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).
2004 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Bynum & Rochioli Vineyards: Retail $55. Back in 2009, I bought a case of this wine from the PLCB for a whopping $11.69/bottle, and I am kicking myself: I should have bought several more cases. This represents the 11th bottle we have consumed, and this is in the running for the best of the lot: great (slightly stewed) fruit with secondary characteristics of leather, anise, and a slight whiff of tobacco. But make no mistake, this is gangbusters. Perfect balance, nice depth, falls just short of a “Whoa.” Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée: From half bottle. Retail $65. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay. It was one of those days. Cool and rainy (Houston never really gets “cold,” apparently); I am about to leave for two weeks; and my son was being harassed at school. So I plopped this in the freezer…for too long. No, it did not freeze, but it was plenty chilly as I poured the golden, only slightly fizzy elixir into Bordeaux glasses. The nose was complex, but worrisome—there was much more than a hint of oxidation. There was, however, an inviting caramelized nuttiness that offered hope. That hope was rewarded on the palate with complex notes of lemon curd, marzipan, and almonds that lasted for minutes. This is one of those “acquired taste” champagnes that I could drink for days and days. My goodness. Outstanding. 94-96 Points.
2006 Melville Syrah High Density: Retail $40. I wrote this back in June, 2016, and it still hold true, at least for this bottle. OK. If you are about to open this wine, I have some advice: Grab your ankles and kiss your butt goodbye. This is not for the faint of heart as it is bolder than the most offensive politician, but in a good way, if that is possible. On the nose, there is certainly some funk, but on the palate? This is full-throttle, balls-to-the-walls, opulent, hedonistic goodness. This is not for the wilting lily or for the weak in the knees. Grab a hold and enjoy the ride. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2015 Domaines Ott Côtes de Provence By.Ott: Retail $28. 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah. For me, until very recently, Domaines Ott was the reference not just for Provençal rosé, but for all pink wines. Now, there are several other contenders for that spot, but Ott will always retain its relative standing in the hierarchy for me. This is, essentially, a second label for the house, but it still has all of the essentials for an outstanding rosé: pale pink color, fruity nose (tons of melon), brilliant acidity, and lingering finish. If you have not caught on yet, rosé is all the rage and if you start drinking Ott, you will send notice that there is more to pink than Bragelina and that very quiet cherub. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2007 Siduri Pinot Noir Arbre Vert Vineyard: Retail $55. Well, in a surprising turn of events, this was a bit of a stinker. I had a bottle of this back in January and it was stellar: great fruit, loaded with secondary characteristics, lengthy finish. This bottle? Not so much. In fact, it was down right boring: no nose, no flavors, and I just hoped it would soon be finished. Needless to say, this was not what I had hoped and proved the old adage: “There are no good wines, only good bottles.” Not Rated.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This was easy. Sure, the Melville High Density Syrah was tasty in a big, almost over-the-top kind of way, the Domaines Ott rosé was fantastic (even if it was a second wine), and the 2004 Davis Bynum was incredible even a dozen years out. But come on. Krug is Krug. Just about anytime you open a bottle of NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée, it is a battle for second place for Wine of the Week. Champagne lovers far and wide preach the attributes of perhaps Champagne’s most esteemed Non-Vintage Brut. I doubt I could add anything more profound or insightful than what other more prestigious scribes have written, but if you love champagne and have not yet tried Krug, you have two choices: save up your pesos until you can finally afford a bottle, or try to avoid it at all costs since once you go there, just about every other champagne will likely pale in comparison.
What was your Wine of the Week?