As Houston continues to recover, I have received many requests over the last few days about information regarding charities that are providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. While there are many worthy outlets, I have set up a donation page with Texas Children’s Hospital to help the families with extremely sick children whose homes have been severely damaged by the storm. 100% of the donations go directly to the families (full disclosure: my wife is the Director of the Palliative Care team at the hospital). LINK.
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).
2013 Campo Alegre: Retail $35. 100% Verdejo. Not a bad investment at all here, for under $13, this is a serviceable wine—a bit round, but still enough acidity to hold it together. Good fruity aromas and flavors of lemon zest, pineapple, and even banana. There is also a touch of funk thrown in—and I almost always enjoy a little funk thrown in. In all? Not bad for the money, which usually implies that the wine is not really all that good, but the price is right. But in this case? Well…. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
1998 Gosset Champagne Celebris Rosé: Retail $200. 59% Chardonnay, 41% Pinot Noir (7% still red). A faded orange, almost brown in the glass with that oh so classic older champagne aroma of Sherry–slightly oxidized, even caramalized. The fizz is slight, as one might expect and the primarily fruit is all but faded. What is left is a cooked molasses without the sweetness, a tart caramel with just a slight bubble. I may have waited too long, but man, this is delightful. Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2005 Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Garenne Domaine du Duc de Magenta: Retail $140. Whoa. Definitely golden in color and ever so slightly oxidized on the nose, but on the palate? Whoa. Creamy, luscious, lascivious, and licentious, this might just be beyond the pale: the subtle but intense fruit (lemon, pineapple) is prescient, but the paradoxical creamy acidity soon overwhelms. Whoa. I was worried about these bottles which have a decade on them, but whoa. And even a OMG. Outstanding. 94-96 Points.
2006 Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets: Retail $100. Surprisingly light in the glass, just a slight golden tinge in an otherwise pale yellow, seemingly years younger wine. A bit mineral, a bit of funk (love the funk), and even petrol on the nose. Whoa. Beyond the pail? Hardly. Which is a joke itself. This is gangbusters. Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2005 Domaine de l’Oriel Gérard Weinzorn Riesling Florimont: Retail $40. Well. I have some history with this label as I have visited the winery and tasted through the wines several times. This wine, a dozen years out, has some golden coloring and just a touch of oxidation. I bought these several years ago at the winery since I was awed at its potential. I thought it would mature, without pretense, highlighting its chutzpah. And it has. Tropical fruit, unctuous on the palate with intriguing fruit and ample acidity (once it races to the finish). While this might stray slightly from the prototypical Alsatian Riesling, holy Jesus this is good. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2006 Tallulah Syrah Bald Mountain Ranch: Retail $35. 100% Syrah. Pulled this for my wife’s birthday dinner as this is one of her favorite producers. Fantastic fruit of raspberry and cassis. Tannins still present but mostly integrated; the acidity, however is vibrant and wonderful, holding it all together. Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This past Monday (September 4) was my wife’s birthday, so I planned a dinner to celebrate with her parents and some neighbors. The first course was an heirloom cherry Gochujang gazpacho, which came out a little spicier than anticipated, so I pivoted from the Gosset Champagne to the Campo Alegre Verdejo. A wise choice as the spice would have muted out the vintage champagne. Next was a salad of asparagus, bacon, and a soft-boiled egg with a Dijon vinaigrette featuring vinegar made from a 1978 Bordeaux. Next, freshly made pasta with a tomato cream sauce, topped with a sous-vide lobster tail, paired with the Latour Les Caillerets and then the Jadot Clos de la Garenne Domaine du Duc de Magenta. I also used the immersion circulator (sous-vide) to make lamp chops and loin chops (which I finished on the grill), with garlic sautéed baby bok choy and homemade spaetzle, paired with the Tallulah Syrah (one of my wife’s all-time favorites). Last, I made an eggless chocolate mousse with fresh berries (straw, rasp, and blue). After the chocolate, we popped the ’98 Gossset Celebris Rosé as it had been waiting so patiently i the fridge all day long. Even though there were plenty of great wines that night, I am forgoing a Wine of the Week this go around. Instead, I salute my wonderful wife, who supports all of my crazy wine pursuits while helping so many families professionally, and being the best mom for whom our boys could ever hope.
What was your Wine of the Week?