Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The monthly wine tasting group I belong to (sort of like jamming Richard),last night had supermarket wines as the theme with a selection of 6 wines of different price and quality levels. Tasters (blind)were asked to identify the grape varietal of each and to guess which was the most expensive wine.
The wines were:

1. Back Blocks 2008 Gisborne Chardonnay (from the Wither Hills stable). This was a simple typically Gisborne style. Clean and inoffensive and fairly priced at $13.49, although this was the special price. It is normally about $3 dearer.
No one thought it to be the most expensive wine and no one rated it as the best wine.

2. Matua Valley Mathesons 2007 Hawkes Bay Chardonnay.This was big and woody. Rich and oily with a sulphur whiff which disappeared after a while. Special price was $14.99 (down from $22) so this is a bargain. A couple of people thought that this was the most expensive wine and also rated it the best wine.

3. Toi-Toi 2008 Central Otago Pinot Noir. This was very simple, cherry nose and cherry strawberry taste. An early drinking style. This has got to be Central Otago's worst nightmare. All the cost of establishment and production resulting in a Beaujolais-style wine sold at possibly no margin to the primary producer. Special price was $16.99 down from $19.99. One person thought it to be the most expensive wine (assuming it to be a French Beaujolais). No-one thought it the best wine in fact probably the worst.

4. Sileni Triangle 2006 Hawkes Bay Merlot. This was a stunner. A complicated vinous and mulberry fruit nose and a long and fresh finish. NZ Merlot at its best and much lighter and fresher than most. Price was $29.99 - the most expensive wine although only a couple people guessed it to be. It rated overall as the second best wine.

5. Robard and Butler Cabernet Franc 2006 Vin De Pays French.
This was a nice, simple and pleasant wine. Only one person thought it to be the best and no-one thought it to be the most expensive. No-one thought it to be the worst wine. Everyone was surprised at the price which was $7.99 only $2 less than normal price. This is an example of what can be done from a big producing country that has a pedigree in making good red wine. It was not great but it was a lovely wine with a nice fruit-mix nose, full rich and round taste with a nice tannic finish. The wood is evident but nicely understated.

6. Villa Maria Cellar Selection 2006 Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot. This was rated the best wine of the night and the one that most thought to be the most expensive. It was in fact $14.98 on special (at least $10 off) making it a great bargain. This is a very serious and lovely wine with a nice balance of fruit and wood. It was smooth and long and very elegant.

I muddled along in my tasting. I guessed the first to be an East Coast Chardonnay so was reasonably on the money.
The second I nailed guessing it to be a 2007 Hawkes Bay Chardonnay
The third I guessed as a simple Central Otago Pinot Noir so I was OK there.
The fourth threw me. I really liked it and thought it was a 2006 Waipara Pinot Noir being light and fresh but with a bit more body than the previous one. Never mind.
The fifth I guessed as Cabernet Franc but thought it was New Zealand.
The last I guessed correctly as a 2006 Hawkes Bay Merlot blend so wasn't far off.

OK, Richard. Has this beaten your last two posts as being the most boring ever?



I didn't think this was boring. I find your wine posts to be very stimulating and informative.
Now, if you want boring check out the Saturday and Sunday posts at Richards Bass Bag. He should create a blog link ti Insomniacs Inc.

Richard (of RBB) said...

Boring? But when did you all have a jam?

THE WINE GUY said...

Read my comments on the Pinot Noir. I mentioned cherries and strawberries. That's closer to jam than you seem to have got.

Richard (of RBB) said...

A spit of wine tasters.
Oops, sorry, wrong blog.

Anonymous said...

The joys of Supermarket wine tasting. Kinda like listening to Classical on an old tape deck.


"The joys of Supermarket wine tasting. Kinda like listening to Classical on an old tape deck."

or listening to pop music on a good stereo system

Richard (of RBB) said...

...or going to a Rap concert in Japan.