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).
2002 Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes: Retail $120. 100% Pinot Noir. After the first two bottles of this were stellar, the last two, while still excellent, were a decided step down. I hope I remember that I need to get to the last two bottles sooner rather than later. A bit musty on the nose with blackberry fruit and minerality. On the palate elegant and refined with stewed blackberry and incredible acidity. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2004 Cosentino Winery The Poet, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $65. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot. One of the problems (if you can call it that) with having too much wine? You tend to forget what you drink. That was the case here, as I drank two bottles of this wine in rapid succession–and it is clear I could have waited at least a bit between the two. Lovely nose of ripe blackberry with hints of vanilla and green pepper. Mmmm. The palate is perhaps even better. Wonderful. Still quite fruity with integrated tannins and a whole bunch of goodness. Whoa. Excellent to Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2010 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Balcombe Vineyard Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon: Retail: $45. Patty Green died a year and a half ago, and it still seems a bit surreal. I only met her on a couple of occasions, but each time I drink one of her wines, I think of her bubbly personality, her joy for life, and her hearty laugh. This wine, in some ways, reflects her: A solid Willamette wine with good fruit, impressive acidity, and a solid level of intrigue. I have a few bottles to go, and I look forward to thinking about Patty with every one. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
NV J.P. Secondé Champagne Blanc de Blancs: Retail $45. 100% Chardonnay. I normally shy away from Blanc de Blancs since, in my opinion, they lack the backbone that Pinot Noir provides. Nonetheless, this wine was a part of a case that I bought online, so I thought I would give this a twirl on our family pizza night. A bit golden in the glass with a lovely nose of lemon zest and lightly toasted baguette. The palate starts off tart and vibrant, followed by rich fruit, and a bit of yeast. A solid effort, but perhaps a bit too much on the dosage as it comes off too sweet. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2016 Rodney Strong Upshot, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $30. 37% Zinfandel, 30% Malbec, 27% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Riesling. A relatively new addition to the Sonoma County stalwart, who has been steadily introducing more red blends to its healthy lineup. Red and black berry fruit dominate the nose of this screw cap wine. Quite fruity on the palate as well with those same berries, a healthy shot of acid, and a lingering finish. Bravo. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Two weeks in a row where choosing the Wine of the Week was not much of a challenge. Sure, the Burguet Gevrey-Chambertain was great and reminded me that Burgundy is my true love when it comes to still wines (Champagne retains the most precious spot in my pantheon of “favorites” though), and the Upshot was very nice. The J.P. Secondé was a decided disappointment, though. Sure, it was “fine” but when I bought a case of the wine, I was honestly hoping for more. The Patty Green Balcombe Pinot Noir did get serious consideration, however, since Patty is no longer with us, and I have always enjoyed her wines. The “winner” though, this go around is the 2004 Cosentino Winery The Poet, Napa Valley. I have mentioned at least a few times in this spot that Cosentino was my gateway wine to the Napa Valley (and American wines in general)—I attended a wine dinner in the Bay Area with a former, well, girlfriend, and I was hooked. Mitch Cosentino is no longer at the helm of his eponymous winery, which has suffered as a result. This was my last of the ’04 vintage, which only made its selection as WotW that much easier (and why the photo is of a ’05).
What was your Wine of the Week?