WBW #55: North vs. South

*Disclaimer: I received the wine from Chile from the PR folks for Wines of Chile.

That’s right folks, it’s time again for the monthly wine blog world phenomenon Wine Blogging Wednesday.  This month, our host is Remy of Wine Case and he tasked us with a battle of the ages: North vs. South.  Remy left us to our own devices in interpreting what this meant….would it be a wine from NY vs. a wine from Va or a wine from Canada vs.  a wine from CA?  Who knows, anything goes!

The folks from Wines of Chile recently sent me some white wines from Chile.  I’d been hearing great things of the Viogniers coming out of Chile, so I thought I’d use one of those in my epic battle.  We all know I love Viognier, so I always have some kicking around my basement, so this WBW proved an easy task for me.  In the end, I decided to pit the 2008 Viu Manent Secreto Viognier vs. the 2007 Twisted Oak Viognier.  I’m going to tell you about each wine and then try to outline how they differed.

2008 Viu Manent Secreto Viognier

This wine hails from the Colchagua Valley, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and appears to retail for somewhere around $10.  On the nose I found peach, honey, spice, apricot, biscuits, and something oddly toasty.  In the mouth I got flavors of peach, pineapple, and tropical notes.  I found the wine to be crisp and light with nice acidity.

2007 Twisted Oak Viognier

The Twisted Oak comes to us from Calaveras County, CA, clocks in at 14.2%, has a real cork closure, and cost me $17.60 in a club shipment.  On the nose I found butterscotch, candied apricots, peach, caramel, yellow apple, and flowers.  The nose struck me as very perfumey, like walking in a flower garden.  In the mouth I got flavors of spice, apricot, peach, and orange notes.  I found the finish to be incredibly long and the wine showed as viscous in the mouth.

So the outcome? Two votes for the Twisted Oak in the battle of North vs. South.  The Twisted Oak showed as fulled bodied and viscous versus the Secreto which seemed lean and crisp.  I found the Secreto to display more tropical aromas and flavors while the Twisted Oak showed stone fruits and apricot, plus the lovely floral aromas.  I know the Twisted Oak saw time in oak, but I’m not sure about the Secreto, though it had some toast notes on the nose.  So perhaps it saw some neutral oak?  The styles of the two wines couldn’t have differed more with the Twisted Oak being creamy and mouth filling while the Secreto came through as acidic and crisp.

I would drink either of these wines again, but the more complex Twisted Oak Viognier interested me more and we drank through that bottle completely first as we both kept going back for more.  An interesting experiment. I wish I had a Virginia Viognier in my basement that I could have thrown into the mix.  I do look forward to trying the rest of the Chilean Viognier I have around, as I did really enjoy the Secreto as well!

Many thanks to Remy for the interesting topic! I look forward to reading everyone’s interpretations of the theme.  As always, a virtual tip of the hat to our founder Lenn.


Syrah Verticals + Lamb!

*Disclaimer: I received these wines as a sample from Bradford Mountain Winery. Bradford Mountain is a new winery and they will be opening a tasting room on the C. Donatiello property shortly.

We had a dinner party the other night with the point of serving a vertical of Bradford Mountain Syrah.  I got 3 verticals of Bradford Mountain wine (someone want to claim credit for that??) and really needed to have some people over to justify openeing them.  I don’t like opening multiple bottles in a night for just Matt and me.  We had a choice of two Zin verticals and a Syrah vertical.  After some consideration, we decided on the Syrah and made a dinner of lamb, green beans with pancetta and sage, and parmesan mashed potatoes.  I also made a trifle for dessert, which I’m really proud of, it came out so pretty!

My pretty trifle!!

My pretty trifle!!

For the vertical we had the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Bradford Mountain Grist Vineyard Syrah.  The winners were the 2004 and 2005, with a split decision from the room.  Personally, the 2005 was my favorite.

2004 Syrah: Slight spice, dark fruit, blackberry, vanilla bean, raisins, plums on the nose. Plums, blackberries, pepper, dark, tannic, acidic, great structure in the mouth.  Tons of sediment on this one.

2005 Syrah: Chocolate, berry, plum, vanilla, brown sugar, cracked pepper on the nose.  Darker in the mouth than the 04, smoother than the 04, blackberry, black currants, plums, dark dark fruit, pepper, much darker than the 04, the tannins hit you on the end.

2006 Syrah: Raspberry, blackberry, fresh plums, vanilla, black cherries on the nose.  In the mouth, soft, smooth, dark fruit, currants, plums, licorice, blackberries.  This was the smoothest and softest of the wines. I’d call it plush.