Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There's a Band-Aid in My Cabernet

The highlight of my month, WSET Tasting Club! Cabernet Sauvignon was the grape of the month. And with 9 people in attendance, we tasted, discussed, and gained a bit of understanding regarding the differences between the cabernets of different regions. Our Cabs were from Chile, Italy, France, Argentina, South Africa, California, and Australia.

As usual we did a blind tasting and tried to 'guess' where is wine was from based on the key flavors. This time was much harder for me as far as what wine was what because I don't have much experience with a wide variety of cabernets. So I was also excited because I would get the opportunity to taste cabs from different regions and pick up on the nuances in flavors and colors of the wine that give a clue to their region of origin. Was SUPER excited for the South African one since I'm really into wines from South Africa right now. Don't ask me why...

My excitement unfortunately was blown away when we went to taste wine #6 and it smelled a bit rubbery. We thought it may just need a bit of time in the glass. After tasting and evaluating 3 more wines we came back to good ole wine #6. Now it wasn't just rubbery, it was medicinal. The tasting notes read "Deep red / purple colour. Intense aromas of spicy black fruits, liquorice and tar. Bold and mouthfillling with bramble fruits, damson and black cherry, savoury tannins and an aromatic finish. Chunky, uncompromising style." It was compromised all right! One person said it smelled of Bactine...I smelled nothing but Band-Aids. Everyone agreed and proceeded to pour that wine out. Even worse for me because it was the wine I brought :-(

Now wines #5 and #7 were the winners for the best of the night, but I think #7 might have snuck in there because it was just much better than what we had had before, LOL!

Wine #5 Decero 2006 (Argentina)
Medium - high intensity with ripe red fruit aromas of red cherry and raspberry. Very jammy on the palate with a peppery finish. This wine is perfect to drink now.

Wine #7
Babarossa, Il Doso (Italy)
Deep ruby in color, the cab has a soft texture with spicy cherry and raspberry notes on the nose. It's medium tannins and oaky licorice taste make this a great wine for everyday drinking. Wouldn't necessarily grab a big steak for this one but red meat would go well with its mouthwatering finish.

After going through the 8 wines (the corked one doesn't count) I may not be able to tell an Australian cab from a Chilean cab but I can definitely tell the color and flavor differences between Old World (France, Italy) and New World (everywhere else). It was best explained by a member that Old World cabernets smell more of lean fruit like cassis and blackberry while New World's smell of lush fruit like plum. I'll have to keep that one in my memory bank.

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