WSET Level 3 Lecture #1: Course Induction & Tasting Technique (Wine Tasting)

This post summarises the tasting session on 4-Jan-2017, the first of the 15 lectures from WSET Level 3 course which runs from 4-Jan-17 to 19-Apr-17. The theory part is covered separately in the previous post. The exact details of wine samples and the price information is included below. So, if you wish, you can do your own tasting by yourself!

  • Tasting Location: WSET London, Vintners Hall 1
  • Date & Time: 4th January 2017, 6:30 pm
1. Wine #1
1. Wine Information
1.1. Wine Name Tesco Simply Muscadet
1.2. Country France 
1.3. Region Loire Valley
1.4. Sub-region Nantais 
1.5. Vintage 2015 
1.6. Quality Status AC 
1.7. Producer Tradition et Patrimoine 
1.8. ABV 11.5 
1.9. Retail Price (£) £4.49 
2. Appearance
2.1. Clarity clear
2.2. Intensity pale 
2.3. Colour lemon 
2.4. Other n/a 
3. Nose
3.1. Condition clean
3.2. Intensity light 
3.3. Aroma Characteristics
  • Primary: apple, lemon, Simple, (gooseberry, pear-drops: what are they?)
  • Secondary: n/a
  • Tertiary: n/a
3.4. Development youthful 
4. Palate
4.1. Sweetness dry
4.2. Acidity high 
4.3. Tannin n/a 
4.4. Alcohol medium (most of wines are medium)
4.5. Body light 
4.6. Mousse n/a 
4.7. Flavour Intensity light 
4.8. Flavour Characteristics
  • Primary: apple, lemon, Simple
  • Secondary: n/a
  • Tertiary: n/a
4.9. Finish short 
5. Conclusion
5.1. Quality Level
  • Balance: y
  • Length: n
  • Intensity: n
  • Complexity: n
  • Conclusion: Acceptable
5.2. Readiness for Drinking/ Potential for Ageing drink now, not suitable for ageing 
5.3. Thoughts
  • Quite a simple and straight forward white with primary apple and lemon flavours
  • Good value for money at £4.49 
  • I Could not understand gooseberry and pear-drops flavours
2. Wine #2
1. Wine Information
1.1. Wine Name Cuvaison Chardonnay
1.2. Country  USA 
1.3. Region  California
1.4. Sub-region  Carneros 
1.5. Vintage  2013 
1.6. Quality Status  wine with geographical description  
1.7. Producer  Cuvaison Winery  
1.8. ABV  14
1.9. Retail Price (£)  £22.99 
2. Appearance
2.1. Clarity  clear
2.2. Intensity  medium 
2.3. Colour  lemon 
2.4. Other  tears 
3. Nose
3.1. Condition  clean
3.2. Intensity  pronounced (not medium?)  
3.3. Aroma Characteristics
  • Primary: peach, apricot, banana, mango, pineapple 
  • Secondary: vanilla, toast, butter, cloves (MLF & oak)
  • Tertiary: n/a
3.4. Development  developing (tricky to tell for me…)  
4. Palate
4.1. Sweetness  dry 
4.2. Acidity  high 
4.3. Tannin  n/a  
4.4. Alcohol  high  
4.5. Body  full 
4.6. Mousse  n/a  
4.7. Flavour Intensity  pronounced  
4.8. Flavour Characteristics
  • Primary: peach, apricot, banana, mango, pineapple 
  • Secondary: vanilla, toast, butter, cloves (MLF & oak)
  • Tertiary: n/a
4.9. Finish  long
5. Conclusion
5.1. Quality Level
  • Balance: y
  • Length: y
  • Intensity: y
  • Complexity: y
  • Conclusion: Very good (Outstanding also ok)
5.2. Readiness for Drinking/ Potential for Ageing  can drink now, but has potential for ageing  
5.3. Thoughts
  • Ripe grapes led to stone fruit or tropical flavours? (Californian weather)
  • Alcohol came across a bit too strong 
  • Curious how this type of wine develops into when matured (and how long it takes)
3. Wine #3
1. Wine Information
1.1. Wine Name Domaine de Gry Sablon Beaujolais-Villages 
1.2. Country France  
1.3. Region Burgundy 
1.4. Sub-region Beaujolais  
1.5. Vintage 2015
