Two weeks ago, I spent ten days in the beautiful state of Colorado, initially for my wife’s cousin’s wedding just outside of Denver (in a town called Parker for all of you Denverites out there). We then headed up to nearly 10,000 feet to the town of Breckenridge, Colorado where my wife’s entire extended family (and then some) stayed under one roof for an entire week. I have been forbidden to write anything about those 10 wonderful days with one exception: As you may imagine, I was put in charge of bringing the wine and I am allowed to publish my tasting notes here. All of these wines were purchased in Parker, at Lukas Liquors Superstore, so they all should be available near you.
While at the store, with my two boys, I called my wife to ask how much wine she wanted–when she said “at least a case and a half” I nearly fell over. I thought it would be far too much, but I always try to do what I am told and quickly grabbed some favorites.
I split the ten days of consumption into two posts (in the order that they were consumed), the other wines appeared last week.
NV Gruet Brut Rosé: Retail $18. Not much on the nose other than a bit of strawberry and lemon. Nice acidity initially but it fades curiously at the mid-palate with some sweetness coming in. The finish is fruity but short. Very Good, but I was hoping for more. 86-88 Points.
2013 Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel: Retail $18. OK. I am a big fan of Cline. I was a fan even before I went there for a tasting and was hosted by three of the nicest people you will ever meet–after the tasting? Huge fan. I tried this while I was at Cline and was impressed. With Korean BBQ? This is even better. Great red fruit and balance with the right amount of oak. Some grip on the backend so no hurry, but this is Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2013 Erath Pinot Noir Oregon: Retail $18. A bit of funky raspberry on the with vibrant acidity and a bit of earth. For the price? This is a solid Pinot. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2013 Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County: Retail $25. Dark red fruit, On the verge of brooding, very rich but it stops short of being overly fruity. Not necessarily my style, but really nicely done. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Mumm Napa Brut Rosé: Retail $18. There are not too many domestic sparklers that I would choose (particularly at this price point) over Mumm. And of all their entry level bubbles, the rosé is my favorite. Strawberry, cream, and rhubarb leads to a vibrant, active, with just the slightest hint of sweetness to balance out the wine. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2014 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc: Retail $16. I did not get a single drop of this wine as my father-in-law and his pals found it while I was out on a hike with my boys. Therefore, perhaps obviously, no tasting note, although my father-in-law gave it a thumbs up. Take that for what it’s worth. Unrated.
2012 Trimbach Pinot Blanc: Retail $16. Despite its growing popularity of Pinot Blanc in the U.S., it remains a bit of a red headed stepchild in Alsace as it does not have Grand Cru status. This Trimbach is nonetheless a solid effort with lemon, lychee, and a bit of a chalky finish. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2012 Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel: Retail $45. Big. Big. Big. This is the Zinfandel of your dreams if you are the big Zin type. Dark brooding fruit, vanilla, oak–it’s all there. Curiously, though, it does not overwhelm and the tannins on the back end suggest aging potential (3-5 years perhaps). Not my typical style, but I really like it. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Rosé: Retail $18. One of my favorite N.V. Bruts–a bit of funk initially with some red fruit. Great verve but the funk is still there. For me? I love the funk, but this is a bit out of the ordinary for this wine (which I sabered with a wine glass like a boss) so I hesitate to give my full endorsement. I do not think it is “flawed” per se. In fact, I like it. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: This week, the choice came down to the three Zinfandels on the list. I did think about the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc but that would have required two thumbs up from my father-in-law, a pose that I have never seen him strike. Why so much Zin, particularly since I am far from a Zin-fan? Well, big juicy Zins are great with Korean food and I was up to my armpits in Kimchee all week. The Seghesio I grabbed without hesitation as it reminded me of my time in Dry Creek Valley with some good friends having dinner at Diavola. The Cline was fabulous regardless of price point and was a big hit with my in-laws. No, the Wine of the Week this time around is the 2012 Klinker Brick Old Ghost Zinfandel, which I first tasted on my last trip to Lodi. I have to say that it is made in a style that I do not seek out, but the fruit here is so rich and the wine is so well-balanced, that it is certainly worth of WotW honors.
What was your Wine of the Week?