What We Have Been Drinking—11/30/2020

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).

NV Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay, France: Retail $50. 100% Chardonnay. Over the past few years, Last Bottle has sent me two other champagnes from Gallimard and both were quite good. So, it was a no-brainer when this Blanc de Blancs became available. While the Côtes des Bar, where the winery is located, is best known for its Pinot Noir, this 100% Chardonnay is quite good. Light straw in the glass with a fine and constant sparkle, this wine has plenty of green apple, baked spice, and just a hint of yeastiness. The palate is tart and incredibly fruity, with a bit of apple pie coming in on the mid-palate and racy acidity on the finish. Really, a lovely wine. Excellent. 91 Points.

2019 Domaine Cherrier et Fils Sancerre Les 7 Hommes, France: Retail $50. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. I bought a few of these from Wines Til Sold Out (WTSO) on a whim for $20. I have waxed (hopefully poetically) about my active disdain for Sauvignon Blanc and while that has not (and will not?) changed, I am holding on to my one significant exception: Sancerre. In my opinion, Sancerre is in a class by itself inside of the Sauvignon Blanc sphere, completely different from all other wines made from the variety. Lemon rind, nectarine, and a white floral aspect all mingle on the nose with tartness, fruit, depth, roundness. Fantastic. Excellent. 92 Points.

NV G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Grand Cordon Brut Rosé, France: Retail $60. 60% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Meunier, 14% red wine. This was the fourth bottle of this wine that I found at my local grocer for $35 on clearance.  A solid pink, brilliant color in the glass. Gorgeous color, in fact. A bit flinty and yeasty on the nose, little fruit coming through. More of the same on the palate, this is screaming for food as it is fairly austere but still tasty. As I mentioned in a previous note, this is a solid wine, even excellent, but there are better wines at this $60 price-point, perhaps. Excellent. 90 Points.

2007 Ernest Preiss Riesling Schoenenbourg, Alsace Grand Cru, France: Retail $30. While the kind community on Cellar Tracker (where I manage the contents of my cellar and the samples I receive) suggests that this wine should have been consumed three years ago, I am glad I waited. I bought three bottles of this wine while I was visiting Riquewihr with my family in October 2010 where we toured the region by bike (it was a bit chilly, so says my wife). Luckily, Ernst Preiss is in Riquewihr, where we stayed for the week, so no need to schlep these bottles back by bike. Still fruity, refined, elegant. Sure, it has put on a little color—a deep yellow on the verge of gold—but I could just sniff this for hours: white peach, acacia flower, and a touch of petrol. While smelling it is wonderful, tasting is close to euphoric: brilliant acidity, still luscious fruit, and a minerality on the finish that lingers. Whoa. Sadly, this was the last bottle. Sniff. Outstanding. 92 Points.

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé, France: Retail $60. 44 to 48 % Pinot Noir, 25 to 29 % Chardonnay, 13 to 18 % Pinot Meunier. We have been going through a lot of this wine lately so I was surprised to find an older bottle in the cellar (I only knew it was older because of the different foil atop the bottle). Even though many in Champagne feel that rosé bubbles do not age that well, this wine was fantastic. Bright, rich, red fruit with a fine, fervent sparkle and a lip-smacking acidity, this wine convinced me to hold onto some of the newer bottles a little longer. If I can keep them hidden from my wife that is. Excellent. 93 Points.

The mean streets of Riquewihr, Alsace, where the wine was born and purchased.

WINE OF THE WEEK: This week, the Veuve Clicquot Rosé was clearly the best wine that I had, but as I have mentioned in this space before, the requirement for garnering Wine of the Week honors goes beyond a mere number. Sentimentality often plays a role in the selection of the week’s top wine and the 2007 Ernest Preiss Riesling Schoenenbourg was oozing sentimentality even before I pulled the well-stained cork. As I mentioned in the note above, I purchased the wine in Riquewihr, perhaps the quintessential Alsatian town. We spent a week there back in October of 2009 when Nathan was a precocious six-year-old and Sebastian was just barely a year old. So while, yes, the wine was fantastic, the memories it brought back of that trip and my not-so-little-anymore boys went far beyond what I found in the bottle. That is part of the magical aspects of wine that, as far as I have been able to ascertain, is unique.

What was your Wine of the Week?

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 Alsace, Champagne, Chardonnay, Loire Valley, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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