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 Herbert Beaufort Champagne Grand Cru Carte d’Or Tradition Brut: 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.
2002 Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes: Retail $95. I bought six of these way back in October of 2007 and this is the first I popped. Whoa. Yes whoa. While the nose is a bit musty and, yes, a touch stewed, this falls under the category of a “gangbusters” wine. It has been a while since I have cracked a Burgundy of either color since many of the whites have suffered from pre-oxidation and I am too depressed to open another. And the reds are just simply too darned expensive; I know once I drink what I have in stock, well, that will be the end of my love affair with Burgundy. Nonetheless, I opened this beauty and I do not regret it for a moment (mostly since I have another five to go). Great fruit, rich, depth, and that characteristic Burgundian acidity. Whoa. Without hesitation. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
2009 B Kosuge Syrah Hudson Vineyard: Retail $40. Before we left Philadelphia, we had a wine dinner for Byron Kosuge at the home of a dear friend. We tasted through several of his wines, including this Syrah that he no longer produces. I started visiting Byron long before this blog was born and he remains one of my favorite winemakers and people in the wine business, but he is best known as a Pinot and Chardonnay producer. This Syrah? Quite dark and even a bit brooding with black raspberry, cassis, and a touch of eucalyptus. All of that continues on the palate, with wonderful balance and heft (even though it is but 13.6% ABV). As soon as I tasted this during the dinner, I asked why the heck he no longer produces it and, in typical Byron style, he smiled wryly and responded softly “when you purchase fruit, you are always at the whim of the owner of the vineyard.” Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2004 Domaine du Mas Blanc (Docteur Parcé) Banyuls Blanc: From 375. Retail $28. Blend? Mostly Grenache, but after that, I have no idea. I do not have a ton of experience with Banyuls, other than it is really a fun word to say (BAN-youlsse) and this is a fortified wine (grape spirit is added to the fermenting wine to kill the yeast and preserve a rather high level of sugar). I have a few bottles of this, but lately, I have eschewed the extra calories associated with dessert and fortified wines as I am trying to shed a bit (OK, a lot) of weight. Well, that needs to change (and it will as soon as I drop a few more pounds). Raisined nose with dried raspberry. Not overly alcoholic but silky smooth and fantastic. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2004 Cosentino Winery Cabernet Franc Reserve: Retail $65. I am not going to get into the melancholy feeling I get every time I pop a bottle of “old-school” Cosentino, I have been down that road plenty of times. I am relieved, though, that this wine has held up so well–but that should really be no surprise. Vanilla blackberry pie, perhaps cubed. This is one of those wines I could sniff for ages. And I just might. This is not a food wine. This is a hedonistic patio, Cards Against Humanity kind of wine. Even a dozen years out this is a gangbusters in a blow your hair back “wow” kind of way. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: It has been a solid month since I have published a WWHBD and that is due entirely to the fact that I have been trying to catch up on samples. I know that sounds pretentious and it probably is, but it is the truth. Nonetheless, I have delved into the cellar a few times over the last month and pulled out a few gems this go around. The top of the heap? The Cosentino was made by the master himself, and is fantastic; the Herbert Champagne comes from my favorite town; and I would consider Byron Kosuge a friend (as well as a great winemaker. Since I can only choose one, however, I will have to go with the 2002 Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes for at least a couple of reasons. First, I was terrified that it would follow my recent history with Burgundy and the wine would be oxidized, corked, or worse. But this was incredible, perhaps even my Favorite, too.
What was your Wine of the Week?