This Monterrey Chardonnay presents a crisp tangy balance of rich flavors. Peaches, nectarines, mango and hints of guava and bread fruit are the flavors that make up the complexity of this wine. This chardonnay is rich and smooth, very drinkable. It has a sweet start with all the fruit flavors however it has a dry finish. This wine is aged completely without oak barrels. I see this resulting in a lighter colored and clearer wine. I will also say I did not miss the oak flavor. I would pair this with light summer fare, salads and grilled fish.
The Banrock Station Chardonnay presents intense fruit aromas of citrus and peach with hints of tropical notes, spicy vanilla bean and sweet oak to the nose. The flavors of fresh and juicy fruit salad made of peach, melon and honeydew, with hints oak influence. This wine has a soft and creamy full bodied texture, balanced acid and excellent length. This is a dry, fairly full bodied Chardonnay. I see this wine being served with seafood such a swordfish or grilled mahi-mahi.
Acidity: 5.5 -7g/l
pH: 3.0 –3.4
Banrock Station’s wine making philosophy is to create flavorsome, generous, value for money Australian wines, while demonstrating respect for the good earth from which they come. They have tremendous respect for the environment. Part of this respect is introduction of varieties that grow more sustainably in the South Australian climate. Mediterranean varieties are proving great water-savers as well as producing a wonderful variety of flavors for today’s adventurous palates. The 239 hectare vineyard is managed using best-practice techniques. Irrigation is used only as necessary, indicated by moisture probes in the soil. Gradual conversion to sub-surface irrigation and vineyard-wide mulching both reduce the amount of supplementary watering required.
In 2002 the Banrock Station vineyard achieved the international environmental management system accreditation, ISO 14001.
The vintage of a wine is about the last thing that most casual wine drinkers look for when choosing a bottle to bring home to go with dinner. However that bit of information can provide huge insights to the taste, aroma and body of the wine inside. A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single specified year. In certain wines, it can denote quality, as in Port wine, where Port houses make and declare vintage Port in their best years. From this tradition, a common, though incorrect, usage applies the term to any wine that is perceived to be particularly old or of a particularly high quality. In the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand a “vintage wine” must be 85% same-year content. Meaning 85% of the grapes had to be grown in the vintage year. If the wine is the United States and is produced in an American Viticultural Area (AVA), Napa valley, for example the standard is 95%. Technically, the 85% rule in the United States applies equally to imports, but there are obvious difficulties in enforcing the regulation.
The best vintages in any region have a growing season that produced consistently warm temperatures day to day and cool nights. However, no extremes to these temperatures, no spikes of hot days or cold nights with frost. Grapes do not tolerate rapid change in temperatures as a rule, but spikes to high temps are very problematic as the fruit can quickly become overripe. On the other end of the temperature spectrum, frost can cause just as much if not more havoc. Grapes can be devastated by frost from the point the vine blossoms until harvest. Either a late frost in the spring or an early frost in autumn can ruin a crop for a year. Vintages from hot weather years may have higher alcohol content, and have a lower acidity. Cold weather years tend to produce a lighter body wine with higher acidity. If it is too cold the grapes will not ripen enough to produce wine.
Of course there are other weather events that can affect wine production. Late season rains can cause delays in a grower’s ability to harvest the fruit. When the grapes are ripe and have formed thick plump bunches, rain can cause mold and mildew to grow. What might be the most devastating event for a grower; hail can ravage a crop in minutes. This may not only ruin one year’s crop but can beat the vines and cause long term damage.
I know a lot of weather forecasters that may not be as obsessed with the weather as some wine producers.
