What We Have Been Drinking—3/15/2021


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 Antoine Derigny Champagne Grand Cru Brut, France: Retail $65. 100% Chardonnay. A Grand Cru from the Mesnil-sur-Oger region, I picked this up from Last Bottle for under thirty bucks. Whoa. It has been a solid six months since I have popped a cork and, well, whoa. Normally, I gravitate toward Pinot dominated Champers, but this BdB from the Côte des Blancs clearly has some age on it, which, at least for me, is key for the genre. Baked pear tart, yellow apple, even some tangerine and some fresh-out-of-the-oven croissant. While this might be a (slight) step below previous iterations of this wine, it is still stellar. Excellent. 91 Points.

NV Mumm Napa Brut Rosé: Retail $24. 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. Very consistent. We have had a ton of this wine (it is pretty much our go-to when the in-laws come over, which is just about every third day or so at this point) and while we can often find it at below $15, it punches well above its weight, making it one of the best values in sparkling wine. Good pink color with a bit of orange. A bit closed on the nose, but fruity on the palate and a tad sweet. Excellent. 90 Points.

NV Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Grande Réserve Chardonnay, France: Retail $50. 100% Chardonnay. I received a case of this wine from Last Bottle and the first bottle was stellar. The second? Also Excellent, but a small step down for sure and this third bottle is yet another step in the wrong direction. This bottle, while containing many of the positive attributes of the previous iterations, it is a bit less rich and also has a metallic aspect, particularly on the finish. Although that seemed to dissipate by the end of the bottle, it was not ideal, particularly when compared to the others. I still have another nine bottles and I am hoping, of course, that this proves to be the anomaly. Excellent. 90 Points.

2017 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, France: Retail $25. Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, Syrah. Once rumored to be on the market, Château Miraval is still owned by the couple formally known as Bradgelina (or was it Brangelina?). I think the fact that it is half owned by the famed Perrin family (who makes the wine), kept it from being sold, but what do I know? I do know that this wine has been solid for years. Though it is available in most grocery stores with an even slightly above average wine department, that does not make it the enemy of the wine lover. Pale salmon with floral, melon, and light flinty notes. The palate is fruity, yet restrained in a perfectly Southern France style. A lengthy, melon and strawberry tinged finish rounds it out nicely. Excellent. 90 Points.

2015 Tenuta Roveglia Lugana Vigne di Catullo Riserva, Lombardia, Italy: Retail $25. 100% Trebbiano di Lugana. I am not entirely sure how I came across this Big Ass Bottle, and I was worried that I had waited too long. No need to worry. Loaded with green apple, peach, and minerality, this makes me think twice (or thrice) about my opinion of Italian white wines (actually, my view on Italian whites pivoted a few years ago, but it does not really fit into my current narrative). Rich, tart, balanced, and loaded with multiple flavors, this is pretty close to gangbusters, even close to a half a dozen years after harvest.  Excellent. 92 Points.

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut, France: Retail $50. 50-55% Pinot Noir, 28-33% Chardonnay, 15-20% Pinot Meunier. I am likely going to come across a few detractors with this statement, but the Veuve is solid. A bit short of spectacular, for sure, and I guess that is why more than a few take shots at the widow, but we drink a ton of this and this is consistently stellar champagne. Excellent. 91 Points.

My version of spaghetti carbonara, which I make with guanciale and cauliflower.

WINE OF THE WEEK: This was another solid week across the board with a lot of very nice wines; all of them were stellar yet there was not one that stood out clearly above the rest. So this week, I decided to opt for a wine that we drink more than any other and second place is not any where close. I get a rather good deal on this week’s Wine of the Week, the NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut and if I were paying the suggested retail price, I am sure that I would not be nearly so enamored with it. Nonetheless, as I have stated countless times, it is still a fantastic bottle of wine. Sure, sommeliers across the world are likely not fans given its ubiquity and popularity but I imagine the owners of the restaurants where they work love the stuff since it, no doubt, flies out of the store.

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 Champagne, Chardonnay, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Rolle, Syrah, Trebbiano di Lugana, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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