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).
2008 Amelle Zinfandel Buck Hill Sonoma County: Retail $24. We just opened one of these the other day and it was corked. Well, this one wasn’t. Great fruit that you would expect from a Zin, but this is a cold climate wine, and thus the fruit is not ebullient, and the alcohol, although high (15.3%) is in balance. For those uninitiated to cool climate Zin, it is a must explore as it shows the true breadth of the variety. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2012 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Sherman Family Vineyards: Retail $25. A bit tight initially, but I eventually coaxed out some slight raspberry and forest floor. Much more active on the palate with abundant fruit, hints of earth, and impressive balance. Nay, impeccable balance. I would consider Ryan Sherman a friend, and while some may think that it might cloud my judgement, there is no doubting that this is Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Cuvée Réserve Brut: Retail $30. 100% Pinot Noir. My wife spent the night at a school function and on her way home, she let me know that she wanted some bubbles, so I threw this into the freezer. 30 minutes later, we popped it. Solid. Tart citrus. A bit of baked bread. Some depth. Not the best Champers on the planet, but the price is nice. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2005 Kilikanoon Shiraz Oracle Clare Valley: Retail $60. Whoa. Yes Whoa. I never would have thought this was a wine with a dozen years on it–great color with just the slightest evidence of bricking. Great fruit on the nose and a meatiness while subtle, still evident. On the palate, big fruit, mocha, and considerable depth. Whoa. Yes whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Novy Family Wines “Oley” Late Harvest Viognier: Retail $18. A bit dark in the glass, but bright on the nose–honeyed lemon and orange peel with a bit of caramelization. Great acidity and just the right amount of sweetness. We have not been delving into our dessert wine collection at all as of late, but this wine will encourage more exploration. Excellent. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2005 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses: Retail $60. 100% Chardonnay. Oxidized. Ugh. This might be the final nail that broke the camels’s back. I am done with white Burgundy. We once had something great together, but she has deceived me for the last time. There are plenty of good to great Chardonnays in countless other places in the world that are cheaper and don’t prematurely oxidize. The problem is I have another four cases in the cellar to go through before the divorce is final. I have a feeling that is not going to go well. Flawed.
2004 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: Retail $90. Well. It was not until I delved into Cellar Tracker to write a note about this wine that I realized that this was the last bottle of Trefethen that I had in my possession. Oh, but what a bottle it was. I had joined the Trefethen wine club however many years ago and I was a loyal member until I moved to the fine wine abyss that is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I have been steadily making my way through my stash, though, and tonight was the end. Rich dark fruit, tobacco, earth, a bit of everything here. Balance throughout, leading to a long finish. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week, it was tough to chose a Wine of the Week as there were several wonderful wines and a few meaningful bottles. As I mentioned above, the Trefethen Cab was our last bottle from the producer and one of the first wine clubs I ever joined. Both the 2008 Amelle and the 2012 Fields are both significant as they were made by people whom I would consider friends, are both reserved Zin (the style I prefer), and both excellent wines. The 2009 Navy was also very nice, shared among a few friends who said they really don’t like sweet wines, but really enjoyed this bottle. All wonderful wines, but this week, I went Down Under (a term I usually eschew) for the WotW and selected the 2005 Kilikanoon Shiraz Oracle Clare Valley. It was a fabulous wine and quite a surprise–I do not have a ton of experience with Australian wines, and while I knew the reputation of the producer I really did not know what to expect from the 12-year-old Shiraz. Well, I do now.
What was your Wine of the Week?