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. This wine continues to amaze me. I thought by now this would be starting to show its age, but it continues to be one of my favorite wines of all time. All for $24? You must be kidding me. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Couly-Dutheil Chinon La Baronnie Madeleine: Retail $30. 100% Cabernet Franc. Well, I was right. I said after the last bottle that this wine might have needed a bit of time and it seems to have indeed improved. Great dark berry fruit with spice and just a hint of green pepper. Nice and balanced throughout, with a juiciness that one does not always see in Chinon, with depth and a lengthy finish. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2007 Greg Linn Wines Chardonnay Grangerville: Retail $50. This has certainly taken on a bit of color since the last bottle, but still going strong: lemon curd and white pepper buttered popcorn–this is certainly on the bigger side of Chardonnay. On the palate, rich and full but still buoyed by great acidity. Sure, it is a bit darker, but it does not seem to be going anywhere quickly. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2001 Château Les Ormes de Pez: Retail $30. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a bit of a long story, but friends were coming over to our house, but they were making dinner–and we had no idea what they would be making. So wine selection ahead of time would be impossible. When they showed, one of them had a 2011 Château de Pez, so I thought this second wine from the Château would be a fine addition. It was. In fact, it may have showed better than the first wine. Black berry fruit with tar and tobacco initially, balanced and fairly deep on the palate, this really is a nice wine. I have had this for a while, and it was the right time to pull it out. I like when that happens. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2007 Siduri Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard: Retail $65. Whoa. While the last bottle I had of this exhibited some stewed characteristics, absolutely none of that here. Big juicy red fruit on the nose and the palate with that characteristic Siduri balance. Yes, this is on the bigger side of Pinot, even a decade out, but when it is balanced, it can be a beautiful wine. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
2007 Skewis Pinot Noir Montgomery Vineyard: Retail $50. It has been three years since I last had one of these and at the time I said I needed to start drinking more of the Skewis wines I had collected over the last 10 plus years. I didn’t. I need to start listening to myself more often: still fantastic fruit and near perfect balance. This is simply stellar. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Looking back over the week in booze, I am a bit surprised that it did not include any bubbles–I will be sure to address that this week. I did, however, have some rather nice bottles of wine, all of which I have had for several years. As I mentioned in my note, the ’08 Amelle Zin is one of my favorite wines, and I always enjoy the wines of Couly-Dutheil in Chinon. The Greg Linn Chard was delightful and the ’01 Ormes de Pez proved that there are great wines to be had in second wines from Bordeaux producers. The story of the week, though, was the two Pinots that we had with friends on Friday night. The ’07 Siduri Clos Pepe combined two of my favorites: Siduri has been one of my favorite producers for many years and I have long considered Clos Pepe as the top vineyard for Pinot Noir in this country. The wine proved me right on both counts, which is nice. The Wine of the Week, however, by the slimmest margin, goes to the 2007 Skewis Pinot Noir Montgomery Vineyard. I have mentioned several times that I have been a big fan of Hank and Maggie Skewis for well over a decade, and, while I am happy for both of them, I was sad to hear that they retired earlier this year. The wine, a decade out, was simply marvelous from the first glass to the last drop, like all of Hank’s wines.
What was your Wine of the Week?