There is nothing better than great wine with great friends. Wine is meant to be shared and the sharing is even more fun and exciting when wine geeks get together.
I had guests from California recently and we went through quite a line up of tasty treats. There wasn’t a strike out in the bunch, a home run or two, and a grand slam. Corny I know, but I think I’ll go with it for today.
Château d’Esclans 2012
Provence Rosé Whispering Angel
This wine led us off with a wonderful hint of strawberry and citrus. It’s a beautiful light pink/salmon that you expect from Provence. It’s dry, light, and pink – what else can you say about a great summer wine? A solid double (Highly Recommended) to get our group started. A few in the group had not had a good dry Provence before – sworn Red lovers – and came away liking it. You can find this great representation of Southern France in the $16-$23 range at better wine shops. This is pretty darn good Rose for the price point!
I’ve long been a big-time Lange fan and this 2008 I carried back from Oregon didn’t disappoint. Lovely strawberry, raspberry and beautiful balance from the deft hand of Jesse Lange. It had a big beautiful nose and a wonderfully soft finish for a young wine. Lange wines often show more minerality than this bottle, but the fruit was gorgeous. The group loved it for its lighter Oregon style. At $60 SRP, it doesn’t come cheap but it’s a great representation of the upper end of Oregon Pinot Noir – a definite triple (Highly Recommended).
Guests brought this Paso Robles Pinot and I was impressed. You couldn’t have a better contrast than go from the lighter Oregon style Pinot to a California Central Coast wine with a nice big rich mouth feel as opposed to the acid, mineral and more Burgundy-like touch of Oregon. One review called it full-bodied and juicy and I’m not sure I can top that. Cellartracker members gave this a very respectable 89 points. I think that’s about right, maybe 90. Jack Cellars, SRP $43, drives a triple into right center with this stylish and big California Pinot (Highly Recommended)
Yes, I started the baseball thing and I’m sticking with it!
This wine rocked! If you like Zinfandel, you need to look for Peterson wines. The wine was bold, rich, and I got some black raspberry near the finish that was stunning. It had mild pepper and tannins on the finish and beautiful balance from start to finish. Here is an awesome wine for some dark chocolate! The average price according to Wine-Searcher is $37. CellarTracker members rated this at 89 but I’d go 90-91 on that scale. In other words, a home run! (Very Highly Recommended)
Smooth Cabernet from California always hits the spot. The 2004 was deeply rich with dark cherry and a bit of caramel or similar flavor. I loved its smoothness. The wine was a good example of every palate being a bit different. The professional critics liked this wine more than the citizen sites. Wine Spectator awarded the wine a 90 while Wine-Searcher and Cellar Tracker were at 89-88, respectfully.
Never mind any critic – if you like it, drink it, and buy more. I liked it a lot and thought it was the winner of the night in a pretty impressive lineup of wines!
The average price for this wine, if you can find it, is about $50 but upper $40 to upper $60 range isn’t unusual according to online sites. Beringer is an old name in California wine. Their higher-end Cabernet wines are usually well worth the money. That’s what I thought on this one – I’d go 92 points and make this the grand slam of my goofy night at the plate! (Very Highly Recommended)