1.6. Quality Status AC
1.7. Producer Dominique Morel  
1.8. ABV 12.5  
1.9. Retail Price (£) £10.29  
2. Appearance
2.1. Clarity clear
2.2. Intensity medium
2.3. Colour ruby (could say purple?) 
2.4. Other n/a  
3. Nose
3.1. Condition clean 
3.2. Intensity medium
3.3. Aroma Characteristics
  • Primary: red cherry, strawberry, (cranberry, jammy, confectionery, pastilles, boiled sweet?)
  • Secondary: n/a
  • Tertiary: n/a
3.4. Development youthful 
4. Palate
4.1. Sweetness dry 
4.2. Acidity medium (I thought this was high) 
4.3. Tannin light 
4.4. Alcohol medium
4.5. Body light 
4.6. Mousse n/a
4.7. Flavour Intensity light 
4.8. Flavour Characteristics
  • Primary: red cherry, strawberry, (cranberry, jammy, confectionery, pastilles, boiled sweet?)
  • Secondary: n/a
  • Tertiary: n/a
4.9. Finish short 
5. Conclusion
5.1. Quality Level
  • Balance: y
  • Length: n
  • Intensity: n
  • Complexity: y
  • Conclusion: Good
5.2. Readiness for Drinking/ Potential for Ageing drink now, not suitable for ageing 
5.3. Thoughts
  • I struggle to differentiate the scent of the black fruit from that of the red fruit
  • It seems arbitrary how to distinguish medium acidity and medium tannin from high
4. Wine #4
1. Wine Information
1.1. Wine Name Vina Ardanza La Rioja Alta Reserva
1.2. Country Spain
1.3. Region Rioja
1.4. Sub-region Rioja Alta
1.5. Vintage 2007
1.6. Quality Status DOCa 
1.7. Producer La Rioja Alta 
1.8. ABV 13.5  
1.9. Retail Price (£) £24.99  
2. Appearance
2.1. Clarity clear
2.2. Intensity medium 
2.3. Colour garnet 
2.4. Other tears
3. Nose
3.1. Condition clean
3.2. Intensity pronounced
3.3. Aroma Characteristics
  • Primary: raisin, stewed fruits, cherry, plum
  • Secondary: toast, vanilla, cedar
  • Tertiary: leather, tobacco, savoury, mushroom
3.4. Development fully developed  
4. Palate
4.1. Sweetness dry 
4.2. Acidity medium 
4.3. Tannin medium (I thought low?)  
4.4. Alcohol medium 
4.5. Body medium+
4.6. Mousse n/a  
4.7. Flavour Intensity pronounced 
4.8. Flavour Characteristics
  • Primary: raisin, stewed fruits, cherry, plum
  • Secondary: toast, vanilla, cedar
  • Tertiary: leather, tobacco, savoury, mushroom, meaty
4.9. Finish long 
5. Conclusion
5.1. Quality Level
  • Balance: y
  • Length: y
  • Intensity: y
  • Complexity: y
  • Conclusion: Outstanding
5.2. Readiness for Drinking/ Potential for Ageing drink now, fully developed 
5.3. Thoughts
  • It smelt and tasted weird – difficult to describe it
  • I struggled to feel the primary characteristics, both on nose and palate 
  • tannin felt low, but it was medium

5. My Thoughts

What? The instructor said it would be easy, but tasting certainly is a challenge for me. Yet, tasting blind and trying to figure out what those scents and flavours are is certainly a good fun. Blind tasting certainly is a good way to train myself, maybe, free from any perceptions and biases from label. However, I realised yet again that my tasting buds are not so reliable. Well, I am keep telling myself that anything can be trained and improved with a deliberate practice! (And it is a good excuse to open another bottle of wine this weekend…)

And the below is the actual bottles and labels, revealed at the end of the session.

2 Comments

  1. JH
    13 Jan 2017

    Hahaha… bien sûr! Keep going!!!Nothing is impossible.

    Reply
    1. sooh
      13 Jan 2017

      I really hope so…!

      Reply

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