Blind Tasting: Wine #23

Back in January...

(wow, it is basically mid-March now...)

I tasted this wine in a line-up of a whole bunch of other red wines... I got the first one correct. But not the other three. They were ALL THE SAME "TYPE" of WINE. And I just convinced myself that the others could not be the same as the first. 

I selected to write about this one though, since it currently for sale up on VINPORT.com

Though others at the tasting were blind-tasting the wines based on preference (I was too actually.... and this was one of my favorites), I was also trying to guess what it was! 

I was pretty far off-the-mark... but I must say, I learned a whole lot by getting this SO wrong.

Transient

I was a my notes quickly, since I was also trying to be social and engage in conversation in things other than wine, so my notes are not super-detailed regarding appearance, nose, etc, but in general, I jotted down the key points.

  • Earthy
  • Meaty
  • But lots of RED FRUITS
  • Not too much on the nose
  • Med+/High tannins (dried out my mouth)
  • Med+ acid (made under my tongue water)
  • Lighter-ish bodied, but kinda hot (a little burn, felt high alch)
  • Just look at the color; garnet, red, definitely clear (you can see the words through the wine), which typically means it is a lighter skin grape.

Few wines have high tannin AND are light skinned... since tannins can come from grape skins (and also seeds/stems). Anyway, with earthy, red fruits, I would think either Sangiovese  or Pinot Noir, maybe even Tempranillo (but it was high in acid, so not as likely).

For some reason, my gut lead me to...

Pinot Noir, New World, New Zealand


Correct Answer:


BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR, France

Blend of: MERLOT, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CABERNET FRANC

Whoa. I mistook a BORDEAUX for a Pinot? That is just crazy-talk.

Typically, when people think of BORDEAUX, they think BIG & BOLD! But this is not the case, here! See PREVIOUS POSTS for more info... For now, let's see what the heck went on, so I can try and learn something from this epic-fail.

FIRST, 95% of this particular wine is NOT AGED IN OAK (which is the other source of tannin). To my knowledge, THAT IS WEIRD FOR A BORDEAUX. Actually, oak (in-part) affects the color/opacity of the wine. Since there was very little oak aging, this wine was more transparent than most Bordeaux wines might be...

Additionally, this is not from your "typical" LEFT vs RIGHT bank (on either side of the GIRONDE River. Instead, this is from the region between the two rivers that run into the GIRONDE (Garonne and the Dordogne); hence, semi-aptly named, Entre Duex Mers - technically, I think "mer" means "seas", but seas, rivers. Eh. Seperated by water- we get the point. Anyway, this sub-region makes the bulk of the BORDEAUX and BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR wines (which are just broad categories for this general region. 

 

Also, this wine is MOSTLY MERLOT (60%), NOT Cabernet Sauvignon... which again, everyone thinks of when they think of Bordeaux. Of course, this is not unusual on the "right" bank of the Gironde. Just as on the Right Bank, the soils in the Entre-Duex-Mers are more clay based, which is GREAT for Merlot. When I think of Merlot, I generally think plums and other purple fruits (cassis?), red fruits, some licorice, maybe even tabacco. Typically it is not as acidic or tannic as the more powerful Cab Sauv, and it is usually lighter in color... Though not as light as what I was seeing in my glass.

There is also a fun grape in here: CABERNET FRANC (a parent of Cab Sauv, the other is Sauv Blanc!) Cab Franc tends to be dominated by bright red fruits, have high tannin and taste a bit like earthy, leaves, and green peppers. I guess that is the source of the "earthiness" I was detecting. Some people even claim "lead pencil" for this grape, but I did not get any of that in this particular wine.

Overall, I feel like I must  have missed several flavor notes that should have clued me in that it could not have been Pinot, but in talking to others who've tried it, they actually said my guess was not too far off...

SO - I suggest you pick up this bottle from VINPORT and give it a try... 

Let me know what you think. Is there anything about this wine that reminds you of a Pinot?