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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Terzetto and GentilBlends from Australia & Alsace
Today, we have two blends for you, one of three Italian grapes, not from Italy but from the McLaren Vale in Australia, the other a more formal blend of white grapes, known as Gentil, from the Alsace. Both wines are excellent, each Highly Recommended. As you might expect, the alcohol in the Australian is much higher, 14.5% as against a moderate 12%.
Terzetto is Italian for a trio and the three grapes in Kevin O’Brien’s wine of the same name are Sangiovese (45%), Primitivo (40%), and Nebbiolo (15%). The percentages will vary from vintage to vintage. Kevin likes this one: “On their own, these varieties shine but… this threesome.. create a compelling wine that is perfumed, enticing and beautifully structured.”
Gentil started as an kind of all-in white grape blend in the 1920s. Today, the name Gentil is reserved for AOC Alsace wines conforming to the standards of a blend of superior quality. This blend must be composed of a minimum of 50% Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and/or Gewurztraminer, with the rest made up of Sylvaner, Chasselas and/or Pinot Blanc. Before blending, each varietal must be vinified separately and must officially qualify as AOC Alsace wine. Gentil must mention the vintage and may not be sold commercially until after quality control certification in bottle.
Kangarilla Road Terzetto 2013, McLaren Vale (AUS), 14.5%, €17.95 (14.36 at sale earlier) O’Brien’s.
Violet is the colour and the slow-clearing legs hint at the high ABV. Red fruits dominate the aromas. Juicy and fruity; the fruit flavours carry a hint of sweetness but are really well balanced with a delicious savouriness, good acidity too and tannins at play as well. All that and a very pleasing finish. Quite a blend from Kevin O'Brien (great to see his wines back on Irish shelves) and Highly Recommended.
Usually, O’Brien’s bottles have beautifully executed hand-drawings of the leaf of the grape variety. This one has no less than three, of course.
Meyer-Fonné Gentil 2014, Vin d’Alsace, 12%, €16.65 Le Caveau.
Light gold is the colour of this white blend from the Alsace. There are subtle white fruit (peach, melon, citrus) aromas, some blossom too. It is fruity and refreshing on the palate, includes hints of sweetness, lively acidity too, plus a decent finish. A very agreeable little number and again Highly Recommended.
And this agreeable little number is his “entry level wine”, leaving one very keen indeed to try the full range, right up to a highly rated Cremant, from this organic producer. The current official word on the Gentil blend (the practice goes back to the 1920s) is above but this Meyer-Fonné consists of Muscat, Pinot blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
WOODSTOCK MCLAREN VALE, SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2010, 11%, €15.99, CURIOUS WINES
Following a well trodden path, the winemakers have done a good job here, balancing the fruity qualities of the Semillon (96%) with the refreshing traits of the Sauvignon Blanc. They are quite happy to put their names to this well rounded effort, quite a good example of the popular blend.
The names are Scott Collett and Ben Glaetzer and they are writ large on the label. And that would no doubt please Milos, a former Dordogne host of mine. I met the ex Guinness employee in his Sarlat home last year and the Serbian ex-pat maintained that it was more important to have the winemaker’s name on the label, even to the exclusion of the grape. “Sometimes we used eight or nine varietals around here. How would you fit all those on the label?”
This Woodstock is a Pale Honey in colour with a moderately aromatic nose (white fruits prominent). On the palate, it has a smooth and fruity intro with a zesty citrus like follow-on. It boasts a nice balance of flavour and acidity and has a lingering finish. And it is pretty low in alcohol!