…or more accurate: My best guess
I am participating in a game: Secret Wine. It is a game/competition run by The Clair de Lune agency from 20/09/2010 to 10/10/2010. The competition is for specialist wine bloggers of adult age and involves receiving three wine samples; taste them; and name online the appellation(s) of the three unlabelled wines.
So, the Norwegian Postal Services (if service can be word describing what they do?) has decided that the Secret Wine from Clair de Lune PR Agency is not something fishy and has finally, after 16 days, sent me the wines (and a bill with the total amount of 57 Euros!) I am now ready to taste the three. I’ll write this post in English so everyone (in the competition) can understand, and not have to rely on Google to translate.
Wine is poured in three identical Riedel Zinfandel/Chianti glasses, my preferred glasses for tasting. Ready to go.
Medium + intensity, deep blue-red coloured core with narrow rim. Clean nose, intense, blueberries, wild forest berries, plums and cherry, youthful,. After a few swirls it looses some of its fresh fruit and becomes more closed and the aromas changes towards earthly strawberry-like. Dry, medium acidity, high alcohol, 13,5-14 %? Some astringency and a touch of greenness on the tannins. Medium level tannin. Fruit characters of blueberries and cherries, and a somewhat bitter woody texture. Do not lack concentration, but is not very concentrated either. Medium length. Many nice features, but lack length and concentration.
Intense, dark ruby red, blackish colour with narrow rim. Clean, intense on the nose with powerful oak aromas, vanilla, burned caramel, pine resin, some dark fruit and dried fruit underneath all that oak can be detected. Dry, high acidity, full bodied, dark cherries, ripe red apples, oak, cocoa, coffee beans, medium -high level of tannins, but smooth and ripe. High alcohol, 14 %? but nicely integrated. Medium+ length. Young wine with the oak way too obvious to be balanced. Might integrate more with age, but my guess is that it won’t. Too little fruit for that.
Medium intensity, ruby red core, broad watery-pinkish rim. Clean, young, fruity nose, a bit alcoholic, strawberries, red currants. After a few swirls it becomes more forest berry-like, together with some spices resembling cinnamon. Dry, round and fullbodied, soft mouthfeel, but with nice structure. Medium tannins and acidity. Medium+ alcohol, 13%? Not as alcoholic as I feared when I put my nose in the glass. Once again the oak outpowers the fruit a little. Vanilla, butterscotch and spices comes first. Underneath a little red fruit, strawberries like on the nose. Medium length.
Well, what can this be?
I am in Southern-France. I don’t seem to find a very benchmark syrah character in any of the wines, and therefore I quickly move away from the northern-Rhône. I don’t really think it is the southern Rhône either. Roussillon is thinkable, with a low portion of syrah in the blend, but no, I move to the South-West and think about Madiran and Cahors. I don’t detect any cabernet either, so that leaves me with Cahors and the Côt (Malbec) grape. But aren’t they more rustic, darker in colour and what about the oak?
I try hard not to think about what the PR agency, Clair de Lune, wants to achieve with this tasting, and focus on what’s in the glass. Okay, rewind, and start over.
I’ll go for lunch and reset my tasting buds. I’ll leave the wines in their glasses to see what happens.
Back from lunch. I take a look on the facts. What I know: All wines are one of a kind, and not one of the Languedoc AOCs. All wines have relatively high alcohol and medium to high level of tannins. Soft tannins. Dark fruit, decent concentration, medium to full bodied. Re-tasting them quickly, they are quite similar, and I wonder about that syrah. More uncertain now than before I think the wine might be from Roussillon, Cahors or even Côtes-du-Rhône. But I have to choose one appellation. I go for Cahors as that was my first guess. Can I win? Probalbly not, but it was great fun!