What We Have Been Drinking—12/23/2019

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). 

2000 Cims de Porrera Priorat Classic, Spain: Retail $40. 100% Carignan. The last bottle I tried of this wine was over four years ago, so I figured it was time to pop the other. Slightly oxidized and a bit musty, but still nice fruit, slightly dusty, but altogether fantastic. Sure, it’s an older wine with a few issues, but those issues pale in comparison to its majesty. Lovely. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

2005 Bodegas Victoria Cariñena Longus, Spain: Retail $50. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 30% Syrah? This was another wine that I have had for a while; I purchased it from Last Bottle back in 2012. Clearly, I need to do a better job at cellar management. A surprisingly fruity elixir pours from this way too heavy bottle, with notes of anise, blackberry, and some red flower. I wrote seven years ago that this was a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah, but I can not confirm that today. Some sites say it is Carignan, others claim Garnacha. What is it? I really have no idea, but given the flavor profile, I am leaning toward Grenache. Why? Simply put, “Garnacha” is a heckuva a lot more fun to say than “Merlot.” Excellent. 90-92 Points.

2008 DiStefano Syrah R, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $36. My experience with Washington wines is somewhat limited and I need to make a concerted effort to change that this coming year. I visited Walla Walla and Red Mountain twice each in the last year and both regions are compelling. This wine hails from the larger “Columbia Valley” appellation, which includes both Red Mountain and Walla Walla. Yeah, there is a lot to learn about Washington. One thing I know? Syrah thrives in many regions in the state as is exhibited here: dark fruit, vanilla, a touch of oak. Yum. The palate is full of both acidity and tannin suggesting this wine has a ways to go even eleven years out, but it is oh so delectable now. Excellent. 91-93 Points.    

2012 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Old Vine Sherman Family Vineyards, Lodi, CA: Retail $26. I am not entirely sure how I came across these bottles, but I am ecstatic that I did: dark in the glass with dark fruit, a touch of heat, and eucalyptus on the nose. The palate is a bit hot (ABV 14.8%), but delectable. Whoa-worthy even. Fruity, balanced, great acidity. A bit of tannic structure to work out, but holy cow, is this good. Like, the best looking girl in your class just asked you to the prom type-of-good. A last note: What the heck with the B.A.B., Ryan? You can do better. Excellent. 90-92 Points. 

NV Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut, France: Retail $75. 58% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir (including 8% red wine). Another bottle that I have had for a while so it is not surprising that it is decidedly more orange than pink (which is what happens as rosé wines age). Plenty of honeyed strawberries and brioche-like notes on the nose. A delicate bubble with plenty of tartness and a lengthy finish. Excellent to Outstanding. 92-94 Points. 

Former Gosset marketing director Philippe Manfredi with the Gosset Grand Rosé several years ago.

WINE OF THE WEEK: I dug a bit deep into the cellar this week for wines that had a bit of age on them and I was glad that I did (although my wife is not always as interested). All the wines easily fell into the “Excellent” category, making the choice of the Wine of the Week a bit more challenging. I was going to opt for the Fields Family Zin, but I really can’t bring myself to choose a wine that is in such a ridiculous bottle. When are wineries going to stop using those behemoths? They serve no purpose whatsoever. Instead, I have chosen the Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut as this week’s top wine. It is one of my favorite wines from one of my favorite houses in Champagne and a wine we need to drink more often.

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 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Champagne, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Syrah, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

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