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).
This past week I was out in Paso Robles for a few days tasting through the wines of many fantastic producers. Nonetheless, I was able to also pull a few corks at home.
2009 Failla Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Coast: Retail $45. We have been big fans of Failla for a long time, and have visited the winery numerous times, leaving with a couple of bottles (at least) with every stop. I was a bit worried about this Chard, however, given the age of the wine, but those concerns were proved unfounded. Golden color, but magnificent nose of lemon curd and a touch of oak. On the palate, just what I would expect from an Ehren Jordan Chard: luscious flavors and considerable depth. OK, this gets a Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2005 Louis Jadot Domaine du Duc de Magenta Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Monopole Clos de la Garenne: Retail $85. 100% Chardonnay. I pulled this as part of my wife’s 50th birthday extravaganza and I could not have been happier: yellow with a golden tinge, classic white Burgundy all around with delicate citrus and subtle oak. The palate is shy, but eventually wakes to good fruit and plenty of verve. This is a wonderful wine, and gives me hope that the other older white Burgundies I have been holding might not be oxidized. Might. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
NV Champagne Pierre Legras Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs: Retail $60. 100% Chardonnay. I bought a case of this wine when I lived in Philadelphia–a Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc for under $25? Normally, this would go for $50 or more, but it was one of the quirky aspects to the PLCB–they would get incredible deals for some wines, but charge 10-20% more for almost every other wine. A slight golden tint, with a fine bubble, intense yeastiness, and citrus on the nose with even a bit of freshly popped corn. I bought this a few years ago and there is . The palate is toasty and tart with some minerality and a lengthy finish. I am not a huge fan typically of the BdB style, but this is a particularly tasty rendition. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
NV Salmon Champagne Montgolfière: Retail: $45. 50% Meunier, 25% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir. I got these a little less than a year ago from LastBottle.com for $25, and the first few bottles I tried right after receiving them were very good. Not great, but certainly good. Well, the extra time for this champers has served it well: brioche bookends this citrus-dominate nose that is splashed with a bit of minerality and verve. Yes, verve. The palate is straight-up deliciousness: the lemon rind is up front, but followed by that boulangerie-style of baked goodness, with a healthy, lengthy finish. Yeah. This is delicious. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne: Retail $45. 50 to 55% Pinot Noir, 15 to 20% Pinot Meunier and 28 to 33% Chardonnay. I drink a ton of Veuve. Mainly because I get it cheap. If I were paying $40 (or more) a bottle, I would likely look elsewhere. But I don’t. I pay about half that (don’t ask, because I don’t either). And it’s grand. It is not mind-blowing, but it is a solid champagne and we always have a bottle ready just in case the in-laws drop by (which is a frequent occurrence seeing as they now live just around the corner). Nice aromas, good flavors, a solid quaff all around. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was an extension of the last as we were still in a celebratory mode for my wife’s “significant” birthday. For her, that means chardonnay and plenty of bubbles. All three champagnes were simultaneously tasty and familiar as we have had several bottles of each over the course of the last couple of years. All worthy of a Wine of the Week honor, but not this go around. The 2009 Failla Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Coast was arguably the “best” wine that we has all week, but that is not necessarily the sole criteria for WotW honors. Sometimes the “winner” is chosen for what it represents (e.g., a pleasant memory), or a momentous occasion (e.g., a memorable year). This week though, the 2005 Louis Jadot Domaine du Duc de Magenta Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Monopole Clos de la Garenne is the Wine of the Week for what it was not. I have had a slew of older white Burgundies that were prematurely oxidized, rendering both the wine undrinkable and the owner of the bottle inconsolable. In fact, it has happened so frequently that I had almost given up on the remaining bottles in my cellar. I pulled this on a whim and could not have been happier.
What was your Wine of the Week?