Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday's Wines: Blind Motley Crew

Two weeks ago I added a new twist to our wine consumption: blind tasting. Now, I wish I had the means to taste wines in blind flights regularly, but I don't really have the time or supply of wine to do so. My tasting regiment is like that of most people; I'll open a bottle of for dinner and have a glass or two with food and maybe another after dinner. I enjoy experiencing how wines can change over the course a few hours and how they may complement food.

Last week I decided to change it up a bit by having my wife go grab a bottle and pour it into a decanter without me knowing what it was. I still have to try to get over the bias of guessing based on knowing what wines are in the cellar, but it has been a fun modification to having wine with dinner. Since I missed last week's post, there is a variety of notes today.

Crios 2014 Malbec
Crios 2014 Malbec (13.9% abv, Sample $15) This was the first wine to get the new blind treatment. Both the purple color and the fruity - slightly grapey - nose suggested this was a very young wine. It had some blackberry and smoked meat flavors, but a chemical/play-doh flavor undertone really made me hope this wasn't the Syrah I thought it might be. Both my wife and I concluded that this wasn't a wine we'd like to drink again.

Susana Balbo 2012 Malbec
Susana Balbo 2012 Malbec (14.2% abv, Sample $25) In an attempt at redeem the Crios Malbec, I decided to taste this higher priced Susana Balbo non-blind. This Malbec was a more complex, more serious wine than the Crios. Though there are good flavors of blackberry, cherries and dark chocolate it was a bit flat in the finish. This is a nice wine, not exceptional but better than most $15 Malbecs.
Susana Balbo 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Susana Balbo 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (14% abv, Sample $25) Argentina produces more than just Malbec, but this Cabernet still contains 5% Malbec. I tasted this non-blind after having the two Malbecs a few days prior. This Cab is not the big burly Cab Americans often recognize. This cab shows some decent red fruit, tobacco leaf, coffee bean and sweet earth flavors. For those looking for traditional Old Workd style Cabernet Sauvignon this will be a good choice. If you're looking for big fruit, stay away.

Snowy Peaks 2011 Viognier
Snowy Peaks Winery 2011 Viognier (11-14% abv, Purchased $17) This CO Viognier was tasted blind. The apple aromas had me first thinking it might be a Chardonnay, but the tropical pineapple flavor changed my guess to Viognier. It was beautifully balanced with a crisp and cream texture. A streak of minerality brought the whole thing together. I guessed it was from CA, and was pleasantly surprised to see CO on the label. And more props to the winemaker for making this hold up beautifully for five years with energy to last it for a few more years.

Carlson 2011 Gewürztraminer
Carlson Vineyards 2011 Cougar Run Dry Gewürztraminer (13.5% abv, Purchased $14) This was another white tasted blind and decanted. I was torn between guessing Riesling or Scheurebe because of the lime, peach and petrol aromas. I never thought of Gewürztraminer because I didn't really get any spice or lychee characteristics. It lacked acidity and was slightly cloying without being sweet. This wasn't a bad wine, but definitely left more to be desired.

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