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 Champagne Copinet Champagne Brut Caractère Rosé, France: Retail $54. 50% Chardonnay, 30% Rosé de Saignée from Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir vinified red. I came across this bottle in a rather “interesting” way and decided to pop it the very next day. One of the darker rosé champagnes I have seen with a lovely, rich, ruby red. Aromas of wild strawberry, rhubarb, and rose petals dominate the nose. As one would expect from that much red Pinot Noir in the blend, this is a rich, robust champagne, with plenty of body and backbone. There is also considerable finesse thanks to all that Chardonnay. Would go well with just about any dish from red roughy to ribeye. Excellent. 91 Points.
NV Guy de Chassey Champagne Grand Cru Brut Cuvée de Buretel, France: Retail $55. Paid $36 at Vivino. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. I bought this for $36 from Vivino only to find out it was on sale a week later for $33. Not a huge issue, but still… As for the wine? Probably not worth even the $33. Sure, the near-golden wine is laden with yeasty citrus in the glass, emanating from a fine sparkle. The palate is quite tart, with lemon rind and a splash of lime predominant, with just a hint of that yeastiness. Sure, it is fine. But I have come to expect more from a Grand Cru champagne. I still have another five bottles. Is that a blessing or a curse? Time will tell. Very Good. 88 Points.
2017 B Kosuge Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros, CA: Retail $35. 100% Pinot Noir. This has been my wife’s favorite Pinot for some time now and we usually buy it by the case so that she has something in the house she can drink without asking whenever I am out of town. As it turns out, this is the first bottle I have had of this wine in quite some time. Dark in the glass with considerable black cherry fruit, a touch of clove, and some black pepper. The palate is fruity (but nowhere near over-the-top), with some nice acidity for balance and structure. Above average finish. I have long been a fan of Byron’s wines, and this is a great reason why. Excellent. 92 Points.
2008 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, CA: Retail $50. Under cork. I can’t believe it, but it has been eight (?!) years since the Clos Pepe Winery closed its doors. The vineyard is still up and running, but no more wine is produced under the Clos Pepe label. Sad. This 2008 was not the best vintage that I have tried, but it has all of those classic Clos Pepe characteristics: fairly light in color, brilliant cherry, and eucalyptus, with a hint of black earth on the nose. The palate, on the other hand, is a bit more austere than other vintages, but there is great tartness on top of sour cherry fruit. A lengthy finish rounds out a fantastic wine. Excellent. 91 Points.
2008 Siduri Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, CA: Retail $65. Under cork. This is my last bottle of this wine that I purchased way back in 2010, a couple of years before I launched my blog and, according to my notes, for which I got 15% off based on watching a podcast from Sadat X (the details are at best, blurry). I also opened another 2008 Clos Pepe, one from the mother ship (Clos Pepe Vineyards), and I have to say that this Siduri showed much, much better. Luscious fruit, balancing tannins, a hint of earth, and a whole lot of verve. I only have two more bottles left from the Adam Lee run Siduri, and that honestly makes me more than a little sad. Outstanding. 94 Points.
2021 BP Provence Select Côtes de Provence Les Sarrins Rosé: Retail $25. 60% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 10% Rolle, 5% Mourvèdre. Agglomerated stopper. This winery is owned and operated by Bruno Paillard, the producer of one of my favorite champagnes. Now that his powerhouse of a daughter, Alice Paillard, is running the show up in Champagne, M. Paillard spends most of his time down in Provence overlooking this project. It must be going well since this is now showing up in my local H-E-B grocery store (I love my H-E-B). Classic Provençal rosé in blend, color, and nose with red berry fruit a-go-go with mineral and floral notes. Yowza. The palate is lovely–great fruit, fantastic acidity, impeccable balance. A rosé for all year and just about any occasion. Outstanding. 93 Points.
WINE OF THE WEEK: This week was another strong one pulling wines from the cellar. Although the Guy de Chassey champagne was a disappointment, it was still champagne and I have decided it is impossible not to be happy drinking champagne. Period. The Copinet rosé champagne was a pleasant surprise both in the way I came across it (it was left behind at a tasting I attended) and in the glass. I am ecstatic that the BP Les Sarrins is now available just a scant three miles from my house and therefore will likely by the WotW at some point. The Wine of the Week, however, was the 2008 Siduri Clos Pepe Pinot Noir, hands down. I am not sure what exactly happened between vineyard owner (and step-father) Steve Pepe and Wes Hagen (Clos Pepe’s erstwhile vineyard manager and winemaker) but it has to go down as one of the more unfortunate events in the brief history of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, which is saying something since that region has been rife with drama.
What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?