International tasting panel
International tasting panel

In first and second place: Apaltagua Costero and Miguel Torres Estelado

A group of 10 people of 6 different nationalities recently got together to blind taste 6 different Brut/Extra Brut wines retailing at under 10,000 Chilean pesos (£10 / US$15) and score them out of 10.  We then calculated the average score for each wine to determine their ranking. Here are the results:

All photos courtesy of Alexandra Balakireva.

 

1) The overall winner: Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut, San Antonio Valley – Score 6.9

60% Chardonnay / 40% Sauvignon Blanc.  In bottle fermentation

A dry, crisp, light and fruity sparkling wine with citrus aromas and a touch of apple.

2) Second place: Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado, Brut, Maule Valley – Score 6.5

100% País. In bottle fermentation. Fair trade.

The only rosé in our tasting, a pleasing peach colour. Lovely fruity aromas, followed by refreshing acidity in the mouth.

glass thumb3) Third place: Domaine Raab Ramsay Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Marga Marga Valley – Score 5.6

100% Chardonnay. In bottle fermentation. Organic.

This was the sparkling wine which drew the biggest reactions – the judges either loved or hated it and it was outright favourite for two judges. This was quite different to the other wines tasted – more golden in colour and more complex and creamy, with more body and pronounced flavour.

4) Undurraga Alta Gama Extra Brut, Leyda Valley, Score 5.6

80% Chardonnay, 13% Riesling, 7% Sauvignon Blanc. Tank fermentation (Charmat)

This is a smooth, easy-to-drink sparkling wine. Pleasant fruity nose, refreshing in the mouth.

5) Valdivieso Grand Brut, Score 5.5

Pinot Noir main grape. Tank fermentation (Charmat)

A crisp, light and refreshing sparkling wine with nice body.

6) Domaine Raab Ramsay Brut País, Marga Marga Valley

100% País. In bottle fermentation. Organic.

The nose was interesting but the wine disappointed a little in the mouth. Rounded but low acidity and a touch of bitterness in the finish.

The tasting panel 

Sophie Bedouin from France and Diego García-Huidobro from Chile
Sophie Bedouin from France and Diego García-Huidobro from Chile
Natascha Scott-Stokes from the UK
Natascha Scott-Stokes from the UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Balakireva from Russia and Ximena Carolina de Rodt from Chile
Alexandra Balakireva from Russia and Ximena Carolina de Rodt from Chile
Leonhard Bernold from Switzerland and Loreto Fuchslocher from Chile
Leonhard Bernold from Switzerland and Loreto Fuchslocher from Chile

 

Helen J. Conway from the UK
Helen J. Conway from the UK
Susan deBoom and Marilyn Bernold, both from the USA
Susan deBoom and Marilyn Bernold, both from the USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To discover how to tell how sweet a sparkling wine is, check out my post How to choose sparkling wine (1).

For information on how to choose a style of sparkling wine to suit you, try my post How to choose sparkling wine (2).

For more information about sparkling wine, check out these posts:

A sparkling toast to the weekend

Chilean chips and sparkling wine

 

 

 

 

 

2 Replies to “Sparkling wine tasting panel results”

  1. Very interesting Helen! Was this a “real” wine tasting – tasting and wasting – or did you get to enjoy the effects as well? If you actually got to drink it, does this affect judgment as you go down the list? Top score only 6.9 out of 10 …. is that lower than usual top scores?
    Not a comment at all, just questions! Congratulations on your wine blog.

    1. Hello Kathy, good questions! What we did was the official tasting first, pouring just small amounts of each sparkling wine to taste them. Nobody (except me) knew the identity of the wine at the time of tasting and we took the judging quite seriously. I don’t think anyone’s palate became compromised during the tasting. Then, after we had finished scoring the wines, we unveiled them and then the party began! As regards the scores, this is something I would do differently next time. We agreed to give points out of 10 but we didn’t discuss how to score within that, so some people scored more harshly than others. However each person was consistent within his/her own scoring and we all felt that the final scores reflected overall opinions. Let me know if you have any other questions. Kind regards, Helen

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