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 Mas de l’Abundància Montsant, Spain: Retail $65. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Garnacha Negra, 20% Carineña. Whoa. I bought four bottles of this wine from the PLCB back in 2008 and this is the second bottle we have popped. I can’t find any tasting note for the first bottle, which is a shame since this is gangbusters. Fruity (blackberry, anise) and a tad hot (14.5%) on the nose. The palate is delectable: rich dark berry fruit, earth, more than ample acidity, and still drying tannins, Whoa. One bottle left with some considerable time left. Excellent. 92-94 Points.
2008 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Eola – Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $65. The Drunken Cyclist is away and I had an inkling for a Pinot. Despite my usual preference for “younger wines” than he prefers, I decided to dig this one out of the back of the cellar. After working hard just to find the bottles, I was happy it was a screw top! One less thing to do before tasting:). I found the wine to be terrific! A bit spicy, nice balance of acid and a dark fruits. Fruit was a tiny bit stewed as expected of an older Pinot. Overall great!! [This wine was tasted and note was written by my lovely wife. Hopefully, you, dear reader, was able to discern that based on a couple of factors: the emoji, the overly bubbly prose, and the total of four (!) exclamation points. Yeesh.] Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2015 Camlow Cellars Pinot Noir Magna Porcum Big Pig, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $50. Last night before The Drunken Cyclist returns home from a trip with our son. I pulled this Pinot from the cellar as I typically like them younger than he does :). It’s how I remember it – just the right amount of fruit for me – cherries, blackberries and doesn’t need food to bring out the complexities. I definitely will remember where I found it for the next time I explore the cellar. [Another note from my wife. Better. There is still an emoji, but no exclamation points (!). I am a little concerned that she is figuring out the cellar, though. I might have to make it a bit more cryptic.] Excellent. 90-92 Points.
NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, France: Retail $85. 100% Chardonnay. Wow. I am old. When I was looking for a bottle of bubbles to open while making paella, I stumbled across this wine which we received from my wife’s cousins a few years ago. Well, after popping and tasting, I realized that we were gifted this wine nearly eleven years ago. Yikes. All good, however, since I prefer my Blanc de Blancs with some age. A solid ripe wheat color in the glass with a golden delicious apple (perhaps honey-dipped) a go-go on the nose. The palate is bight and decadent with a touch of sweetness on top of oodles of caramelized apple, tart lemon, and baked-in brioche. Yowza. I have stated countless times that Blanc de Blancs is far from my preferred style of champagne. Unless it has some age, which this clearly does. Whoa. Excellent to Outstanding. 93-95 Points.
2012 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, CA: Retail $50. I will skip the traditional lament about the demise of this winery (sad), and get right to the point–this is baller Pinot. Light in color but rich in aroma (Bing cherry, a bit of earth, some slight rhubarb), the palate is down-right ridiculous: fruit, tartness, earth, intrigue. Say what you will about Wes Hagen, but he made some killer wines from this fruit and although that is no longer, well, Wes still rocks. Excellent. 92-94 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: We were fortunate again this week to open several good bottles of wine, most were wines that we have had for years. My wife often asks me why do we hold onto wines for so long as she claims to prefer them “crisp and fruity.” I am often tempted to reply snarkily (“Their wines, not wine coolers” comes to mind), but I usually just try to sound semi-intelligent (which I know is a lost cause, but I try) and babble on about secondary and tertiary flavors at which point she becomes bored and chooses to ignore me. Well, even she would agree that this week’s Wine of the Week, the NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs was an amazing bottle of wine that she likely would not have enjoyed as much had we popped it when it was gifted to us over a decade ago. When I suggested that to her, she replied: “How do you know?’ When I replied “well, the autolytic characteristics of the wine continue to evolve over time…” she cut me off: “Like I thought, you have no idea.”
What was your Wine of the Week?
That is one of my favorite NV BdB.