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).
2017 Copain Chardonnay Les Voisins, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $35. Under DIAM5. I was out of town and my wife picked this up somewhere (Costco?). It was in the fridge and quite cold, which was good enough for me. Pale straw in the glass with lemon curd and vanilla in the glass. Yum. The palate is similar, with plenty of fruit and that vanilla aspect, but there is also a boatload of acidity, which serves to hold it all together. Yes, Copain is now a part of a corporate conglomerate, but the wines continue to perform at a very high level. Very nice. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Mailly Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve, France: Retail $50. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru. Another bottle and another evening of lamenting how much I love this wine but am dismayed by the rather meteoric rise in its retail price. It really has all the elements that one looks for in a quality sparkler: good fruit, balanced acidity, a baked bread/yeasty component, and a fine sparkle. But my reviews of this wine are likely to be limited in the future as it has become just too expensive, which is too bad as this is really good stuff (although this bottle seems to be a little less so). Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Gosset Champagne Grand Rosé Brut, France: Retail: $75. 58% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 7% Red Pinot Noir. It has been another eight months since the last bottle of this we popped and I was excited (and a little bit alarmed) to find an “extra” bottle in my cellar (which means I screwed up some how). Again, the color has shifted from pink to orange–almost to the point that it could be confused with an equally aged “white” champagne which gains color as it ages. A surprising amount of fruit on the nose, which is mostly red berry fruit, with a healthy dose of yeasty loveliness. The palate is exactly as I stated in the last note: “fantastic with a fine sparkle, an intense tartness, tons of that yeasty goodness, a bit of fruit on the mid-palate, and an extremely lengthy finish. This clearly has some age on it, which is perfectly fine with me.” Outstanding. 95 Points.
2016 B Kosuge Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, CA: Retail $45. Under DIAM 10. It was our anniversary and we started with a champagne that we last tasted eight months ago. Coincidentally, we then turned to this wine, which we also last opened eight months ago…on the same day. Odd. Byron Kosuge has always been one of our favorite Chard producers in Sonoma, and really a fantastic guy, which makes it even better. Good citrus fruit, vanilla, a bit of oak, and balancing acidity. Just a wonderful wine that is clearly holding up beautifully. Outstanding. 93 Points.
2009 Château du Nozet Pouilly-Fumé La Doucette, Loire Valley, France: Retail $45. Under cork. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. There are not many Sauvignon Blancs that one would want to hold for over a decade, but this is one of them. I picked up two bottles of this wine over a decade ago on a drive from Paris down to the South of France. We passed the tasting room and I did an immediate u-turn once I realized. Glad I did. The first cork we popped over three years ago and it was stellar, but this bottle might even be better: bright citrus fruit, intense aromas and flavors (really nice acacia on the nose, pineapple on the palate), a complexity that I don’t think I have witnessed in a Sauvignon Blanc (certainly not outside of Sancerre), and a finish that lasts for a solid couple of minutes (at least). Whoa worthy for sure, and more. Outstanding. 95 Points.
2007 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese, Moser Saar Ruwer, Germany: Retail $40. It has been a couple of years since I have popped a bottle of this wine and while there has been some change, the change is at worst quite good, in fact. Plenty of fruit (green apple, pineapple, ripe peach) and a boatload of that petrol-like goodness that often characterizes great Rieslings. Yowza. This is rich, tart, expressive, and frankly, delicious. I am glad that I have another handful of bottles to go. Excellent. 92 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: It is usually a good week when we are able to pull multiple bottles from the cellar here in Houston, but this was a particularly good week since all the wines we opened this week were either Excellent or Outstanding.It was also a bit unusual in that all of the wines opened, I had had before, so the fact that they were all fantastic was really not much of a surprise. In the end, though, I had to choose one as the Wine of the Week and after a bit of deliberation, I settled on the 2009 Château du Nozet Pouilly-Fumé La Doucette for a couple of reasons. First, it is not often that I get to try a Sauvignon Blanc with more than a dozen years of age on it and consider it a fantastic experience. Second, as wine often does, it caused me to reflect on the trip we took a decade ago with good friends and considerably smaller children. While I am not quite sure I would want to return to those days, a brief trip back is a lot of fun.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?