BB Review: Quetzal Chenin Chardonnay
BOTTLE: Quetzal Chenin Chardonnay 2015 – Mexico
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: Marks & Spencer’s £6.75 (Normally £9.95)
ABV & TECH SPECS: 13% ABV. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin Blanc
WHO BOUGHT IT & WHY: Caro– My instruction for this round was Break the Rules. Although I was first focused on finding a producer that somehow goes against the traditions, I then turned the instruction to breaking my own rules. With an initial goal of going to a place where I don’t normally buy wine, picking a varietal I would not normally go for, from a country I had never tasted wine from, I ended up browsing the wine selection at M&S instead (dudes, it was pissing down out there). I first picked up a South African pinotage rosé, but then came across this beauty of a bottle. Mexico, I read – 1 rule broken – and then Chenin Blanc Chardonnay – 2 rules broken. That was enough to convince me. And of course, the pinotage rosé came home with me too.
LET'S GET NERDY: Named after the colourful Quetzal bird (a symbol of wealth and freedom for the ancient Aztecs) this blend is from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe region, an area of the Baja California peninsula where vines have been cultivated for over 300 years. M&S winemaker Belinda Kleinig selected this wine with winemaker Sebastián Suárez, impressed by its purity and freshness.
PARTY FACT: The first vines to be planted in North America were actually in Mexico, and planted by the Spanish in the 16th century! You’ll find mainly French, Italian and Spanish varietals in Mexico, the majority of which are planted in the warm Mediterranean climate of Baja, in the North.
And, if you’re on the look out for some ever-trendy sparkling wines, they are called vinos espumosos, which literally translates to ‘foamy wines’.
CARO: Sunday baking. The sharpness of that not-so-ripe rhubarb your mum decided to make a tart out of, balanced by the fullness and softness of its buttery pastry base. This said, I do want to give this wine a go with some spicy, creamy Mexican street food!
ANGELA: I usually like my Mexican offerings with a sharp spice and a kick– pass me a tequila resosado any day! This wine feels like it wants to be strong and serious, it has some weight and body to it. It smells like a fresh salad– yellow peppers, cucumber and a pop of lime. I like its texture: mouth-coating oiliness, and I’m crying out for someone to pass me the Gambas Pil Pil and some chargrilled vegetables.
KATE: These bitches and another white wine! (Is it just me, or are we drinking white a lot?) I'll tell you a secret: I think it's really difficult to smell anything other than white wine when I'm sniffing most whites, but this bottle smelled like green banana and that heaviness in the air right before it rains on a hot summer day. Sipping it was like biting into a fresh yellow pepper and it made me want to make some salsa and eat about 400,000 tortilla chips– which, to be fair, isn't that out of the ordinary for me.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Sure. Why not?