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).
2019 Domaine Cherrier Père et fils Sancerre Les 7 Hommes, Loire Valley, 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. Lemon rind, nectarine, and a white floral aspect all mingle on the nose with tartness, fruit, depth, roundness. Fantastic. Excellent. 91 Points.
2016 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $32. B.A.B. This wine was made by Kevin Morrisey, who had been the winemaker at Ehlers for a decade, but then was rather unceremoniously released in 2018. Curious. What is not up for debate? This Sauvignon. Gorgeous. Even five years out, this wine is pretty close to gangbusters: great fruit, fantastic tartness, plenty of verve. This, in a nutshell, is why more Sauvignon Blanc should be made in Napa and why Kevin should be making wine somewhere, it is a shame that he isn’t. Excellent. 92 Points.
2016 B Kosuge Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $45. Under DIAM 10. I last tasted this wine about three and a half months ago and it was fabulous: rich, fruity, tart, slightly oaky. In short, all that you (meaning “I”) would want in a Chardonnay. Now? Some 14 months later? It is still fabulous! There is still the fruit, the acidity, the layers of complexity. But. It is just slightly disjointed as compared to the last bottle. It might be a “dumb phase” or a “plant day” (a reference to the biodynamic calendar which I have yet to embrace), but it just seems a bit “out of whack.” Now before the lemmings start jumping off the cliff, it is fantastic, just not quite as harmonious as I remember. So sue me. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Mumm Napa Brut Rosé, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $24. 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. We get this for right around fifteen bucks at our local grocery store (I love my H-E-B). That is really tough to beat. We have had a ton of this wine (it is pretty much our go-to when the in-laws come over) mainly because it punches well above its weight. Good pink color with just a bit of an orange hue. Fruity on the nose as well as on the palate and a just the slightest hint of sweetness. I would have to check, but it seems like this is getting a bit drier with every bottling, which is a good thing. Excellent. 90 Points.
NV Domaine Chandon Rosé, California: Retail $24. 73% Chardonnay, 26% Pinot Noir, 1% Pinot Meunier. This is close to becoming our house sparkler, but Mumm Napa (see above) still holds a slight edge (honestly, I opt for whichever wine is less expensive). Great fruit, plenty of sparkle, one of the better values in sparkling wine. A bit on the sweet side, though, at least for me. Very Good. 89 Points.
2013 Trattore Viognier, Dry Creek Valley, CA: Retail? B.A.B. There are a few things that I know about this wine: it’s from (what then was) a relatively new operation at the northern end of Dry Creek Road; it cost me 22 bucks (although I am fairly certain that they gave me an industry discount); the winery was referred to me by whom I would consider my Dry Creek Valley mentor (you know who you are Donald). I also know that I visited the winery with said mentor and we tasted through close to the entire lineup and it was this was the wine that stood out (and why I bought two bottles of it). I do not know why (other than having way too much wine in the cellar–I know, rough problem to have) I have waited so long to pop one of the bottles. I would like to say that I knew that this wine would turn into the incredible gem that it is, but that would be stretching the truth a bit (I did know that it was fantastic and I had an inkling that it would age well in the cellar, but my May, 2016 self would never have planned to hold onto this wine for that long). Wow. Whoa. Yowza. And a Holy Cow for good measure. This wine is off the charts fantastic. Rich, layered, complex, fruity, tart, I could sip at this wine for several days. A bit dark in the glass, as one would expect, but otherwise? No signs of age here. I can safely say that I have not had a Viognier this good outside of Condrieu (and even then…). Thank you Donald, I am saving the other bottle to share with you! Outstanding. 96 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Every once in a while, when I get to this section of the post, there is very little doubt as to what was the Wine of the Week. I have not gone back and checked, but I wonder if in such instances it would have been as clear-cut as this week: the Wine of the Week could be determined solely based on the number of words associated with the tasting note. That is certainly the case here. I do not drink a ton of Viognier since I find it a bit aggressive when young: overly perfumed, a bit astringent, just a bit out of whack. That was not the case here with the 2013 Trattore Viognier, Dry Creek Valley. Not at all. In fact, it was very difficult, very difficult, to save even a half of a glass for my wife (she was off “working”). I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened–the wine was so great that I really wanted to finish it, but, at the same time, it was so phenomenal that I needed someone else with whom to share it, to try it, to confirm what I was experiencing. Luckily, I saved just enough to share some with her. And she confirmed my assessment. Phew.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?