Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Old World Vs New World...... Battle of the Blends.


Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2005
Margaret River,
W26,000




Kressmann Grande Reserve 2005
Bordeaux
W17,000







Both bought from les vins maeil located in the Lotte Castle Plaza(pictured above), Jamsil. They have a website at www.lesvins.co.kr but unfortunately it doesn't work. This is a really nice wine shop. It has issues. It has a tendency to be hugely over priced. Rather than separate its wines by just region it does them by reds/whites and regions. Most importantly it does not have a price against every wine. Or even most wines. There is very little pricing......
However, I like it. It is haphazard, wine boxes scattered about the place, wine bins overflowing, bargains scattered here and there. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. There is none of the abject fear that seems to strike some shop workers when confronted with a white faced, big nose(I try to engage in my pidgin Korean but there is a moment of rabbit caught in headlights as I approach in most shops). It just feels like a real wine shop. A bumbling, enthusiastic, passionate wine lovers retail experience. What's not to like? Also, they gave me free cheese. As service. All good.

To the battle.....

Old World V New World.
France V Australia
The largest exporter of still light wine V the largest growth(by volume) of still light wine exports

and so on.

In all honesty this is probably unfair, though not without worth. Dry white Bordeaux has a propensity to be fairly uninteresting, dry and characterless wine. It is very firmly in the shadow of the reds and the sweet wines of the region. The reasoning behind picking up this bottle was pretty simple, it was cheap. However, knowing that it was a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend gave me the opportunity for this comparison. And comparison is good!

The Bordeaux is a 50-50 split, Semillon/Sauvignon, the Cape Mentelle 49-49 with 2% Chardonnay.
Both are clear, bright lemon and very pale wines. They look young, they are young, the Bordeaux carrying just a touch of green.

On the nose the Australian wins hands down. It has characteristic Sauvignon traits, herbaceous(grassy almost), gooseberries, green apples and there is a touch of honey in there which must be coming from the Semillon. It is a really expressive nose. The Bordeaux has far less going on. There are green apples, though they smell slightly oxidised, as though they are all that's left from a fruit salad from yesterday(HA! I think that right there was the moment I moved in to horrible, over descriptive, wine bore territory. You witnessed it here! It's true though.). There is a touch of the herbaceousness, a touch, and far more nondescript citrus. It all feels a bit green to be honest.

It is a similar story on the palate. The Bordeaux is a tale of unripe fruit, green apples and lemon. It is a refreshing dry white that lacks the character to take it out of the realms of bland. I could probably argue the case for a touch of minerality but I can't really be bothered.
The Cape Mentelle is a bit of a zinger, lemon and grapefruit, far less herbaceous than the nose suggests. Although the Sauvignon dominates there is much more weight than a straight Sauvignon Blanc. It has crisp green apples as well as the citrus and all said and done offers hell of a lot more than the Bordeaux.

A surprising result? Well, no. Cheap, white Bordeaux is probably not the place to look for exciting wine and 17,000 is cheap. It probably translates to about £4 or $8 in real(not marked up beyond recognition) money. However, I quite liked the Bordeaux, when taken on its own merits. Crisp, light and refreshing I would be quite happy to drink this. The Cape Mentelle was just a good wine.

Edit: Alright, just to clarify the Australian was the superior wine. By a long shot.

8 comments:

Big Bliss said...

You think that its only at this point you moved into over-descriptive wine bore territory squirrel boy? Oh, how you underestimate your ability. You were there ages ago, lad. Anyway, who won? Was it Australia? Quelle domage. A portent for the forthcoming egg-chasing, methinks. Domination of the southern hemisphere and all that. Off to the Sheaf this weekend. mmm lovely Bitburger

SkinnySteve said...

Hey, I've been checking up on your blog a few times in the past month. I hope you keep posting. You've got an interesting concept for a blog and I'd like to read more of your thoughts on the topic.

squirrelandgman said...

Thanks for reading Steve. I fully intend to keep posting and hope to be getting some more interesting wines in the future. I think I will try to get more wine bar reviews in as well. They appear to be popping up everywhere in Seoul at the moment.

Arman said...

Hi,,
Humbly submitted that it has come to my knowledge through website about your name and E-mail ID, I have also heard a lot about the obliging nature of the people of your country, thus, hopefully decided to put forward my request before you.
I am Miss. Arman Shaikh, and I work for departmental store as a sales girl here in my country Hderabad, My parents died in road accident 2 years ago and after the death of my parents, I am supporting myself and my sister, to be an very honest its to difficult for me to meet the life expenditures from my job b/c I get very less salary, and unfortunately m y sister who is only 16 year old has caught by colon cancer since last year, I am trying my level best to pay for her medical expenses but today I have gone totally out of money, I have knocked every charity organization in my country on net and personally I have gone to request them for any medical help for my sister, but I am very sorry to say that none of them has come forward for any help after the death of my parents. now a days doctors say that my sister is on the last stage of cancer and she could survive only if she goes under operation of colon to remove the affected piece of colon cancer, But at this stage no one is ready to help my sister.
I feel guilty to request you as strange person out of country, but you can not even imagine that how much helpless I am for my sisters medical charges. I am personally requesting you for any affordable help in any shape, kindly putting co- operative look on sister's health. I will be optimistically looking forward for your reply and hopping that I would be sympathetically given assistance for my sister's operation.
Yours,
Truly Miss. Arman Shaikh.
E:mail- arman.shaikh.hyd@gmail.com

Arman said...

