Vino Fino   |   Wednesday, March 22, 2017

From the Tastings - Value

The term "value' has all sorts of connotations, especially when it comes to wine. Why does the cost vary so much? Is a $50.00 wine worth twice as much as a $25.00 bottle? Is price the only factor?
This tasting could never answer these questions but did give us a chance to serve wines of similarity of region and variety in pairs - one approximately twice the price of the other. They were served blind in no particular order and the question was asked - which do you prefer. I also asked which was the most expensive. Obviously the wine ranked as most preferred was thought to be the most expensive. For the first four pairings this was the case. The only exception was the last pairing of the Elephant Hill Le Phant Red and the Ata Rangi Celebre where the Elephant Hill was the preferred wine and also the least expensive. I'd add a caveat that the Ata Rangi is very youthful tasting (see the notes below). This is the effect that occurs in wine shows where often the less expensive wine will win the Gold medal over its higher priced stablemate. For the rest of the pairings the difference was quiet marked and there was no trouble in identifying the more expensive and preferred wine. The two wines of the night were the Pegasus Bay Chardonnay and the Muga Reserva Rioja.  

Vino Fino

Hunters Pinot Gris 2016
Made in a dry style with a portion fermented in older oak. Quite fleshy with pear, spice flavours and a bit of grip on the palate. Very good value.
Retail $17.99       Our price $13.99

Villa Maria Seddon Pinot Gris 2016           
A much more refined example with a quite a fine, pure palate. The wine sees no oak or extended lees time – this is about purity of fruit. An off-dry style with flavours more in the green fruit spectrum. Like ‘essence’ of Pinot Gris. Very good wine seen as the more expensive and the preferred wine.
Retail $32.99       Our price $24.99

Main Divide Chardonnay 2015   
2015 was quite a small vintage in North Canterbury leading to concentrated fruit flavours in the wines. A golden yellow in the glass, this has quite a pronounced reductive ‘funky’ aroma from the natural ferment and extended lees time in barrel. Good weight and richness. If you’re not a fan of the ‘funk’ just give this a bit of time in the bottle and enjoy in a year or so. You will be rewarded.
Retail $22.99       Our price $17.99

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2015   
From Pegasus Bay’s own old Mendoza vines, this is about as good as their Chardonnay gets – and there have been some beauties over the years. Great intensity alongside palate richness. Golden, rounded, with some savoury nuttiness and minerality. Almost 100% preferred.
Retail $45.99       Our price $37.99

The Crater Rim Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2015 
A mid- ruby red colour that is almost opaque. Crushed cranberry, redcurrant – cherry/berry with some nice spiciness and moderate tannins. Not very complex. Some votes for the preferred wine.
Retail $26.99       Our price $19.99

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2014          
Darkly coloured with black sweet spiced plum flavours. This has excellent presence on the palate with a svelte, silken seductiveness. This is the kind of wine that makes Central Otago Pinots so popular. Much preferred.
Retail $46.99       Our price $35.99

Palacio de Oriente Tempranillo Rioja 2014            
Grapes sourced from Rioja and produced by the large Navarro Lopez winery. A very commercial style of Rioja that is quite sweet fruited – ripe and juicy with a good hit of savouriness. Mouthfilling and very good for the money
Retail $20.99       Our price $15.99

Muga Reserva Rioja 2012             
70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano. It is easy to see why this is such a popular wine.  Perfumed with nuances of sweet American oak. Smokey, black fruits, spice. A modern, approachable style.  Very good and appreciated by the tasters.
Retail $41.99       Our price $35.99

Elephant Hill Le Phant Rouge 2014           
61% Merlot, 26% Syrah & 13% Cabernet Sauvignon​. Quite concentrated – in colour and taste. This is quite a package of wine. An unusual blend that really works. Meaty, spicy, leathery, dark fruits. Moderately weighty and very good value. The preferred wine of the two.
Retail $28.99       Our price $21.99

Ata Rangi Celebré 2014 
55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Cabernet Franc. A similar blend to the Elephant Hill but much more structured and showed as being quite closed. I took the glassful left in our tasting  bottle home and had it the following evening. It was magnificent. I had forgotten how good this wine can be from a good vintage. A unique style that works very, very well.
Retail $43.99       Our price $38.99

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