14 October 2011

Brancott Wines

Brancott wines were some of the first New Zealand bottles I ever tried, and an early introduction to the often confusing corporate ownership of certain brands and vineyards. At the time, Brancott was run by Montana Wines out of New Zealand, but that name was confusing for the American Market. (New Zealand is exotic but safe because they speak English, while wines from the state of Montana might not be the ideal association for customers.) Then Montana was purchased by Allied Domecq, then by Pernod-Ricard.

When it comes to the business side of wine, I'm mostly fascinated by marketing and production methods rather than whose signature is on the lease. And while I've had higher-end NZ wines that are much more delicate, these three are still solid performers for a casual lunch or picnic.

Also, I'm only picturing one of the wines here to show how I'm tasting a lot of things these days: down in the kitchen with the trusty MacBook in front of me. I still like handwritten notes, but I can just snap pictures, plug in the camera, and taste, and have everything in one place. When you try a lot of wine, you have to focus on efficiency at some point. At some point I'll submit my full streamlined process for ANSI or ISO 9000 certification. I'm working on my Lean Six Sigma Burgundy Belt.

2010 Brancott Pinot Grigio
Marlborough, New Zealand
$13, 13% abv.
Lemony and crisp with good minerality. I had brought this along to a gathering for my sister-in-law, a Pinot Grigio fanatic, but she was unable to attend. It did end up being a great match with my heirloom tomato gazpacho.

2010 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand
$13, 12.5% abv.
Pretty aggressive grapefruit peel, bitter nose. Not a bad thing, because a lot of times I like this style, and I crave bitter flavors. Crisp mouthfeel with a bit of minerals again. I'm proud of these two bargain whites for having stony qualities--you don't see that a lot at this price point. Guilty pleasure: I paired this with fried chicken, and the acidity cut through the grease in the most delightful way.

2010 Brancott Pinot Noir
Marlborough, New Zealand
$13, 13% abv.
Dark strawberry nose with a dusky aroma. Much brighter strawberry fruit flavor and touch of acidity, short finish. I prefer a softer, lighter Pinot Noir, but this one's good with grilled salmon or a salty ham sandwich.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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