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:
2006 32 Winds Cabernet Sauvignon: Retail $65. Whoa. A bit hot on the nose, admittedly but after that? Yeah. Blackberry and tar. On the palate rich and unctuous. Solid all the way through, could even use some more time. Whoa. There is one down side (and a pretty big one for me): the bottle weighs about five pounds. That is just ridiculous. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2006 Bergström Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve: Retail $50. A bit stewed on the nose, but I ignored it. There was a bit of dark red fruit on the back there, but I ignored it. Initially, on the palate, there was that stewed, even stale note. But I ignored it. I let the wine sit for a while–yeah, I ignored it. After a while, that stewed and stale aspect blew off leaving a wonderful wine that could not be ignored: good dark berry fruit, considerable depth, and a lasting finish. If you ignore the initial impression, this is well worth it. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut: Retail $50. 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. Over 85% Grands and Premiers crus. There is a reason this is a standard-bearer in Champagne. Rich, plenty of backbone, and oozing fresh croissants. Yeah. This is my wheelhouse and beyond. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2012 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Sherman Family Vineyards: Retail $30. Good fruit as one would expect, on the palate its restrained but complex. Not a ton of tannin so short-term attention is advised. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Moutard Père et Fils Champagne Rose de Cuvaison: Retail $45. 100% Pinot Noir. Darker than the usual rosé. By a lot. Rich berry fruit, in fact, one of the fruitiest champagnes I have ever tried. Think Kir Royale without the sweetness. But there is the requisite acidity to make this really fun. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
NV Fabiènne Prié Champagne Cuvée Brut Reserve: Retail $50. I have to pat myself on the back with this one. Rich, full, this Pinot dominant (75% Pinot, 25% Chardonnay) from the Côte des Bar really delivers what champagne hounds seek out the most: baked bready, yeasty goodness. This was a steal for $25. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
1990 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Millennium: Retail $65. 100% Nebbiolo. Stewed fruit. Wow. Really stewed almost refined raspberry. On the palate a completely different story. Understated and refined Whoa. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
WINES of the WEEK: This week I continued my recent trend of purging a few of the bottles that I have been holding onto for a while. I picked up a few of the 1990 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Millennium a couple of years ago and they have held up fairly well. This was the last bottle of the wine in my cellar and even though it is perhaps not your “typical” Barolo (if there is such a thing), drinking a 25-year-old wine has not yet turned to vinegar is always interesting. I think that Josh Bergström is one of the most talented winemakers in the Willamette Valley and his 2006 Bergström Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve only reinforced that belief. Sure, it started off a bit clumsily, but a little patience ended with a virtuous wine. I have a couple of bottles of this wine left and I hope I remember what I learned with this bottle. I was particularly pleased with the Fabiènne Prié Champagne, as it was located firmly in my wheelhouse when it comes to champagne: rich, bold, and muscular. While all these wines were fabulous, the Wine of the Week came down to two: the 32 Winds Cabernet and the Bollinger Champagne. While most people with even a passing knowledge of wine and champagne have at least heard of Bolly (what us champagne geeks call Bollinger since it makes us feel cool and “in the know”), I imagine few have heard of 32 Winds. The label was started about a decade ago by some investment bankers from Denver (I believe) and the 2006 was their first vintage for the Cabernet. They certainly made a splash by landing Ehren Jordan of Turley and Failla fame as the winemaker and this wine really was fantastic. In the end, I opted for the 2006 32 Winds Cabernet Sauvignon as this week’s WotW for no other reason that I almost always pick bubbles and I need to spice it up a bit.
What was your Wine of the Week?