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 Grenache/Syrah: Retail $24. Light and fruity on the palate with stewed raspberry, a bit of spice, and some funk. On the palate, this is, at least to me, a classic cooler climate Syrah. It does not beat you over the head with fruit, nor is it far too austere to be any fun. This fits very well into the price range and is certainly an easy wine to drink. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2004 DuMOL Syrah Russian River Valley: Retail $65. This was an odd one. My first reaction? Ugh. A bit corked on the nose, and I was worried, then saddened, and finally ticked off. I walked away. When I came back, it had blown off a bit, but only a bit. Some more time, and it had all but blown off, so I tasted it. Gangbusters on the palate. After a bit more time open, the nose came around as well. Still great fruit and balance with plenty of verve. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2004 Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils Chablis Grand Cru Valmur: Retail $65. 100% Chardonnay. Fantastic. Just fantastic. Subtle yet expressive nose of green apple, lemon, and even a hint of melon. But it is on the palate that this wine really excels. Whoa. A bit viscous yet focused with balanced fruit and depth. The finish is remarkable. Another whoa. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
NV Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs: Retail $30. I have been a big Mumm Napa fan for a while and even though I am not a huge fan of the Blanc de Blancs style, this is a great example of why I consider Mumm Napa one of the best domestic sparkling wine producers. Citrus and buttery on the nose with a good sparkle rising up through the pale yellow liquid. On the palate, great tartness and a nutty aspect that balanced out the fruit. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2013 Perelada Cava Stars Brut Nature: Retail $25. 60% Parellada, 25% Xarel-lo, 15% Macabeu. Rather austere with not a ton of character, but for $10? Will make great Kir Royales, but on it’s own? Well…. 85-87 Points.
NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Sauvage: Retail $65. My wife got me this bottle for Christmas back in 2013 and I may have waited a bit too long. I have had a lot of recent experience with Piper-Hiedsieck and it has become one of my favorite houses. Their Rosé has always been impressive, but this bottle, for whatever reason, fell a bit short of what I had come to expect. Good red berry fruit, plenty of sparkle, but lacking a bit of depth. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: Looking back over the wines this week, it was a bit odd, I guess. Sure, there were plenty of bubbles, but there was no Pinot nor any rosé. Both of which I will need to rectify this week. The week was also strange in that I was not all that enamored with most of the wines that we drank this week. Sure, by and large the wines were “good” and I really should not complain all that loudly, but a couple were at least mildly disappointing, and that is never cause to do cart-wheels down the street. (Truth be told, one of my great regrets in life is that I never learned to do a cart-wheel. That and taking Kathy Bombeck to the Junior Prom–what a mistake that was.) Even one of the “better” wines this week, the DuMOL Syrah, started off on a bad foot with a corked nose that luckily blew off eventually. Given the oddities of the week, though, it was exceedingly easy to decide on which wine garnered the top spot. The 2004 Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils Chablis Grand Cru Valmur was simply sublime, one of the best Chardonnays I have had this year. I presented a glass to my wife and she was immediately taken aback by the compelling nose–always a great sign. The wine was made even more enjoyable by the fact that my recent luck with older Burgundies has not been all that great.
What was your Wine of the Week?