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).
2020 Michel Armand Rosé d’Anjou, Loire Valley, France: Retail $12(?). So I looked, I Googled, I pleaded with the gods of the inter webs to help me out, all to no avail. I could not find a consistent online price (I paid around twelve bucks) nor the varietal composition (some said 100% Cabernet Franc, others said a blend of Grolleau and Gamay). No confirmation on any of the fronts. At all. Oh well. The wine? It’s fine. There is some fruit, some sweetness, just a touch of tartness, and maybe, perhaps, a scintilla of verve? Or maybe not. Well, it was a hit with my mother-in-law, so I have that going for me, which is nice. Very Good. 87 Points.
2017 Camlow Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $30(?). Camlow Cellars Sus Volans Whole Cluster Rosé of Pinot Noir, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County (is that the *longest* “title” of all time??). Under screwcap. True Rosé. Yikes, it has been a solid three years plus since we twisted open the last bottle of this wine (that is likely not true as there is one bottle missing, but I digress). Certainly on the dark side of color when it comes to rosé, and this is fairly big, at least in aromas, when compared to your “average rosé” (if there even *is* such a thing). The palate bears that out: rich, but short of unctuous, tart, and really close to bracing, but also still fruity, complex, and, well, delicious. Close to a “Whoa.” Excellent. 92 Points.
NV Joseph Desprois Champagne, France: Retail $40. Blend? As I mentioned in a previous note, there is not a ton of information about this wine on the webernet. In fact, there is practically none. As purchase from WTSO, though, that does not shock me in the least. Good fruit, tart, some biscuity goodness–all hallmarks of a good (great?) champagne. I am not quite willing to go full-blown “great” but it certainly is quite good. Very Good. 89 Points.
2018 Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Demoiselle Rosé, France: Retail $24. 100% Pinot Noir. There are few words that will get me salivating like “Sancerre.” For me, it is the best place in the world for Sauvignon Blanc (and second place is not even close) and the reds (which are considerably rarer) are made from Pinot Noir–perhaps my go-to red variety. The reds from Sancerre account for 10-11% annually and are quite earthy and verge on austere, but are incredibly compelling (at least those that I have tried). Rosé is slightly rarer still (just under 10% of production) and is also made from Pinot. These tend to be fruitier than their darker siblings and are typically delicious. This bottle? Yowza. Sure, it is approaching its third anniversary, but it is still very fruity (strawberry, lemon, cranberry), zesty (the acidity here is off the charts), and loaded with layers of body. If you have given the rosés of Provence a try (which I love as well) but found them a little lacking in either fruit or panache (but still want to be fancy and drink French pink), opt for a Sancerre. If, that is, you can find any. Excellent. 91 Points.
2018 Château Miraval Studio by Miraval Rosé, IGP Méditerranée, France: Retail $18. Under screw. Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, Tibouren. I bought a couple bottles of this wine based on my love (yes, love) for the mothership: Château Miraval, the estate co-owned by the renowned Perrin Family and whatever remains of the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie “family.” This is the second wine from the estate that, along with Château Desclans’ Whispering Angel, has dominated the American rosé market for what seems like a century (it has only been about a decade). This wine is slightly less expensive than the original (usually a couple of bucks at most) and inhabits a more wine-rack-friendly bottle. That is where the plusses cease (at least vis-à-vis the original). Sure, it is a solid quaff with a dominant mineral-melon aspect along with some cherry and white pepper. Really a joy to drink where the focus is on the tartness rather than the fruit (a decided departure from Miraval, in my opinion), and while this is perhaps less “fun” by the pool, it certainly is a welcomed addition to just about any table. For me? I’d spend the extra $2 to get Miraval, but this is a screw-top…. Very Good. 89 Points.
2018 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel, France: Retail $20. Under cork. 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, 6% Syrah. This is the second bottle that I have popped in the last handful of months. Tonight, I had this with my rather famous (no, not, infamous) Korean shrimp tacos with fresh Asian slaw, guacamole, and slow-roasted fresh corn. The wine? stellar. Similar notes to the first bottle. The tacos? off the charts. Yeah, I know, a bit conceited but, well, I am that good in the kitchen. Excellent. 90 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Shortly after compiling the above list of tasting notes (I first record all of my notes in Cellar Tracker, the online cellar management tool), I started to scramble a bit. As happens from time to time, this week I neglected to take pictures of any of the wines we consumed since I only “remember” to take a photo when I find a wine particularly noteworthy or enticing. While there were a number of excellent wines, none really fit the “photo-worthy” criteria. In the past, this had never been a problem as I either had a photo already “in stock” or, at worst, I could head to the cellar and take a bottle shot of a remaining bottle. Big problem. This week, not only could I not find an extant photo of any of the bottles above, each one of them (with the exception of the Rosé d’Anjou) was the last bottle in my cellar (just as an aside, I was not going to opt for the lowest scoring wine to be Wine of the Week). Ruh roh. So after a bit of deep thinking, I realized that with the sole exception of the Desprois champagne, the remaining five bottles were all True Rosés! So I decided to make the True Rosé this week’s Wine of the Week. While we are now in October, we still drink rosé all year (yes, we live in Houston, but we drank rosé all year while in Philly, too).
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?