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. These are wines that were not sent as samples—in most cases, I actually paid for these wines (although a few have been given as gifts).
NV Mumm Napa Brut Rosé: Retail $24. 80% Pinot Noir 20% Chardonnay. I just got back from the West Coast and neither one of us wanted to cook. As the kids were about to go full-blown “hangry” we decided to head to a great local Thai place that also happens to be BYOB. For my money, sparkling wine is THE choice for Asian and I grabbed this Rosé as they tend to be a bit fruitier which helps with the spice. My wife appreciated my wisdom. For once. Perhaps my favorite domestic sparkler, certainly at its price point (I got it for $15). Great berry fruit and plenty of tartness. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2013 B Kosuge Pinot Noir The Shop: Retail $45. OK. Let me start with this: I consider Byron Kosuge a friend of mine. Not the kind of friend that comes over to watch the kids when my wife and I go out to dinner, but the kind of friend that I will definitely call when I am out in his neck of the woods. I first met him tasting through his wines after he gave me a tour of the custom crush facility where he crafts his wine. This is one of my wife’s favorites for good reason: black cherry, raspberry, and just a touch of black pepper. On the palate? Yum (I hate that word, but it is a propos here): near perfect balance and just the right amount of “fun.” Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Gruet Winery Brut Rosé: Retail $15. 100% Pinot Noir. I was off at basketball practice for my younger son, not getting back until 7:00. My wife had taken over the reigns and made dinner, so I though that my only chore was to chose the wine. Well, she had taken care of that as well—she absconded with this bottle from the cellar without any sort of consultation (I have to remember to keep the cellar locked!). This is perhaps the best bang-for the buck sparkling wine on the U.S. market right now: fruit, acidity, bubbles, it’s all there. And for the price? You can let it go that your wife chose to chill the wine in the refrigerator door, which caused more than enough agitation to lose at least a half a glass upon opening. Very Good. 88-90 Points.
2007 Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast: Retail $45. I had been trying to get to this bottle for some time as the folks on Cellar Tracker (an online cellar management tool) say that this should have been consumed three years ago. Meh. This is doing just fine, thank you very much. I was making pork chops using my fancy new immersion circulator and this seemed like the perfect choice. Well, it was close, at least. Even 10 years out, this is still a very big boy: rich, luscious and full. This is not your Burgundian style of wine in the least, but still delicious. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2013 Roblar Pinot Noir Star Rita Hills: Retail $40. I was in my office, sitting at the computer, trying to get some work done when I had an intense desire for a little Pinot (yes, that happens a lot). Seeing that I was virtually caught up on my samples, I delved into the new cellar, which is a mere eight feet from my desk (yes, that is dangerous). I settled on this Roblar, a wine I purchased from Wines Til Sold Out a couple of years ago for $17. Black cherry and black pepper, with a hint of eucalyptus are the dominant players here with a tartness on the palate that pairs nicely. I thought it would pair well with that night’s pork chops that were in the immersion circulator, but I am afraid it did not last that long—my wife had a sip and commandeered the rest of the bottle. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: If it were not clear already, the line-up this week indicates that I drink a lot of sparkling wine and Pinot Noir, and that is correct. Nearly 1/6 of my cellar contains bubbles and another 33% is Pinot Noir (for the mathematically challenged, that means just about one half of my cellar is either sparkling wine or Pinot Noir). And since many sparkling wines include the variety in the blend, well, it is safe to say that I have a predilection for Pinot. Given that 96% of the wine consumed this week was of the grape that is native to the Burgundy region of France, it makes sense that this week’s Wine of the Week would be a Pinot. While both the Roblar and the Papapietro Perry were both stellar in their decidedly different ways, and I would not hesitate to place a bottle of either on the dinner table regardless of company, this week I opted for the 2013 B Kosuge Pinot Noir The Shop as the WotW. Was that perhaps influenced by my friendship with the producer as I had mentioned above? It certainly was, but considering this is not school nor politics, favoritism is not frowned upon (at least by me).
What was your Wine of the Week?