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).
2015 Roberto Anselmi Bianco San Vincenzo Veneto IGT: Retail: $20. 70% Garganega and 30% Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Roberto Anselmi is one of the best producers of Garganega (he eschews the Soave appellation as he feels that the regulations are not stringent enough) and considered a maverick in the Veneto. This is his largest production wine and simply a delight. Rich golden color with plenty of tropical fruit, the palate is much the same with great tartness and a touch of minerality. Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
NV Nicolas Maillart Champagne Premier Cru Brut Platine: Retail $50. 66% Pinot Noir, 11% Pinot Meunier, 23% Chardonnay. The first bottle of this was just “OK” so we sold a bunch of it to friends (does that make me a jack-donkey?). This bottle, though? Pretty close to gangbusters: lemon curd, vanilla wafer, and a yeasty minerality characterize the nose. The palate is much of the same, with a tart lemon kefir with plenty of sparkle and verve. Yum. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2011 Nicolas Potel Pouilly-Fuissé: Retail $19. 100% Chardonnay. It seems as though this wine is growing on me. The first bottle was fun and a bit flirty, the second more mundane and average. This third had a bit more fruit, surprisingly, but it remained a bit thin on the mid-palate before a slightly above average finish. I guess this is the third girl you ask to the prom: you really had no chance with the first as she was way out of your league. The Second? You went a little more hedonistic, but was glad it did not work out since you had no idea what you were doing. This one though? While you know this is not the one of your dreams, it will easily occupy you at a party where you take the time to get to know one another and wonder if there is a future, while the other potential options are out of the question. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
NV Jacquart Champagne Brut Mosaïque Rosé: Retail $58. 45% Pinot Noir including 18% red wine, 34% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Meunier. I picked up a couple bottles of this wine at our local grocery store, and what seems to be a common refrain these days: I wish I had bought more. Fairly dark, just short of crimson with rich strawberry creme, a bit of cherry, and brioche–incredibly rich. The palate is equally enticing with all that red berry fruit (along with rhubarb), an intense tartness, and a fine sparkle. Bravo! Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2015 Nino Franco Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Rive di San Floriano: Retail $30. 100% Glera. I have stated many times that I am a huge fan of Nino Franco and the proprietors Primo and Silvia Franco. So I am biased. Having said that, this has to be considered one of the better Prossecos on the market, a step up in quality from the already stellar Rustico, this wine has many similar characteristics: great citrus fruit, an active sparkle, just a hint of sweetness, and a brilliant acidity. It also causes me to reflect on the time that I have spent with the Francos over the years and underscores the desire to see them sooner rather than later. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé: Retail $60. 50 to 55% Pinot Noir, 15 to 20% Pinot Meunier, and 28 to 33% Chardonnay. Brilliant pinkish orange with wonderful strawberry fruit and hints of yeastiness. The palate has wonderful fruit–really one of the fruitiest champagnes I have tasted in a while. Yes, the good ole Veuve takes a ton of heat, but not all of it is deserved. This is Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2007 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Häuserer: Retail $60. I bought this several years ago from the PLCB (the state-run liquor store in Pennsylvania) before I moved away from the Commonwealth. I bought six bottles, which have a “drink by” date of 2021 on Cellar Tracker. That might be conservative as this is gangbusters and still just a pup. Decided lemon and petrol on the nose of the golden elixir with plenty of fruit and acidity on the palate. This is one of the more profound Rieslings I have had, though, with incredible depth and an extremely lengthy finish. Whoa. And Whoa again. Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: An easy week picking the top wine that we consumed this past week (these are the wines we consumed, actually, on or around Christmas if you are scoring at home—or even if you’re alone). Yes, the champagnes were lovely, and life is always better when there is a little sparkle in it, but they were far from world-beaters. The Anselmi San Vincenzo and the Nino Franco San Floriano were both tasty and even better, evoked the time I have spent with the respective winemakers’ daughters (oh, get your mind out of the gutter, I mean it in a strictly professional way), both lovely people. No, this week, I went “back home” to Alsace where I studied a million years ago and opened the 2007 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Häuserer, this week’s Wine of the Week. If you have never tried any of Olivier Humbrecht’s top wines, you owe it to yourself to try a bottle. But I warn you: it may alter your perception of reality.
What was your Wine of the Week?