`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 32 Winds Pinot Noir: Retail $60. My penultimate bottle of this wine, which is on par with the others–beautiful nose of boysenberry pie, vanilla, and spice. The palate is even more tantalizing with luscious, yet restrained fruit, plenty of depth, a nice tartness on the mid palate, and a lengthy finish. I bought this wine once I discovered that the winemaker was Ehren Jordan, owner of Failla Wines and former winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars. Smart move. A dozen years out and this could easily be mistaken for a current release. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Argyle Pinot Noir Cowhouse Dundee Hills, Oregon: Retail $65. Nearly a decade out and this wine is strolling along quite nicely with slightly stewed blackberry and cherry fruit, freshly ground coffee, and hints of sage. The palate is equally delightful with balanced fruit, acidity, and silky tannins. The Argyle single vineyard Pinots always deliver and age quite well. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2006 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley: Retail $50. Somewhat unbelievably, the last bottle I had of this wine was five years ago. At the time I wrote: “Great fruit and acidity, all in balance. A hint of oak, but by no means is this a big, boisterous, Cali chard. One of the better Chards I have had in a while.” All of that still holds, but the oak is much more prominent and it is certainly a “bigger” style of Chard. On the nose, the fruit has receded and the oak characteristics are much more prominent: vanilla, coffee grounds, toasted marshmallow. There is some lemon curd and an herbal note that I can’t quite place. On the palate? Holy cow. I gave some to my wife who has a much better palate than I, and she guessed the variety and region (more or less), but was waaaay off on the vintage (she offered 2014). Make no mistake, this is a rich, full-bodied Chard. Big, bold, but oh so delicious. I wish I had another 1/2 dozen more. Whoa. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
NV Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut: Retail $75. 58% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir. Gosset is perhaps my singular favorite champagne producer and that is based on only two wines: the Grande Réserve and this wine, the Grand Rosé. This particular bottle I bought for close to a song: $38 from the PLCB. I brought this wine to Texas when we moved down here nearly two years ago. I was worried that the wines would not weather the journey well, but upon opening this bottle, I was no longer fearful. To call this pink might be a stretch–this is much more of a brilliant orange with a pink tinge. On the nose: slightly oxidized tart cherry with brioche and heavenly goodness. Tart, vivacious, seductive. Whoa. Still fruity, but quite tart, this exudes rhubarb, strawberry, and slightly under-ripe Bing Cherry. Whoa. Still going strong and no signs of stopping. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2009 Lemelson Vineyards Pinot Noir Thea’s Selection Willamette Valley, Oregon: Retail $45. I still have a few bottles of this wine in the cellar and I decided that it was the time to open another. The last was tasty, earthy, fantastic. Well, this bottle is…precisely that. Good fruit, nice acidity, ample earthiness to provide intrigue. Wonderful. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Well, looking back over the week, we popped several outstanding bottles this week, which revealed my wine predilections: I could be happy drinking only champagne and its individual components, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The three Pinots were all fantastic and certainly worthy of Wine of the Week, and when I tasted the Gosset Grand Rosé, I immediately thought that it would end up with the weekly “honor.” I bought the bottle a few years ago and it has already developed some of the wonderful older champagne characteristics. We were celebrating Mother’s Day and the wine was phenomenal. Once I started pulling the tasting notes together, however, I realized that the Wine of the Week had to be the 2006 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley. As I have noted before, I have met Dan Goldfield on a few occasions and Dan’s wines seem to match his personality: big, boisterous, and great to be around. I know there are those out there that do not like the use of oak, particularly with Chardonnay, but I feel when it is done so artfully and precisely, it results in a remarkable wine.
What was your Wine of the Week?