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).
2011 Amelle Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $45. Well, this might be a tough tasting note to write, don’t get me wrong, the wine is phenomenal: rich blackberry and plum fruit, with notes of sage, earth, and eucalyptus. Rich and fruity–certainly New World in orientation, but a depth that is not always associated with Pinot from the U.S. In a word? Joyous. Not a wine to have with escargot, Epoisses, or even salmon (although I might be wrong there), but it is one to pop when binge watching a guilty pleasure on a Saturday night. Why was that difficult? The talented winemaker, Eric Buffington, called it quits a few years ago and I bought this wine on the cheap and I feel incredibly guilty about it. Excellent. 92-94 Points.
2003 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $125. I last popped a bottle of this wine a couple of years ago, and I was impressed. Today? Once again, whoa. My last post is still à propos: “Blackberry, dried pine needles, tobacco, and ripe plum. Wowza. I have written endlessly about my fondness for the “original” iteration of Cosentino Winery (and my utter disdain for the current) and this is the perfect example why: finesse, strength, verve, sensuality. All in there. Bravo Mitch. Whoa.” Excellent to Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2013 Joseph Mellot Sancerre Domaine des Emois, Loire Valley, France: Retail: $30. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. There are few still wines that get me as excited to open as a Sancerre—for me the home of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Quite interesting with guava on the nose and palate, followed by citrus and, yes, a bit of verve. A bit of color in the glass with that guava and a bit of sage. The palate is luscious and full with oodles of fruit and the requisite amount of acidity. This is close to a whoa. Really close. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
NV J.P. Secondé Champagne Grand Cru JPS: Retail $65. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. I bought a case of champagne from this grower last year–three of each of four different wines. The first three were good, but short of memorable as they all shared a common denominator: a bit too sweet. This wine is decidedly better with yeast, citrus, a good sparkle, and a splash of verve. Yet? Yes, a touch sweet. Don’t get me wrong, this is a keeper, but it would be better, even so much better, with 2-3 fewer grams of sugar (it’s indicated “8-10 grams/liter). Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.
2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Eroica, Columbia Valley, Washington: Retail $22. It was mother’s day and I was making dinner for my wife (and two kids) and her mom (and father) who live a mere block away. Don’t gert me wrong, they are wonderful! (But they live a mere block away.) My mother-in-law really loves wine with a hint of sweetness, so this was an (almost) obvious choice: a decade out but still bright citrus and more than a splash of petrol on the nose. The palate is surprisingly tart (lemon-lime) and deep (great acidity). In the end? This wine proved that Loosen has it in spades and that my in-laws are close. A block away close. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Tis week, we had a few really nice bottles. Like I wrote in the note, I get a little giddy every time that I open a Sancerre, and the Mellot, while not quite measuring up to some of the wines that I have tried from the region, certainly merited my exuberance. Similarly, I was pleased with the Secondé champagne, albeit a bit perplexed as to why they felt the need to add as much sugar as they did. Then there were the “best” two wines of the week, the Amelle Pratt Pinot and the M. Coz Meritage, which in addition to being stellar wines, each has a special place in my evolution as a wine drinker. But the Wine of the Week is not necessarily the “best” wine that we consumed. Such is the case this week. The 2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Eroica is certainly a good, even excellent wine, but not one that I would choose to have with my “last meal.” It is a wine, though, that my mother-in-law really enjoyed, and keeping her happy is important since they live rather close. A block away kinda close.
What was your Wine of the Week?