August 21, 2008

BFC#5: A Lightning Bolt from Zeus!


No other way to describe it. We were stunned. All of us. None could believe that we'd all voted for a sparkling wine made from an antique grape we'd never heard of. Moschofilero? When the blindfolds came off -- we have a slightly unorthodox approach to blind tasting at the Lab, more like waterboarding really -- every jaw dropped. There before us, an international smörgåsbord of sparkling wines, and we had all picked the Greek as our favorite.

Tselepos Amalia Brut, NV. Nose was musty and graphitic with faint hint of apple. Elegant and balanced on the palate with nervy acid, delicate, honeyed orchard fruit and a clean, crisp stony finish.

So Amalia will be back to take on Goisot in the Bubbledome.

The rest of the competition, in order of finish:

Gruet Brut, NV. Strongly effervescent. The cork took out a chunk of ceiling plaster. Fruity nose of white flower and melon. In the mouth, a little flabby but not without some energetic acid.

Toso Brut, NV. Weird. And not in a good way. Tropical fruit and honeysuckle and a faint, almost Rieslingesque petrol quality. Less complex in the mouth, melon with some almond and a flat and dull finish. Very strange expression of pinot/chardonnay blend.

Taltarni Brut Taché, NV. Almost exactly that unique, rusty pink color of Dom Perignon Rosé. Beyond the color, this was disappointing. Closed, yeasty nose. Slightly overripe, apple fruit and tart, attention-demanding acid. This isn't bad as much as it's generic.

We all thought the Zipang Sparkling Sake was out of category, but really interesting. So we pulled it from the cage before it suffered any real damage. We'll bring it back for sushi night in the Dome. Coming soon.

(passport image © Icefields |

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