September 2011 Meeting - Tastes and Smells

John and Patricia Noble surprised us with a blind tasting...

 Three whites, a rosé and three reds were presented for identification by the group and John and Patricia, who had gone to a great deal of effort preparing for the evening, also provided a range of fruits, spices and confectionery to help us identify the tastes and smells sensed in the wines.


The first wine was a Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, from the Marlborough region of New Zealand (£7.95).  A good example of the grape, the wine showed distinctive grapefruit, gooseberry and cut grass notes.  A Viognier Domaine du Bosc, 2010 from the Pays d’Oc region of France followed (£6.95).  Smooth on the palate with complex aromas and flavours, this proved to be a more difficult wine to identify.  The third white was a Gewurztraminer Tradition, Cave de Turckheim, 2009, from the Alsace region of France (£8.50).  This intensely perfumed, viscous and full-bodied gewürztraminer had lovely rose petal fruit (Turkish delight) and lychee notes, so typical of the grape.

The origin of the rosé, a Three Choirs Rosé, 2010, from Gloucester, caught most people by surprise (£7.50).  An off-dry rosé, it was full of the aromas of strawberries and summer fruits and would have been ideal with a picnic.

The first red, a modest but delicious example of Pinot Noir, was a Zarcillo 2010 from Chile (£6.25).  This ruby-red, medium bodied wine had the characteristic attributes of the variety with aromas of cherries and plums and a soft and silky palate. Next was The Society’s Exhibition Mendoza Malbec, 2008, from Argentina (£9.95).  Most people quickly identified this wine from its inky black colour and scented nose of brambles and violets, with a hint of vanilla from its time in oak barrels.  The final wine, a Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, 2008, from Sonoma in California, proved to be a little more challenging (£8.95). A dry red zinfandel, it had an appealing and concentrated style, with plum, blueberry and pepper flavours.

In general, this was an interesting, testing and educational start to our new season of tastings, though perhaps we need to sample a few more wines before our next blind tasting!  All the wines tasted during the evening came from The Wine Society.