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:
2008 Argyle Brut: Retail $30. Ah, Argyle Brut, how I have missed thee. I used to drink you with regularity, but once my source dried up, I have neglected you, holding onto the last few bottles of you with white knuckles. Still great apple fruit and vibrant acidity, even eight years out. The price of this wine has slowly crept up over the last few years and I am not sure it is still great value (I paid $10 for these), but it certainly is a solid wine. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2011 Elyse Zinfandel Morisoli Vineyard: Retail $37. This has always been one of my wife’s favorites, so I am usually lucky to get so much of a glass when there is a bottle open. Really dark and brooding color and fruit, with blackberry and cassis predominate. On the palate, not nearly as brutish as the nose suggests as the fruit is in a happier, more ebullient mood, and while it is certainly big, it is by no means a monster. After the first wave of fruit, there is some depth and a respectable finish. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2000 Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet: Retail $300. Oxidized. Ugh. I have one more bottle of this and I fear it is likely bad as well. Why? Well, over the past year or so I am too depressed to count how many of my white Burgundies have been oxidized (and how many more I have in my cellar). If I ever decide to buy white Burgs again, I am going to have to drink them upon purchase. That will please my wife, but it will depress the heck out of me as I feel there are not many wines that I cherish over a wonderfully aged Chardonnay from the Côte d’Or. Flawed.
2009 Lemelson Vineyards Pinot Noir Thea’s Selection: Retail $40. Have had these for a while and got a bit worried that I had held on too long. Given that we are moving in a few months, I am in full-on “Thin Out the Herd” mentality. So this was clearly on the chopping block. Thank goodness. Aromas of black cherry and eucalyptus, with a bit of smoke waft out, leading to really good fruit up front with plenty of complexity all the way through. Yet another example of Oregon producing world-class Pinot. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
1998 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon: Retail $150. The bottle was beat up: both the label and the foil looked as though they had been through some battles. I was worried. But there was a sigh on opening and great color and my fears subsided. Crazy citrus and a youthfulness that was surprising. This could have been a new release. Great balance and plenty of verve, but the finish? Whoa cubed. It lasts well beyond what I thought was possible. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2006 Sans Permis Chardonnay La Chanson Argentee De Cuillere: Retail $75. Wow. It has been over a year since I wrote that I needed to get to the last two bottles sooner rather than later. Well, I should have heeded my own advice. While this is still a fine example of an old-school Chard, Father Time has sneaked in a bit with a hint of oxidation. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a solid Chard, particularly if you like a bit of oak and a dash of butter. Yum. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: I had certainly hoped that the Wine of the Week would have been the Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet, particularly since I have another bottle of it staring me in the face. I could sit here and state that the Lemelson Pinot Noir or even the Elyse Zinfandel were in contention (both nice wines, certainly), but that would be a bold-face lie. Let’s face it: given my love of champagne, particularly older versions, the only wine that could possibly occupy this space (after the Latour disaster) was the 1998 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. Dom, to me, is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, I am not really a big fan of the producer, Moët et Chandon. Sure, their Brut Rosé is decent and occasionally they produce a nice vintage wine, but the standard Moët is as close to abysmal as you can find in Champagne. On the other hand, Dom Pérignon is usually fantastic. In fact, I still consider the bottle of 1973 Dom that I had a few years ago to be the best bottle of wine I have had the good fortune to drink. Usually, I hold on to Doms for a bit longer than this (I have several that are older: ’85, ’88, ’90, ’96), but given the appearance of this bottle, I figured I should pop it. I was certainly relieved that the quality of the contents far exceeded the condition of the container. A bit of an odd coincidence that this Dom and the Latour Bâtard-Montrachet have been resting side-by-side for the last eight years or so in my cellar, no?
What was your Wine of the Week?