Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table. It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended October 25th 2015.
2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast – Retail $20
Inky opaque violet color with mixed berry, olive, tobacco, pepper, and a hint of caramel aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, fresh and well-balanced with blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, pepper, and a hint of black currant flavors with a very appealing savory undertone wrapped in velvety tannins, and a giving finish. Fruit sourced from declassified fruit from Alder Springs, Hudson T Griffins Lair and a touch of Viognier from Steiner Ranch. Fantastic QPR! Outstanding; 90-91pts
2012 Sandlands Chenin Blanc – Retail $22
Pale yellow color. Initially opens with wet wool aromas that give way to white peach, apple, citrus, honey and a bit of wet stone aromas. On the palate its medium-bodied, and dry with wonderful acidity and texture with green apple, white peach, baked apricot, and citrus flavors. Lingering satisfying finish with a hint of minerality. 12.8% alcohol. Wonderful at the table! Outstanding; 90-91pts
2013 Campovida Campo di Rossa Riserva – Retail $38
Dark ruby color with candied cherry, plum, pepper, dried herb and a hint of funk aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and well-balanced with a supple texture and well-integrated fine-grained tannins with black cherry, spiced plum, blackberry, and a hint of red currant flavors, and a giving finish 15.2 % Blend of Grenache (49%) Syrah (33%) Carignane (17%) and Petite Sirah (4%) Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts
1999 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut – Retail $129 (ave per winesearcher.com)
Pale yellow gold color with an abundant, steady bead with toast, dried mushroom, quince, hazelnut, and subtle citrus and floral aromas. On the palate it’s refined, pure, zesty, and complex with a creamy mousse and white peach, quince, and citrus flavors underpinned by a chalky minerality and very pleasing savory character. Long finish. Blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from estate Grand Cru vineyards in Avize, Cramant and Ay Outstanding; 92-93pts
2006 Baron-Fuenté Champagne Grand Millésime Brut – Retail $30
Pale yellow color with a steady abundant stream of tiny bubbles and subtle almond biscotti, apple, and apricot aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, toasty, nutty, and refreshing. It shows very good balance with hazelnut, apricot, and green apple flavors with an appealing minerality and a lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts
– Wine of the Week –
Not that I need an excuse, but last week was International #ChampagneDay. It’s my favorite of the wine days (e.g. #GrenacheDay was in September, #Merlot day is forthcoming on November 7th …and there is a brand spanking new #CabFrancDay coming up on December 4th) That’s because Champagne is my favorite wine. This bottle was a gift from my boss for my birthday!
There are three wines we enjoyed last week that I want to bring to your attention because they offer excellent value. The Bedrock Wine Company North Coast Syrah, and the Sandlands Chenin Blanc are both awesome wines that retail for $20 and $22 respectively. The wines are sold via mailing list only but I highly recommend both Bedrock Wine Company and Sandlands. Their wines are made by the reigning Winemaker of the Year, Morgan Twain-Peterson and Tegan Passalacqua respectively The other incredible deal was the 2006 Baron-Fuenté Champagne Grand Millésime Brut. A vintage Champagne for $30 ($29.99) is simply unheard of. And this one was very good to outstanding. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.
My WoW was the 1999 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut. It’s rare that I get to enjoy a Champagne with some age on it. It’s simply tough for me to not drink them as I get them, and I’m a relatively new Champagne lover, so I haven’t been collecting it for years. Some of the more aged bottles are prohibitively expense, but this one, in relative terms, is reasonable.
Besides being festive and ever so food friendly, what you may not realize about Champagne is that it ages very well. If you can stop yourself from drinking it, lay down a few bottles and you’ll be amply rewarded. A well aged Champagne can take on a savory character that, for me, is one of the joys of drinking aged wines. Don’t have time to lay down Champagne? You can find this one here.
Here’s what my favorite wine store K&L Wine Merchants said about the wine
An entirely estate grown tête de cuvée from a grand marque Champagne house is a rare thing. Besides single vineyard offerings like the Clos de Mesnil and Clos Ambonnay from Krug and Clos de Goisses from Philliponnat there are only two: Roederer’s Cristal and Pommery’s Cuvee Louise. When Louis Vouiton Moet Hennessey sold Champagne Pommery to Vranken in April of 2002 they kept the 741 acres of vineyards for themselves. As 2001 was a washout vintage, that leaves this 1999 Cuvee Louise…as the last of this estate Champagne. The 1999 Pommery Cuvee Louise is complete Champagne. It gets its soul from the village of Verzenay, the most important of the 7 grand cru villages that went into the blend. (Note: there is a 2002 Pommery Cuvee Louise on the market that’s apparently the last from the estate vineyards)
If you’re familiar with the history of Veuve Clicquot (Veuve mean “widow” in French) then you know that she is the most well known widow in Champagne, but the story of Madame Pommery is equally compelling.
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