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).
2014 Domaine Besson Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu: Retail $25. 100% Chardonnay. Pale yellow with a classic Chablis nose of lemon peel, a touch of pear, crushed rock, and a saltiness that begs for food. On the palate, much the same with a tangy acidity thrown in. This is not the best Chablis I have ever had, but it is down right tasty and worth every penny of the $20 I paid at Last Bottle. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2007 Joseph Drouhin Moulin-à-Vent: Retail $25. 100% Gamay. Having just returned from a trip to the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, I was excited to give this cork a pull and taste a decade old bottle from the region. Classic raspberry and earth on the nose, with a hint of mocha. On the palate, there is subtle fruit and plenty of acidity–this wine is fantastic now, but still has plenty of life left. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Gruet Winery Brut Blanc de Noirs: Retail $15. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. I think I have said this before, but I am not sure how they call this a Blanc de Noirs (meaning a white wine made from black [or red] grapes) when 25% of the blend comes from a white grape. Nonetheless, Great USA still represents perhaps the single best value sparkling wine on the U.S. market. Nice and bright with good acidity – some citrus. Nothing complicated and without a lot of depth, but great for the price. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
NV Paul Berthelot Champagne Eminence: Retail $45. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. The first bottle we tried was corked. Ugh. I had to pull another since, well, it makes no sense to keep bad bottles in the cellar. This one is decidedly better with a citrus pie element–reminiscent of my Aunt Mary’s lemon meringue. On the palate, the citrus pie is there with plenty of acidity—that mostly balances out the dosage (the amount of sugar added before bottling—which is a shade too high, if you ask me). Still Good to Very Good, but stops short of its potential. 86-88 Points.
2004 Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot La Cardeuse Rouge: Retail $65. 100% Pinot Noir. Surprisingly dark in the glass with dark cherry, cassis, and blueberry. On the palate, still quite tart with plenty of fruit left. Earth, minerality, and just a hint of tannin buoy the fruit. Chassagne is of course known for its world-class whites, but the reds from the region are perhaps the best bargains (if such a word can be applied to Burgundy) in the Côte de Beaune. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2014 Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Demoiselle Rosé: Retail $25. 100% Pinot Noir. It has been a while since I have had one of these and this happens to be the last bottle, sadly. I have proclaimed the virtues of “True Rosé” (a purposefully made rosé, i.e., not a saignée) numerous times on this site, and this is yet another example. Strawberry and smoke, curiously, on the nose, with plenty of acidity, fruit, and depth on the palate. All of this under a screw cap? Giddy-up. A couple of years out from vintage? Giddy-up^2. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: There are weeks when it is fairly easy to select the Wine of the Week (WotW), and there are others where the task is a bit more arduous. This week, although far from impossible, leans much more toward the latter than the former. I was tempted by the NV Gruet Blanc de Noirs, but I used it for wine cocktails and I am still hung up on its nomenclature. The Mellot Sancerre Rosé was also a worthy choice since I have professed my love for “True Rosés” and their ability to age, but it did not really capture the moment like a WotW should. The sole champagne this week was utterly disappointing, without even factoring in the corked bottles, so that is certainly out. Thus, I am left with the three bottles that we popped for Thanksgiving dinner, which this year we hosted for friends and in-laws in the neighborhood. The Besson Chablis was nice, and the Moreau Chassagne Rouge was sublime, but this week I opted for the 2007 Joseph Drouhin Moulin-à-Vent as this week’s Wine of the Week? Why? Well, I had returned from the Moulin-à-Vent appellation late the previous night and I was anxious to pop a bottle that had a decade of age and one that I had in my cellar for some time. While the wine did not, perhaps, “sweep me off my feet” it do show, with little doubt, that well-made wines from Beaujolais can often age with the best of them.
What was your Wine of the Week?