Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Snooth's Blind tasting Challenge wrap up!

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 28, 2009.

Well it is done. Snooth’s Blind Tasting Challenge has come and gone. I just wanted to thank everyone who came and participated. I thought it was great fun with some clunkers, some good wines, and a few excellent wines.

There really was a bit of a break between the wines I had planned and what we ended up opening. The RSVP system for the event was a bit, shall we say, underutilized so I was not sure how many people were to join us.

Rather than open a tone of wine and watch it go to waste I opted to pull and prepare 6 bottles and then fill in as necessary.

With a full crowd of 16 people including myself, and some 3 hours to fill we ended up opening a complete second round of wines.

Some brief impressions with a few guesses follows.

Thanks to everyone for joining in and making this a great way to spend a cool and wet Sunday afternoon!

The Lineup

2006 Erste & Neue Barleit Moscato Giallo - We started off with this floral, citrussy wine and guesses were all over the place, though some close comments included an Italian white from Friuli, a Kerner, and a Gewurtz-chardonnay blend.

2007 Nobos Monterey Chardonnay - This was obviously Chardonnay and all were in agreement though guesses about origins ranged from Oregon, to Long Island and the South of France. No one thought this rather lean Chardonnay was from California though it was firmly New World in style

1975 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Riserva - With it’s pale, amber toned color and classic aged aromatics of tobacco, autumnal leaves, and light red fruits most folks had this pegged as something old from either Burgundy or Rioja.

2006 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley - This was rather acidic for Pinot Noir with soft tannins and fairly gentle fruit so guesses ranged around to New World Grenache, Oregon Pinot Noir, and even cheap Spanish wine.

2000 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux - This fairly screamed out Bordeaux with its green bell pepper and oak influenced notes. An unusually soft bottle that threw folks for a loop as almost everyone thought this was a cheap example from a middling vintage, 2004 or 2007!

2006 Holdredge Alexander Valley Zinfandel - Half the room had this pegged as Zinfandel pretty quickly, the other half was unsure due to the light touch Holdredge has. Some Spanish varietals were bandied about and a guess or two placed this in Australia.

2008 Gascon Malbec Mendoza Argentina, - This was a very popular wine with virtually everyone enjoying it’s rich, polished character. Some folks considered Malbec but the overwhelming Sentiment was that this was Shiraz, very likely from Australia.

2006 Berryessa Gap Yolo County Tempranillo - This was a bit dirty and a bit soft with somewhat indistinct character and no one was particular confident in any guess that was made for this. Certainly no one guessed Tempranillo from California!

2007 Broc Cellars Vine Starr Red - This was another really big, rich wine and had many people thinking Syrah, which is partially correct since Syrah forms part of this blend but no one singled out the Zinfandel that makes up most of this. A few guesses did consider a Grenache based blend.

2007 Robert Mondavi Special Selection Syrah - With its lean texture and very elevated acidity some guessed that this might have been Sangiovese, which is a pretty good guess. Not a distinctive wine, it’s another one that really was unguessable though someone suggested it’s a bit like a California Pinot enhanced with Syrah, which I thought, was an excellent guess.

1985 Barale Rabaja Riserva Barbaresco - This was a striking contrast to the wines that came before with it’s dark, bricky color, tarry and licorice scented nose and still somewhat gritty tannins. Many guesses were floating around in Italy with one guess that it was an aged Barbaresco!

2008 Domaine des Caves du Prieuré Sancerre - To conclude, and as a palate freshener, we had this lovely bottle of Sancerre. With electric acidity it did indeed refresh the palate but while a few pegged this as Sauvignon Blanc, many were all over the map, perhaps due to palate fatigue!

And that was it.
An interesting line-up with some surprises. Certainly the Goldeneye and Pavillon Rouge underperformed while the Gascon Malbec and Holdredge Zinfandel were delicious and among the less expensive of the tasting.

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and I look forward to doing this again!


Reply by GregT, Sep 28, 2009.

Berryessa Gap Yolo County Tempranillo

What would possess someone to put in something like that?


And the malbec made for an embarrassing moment too.

Reply by Eric Guido, Sep 28, 2009.

It was a great. A really good learning experience.

The dinner after... amazing.

Thanks for turning me on to Burlotto Barolos.

Reply by cigarman168, Sep 28, 2009.

What wines to go for dinner?

Reply by D9sus4, Sep 29, 2009.

GregT, Could have been worse. Someone could have brought a Norton wine to the tasting. That would have been interesting.

What I want to know is why anyone would want to plant Temperanillo grapes in California?

So what wines did they drink with dinner that evening?

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