The Fine Wine Delivery Company had a free tasting of Bordeaux wines on Saturday, which was pretty cool. It’s easy for us to taste New Zealand wines, because we can visit the local wineries, etc. But French wines are harder to try without buying a whole bottle, and then you run the risk of buying a bottle that you don’t like.
They had both left bank and right bank wines, but I didn’t notice any real preference either way. Maybe the left bank wines were drier? I prefer a wine that isn’t dry. We tried to discern a preference for a varietal mix, but (for instance) we tried two wines that were both 100% merlot, and loved one and disliked the other. *shrugs* It’s so confusing! It seems to be more a case of knowing the exact wine you like and just remembering that. Which doesn’t make it easy. How are you supposed to identify whether you might like a wine when you see it for sale online or in a store, or on a wine list in a restaurant?
So despite the fact that I felt like I didn’t learn much, it was really good because we identified a bunch of wines we didn’t like and some that we did. And of course, we bought half a dozen to stock up our wine rack. Well, we actually bought two of the Bordeaux that I liked and two that hubby liked. Then we bought a bottle of Coole Swan (which I love and I’d finished my last bottle – if you like Baileys, you must try Coole Swan) and a bottle of Clearview Estate Sea Red (a red dessert wine that I love and had run out of). As of now, we have 30-odd bottles. It’s 30 in the main wine rack (which doesn’t include my ports and fortified wines) and then a couple of ‘special wines’ that are hidden away because they need cellaring for a few years. It’s better if they’re not exposed to light if they’re going to be cellared for a while. We don’t really have the room to cellar a whole bunch, but we’ve got a couple stashed away.
I really liked that they had a printout of all the wines available to try, and pens so that you could make notes of the ones you liked and the ones you didn’t. It made it so much easier. They also had cheese, crackers and bread available. Not bad for a free event! I was really impressed. Actually, I noticed that the cheese improved the flavours of the wines.
These were the wines we tried, and my notes on them:
Chateau Giscours Petite Sirene 2015 – Light. Hubby liked it. We bought a bottle.
Chateau La Fleur Bellevue 2015 – Okay. Just a touch sharp for me.
Chateau Pont Rousset 2016 – Drinkable. A little dry. Hubby liked it. We bought a bottle.
Chateau du Taillan 2014 – Deep flavour, but a touch sharp. Needs some cellaring.
Chateau Fongaban 2016 – Light and drinkable.
Chateau du Brandelet 2016 – Drinkable but no wow factor.
Chateau Plaisance 2016 – No.
Chateau Lauretan 2015 – Slight woody smell. Quaffable. No aftertaste. We bought a bottle.
Chateau Teyssier 2016 – No, too sharp for me.
Labastide de Dauzac 2015 – Nice flavour, but a touch too sharp. Maybe needs cellaring?
La Closerie de Camensac 2015 – Light and drinkable.
Clarendelle by Haut Brion Saint Emillion AOC 2015 – Very drinkable, no strong aftertaste. It had been open for three hours when we tried it and the assistant told us it definitely needs decanting for a few hours before drinking. We bought a bottle.
Chateau Dallau 2016 – Average. Dryish mouth feel. Not wowed.
Chateau La Rose du Pin 2015 – Light. Watery. A touch sharp.
Chateau Lestage Simon 2015 – Didn’t like it. Dryish mouth feel.
Chateau Senejac 2015 – Woody smell. A touch too sharp for me.
Chateau de Lamarque Marquis d’Evry 2015 – Dry mouth feel.
Just to be clear, ‘drinkable’ pretty much means I liked it. And quaffable means I found it really easy to drink, which is a high compliment. I know my notes are pretty crap (just ‘no’! ), but at least I can look back and see if I’d be happy to have it again or not.
All in all, a really good event, and I was glad I went.