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Anticlimax

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Quincy 2013, Siam, Domaine de la Commanderie ($18.95, 12748219)
100% Sauvignon Blanc from vines at least 15 years old. Mechanically harvested. The must is cold-settled for 8 to 10 hours. Fermented in temperature-controlled (18-20°C) tanks with regular stirring. Matured 10 months on the less. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Balthazard.
An echt Sauvignon Blanc nose of gosseberry, flint and kiwi segues into dessicated coconut and unripe pineapple or, as one taster put it, “umbrella drink zone.” In the piehole, it’s medium weight and citrusy with crisp-bordering-on-mordant acidity that’s softened by the rich, extracted texture (the must reportedly spends some time on the skins). The honey note adds interest but the kind of dazzling minerality found in some Loire Sauvignon Blancs is absent here. A decent but unexciting wine that doesn’t quite live up to the hype (three Hachette stars, for example), though it may well show better with food. (Buy again? Meh.)

Montsant 2014, Vespres Blanc, Josep Grau Viticultor ($26.45, 12782177)
Grenache Blanc (90%) and Sauvignon Blanc (10%) from organically farmed vines averaging 32 years old. The manually harvested grapes are pressed for 12 hours. The resulting must is transferred to 2,000-litre oak casks for fermentation with indigenous yeasts and five months’ maturation on the lees. Reducing sugar: <1.2 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Vintrinsec.
Odd nose, described variously as “faintly acrid,” “banana medicine” and “tea tree oil.” The strangeness continues in the mouth, where the wine’s initial (apparent) sweetness is countered by bright acidity and contradicted by a dry finish with a light touch of astringency that has me thinking of alum. And yet a taster rightly sums up the wine as “very flat.” Add the lingering note of dishwasher detergent and you’ve got a bottle best avoided. Could ours have been off? (Buy again? Based on this showing, no.)

MWG March 31st tasting: flight 2 of 6

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Written by carswell

May 1, 2016 at 12:11

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