What We Have Been Drinking—4/1/2019

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 Spirithouse, Dundee Hills, OR: Retail $55. A tad tired on the nose but certainly not off-putting with some red berry fruit and earth. The palate is surprisingly vibrant with lovely roasted fruit, a healthy shot of tartness, and even some tannins on the back-end. This still has a few years of heavenly goodness ahead of it. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

NV Charles de Cazanove Champagne Vieille France: Retail: $40. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. Purchased at Costco, this has a funky shaped bottle that is impossible to find a place for in the cellar. Solid citrus aromas with the characteristic yeastiness on the nose. Nice acidity and decent fruit on the palate. This is not a paradigm shifter. It’s not even a significant attitude adjuster. But it is a Taco Tuesday perfect pairing kinda wine. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

NV Bernard Ledru Champagne Premier Cru Tradition Brut: Retail $45. 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay. It was not until I opened this bottle that I realized that I have had these bottles for a bit of time. Sure, the color is a bit golden, and the nose is slightly oxidized, but the biggest clue was the cork: it never really expanded after extraction, which indicates that it has been in there for a while. Still, it says Bouzy on the label which means it was made with some of the best Pinot Noir in Champagne. A bit of citrus and plenty of yeastiness on the palate, with a small and rather faint sparkle, but boy, it’s pretty tasty. A Pinot dominated wine, with plenty of back bone and more than a touch of verve. Yum. Excellent. 90-92 Points.

2012 Melville Pinot Noir Estate Verna’s, Santa Barbara County, CA: Retail $35. I have been a fan of Melville since my first visit to Sta Rita Hills however many years ago. On that “maiden voyage” I received a hot tip to visit the winery where I was immediately impressed by both the quality and value. This is the last bottle of Melville I have in the cellar, so I might need to go and find more post-haste. This wine was clearly as good as I remember with good fruit, a bit of earth, and plenty of memories. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.

NV Bernard Remy Champagne Grand Cru: Retail $50. 100% Chardonnay. When I try to decide what bottle of bubbles I want to drink on any given night, I usually start with the tasting window provided by the thousands of users on Cellar Tracker. Quickly, though, I realize that providing a drinking window for a Non-Vintage wine is pretty asinine since, well, one has no idea when the bottle was purchased (and thus gives some indication of age). Which leads into my second determinant: when I bought the wine. Since I bought this back in 2015 from Last Bottle, and given that it is 100% Chardonnay (I guess I like a little more age on my Blanc de Blancs than perhaps the average bubble imbiber), I figured it was time to pop another bottle of a wine that had made the 1,500 mile trek from my Philadelphia basement to my Houston cellar (which is a glorified closet). Still bright and “brioche-y” in the glass (albeit with a decided golden tinge), this is simply fantastic, particularly with the added age. Tart, but rich, delicate yet bold, delicious and deep, this is gangbusters. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was a tough one to choose a Wine of the Week (WotW) since I tasted many “Excellent” wines, but none reached the level of “Outstanding.” As per our normal, we had a few bottles of bubbles this week, all potentially WotW worthy. There were also two bottles of Pinot, from two of my favorite producers and regions, both evoking memories. In the end, though I opted for the 2006 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse, Dundee Hills, OR for two reasons. First, it was the last bottle of a case of the wine that I had purchased nearly a decade ago, and second, it was the only bottle of which I had a halfway decent photo (albeit from the wrong vintage). Proving once again that some of decisions come down to convenience.

What was your Wine of the Week?

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What We Have Been Drinking—4/1/2019

  1. Are those Spirithouse Pinots sealed with a screwcap?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello again I would like to nominate you for the Liebster Award( a.k.a.mystery Bloggers Award) I hope it brings you even more wine lovers…info below…Thanks Therese
    So, What Is The Mystery Blogger Award?

    “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

    – Okoto Enigma

    ____________________________________________________

    Rules:

    Put the award logo/image on your blog
    List the rules.
    Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
    Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
    Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
    You have to nominate 3 people
    Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
    Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny questions.Three Things You Might Not Know About Me

    As a recipient of the Mystery Blogger Reward, I am compelled to reveal 3 secrets.
    1. I have always wanted to learn how to play an accordion…
    2. My daughter’s cat’s name is Basil.
    3. My house was built in 1887.
    Now I must answer five questions….placed before me…

    What inspired you to start blogging?
    Originally it was about coffee. I would find a quote..stop the movie ..draw out the moment and then blog about the movie or actors and anything I was thinking about at the moment. Sometimes I did poetry.. The second half of my blog is called Dictionary Poetry..From a very large dictionary..I found it in my Dad’s Condo library, I told him I was bringing it home. I’m picking out words in the A’s still…since November…

    If you were given a chance to be a famous person in the ’80s who will you chose? And why?
    I think I would like to Cher…Singing and dancing on stage with all those gorgeous outfits on.

    Do you ever go outside without your phone?
    Of course..when I’m in the garden..I’m sometimes afraid I’ll leave it outside accidentally…

    What’s your favorite animal?
    It’s definitely not a turkey…Or a worm…Maybe a dolphin…or otter…strangely both water animals….

    Do you read books? If so, what kind?
    I love to read books..my personal motto is …When stressed ..go to the library..Having books around me give me comfort. I love checking out cookbooks…and I love reading murder mysteries…
    Thank-you Jessica Larson…for nominating me….Here’s her blog again….
    https://jessicaelarsen.com/mysterybloggeraward/

    The three bloggers I’m nominating for the Mystery Blogger Award are :
    1. The Drunkencyclist.com or Drunkencyclist.wordpress.com/ He’s been blogging for 7 years ..One time I asked him which wine to pair with my designated food for my story line..and he told me..I love that kind of energy.
    2. Cheesesellerswife.wordpress.com/ She told me once that she and her mom would read the dictionary like a book..Of course I loved this comment.
    3. Michael Atkins at mpatravels.wordpress.com/ I always get the sensation like the scene is right before my eyes…All my senses are on high alert…I can feel a slight breeze …hear people talking…setting up their shops..smell food cooking….

    Five questions…to be answered…by all…
    1. Favorite kind of food and why?
    2. If you had to choose which mode of travel you could use…which would it be?
    Camel? Donkey or Elephant? And why?
    3. Do you speak more than one language ? And what are they?
    4. If you were a Billionaire Philanthropist…where would you put your money to make a difference in the world?
    5. My dad once ate a chocolate covered ant and grasshopper…Can you top that? And did you enjoy eating them and think I have to do that again or never!

    Good Luck!

    Like

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