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Dry Table Wines: Old World vs. New World

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Dry Table Wines: Old World vs. New World

<p>Although grape variety is the single most important influence on style and character in wine, sometimes wines seem to smell and taste first of the geographic origin. Comparing French wines (Old

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Although grape variety is the single most important influence on style and character in wine, sometimes wines seem to smell and taste first of the geographic origin. Comparing French wines (Old World) with Australian and New Zealand wines (New World) of the same grape variety can illustrate the profound effect of terroir – the sense of place – on varietal character and wine style. It raises the question of what constitutes typicité for a given grape.


COURSE OUTLINE
WHITE
Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough and the Loire Valley will be considered. The Loire wine will be more restrained (sharp, mineral, gooseberry) while the Marlborough expression will display an overt fruit character (gooseberry, tropical fruit and citrus).
A pair of Chardonnays from Margaret River and Burgundy will be more mouthfilling. But much riper fruit flavours and opulence will be evident in the Margaret River wine while the White Burgundy will be more discreet and more dry.
Comparing the Sauvignons with the Chardonnays will do much to highlight the oak character in the latter, the difference in acidy (Chardonnay has less) as well as aromatic profile.


RED
The purpose here is to compare two classic and contrasting expressions of the same grape. Two wines made from Pinot Noir will show a uniquely seductive combination of perfume, silkiness in texture and delicacy of flavour. In ideal circumstances Pinot Noir expresses place of origin, in this case from the grape’s so-called ‘motherhouse’ (Burgundy) and a climatic equivalent from the New World.
The second pair of red wines will be made from Shiraz (Syrah), one from the Northern Rhône and the other being a mainstream South Australian expression. The Rhône wine will be savoury, slighter and drier while the Australian wine fuller in alcohol with greater emphasis on fruit and oak.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the differences in smell and taste of these pairs of the same grape variety reflect climate differences (ripe relative to less-ripe fruit character) as well as different soil conditions (warmer ‘New World’ climate versus the cooler European ‘Old World’). All carry similarities (varietal character) as well as differences (place). A realisation that all reflect typicité.