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).
2014 Domaine Loubejac Chardonnay: Retail $9. I got a couple of bottles of this as samples a while ago. I tasted one right away and wrote about it on the blog (https://thedrunkencyclist.com/2015/10/15/ill-take-nw-wine-company-chardonnay-any-day/). Slightly more golden in these intervening years, and my previous comments remain relevant, with only slight alterations. The fruit has subsided a bit, leaving more floral and lanolin notes. The palate remains quite tart, and that acidity carries through to the finish. This has held up quite well over the past half-decade, proving that, at this price point, it would be hard to fare much better. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2014 Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc Bennett Valley: Retail $30. When I see a nearly five-year-old Sauvignon Blanc, I get worried. Really worried. Unless, of course, it says “Sancerre” on the bottle. With this bottle, I might have to expand that universe just a tad. This is delightful. Tropical and flinty on the nose with the slightest hint of that characteristic “cat pee.” The palate is still surprisingly fruity with great tartness and wet rock. Wow, this is good. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2013 Navarro Vineyards Gewürztraminer: Retail: $15. I have been on a bit of a purge of the cellar recently. With a Houston Summer upon us and a wavering trust in my cellar cooling system, I have decided to start blowing through some wine. When I grabbed this, as another recent reviewer here on CT opined, I also thought: “Well this is certainly past.” Au contraire! Faded but still expressive fruit, a hint of sweetness, great floral aspects characteristic of the variety, and a wonderful tartness. Wunderbar! Excellent. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
NV Château La Serre Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Colsenta: Retail $25. I drink a ton of bubbles, but not much Prosecco. I became frustrated with the either overly nutty or overly sweet (or both) style that characterizes most of the wine. On the rare occasion I do pop a bottle of the most widely consumed Italian sparkler, I make sure that it adorns the “DOCG” designation (indicating higher quality than the DOC wines), like this one. Fruity and fresh with a delicate sparkle, it is a bit too sweet by my estimation, but we can’t all be perfect. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week we had several very nice wines, but none that made me want to stand on my head and bark like a chicken. OK, that never really happens, but I am sure you know what I mean (maybe not–I’ve never been able to stand on my head). The Loubejac Chardonnay was about what I had expected: a solid wine, particularly for the price. The Château la Serre Prosecco was also nice, but I have certainly had better from the region (Nino Franco comes to mind). The other two wines were complete surprises (partially because I had all but forgotten about their existence) since I figured I had waited far too long to pull their corks. I had picked up the Navarro Gewürztraminer at the winery several years ago when I had stopped on my way to Roederer Estate. I remember being impressed by all the wines, but particularly the Alsatian varieties. This Gewürz seems to have aged just as well as its French counterparts. The Wine of the Week, though, was another that I had picked up at a stop at the winery. As I mentioned in the note above, I am usually not a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, but this is not a usual Sauvignon. Even though the price of the 2014 Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc Bennett Valley is a bit higher than the average New World Sauvignon Blanc, there is little doubt in my mind that it is worth it, and worthy of Wine of the Week honors.
What was your Wine of the Week?