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).
2009 Babcock Pinot Noir Grand Cuvée: Retail $35. 100% Pinot Noir. Well, I was wrong. I said almost three years ago that I did not see this wine getting any better. Well, this bottle certainly was. Sweet black cherry, pepper, and vanilla aromas lead to a luscious Pinot with subtle fruit, plenty of body and acidity, and still noticeable tannins on the finish. My dear friends here on Cellar Tracker suggest that this should have been consumed by 2015. Huh? This bottle is already ahead of the last and should continue to improve. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2014 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Ancient Vines Rosé: Retail $15. This is what I call a “True Rosé” one that is intentionally made as a pin wine (ergo, NOT a saignée). As such, I firmly believe it could survive more than six months past release date. This wine is a solid three years along since it was gifted to the world, and it is tasty. Strawberry, rhubarb, and a bit of rustic earth. round and full, and much more vinous than a “typical” rosé. While the acidity may have faded, it is much deeper than I remember the wine on release. Better as it warmed as well. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2010 Domaine Du Mont M. Bressand Viré-Clessé: Retail $20. 100% Chardonnay. My wife said “Chardonnay” and then added “but not oaky.” So I had my marching orders. I was also planning on staying up to watch at least part of the Curling Gold Medal match in Korea. Why is that important? I am not sure, but I woke in the third end with the Americans tied and my wife long since asleep. I ventured to the fridge and grabbed the half full/empty bottle to write this note. Certainly darker than I anticipated, with a honeyed peach nose–not what I expected. On the palate, this is not what I expected either: rich, full, round, this is a lot closer to a Chenin from Vouvray than a Chard from Viré. Wow. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Sauvage: Retail $60. 50-55% Pinot Noir (of which 20-25% vinified as red wine), 30-35% Pinot Meunier, 15-20% Chardonnay. I can not say this for certain, but I believe this might be the darkest rosé champagne on the market (that might need some more research), in fact, it might be closer to a light red than a rosé. Wonderful sparkle and aromas of pomegranate, rhubarb, and a certain meatiness that is oh so scrumptious. I have had a few bottles of this joyful wine now, and with each sip I grow more enamored: rich red fruit–maybe the fruitiest champagne I have tried, with the pomegranate really coming through in spades. Incredibly rich, but racy, this wine makes other rosé champagnes appear wimpy by comparison. Bravo Monsieur Camus, bravo! Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2006 Campion Pinot Noir: Retail $35. After a bit of time open, a great nose of Bing cherry and a touch of mocha and really surprising on the palate. After a bit of a lackluster start, this really came alive. Good fruit, depth, and lasting finish. While I was ready to write this one off upon opening, it really caused me to re-evaluate. While short of a “whoa” this might warrant a “wow.” Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: The wines that we consumed this week are a pretty fair representation of my cellar as a whole as it is dominated by Pinot Noir, Champagne, and rosé, and is fairly evenly split between American and French wines. Both the Babcock and Campion Pinots have been in there for a while, and seem to have benefitted from the extra time (despite the pleas from my wife to drink the wine earlier–she is not the most patient wine collector). The Domain du Mont Viré-Clessé was without a doubt the most puzzling wine of the week, as I defy even the more experienced wine aficionados to identify that wine blind. The 2014 Cline Mourvèdre Rosé showed that rosé wines can age well, too. It certainly has evolved and moved away from its bright, fruity self, but it was nonetheless delightful. All fine wines, all a pleasure to drink. The Wine of the Week, though, is the NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Sauvage, not only is it one of the better rosé champagnes on the market, not only is Régis Camus (the cellar master at Piper) one of the best in the business, but Piper-Heidsieck was once again the official champagne of the Academy Awards. While I normally do not succumb to such marketing, nor have I seen many of the nominated movies last night (since my kids arrived I only see animated or superhero movies in a theater), but both my wife enjoy watching the show and we like to know that at least we are drinking like movie stars.
What was your Wine of the Week?