Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Secret Wine

Followers of wine bloggers may have taken notice of a contest currently running. The PR agency Clair de Lune, working on behalf of French wine, has sent out a package containing 3 mystery bottles of French red wine to 85 wine bloggers.

The first blogger to correctly guess the origin (appellation) of each wine wins the contest. First prize is a wine holiday, and runner up prizes are cases of 6 bottles of wine.

Before I received the bottles I guessed that the wine would be from the South of France, as more established regions don't really need this sort of PR exercise. After tasting the wines I'm even more convinced.

All three wines were distinctly different, and I also thought they were all very good. Much better than the 'reference' wines we bought to compare them to (to help with the guessing). I have to say though, trying to guess which appellation they were from was pretty much impossible for us, as none of us are experts in this region. Even if we were experts it would be difficult. Either way, here's a summary of what we thought of each wine:
  1. Predominantly Syrah (if not 100%). Deep purple colour, very powerful, expressive nose, lush fruit. Chalky tannins, and perhaps a bit short on the finish. A 'big' wine. My guess was a Minervois, but it could have been from anywhere in the South, including the Rhone.
  2. Predominantly Grenache with a bit of Syrah. Sweet, perfumed, slightly raisiny nose. Grapey with violets on the palate. Very easy drinking, few tannins. Very tasty. We went with Jon's (Random Aussie Bloke) guess which was a Corbieres.
  3. A very well executed blend. Elegant - not dominated by one flavour signature like the rest. A well balanced wine with good, expressive nose, fruit, structure and depth. For this I went for Chateauneuf du Pape. I had kind of turned my brain off at this point to be honest and I probably could have made a better guess.
For what it's worth, here's a (very brief) summary of the reference wines we tried:
  • Gerard Bertrand Minervois 2007. Smoky, herbaceous. Interesting. Waitrose (£6.99).
  • Paul Mas Grenache/Syrah 2009. Young on the nose (not in a pleasant way), better on the palate. Simple but pleasant, neat tannins, slight vanilla cream on the finish. Waitrose (£6.99)
  • Domaine Marie Faugeres 2009. Fairly decent Syrah blend. Chalky tannins. Waitrose (£7.99)
  • Domaine de Chantegut Vacqueyras 2008. The most expensive of the reference wines and it showed. Elegant and balanced. Oddbins (£14.99).

No comments:

Post a Comment