As admittedly the least knowledgeable member of WineChatty, it struck me that it might be interesting to chronicle my progress while developing more of a palate for wine (and beer and whisky). Now that I am paying more attention, I’m finding that I can now either a) describe flavours I’ve always known are there but never had a word for them or b) actually pick up new flavours I would have never noticed. Every time that I am able to determine something new I think of it as a little victory. It’s very close to the feeling of when you make progress in a video game or role-playing game (RPG; non-geeks can go look it up), so I am going to indulge my inner nerd and call this series: Level Up!
If you’re a novice like me, stay tuned: what I plan to do with this series is highlight wines that stand out or help to develop a certain part of my wine-nerd palate. When I get that ‘Level Up’ feeling, I’ll post about it and you can try it for yourself. Hope you’ll join me for the ride.
The Bannockburn Serre 2012
First of all, this was an amazing pinot noir; quite possibly the best pinot I’ve had yet. The wine was complex and well balanced, with an extremely fine and delicate tannin structure. What stood out for me on nosing the wine were two characteristics: cigar box and medicine cabinet.
Cigar box: Usually I can pick out smokiness or tobacco but the aroma was combined with woody hints. Cigar box is a perfect descriptor for what I smelled.
Medicine cabinet: In addition to the cigar box aroma, there was also an aniseed medicinal quality. It didn’t smell like a traditional Chinese medicine shop, but the smell certainly brought on flashbacks for me as a kid in Chinatown.
Honey: I picked up serious honey characteristics from it; especially surprising for a beer which does not advertise itself as a honey beer. I felt that it accomplished this in a well-balanced, subtle way where other ‘honey’ beers that I have tasted have miserably failed.
Character Sheet Update:
For those that are not familiar with that ‘Level Up!’ feeling, here is a video which sums it up in a few seconds. I feel like I’m heading out on an epic quest….
WineChatty was created as a way for organizing themed wine tastings with friends around the world. Similar idea to book clubs and photography assignments, but with wines! It's a way of exploring and finding new wines that you might not have tried before.