Hi,,
Humbly submitted that it has come to my knowledge through website about your name and E-mail ID, I have also heard a lot about the obliging nature of the people of your country, thus, hopefully decided to put forward my request before you.
I am Miss. Arman Shaikh, and I work for departmental store as a sales girl here in my country Hderabad, My parents died in road accident 2 years ago and after the death of my parents, I am supporting myself and my sister, to be an very honest its to difficult for me to meet the life expenditures from my job b/c I get very less salary, and unfortunately m y sister who is only 16 year old has caught by colon cancer since last year, I am trying my level best to pay for her medical expenses but today I have gone totally out of money, I have knocked every charity organization in my country on net and personally I have gone to request them for any medical help for my sister, but I am very sorry to say that none of them has come forward for any help after the death of my parents. now a days doctors say that my sister is on the last stage of cancer and she could survive only if she goes under operation of colon to remove the affected piece of colon cancer, But at this stage no one is ready to help my sister.
I feel guilty to request you as strange person out of country, but you can not even imagine that how much helpless I am for my sisters medical charges. I am personally requesting you for any affordable help in any shape, kindly putting co- operative look on sister's health. I will be optimistically looking forward for your reply and hopping that I would be sympathetically given assistance for my sister's operation.
Yours,
Truly Miss. Arman Shaikh.
E:mail- arman.shaikh.hyd@gmail.com

Arman said...

Hi,,
Humbly submitted that it has come to my knowledge through website about your name and E-mail ID, I have also heard a lot about the obliging nature of the people of your country, thus, hopefully decided to put forward my request before you.
I am Miss. Arman Shaikh, and I work for departmental store as a sales girl here in my country Hderabad, My parents died in road accident 2 years ago and after the death of my parents, I am supporting myself and my sister, to be an very honest its to difficult for me to meet the life expenditures from my job b/c I get very less salary, and unfortunately m y sister who is only 16 year old has caught by colon cancer since last year, I am trying my level best to pay for her medical expenses but today I have gone totally out of money, I have knocked every charity organization in my country on net and personally I have gone to request them for any medical help for my sister, but I am very sorry to say that none of them has come forward for any help after the death of my parents. now a days doctors say that my sister is on the last stage of cancer and she could survive only if she goes under operation of colon to remove the affected piece of colon cancer, But at this stage no one is ready to help my sister.
I feel guilty to request you as strange person out of country, but you can not even imagine that how much helpless I am for my sisters medical charges. I am personally requesting you for any affordable help in any shape, kindly putting co- operative look on sister's health. I will be optimistically looking forward for your reply and hopping that I would be sympathetically given assistance for my sister's operation.
Yours,
Truly Miss. Arman Shaikh.
E:mail- arman.shaikh.hyd@gmail.com

miss said...

Hi,,
Humbly submitted that it has come to my knowledge through website about your name and E-mail ID, I have also heard a lot about the obliging nature of the people of your country, thus, hopefully decided to put forward my request before you.
I am Miss. Arman Shaikh, and I work for departmental store as a sales girl here in my country Hderabad, My parents died in road accident 2 years ago and after the death of my parents, I am supporting myself and my sister, to be an very honest its to difficult for me to meet the life expenditures from my job b/c I get very less salary, and unfortunately m y sister who is only 16 year old has caught by colon cancer since last year, I am trying my level best to pay for her medical expenses but today I have gone totally out of money, I have knocked every charity organization in my country on net and personally I have gone to request them for any medical help for my sister, but I am very sorry to say that none of them has come forward for any help after the death of my parents. now a days doctors say that my sister is on the last stage of cancer and she could survive only if she goes under operation of colon to remove the affected piece of colon cancer, But at this stage no one is ready to help my sister.
I feel guilty to request you as strange person out of country, but you can not even imagine that how much helpless I am for my sisters medical charges. I am personally requesting you for any affordable help in any shape, kindly putting co- operative look on sister's health. I will be optimistically looking forward for your reply and hopping that I would be sympathetically given assistance for my sister's operation.
Yours,
Truly Miss. Arman Shaikh.
E:mail- arman.shaikh.hyd@gmail.com

kisstherain said...

hi there! i am working on a project about old world wines vs new world wines,is old world wine threaten by the new world wines? Just want to know your opinion about it..Its really an interesting subject that i am learning now,beverage. Just feeling disappoint for not able to try out those wines!