I started to explain it then I told him, I will wright about it and that way could get all the thoughts on what I do in one place. Tasting wine is different from just drinking with dinner or at a party with friends. I see this as a process to investigate the wine and discover the nooks and crannies that make each wine unique and different. Now I am not saying that these five steps do not apply when you have wine with a meal, but if you are doing a serious tasting this is what I see you should do. Please let me know what you think or how you taste wine in the comments.
|1. SEE||Hold the glass by its stem and tip it away from you, preferably against a white or light background. The white allows you to see the different shades of color, particularly at the rim where the age of a wine tends to show. Red wines range from deep purple to pale tawny; whites go from pale greenish-yellow to deep gold. As a rule, red wines lose color with age; whites deepen in color with age. Usually, the browner a wine, the older it is.|
|2. SWIRL||Wine’s flavor molecules are given off only on the surface of the liquid. By swirling, you maximize the wine’s surface area and release more of the bouquet. As you swirl, lift the glass to your nose.|
|3. SMELL||Smelling is a very important part of the tasting process. Think about how smell affects your enjoyment of food. Smell the wine three times, swirling each time to release the bouquet. Notice if the wine is clean and attractive, the intensity of the smell, and what the aromas bring to mind. Negative or “off ” smells are:
|4. SIP||Take a sip of wine and try to make sure that all of the tongue is exposed to the liquid. Hold the wine in your mouth for 3 seconds before swallowing. Notice how sweet or sour, bitter, astringent, or alcoholic the wine is. Gauge the body of the wine. Think skim milk, milk, heavy cream. Also, how does the wine feel in your mouth? The term “mouth feel” is used for the sensations experienced.|
|5. SAVOR||Now is the time to assess the wine as a whole. Do I like this wine? Why or why not? Were all the elements in balance or did one of them seem obtrusive? In young reds, tannin often dominates while young whites are often very acid. In an older wine, this lack of balance would be a fault. Is the wine light, medium, or full-bodied? What kinds of food would work well with this wine?|
Gnarly head Pinot Grigio is full of fruit flavors and has a feisty acidity. This is a bold white wine. The nose detects floral tones of honeysuckle and some tropical flowers. The flavors of this Pinot Grigio include lemon, honeydew melon, nectarine and a hint of apricot. This is a refreshing white wine that would be perfect for sipping while lounging in the hammock on a nice spring evening or while relaxing in hot tub watching the snow fall. I would serve this Gnarly head with seafood or light and spicy Asian dishes.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Decopas Malbec. I really liked that wine so when I had the chance to try their Sauvignon Blanc I jumped at the opportunity.
The first thing I noticed about the Sauvignon Blanc is how clear the wine is in the glass. While it has the golden color you would expect from this variety of grape, I think it is exceptionally clear. In fact this was so clear I could read my notes through the glass of wine.
To the nose this Decopas presents bright floral notes with some citrus hints along with a bit of passion fruit mixed in. This wine comes to the pallet with the taste of lime and other tropical flavors provide this wine its crisp clean taste. A few earthy hints add a slight mineral finish.
Generally I am a red wine guy. I tend to gravitate to the dry reds. However, I can honestly report that I really like this white. This Sauvignon Blanc is dryer than many whites I have tasted. This makes it a great choice to serve either with cheese like brie at a party or with grilled fish such as Mahi-mahi for a meal. Also, this would be very refreshing sitting in a rocking chair on a warm summer night on a porch. That may be the best time to enjoy the Decopas Sauvignon Blanc.
The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc are grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina. This area ranges in altitude up to about 5000 ft. above sea level. This are at the foothills of the Andes Mountains produces the majority of the wine coming out of Argentina today. The altitude and the rich alluvial soils make for near perfect conditions for growing grapes.
Acidity: 7.0 g/l
Average Price: $12.00
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.
This is another offering from Noble Vines. This chardonnay is crisp and clean with an oak or maple woody flavor on the front end that fades to the taste of light citrus such as such as lime and other tropical fruits. The aroma is one of almonds and pears. I found the 446 to be a bit acidic but still a very pleasant white wine Pair this wine roasted chicken or other fowl, soft cheeses and autumn salads. In past vintages the 446 was a single vineyard wine. That reference is missing from the 2013 on the label and on the Noble Vines Website. So, I am assuming that this is blended with grapes from a different vineyard for 2013. Of course the back label refers to this all being vine type 4 from block 46 (which is where the 446 number comes from) so my assumption may be wrong. At $10 to $12 dollars a bottle this is a very drinkable chardonnay.
Overall a good wine, not a great chardonnay