The Noble Whites
Each of the noble grape varieties has unique characteristics that are retained regardless of origin, from France to Chile, California to Tasmania. They are some of the most popular grape varieties…and they are popular for a reason. They make a great range of wines at all price points, from entry-level to some of the highest quality wines in the world.
This lesson covered the noble white grape varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. In order to compare we had to buy: a dry Riesling and a sweet Riesling; a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume; a Chablis AC from France (not from a box) and an oaked California Chardonnay.
Our selections for the evening: 2009 Jacob’s Creek Reisling ($7.99), 2009 Schlink Haus Spatlese ($9.99), 2009 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc ($10.97), 2007 Domaine de Saint Pierre AC Sancerre ($22.99), 2004 Verget Grand Elevage AC Chablis ($25.99) and 2008 Toasted Head ($8.97).
The Jacob’s Creek smelled a bit of apples and cork (probably not the best descriptor but I’m going off my notes and that’s what I wrote), had a medium to high acidity, light body and a quick finish. It felt cleansing in the mouth.
The Schlink Haus Spätlese didn’t have much of an aroma that I could detect but again I thought I smelled cork, it was less acid or at least felt smoother in the mouth than the Jacob’s Creek, had a medium body and coated the mouth nicely.
The Starborough smelled heavenly like pineapple, seemed high in acid, dry, light body and a quick finish.
The Sancerre created a lasting impression on us all. For some folks it was heaven but for me, a bit too dry. The smell was noticeably mineral (French terroir) which I think is interesting, seemed very high in acid, very dry, and made my mouth pucker.
The Verget Grand Elevage smelled like butter to me even though it was not oaked. Probably due to malolactic fermentation. It was a smidge acid, light body, medium finish.
The Toasted Head was strongly oaked and smelled of banana, vanilla and toasted coconut. It did not seem high in acid as it felt smooth in the mouth. Medium body, long finish. I thought I might not like so much oak but it turns out that I did – this wine had such as interesting flavor.
#1 for the evening for me was the 2009 Schlink Haus Spätlese.