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What We Drank Last Week: The Quarantine Chronicles, Volume 2

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Here we go! Another week in wine. Check 'em out.

From Left to Right....

NV Kirkland Signature, Champagne Brut (Champagne, France)

2013 Adelsheim, Pinot Noir "Bryan Creek" (Willamette Valley, OR, USA)

2013 Luciano Ercolino, Taurasi "Santandrea" (Campania, Italy)

2011 Castelli del Grevepesa, Chianti Classico "Lamole" Gran Selezione (Tuscany, Italy)

2011 Bruno Giacosa, Barbera d'Alba "Falletto" (Piedmont, Italy)

2010 Elizabeth Spencer, Sonoma Coast Syrah (California, USA)

2017 Tapiz, Malbec, (Mendoza, Argentina)

NV Delamotte, Champagne Brut (Champagne, France)

2018 Kirkland Signature, Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) not pictured

Is anyone else keeping track of the time by how many empty bottles are on the counter? No? Only us? The concept of time is so strange right now, and sometimes it's hard to tell how much has passed. This week we drank some incredible, varied wines from our cellar, some old favorites, and some new "research" on wines that we are not familiar with.

Liz's favorite this week was the 2013 Adelsheim Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon. It was a great example of Pinot Noir from Oregon. The nose was almost Burgundian in nature - the taste was earthy, mushroomy, some baking spice, red fruit. We had the opportunity to visit the winery in the summer of 2018. They have a beautiful property, passionate staff, and awesome wines. Sometimes their single-vineyard wines will pop up on Garagiste for an incredible deal, and if you see it jump on it! We had already purhased a couple of bottles on a whim before our in-person visit and the staff was floored at the kind of deal we were able to get. Adelsheim was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Willamette Valley. For their more widely distributed wines (i.e. fruit from the entire Willamette Valley Region and larger production), check out Costco, as we have seen these wines for around $20 and worth every penny. Below are pictures from our visit in 2018 and the one on the right is the bottle we enjoyed this past week.

Taurasi paired with charred eggplant ravioli and celery salad

Mike's pick of the lot was a little bit of a surprise - the 2013 Taurasi. This wine, made from the Aglianico grape in the Campania Region of Italy, was superb. This wine was floral and expressive on the nose and in the glass had nice acidity, power, very present tannins, and nice dark cherry notes. Often a wine with powerful tannins such as this can seem austere, and rather bullish in the glass, but in this Taurasi, it seemed well-balanced by the acidity and fruit. It's fresh and pleasing now, but can cellar for years to come. This wine is reminiscent of the wines of Piedmont that we enjoy so much, and in fact, the Taurasi wines are often referred to as the "Barolo of the South". Purchased in June of 2019 from WTSO.

Our top value pick this week was easily the 2018 Kirkland Signature Malbec, which we wrote a little bit about in a recent post this week. You can find our blow by blow of that wine in competition here. You can also find a nice review at the CostcoWineBlog here. Bottom line? A quality wine for $7? Yes, please.

The 2011 Giacosa Barbera? What happened? Why wasn't this wine the hands down favorite of the week, or the month, or the year? This is a small production wine at 6700 bottles (bottles, NOT cases, let that sink in) and 300 magnums from a legendary wine maker. For me (Mike speaking here), it was almost a little bit too integrated with those years on it - it was harvested almost 9 years ago. Not an old wine by any stretch of the imagination, but Barbera should be consumed young to enjoy those fresh, juicy and vibrant flavors.This wine had those qualities, but I had to sort of search for them on my palate. I just missed that zippiness that we've grown accustomed to tasting in Piemonte these last few years. This was a great bottle, just perhaps not quite what I was expecting. We have a couple of bottles from the 2016 vintage and are looking forward to seeing what they hold in store.

What was your favorite wine of the last week? Why? We'd love to hear from you!

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