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 Chatelain Desjacques Rosé de Loire Rosé, France: Retail $15. Under screw cap. 100% Cabernet Franc. I am headed to the Loire Valley tomorrow and I figured this would be good “research.” I got this at my local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B) back in January and did not crack one until tonight. Why? I have no idea. Medium color with a fruity nose of strawberry and cherry, a bit of minerality, and well, fun. The palate is quite fun as well, with plenty of fruit, a nice tartness, yes, a bunch of fun. There might be a touch of sweetness on this wine, but it is only a touch and it works. I believe this wine hails from close to Chinon, where I will be in a scant few days, and I can’t wait. Very Good. 89 Points.
2021 Ferrari-Carano Sangiovese Rosé, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $15. Under screw cap. This was a part of the Sixth Annual World’s Largest Blind Tasting of American True Rosé and it was more than solid (90 pts.) so when I saw it on sale for $7 at my local grocery store (I love my H-E-B), I quickly bought six bottles. I should have bought the rest, however, since at seven bucks, this is beyond a steal. Realizing my mistake, I went back a day later and…all gone. Oh well. Still, a pretty stellar True Rosé at $15, and at half of that? A no-brainer. Wait, I already said that. Excellent. 90 Points.
2007 Louis Jadot Fleurie, Beaujolais, France: Retail $16. 100% Gamay. Purchased from the PLCB for $5.29. Every time. Every. Time. Every single time I open a bottle of Beaujolais two things happen. First, I think that I really should make an effort to drink more Beaujolais. The wines can be fruity and approachable but also age-worthy and complex–and this often happens in the same bottle. Such is the case here. I first tried this wine way back in 2010, three years after vintage and two years before I started this blog. Then, even though perhaps already “old” for some, it was fruity, vivacious, and layered. Now, more than a decade after that first encounter, the fruit has faded (a bit) and the joyful nature has matured (a bit), but the complexity, the layered nature of the wine persists. In spades. Do yourself a favor: buy a few bottles of Beaujolais Cru from a quality producer and from a good year. Pop one right away, but hold onto the others, opening them periodically. If you follow my advice, I have full confidence that you will realize that quality Beaujolais should be in the discussion for the best values in France if not the best *wines* of France. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Montaudon Champagne Grande Rosé Brut, France: Retail $50. 35% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Noir (red-style vinification), 20% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay. Along with Mailly Grand Cru, Montaudon has been one of our go-to champagnes for years. Montaudon, also like Mailly, is a co-op and twenty years ago, we could buy both for more than half of what they sell for now. One of the darker rosé champagnes on the market with plenty of red berry fruit, hints of yeastiness, and just a touch of nuttiness on the nose. The palate is full-bodied and rich, with plenty of fruit, a lovely sparkle, and balancing acidity. Yup, still one of our favorites. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Essentiel Cuvée Reservée, France: Retail $50. 47% Pinot Noir, 31% Pinot Meunier, 22% Chardonnay. 18% Reserve wines. Extra Brut (5% dosage). A bit of time has passed since we last had this, and it is still as stellar as I remember. This is a fantastic (relatively) new addition to the Piper line, as this was introduced back in 2017 as a drier alternative to the standard Brut. Citrusy and yeasty on the nose, certainly well within the standard for quality champagne. The palate is fantastic with good fruit, a fine sparkle, and plenty of freshly baked bread. Just the right amount of dosage (added sugar)–I doubt will ever go back to the standard Brut, one of my all-time faves, as long as this is available. Outstanding. 93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was a solid one when it came to pulling wines from the cellar as from top to bottom, we opened some pretty darned good wines. If, in choosing the Wine of the Week, I solely referenced the scores that I afforded the wines we consumed, this week it would be easy, the top wine would have been the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Essentiel Cuvée Reservée. Had I considered what is going on in my life right now (I am headed to Paris tomorrow and then the Loire Valley a few days later), I would have selected the 2019 Chatelain Desjacques Rosé de Loire. While each of those factors can be taken into account, it does not have to be so. This week, the most remarkable (in the sense of “worthy of remark”) wine, and this week’s Wine of the Week, was the 2007 Louis Jadot Fleurie. As I mentioned in the note, I almost always remark (see what I did there) upon opening a Beaujolais, at how versatile the wine is–so drinkable upon release but also so hearty over time.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?