Practice Report from the World Championship in Blind Tasting
  • Practice Report from the World Championship in Blind Tasting

  • At UrbanWineBox we love a friendly competition and want to spread the joy of collecting and drinking, sorry, tasting wine!

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  • We bought 12 bottles from you wine collectors that we sent to the team representing Denmark at the unofficial World Championship in Blind Tasting.

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  • The team of Peter, Asbjørn and Thor qualified by winning the open unofficial Danish Championship, held by Gastro and Vinakademiet. We can only urge you and your friends to form a team and take part in this fun and friendly competition!

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  • This years’s winning team has been practising hard to make all the Danish wine drinkers proud (imaging spitting out all that wine!) and has been so kind to send us a practice report.

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  • How would you have done with the following wines?

 

  • Scoring

  • For every wine you have the chance to score the following points:

    - Main grape: 10 points
    - Country: 5 points 
    - Appellation: 5 points
    - Vintage: 3 points
    - Producer: 2 points

     

    Easy, right…

 

  • The Practice Report:

  • All the wines were served double-blind, meaning that not only did they not know the individual wine in front of them, but neither did they have any prior knowledge of the selection of wines that would be served. 

  • The time spent per wine was 7 to 8 minutes from the pour to the final guess.

 

  • Wine no. 1

  • Deep golden colour, lively bubbles and “punchy” nose of red apples, toffee and honeysuckle. The intense nose and flavours reveal signs of age, but the acidity is persistent and the flavour is broad with a quite high sugar content for a “Brut”. All that indicate a “Grande Marque producer", and primarily red grapes.

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  • Guess:
    Pinot Noir, et. al. – Champagne – France – 2002 – Ayala

     

  • Right Answer:
    Pinot Noir, et. al. – Champagne – France – Non Vintage – Paul Clouet “Grande Reserve”

    (unknown age, but definitely an older example)

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 2

  • Looks lemon-green, has a powerful mousse and a nose of unripe yellow stone fruits and green apples. Just a slight autolytic character. A quite short finish with a chalky, acidic bite. Low dosage. Is it Champagne or one of the better Crémants de Bourgogne from the same grapes? Restrained intensity and marked acidity take us home to Champagne, made exclusively from Chardonnay.

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  • Guess:

    Chardonnay - Champagne – France – Non Vintage

 

  • Right Answer:

    Chardonnay - Champagne – France – 2012 – André Clouet ”Dream Vintage”

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 3

  • Powerful nose of elderflower, compote of gooseberries and grass – almost parodic recognizable as Sauvignon Blanc. A biting taste of white grapefruit skin to qualify the guess, and a square unpolished style that brings us to Europe – Sancerre.

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  • Guess:

    Sauvignon Blanc – Sancerre – France – 2017 – Pascal Cotat

 

Right Answer:
Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – Bordeaux – France – 2019 – Chateau Guiraud “G”

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 4

  • Challenging wine, bright, with a nose of white pineapple, flower beds, gunpowder and fermented dairy products. Slightly alcoholic but high minerality, like crushed flint. We land in the Northern Rhone – far away from the right answer! We would never guess Savennieres (Chenin Blanc) with such low acidity.

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  • Guess:

    Rousanne/Marsanne – Hermitage – Northern Rhone – France – 2017 – Delas

  • Right Answer:

  • Chenin Blanc – Savennieres – Loire – France – 2010 Domaine des Baumard “Clos du Papillon”

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 5

  • To put it mildly… Funky white wine... It's oozing of canned corn and burned oak stumps. Very mineral with a flinty character, but quite low acidity. We talk about Europe and Rhone until the last two minutes, but the oak gets more present as the wine evolves and the temperature of the glass rises. We do transfer to the other side of the Atlantic, but get the grape wrong.

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  • Guess:

    Chardonnay – Napa Valley – California – US. – 2017 – Mondavi

 

  • Right answer:

    Viognier – Sonoma Coast – California – US. – 2013 – Whistler “V”

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 6

  • The fruit is introvert, but it has a scent of wild yeasts like Belgian Lambic, as well as lemon zest and unripe pineapple. Raw acidity, no imprint of malolactic fermentation, doesn’t seem like it’s oak aged. A complex and challenging wine with focus and character. We wavered between a bone dry Chablis and Savagnin/Chardonnay from the Jura. We take the wrong turn and miss the right answer: A non oxidized Savagnin.

