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:
2005 Cosentino Winery The Poet: Retail $65. Bordeaux Blend. I picked these up a few years ago for a whopping $20/bottle. At the time, I was a poor grad student, so the six bottles I bought put a serious dent in the monthly budget. Tasting this now? Blackberry, blueberry pie. That means vanilla and even a bit of crème de cassis. I have waxed endlessly about how Cosentino was my gateway into the world of California wine so I won’t get into that again, but this wine really takes me back. The wine is likely at it peak as the tannins are nearly fully integrated. I should have doubled down on the ramen noodles and gone all in with this wine, buying all I could find. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
1999 Domaine Courbis Cornas Les Eygats: Retail $55? 100% Syrah. Looking at my last note from nearly seven years ago [“Decanted, but only briefly. Some nice red and black fruit on the nose, with even a hint of anise. On the palate, a little out of balance–acidity was at the forefront. Still very nice. 88-90 Points.”], I guess this wine just needed more time, because whoa. Raspberry and vanilla. On the palate this is no short of amazing. Fruit up front and really rich. ’99? Huh? Tastes like a 2007 at worst. And if 2007 is the worst? Bring it on. And on. And on. Whoa a-go-go. Fruit, earth, sass. All of it. This is why you gamble and age wine. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
2013 Domaine Dubost Moulin-à-Vent En Brenay: Retail $35. 100% Gamay. Classic Beaujolais nose of dried red fruit and even a bit of tobacco and mint. On the palate a bit reserved at first, but then the fruit sneaks in with balanced acidity. One of the more contemplative Beaujolais I have had in a while. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2006 Failla Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard: Retail $50. Corked. In a big way.
2011 Provenance Vineyards Merlot: Retail $25. I had high hopes when I picked up this wine from the PLCB for $17. Well, meh. Sure, it’s a solid wine, but not up to the standards that I have come to expect from this winery. Red fruit and oak on the nose, and really fruity upfront but it fades on the mid-palate and never really comes back. Clearly, there was a reason why the Commonwealth got this on the cheap. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
NV Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru: Retail $50. One of the oft cited axioms: “You want to make a great wine, start with great grapes.” Pretty obvious, no doubt, but it is particularly true in Champagne. So much so that if “Grand Cru” is emblazoned on the label, it is likely going to be pretty good Champers. Certainly the case here. What is surprising, however, is this is 100% Chardonnay—a style that is certainly not my favorite. Nonetheless, this wine has body, backbone, and depth—qualities that I do not always associate with Blanc de Blancs. End result? I dig this wine. A lot. (Do people still say “dig”?) Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: Well, there were several options for this week’s Wine of the Week. The Remy Champagne Grand Cru was a pleasant surprise as I bought them on a whim when they came up on Last Bottle, but I have another few bottles so perhaps another week. Then there was the Dubost Moulin-à-Vent, another whimsical purchase (this time from the PLCB), and I really do love a good Beaujolais Cru, but my wife became a little upset when I told her that I had bought more wine, so this wine, too, will have to wait for another week. Then there was the Courbis Cornas Les Eygats, a truly remarkable wine, that really surprised the heck out of me since the last bottle I had (albeit seven years ago) was not all that impressive, but this one sure was. All three of the wines had legitimate claims to this week’s top wine, but in the end, I opted for the 2005 Cosentino Winery The Poet for several reasons. First, it is an incredible wine, still full of fruit ten years in and a great pairing with the ribeyes we had. Second, it took me back to the time I bought it, when I really should not have been buying any wine, but it was such a screaming deal, I could not pass it up. Third, as I mentioned in the note, Cosentino holds a special meaning to me and my wine appreciation as it really sent me on the road to loving California wines. Last, I forgot to take a picture of the Cornas.
What was your Wine of the Week?