Practice

The Sampler - Islington

Tasted July 19, 2010 - July 20, 2010 by G_Talbot with 562 views

Introduction

In a vain attempt to tune my nose and palatte for the WSET Level 3 Exam blind tasting I tested a number of wines over two short after-work stops at The Sampler. I focused mainly on the major red varieties.

Flight 1 - France, Spain and the New World (7 notes)

Red
2006 Ridge Lytton Springs USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Appearance: clear, medium (+), ruby, legs.
Nose: clean, pronounced and concentrated, developing, raspberry.
Palate: dry, high alcohol (14.50%), full body, raspberry, coffee grinds, medium (+) length.
Conclusions: very good, ready to drink, but can develop further.
Quoted Price: £28.40
Comments: Organic, 77% Zinfandel, 17% Petit Syrah, 6% Carignan
Red
1994 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Appearance: clear, medium (-), garnet, broad rim.
Nose: clean, hello oak!, though well integrated, lots of tobacco, strawberry.
Palate: dry, fine tannin, medium (-) alcohol (12.5%), medium body, strawberry, cured meat.
Conclusions: very good, at peak / drink soon.
Quoted Price: £50.50
Comments: left me wanting more, but maybe that's because I had just been tasting fuller bodied wines.
Red
2008 Rosedale Wines Shiraz Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
Appearance: clear, deep, purple, ruby rim, legs.
Nose: clean, pronounced, developing, black cherry, coffee.
Palate: dry, medium (+) alcohol (14.5%), full body, pronounced flavour intensity, plum, cedary spice, medium length.
Conclusions: good, ready to drink but can develop further.
Quoted Price: £8.80
Comments: really odd, powerful nose, not the most balanced wine, but certainly value for money.
Red
2007 Château Angelique de Monbousquet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Nose: clean, developing, raspberry, red plum.
Palate: dry, medium (+) tannin, medium body, spice, dark plum, generally lacking depth.
Conclusions: good, ready to drink, but can develop further.
Quoted Price: £19.00
Comments: merlot dominates the blend and provides a soft nose, while cabernet sauvignon supplies structure to the palate of an otherwise unexciting wine.
Red
2004 Château La Fleur Milon France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, blackcurrant, toasty oak.
Palate: dry, medium (+) tannin, medium alcohol (13%), medium (+) body, blackberry, medium (+) length.
Conclusions: very good, ready to drink, but can develop further.
Quoted Price: £24.80
Comments: really lovely balance
Red
2006 Snoqualmie Vineyards Merlot USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Appearance: clear, ruby.
Nose: clean, plum, tobacco, spice.
Palate: dry, high tannin, medium alcohol (13%), red plum, raspberry.
Conclusions: good, ready to drink, but can develop further.
Quoted Price: £12.50
Red
2006 L'Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
WSET Systematic Approach - Group
Appearance: clear, deep ruby.
Palate: dry, medium (+) grippy tannin, high alcohol (14.4%), spice.
Conclusions: good - very good.
Quoted Price: £33.50

Flight 2 - Italy and France (3 notes)

Red
2008 Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Nebbiolo d'Alba
Appearance: clear, medium, light red, orange rim.
Nose: clean, medium (+), developing, redcurrant.
Palate: dry, high (+) acidity, high tannin, medium alcohol (13.5%) redcurrant.
Conclusions: very good, ready to drink, but can develop futher.
Quoted Price: £22.50
Red
1995 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
91 points
Appearance: clear, medium (+), ruby, broad garnet - orange rim.
Nose: clean, full developed, cigar box.
Palate: dry, medium (+) - high acidity, high (velvety) tannin, medium alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) flavour intensity, red cherry, tobacco, medium (+) - long length.
Conclusions: very good - outstanding, ready to drink, but can keep.
Quoted Price: £46.00
Comments: A tremendously well rounded wine, delightful.
Red
2005 Triennes Rouge Les Aureliens France, Provence, Mediterranée
84 points
Appearance: clear, deep, ruby.
Nose: clean, pronounced, developing, blueberry, spice.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, high tannin, medium alcohol (13%), medium body, medium (+) flavour intensity, blueberry, pepper, medium length.
Conclusions: good, ready to drink, but can keep.
Quoted Price: £11.80
Comments: not a great, but at that price, good enough for me to take a bottle home.

Closing

In the end, the exam blind tasting wine was an off-dry white, so these practice sessions were a futile, if enjoyable, exercise.

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