What We Have Been Drinking—2/13/2023

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 Domaine Pascal Aufranc Chénas En Rémont Vignes de 1939, Beaujolais, France: Retail $25. Big Ass Bottle. 100% Gamay. This is the last bottle of the four that I bought back almost a decade ago from the abysmal PLCB. The first bottle was close to a disaster with the intense Brett. The last three bottles, though, were stellar and almost made me long for the days that I could peruse the aisles of the PLCB looking for a gem like this. Not really. At. All. I even just threw up a little in my mouth thinking about the PLCB. And close to a whoa. Fruit (red and dark), herbs (sage), and earth (well, earth). Pair all of that with great acidity and balance? Fantastic. Excellent. 92 Points. 

2021 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, CA: Retail $55. Heavy bottle. I was flying solo as my wife had orchestra rehearsal and my son was knee-deep in Xbox, er, homework. So I went to what has become our favorite restaurant. It was thus based on two points: 1. The food is pretty good even though the menu rarely (never?) changes. 2. The wine list is solid and the prices, at least for a few of the items on the list, were extremely well-priced. Well, tonight, I realized that many of the wines had been increased by about 25%. Oh well, I guess all good things…. In the end, I decided on this Pinot from the Wagner family. As one might expect from the producers, this is a big boy with dark fruit, even on the verge of brooding, considerable weight, but also enough acidity to try to make it work. If you like “earthy” and terroir-driven Pinots, this isn’t it, but if you want a full-throttle wine that might challenge your conception of “Pinot Noir”, this fits the bill. Excellent. 91 Points.

2021 BP Provence Select Côtes de Provence Les Sarrins Rosé, France: Retail $25. 60% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 10% Rolle, 5% Mourvèdre. Agglomerated stopper. I wish I could say that this is getting boring, but, alas, this is now my favorite Provençal rosé. 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. I had a previous vintage of this wine years ago and loved it. This one is better. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2014 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Stampede Vineyard, Clements Hill AVA, Lodi, CA: Retail $28. I was sent two bottles of this wine and I really liked the first bottle a half a dozen years ago-ish. I had forgotten about this bottle, which was in the “annex” of the cellar (long story). Dark in the glass, even “really” dark with equally dark fruit: blackberry, cassis, plum. The palate is fruity, balanced, tart. Outstanding. 93 Points.

2012 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard, CA: Retail $42. Under screw cap. Brian Loring has stated on countless occasions that he likes his Pinot young, fruity, and within a year or two of bottling. This is not that. Not even close. But it is also glorious. Good fruit, no, great fruit on the nose and the palate, along with an herbal aspect, and a bit of spice. I have a few more Loring Pinots in the cellar, all 2012s, and I can honestly say that I am in no hurry to get to them (but I probably should). Excellent. 91 Points.

NV Remy Massin & Fils Champagne Brut Rosé, France: Retail $50. 85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay. Purchased from www.invino.com. Another bottle, and well, this one is certainly better than the previous iterations (which were great). Tonight, the fruit seems much more vibrant, fresher, and richer. The acidity, though, is still running the show, keeping all of that fruit in check. Yeah, this is fast approaching “Whoa” status. Excellent. 92 Points.

WINE OF THE WEEK: Another fine week of pulling wine from the cellar, including a few bottles that most would think should have been opened about a handful of years ago, but they were fine. I really enjoyed all of the wines this week, and many of them had fond memories associated with them. This week’s Wine of the Week, the 2014 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Stampede Vineyard, was one such wine. As I pulled the cork, I remember the time that I spent with winemaker Ryan Sherman in the winery/tasting room, battling the fruit flies for a space at the counter, chatting with Ryan about wine production, parenthood, and what it was like to make wine in Lodi. You know, the normal kind of conversations one has over wine.

 What was/were your Wine(s) of the Week?




About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Beaujolais, Champagne, Chardonnay, Cinsault/Cinsaut, France, Gamay, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Rolle, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

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