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 Roberto Anselmi Garganega Capitel Foscarino Veneto IGT: Retail $25. I was shocked to see a grand total of one tasting note for this wine here on CT–yes, I know the distribution here in the US is not widespread, but still. Solid yellow in the glass with tropical fruit, pear, and even some petrol on the nose. The palate is quite tart, even half a decade out, with that classic Garganega fruit and viscosity. The finish just might be the defining element, however. Fruity, tart, spicy, and lengthy. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2009 Argyle Brut, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $25. 59% Pinot Noir, 41% Chardonnay. This is the very last bottle that I have of this wine that I purchased a half a dozen years or so ago now. They have all been fantastic and this is no exception: pear and peach with considerable mineral notes, this is one of the best domestic sparklers at this price point. Sad to see them go…. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2012 Benovia Chardonnay Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $35. The other day, not too long ago, I went looking for this wine and it was not there. That in and of itself is not all that unusual, but I was particularly disappointed since I was looking forward to drinking it and I had no recollection of having opened it. Fast forward to today and I decided that I would do a bit of inventory to see if this wine had been misplaced or miscataloged. Nope. It was right where I had cataloged it. So either I am losing my mind or it is already lost. The wine, though, is far from “lost” with a golden color, lemon curd and a slight buttery, oaky goodness (but slight) on the nose. The palate is a treat–not a big oaky Chard by any means, but nor is it a delicate, unoaked fruity flower. If you are of the “Anything But Chardonnay” crowd, this is likely not for you, which is fine since that means more for me. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2009 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Bourgeoise, Loire Valley, France: Retail $30. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. I bought three of these wines back in 2010? At the winery as we were passing through the region on our way down to the Dordogne Valley for a week. Oh my goodness. Pineapple and peach with off the charts minerality, this is a wine that sings from the moment the cork pops out of the bottle. The palate is simply gorgeous: subtle fruit (that tropical, tree fruit goodness), still bracing acidity, and a finish that is fruity, lengthy, and has off the charts minerality. This is amazing. Whoa. Excellent to Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
NV De Margerie Champagne Grand Cru Brut, France: Retail: $45. This is a wine that is only available, as far as I know, from Total Wine (& More!) in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I love Total Wine as they were one of the main reasons that I survived my 17+ years in Philadelphia where I was held captive by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). I made countless trips across the Ben Franklin Bridge and down I-95 to the New Jersey and Delaware, respectively, Total Wine locations. Every time I saw this champers from my favorite town in the region, Bouzy, but I would pass it over since they also carry one of my all-time favorites: Mailly Grand Cru (and it is usually $5-10 cheaper). Down here in Texas, though, they are around the same price and when they both went on sale for $50/2 bottles, I picked up a couple of these (since there were only a few bottles of Mailly remaining). Very nice, with excellent sparkle, a bit of yeastiness, and zingy citrus. The palate was equally delightful with all of the aforementioned attributes as well as acidity to beat the band. This will not replace my Mailly, but it is a wonderful substitute. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
NV Drappier Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut, France: Retail $45. 100% Pinot Noir. Perhaps darker in color than most champagnes, a brilliant pinkish-orange with intense strawberry and some yeast on the nose. Bright and bubbly on the palate. I had coveted this bottle for a while now at my local HEB and when the 20% off rosé came in July, I pounced. The palate is delightful if a bit tight. Decent fruit, quite tart acidity, and a lovely finish. I think this needs a bit of time, but still… Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: And this was easy. Sure, the Anselmi Capitel Foscarino was fabulous and reminded me of the times that I have spent with Lisa Anselmi. Both champagnes were lovely and caused me to reflect about two different aspects of the region of which I am particularly fond (namely the saignée method employed to make rosé in Champagne, and Bouzy, my favorite town there). Similarly, the Argyle Brut and the Benovia Chard both evoked pleasant memories (I had a killer connection at Argyle for cheap fizz and I remember visiting Benovia within a few weeks of when they first opened to the public). The 2009 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Bourgeoise, however, was on another plane altogether. On my only trip ever to the town, I bought this bottle and it did not disappoint in the slightest. I love when that happens.
What was your Wine of the Week?