Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guess the wines

Before Summer break, we had a special tasting event for our wine tasting club. This time, each wine had been transfered into a non related bottle to be tasted blind, and the guests were asked to identify the varietal and region of the wine. Everybody had fun, tried hard, and generally did well with several good answers. Nevertheless, our friend Jean, who was also hosting the event, was the best. He got half of the answers right and won the winning prize, a bottle of Champagne.

We tasted 7 different single varietal wines from different regions of the world including Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, and Spain. Here they are:

• 2005 Fortitude Luvisi Semillon. Fortitude is a project developed by the Etude Winery winemaking team to focus on endangered varietals such as Semillon, Valdiguie, Charbono, and Carignane. This is a 100% Semillon from 25-year old vines grown in the Luvisi family vineyard near Calistoga in Napa Valley. Showing aromas of citrus and honey, the wine was medium-bodied and refreshing, and many tasters identified it as a New World Sauvignon Blanc.

• 2005 Step Road Chardonnay. The wine is produced from a high altitude vineyard in the Adelaide Hills region, in South Australia. It is a cool-climate region with high winter rainfall and cool summers, ideal for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The wine had a golden color, tropical fruit and citrus aromas and a good depth on the palate. Many tasters rightly identified the wine as a New World Chardonnay, the most cited regions being South Africa, California, and Australia.

• 2005 Valle Isarco Sudtiroler Pinot Nero: This is a Pinot Noir from the cool Alto Adige region in northern Italy also known as Sudtirol. The region is bordered by Austria to the north and by Switzerland to the north-west. The wine had a light garnet color, a fruity nose, with a good amount of acidity and slightly tannic on the palate. This light-bodied Pinot Noir was not easy to identify and many tasters thought they had recognized a Gamay.

• 2005 Fleurie Clos de la Roilette : the Clos de la Roilette is a nine hectare east-facing vineyard in Beaujolais' Fleurie appellation, bordering the famed Moulin-à-Vent appellation. The soil is clay and manganese, the vines are on average 25-33 years old. The wine is 100% Gamay with a deep purple color, peony and red berry aromas, a medium-bodied palate with a well-balanced acidity. This one was rightly identified as a French Gamay by many tasters.

• 2005 El Quintanal Vendimia Seleccionada: the wine is a 100% Tempranillo from Spain's Ribera del Duero region. In the Ribera del Duero appellation, vineyards lie on either side of the Douro river, on a high-altitude plateau with cool nights and low rainfall, ideal growing conditions for the Spanish native grape Tempranillo. With a deep color, a black fruit nose, a ripe and spicy palate, this was tricky wine identified as a California Zinfandel by many tasters.

• 2004 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: Viña Los Vascos, located in Chile's Colchagua Valley, is owned by the Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Lafite. Vascos means Basques and is a reference to the estate's Basque origin. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon with a dark red/purple color, black fruit and licorice aromas and a well balanced and elegant palate. Many tasters rightly identified the wine to be a New World Cabernet Sauvignon. The most cited regions were California, Argentina, and Chile.

• 2005 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard: Ponzo Vineyard is a cool-climate vineyard located in California's Russian River Valley. It has small amounts of Carignane and Petite Sirah interplanted with Zinfandel in the oldest blocks. The wine had a deep color, a blackberry and cherry nose, and a fleshy, spicy texture on the palate. Many guessed rightly recognized a California wine, a few identified a Zinfandel, others thought that it was a Syrah.

Our next tasting event will feature summer wines from around the Mediterranean Sea so let's stay in touch.

Previous wine club tastings:
•  Tasting the wines of Australia and New Zealand
•  Tasting the wines of Piedmont
•  Champagne Tasting

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Anonymous said...

Would the owner of this blog please contact

Thank you

Stewart Kenneth Moore (Booda) said...

I'm going to look out for these.

bare foot wine said...

I enjoy reading this article, thanks for sharing.