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 Axis Mundi Windmill Vineyard: Retail $25. 67% Grenache 33% Syrah. If you are a Pinot lover, get a bottle of this wine if you can still find any. It is not all that expensive ($20), but it checks in at way above its pay grade. Without out a doubt this would fool a Pinot lover to no end. Nice reserved fruit, great acidity, and a killer finish. So sad that this will likely not be produced again after all that happened at Clos Pepe. Hopefully, Wes will be back and better than ever soon. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2005 Melville Terraces Pinot Noir: Retail $65. Deep and rich with really dark fruit and considerable earth and a bit of funk. Whoa that’s good. Beyond really good and solidly into Whoa. Rich, really rich fruit with depth and a bit of angst. Here? Angst is a good thing. A really good thing. I am not sure where to classify this wine as it kid a contrast: big fruit and depth. Whoa. The dark very fruit and a bit of anise, shielded by eucalyptus. Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2006 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel Calistoga: Retail $40. Big and rich on the nose with depth and intrigue. On the palate? A bit (but only based on the nose) of a disappointment as it was more austere than indicated by the nose. I am a little torn by this wine: had the nose been more reserved, I would be all in, but the nose promises a bigger wine than the palate delivers. Still. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2001 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: Retail $80. Initially waaaay too cold but reserved all the way through with black berry fruit sneaking its way in. After warming this is still full-on old world in style but well balanced and falls just short of gangbusters. Honestly, I was hoping for more but this was excellent. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2001 Domaine Georges Vernay Côte Rotie Maison Rouge: Retail $75. The stewed red fruit and a bit of funk on the nose scared me more than a little bit. But once the wine made it past the lips? No need for fear my dear. Subtle fruit with an acute vibrancy. The balance is near impeccable and it would be tough to argue that this is not how Syrah was intended to be. Ok, this gets a Whoa. And then another Whoa. A third? Maybe. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: As many of you know by now, I will be moving to Houston this summer. Among the multitude of thinks that need to get done is to figure out how to get all my wine down to the Bayou City. I have heard countless stories about others who have transported wine and, well, many of them could be better described as nightmares. I know that there are companies that will transport the wine, but given that we will likely be moving in late July, I am more than a bit trepidatious as I have heard that Houston can be hotter than Hades during that time of the year. On top of that, basements basically do not exist in Houston so I am going to have to build some sort of cellar somewhere in the house. Well, I ma not going to build it, since that would be simply a disaster. Anyway, the short of it is, I have decided to go through many of the bottles that I’d rather drink now than wait and see what may happen to them on the journey. So these last few weeks I have started to pull a few out and give them a whirl. While the Axis Mundi might not warrant the title of “cellar gem” it might be one of the best $25 wines I have had in a while. There was also the 2001 Trefethen Cabernet Reserve, which brought back a ton of great memories as Trefethen was one of my first wine clubs. Then there was the Vernay Côte Rotie, which I have had a few times now, but this bottle was by far the best of the lot thus far. I bought a case of them a half a dozen years ago for an insanely stupidly low price, and boy, have they delivered. For the first Wine of the Week of the year, however, was a wine that I shared with my lovely bride over a game of Banana Grams, the 2005 Melville Terraces Pinot Noir. I have been to the winery in Lompoc, California a few times now and I am always impressed with the wines and their overall value. I also won at Banana Grams, which if nice.
What was your Wine of the Week?