Random thoughts on the world of wine, presented in no particular order.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another blind tasting.

Last night, I had a friend over to taste some Chardonnays.  As a full disclosure, two of them were provided free to me at work, although I did buy the Hess.

We decided to taste the wines blind, in order to avoid any pre-existing bias that might come with the labels.  The procedure was pretty simple; I put the wine into paper bags, left them in the refrigerator overnight, and when he came over, I removed the foil and popped out the corks, so that each wine was anonymized to my friend.  I had him choose the order of tasting from the three, so that the wines were anonymized to me (fortunately, they all were in the same general shape bottle, and the bottles were the same color, otherwise we'd have had to enlist some third party to pour while we weren't looking).

The results were... interesting.  The three wines we tasted were Running With Scissors 2006, Coastline 2007, and Hess 2007.  The first wine carries a generic "Central Coast" appellation, while the latter two are from Monterey.  First up, we tried the Running With Scissors:

Pale lemon in the glass.  Inviting nose of creamy oak and tropical fruit.  Very ample intensity of flavor, with tasty oaky notes.  The fruit brings ripe Granny Smith apple to the party, some mango, and a good hint of butter.  Well-balanced, dry wine with a medium body and acidity.  Long finish.  86 points.

Then, the Coastline:

Straw-yellow.  Average intensity nose, showing some oak, pineapple, and a bit of cream.  In the mouth, it fell apart, though, with really ripe pear dominating, then a sort of dirty (as in, dirt-like) vanilla, and a steely, mineral finish.  Intensity was pretty low, and the quality of flavor was ordinary.  Just a hint of sugar on the palate, with a light/medium body, the balance is OK, but not great.  Finish is average.  81 points.

Finally, the Hess:

Mild nose, slightly creamy, with pineapple in evidence.  Flavor intensity to match, showing creamy pineapple, some toasted coconut, and not much else.  Wine was slightly sweet, with fairly high acidity to balance the weight of the wine, so it came off well-balanced.  Finish was average length.  81 points.

Note that all these wines were tasted blind.  I was shocked -- quite shocked, in fact -- at the quality levels of the wines, especially considering the price points involved; Running With Scissors is $10, Coastline is also $10, while I purchased the Hess for $8 (most stores seem to sell it for around $11 here, so I figured it was a fair comparison).  I'd expected a lot more oomph out of both of the Monterey wines, especially considering how much I like pinot noirs from that region.  In fairness, I don't expect a ton out of wines for $10, but those two showed surprisingly poorly last night.

Photo by DanRandom, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

No comments:

Post a Comment