Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Blind Tasting: 5 Tasted of 5

Part 1: The Tasting
The Setup
The bottles were setup in their hideaway cloth in the morning storing them in the fridge for tasting later, after 4pm - our Happy Hour, the same day.

All wines had a refreshing tartness that would brighten a shellfish meal and most grilled or roasted seafood.  The terroir of the Bel Echo was distinctly different having more chalk/wet pebble and less of a  gooseberry focus. All were considered good to great sippers.

Ranking 1 to 5

Taster A:
#1 - E (Cloudy Bay), #2 - S (Fallen Angel), #3 - W (Fairhall Down), #4 - I (Brancott), #5 - N* (Bel Echo)

Taster B:
#1 - S (Fallen Angel), #2 - N*  (Bel Echo), #3 - E (Cloudy Bay), #4 - W (Fairhall Down), #5 - I (Brancott)

The Reveal:

W - Fairhall Down, I - Brancott, N - Bel Echo, E - Cloudy Bay, S - Fallen Angel 

The Reveal

Part 2. Completed after Part 1


  • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012,  93-2  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #304469  $29.95
  • Brancott Estate Letter Series 'B' Sauvignon Blanc 2011,  91-2  --  G, Marlborough, NZ, #278689  $19.95
  • Fallen Angel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011,  91-1  --  V, Waiheke Island, NZ, #041301  $26.95
  • Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012, 88-1  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #990580  $18.95
  • Bel Echo by Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2011,  86  --  V, Marlborough, NZ,  #309609  $19.95
    (V - Vintages, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, NR - Not Rated)

FAIRHALL DOWNS SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012, Marlborough, NZ, 13.0%  XD  .9g/L, #990580  $18.95  (Tasted March 25, 2013) CS

Released by Vintages on March 2, 2013.  My notes: White with a just perceptible straw tint and a just perceptible lime zest nose. The rim slides down the glass without fragmenting and the first sip surprises the palate with a chalky texture to slight lemon lime flavours. A swallow brings more citrus very refreshing without being flavourful and a chalk dry ending. A party sipper to go with a buffet of nibbles or to have with a shellfish meal. A drink now. 88

CLOUDY BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  XD  5g/L, #304469  $29.95  (
March 25, 2013CS

Released by Vintages on April 18, 2012.  My notes:  Almost white with a tint of blond. A deep sniff brings a spicy gooseberry scent to the nose. A lightly laced rim fragments quickly through tears into droplets on the glass.  There's a softness to the texture in the first sip along with a delicate, young gooseberry sensation on the swallow. A delight to sip and was great with grilled cod with mashed Yukon Gold and sweet potato. The flavour accent to the finish gives this extra mileage as a sipper. A drink now to 3 years. 93

FALLEN ANGEL SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 MARLBOROUGH, Waiheke Island, NZ, 13.5%  XD  4g/L, #041301  $26.95  (Tasted March 25, 2013CS
Released by Vintages on February 16, 2013.  My notes: A 'heaven sent wine for the angels among us...' according to the label.  The Stonyridge wine list describes the complete Fallen Angel labels.  Almost white with a tint of green and a nose that has a floral aspect to citrus or young gooseberry. The rim sheds long fast tears until only small nodules remain. The first sip is fruity and dry, the dryness growing as it covers the palate. An interesting sipper full of delicate freshly crushed young gooseberries with a texture having a slight fullness and a finish that stays awhile before ending as a drying layer. A drink now - have with shellfish, fish or roast fowl. 90

BEL ECHO BY CLOS HENRI SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  XD  2g/L, #309609  $19.95  (Tasted
March 25, 2013CS

Released by Vintages on February 16, 2013.  My notes: 80% of the grapes blended were grown in  80% Broadbridge Clay and 20% in Greywacke riverbed soils.  Almost white with a faint green tint and there's a mineral edge to a light melon and stone fruit scent. A swirl leaves a lightly laced rim to recede slowly. A tart apple and melon with a focus on mineral refreshes and gives a uniqueness as a sipper - extra dry through the finish. Serve with assorted canapés for sipper to choose a pairing or have with grilled white fish on risotto. A drink now to 2 years. 86

BRANCOTT ESTATE LETTER SERIES 'B' SAUVIGNON BLANC 2011 ,  Marlborough, NZ, 13.0%  XD  5g/L, #278689  $19.95  (Tasted March 25, 2013CS
A General listing and a Pernod Ricard Pacific Pty Ltd product.
  My notes:  Breathing a few minutes lets the fresh scent of delicate gooseberry & pear develop. The film is thin and leaves a fragmenting rim to shed fast tears then form lacy islands. The texture is smooth with a chalk layer and refreshing tartness. The chalk grows still with a delicate berry and spice for a nicely developing finish. A drink now. Sip, sip or have with shellfish, anything from bearded mussels in a curry sauce to crab pieces. A drink now to 2 years. 91


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