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 Champagne Collet Champagne Brut, France: Retail $42. 50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir. Another bottle. This time after yet another blowout loss for the J.V. basketball team that I coached, I returned home and my wife had this bottle chilled and ready to go. She knows my affinity for champagne, in both victory and defeat. She also knows that my team is not very good (at all) and that opting for more of an “every day” champers was a much safer choice. Good citrus, a nice yeasty aspect, and great acidity, but this bottle is coming off a tad bit sweet. Still? Very Good. 89 Points.
NV Delmotte Champagne Brut, France: Retail $49(?). 100% Pinot Noir from la Côte des Bar. I picked up a few of these bottles from Wines Til Sold Out since, well, I can’t read. I thought these were from “DelAmotte”, which is, evidently, clearly different from “Delmotte” (the latter being a fantastic producer while the former, not so much). Sure, it’s fine, but it is a tad sweet and not the most riveting bottles of bubbles you will encounter. But. It plays well with the in-laws (thanks to that sweetness, no doubt) and, well, as I always say…If it doesn’t sparkle, it doesn’t matter. So it has that going for it, at least. Very Good. 88 Points.
2019 Dievole Chianti Classico, Italy: Retail $18. 90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino. We were playing What do you Meme? And my cards are literally the worst, the funniest being “When you’re bored and someone tells you to read a book.” Yeah. I’m gonna lose. But this wine was a fine diversion. Red and dark fruit on the nose with a touch of earth. The palate is perfectly fine with fruit, acidity, and a touch of earth. “Fine” is apt. Very Good. 88 Points.
NV Drappier Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut, France: Retail $70. 100% Pinot Noir. Made by the saignée method where the juice is bled off of the skins after a period of contact, imparting the rosé color. Fairly dark in the glass for a rosé champagne with lovely cherry, citrus, and yeasty aromas. On the palate, this is a delight as well, with juicy fruit, a high level of tartness, and a long, bright finish. While this is not a “bargain” champagne, it is a fine rendition of the genre. Excellent. 92 Points.
2006 Failla Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $65. Big Ass Bottle. When I last tasted this wine, I was more upset at the asshat who gave it a 64 on Cellar Tracker (really? 64? a few months the same guy gave it a 90?) than describing the wine. And I should have paid more attention to the latter since this wine is completely off the charts. Rich dark and Bing cherry, some Christmas spice, earth, a touch of black pepper. Holy cow. The palate, astonishingly, is even better, maybe on the verge of other-worldly. Rich (just short of unctuous), intense fruit, balanced with a lip-smacking acidity, layers of complexity, and a lasting finish. Whoa. And then some. Outstanding. 96 Points.
NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut, France: Retail $45. 50% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier. I don’t drink a ton of L-P for a few reasons, not the least of which is the relative price vis-à-vis other grandes marques. Also, it is slightly less in the Pinot Noir department than what I normally like. But. Lemony-pear biscuity goodness going on here on the nose. Close to a holy cow. The palate is close to impeccably balanced between the fruit (yellow apple and pear), the yeastiness, and the “bangin’” (my teenage son’s term) tartness. As I said, I do not come across L-P all that often, but I am glad I did tonight. Excellent. 91 Points.
2003 Weingut Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese, Mosel, Germany: Retail $35(?). I bought three bottles of this wine back in 2013 while I was leading a bike trip through the Mosel and I had the first bottle shortly thereafter, in 2014. Well, as our palates have shifted away from sweeter wines, the remaining bottles rested in the cellar (first in Philly, then in Houston). Until tonight. I was Jonesing Riesling, and I landed on this Auslese. Glad I did. Light in alcohol (8% ABV) but rich in aromas of candied apple, dried apricot, touches of golden delicious apple and lemon zest, and that characteristic petrol note, this wine is delightful. The palate, along with the aforementioned attributes is also a bit nutty, incredibly rich, tart, and sweet, perhaps even a bit more than “off-dry.” But holy cow is it good. Excellent. 92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Another week where the choice for Wine of the Week is fairly straightforward, which makes the selection exceedingly simple but finding an additional 50-100 words to write about it a tad difficult. As I mentioned in the tasting note for this week’s Wine of the Week, the 2006 Failla Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Sonoma Coast, some clown on Cellar Tracker gave this wine a 64. First, if you are not using the best online cellar management tool (it is shareware, meaning it is free but there are additional features available if you make any payment), you should really give it a try. It takes a bit of discipline (remembering to remove bottles once consumed can be a chore), but it is very convenient to be able to “access” your cellar from anywhere with an internet connection. Second, there is a slight drawback (but also an incredible feature): anyone and everyone can write tasting notes. It is great due to the vast user network, leading to a wide array of people chiming in (not just a couple of old white guys on the East Coast deciding the merits of a given wine). But you also get the occasional dope who has no idea what he/she is doing. So yeah, it’s similar to government.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?