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 Domaine Baud Génération 9 Crémant du Jura Brut, France: Retail $22. 100% Chardonnay. Purchased from Garagiste. I have always said that the best sparkling wines (not from Champagne) in France come from the Jura (with a nod to both Alsace and the Loire). This is proof. Slightly golden in the glass with green and baked apple a go-go. Yum. The palate, if possible, is even better: fruity, tart, yeasty, really fantastic. While I had high hopes for this wine, it actually exceeded those and then some. Fantastic. Excellent. 92 Points.
NV Antoine Derigny Champagne Grand Cru Brut, France: Retail $65. 100% Chardonnay. A Grand Cru from the Mesnil-sur-Oger region, I picked this up from Last Bottle for under thirty bucks. Whoa. It has been a solid six months since I have popped a cork and, well, why have I waited so long? Normally, I gravitate toward Pinot-dominated Champers, but this Blanc de Blancs from the Côte des Blancs clearly has some age on it, which, at least for me, is key for the genre. Baked pear tart, yellow apple, even some tangerine and some fresh-out-of-the-oven croissant. While this might be a (slight) step below previous iterations of this wine, it is still stellar. Excellent. 91 Points.
2013 Gavaisson Côtes de Provence Emotion, France: Retail 45€ (~$50). 80% Rolle, 20% Sémillon. I visited the winery, in the heart of Provence, just over six years ago–it is the only winery in the appellation that only produces white wine, which represents less than 5% of the total production. This is the top wine of the estate and is simply phenomenal. While I might have waited a year or two too long to pop this bottle (long story involved there), it is still singing. Plenty going on in the glass: tropical, citrus, tree fruit–it’s all there. Add in a salinity, white flower, and a calcium/seashell thing. Yowza. The palate is rich and fruity, flinty and layered. Holy cow and whoa. Although perhaps I waited too long, this is still amazing. Outstanding. 94 Points.
2009 Marchesi Fumanelli Pralongo Veneto IGT, Italy: Retail $28. 50% Merlot, 30% Teroldego, 20% Corvina. Years ago, I received this as a gift from the winery and I had completely forgotten about it until today. I had made what was perhaps my best ragu (Bolognese) and my in-laws were over. My father-in-law, when asked what wine he would like to drink, always responds with “the good stuff.” While I am not entirely sure this was the best bottle I had in my cellar, it was pretty darned good. The nose is, well, fantastic, with plenty of fruit (albeit ever-so-slightly stewed) with plenty of red and black fruit, violet, and (in fact), just a teeny tiny hint of TCA (cork taint). The palate is both quite fruity (still) and delightful, close to a whoa, in fact. Great acidity, plenty of depth, balance, really a lovely wine. While I wish I had more of this wine, it is certainly time to drink up. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Roger Coulon Champagne Premier Cru Heri-Hodie Grande Tradition, France: Retail $60. 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. I saw this at my local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B) on sale for about $38 and I decided to take a flyer. Glad I did. While I normally shy away from wines with this much Meunier, this champagne is particularly compelling. Golden in the glass with an over-abundance of yeasty, biscuity goodness, the nose portends a fantastic wine. And so it was. Quite dry (3/g/l dosage) and tart with plenty of that yeastiness and just a hint of fruit. Really fantastic. Excellent. 92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: I made a concerted effort this week to make a dent in the pile of samples that have seemed to overtake my office and dining room. While that effort seems to have made little to no difference (I think I took in more than I tried), it did curb consumption from our private cellar. Of the handful of bottles that I did manage to open, the best wine (and this week’s Wine of the Week) was clearly the 2013 Gavaisson Côtes de Provence Emotion. While I will likely get into a bit of trouble having opened this wine (I was supposed to save it to share with a friend), it seemed clear that while stellar, it was not going to get any better. In my mind, it is better to incur the wrath of a friend than to let a fantastic wine go to waste. But that might just be me.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?