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Tasting Notes: Vanilla

Vanilla is easily one of the most common spices noted in tasting. Where does it come from? Mostly from the ageing process of the wine and the oak. The oak’s variety and age can give more vanilla than others. For example American oak barrels tend to have a higher degree of vanilla spice, as does younger barrels. Other than on the nose, a sweet tannic finish on a white wine will have flavours of vanilla or lemon. Below enjoy some wines that have a degree of vanilla in the tasting notes. 

Claude Seror Winery – L’Or Rouge 2013
Israel – Ramat Hagolan – Kosher – Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot – Syrah (Red)
90 Points
“Really fine nose here, I really like those slightly roasted flavours there, quality oak, not too much of it, but just a slight hint of vanilla and coffee beans, in combination of ripe dark fruit here, like cassis and plum.”


Moss Wood – Chardonnay 2013 – Margaret River
Australia – Margaret River – Wilyabrup – Chardonnay (White)
88 Points
“It appears quite ripe, at the same time it has a nice backbone of acidity there, with a quite lush texture. I think the oak has done a good job there. You have some of those vanilla notes, slightly creamy texture.”


Marqués Del Valle – Crianza 2012 – Rioja
Spain -Rioja (Red)
88 Points
“Some creamy notes of vanilla, then we have soft red fruit like ripe plum, roasted, and some mild spiciness. Very nice texture on the palate, a wine I would call already rounded, still quite youthful in terms of freshness and fruit.”


Domaine De La Baume – Terres 2013 – Pays d’Oc
France – Languedoc/Roussillon – Pays d’Oc – Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah (Red)
87 Points
“Youthful nose, some new oak there, ripe dark fruit, vanilla, dark plum, crushed dark berries. Palate is quite full, it has a good core of dark fruit, crushed dark berries, but it has a rather loose structure in terms of tannin, they’re already well integrated.”


Chateau De Santenay – 2012 – Mercurey
France – Burgundy – Mercurey (Red)
87 Points
“Sweet nose, pure, with red fruit, mild spices, a hint of wood; a slight hint of vanilla, some notes of leather. Medium weight, soft and supple texture, well-balanced with a still youthful acidity, very soft tannin.”


Chamlija – Blanc de Noirs 2014 – Thrace
Turkey – Thrace (White)
87 Points
“There might be a slight hint of wood there, I get some vanilla, some touches of almond. Palate has good freshness, it’s a medium weight with quite unctuous yellow fruit; those touches of papaya and mango re-emerging on the palate.”


Clos du Châtelard – Apicius Grand Cru 2012 – Chablais
Switzerland – Chablais – Grand Cru (Red)
86 Points
“Rather longer nose here with some roasted wood, dark plummy notes, wild berries, some notes of vanilla. Dense core of fruit on the palate, rather full, still with a quite youthful texture; plenty of grainy tannin.”

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