Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wine Class: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Three weeks in and we are exploring Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Never been too keen on Chardonnay, which I discovered is odd because a) chardonnay is very popular b) it grows in various climates from cool to moderate to hot and therefore c)  means it can take on broad ranging flavors. I was expecting to be proven wrong and we tried four different kinds: a premier cru from Chablis, one from Puligny-Montrachet, Jacobs Creek, and one from Yarra Valley in Australia. Each was so different in their flavor, but to my surprise and delight none of them grabbed my acute attention. Part of this journey is to obviously learn about white, but it's also about building confidence in knowing what I like. BUT if I had to choose, my favorite was the '08 Chateau de Puligny Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet. I loved the smell of butter, ripe peaches and sweet spices like vanilla, but the taste was more acidic, like citrus with a hint of spice.

We tried two Pinot Noirs, one from Burgundy and a Californian. Both were delicious, but my fav was the '08 Au Bon Climat Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. It was pungent and tasted of ripe red fruits, which I'm learning is slightly more tart then that black fruits. I can't always make it out, but I'm working on it.

Afterwards I bonded with a classmate who has a wine company named Bourne Wines and he introduced me to Le Nez du Vin aroma set. Some people are blessed with a strong nose and palate whilst others (moi) need a bit training. It's a great little kit with several concentrated oils like licorice, grapefruit, etc. and helps train your nose in recognizing these scents in wine. Cool, no?
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