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).
2011 Amelle Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $50. 100% Pinot Noir. After a slight downtick with the last bottle, this is a decided return to form. Here is what I wrote for that previous bottle: “I have had this wine a few times and this iteration is particularly joyous: Fruit, depth, intrigue. This certainly has it all. Fruity (dark cherry) and luscious with anise, eucalyptus, and verve on the nose. A bit brooding on the palate with exceedingly dark cherry and tartness. Very Nice.” Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2010 Château de Chassagne-Montrachet Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly, Burgundy, France: Retail $85. 100% Chardonnay. Maybe a slight bit older and darker than the last I have: “I bought these a few years ago from Wines Til Sold Out strictly due to my affinity for the wines of St. Aubin. Since I first traveling to Burgundy over two decades ago, the appellation represented a “value” in an otherwise insanely over-priced region, particularly for Chardonnay. Now, even my beloved St.Aubin is beyond my budget, but I still have a few in my cellar. Dark, a bit brooding for a white with secondary characteristics of lanolin and dried apricot. The palate is simply magical: great citrus and tree fruit, acidity off the charts, and a finish that lasts for minutes. Ok. Whoa.” Excellent. 92-94 Points.
2009 Martorana Family Winery Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, CA: Retail $35. It looks like I received a couple of bottles of this wine as samples way back at the end of 2013. I particularly liked that first bottle, way back when, and as I predicted in that note, this bottle is even better. Tons of mocha on the nose, with dark berry fruit, and earth. The palate is intriguing and delicious: multi-faceted, deep, luscious. Whoa. I am over-the-moon that I held onto this wine for this long. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2002 Merryvale Profile, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $100. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. I bought this a while ago (late 2012) and I had essentially forgotten about it. Tonight, we pulled out some beef tenderloin from the freezer, dropped it in the immersion circulator, and I went searching for a wine. I came back with this. Really dark in the glass, really dark with blackberry, cassis, and a touch of heat on the nose. The palate is on the austere side with subtle fruit, searing acidity, and plenty of forest floor. I doubt this was ever a “blockbuster” but it is incredibly tasty. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2008 Skewis Pinot Noir Salzgeber-Chan Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $50. It has been at least a month or so since my last bottle of Skewis, so that means it has been that long since I pondered Hank and Maggie Skewis’ retirements back in 2017. Their last vintage was 2014, and while this certainly has some age on it, it remains as fresh as a daisy. Dark berry fruit, a bit of clove, and oregano–a really intriguing nose. The palate is fruity, tart, rich, fantastic, with a little bit of spice coming through on the finish along with some tannins. This is beautiful right now, but likely has a bit of life left–Hank’s wines age so beautifully. I’m still pissed at him about his retirement, though. (Not really, he’s a great guy. Miffed? Sure.) Excellent. 91-93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Trying to pick a winner of this week? Yeah. Whatever. All the wines were in a rather narrow range (at least score-wise), and all of them are more than worthy of the weekly honor. I tried to eliminate any bias (there were a couple wines whose winemakers I know personally). I tried to disregard any geographical bias (I have been accused many times of being a French wine snob). I made sure that relative cost was not a factor either. In the end, short of drawing straws, I made the most logical choice for the Wine of the Week: the 2002 Merryvale Profile. Why? Simple, it was the clearest photograph. #MyBlog #MyAward
What was your Wine of the Week?