Tasting and Comparing Old World & New World Wines

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The epic battle of Old World vs. New World wines was placed in the spotlight again in class this past Tuesday.  GM of Meteor Vineyard Jason Alexander led the class through a blind tasting of five different grape varietals while comparing one example of both the Old World and New World style of that varietal.

While conducting these blind tastings, Jason explained in full depth the specific characteristics in the wines and how they were able to lead us to conclusions about the varietal and whether it was Old World or New World.  Using specific examples such as minerality, ripeness of the fruit, and level of alcohol, Jason let the students decide what they concluded based on all of the clues.  Some students were surprised to find out that they were successful in being able to tell the grape varietals and whether the wines were Old World or New World.  All it took was a little guidance and, literally, following your nose!

My favorite wines of the night?

Old World

2008 M. Chapoutier La Petite Ruche, Crozes-Hermitage

Simply alluring, this wine’s aromas of fresh soil, wet roses and oregano remind me of walking through the gardening section of Home Depot.  Smooth texture and sufficient acid on the palate with notes of blackberry, rose water, pine, roast beef, and a fertilizer finish.

New World

2010 Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir- Central Otago, New Zealand

A real crowd pleaser, this wine carries enticingly sweet aromas of roasted marshmallow, red cherry, red plum, violet, and cooked tomatoes.  Light weight and graceful tannins on the palate with added notes of burnt sugar, coffee beans, rose petals, black pepper, leather, and an earthy finish.

Thanks to Jason and Brian for another fantastic blind tasting class!

-Julie Albin

Wine List

1. Seven Hills Columbia Valley Riesling 2009 – Washington State

2. Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling 2010 – Alsace, France

3. Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnere – Chablis, France

4. Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Chardonnay 20009 – Sonoma County, CA

5. Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir 2010– Central Otago, New Zealand

6. Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuit St Georges La Richmone 1er Cru 2007 – Burgundy

7. M. Chapoutier La Petite Ruche Crozes-Hermitage 2008 – Northern Rhone

8. Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2008 – Barossa Valley, South Australia

9. Pride Vineyards Sonoma Merlot 2009 – Sonoma County, CA

10. Chateau Certan de May Pomerol 2008 – Bordeaux, France

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