Nevada Wine

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lemberger Tasting

In class last night, we talked about wine making and the supplies needed for wine making. These include:

tanks, fermenters, carboys, barrels, airlocks, bottles, corks, siphon, hydrometer and thermometer. Fermentation supplies include yeast, a source of SO2 (usually potassium metabisulfite is used), yeast nutrients (DAP, diammonium phosphate), and malolactic bacteria (Oenococcus) if malolactic fermentation is desired. A good source of information is the book "From Vines to Wines" by Jeff Cox.

Last night we tasted 6 UNR Lemberger wines and 2 commercial Lemberger wines from Washington State. The UNR wines were 2006, 2008, and 2009 wines. The 2006 wines were not popular and clearly had gone bad. The drought-stressed 2009 Lemberger was the favorite of the UNR wines. It was very aromatic and fruity, with a deep dark ruby color and good balance. It was comparable to the commercial wines (Kiona and Fairwinds wineries) which were very popular. This wine was oaked as were the commerical wines. The other 2008 and 2009 UNR wines had scores similar to the commercial wines. One of the complaints of the Lemberger wines from UNR is the acidity. Perhaps lower crop loads or warmer nights will reduce the acidity more quickly. We shall have to test this in the future. At the end of the tasting, everyone agreed that this was a good grape for Nevada.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Riesling tasting

Last night we had a large and lively group for the class and wine tasting. In the class, we discussed our recent visit to Geneva, NY and discussed some of the interesting hybrid wines we tasted there, especially the Seyval, the Noiret and the Regent. Last night we tasted 6 wines wrapped in aluminum foil. One wine was not a Riesling but a 2005 Gewurztraminer. Most people could not distinguish it as a different grape variety from Riesling although they knew that one wine was a different variety from the other five. However, some people did distinguish it as different. This Gewurztraminer was surprisingly fruity and fresh for a 5-year-old wine with floral-honey aromas. Other people got peach and apricot aromas from this wine. Amongst the Rieslings there was no clear winner, but there was a clear loser, the Drought-stressed 2008 Riesling was an almost unanimous loser. It had distinct petrol aromas, which most people did not like, but according to the German literature these petrol aromas are characteristic of high quality wines and drought-stressed Rieslings. Clearly this group, including myself, did not like this wine. The well-watered Rieslings had some slight floral notes, particularly in the well-watered wines. Next week we will be trying some Lembergers and will mix in a couple of commercial wines from Washington State. Hope to see you there!