“The Week in Wine.” 22-28 May, 2017

It’s funny, but with the school year wrapping up, things have gotten so busy that I can barely make time to write. I think I finally have all of my grading done, but there are plenty of meetings and a stack of paperwork I need to knock out, in addition to the fact that, no matter how politely I posit my request, the world refuses to stop spinning and let me catch up.

My parents came for a visit this week, and together with Sonja, we shared some nice wines. They helped me work on the wine cellar for a bit, and they did some nice landscaping in our yard. I also helped teach a class on the Judgment of Paris at one of my favorite local haunts, and we tasted some truly terrific stuff there.  In all this week, I tasted 38 wines, and enjoyed the vast majority of them. Below are some of the standouts.

22-28 May, 2017


Chateau Chantecler is quickly emerging as one of my all-time favorites. A left-banker from Pauillac, it was tasted blind in our “Judgment” tasting and did well. From a tiny property sandwiched between the two Rothschild First Growths of Lafite and Mouton, this is killer wine at a stunningly reasonably price given its geographical pedigree. Distinctly old world, distinctly Bordeaux, distinctly Cab, distinctly its own unique self, this one is easy to love.


Another wine we tasted at the “Judgment” tasting was this gorgeous 2001 vintage Chardonnay. I’d never had one this old, but it had aged so incredibly that I raved about it in another blog. Read here: https://itheewine.com/2017/05/23/piece-de-resistance-review-2001-chateau-montelena-chardonnay/  Ultimately, for its candied flavors, elegance, and the history around it, this wine was easily one of the best white wines I’ve ever had, full stop. If you can get your hands on some of this, I highly recommend you do so.


After the class, we celebrated. Napa won again, so naturally Napa had to remain on the table. This wine, the artwork of master vintner Tom Rees, is one of my favorites. An elegant and flavorful Napa Cab, it held up to any we tasted that night, and remains a go-to wine for me when celebration is in order. It’s always a good week when I get to enjoy a wine like this!


Another terrific wine this week came from DeLille Cellars in Washington. Their 2013 Cab Sauv is an age-worthy giant, and one I would suggest you cellar for another 5-10 years if not more. Terrific dark fruits and earthy flavors drive this stellar wine that exists in near-perfect balance, and Sonja and I enjoyed a glass after dinner one evening. I highly recommend this one.


I know you’ve had this next one; it’s about as ubiquitous as it is delicious. Incredibly consistent, the 2013 is gorgeous, with more fruit than most old world wines, but all of the delicate nature that should place it in Italy. Best of all, it was poured for me at a tasting by a former student of mine, a wonderful young lady that I always love catching up with. Great bonus!


The next one was a bit of a surprise to me. I know Parducci as a producer of solid wines, though I know them mostly for Cab, so maybe I didn’t expect their Pinot Noir to come through as impressively as it did. Big, as Pinot goes, yet true to the varietal, I paired this with some beautiful bacon-wrapped Turkey filets, and was glad I had. Really a nice wine; try this one!


If you read me much, you’ve heard me gush over winemaker Jon Emmerich’s wines at Silverado Vineyards before, and for good reason. Similar to the above, however, I often think of Jon’s Cabernet, especially GEO and SOLO, when I think of him. This Chardonnay really struck me. To be honest, I’m a bit tired of the varietal lately, but the incredible, delicate nature of this wine was a delight from start to finish. Tart green apples, minerals, hints of butter, all in terrific balance. For me to be impressed by this wine the same week that I tasted a 2001 Chateau Montelena probably tells you all you need to know. Definitely, definitely, definitely try this wine!

So there it is, another week in the books. I had some great wine this week, and some really nice ones that I didn’t have time to mention here. Thanks for understanding. Of course, you can read all of my reviews on Vivino anytime you’d like. As always, I’d love to get your feedback and your suggestions. Until next week, cheers, and enjoy the wine!



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