Nevada Wine

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Last night we tasted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In class we discussed the origins and characteristics of these grapes and their wines. In the tasting we compared wines that had been drought-stressed or not, treated with oak and/or malo-lactic fermentation. The wines came from either 2008 or the 2009 vintages. All of the wines were very nice. Amongst the Chardonnay, the the favorite was the 2008 Well-Watered Chardonnay with oak and malo-lactic fermentation. A close second was the drought-stressed 2009 Chardonnay (no oak or malo). These wines were light in color with nice fruity aromatics and a long-finish. The favorite Pinot Noir was the 2009 Well-Watered (with oak) followed as a close second by the 2009 Drought-Stressed (no oak). The well-watered 2009 Pinot Noir had medium color with very nice strawberry jam aroma and flavor. It was very smooth and well-rounded. The drought-stressed 2009, was very dark in color with some fruity aromas and firm tannins. I almost wouldn't know that this wine was a Pinot Noir, it was a very unusual wine for a Pinot Noir and one very worth drinking! Next week is our last week before the holidays. We will return starting in February. Have a happy holiday season!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lemberger Tasting

Dear Nevada Wine Enthusiasts,
Last night we started off the class by talking about the possible wine adjustments one can make in a wine after fermentation is complete includeing acid adjustment, color adjustment, tannin adjustment, stabilization and clarification. Our Lemberger wines have always been popular, and last night was no exception. We had new people there that had never tasted Lemberger before and were quite pleased with what we tasted. We tasted well-watered wines from 2006 to 2009 with or without oak. Many of these wines were very good. The winner was the Oaked 2009. This wine was described as having hints of blackberry, some pepper, with a nice oak finish to make a well-rounded wine. Others described it as having a fruity, jammy nose, with a light berry, acidic palate and lingering finish. Others decribed notes of raspberry, black cherry, beautiful ruby color, and balanced. One went even so far as to say this was the best UNR wine ever! Hope to see you next week!
All the best,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gewurztraminer Tasting

Dear Nevada Wine Enthusiasts,
Last night in class, we took a cold blustery walk out into the vineyard to view our vine burial techniques. We shall see next spring whether our efforts were worthwhile. After returning to the classroom we discussed the importance of oak, its impact on wine color and flavor and the different methods that oak can be administered. We finalized the class with a summary of the 5522 wine tastings scores recorded to date. There were clear differences in which wines were more popular with the public. Cabernet Sauvignon was a clear winner. Semillon clearly benefited from water deficit as the drought-stressed wines were much more popular than the well-watered vines. After that we had a vertical tasting of our Gewurztraminers from the last 5 years (2004-2009). Clearly Gewurztraminer wines from our area hold up well compared to some of our other wines. The wines most liked were the Well-Watered 2006 and 2009 wines, although others liked equally well some of the other wines. The least favorite was the Drought-Stressed 2008, however, again there was a difference of opinion. I personally liked the Drought-Stressed 2009. I thought it was outstanding with a delicate aroma, good balance and finish.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Merlot Tasting

Hello Nevada Wine Enthusiasts,
Last night in class, we discussed my recent visit to China. I learned that the Beijing area has very similar problems with cold as we do and that they too have major die back in the March period of the spring. They think this is due to excessive transpiration of the shoot (even though there are no leaves yet) and the inability of the roots to transport the water fast enough (because of the cold soils or lack of root development). They are doing some experiments to confirm this hypothesis and I think they may be on to something here. I have hypothesized in the past that there is a loss of carbohydrate (starch) storage reserves by this time of the year that is contributing to the decline. The vines are surviving the coldest part of the winter in January but running out of steam in March. As for the wine tasting, we tasted our UNR Merlot. The well-watered 2009 Merlot was the clear favorite although a number of other Merlots were equally liked by other tasters. Some descriptors of this wine were that it was well colored and balanced. The least favorite wine was a blend of Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc from 2008. It had some oxidized caramel characters that some people didn't like. However there were a number of people who chose this wine as their favorite. So as I say, just because it is someone's least favorite doesn't mean it is not someone else's favorite. We find this happening frequently in our wine tastings. Individuals clearly have different tasting preferences!