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:
NV Bonnaire Champagne Brut Rosé: Retail $50. I’ve had this bottle for a while and was worried. But no need. This is one of Richard Juhlin’s (perhaps the preeminent reviewer of champagne today) favorite NV champagnes and there is no doubt why. Darker than most rosés with strawberry rhubarb on the nose. Rich, creamy, and full on the palate with considerable heft. Fantastic. This is perhaps one of the best NV champagnes I have had in a while (not counting Krug, of course). Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2000 Château d’Epiré Savennières Cuvée Spéciale: Retail $25? 100% Chenin Blanc. With a potential move looming on the horizon, I decided to get to a few older bottles. Golden color, not trying to hide its age in any way. On the nose a bit of citrus, but petrol really dominates. On the palate, the fruit has certainly faded but what remains is fantastic. The acidity is still prevalent with some earthy notes, particularly chalk. The finish, however, is what sets this apart. Hints of lemon linger as does that chalky acidity, for at least a couple of minutes. At first I did not know what to think, but I eventually realized this is a remarkable wine. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Garys’ Vineyard: Retail $35. I went to the cellar and pulled this without consulting CT (which is usually a dangerous proposition) but it turned out great. A great nose of mocha, blackberry, vanilla, and even a bit of anise led to a palate with tons of fruit and depth. This is an enjoyable wine that I could drink for a while. Siduri/Novy will always be one of my favorites precisely because of this wine—perhaps not the finesse that I prefer, but balanced and fun. In the end, I can’t really ask for a lot more. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2008 Skewis Pinot Noir North Coast Cuvée: Retail $48. I went searching for this bottle for some time. I finally realized that it had to be in a box under the stairs, behind a couple of bikes. I started digging, and digging, and digging. Of course it was in the very bottom of the box. Worth it. Bing cherry and earth. Even though I would say the fruit has faded a bit, it is still prevalent and fantastic. Great acidity and balance–both characteristics of Hank’s wines. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2005 Bodegas Victoria Cariñena Longus: Retail $75. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. I have to say that this followed another Spanish wine that was really fantastic. This was by no means a slouch, but it started with a bit of Brett, which was slightly off-putting, but the inky-dark color spoke to the power underneath. Even over the few hours that it took to consume, the Brett lingered, though never overpowering. There was fruit and crispness, and plenty of depth. Not as fruity as the 100% Tempranillo we had earlier, but almost as tasty. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2003 Viñas del Cenit Tempranillo Cenit: Retail $50. It looks as though I have not had one of these for several years now and I dare say the extra time has improved an already stellar wine. A nose of black cherry and anise, but it is on the palate where this really impressive. Even though this is a dozen years old, this wine is still fresh, vibrant, and fruity. Tons of fruit for an old world wine. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: Another solid week of wines is behind me and here I sit trying to decide which of the wines was my Wine of the Week. Not at all easy to do. There was the NV Bonnaire Champagne Brut Rosé, which was not only fantastic, but it was exactly my favorite style of champagne–Pinot dominated and muscular. But I almost always choose a champagne for WotW (as I did last week). The 2007 Novy Syrah Gary’s was a complete surprise (well, that is an exaggeration–Adam Lee makes fantastic wines), and every time I open a Savennières I get a bit giddy. Then there was the ’08 Skewis North Coast Cuvée–a great wine all the way around (but the bottle was signed, and regular readers know how I feel about those). Thus, in the end, I opted for the 2003 Viñas del Cenit Tempranillo Cenit as this week’s WotW, which I believe is the first Spanish wine ever selected for the “honor.” I am not entirely sure if that is the case, so I guess that is something I should verify (I’ll get right on that).
What was your Wine of the Week?