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:
2007 Azienda Virna Di Borgogno Barolo Riserva: Retail $35. 100% Nebbiolo. My last bottle of this and it might have been the best: black cherry and nuance with plenty of earth. Fruity on the palate with great acidity. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2006 Benovia Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard: Retail $60. I bought this wine a while ago from the winery and despite the objections from my wife, I have held onto it for close to a decade. Needless to say, we were both rather excited to pull the cork and reap the benefits of our collective patience. Well, the wine was corked. And my wife gave me that all too familiar “I told you so” look as she walked away. I have never read anywhere that the possibility of a wine becoming corked increases over time, but, well, my wife was convinced it was my fault. Oy. On the palate, this wine was actually fine, so I tried something which sounds preposterous: I grabbed some standard plastic wrap, put it in a decanter, and poured the wine in. I had remembered reading somewhere that the molecules associated with the “corked” smell adhere to the plastic wrap, improving the wine. I have to say that over the course of an hour or so, the “corked” aspect of the wine did seem to dissipate, but so did much of the flavors I had experienced on the palate. I am not sure why, but I will likely experiment with this method again, for no other reason than to make my wife think I am actually crazy instead of stupid.
2010 Bonny Doon Vineyard My Favorite Roussanne Beeswax Vineyard: Retail $20. My notes from a couple of years ago surprisingly hold true: I do not have a bunch of experience with 100% Roussanne, but this was an intriguing wine. Pear and melon on the nose with a bit of herbal tea. On the palate, the rich and unctuous fruit made it seem sweet and the ample acidity held it all together. Not sure that the flavor profile is for everyone (in the same way that Gewurztraminer can be a challenge), but I enjoyed it. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2010 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Carneros Selection: Retail $35. I picked this up several years ago from the PA State Store for a paltry $12. What a bargain. Even though the winery is no longer making a Carneros Chard, this is evidence that maybe they should be. Impressive nose of lemon curd and just the right amount of oak, this wine really takes off on the palate with impressive balance and a wonderful finish. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2010 Château Ferrande Blanc: Retail $20. 50% Sémillion, 50% Sauvignon Blanc
I pulled this wine because I needed a cup of wine for cooking. This is a classic cellar story (at least for me). I bought these shortly after release, and I figured, as with most white Bordeaux, there was no real hurry to drink them. Well, based on the color (dark yellow), I was a bit worried. On the palate, the fruit may have faded a bit, but this is still a solid effort. Not a world-beater, but I was not looking to conquer the world tonight anyway. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE of the WEEK: This week, before opening the bottle, I was rather certain that the 2006 Benovia Pinot Noir Savoy would be the Wine of the Week, but a funny thing happened on the way to its anointment. The 2007 Azienda Virna Di Borgogno Barolo Reserve was very nice and a pleasant surprise from the more mundane versions of the wine that I had consumed previously. This week, though, I am opting for the 2010 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Carneros Selection, which, as I mentioned in the note, is a wine that the winery is no longer making. Why? Well, there could be several factors involved, but I do believe that one of them is the fact that the winery was finding it harder to maintain the levels of acidity in the grapes due to the region getting warmer. I am no scientist, but the effects of climate change seem to be clearly evident in the wine world. I also, admittedly, have a bit of a soft spot for Gary Farrell wines as I bought several older bottles at auction a while ago and they were wonderful–showing me that California Pinot can age gracefully. I pointed that out to my wife this week before opening the Benovia, and, oh wait, that really isn’t a very good example, is it?
What was your Wine of the Week?