My daughter, the neighbours and myself got together to sample the Enticing Mixed Whites case I received for being the Member of the Month for June here on the Community. I’m interested in learning about wine and have studied the WSET Advanced Certificate this year – receiving the news that I’d passed with Merit on the same day that the case was delivered! Synchronicity!
My overall conclusions were that the New World wines had an edge over the European. I expect consistently good wine from New Zealand and Australia and both bottles met expectations. The South African Chardonnay and the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc exceeded expectations - definitely snapping at the heels of the Antipodeans!
Everyone has their preferred style of wine and there’s definitely something for everyone in this box: a variety of grapes and styles, a range of ABV. My personal favourite was the Ocean’s Edge, but then I’m a big fan of New Zealand wines. I recently worked on the New Zealand whites table, promoting these wines at the ‘Decanter World of Wine Awards’ event. This box is terrific value for money and excellent for a world tour of wine summer evening!
2011 Ocean’s Edge Pinot Grigio, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Opulent, fragrant and fruity. On the nose, warm peaches, spice, pineapple and spring flowers. On the palate, refreshing high acidity with citrus notes, dominant honeysuckle and ripe white peach.
A very good value wine, be careful not to chill it too much, a little bit of warmth allows the complex aromas and flavours to emerge. This kind of wine is good for sipping, aperitif or food, and would complement Thai spring rolls or baked sea bass and new potatoes with drizzled lemon and flat leaf parsley.
2011 Enoteca Orso Pinot Grigio, Venezia, Italy
With an ABV of only 12%, this Pinot Grigio is a rounded wine with aromas of melon, citrus and nuts, and flavours of honeyed melon, balanced with apple crispness. This wine opened up in the glass and would be even better decanted then returned to the fridge before serving.
It had a moderately long finish and would be perfect food wine to accompany pasta with cream or seafood sauces.
2010 Deux Fleurs de France Chardonnay Grenache, Vin de Pays de Mediterranne, France
Aromas of kiwi and green apple followed through on the palate with a light and indefinite fruitiness and something of a green leaf edge to the wine, which finished in a slight sourness. This wine from the Southern Rhone promises ripe fruit character but does not deliver to the extent I would have hoped. I would probably choose a New World Chardonnay rather than a French bottle.
2011 Bloxland Estate Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia
A lovely wine with none of the heavy buttery weight that used to be associated with Australian Chardonnay. The wine is clear pale straw lemon in colour with mouthwatering aromas of citrus, specifically lime and sherbet. On the palate there’s crisp acidity, ripe peach and floral notes, followed by the barest hint of butterscotch.
This is a restrained chardonnay, for easy drinking on summer evenings and a good BBQ companion for those who prefer a white wine.
2011 Cape Peak Collection Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa
The label points out the raised elevation at which these grapes are grown and this is confirmed in the style of the wine. On the nose, it’s like a bowl of tropical fruit salad with guava, pineapple and apple. It’s clean and fruity without a specific dominant flavour, but there’s a vibrancy of ripe nectarine, white flowers and a hint of banana. A perfect aperitif!
2011 Long Country Sauvignon Blanc, Valle Central, Chile
Striking watery colour and aromatic nose. There’s the characteristic green grass at the first pass, after a swirl it gives way to an unexpected rush of strawberry and citrus. On the palate, it’s dry and light with good acidity, aromas of lemon, tangerine and orange blossom.
This wine has an appealing floral character offering an illusion of sweetness to balance the fragrant citrus. A good sipping wine for summer evenings!