7.14.09 A.B.C. Tasting (Anything But Chardonnay)

20 07 2009

A Boisterous Challenge, A Blind Chalice, and Anything But Chardonnay kicked off our tasting. After not much debate, we decided to taste these amazingly beautiful chardon-nots without knowing what we were putting in our mouths (hey, we’ve all been there). With some brown bagging and some nostalgic Michael Jackson blaring – think A.B.C., 1 2 3 – we ascribed brazen characteristics to the lineup of wines…

The lineup

The lineup, unbrownbagged/naked

Mystery wine #1? 07 Skylark Pinot Blanc, Orsi Vineyard (Mendocino County, CA), $16. On the nose, Collin found a chalky characteristic, Nikki got minerally, citusy, confectioner’s sugar. Nick got green apple, Katie noticed a floral component, and I got vanillin/artificial vanilla.
The palate had great acidity with a minerally component noticed by Nikki. Katie got a lemon bar flavor. Nikki guessed correctly that it was from California but was thinking Albariño or Grenache Blanc. Tim nailed it with Pinot Blanc and guessed the curve ball correctly. We liked it. A Big Cheer.

Mystery wine deux: 08 Honey Moon Viognier (CA), $5. Nikki immediately threw down orange blossom, geranium, and white peach for the nose. I got vanilla yoghurt. Specifically, yoghurt with an H. Katie got golden-wrapper butterscotch candy found at banks/restaurants/granmuh’s house.
On the palate Collin got juicy orange with honey. Katie found it sweet but with decent acid to balance it. I noticed what seemed like some oakiness/oak aging. Nikki got orange, honey, and baking spice while Nick got simple syrup. Tim pegged it (again) as Viognier and it was also guessed correctly by Nikki.We also liked this wine, especially at five bucks.

mid-way through vintoxication

mid-way through vintoxication

Third up, 07 Branger “Le Fils des Gras Moutons” Muscadet (Loire Valley, France), $14. After some googleage, apparently Le Fils des Gras Moutons means something like sons of fat sheep. Probably loosely translates to sons of bitches in French. Probably.
As for the nose, the first thing I said after sticking my nose in the glass was “huh.”, followed by noticing some tropical notes of pinapple, banana, and lime. Katie took it further with key lime, fresh linen, and generic bar soap. Nikki got clean cotton, stone fruit, St. Ives Apricot soap, to be marginally specific.
On the palate Nikki noted the high acidity and a good, diluted orange flavor. Colin got green apple and Katie got pineapple and lychee. Also of note, while pouring the wine through a controlled pour spout, I said “If you hold it at just the right angle it will go for days, … no, weeks.” Katie followed up with an obligatory “That’s what she said.”
Nobody guessed this one right. We found it to be a solid wine.

Our fourth runner up was an 07 La Ferme Julien White Rhone Blend (Côtes du Luberon, Southern Rhone Valley, France), $5. This was an interesting blend of Bourboulenc 30%, Grenache Blanc 30%, Ugni Blanc 30%, Roussane 10% giving smells of lemon, limestone, white grapefruit, and as Colin pointed out, house paint.
The palate displayed wet stones, “Ithaca in the summer and tastes of terroir/soil”, asparagus, and grapefruit pith on the finish. Colin found it not very complex but balanced. We liked it about as much as the previous wine. Also, a good value white.

Lastly, an 07 Dry Creek Vineyards Dry Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg, CA), $12. The nose offered banana, vanilla, pear, and baked apples.
On the palate Nikki got cream, baking spice, and said “It smells like every dessert in the world,” like on a tray, all at once. I got some oak and Katie and I noticed toasted coconut. Nick got creme bruleé and Colin got “the cream part of cookies n’ cream” flavor. Lastly, Nikki got unicorn farts. This wine was also above average. Adios beastly chumps.

Happy Winos

Happy Winos

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