Monday, June 6, 2016

Apples and Oranges

Everyone says it’s like comparing apples and oranges whenever you taste wines of different varieties.  Yet after a while you get used to the process.  Essentially to look at what’s in your glass and compare it in your mind’s eye to what might be a benchmark example.  Do that with your apple, then your orange, then the one nearest to the ideal is the winner.  That’s how judges do it t wine shows.

Sometimes, even with the same variety, the styles are so divergent that the apples and oranges approach must be applied.  Two of the various styles of Chardonnay that are often presented are the nutty style and the fruity examples.  The nutty ones are more the European versions, with white stonefruits, flint and minerals to the fore.  These are food wines, more savoury and complex in that sense.  The fruity ones range with tropical fruits, melons, citrus fruit and the like and seem opulent and sweet, and can be delicious on their own.  Of course the nutty ones can also be rich, and the fruity ones with complexity, so there is room for crossover.

The Pretty Pair first served the 2013 Pegasus Bay Waipara Chardonnay.  This was the nutty style, quite savoury and austere, but with impressive depth and complexity.  It wasn’t an easy drink to consume quickly, as it demanded thought and attention.  I know the 2013 Pegasus Bay ‘Virtuoso Chardonnay reserve style is even better.  Next to this was the 2011 Craggy Range ‘Les Beaux Cailloux’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay.  The sweet, ripe, tropical fruited wine.  Near opulent, but then with all the oaky, butty and flinty complexities in detail to make it magical.  Easy to drink and the glasses went down quickly.  We all recognised both were good, but tonight it was Craggy Range.  This was the last Les Beaux Cailloux for a while as the Chardonnay vines were virused and pulled up. There may be a 2016 in the works…   

No comments:

Post a Comment