Grand Cru Clos de la Vigne au Saint. This is one of the bottles that I brought back from France about a dozen years ago and it was more than memorable. Corton is really the only remotely affordable Grand Cru from burgundy and it tends to be a little coarser than its brethren from the North. I have one more bottle of this, which I think I will save for a special occasion–I should be in my wife’s doghouse again soon enough and this just might be the ticket to get me out of it….

What was your Wine of the Week?



About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Champagne, Chardonnay, Grenache, Moscato, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking—6/22/15

  1. Duff's Wines says:

    Appreciate your reviews of Burgundies, Jeff. I know you have an affinity for them. I have a couple cases max at any one time and I worry that I’ve wasted my money as even price conscious Burgs are pricey and sometimes disappoint. Then there’s the inexact science of knowing when to pop the cork. Mersault is my wife’s fav and I’ve swung and missed a bunch. It’s just such a journey trying to understand the cru system without being there. I’ve been many wine places but not there. Priorat, Catalunya Ribera del Deuro, and Rioja this year – Burgundy next?
    The Clos Mogador is pretty sweet. Have only had the 2005 but pure Garnatxa and power for me.


    • You definitely need to hit Burgundy at some point. After at least 20 (?) visits to the region for bike tours, I never sour on the place. I have noticed it has become a bit stuffier and certainly more expensive, but I will never tire of riding past Chambertin or, my personal fave, le Montrachet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear you had a “comeback” week on the crappy burgs! 🙂


  3. Fiona says:

    So glad to hear that she has redeemed herself; has she staved off divorce?

    My wine of the week, since you as, and one sticks in my head was a local one, this time from a cellar somewhat further afield, and a birthday present – a Darling Cellars 2013 Chardonnay MCC. Forgive the description – not having had “training”, and in my view, it was quite soft and creamy, offset by the bubbles. Will be blogging about the reason for opening it, in due course 🙂


  4. Much cheap and less-than-awesome wine was had this week, but as it was had in outdoor locations overlooking water, it was much better than it could have been.


  5. Seems like you had a handful of really good wines in there- what I really want to know is what your favorite BYOB is?


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