Thanks to informative and inspiring people I met at Rudd Round Table, I was able to get some great study hints when it came to blind tasting. Although helpful, some of these hints were challenging to say the least; in fact, some were just plain grueling.
Luckily, I have a husband who enjoys torturing me. Tonight was the beginning of the end. He set me up with 3 deep, dark, intense red wines. Each one was opaque in color and all had dark, staining tears. The smells were distinct enough, but whatever the reasons were, I could not have hit water if I fell out of a whiny boat.
Wine # 1: opaque, day bright, moderate plus intensity; aromas of blackberries, blue berries, dark plums; vanilla and kitchen spice, leading me to believe the wine had seen French and American oak. Moderate acidity, moderate tannin, moderate plus alcohol. Color leads me to believe the wine is fairly youthful like 1-3 years old. Fruit driven tells me it’s new world. Moderate acidity=warm climate. Grapes could be Malbec, Zinfandel or Merlot. Countries are either Argentina or America. Final conclusion: Malbec 2007 from Mendoza, Argentina. Good quality.
Wine # 2: opaque, day bright, moderate plus intensity, wine seems more purple than hot pink compared to the previous wine. In the nose, more dark berry fruits but a funkiness to the wine like skunk (is it sulphur?) as well as torched earth and tar. Yes, there is oak on this wine but it isn’t flamboyant. Initial conclusion: I say 2-4 years old, moderate-warm climate, more earth driven than fruit so let’s go old world. Has to be syrah from the color, final is Cote Rotie from superior vintage like 2007. Yowsers.
Wine # 3: opaque, dull, high intensity; wine is reeking of American oak. Coconut, dill, vanilla, this wine is like opening a bottle of suntan lotion. I figured it out before I even tasted it. Rioja, bloody Rioja. Say no mo, I have nailed this wine. Call it Gran Reserva from hot vintage like 2003. Please, please, hold your applause.
In case you don’t know me, I am not the bragging type. Scroll down for the correct answers, and I’ll catch up with everyone when I can look in the mirror again.
Wine #1: Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel, Napa, California 2007
Wine #2: Tilia Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2008
Wine #3: Marquis Phillips “9” Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia 2007