Friday, April 24, 2015

Pluot goes to a virtual New Zealand tasting (and learns something new)!

A wine's body or mouthfeel or weight comes from soil, and its aromatics come from climate.

This is according to the winemaker for Brancott, Patrick Materman, who led about 25 bloggers through a virtual online tasting of five New Zealand sauvignon blancs last night. The assessment was new to me, and a few other bloggers questioned it too, albeit with a level of enthusiastic wine geekiness I don't necessarily share ("I thought mouthfeel heft came from skin or lees contact?!").

Last night's virtual roundtable marked my first invitation to a blogger tasting since Pluot rebooted. I'm very flattered. I'm flattered and pleased, but still I would love to be a fly on the wall when the winemaker, anywhere -- New Zealand, Chile -- is told it's his turn to take part in this sort of thing. O God .... There are always the anxious whispers, usually from the techies in New York or California who stand beside the camera(s). "Are we still on?" And always there is the winemaker's pleasant, calm patience with all questions and comments. Is he much struck by the keenness, or is he thinking, "Folks, please. It's just wine." Great fun, but how many different ways can 25 people in the chat room find to say "I'm getting notes of honeysuckle and lime zest"? What does one answer?

Maybe I'm just peeved because I got notes of lavender, pine, and cream instead. But then the moderator, an editor from Wine Enthusiast, mentioned "creaminess" to the wine maker from my chat room response, so I feel as if I had some sort of impact, or at least showed my appreciation adequately by demonstrating I was there. The Butterfly Effect ... Six Degrees of Separation ... you know.   

2013 Brancott Estate "Letter Series" sauvignon blanc. Creamy (from the soil, remember), notes of lavender, pine, and eucalyptus (from the climate). Delicious. Suggested retail, about $26. My chat room question as to whether there would be other letters in the series, C, D, E, for example, or perhaps R, A, N, C, O, T, T, was left unanswered. It's o.k.

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