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 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Willamette Valley: Retail $60. 100% Pinot Noir. I opened this as a foil to the 2002 Roger Belland Volnay-Santenots (below), and this competed well. It also served as proof that high quality wine can age under screw-cap. The fruit has faded, but still present with solid weight and more than ample acidity. This screw-top wine is still off the charts, crazy good. Find a good producer in the Willamette, in a decent vintage, and buy a ton. Or more. Open, and drink quickly, as this fades rather briskly after being in a bottle for over a decade. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2002 Domaine Roger Belland Volnay 1er Cru Santenots: Retail $95. 100% Pinot Noir. I bought a couple of bottles of this wine back in 2011 through a wine auction. I opened the first of the two tonight. Wow. Dark cherry, a touch of anise, and tobacco. This is really close to a whoa. From a solid vintage, this has really great fruit on the palate–slightly stewed, but amazing. the acidity is off the charts and this is why you hold on to solid Burgundies. Sadly, wines like these are now pretty much out of my price range as the cost of 1er Cru Burgundy has gone through the roof in the last decade. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2007 Marcel Deiss Engelgarten: Retail $50. Muscat, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc (this is but a guess as it was very difficult to determine the varietal breakdown, which Deiss does not make readily available). Seeing as I still have four of these left, I thought it was time to pop another. I was honestly worried by the rich golden color, but there are no signs of oxidation on the nose. Rather, there are aromas of yellow apple, lanolin, and a smidge of petrol. Initially, there is a healthy dose of acidity on the palate, followed by some faded fruit, the weighty lanolin, and a touch of sweetness. Very nice. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2005 Kilikanoon Cabernet Sauvignon Blocks Road: Retail $65. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. To me, there is no bigger enigma than Australian wine. I have attended tastings where I tasted some truly incredible wines and I have spoken to dozens of people who aver that there is so much more to Aussie wine than what is available to the masses here in the U.S. Thus, when I bought this online nearly a decade ago, I had no idea what to do, so I held onto it. It was buried deep in the recesses of both my cellar and my mind. A buddy of mine texted me the other day, telling me simply to “bring red to the pool.” I obliged. Black and red fruit on the nose, surprisingly fruity, with some black pepper. On the palate this is close to gangbusters. Great acid, great fruit and depth. Close to a Whoa. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
1976 Deinhard Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Auslese: Retail? I pulled this on a late night with my buddy Ed St. John of Pedroncelli Winery. He had asked for Riesling and I grabbed this, thinking it would be fun to try an older one. Lanolin, a bit of faded fruit, and a touch of petrol. Whoa. Dark amber color screams “old” but the palate is lively and vivacious. Sure, the fruit is gone, but there is acidity, oodles of sweetness, and length. Whoa. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Even though the Wine of the Week was pretty obvious this week, we still popped several outstanding bottles. I had no idea what to expect with the Kilikanoon Blocks Road Cab, but was very pleasantly surprised. I have been a fan of the single vineyard Argyle wines, and was happy that it fared well when compared side-by-side with the Volnay Santenots. While I was extremely happy with the latter wine, I was also saddened knowing that I simply would not be drinking many more wines from the fabled vineyard. The Deiss Englegarten was a fantastic wine as well, although perhaps a bit below what I had hoped. All fine wines, but when I put the Ah-so to the 1976 Deinhard Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Auslese. I mean, how many times a year does one get to open a 42-year-old wine? Even if had been corked, oxidized, or both, this would have been the Wine of the Week. As it turned out, it was completely fabulous and deserves the honors on merit as well.
What was your Wine of the Week?