The challenge this month was to correctly identify a set of six grape types in a single-blind format. That is, we knew which types of wines were being poured, but not which glass they were in.
The results were mixed, with almost all of us getting the Napa Chardonnay right, but only one taster identified the Vioginer. Kristin and David tied as champions this month, with both getting four of the six correct. Ali and Josephine both got three correct, and Andy and Resa only picked up two each.
We did concur that these were well-made wines, with balanced acidity that matched most of the food of the evening, and would be happy to have these again separately.
Overall, this was a really fun exercise. Below are the wines, presented in the order tasted.
Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet Sèsvre & Maine 2016. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, this exhibited bright scents of pineapple, bubble gum, green guava, and green apple. Has a sense of astringency to it. Crisp, with plenty of acidity, showing flavors of lemon zest and citron. Really bright. Light-bodied and linear. Doesn't fade too quickly. Resa felt that it "gets to know you a little before it says goodbye", while Josephine noted that it "doesn't develop a whole lot." Andy, David, and Josephine got this correct. About $13.
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough). Smelled oily, not unlike Vaseline and car parts, plus lanolin, rubber band, blackberry, jackfruit, toasted hazelnut, butterscotch, and burnt butter. The palate had notions of melon, light peach, and incense with some darker qualities of shitake mushroom and spices on the finish. Mouthcoating texture, but ends in the mouth with a brightness to it. Definitely changes in the glass. Andy felt that it was "like a meal." Ali, Kristin, Resa, and Josephine got this right. About $19.
Ferrari Carano Chardonnay Reserve 2014 (Napa Valley). The darkest in color by far. Tasters found scents of caramel, butterscotch, spices, butter, eggnog with nutmeg, crisp red apples, and violet leaf. Flavors were of toasted marshmallows, burnt caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, marshmallow Peeps. Candied finish. Only Josephine missed this one. About $28.
Kettmeir Pinot Grigio 2016 (Alto Adige). Briny nose was reminiscent of a fish market or being on a dock, plus notions of wet river rock, ocean breeze, and minerality. Very subtle. Flavors of gelatin, unripe peach, unripe cherry, green pears, fennel, and celery. Subtle spices on the finish. A little bitterness reminded Resa of "Australian licorice from Whole Foods." Only David got this one correct. About $18.
Yalumba Viognier 2015 (Eden Valley). Funky aromas of musty basement, mold, wet diaper, garden soil, freesia, and salt. Josephine was reminded of "peonies when they're dying." Raisiny in the mouth, like fruit cake, plus green pears, dried apricot, and lemon. Dry and briny, this was almost austere. Green guava on the finish, with a slight fishiness. Kristin found a "tin can finish." Resa felt that "it wants to party, it's not leaving." Only Kristin got this one correct. About $16.
Selbach Oster Riesling Kabinett Trocken Zeltinger 2015. Vaseline on the nose, along with pine resin, and evergreen trees. Josephine found scents of "broken flower stems." The palate included flavors of pink grapefruit, dark berries, roses, and citrus pith. Plenty of crackling acidity that Josephine described as "cheerful", with Andy exclaiming, "This is freakin' nice!" A burst of flavor at the end. Floral. Ali, Kristin, David, and Josephine got this right. About $22.