Friday, May 20, 2011

Wine 101: the Symphony varietal ( ... an old acquaintance)

It was a pleasant surprise when I came upon the 2006 Ironstone Vineyards ‘Obsession’ (California) at a wine retail outlet in Ho Chi Minh’s Hai Ba Trung street (District 1) during my recent visit there this year. 

In Singapore one can easily find white wines made from varietals like sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, riesling and pinot gris. But what about the varietal called Symphony? Have you come across a white wine made from symphony grapes over here? 

My first taste of symphony wines was back in 2001 when I just started exploring about things wine as a new hobby. There was a wine outlet called Le Wine back then in Heshe building at Tai Seng Road. Every Saturday afternoon saw wine tastings held in this place. One of the popular wines tasted and enjoyed by new wine enthusiasts then was Ironstone Vineyard’s ‘Obsession’, a wine made from the symphony varietal.

I can still recall Obsession’s floral aromas and ripe fruit flavor profile. It was a pleasant, easy and an enjoyable wine to drink; refreshing on the palate with lots of fruit flavours, an off-dry body and a lingering finish. For a newbie like me, this was perfectly enjoyable on a hot afternoon and went well with a good many local dishes which we used to bring along.

For some time since those early years I did not get the opportunity to taste wines made with the symphony varietal. I almost forgot about this varietal till a few years ago when I saw it mentioned in a wine course material. 

Wine-bit: That’s when I learnt that it is a recently created varietal in California, made from a crossing between Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. (The muscat grapes ... at least one knows where the pleasant aromas of the symphony grapes come from).

Happy to say, I bought the 2006 Obsession and enjoyed it during a hot afternoon in Ho Chi Minh. As was before, it made for a pleasant sip :)

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