Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tasting Notes: Blind Tasting at Java Monkey

The most educational type of wine tasting is the blind tasting, where, stripped of preconceptions associated with type, you can really get into the characteristics of the wine itself. You can also find out how much you really don't know. This was my experience at Java Monkey's most recent tasting.

1. Martin Hugl Gruner Veltliner, 2006, Austria
This wine had a really floral nose and a lot of mineral to the palate with a hint of sweetness. Hubby got the closest when his first impression was "something German or Austrian."

2. Babich Sauvignon Blanc, 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand
Credit for this one goes to our friend M. (whose photos will be showing at Java Monkey in April). He picked it out as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc right away, mostly because it has the odd finish that you find with some of these. Honeysuckle nose and citrus flavors on the palate are also typical of the type. No one at the table really liked this one.

3. Montinore Estate Pinot Noir, 2006, Willamette Valley, Oregon
This one came out of the bottle very light in color, but the flavor was all Pinot. One of the better wines of the night. Hubby and I got this one right.

4. Campos Reales Tempranillo, 2006, La Mancha, Spain
This one had a grape jam nose and dark fruit/grape flavors. It's unoaked, which threw the table. I had Tempranillo as an alternate guess, but no one really got this one.

5. Cartlidge & Brown Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006, California
This one is a Cab blended with some other stuff. By this time, I was too frustrated to take notes, so I don't have anything except that it was "very good."

6. Niner "Bootjack Ranch" Syrah, 2004, Paso Robles, California
Tannic and spicy, I got this one as a Syrah, except I guessed a Shiraz from Australia. Oh, well, at least I got the varietal correct. It was also pretty good and got some more fruit to it after it had been open for a while.

I could say that I'm frustrated with not doing better, but I choose to look at it like this: the desire to learn more about wine will take me to some interesting and very yummy places, and further expertise will come with experience. I think I'll go open some more experience now.

No comments: