What We Have Been Drinking—3/13/2023

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).

2008 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Eola – Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $65. Under screwcap. I bought a case of this wine over a decade ago (February, 2011) and after this bottle, we have but three remaining. Yowza. Still youthful in the glass with little signs of age–no visible bricking, fantastic fruit aromas (dark cherry, earth, blackberry)–there is a ton going on here on the nose. The palate is even better: fruit, tartness, balance, this is pretty close to amazing. I am often accused (by my wife–but she shall go unnamed) of holding on to wines too long, but this bottle? I say to the nay-sayers (perhaps, I don’t know, my wife?): “I told you so.” Outstanding. 94 Points. 

2021 Belles d’Eguilles Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, France: Retail $13. Under screw cap. From WTSO. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah. A serviceable Provençale rosé, but certainly nothing special. Subtle fruit, good acidity, short finish. Like I said, it’s fine but I would not buy again as there are better options in this price range. Very Good. 87 Points.

2014 Ferrari-Carano Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $38. I received two bottles of this wine as samples back in July of 2017 and I am finally getting around to popping the second bottle. Good thing as I don’t think this is going to get any better. Don’t get me wrong, it is still quite nice, but it seems to have slipped a bit since I tried that first bottle nearly five years ago. Still quite a bit of fruit on both the nose and the palate, with ample acidity and nice balance. The only real difference I can discern? This bottle ends up a bit short on the finish, but I think I nitpick. Excellent. 90 Points.

2014 Gilles Bouton Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly Blanc, Burgundy, France: Retail $70(?). 100% Chardonnay. I waxed, hopefully poetically, on the last bottle of this wine that I popped. It was procured by a dear friend of mine, who died, tragically and unexpectedly a little over a year ago. Sigh. This wine, I feel, was one we discovered together and one that his widow gifted me shortly after his death. Whoa. Yeah. Objectively? This is stellar. A nose of citrus and hazelnut, along with a hint of oak, this is what aged white Burgundy should be. The palate is further evidence with great fruit, perfect acidity, and a lengthy finish. Outstanding. 94 Points.

2005 Domaine Rolet Chardonnay L’Etoile, Arbois, France: Retail $28. Heavy bottle. 100% Chardonnay. This is yet another bottle that I acquired after my dear friend died and his widow opened his cellar for me to pilfer. Among other incredible wines, I grabbed this. Whoa. Not many wines from the Jura make their way to the U.S. so I jumped at this beauty. Oxidized? Sure. But that is the hallmark of the wines from the region and this wine is gorgeous. Nutty, fruity, toasty, and oaky, this wine is off the charts. Tart, nutty, vibrant. Whoa. There are few people, I imagine, that would appreciate a wine such as this, but that is fine with me as I can therefore still acquire it. Outstanding. 95 Points.

NV Salmon Champagne Montgolfière Sélection Brut, France: Retail $45. 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. This is officially the last bottle of this wine that I got from Last Bottle Wines and this has to be one of the better bottles of the lot. Golden in the glass with tree fruit, marzipan, and just the slightest funk (I love the funk). The palate is also delightful with baked apple, pear, and a velvety yeastiness. Excellent. 90 Points.

WINE OF THE WEEK: The choice for the Wine of the Week was an easy one this go around as not only was there an emotional attachment to the 2005 Domaine Rolet Chardonnay L’Etoile, it also happened to be the best wine we popped all week. When that happens? It is pretty close to nirvana (the Buddhist one, not the grunge one). In the past, I have opened other “special” bottles only to be underwhelmed or worse, so it was refreshing or even encouraging that the Rolet was so darned good. Is my evaluation, the lofty score that I attributed, due (at least in part) to the emotional attachment I had to the wine? While I would like to think not, I know that it is impossible to disassociate oneself from the stories behind the bottle. And why would one want to? That is precisely what makes wine so fascinating.

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

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