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).
2011 Amelle Pinot Noir Pratt Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $45. Under cork. I am getting down to the last dozen or so bottles of Amelle having started with probably close to ten cases from this tiny producer. The Pratt Vineyard has reached close to legendary status in the Sonoma Coast appellation, with some of the top producers in California making wines from its fruit. Quite dark in the glass with dark cherry, considerable earth, eucalyptus, and even a bit of pine. The palate is juicy and fleshy, but incredibly balanced as the tartness keeps all that fruit in check. Going to be sad to see these go, but I fear that we are near (or even past) the peak for these wines. Outstanding. 93 Points.
NV Champagne Collet Champagne Brut Rosé, France: Retail $50. 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier. Well, this is quickly becoming a regular wine on our Houston dinner table. It is always on the shelf at our local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B) and although the price fluctuates quite a bit, when it is on sale for around thirty-two bucks, I stock up. Medium salmon/pink in the glass, great red berry aromas paired with a French bakery yeastiness–fantastic. The palate does not disappoint either where all that fruit mingles with the yeastiness and all is welded together with a fine sparkle and a zingy acidity. Very nice. Excellent. 91 Points.
2007 Marcel Deiss Engelgarten, Alsace, France: Retail $50. A single vineyard field blend of Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. Deiss touts this as a Premier Cru, which has no real meaning in Alsace, but who am I to argue with Marcel Deiss? I bought 5 bottles of this wine from Cinderella, Wine Library’s (of Gary Vaynerchuk fame) flash selling sight, way back in 2012 and this was the last bottle from that purchase. While tasty and fantastic, this wine is clearly, well, a bit tired. Well past golden and onto amber in the glass with citrus, apple, and a decided oxidized note, this has that “Yes, it is old, but there is still plenty to appreciate here” kinda vibe. Much more of the same on the palate and while I have downgraded this (at least in terms of points) from previous bottles, it is still pretty fantastic. Excellent. 90 Points.
NV La Crema Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $45. 73% Pinot Noir, 27% Chardonnay. I was doing a bit of cellar management (emphasis on “bit”) when I came across this bottle. Sure, it was in my inventory, but it was in a generic area (“My Cellar”). In actuality, it was in a rack, in the temperature-controlled cellar and, well, it was time to open up that space. Faintly hued, slightly more orange than pink, with tart cherry on the nose, with a touch of minerality and yeast. The palate is heavy on tartness, with subtle fruit, and multiple layers. Yeah, I could hang out here for a while, even a long while. Really delightful. Outstanding. 93 Points.
NV Mailly Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve: Retail $50. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru. Ugh. I love this wine. As in, really love this wine. But it is now fifty bucks. $50?!? Really? When I first got hooked on this wine, way back when, it was around twenty. Sigh. I still love this wine, but the price does not love me back. So what was once our house champagne will now have to be relegated to a special occasion wine, since, well fifty bucks? Outstanding. 93 Points.
NV G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Grand Cordon Brut Rosé, France: A solid pink here, brilliant color in the glass. Gorgeous color. A bit flinty and yeasty on the nose, little fruit coming through. I purchased this about six months ago for roughly half the retail from my local H-E-B (I love my H-E-B) and could not be happier, although with this being the last bottle (not that Last Bottle), I am a bit sad. Great red fruit, vibrant sparkle, zingy acidity, and a bit of that yeasty yumminess in champagne that I’ve been addicted to for some time now. Yeah. Happy spot. Excellent. 91 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: Another solid slate of wines this week, making the selection of just one to be the top wine rather difficult. I was hoping that the 2007 Marcel Deiss Engelgarten would have held up a little better, but it was clearly past its prime. The 2011 Amelle Pinot was certainly Wine-of-the-Week worthy, but Amelle has garnered the top spot so often that it has almost become cliché (and I try to avoid clichés like the plague). So, I opted for the Mailly Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve as this week’s top wine for no other reason than we will likely be drinking a lot less of it. Wait, does this mean aI have to rename my dog? (Her name is Mailly, after the champagne, for those of you that have missed that little tidbit.)
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?