We served the wine at a brisk 61 degrees with fish and chips. The color was clear and golden like a chardonnay should be, and Michael got citrus and melon in the nose. The first taste had a nice medium weight and crispness that suggested the wine had been fermented in steel tanks. Nonetheless, there was the spice of applied oak, meaning oak used as an ingredient instead of to cover one or more faults. The finish was decent but not long.
Just like the cabernet we mentioned earlier, these are decent wines for midweek meals or occasions where
Continue reading BV Coastal Estates 2008 Chardonnay
Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Hopland area of Mendocino County. The grapes come from many different vineyards, so forget terroir. Any trace of locality is impossible to detect.
For your calibration purposes, we drank the wine with a black bean soup. The soup was good and hot, but the wine was 72 degrees. Anne had opened the bottle several hours earlier to use as part of the soup.
The color was very deep ruby. The nose had a cassis – black currant – tinge to it along with a warm mulling spice hint as well. The mouthfeel –
Continue reading Fetzer Valley Oaks 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Calibration Tasting
This week we’re doing a new calibration tasting. What’s that, you ask? Well, since we firmly believe that wine is a subjective experience, tasting notes by themselves can only tell you so much. After all, say we write that we caught some cherry in the nose, and some light tannins on the finish. So then you try that exact same wine and smell raisin and get some acid, instead. Does that mean we don’t know what we’re writing about? Does it mean you don’t know how to taste wine?
It means neither of those things. The reality of any
Continue reading It’s Calibration Time!
The tasting calibration continues with the Blackstone Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. And again, this isn’t about us telling you what we think this wine should taste like. This is about you tasting this or a similar wine so that you know what we’re talking about when we mention, say, hints of cassis, one of the “standard” flavors for cabs.
So what the heck is cassis (pronounced cah-seess)? Well, turns out it’s a black currant plant, currants being the small, dark berries found on this particular shrub. The French make a liqueur from them called creme the nose, although it’s
Continue reading Calibration Time, Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon
Overall, the Fetzer Vineyards 2008 Valley Oaks Chardonnay is a pretty basic chard. It’s light – the sort of wine that’s good with salads, a simple roast chicken, perhaps, or a light sole or even some creamy pasta sauces. You just don’t want to pair it with anything terribly strong-flavored, like a dish heavy on the garlic.
Here’s what we found:
The color was a clear, straw-colored yellow. The nose (or aroma) turned up some hints of melon, a little bit of citrus and light oak. The mouthfeel was fairly lush – it’s not the sort of wine we’d
Continue reading Syncing up with Fetzer Chard
The winery’s tasting notes called the smell in their wine “gaminess.” Michael wrote down “barnyard.” Anne just wrinkled her nose and said, “Ooo. Ick.” Someone could have said, “Wow, that’s great!”
All of us would be right. Or correct.
Tasting wine is an inherently subjective process. And Napa-centric snobs notwithstanding, any wine you like makes it a good wine. True, there are certain characteristics that most people seem to agree make wine taste good. And there are certain smells and tastes that distinguish different grapes (aka varietals). But the way we might describe a basic cabernet sauvignon is not
Continue reading It’s Calibration Week! Start Your Bottles