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).
2003 Cosentino Winery M. Coz Meritage Red, Napa Valley CA: Retail $120. 52% of this wine comes from the “Secret Clone” Cabernet Sauvignon, which Mitch Cosentino has been using for a couple of decades. My last bottle of this vintage, with only a couple of 2000 M. Coz left. Whoa. Fruity, yet restrained nose of blackberry and anise, lovely. Great fruit, oodles of body, loads of character. This might just be the best wine I have tried by Mr. M. Cosentino, but I might need to verify the veracity of that statement. Excellent. 93-95 Points.
2004 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni Grand Cru, Burgundy, France: Retail $150. 100% Pinot Noir. Back in 2006, I bought four bottles of this wine in a small wine shop in Chassagne. Wines from the much-heralded 2005 were about to be released and the shop had reduced prices on their 2004s. This is the first that I have opened and holy cow. Gorgeous nose of stewed plum, dried cherry, earth, and just a hint of barnyard. Whoa. The palate is wonderfully balanced between fruit, acidity, earthiness, and integrated tannins. Another Whoa. Perhaps the most amazing aspect, though, is the finish. The fruit and tartness linger on the tongue for several minutes. Whoa. Outstanding. 95-97 Points.
2009 Maria & Manfred Hick Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Ried Stiegelstall, Wachau, Austria: Retail $20. I bought a couple of bottles of this wine back in 2011 when my wife and I were in Salzburg. We had tried the wine at a tiny restaurant called Köchelverzeichnis, located in the Steingasse. The restaurant seats maybe 15 people, has one item on the menu (which changes daily) and has one employee, Andrea Hick, the cousin of this wine’s maker. We loved the wine, so bought a few bottles off of Andrea on our way out of town. As I pour the deep golden liquid, I recall the wonderful meals (I went there three times) I had at the restaurant I have no hope of ever pronouncing. The wine, even a decade out, is fantastic: slight petrol and luscious peach on the nose, plenty of weight and fruit on the palate. Incredible. Excellent. 92-94 Points.
NV Champagne Pierre Legras Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, France: Retail $60. 100% Chardonnay. I bought a case of this when I lived in Philadelphia–a Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc for under $25? Normally, this would go for $50 or more, but it was one of the quirky aspects to the PLCB–they would get incredible deals for some wines, but charge 10-20% more for almost every other wine. Intense yeastiness and citrus on the nose with even a bit of freshly popped corn. I bought this a few years ago and there is a slight golden tint to it, with a fine bubble. The palate is toasty and tart with some minerality and a lengthy finish. I am not a huge fan typically of the BdB style, but this is a particularly tasty rendition. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Eroica, Columbia Valley, WA: Retail $20. It is really difficult to believe that it has been the better part of five years since I have tried this wine. Today, it is a bit darker, but that is really the only significant difference. Still plenty of petrol, yellow apple, and peach on the nose with a sweet (although far from unctuous), fruity, tart palate. Delightful. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2004 Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot La Cardeuse Rouge, Burgundy, France: Retail$ 65. 100% Pinot Noir. Surprisingly dark in the glass with dark cherry, cassis, and blueberry. On the palate, still quite tart with plenty of fruit left. Earth, minerality, and just a hint of tannin buoy the fruit. Chassagne is of course known for its world-class whites, but the reds from the region are perhaps the best bargains (if such a word can be applied to Burgundy) in the Côte de Beaune. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: My wife and I do not argue all that much, but when we do , it is usually centered around either the kids or our schedules. Pretty straight-forward rather mundane stuff. There is one other arena that can cause some strife: the aging of wine. I have always contended that the most the most difficult aspect of a wine to buy is age–most wineries and retailers do not want to hang on to wines any longer than necessary and so many are sold far too soon, in my opinion. So when I popped the 2004 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni Grand Cru, I knew it was going to be the Wine of the Week even before I tasted it for it had such an incredible nose. The taste merely confirmed my resolve. Of course, when asked what she thought of the wine, my wife said she liked it, but immediately added: “What would it have been like five years ago?”
What was your Wine of the Week?