Blind Tasting and Quiz for the Label Jockeys

OK…with all the fuss about labels…yadda…yadda…yadda…I decided to pop open two bottles before leaving for a night out with the wife. I chose two very different wines but two that I’ve had little experience with. Now I know that these bottles are from different regions and two VERY different wines but hey…I just grabbed two and went with it. Both were tasted single blind and were pop and pours. I can report back later once they’ve developed.

2005 Quilceda Galitzine
2005 Harlan Estate

Below are the notes…you tell me which is which.

Wine #1- color- Slightly lighter in color than #2 but both were VERY dark.
-nose- more aromatic with slightly more alcohol showing through than #2
-palate- somewhat tight, more tannic, slightly out of balance

Wine #2- color- again, slightly darker

  • nose- more dark fruit, more jammy than #1
    -palate- more feminine than the nose let on to, slightly closed, more in balance than #1

Trick question 'cause one is a fruit bomb and the other is from the non-flavor elite. Either way, #1 is QC even thought #2 is “jammy”.

Instead of sending my prize money to Haiti, kindly forward it to ebob so he can get a N-F-E membership card. [stirthepothal.gif]

#1 sounds like a young QC to me, although I have never tried the Galitzine.

1 QC Galitzine

2 Harlan Estate

The QC Galitzine is usually out of balance so young and while I haven’t had the '05 Harlan the color of the QC is lighter than most of the Harlan’s I have had. The Harlan will (IMO) also evolve quicker when you get back to it, also as Pop N Pour the QC will (again IMO) not show as well. The confusing part is the QC is also usually “slightly closed” at this point in it’s youth but you use it in the #2 descriptor.
I’m still going with my #1 & #2 picks.

The cherry jolly rancher is the QC and the chocolate milkshake is the Harlan. newhere

In reality, my guess aligns w/ everyone else, #1 QC, #2 Harlan.

As much as I’d love to be contrary, I just can’t; mark me as another vote for #1QC, #2 Harlan.

Thanks all for the responses. My first thought was that #1 was the Quilceda as I’ve always known their estate wines to be overly tannic and tough to drink in the early years (aside from a select few vintages).

I much preferred #2 as it showed better balance and a better expression of fruit.

The answer is…
#1- Quilceda
#2- Harlan

If you were to ask me if the Harlan was worth 4-5X more after my first impression, I would say no. But after I let both bottles open for 6-8hrs, my impression changed quite a bit regarding pricing. The Harlan really stepped it up, starting giving up tremendous aromatics and the fruit lushed out quite a bit. I was also able to pick up a number of great flavors such as cigar and tar which gave the wine an extra dimension.

As for the Quilceda…well…actually…th e wine deteriorated a bit. The alcohol is still aparent as well as the sharper tannins. The wine became sweeter after a few hours and then after 6-8hrs became astringent. No real secondary or tertiary flavors arrived at any point.

As a summary, at this point, I would say that the Harlan doesn’t offer up a $500 IMO. Also, the Quilceda doesn’t offer up a $100 experience…maybe $50. I think both can improve with age and likely will so the jury’s out what each will offer in 5-10 years. Right now, I’d gladly pay $250-300 for the Harlan but not much more (for an immediate drinking experience such as a restaurant purchase). In this go around, the more expensive label wins by a wide margin but for me…doesn’t yet live up to the ticket price.

Thanks, Justin.

I was waiting for the trick, though.

Not that trick, Serge.