Another sold out Blind Tasting League, and a high-scoring one at that!
The Wine: Woodlands Chardonnay, Wilyabrup Valley, Australia, 2014
What we Tasted: Tart Apple, banana, Tropical Fruit, Pear, lemongrass, Steel, “Stale Water,” Vanilla, “Lemon Curd,” Ginger, Chalk, “Funky Smell,” Lemon/Citrus, Floral
What we Guessed: US Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Argentine Pinot Grigio
What we Thought: For the most part, our panel enjoyed this wine. Comments ranged from “Strong, but not complex,” and “relatively simple” to “Enjoyable.” Although one taster said it was “too tart,” most agreed that this Australian Chardonnay was a nice alternative to the more common California Chardonnays.
The Wine: Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2016
What We Tasted: “Starburst Candy,” Smoky Apricot, “Bouquet of Flowers,” “Gooseberry,” banana, “Passion Fruit,” Grapefruit, “Fruity Minerals,” Mango, “Dragon Fruit,”
What we Guessed: While everyone guessed Sauvignon Blanc, we were divided about whether it was from New Zealand, Chile or California.
What we Thought: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs can be a love it or hate it kind of thing, and our tasting panel was divided on this one. One taster shouted “Awesome!” after tasting it, while another scrunched up his nose and said “I don’t like it.” “Different” quipped another taster while another said it “needed food.” Regardless of whether they loved it or hated it, it was definitely a classic New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc.
The Wine: Pietralta Sangiovese, Chianti, Italy, 2015
What we Tasted: Black Cherry, “Truffles,” Cedar, “Sandalwood,” Black Pepper, Sour Cherry, “Wet Pavement,” Chalky, “Raspberry Taffy,” Spicy
What we Guessed: While one taster guessed Pinot Noir for this lighter than average Chianti, most of us were firmly in Italy. Nebbiolo was a common guess along with Barbera, while a few correctly guessed Sangiovese. I was sure this was Barbera.
What we Thought: Mostly we liked this lean and spicy Sangiovese. “I would like it with food,” said one taster, “So dry” said another at the high levels of acidity in the wine. Another mentioned that while she didn’t like the nose, it “smelled better than it tasted.” All in all, most of us agreed that it would happily keep pizza or bruschetta company!
The Wine: Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California, 2014
What We Tasted: “Rubbing Alcohol,” Cherries, Honey, Nutmeg, “Pickle Juice,” Licorice, “Dried Fruit”, Molasses, “Minty,” “Dr. Pepper”
What we Guessed: While almost all of us guessed new world and most of us guessed California specifically, we couldn’t agree on the varietal. Zinfandel was a popular guess, along with Merlot. There were a few guesses for Australian Shiraz and even a Grenache from Spain. No one actually guessed Cabernet on this soft, fruity wine.
What we Thought: Despite no one recognizing it as Cabernet, it was very popular with our group! “I would drink it while watching a movie” said one taster, “Likeable enough” said another and another said they liked it “better than the other one.” Although we had a few grumbles about the wine being overly soft and “like drinking felt” most enjoyed the wine. One taster said that it “tastes better the more of it you drink.” Don’t they all!