Chance of Air

Posted by The Wine Whore |

Wine Whore Review:

Clos La Chance Central Coast California Estate Malbec 2005 (click for more info)

- VS -

This week, the rules have changed. My latest wine experiment has brought me into new territory. I have decided to pair two wines previously unlikely ever to have been put together in a taste test. Like last week's 'Can't Buy Me Love' poll, you chose which bottle should fill my glass, but instead of asking you to pick just one wine, I let you decide which PAIR of wines I should compare.

The theme: The Price of Air

Here's how it worked... you voted and I drank!

Acting as an uninformed consumer, I asked you to choose your favorite purely based on grape, label, and cost. Each pair included a low cost budget �Wise Wine� selection and a more expensive version made from the same varietal. By comparing two different costing bottles of the same type of wine, I am hoping to see if price makes a difference in the amount of air and time required to decant a bottle of wine.

The pair you chose for me to compare:
  • Malbec: Clos La Chance '05 ($35) vs Graffigna '06 ($10)

Before continuing, make sure to read the review of the less expensive selection aptly titled Malbec for Less Bucks. Unlike last week's cost difference, this pair was much closer. If you think that the higher priced wine won out... think twice. Keep reading to find out what you should consider next time you even think of choosing a wine solely based its price.

Never Wine Alone:
If you were with me for the virtual tasting via Twitter and Facebook you already have a good idea of how well this Cabby pair performed. If you missed it, take a minute to mark your calendar with next week�s tasting (Wednesday @ 6:30pm ET) and keep reading to see how it all went down.

Vintage Info:
"All the fruit for this wine was hand-picked and hand-sorted, ensuring that only perfectly ripe grapes are used in the blend, enhancing the varietal characer, balance and age ability of the wine." - Clos La Chance

Producer: Clos La Chance
Vintage: 2005
Varietal: Malbec
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Residual Sugar: N/A
pH: N/A
Production: N/A
Alcohol %: 14.5
Aging: N/A
Cost: $35/bottle (Get your own bottle!)

Wine Whore Score:

My wine time tasting experience summarized by the senses...

To the eyes: Deep garnet hue shines like cherries in the sun.

To the nose: Hot waves of alcohol waft over a bed of plush fruit.

On the tongue: Shy and timid at first. Reluctant to reveal its enticing fruit. After relaxing, it exposes the hidden cherries, cola, tobacco, and hint of oak.

I was very surprised by this week's wine experiment. I expected the more expensive Malbec to taste better when first opened and then age gracefully. I was only half right. While the more expensive wine was able to age much longer than its less expensive counterpart, I actually enjoyed the cheaper bottle better during day 1. Because of its capacity to survive being opened longer, the more expensive Malbec did taste much better on day 2.

This is by no means a scientific experiment. There are so many factors that go into taste especially when it comes to decanting and aging. However, I did learn two important lessons.

    1) Just because a wine costs more does not mean it has to taste better when first opened or at any time for that matter.

    2) More complex wines (which typically cost more) tend to be able to retain their personalities and in some cases even get better with air.

Ultimately it all comes down to drinking what you enjoy and enjoying what you drink. The next time you open your favorite bottle of wine, leave some for another day and see how it evolves... you may learn something new about an old favorite.


Interested in tasting this wine?
Click here to give this Malbec a Chance (Clos La Chance)!

(Read more wine reviews and info at The Wine Whore)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Related Posts by Categories

Bookmark and Share


Tallahassee Wine Guy said...

Your first point is important and I've confirmed it myself. Drinkers need to show patience with well-made wines (which tend to be more expensive). Who would've thought: good wine can teach people to be patient!

The Wine Whore said...

Very true! Patience really makes a difference. I never would have thought that letting wine sit out overnight could actually make it taste better... just seems counter-intuitive.


Alison said...

Really great review!

Kort said...

Interesting experiment. I find it interesting because they target things like the Vinturi aerator at opening up inexpensive wines. That indicates that though they may benefit from some inital aeration, the fall apart quicker over longer periods. Another importing thing I've found during recent research is that wines that have been aged for a while tend to lose their subtle flavors quickly and are best consumed quite soon after opening.

May I suggest this same taste with a white wine? Perhaps a slightly sweet Riesling; one from the value bin and the other a pricier example?

The Wine Whore said...

That's a great idea! Not only have I not spent much time on Riesling yet, but this would be a great comparison between white and red.


Post a Comment