A blind tasting hodge-podge (part 1: whites)

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I’ve had a few bottles that I’ve been meaning to get to, and in the interest of objectivity I decided to ask a few colleagues to participate in a blind tasting with me. I’ve culled together our impressions of the wines.

G.D. Vajra Langhe Bianco 2009

This one was very interesting, since I didn’t know much about it before putting it in the tasting, and it ended up being one of the favorites of the evening. It’s 100% Riesling from vines that were apparently sourced from Marcel Deiss’ vineyards in Alsace. It showed a wide range of citrus character on the nose and palate, from lemon rind to grilled orange, hints of bitter herb, jasmine, white pepper, pineapple, honeydew, and a consistently observed minerality. 

2011 Sawtooth Chardonnay

“Well, that’s Chardonnay” was the consensus around the table as soon as the nose was approached. An almost shocking change of pace from the first wine, it showed a lot of oak character on the nose; caramel, vanilla, oak, butterscotch, and cedar. While the oak was impossible to miss, the wine was still balanced, showing citrus and tropical fruit notes, and all present agreed that this was a great value for this style of Chardonnay, with a retail price near $10. Plus, it’s local.

Venicio Collio Sauvignon Blanc 2010

This is an unusual wine in that Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a typical variety for Friuli, but it was quite charming. The nose showed a bit of sulphur up front, owing to it’s youth, but that blew off quickly, leaving behind aromas of lime, herbs, lemon, melon rind, pineapple, white pepper, and ample minerality, making for a wine that was altogether very pleasant, and with potential to improve over several years.

William Fevre Chablis Vaillons 2009

This one raised lively debate regarding its typicity, as it showed more wood character than most of us would generally associate with Chablis. The nose immediately reminded me of the lemon-butter caper sauce that I often make with fresh trout. We also noted notes of grilled bread, toffee, apple, citrus, green herbs, and lemon pie, all well-integrated, and suffused with a core of clean minerality. 

Vencia Pinot Grigio 2010

Another great example of the kind of killer whites that come out of Friuli. “Flowers and peaches and rocks, oh my!” White flower, stone fruit, orange and tropical fruits, great minerality, 

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