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).
2006 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse: Retail $65. It has been 18+ months since our last bottle of this wine, and I am convinced it has improved. It was already gangbusters, but now? Whoa. Rich dark berry fruit, a smidgen of forest floor, and a sprinkling of chutzpah. Whoa. On the palate, the tannins are integrated and the tartness is singing in harmony with the fruit. Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
NV Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Cuvée Réserve Brut: Retail $40. 100% Pinot Noir. I am coming around on this wine: great citrus, solid sparkle, and plenty of brioche. I had previously dismissed this due to the friendly price ($25 at Last Bottle), but this really is a solid wine that I would not hesitate to serve just about anyone. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs: Retail $25. 100% Chardonnay. OK. First, I am a French snob when it comes to sparkling wine. Second, I usually eschew Blanc de Blancs until there is at least a decade on them. Third, this does not come from a French Champagne house, but rather the largest producer of Cava. So before I open it, there are a solid three strikes, so why even bother? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to my pre-conceived notions: this is pretty damned good. Tart and lively with plenty of toasted bread notes, this pleases from start to finish. Bravo. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2013 Joseph Mellot Sancerre Domaine des Emois: Retail $30. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. My wife had just left for a few days out of town, and I was left with her parents, who had been living with us for at least two weeks while waiting for their new house (which is about 100 yards from ours) to be finished. So while I normally would feel guilty about having a Sancerre without my wife, well…. Darker than I expected in the glass—a solid golden hue, and a bit tight on the nose with lemon peel and a touch of minerality. On the palate, nothing short of delightful: good acidity, nice fruit, well-balanced. This is not the most earth-shattering Sancerre I have ever tasted, but it did serve its purpose: a tiny escape in a shrinking world. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2016 Petite Moulin Bandol Les Galets Rosés: Retail $25. 60% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 10% Grenache. Perhaps a “typical” Bandol—a bit darker than a Côtes de Provence with a bit more body and slightly less acid. Great strawberry fruit with a smattering of rhubarb, I just got this the other day from Last Bottle for $16 and could not wait to give it a try (the 90+ degree temps in Houston certainly aided in the desire). A fine drinker, which is certainly worth the tariff. Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted a “What we have been drinking” article, so there are a few wines in the queue. After a solid four days tasting nothing but sweet wines in Bordeaux, it was good to get home and grab a few dry wines from the cellar. This week, I pulled a couple of wines that I had received from Last Bottle Wines, a great outfit in Napa Valley that sells one wine at a time—an online “flash” site (one of my more popular posts of all time was a review of such sites and I wrote about a trip to Last Bottle a year and a half ago, which is actually my top visited post ever). Both the Bandol rosé and the Gallimard Champagne were stellar. As were the Mellot Sancerre and the Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine—the latter perhaps my surprise of the week. This week, though, I have to go with the 2006 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse as my Wine of the Week. While Argyle gets plenty of attention for their sparkling wines, it seems as though their Pinot Noirs (particularly their reserve wines like this one), go largely unnoticed. That is a shame since I have had a few of them now and have always come away impressed. This was no exception, and to top it all off (pun intended) it is bottled under a screw cap.
What was your Wine of the Week?