What We Have Been Drinking—9/20/2021

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).

2008 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $65. Under screwcap. I bought a case of this wine nearly a decade ago (February, 2011) and with this bottle, I have now a mere five bottles left. Yowza. Still youthful in the glass with little signs of age–no visible bricking, fantastic fruit aromas (dark cherry, earth, blackberry)–there is a ton going on here on the nose. The palate is even better: fruit, tartness, balance, this is pretty close to amazing. I am often accused (by my wife–but she shall go unnamed) of holding on to wines too long, but this bottle? I say to the nay-sayers (perhaps, I don’t know, my wife?): “I told you so.” Outstanding. 94 Points.

NV Champagne Collet Champagne Brut Rosé, France: Retail $50. 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier. The following was written by my wife when I was out of town and she felt the need to raid the cellar: Opened this one while thedrunkencyclist was away to celebrate Friday – why not? I’m a fan of rosé champagnes and this one did not disappoint. it’s a bit darker than some others – closer to salmon colored than light pink. enough body and fruit with an earthiness I liked. Tasted great with some popcorn Excellent. 92 Points.

NV Fourrier-Delmotte Champagne Brut, France: Retail $49(?). 100% Pinot Noir from la Côte des Bar. It is fair to say, I think, that I was less than enthralled with the first two bottles we popped of this wine I purchased from Wines Til Sold Out. It wasn’t “bad” but it certainly fell short of “Excellent” let alone “Outstanding.” A bit sweet on the nose, with some citrus and yeastiness, the palate comes off as slightly sweet as well. But. There is not that steely, metallic aspect that I picked up in the first two bottles. Perhaps a bit too sweet, but a decided improvement over the first two bottles. Three more to go. Fingers will remains crossed. Very Good. 89 Points.

2017 B Kosuge Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros, CA: Retail $45. Here is another note from my wife: Once again consumed while thedrunkencyclist was away – this time he wasn’t cycling or wine tasting, just having quality time with our oldest. The nose on this one is like coming home – comforting, soothing – smells like fall – cloves, dark fruit – continues to have the right amount of acid for me and enough fruit to drink on its own. Excellent. 92 Points.

2019 Sauvion Rosé d’Anjou, France: Retail $15. Under screw cap. 70% Groslot, 30% Gamay. Very similar notes to the last bottle with the exception that the mother-in-law was not here to pass judgment (on the wine, not me). I am pretty sure she still would have approved (of the wine, not me). I have to admit that I have not had much Groslot. In fact, I am fairly certain that I have not had any (but given the amount of cycling and touring I have done in the Loire, it has no doubt passed these lips). Lovely rich pink with a decided orange tint. Nice red fruit, a bit of citrus, and some red flower. The palate is tart, but also sweet–not cloying, but certainly sweet. Not White Zin sweet, but more of a off-dry kinda vibe. Let’s just say that my mother-in-law loved it. A lot. And that’s OK. Honest. Very Good. 87 Points.

2018 Three Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vines, Contra Costa County, CA: Retail $20. Under cork. 77% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane, 3% Alicante Bouschet. Made by Matt Cline (yes, *that* Cline) from Contra Costa fruit in and around Oakley. Why is that important? Well, I have ridden my bike in and around all of these 100+ year-old vineyards and it is really cool. These vines have survived despite the dozens (hundreds?) of warehouses, housing developments, and retail stores that have been built in and among the gnarly vines. It really is a different definition of “wine country.” I have tried a few iterations of this wine now and it really delivers, regardless of the price. But. When I saw this on the shelf at my local grocery store (I love my H-E-B) for right around ten bucks? You betcha. I might have to go back and buy what is left. On the dark side in the glass (thanks, Petite Sirah), with lovely fruit aromas: blackberry, plum, and quite brambly with sage and dark earth. The euphoria continues on the palate with an explosion of fruit, plenty of acidity, considerable depth, and a lengthy finish. For ten bucks? Back up the Tesla! Excellent. 91 Points.

WINE OF THE WEEK: The easy choice here for Wine of the Week would be the 2008 Argyle Nuthouse as it was clearly the “best” wine of the week, but that is not how I always roll. Another choice would be the Collet Rosé Champagne since my wife remembered not only to take it out of inventory, but she even wrote a note on the wine (the note did require some minor editing, though, so there’s that). No, this week I decided to opt for what ended up being perhaps the biggest surprise (and undoubtedly the best deal of the week), the 2018 Three Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vines. In fact, it was such a nice wine and at such a great price (under eleven buck including tax—seriously?), I went back to my H-E-B the next day and bought a case.

What was/were your Wine(s) 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 Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Champagne, Chardonnay, Gamay, Groslot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

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