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  • Guess:

  • Chardonnay – Chablis – France – 2017 – William Fevre

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  • Right Answer:

  • Savagnin – Arbois – Jura – France – 2017 – Domaine du Pelican

 

 

  • Wine no. 7

  • Transparent, ruby red. Hard punching nose of strawberry gum, gravel pit, light white smoke and redcurrants. It brings a leafy note to the palate and it’s overall driven by acidity and young sun-ripened fruit. We quickly identify it as Pinot Noir but we debate whether it’s German (the fruitiness) or from Burgundy (the seriousness and the green, leafy touch). The wine seems nicely restrained and we don’t think it’s from the New World.  

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  • Guess:

  • Pinot Noir – Beaune – Burgundy – France – 2017 – Drouhin

  • Right answer:

  • Pinot Noir – Sta. Rita Hills – California – US. 2014 – Tyler “Sanford & Benedict Vineyard”

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 8

  • Yes! The answer lights up right away. The colour is evolved, tending toward orange with a light core. Classic nose of ripe boysenberries, furniture from a smoker’s home, dill twigs and tons of roasted oak. Obviously, a Rioja from a classic wine producer with approximately then years of age. The marked oak leads us toward a Reserva as it doesn’t have the structure of a Gran Reserva.


  • Guess:
    Tempranillo et. al. – Rioja – Spain – 2010 – Marques de Caceres Reserva

  • Right answer:

  • Tempranillo et. al. – Rioja – Spain – 2005 – R. Lopez de Heredia “Vina Tondonia Reserva”

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 9

  • A fight breaks out: Tuscany or Piedmont? The colour is light, the nose is open and tending towards sour wild cherries, strawberries and forest floor. On the palate it shows potent alcohol and equal parts raw tannin and acidity. From Italy, no doubt, but we cannot agree on the dryness of the tannins and the origin: Nebbiolo or Sangiovese? We walk through the wrong door…


  • Guess:
    Nebbiolo – Barbaresco – Piedmont – Italy – 2016 – Produttori de Barbaresco

  • Right answer:
    Sangiovese et. al. – Brunello di Montalcino – Tuscany – Italy – 2015 – Antinori “Pian delle Vigne”

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 10

  • A pitch-black sweet wine – the colour takes us to Vintage Port or Banyuls. Powerful nose of blackberries, unfermented grape juice, chocolate and black pepper. Tannic, but with a sweet balance. It finishes with a touch of spice which takes us to Portugal.


  • Guess:
    Touriga Nacional et. al. – Vintage Port – Porto – Portugal – 2007 – Niepoort

  • Right answer:
    Touriga Nacional et. al. – Vintage Port – Porto – Portugal – 2000 – Portal

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 11

  • Dark golden colour and an open nose of the crust of crème brulée, burned grapefruit skins and an off-note of yogurt. Estimated residual sugar: 100 to 150 g/l and with no signs of Botrytis. It has a lot in common with Sauternes yet a note of dill makes it stick out, and with the missing Botrytis we end up in Hungary.


  • Guess:
    Furmint - Aszu 5 Puttonyos – Tokaj – Hungary – 2005 – (no guess on producer)

  • Right answer:

    Furmint - Aszu 3 Puttonyos – Tokaj – Hungary – 2007 – Crown Estates “Premium Selection”

 

 

 

 

  • Wine no. 12

  • The colour is medium gold. It’s oozing of barbequed pineapple, vanilla and smashed peach. Botrytis protrudes. It lacks some nerve and a better balance between acidity and sweetness to be from a good vintage of Sauternes. Nonetheless it presents itself as a representative Sauternes, though in a quality that sits below the best producers. That was a wrong guess! It was quite a surprise to see Italy make such a similar copy.


  • Guess:
    Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – Sauternes – Bordeaux – France – 2008 – Chateau Rayne-Vigneau

  • Answer:

  • Sauvignon Blanc et. al. – Umbria – Italy – 2007 – Antinori Castello della Sala “Muffato della Sala”

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks to Peter, Asbjørn and Thor, and good luck in Bordeaux!