On Sunday at our Christmas wine fair we showed three mystery wines. The wines one white and two red were available for tasting by anyone who wished to try them and guess as to their origin or grape varities. We had some pretty wild guesses and some that weren’t to far from the mark, but no-one to my knowledge successfully idetified any of the three wines. The wines were as follows.

The White:

Paul Blanck Pinot Gris 2006, Alsalce, France

This wonderful Pinot Gris, surprised many allot of people. Many believed this wine was a new world white. Musky aromas of citrus peel and pine resin, plus a whiff of brown spices. Supple, ripe and off-dry, with good concentration and palate presence but with only moderate definition and grip. Nicely round in the mouth but a tad diffuse. Finishes with decent length, though, and a slightly tannic impression, making this wine feel bigger on the palate than it is.

The Reds:

Bogle Petite Sirah 2006, Clarksburg, California

This wine was one of the stars of the day. Thirty-one years after it was first produced by the Bogle family in 1978, Petite Sirah is today considered Bogle’s “heritage” varietal. Ripe summer blackberries and plums overwhelm both the nose and palate of this wine. Its trademark inky, jammy qualities are a barrage of black fruit and spice, adding layer upon layer of complexity. Notes of supple leather and toasty oak envelop the flavors through the finish, giving way to wisps of caramel and vanilla. The firm tannins make this a wine that can develop for years to come, but you won’t want to wait that long to enjoy it!

Heartland Dolcetto-Lagrein 2006, Langhorne Creek, Australia

This was a hit with many and is certainly a wine nobody was expecting. This adventurous blend of two Italian grape varieties – Dolcetto and Lagrein – earned winemaker Ben Glaetzer a major trophy at the 2006 Sydney International Wine Competition for his 2005 vintage. The 2006 is an opaque purple colour with hints of brick red. On the nose there are lifted aromas of mulberry, cassis with a hint of currants. Nuances of dried straw and eucalyptus add freshness and density. In the mouth, flavours of cracked pepper, cedar, cherries and wood smoke. The palate is rich, balanced by firm savoury tannin.