2009 Hippolyte-Reverdy SANCERRE ROSE (Loire Valley, France) -- I think I've decided that the Pinot Noir roses from Sancerre are my favorites. This one was remarkable. Gorgeously light salmon color, gorgeously fruity nose of strawberries, cherries, and a light floral component. Perfumed as all get-out. Gorgeously light texture, but with intense yet vivacious fruit. Very nice acidity and a clean clean finish. Loved it. 90. $19.99 from B-21 Wines in Florida.
2005 Guigal GIGONDAS (Southern Rhone, France) -- Gigondas can be an unforgiving wine, sometimes too angular, lean, and/or rustic/coarse. But when it hits, it hits, and this one hit. Black ruby-garnet. Fantastic old-school spicy, gravelly-stony, dark berries and garrigue nose. Smells like the arid southern French countryside in a bottle. Dark, intensely rich, iodine-infused blackberry extract flavors. Full-bodied frame (just the teeniest bit of heat noticeable on the finish), and a fair amount of tannin. Very expressive and satisfying. Textbook Gigondas. 91. (Can't remember where I got this, but it wasn't in Houston).
2007 Domaine Weinbach RIESLING Schlossberg "Cuvee Saint Catherine L'Inedit" (Alsace France) -- this half bottle of late-picked Riesling (from a Grand Crus vineyard) was very backward at first, but then blossomed after about an hour. Extraordinarily pale gold color, and an amazingly rich, complex nose of deeply-spiced grapes and tropical fruit, brown sugar, and the sweetest minerals imaginable. Intensely flavorful, with earthy, spiced peach extract, ending in a long cling peach syrup and liquid mineral finish. Fairly full-bodied for a Riesling with a little heat in the long, long finish. Redunculous. 93. Was $46 per 375 ml at Houston Wine Merchant.