Friday, April 04, 2008

Wines, Week 1

Old Cork
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
This quarter, I am one of the teaching assistants for VEN 125L - Sensory Evaluation of Wines. During the labs, students are introduced to sensory techniques for wine evaluation - difference testing, reference standards, etc. At the end of each lab, the students are given 6 wines to try - these wines are termed savor wines (savor wines from last year).

Week 1 were oxidized white wines. All of the wines were old, but each had a different "old wine" character. Some where outright spoiled, while others had hints of life left in them. All of the wines were tasted blind.

Week 1 - Unintentionally oxidized white wines

1986 Wente Napa Valley Fumé blanc - ethyl acetate, acetaldehyde.

1988 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay, Beckstoffer Ranch - chalk, acetaldehyde

1990 Jordan Alexander Valley Chardonnay (375mL) - honey, Lyle's Golden Syrup

1991 Alderbrook Dry Creek Semillon - plastic, grapey, phenol, floral

1992 Van Der Heyden Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay - acetaldehyde, lemon, soy, brothy/meaty, ashy, boiled mushrooms

1996 Louis Martini Napa Valley Sauvignon blanc - green tea/olive oil, fruity flavors

My favorites were the Jordan (in splits!) and the Alderbrook Semillon. I was pleasantly surprised that some of these wines still had something left - I wouldn't call what was left "life", but there is a spark of something. Other wines, like the Wente and Stag's Leap, were just plain dead.

I look forward to next week's tasting, though I'm not sure what it is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh how I miss the savor wines! The highlight of the 125L experience! I'm going to be checking back for more!