It is time for another edition of “Random Samples”–I occasionally get samples from marketing agencies and/or producers, and these can often be grouped together into some sort of over-arching theme: Sauvignon Two Ways, Chardonnay Any Day, If It Doesn’t Sparkle, It Doesn’t Matter.
2020 Earl Stevens Selections Prosecco Extra Dry Rosé, Italy: Retail $18. Glera, Pinot Noir. Yet another offering from Earl Stevens (better known as hip-hop artist E-40) who has put out quite a few different wines in a relatively short time. This is the second vintage from the new Prosecco Rosé DOC and another solid effort for Mr. Stevens. While I liked the 2019 a bit better (as this 2020 comes off as a tad sweeter), it is still a solid effort with good fruit and tartness. Again, a tad sweet, but I would not hesitate to buy or suggest this wine. Very Good. 89 Points.
2018 Emiliana Coyam Los Robles, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Retail $30. B.A.B. 44% Shiraz/Syrah, 30% Carménère, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Mourvèdre and Malbec, Petit Verdot, Garnacha, Tempranillo. OK, I am about to blow a gasket. The back label of this wine states “Because we care” above six graphics that indicate (I assume, since I did not take the time to examine any further) that the producer “cares” about sustainability or organic production, or the freaking planet. That would all be great in my book if this bottle did not weigh so freaking much. I care about the planet, the producers of this wine want us to believe they do, too. Then why in the name of (fill in the name of whatever god you worship), is this bottle so flipping heavy?? It is well beyond time that we hold producers responsible. Do you want to claim that you are organic/sustainable/biodynamic? Then use a responsible freaking bottle, jack-bottom! The wine? Excellent. But I am way too fired up to talk anymore about it. Excellent. 91 Points.
2019 Georges Dubœuf Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, France: Retail $12. 100% Gamay. All cards on the table: I am a huge fan of Georges Dubœuf, what he has done for Beaujolais and the wines that the company has produced. Sure, these flower-label wines are ubiquitous, there was a bit (understatement?) of a scandal a few years ago, and some people are challenged with where to place wines from the region. But I am a fan. Huge fan. I was fortunate enough to meet Monsieur Dubœuf on a couple of occasions and we talked about, of all things, cycling. Back in the day, Monsieur Dubœuf was quite the cyclist, even considering a career in physical education as a result. The wine? Delicious. Sure, it is likely on the bottom shelf of your grocery store but that does not mean in any way it should be discounted, this is a fabulous Moulin-à-Vent. Fruity, for sure, but there is much more depth than one would expect from a ten-dollar wine. Yes, I am a fan of Georges Dubœuf, but this is a fantastic wine. Excellent. 91 Points.
2019 Guy Saget La Petite Perriere Rosé, Vin de France : Retail $15. Under screwcap. 100% Pinot Noir. While this producer also makes wines under the Sancerre appellation, and this is a Pinot Noir, it is a “Vin de France” meaning that it is not tied to any specific region. Certainly on the dark side when it comes to rosé, closer to a ruby grapefruit color than the light, pale pink associated with Provence. Nice red berry fruit along with some peach and melon in the glass that continues onto the palate. The fruit is paramount, but there is also a tartness, which is, however, a bit lacking. But all in all? This is a solid quaff, particularly given the price. Very Good. 88 Points.
2020 Qupé Chardonnay Y Block, Santa Barbara County, CA: Retail $22. Under screwcap. It has been a few vintages since I have tried the Y Block Chardonnay, a staple for the Central Coast stalwart Qupé (kyoo-pay). While it is clear that there is some oak on this wine, it is by no means an oak monster. In fact, there is plenty of fruit in this medium straw-colored wine, along with plenty of lemon curd, ripe pear, and golden delicious apple. Really good balance and the oak seems to work well here as there is plenty of zingy acidity to hold it all together. Honestly, for the price? I doubt there are many better options. Excellent. 90 Points.
2020 Westmount Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $20. Under screwcap. True Rosé. Fairly dark in color, at least for a rosé, with aromas of wild strawberry, rhubarb, and bright cherry. The palate is quite fruity, with an ample tartness, a bit of minerality, and a somewhat odd funkiness, albeit slight. Overall, a really solid quaff that checks most of the boxes. It is not my favorite rosé that I have come across (that weird funky note is tough to get past), but this wine, particularly at the price point (I got it for $14), is a solid wine. Very Good. 89 Points.