Wolf Mountain – Coupage III – Wine Review
Wolf Mountain Wine Tasting – date 2/3/2018
This Wolf Mountain wine was the second wine on our Saturday wine tasting of North Georgia wines. I chose this to taste and review because it was a Bordeaux style blend. Bordeaux is one of my favorite regions and the wines from there have some very distinct characteristics. The tannins are typically silkier. You can taste the earth. The oak is powerful but balanced with the wine. The balance that comes from a Bordeaux is normally outstanding. They require that the only grapes to be used in the blend are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. They are permitted to use Carmenere, but the grape was wiped out in Bordeaux with the Phloxera epidemic (mites in the soil that like to eat the rootstock of the vines).
Bordeaux blends are often done in many growing regions and can go by different names, when they are grown outside of the Bordeaux. Claret and Meritage are a couple of the names that the blends can go by.
This wine has grapes grown in North Georgia, and from multiple vintages, making it a non-vintage wine. This usually means that the winemaker felt that one of the varietal wines hadn’t aged long enough to use it with other wines from that vintage in the blend. Blending is an art form. Grapes are fermented separately and blended together after fermentation. I was told which wine it was that needed a little more aging, and I think it was the merlot. It was a while ago, so my it escapes my memory. That being said, this Wolf Mountain wine has Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc in it. A true Bordeaux style blend.
When we began analyzing the color of the wine, we all felt that it was ruby with consistent coloring and was translucent. The halo was minimal. Not very viscous. On the nose I could get the toast of the barrel, cherry, pepper, vanilla, blackberry, black currant, and tobacco. It was a pretty big nose with a lot going on, so we felt that it was “strong and alluring”, and we scored it a 4 out of 5 on the nose intensity.
When you are smelling a wine with this much going on, your olfactory senses can get overwhelmed after about 5-7 seconds of smelling. We used coffee beans to cleanse and revive our sense of smell. It’s a great trick that I highly recommend if you’re going to be tasting several wines or very complex wines.
Once on the pallet, the fruit intensity was “abundant”, giving us a score of 19 out of 25. It wasn’t quite powerful, but definitely more than nice or ample. The use of oak was judicious. While this wine could age, I think it is at its peak right now. The fruit and oak were in harmony, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
The flavor characteristics, were pretty busy too. With this many grape varieties in a blend, you’re going to have a lot going on. We were picking up cherry, raspberry, currant, blackberry, cassis, pepper. On the finish we were getting anise, black tea, and cocoa powder. In Bordeaux style, this had soft and silky tannins, making us choose to call this wine “Elegant”. We really enjoyed this wine and we gave it an 8 out of 10 on “Flavor Characteristics.”
We felt that this Wolf Mountain wine would have paired with anything braised. We also felt that this would go great with any of the gamier meats, like rabbit or venison. This was definitely a wine for meat (insert Homer Simpson drooling over doughnuts or beer).
When reviewing the balance on the wine, we felt that it was dry, with medium acid, and complex, with a full body. The balance was very “harmonious” which resulted in us giving it a 4 out of 5 for “Balance”.
The finish was “long”, or somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute. Giving it a 4 out of 5 on the length of the finish. With a 50-basis point scoring method the score for the wine was an 89, although some gave it a 90. This Wolf Mountain choice was a fantastic wine, that I would have no problem recommending to someone and feel very confident in them being able to enjoy it thoroughly.