What We Have Been Drinking—3/6/2023

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).

NV Champagne Louis Armand Champagne Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, France: Retail $50. 100% Chardonnay. I picked up a case of this wine from Vivino for $30/bottle and we have now had two bottles. The first I opened during the Super Bowl, not in a celebratory gesture (my Eagles lost), but because we always drink champagne. No official notes from that bottle, but with the second? This was a stellar choice. Good to great tree fruit on the nose with a healthy dose of freshly-baked croissant goodness. The palate is well-balanced with fruit, tartness, yeastiness, and a bunch of verve. Excellent. 91 Points. 

NV Gallimard Père et Fils Champagne Les Meurgers Blanc de Noirs, France: Retail $50. 100% Pinot Noir. I have had a few cuvées from Gallimard now, all of which (I think) I received from Last Bottle Wines. This might just be the best of the bunch. Fairly dark, more of an amber than a straw, with plenty of baked apple and fresh croissant on the nose. The palate is quite rich and layered with good fruit, fantastic tartness, and off-the-charts yeastiness. Excellent. 92 Points.

2017 Domaine Nicolas Girard Sancerre, Loire Valley, France: Retail $25. Under cork. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. When looking for a Sancerre in my cellar, I was distressed to discover that I had a mere five bottles total across just two wines. I am going to have to rectify that soon. Pale straw in the glass with citrus predominate (more lime than lemon) on the nose, along with a mineral note and a healthy salinity vibe going on. Wonderfully tart and mineral on the palate, holy cow, with a subtle roundness and a lengthy finish. Wonderful.  Excellent. 91 Points.

2006 Moët & Chandon Champagne Grand Vintage, France: RRetail $75. 42% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir, 19% Pinot Meunier. Disgorgement 9/2013. For a while there, I was not all that impressed with the wines produced by Champagne’s largest producer, particularly the non-vintage options. Over the last couple of decades, though, the ship has been righted, so to speak, and the quality has vastly improved, which can be traced directly to the hiring of Benoît Gouez as the Chef de Cave (winemaker) at Moët et Chandon. This wine is pretty fantastic; nearly golden in the glass with plenty of golden delicious apple, white pear, and a heavy dose of yeastiness. The palate is more yeasty than fruity, but there is plenty of both. A bit of a gap on the mid-palate, but the finish is long and tart. Very nice. Excellent. 92 Points.

2020 Out East Côtes de Provence Rosé, France: Retail $40. 70% Grenache, 30% Cinsault. I found this online for $12 and even though it is a couple of years out by this point, I took a leap. Given that this is a True Rosé, it should be fine for another couple of years at least. A bit darker than your average Provençal rosé with a lovely nose of wild strawberry, white peach, and Bing cherry. The palate is quite fruity but with a tartness to match but also considerable roundness and weight. While this is by no means “big” it is certainly “bigger” than most wines from the region, as it is no doubt intended for the American market. Excellent. 90 Points.

2021 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel, France: Retail $23. 60% Grenache, 13% Clairette, 13% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 3% Mourvèdre, 1% Bourboulenc. I have now tasted several vintages of this wine and this 2021 confirms my feeling that this is one of my favorite rosés on the market. Darker than most rosés, but lighter than most Tavels, this wine is bursting with aromas and flavors. Watermelon, rhubarb, and cherry all dance out of the glass and dominate the palate. There is also a considerable minerality, plenty of weight, and enough intrigue to solidify the “serious wine” reputation of the wines of Tavel. Fantastic. Outstanding. 93 Points.

WINE OF THE WEEK: This week, we returned to more of a “normal” week of pulling wines from the cellar. For us, “normal” means multiple bottles of champagne–last week there were none. And even though we drink rosé year round, the last couple of weeks have been on the warm side in Texas, and as a result, we have been pulling more rosé wines. One of those, the 2021 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel is this week’s Wine of the Week. Stellar year after year, this is perhaps the best rosé imported by Kermit Lynch, one of the best indications of quality you can find on a wine bottle. 

 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 Bourboulenc, Champagne, Chardonnay, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Clairette, France, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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