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WineIQ: Diploma Course Wines

January 17, 2011

Studying for Unit 3 of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is no easy task. You’ll have to just trust me on this one, there is a LOT of reading, studying, and worrying about the details. And a lot of practicing the WSET’s standardized tasting method. Yeah, okay, so that means tasting a lot of wine, too. I know, I know…poor me.

Sharing the tasting notes, though, can help everyone’s wine IQ, I realized recently (after drinking a supremely delicious  Duckhorn Merlot a week ago, see previous post). It’s second best to sipping these wines, but if you read along it will help you build your own internal guide to what various types of wines might taste like. But nothing like tasting for yourself, so get out there and try some of these too! Look for the same grape variety from the same region and similar price point.

Week 1, Bordeaux Wines:

Wine #1:
2006 Chateau Carbonieux Blanc, Pessac Leognan (65% sauvignon blanc, 34% semillon, 1% muscadelle), $46 – clear, pale, lemon appearance with a medium intensity nose of hay, almond, marzipan, vanilla, and a touch of floral aromas. The wine is dry with citrus flavors of lime, tropical fruit and a creamy mouthfeel with a long finish.

2006 Chateau Carbonnieux

Wine #2:
2005 Haut-Gaucherie, Bordeaux (cabernet sauvignon, merlot), $11.50 – red fruit, plum, black cherry and cedar on the nose. The palate was a little thin

2005 Chateau Haut-Gacherie

with red fruit and a short finish.

Wine #3:
2005 La Louviere PessacLeognan, Graves (64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot), $43 – nose of black fruit, red fruit, cranberry, graphite, spice. Palate was similar, with plenty of ripe fruit.

2005 Chateau La Louviere

Wine #4:
2000 La Louviere Pessac Leognan, Graves (64% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot), $40 – deep, ruby color; aromas of herbal spice, pepper, charred smokiness. The palate was soft, medium acidity with black fruit, pepper, sour cherry, cranberry, under-ripe plum.

2000 Chateau La Louviere

2000 Malescot St. Exupéry, Margaux (50% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, 5% petit verdot), $57 – deep, ruby color with black fruit, plum, blackberry, and tobacco on the nose. Very ripe with medium-plus alcohol and medium-plus body. Flavors of baked fruit, plum, tart red fruit, blueberry with some smoky notes. The wine showed good balance of fruit  with soft tannins.

2000 Chateau Malescot St Exupéry

Wine #6:
2000 La Grave a Pomerol, Pomerol (90% merlot, 10% cabernet franc), $43 – the color was ruby with some sediment. The nose was clean, medium intensity and still developing. The wine had hints of tobacco with red fruit, cranberry, cooked prune, and tar on the nose. The palate followed through with baked cranberry, sweet spice notes of clove, cooked prune, red fruit, and a touch of savory meat or gamey flavors with a medium length finish. Very satisfying and the best wine of the night. (So much for the merlot myth, the Right Bank of Bordeaux makes some fantastic wines!)

2000 Chateau La Grave a Pomerol

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