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:
2014 Roberto Anselmi Bianco San Vincenzo Veneto IGT: Retail $18. 80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc. Much of what I said in my last note still rings true (an aromatic white with peach and apple), but my admiration for this wine has grown. Great tropical flavors, vibrant acidity, lengthy finish. What is not to love? Only that I wish I had bought more. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2006 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse Reserve Series: Retail $60. There was not the funk that I found in the last bottle of this wine I had, but this one seemed a bit darker and richer than the other bottles. Dark in color that is barely translucent with dark berry aromas. Much bigger on the palate than I remember, but still, this is Outstanding and a fun wine to drink (but I would not wait too long…). 90-92 Points.
2004 Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot: Retail $65. 100% Chardonnay. Two bottles, both oxidized. Ugh. I am done with white Burgundy.
2006 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard: Retail $55. Whoa. I had three bottles of this and I grabbed it since I am thinning out the herd a bit before the move. Gorgeous nose of red raspberry, earth, and just flat-out goodness. On the palate? Hard to believe but this is even better. Whoa. Modest, but rich fruit with depth, balance, and a finish that lasts for weeks. Whoa. Outstanding+. 94-96 Points.
2011 Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray Vouvray Pétillant De Chanceny Tête de Cuvée, Brut Excellence: Retail $25. 100% Chenin Blanc. I have been sitting on the last few bottles of this. I was not entirely sure for what I was waiting, but this bottle (like all the others) was fantastic. Tropical and nutty aromas elevate above the vibrant sparkle, which continue on through to the finish. This is a wonderful sparkler, yet another case where I wish I had bought more. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2005 Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Beaune: Retail $30. 100% Pinot Noir. It has been almost a year since I had this wine and it seems as though the year has done it well. A bit hot and stewed, but on the palate, this is well-balanced with tart cherry predominate. I have a bottle of this left and although I am not in a huge hurry, I will get to this soon. I think. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2012 Bodegas Franco-Españolas Rioja Royal White: Retail $20. 100% Viura. I have not had a ton of experience with these wines, but if those experiences I have had are any indication, I need to buy a bunch of white Rioja. White peach and grapefruit, bright acidity and verve, this is both a great food wine and the perfect patio pacifier. I really enjoyed this. A lot. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2003 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Santenay 1er Cru La Maladière: Retail $45. 100% Pinot Noir. From a really hot year, this is certainly a departure from what Girardin and Santenay usually conspire to produce. Dark and brooding with more of a stewed note than a more typical earthy Burgundy vibe. That continues onto the palate where this could be confused with a New World Pinot: big and rich with an absence of tannin. I have one more bottle and need to get to it soon. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: Before I get to this week’s Wine of the Week, I thought I would mention again how completely fed up I am with white Burgundy. First, I should say that there are few greater pleasures in the wine world then a beautifully aged bottle that has “Montrachet” somewhere in the name. Truly. I have had 10, 15, even 20+ year-old bottles of white Burgundy that have been nothing short of spectacular. But. Burgundy has a real problem with premature oxidation (premox) and until it is solved, I am done buying any white wine from the region.
The Wine of the Week this time around is a complete no brainer: the 2006 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard may have changed my life. I have been a big fan of Sta Rita Hills for many years now, and I have tossed back more than my fair share of wine from the region. To be honest, though, most of my attention has been focused on wine made from a different vineyard: Clos Pepe, which I would call an American “Grand Cru” vineyard. Based on the Brewer-Clifton and a few other wines I have now had, Peter Cargasacchi’s vineyard might need a similar classification. I have never been to the vineyard, but I might need to do at least a drive by the next time I am down in Santa Barbara to pay hommage. This wine might just be the best bottle of American Pinot I have tasted, the kind of wine that I really did not want to share with my wife. I just hope the other two bottles I have left will fare as well.
What was your Wine of the Week?