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).
2008 Cobb Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann, Sonoma Coast: Retail $80. 100% Pinot Noir. Honestly? I have been avoiding this wine. I bought three of them from Wines Til Sold Out for $50 a pop mostly since I have great respect for the winemaker/owner Ross Cobb, who has made wine for Williams Selyem, Flowers, and Hirsch, among others. The first bottle I tried was, well, less than inspiring (and certainly over-priced). While this bottle falls a bit short of “mind-blowing,” it is a decided improvement over the first bottle. Great dark cherry, anise, black pepper, and a touch of eucalyptus are all present on the nose. On the palate, subtle but good fruit, very nice acidity, depth (particularly on the mid-palate), and a lengthy finish. Very nice. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Viña Cono Sur Brut, Bío-Bío Valley, Chile: Retail: $15. 95% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir. I was going through my list here on Cellar Tracker, looking for some wines that I could/should open to thin out the herd a bit. Well, I received this as a sample (I was sent two bottles of this in case the first was bad, but it wasn’t) and it was time to pop. Great citrus, considerable yeast, and tartness, this is a bright, youthful, delightful quaff that punches well above its weight. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
NV Montes Sparkling Angel Brut: Retail $20. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. I brought this back from the winery on my trip there a couple of years ago and decided that it was probably time to pop this puppy. Plenty of sparkle in the slightly golden-straw yellow wine with citrus notes and a touch of yeast on the nose. The palate is quite tart and has oodles of lemon-lime, a bit of yeast, and a fairly lengthy finish. For their first foray into sparkling, this is a solid effort. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2015 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé: Retail $25. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle. I found this in my cellar, and was rather excited that it was a 2015. While most think that rosé needs to be consumed upon release, this bottle has a couple of years on it and I was eager to see how this wine was holding up. Quite pale with a decided orange tinge with subtle strawberry and cherry fruit on the nose. Still some fruit and plenty of tartness on the palate with great balance and a solid finish. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2013 Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker: Retail $18. 47% Pinot Gris, 27% Gewürztraminer, 25% Riesling, and 1% Muscat. A few years ago, I was up in the Anderson Valley visiting another winery, and I had to stop by Navarro. I had heard so much about the winery and countless people had insisted upon a visit. So I did. And I was impressed. So impressed, that I did something I rarely do these days: I bought a few bottles. This caught my fancy because of the name, Edelzwicker, which is a traditional blend in Alsace, where I studied in college. As for the wine? Fantastic. A bit of color, white flowers, some tropical notes, a dash of minerality, and a hint of sweetness. In all, it was a pleasant throwback to my days in Alsace. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: After a fairly strong slate of wines last week, this wine was a bit more pedestrian. Not that this was a bad week, quite the contrary. The two South American sparkling wines were still fresh and delightful. The Navarro Edelzwicker was still fresh as well and served as a pleasant memory of what and where my life was a few decades ago. The Miraval rosé, also with a few years on it, was fantastic. This week, though, I decided to opt for the 2008 Cobb Pinot Noir Emmaline Ann as this week’s Wine of the Week. While it might not quite live up to its $80 retail tariff (or even the $50 I paid), it is a solid Sonoma Coast Pinot and worthy of the top honor this month.
What was your Wine of the Week?