Sunday, 5 September 2010

Tesco Delicious Dozen Part 2...(& semi-blind tasting)

Welcome to the second part of the Tesco "Delicious Dozen" review. If you're not familiar with the Blog then please see my other posts over to the right and down a bit in the Blog Archive, and read my welcome notice here: 

Ok, so these were again served up blind, without me seeing the bottles. We had the two whites first this week:

Abbot's Vale Chardonnay-Viognier, Yarra Valley, 2008

Made by Kate Goodman of Punt Road winery in the Yarra Valley. This is cool-climate Victoria (this winery also makes a lovely Punt Road 2005 Shiraz which is maturing nicely now). 13% alcohol.

The Look: A pale, medium yellow

The Smell: Quite restrained, but subtle hints of apple and mellon. D says "water mellon".

The Taste: Wow. The first thing you notice is the texture - like silk, or a glass of cream. So smooth. Oppulent apples, mellon, cream and peaches. Beautiful. Very drinkable

The Score: This really is very good. I'd never have expected a £5 bottle to be so good. 8/10 Highly Recommended.

VFM: at the case price of £5 a bottle it gets an excellent VFM = 1.6, At its regular price of £10 it still gets a pretty good VFM =  0.8. Snap it up while it's still a Fiver! Seriously, get some - I will be getting more...


Domaine Baillard, Chablis, 2008

An AOC Chablis produced by Jean Claude Fromont.12.5% alcohol

The Look: Again a pale medium yellow, lighter than expected.

The Smell: Apples, tropical fruit and maybe a bit toasty.

The Taste: Beatiful, good fresh acidity, lots of fruit with apple, pineapple, tropical fruits but with a steely-dry minerality. A long finish - you can taste this for a ges after swallowing.

The Score: Very well balanced. Very good 7.5/10 Recommended

VFM: at the case price of £5 a bottle it gets an excellent VFM = 1.5, but the true bottle price is £13, giving a modest VFM =  0.58. Definitely one to look for in a mixed case at reduced price, but good nonetheless!

Jacktone Ranch, Petit Sirah, California, 2008

Produced at an old mid-19th century horse breeding farm, who were the first to plant vines in the San Joaquin valley. Petit Sirah is also known as Durif. 14% alcohol.

The Look: A very dark, deep purple turning to violet at the rim.

The Smell: Strong smell of blackcurrants/Cassis with some spice and pepper, maybe some sweetish vanilla.

The Taste: Much the same as the above! Lovely spicy blackcurrants. Alcohol is slightly overdone leaving a burning sensation on the tongue. Not much complexity.

The Score: A decent fruity drop for the price. 6.5/10 

VFM: at the case price of £5 a bottle it gets a very good VFM = 1.3, but I'm not sure what the regular price is as it seems to be out of stock now.


Left Bank, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux AOC, 2007

Modest Bordeaux AOC here, and 2007 was a particularly un-ripe year so not expecting big things...

The Look: To be honest I didn't make a note because...

The Smell: ...Phoo, that's not right. Musty and sour.

The Taste:  Horrible musty, sour, cardboard and mouse pee (or what I imagine that would taste like). Corked.

The Score: Probably one of the worst cork-taints we've had. 1/10 It's a shame, it could have been good but we'll never know.

VFM: Not applicable. I guess we were due a corked wine - they say 1 in 12 bottles are corked or otherwise tainted and we've had a good run lately. Oh well, such is life. If this was the Laithwaites case I'd get a full refund, although with Tesco, I'm not so sure?


Okey doke, so there's part 2 of the tesco case done. Next time around part 3 of the Laithwaites case, the final four whites. There will be one more part to the Tesco case and then we'll be looking for some new cases! We have an Oddbins tasting coming up soon, so if we're impressed we may go there (they offer 20% off mixed cases and your tasting ticket price back). Also, I've received a £40 off Virgin Wines voucher, so I really should take advantage of that in the pursuit of oenological frugality!



Semi-blind tasting continues...

So as I've said in  previous posts, I'm trying to develop my blind tasting skills. D serves them up at random, with bottles hidden from view and I have to guess at the 

  • Grape type
  • Country or Region
  • Year
  • Alcohol level

So, here are my notes, transcribed directly from my note book:

Wine #1:

Pale medium yellow. Sticky. 13.5%? Beautiful texture - like cream! Restrained nose, maybe mellon and apple. oppulent and smooth. Peaches, just off-dry. Chardonnay? Smoothness could be Viognier? Great. Oak aged I think, 2007. White Burgundy, good quality.

The guess: Chardonnay, probably very good quality white Burgundy, 2007, 13.5%

The reveal: Australian Chardonnay-Viognier, 2008, 13%! I picked up the Chardonnay but dismissed the Viognier. Silly boy. NOTE TO SELF: The smoothness comes from Viognier and so does the Mellony flavour. White Burgundy is more of a "pee-like" yellow, for want of a better expression!


Wine #2:

Pale medium yellow again! 13%, not so sticky. Smells of apple, tropical and toasty. Good acidity, fresh, balanced, smooth, steely dry. Minerally. Apples, tropical fruits, pinapple. Long finish. Good Chardonnay? 2008. Yes.

The guess: Chablis. 2008. 13%.

The reveal: Chablis! 2008! 12.5%! Oh God-Damnit, so, so close! NOTE TO SELF: Ok clever-cloggs, so you can pick out Chablis occasionally.


Wine #3:

A very deep dark purple with violet rim. Quite sticky, 14%? Strong blackcurrant/cassis smell. Cab Sauv? Spicy though, spicy like Shiraz! Taste is spicy blackcurrant, pepper. Alcohol is overpowering. Slight burn. This is new world due to power and colour. A bit of oak so maybe 2 year old, 2008? Blackcurrant and oak has to be Cab Sauv? USA?

The guess: USA Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, 14%

The reveal: Bloody Petit-Sirah (i.e. Durif)!. California.2008. Hmmm, thrown by this one! It was too spicy for Cab Sauv but too blackcurranty for Shiraz, although it had the deep colour that could have been either. Label says "Blackcurrant and oak" so got that right but, NOTE TO SELF: Recognise this for the future. You've had Durif before and should know it!


Wine #4:

Uch! Corked! Sour, musty cardboard and mouse piss!

The guess: N/A

The reveal: N/A

So, not too bad on the whites. Bit of a non-event on the reds this time around. Looking forward to the next wines, which will be the remaining four whites from Laithwaites -all blind!

Speak to you soon!



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